Staff Writer

Staff Writer

"Puff, Puff, It Passed" - Pot Shops Banned in North Hollywood

Honoring Distinguished Service to the Theatrical Arts in the Greater Los Angeles Community

Women In Theatre is proud to announce the 2011 Women In Theatre Red Carpet Award Winners. The 2011 Red Carpet Awards luncheon will be held Saturday, October 22 at Castaways Restaurant in Burbank, 12:00 – 2:30pm. Doors open for the Reception Area at 11am, a Cash Bar and SILENT AUCTION are held prior to the event, benefiting WIT Outreach programming. Program begins at 12pm - Music/Luncheon/Awards – There will be one 20 minute intermission. Cost is $75 postmarked before October 16 and $80 at the door, as space permits. Tickets may be purchased by check to Women In Theatre, and mailed to 11684 Ventura Blvd., Suite 444 • Studio City, CA 91604. Castaways Restaurant, Mountain View Room, 1250 Harvard Road, Burbank, California 91501. Info: 818-763-5222 and

lily tomlinValley Community Clinic ( a private, non-profit, healthcare Clinic serving the underprivileged 'Celebrates 40 Fabulous Years' at the Sportsmen's Lodge on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.

The evening begins with a red carpet surprise, a spirited cocktail reception and a silent auction at 6:30 pm. This is followed by dinner in the regal Empire ballroom. North Hollywood born, actor Corbin Bernsen, currently starring in USA's 'Psych' and also known as the dashing divorce attorney in 'L.A. Law' will receive the Clinic's 2011 Health Champion Award. Senior Vice President & Regional Manager, Scott Aney of City National Bank (CNB), will accept the Health Champion award on behalf of the Bank. City National Bank has been a Corporate Partner of Valley Community Clinic since 2008.

Councilmembers Ed P. Reyes and Paul Krekorian will hold a special joint meeting Wednesday, Oct. 12, to continue charting a course for the future of murals in the city of Los Angeles. Krekorian, chair of the Arts, Parks & Neighborhoods Committee, and Reyes, chair of the Planning & Land Use Management Committee, will hold the joint session at 3:30 p.m. in the Board of Public Works Room 350 of Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles 90012.

October 11 is National Coming Out Day, North Hollywood. It's an internationally observed awareness day for "coming out " and discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) issues. National Coming Out Day is a time to publicly display gay pride and many choose this day to come out to their family, friends, co-workers and themselves.

Thursday, 06 October 2011 08:38

Jim Troesh - You will be missed!

Jim Troesh - 2011

It is with great sadness that we tell you about a local icon, Jim Troesh, who died on Oct 1 from respiratory failure. This creative man wore many hats. He was a successful actor, writer and director but most importantly, a local NoHo resident that was always there to offer a helping hand for good creative projects. Those of us who knew him best will miss seeing him rolling happily around the neighborhood. Jim co-founded "Improv for Kids" a not-for-profit organization at Avery Schrieber Theater. He was a member of The Moving Targets, LA' Political Comedy Improv Troupe. Of the many roles he played, his favorite was Scotty, a quadriplegic lawyer on Highway to Heaven starring Michael Landon. More recently, Jim showed his off-beat sense of humor and talent as an actor, writer and director in his online podcasts that evolved into the TV pilot The Hollywood Quad. Yes, Jim was a quadriplegic since his accident when he was only fourteen but he never saw it as an obstacle in achieving his goals. He was a member of the Writers Guild of America, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to name a few. Jim's determination to succeed in all facets of his life was inspiring to all that knew him. Jim deserves a round applause for showing us how life should be lived to the fullest....maybe a standing ovation.... He's been stuck in a wheelchair for forty years so we're all sure he's running happily through a heavenly field with his dog, Ichabod, but I am sure he is listening.

For information on Jim's Memorial Service, please see Jim's facebook page.   Memorial Service is being held Oct 21 at 2pm at Avery Schreiber Theatre located at 11050 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood.

Local North Hollywood resident Karin Barragato is a successful makeup artist who loves the NoHo community and what she does. It's NoHo Arts District dot Com's pleasure to showcase Karin, one of the many "RAD People of NoHo."

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 18:00



November 12, 2011 from 12pm - 8pm

NoHo Arts District

experience nohoWHAT: Experience NoHo: a FREE, multi-arts festival in the heart of the NoHo Arts District, featuring live theater, dance, music, art, fashion and food.

Experience NoHo is part arts walk and part festival. A large main stage area for music will be located at the north end of the festival, while a dance stage will anchor the festival on Lankershim Blvd. at the south end. Art will be everywhere - from public art stations inviting patrons to create their own art, to gallery installations. There will be incredible discounts and offerings from local restaurants and retailers. To top it off, 15 of NoHo's live theatres will offer performances, classes and demonstrations for FREE during festival hours. So come SEE, HEAR, TASTE... EXPERIENCE NOHO!


MUSIC: The Federal Bar will bring the best new music talent to the Experience NoHo Main Stage, featuring live bands and DJs.

DANCE: NoHo's booming dance community is pulling out all of the stops to offer free dance performances and classes at six studio locations. You can root for your favorite dancer in a Freestyle Dance Battle on the Experience NoHo Dance Stage hosted by world-renowned Millennium Dance Complex and Napoleon & Tabitha's Nappy Tabs (So You Think You Can Dance?), sponsored by Monster Energy Drinks. Chances to win free dance classes.

ART: Visual art will be everywhere in NoHo with public art stations hosted by ArtStorm, live mural painting and gallery installations and exhibits in all of the NoHo galleries.

THEATRE: Comedy, Drama, Musicals and Improv take center stage as theatres present free performances, classes and demos.

RESTAURANTS AND RETAIL: More than 30 local restaurants and retail boutiques will open their doors and offer specialized menus, samplings and discounts to festival visitors.

About the NoHo Arts District

The NoHo Arts District has become one of Los Angeles's trendiest neighborhoods. Just think of it as an urban cocktail of bohemian and yuppie with a twist of edginess. It's an enclave of all things artistic. Within a one-square mile, NoHo is home to more than 20 live theaters, music recording studios, art galleries, dance studios, boutique clothing stores and gourmet restaurants. Within the heart of the NoHo Arts District you will also find The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Art Institute of California - Hollywood and the Los Angeles home of The Knitting Factory Music at The Federal Bar. With easy access from METRO red and orange lines, NoHo is your one-stop arts & entertainment destination! For information on what's happening in the district year round, visit

WHEN: Saturday, November 12, 2011 from 12-8 PM.

WHERE: In the NoHo Arts District, spanning Lankershim Blvd. from Chandler Blvd. to Camarillo Blvd.; Bakman Ave. to Vineland Ave.



Festival Sponsors

Century BMW/MINI, Universal Studios, Monster Energy, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, NoHo BID, LA Inc., METRO, The Art Institute of California, Midtown North Hollywood Neighborhood Council, Laemmle Theatres, Time Warner Cable, The Federal Bar,


Tuesday, 27 September 2011 10:39

NoHo's Cartoonist - Spike Dolomite

spike c dolomiteSpike Dolomite has shared her "ART" cartoons with for the past year but Spike is a woman with many faces.

Phil Olson is a playwright that has found a way to take his NoHo Theatre productions on the road!

What is your background?
I grew up in Edina, Minnesota, home of the first indoor mall. My great grandparents on both sides of my family came over from Norway and I was raised in a very emotionally reserved Scandinavian household. I majored in mathematics at Dartmouth College where I played football on the Ivy League Championship Football Team and threw the shot and discus for the Track Team. After Dartmouth I tried out for the Chicago Bears, then went on to receive an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. After several years as a financial advisor, I left the business world and now I write and produce plays and musicals for a living.

phil olsen

How did you get involved with theatre?

My entry into writing came in Tampa, Florida. I was working in commercial real estate and one of my clients asked me if I would perform in a “Shoot - Don’t Shoot” training film for the Tampa police. Even though I had no experience acting, I thought, “Cops and robbers? Cool. I’ll do it.” They told me the scenario of my first scene, a domestic dispute with my wife where we would argue and then she would shoot me. When I asked to see the script they said they didn’t have one, and I would just have to improvise. So, my first experience with writing came in improvising my own death.

Thinking I was going to be the next great screenwriter, I moved to Los Angeles to seek fame and fortune. In Los Angeles I sold a couple screenplays that never got made, and I script doctored three screenplays that were produced, but nothing big. I really wanted to get something produced that I created, and since plays are easier to get produced than screenplays, I decided to write my first play.

What drew you to playwriting?

I went through the whole Groundling School and performed and wrote sketches with people like Maya Rudolf. One of my sketches that took place in a small bar in northern Minnesota did well, so I developed it into my first full length play. The play was called “Crappie Talk, and it had its world premiere at the Lonny Chapman Group Rep Theatre in North Hollywood in 1997.

Tell us a about your current play, and the DHM franchise.

don't hug me i'm pregnantDon’t Hug Me, I’m Pregnant is the fourth in a series of Don’t Hug Me musicals I’ve written with my brother, Paul. They all take place in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota in a little north woods bar owned by Gunner and Clara Johnson. The previous three are Don’t Hug Me, A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol and A Don’t Hug Me County Fair.

The original Don’t Hug Me was first produced at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks in November, 2003. A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol and A Don’t Hug Me County Fair had their world premieres at the Lonny Chapman Group Rep Theatre in North Hollywood. Now, seven years later, the three Don’t Hug Me musicals are published by Samuel French and have played in over 100 cities around the U.S. and Canada.

I wanted to keep a good thing going so I wrote the fourth one, Don’t Hug Me, I’m Pregnant, where Clara is 8 1/2 months pregnant with their first child. Suddenly, a freak snow storm, a "tsnownami," hits Bunyan Bay and they find themselves snowed in. Gunner's worst nightmare comes true when Clara goes into labor and he realizes he’s going to have to deliver the baby in the bar.

What advice would you give to new playwrights?

Two books I read when I first started writing were Syd Field's book, Screenplay, and Neil Simon's book Rewrites. Screenplay taught me the importance of story structure, and Rewrites the importance of character and doing rewrites. Good story structure and characters have helped me create plays and musicals that get published and produced around the country. Doing readings in front of audiences and getting feedback from them to help with rewrites is also very important to me in creating commercially successful plays and musicals.

Anything else you want the readers to know about you, and/or what you do?

Write what you know. My father once told me he was the Norwegian who loved his wife so much, he almost told her. That line inspired my play, A Nice Family Gathering, which has been produced all around the country, and recently in Australia.

Don’t Hug Me, I’m Pregnant
Book & Lyrics by Phil Olson
Music by Paul Olson
Directed by Doug Engalla
Choreography by Stan Mazin
Featuring Greg Barnett, Rebekah Dunn, Bert Emmett, Patrick Foley, Natalie Lander

The World Premiere of Don’t Hug Me, I’m Pregnant runs September 30 - November 20, 2011,
Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday Matinee at 2pm, at the Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd.
NoHo 91601. Tickets: or 323-822-7898.
For more info visit:

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