Archived Spotlight on NoHo

Archived Spotlight on NoHo (143)

Spotlight on events and local interests in NoHo Arts District, North Hollywood, Toluca Lake, Burbank and BH

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The 18th Annual World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) Finals show will be held Friday, July 18, 7PM – 9PM, Westin Bonaventure Hotel. Talent contestants from the more than 50 countries and the USA will vie for the crown in various competitive events: dancing, singing, modeling, acting, variety and instrumental. Over $300,000 in scholarships available for winners. is offering advance FREE TICKETS ($25 value) for the Finals Competition to California residents and seating is limited. Tickets are not available for sale at the door.
Please arrive by 6:30pm - California Ballroom - Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 404 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, 90071.

City National Bank Plaza Parking - J 2 Garage
400 S. Flower Street, LA 90071 Cost:$10 for all cars arriving after 5:30pm and leaving by Midnight.

Get Your Tickets Today:





On the evening of June 17, 2014, the who’s who of the Off-Broadway theater community gathered around in celebration of the Off-Broadway productions that opened during the 2013-2014 season. Yes, the 2014 Off-Broadway Alliance Awards were in full swing, but it was noted performer and theater producer Edmund Gaynes who stole the night, having been honored with the Legend of Off- Broadway Award for his tireless contribution.

(sponsored by Cool Cups)

Almost all of us love to go to the beach. I love to drive down to Santa Monica or Malibu and admire the magnificence and beauty of our precious ocean. Some of us like to swim, others like to lie in the sand. The ocean provides us with relaxation, recreation, a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones, and if you are into water sports, a great playground for that.

The ocean is the home of millions of living creatures; it is a major part of our entire planet's eco-system and it helps provide us with oxygen. Most of Earth’s oxygen comes from tiny ocean plants called phytoplankton that live near the water’s surface and drift with the currents.

In an article I read on a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping keep our ocean, beaches and waterways clean, they mention how “Plastics Threaten Ocean Ecology and Our Food Web.” In this article Miriam Goldstein, a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, speaks of how they have done a study that offers the first proof that plastics in the open ocean are affecting marine invertebrates with consequences for the entire marine food web, because nearly all plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces, and everything from turtles to seabirds and fish mistake bits of plastic for food. They estimated that fish in the intermediate ocean depths of the North Pacific Ocean ingest plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tons per year.

One of the ways Heal the Bay is working to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up polluting the ocean and threatening the fish we consume, is by advocating for the banning of single-use plastic bags in Los Angeles. Less than five per cent of the 19 billion plastic bags used in California every year are recycled, and many of these plastic bags become litter and eventually end up polluting our ocean.

Photo by Brandon Scott

You can participate in Heal the Bay beach cleanups. Find out more...

We, as citizens of Earth, have the duty and responsibility to help keep our beaches and ocean free of trash, especially plastic junk. According to National Geographic, Any kind of trash can get into the ocean—from glass bottles to aluminum cans to medical waste. The vast majority of marine debris, however, is plastic. Scientists have collected up to 750,000 bits of plastic in a single square kilometer (or 1.9 million bits per square mile) of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch and the Pacific Trash Vortex, lies in a high-pressure area between the states of Hawaii and California. This area is in the middle of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.

Marlene Affeld stated in Liberty Voice that “The world’s cavalier disposal of plastic items, especially plastic water bottles, fishing gear and plastic bags, is unknowingly causing the deaths of millions of land and sea mammals, fish, birds and reptiles annually. The oceans of the world are awash with choked dead fish, marine mammals, and water fowl, which become entangled in human debris.”

Photograph/Liberty Voice

So, what can we do?


For starters, be aware of your trash. Remind yourself that lots of your trash can end up in the ocean. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle as much as possible. We can hugely help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our waterways by simply avoiding using things like plastic bottles as much as possible.
Get a reusable container and fill your water bottle up rather than constantly acquiring plastic bottles
of water and throwing them out. Governmental and industry sources have calculated
that at least 50 million plastic bottles are thrown away (not recycled) every day in the U.S. Enough plastic bottles are thrown away each year in the United States to circle the Earth four times.

From, I share this Eco-Tip on how to recycle small plastic cups.
Recycling your plastic cups will reduce your carbon footprint and really help our landfills and ocean be less cluttered with plastic. 4oz plastic cups used for some foods like gel snacks make great ergonomic companions.

They can be used as containers to hold paper clips, screws, rings and so many other tiny things. This will also help keep your house neat from the chaos of random little things you don’t know where to put. You can also paint them your favorite color to blend into your decor with non toxic eco-friendly paint.

You can use them to keep loose change at home or in your car seats’ cup holders. And next time you go to the beach, grown ups and kids alike can use them to collect little seashells.

Whatever you do, when you do go to the beach, do not leave ANYTHING behind. Pick up after yourself and always try to use recycling bins.

Finally, for now, and addressing one of my top pet peeves, here is an eco-tip I invite you to seriously consider. This will help minimize and hopefully avoid entrapping turtles, dolphins and many sea creatures: Take the plastic soda can rings that keep 6-packs together and tear them up before you dispose of them. You can then place them in a recycling bin, or come up with another use for them.

And so I wish with all my heart that this has been of some help and inspiration and that together we can avoid tons of trash ending up in our ocean.


See video of more eco-tips at the beach at the Heal the Bay Coastal Cleanup Day with Cool Cups and Whole Foods Markets. (

If you have any eco- tips you wish to share, send them to everyone you know and include so they can be posted for others to see.


San Fernando Valley Kids from from Mars Academy’s Kids Make A Difference enjoying some delicious, refreshing Cool Cups after a day of helping clean the beach.

This important message is sponsored by Cool Cups, a Natural Snack/Vegan Company from Santa Monica CA that specializes in manufacturing the number-one selling natural gelatin-free snack in America.

All Natural Cool Cups are plant-based, gelatin free Snacks whose manufacturers and staff care about the ocean. Cool Cups uses sustainable ocean seaweed to make their gels instead of gelatin, which, in most commercial gels, are made with animal biproducts. If you did not know this, here is a short video about that.
Cool Cups is proud to be part of the “better for you” snacks and invites everyone to be proactive and creative in recycling plastic cups.



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HollywoodFringe logo
The Hollywood Fringe Festival, the premier gathering responsible for uniting theatre companies, performers and civilians, in celebration of live theatre, kicks off on June 12 through the 29th here in Hollywood. And with the lofty goal to challenge the limitations and conventions that people set for themselves through the use of performance art in a festival setting, it’s no wonder Festival Director Ben Hill has little time to rest.

“Fundamentally, we have 280 different theater companies each pursuing their own vision, so we have to set up an environment where they are offered tools for success,” he says during our interview. And with nearly 300 scheduled shows, 1,423 performances, 45 participating venues, and upwards of 35000 tickets sold, the Hollywood Fringe Festival is the place where success is truly made.

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“The artists really use Fringe as an opportunity to hone their craft in an environment that doesn’t cost $250,000 to stage a show,” he says. “And as a result, they’ve gained the valuable experience of overseeing every aspect of what it takes to produce a piece of theatre, including everything from marketing to maintaining a press list to dealing with patrons and production costs.”

And with upwards of 35000 tickets sold, it’s not only the experience the artists are getting. They’re also making money. “We’ve returned $163,000 back to the artists, which is 100% of the tickets sold. And that doesn’t even represent every ticket sold because sometimes they’re purchased at the individual venues,” he comments. “But we sold upwards of $163,000 through the website, the mobile apps and the centrally located box office, and all of that money went to the artists.”

Yes, with such huge gains for the artists, it certainly does seem like the most viable option for content creators. But what Ben and his staff are out to create stretches far beyond the artists, impacting the community as a whole.

On the Fringe of a Great Idea

The Fringe Festival really started as a movement, and came out of necessity as a response to the discrimination eight performance groups faced when denied inclusion into the 1947 Edinburgh International Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. And since then, the festival has continued to provide artists with direct access to discovering something about their craft, as well as providing patrons with direct access to discovering new possibilities, having challenged their point of view and fixed ways of being.

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Since its inception in Edinburgh, Scotland, Fringe Festivals have sprung up all over the world, particularly in Europe where Ben first fell in love with the idea, bringing it to Los Angeles in 2010 along with his partner Stacy Jones Hill, Communications Director for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. “When we moved here about eight years ago, we looked around and saw a bunch of shows and fantastic theaters, and many very enthusiastic, underrepresented theater-makers and makers of dance, cabaret and burlesque,” he recalls. “And we saw an opportunity to take what we knew about Fringe festivals and combine that with what we knew about the local art scene. And we planned for about two and a half years before launching.”

And with the first launch came a slow burn of a response. They didn’t have many shows scheduled, and the audience wasn’t the size it is today as people didn’t really know what to make of them or how to approach the Fringe Festival experience. “So we started out in small venues. And we were thrilled if someone got 25 or 30 people in a house with all of the few hundred performances we had,” he comments. “But today, that number is steadily growing, and more houses are selling out.”

And it’s not just the audience that’s growing, but the amount of venues looking to do business with Ben and his team is swiftly expanding as well. The first few quarters of their first year in business, they focused on recruiting venues, strategizing their sales pitch around what would make a real difference in the revenue and exposure of said businesses. “We went in and said, ‘Look, we’re producing a festival, and it’s going to be huge,’” he comments. “And from a financial perspective we were giving venues a boost not only from the rent they collected from all the participants using their space, but a boost in creating contacts for potential bookings all year round.”

It was a win/win situation for both entities. Venues rent out their space to one or two organizations over the course of a few weeks, which is a typical booking for a theatrical show. But in the case of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, they could rent to several different shows a day, divided into smaller slots. And that’s a win for the venue because they stand to make considerably more money. “But it’s also great from our perspective because participants don’t have to pay nearly as much for access to the space, so it’s a win/win/win for the festival, the artists and the venues,” he says. “And you’re dealing with up to 75 bookings for one resident theater as apposed to just one booking. So the more venues we have, the better the experience for the patrons and a better festival for everybody.”

That first year, they started out with around 30 venues, just 4 years later, that number has increased to 45. And the increase has also added value to the audience experience in terms of the cost to them as well. With venues keeping their rents low, unwilling to price themselves out of the market, it allows for lower production costs for the artists and lower ticket prices for the patrons. So everyone benefits without having to give anything up.

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But the biggest benefit really belongs to the artists.

Visions Fulfilled

Through their participation in The Hollywood Fringe Festival, participants are provided with not only affordable rates on venues, but also with group marketing efforts via festival promotion through channels like billboard, radio and print ads. And then there’s the international appeal of the Fringe Festival brand, well known by millions of people familiar with the Fringe experience in places like Canada, New York, Australia and the United Kingdom.

“What we really love is to see an artist who has never performed before, but they have a really interesting story and they share that on stage, and people are blown away,” he confesses. “And over the course of the festival, after they’ve had five or six performances, the house gets bigger and bigger until the last show that’s totally sold out. And that person is like a celebrity. That’s the impact.” And part of the reason it’s even possible for such a scenario to occur is due to Fringe’s policy on censorship. Basically, there is none. Artists are required to create from the most authentic place possible, and that’s not possible where constraint is present.

“The artist’s vision if often burdened by grumpy old men in the board room,” he says, “and while the artist’s vision is significantly powerful, it still gets diminished. The benefit of Fringe and theater in general is that you see art in the raw. You see the art as it was intended by the visionary behind it as apposed to after it’s gone through a million rounds of edits and censorship.” And as a result, the audience is allowed to really experience authentic connection.

“We actually tell patrons to see shows that seem safe or that they would normally see and have that as their base- but to also see shows that will challenge them and their comfort zones,” he says. “You might surprise yourself because the thing that theater does best is it makes you question your fears. And it’s because of the immediacy that there are people right in front of you that theatre has the power to directly change you more than any other medium.”

The World Unleashed

Yes, theater may take place on a stage, but it’s reach and impact is certainly not limited to that. And this is something that Ben Hill and his staff are a stand for, and commit to fulfilling on with every festival they produce. The goal of The Hollywood Fringe Festival is for this work to make a significant difference in what people all over the world are dealing with and what they care about.

And in Los Angeles specifically, the more fine-tuned goal is to create community. “We know the power and the bond that people who work in performing arts have for one another. But we’re in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles is difficult because we are so geographically all over the place,” he says. “And because of that, it’s difficult to create a sense of community within the performing arts. So for one month of the year, we give the performing arts a place where people can gather and celebrate as a community.”

And as communities unite in celebration, they begin to grow and evolve, and little by little, so does the world.

For more information on the Hollywood Fringe Festival, please visit:

Monday, 02 June 2014 02:11


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To purchase tickets, go to or call (323) 461-3673. For more event information, visit


LA So-Cal Dance Invitational, presented by South Coast Dance Arts Alliance, has been announced for Friday, June 20 at 8:30pm at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Six acclaimed Southern California dance companies will perform:Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Andy Vaca’s Jazzworks—Long Beach, COLABO Youth Dance Collective, LA Contemporary Dance Company, and Invertigo Dance Theatre.

Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, founded in 1986, is a dance company of drama, wit, joy and invention, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. For this year’s Invitational, NBDT will present “Body of Water,” originally choreographed by Brodie in two parts in 2009 and 2010. NBDT will also offer “Beyond the River,” (first premiered at the Ford in 2004), and “Fuerza” (which means force or strength) choreographed by NBDT member Javier Gonzalez.

Lula Washington Dance Theatre is a 10-member modern dance company that was founded in 1980. Based in the inner city of South Central Los Angeles, the company has risen to become one of the largest and most admired African-American dance companies in the West. LWDT will present “Beautiful Venus and Serena,” a tribute to the fabulous talents of the tennis stars Venus and Serena.

Andy Vaca’s Jazzworks—Long Beach is dedicated to preserving jazz dance as a viable concert dance form. Under the direction of Andy Vaca, Department of Dance Chair at California State University Long Beach, the company will present “General Education,” a light-hearted and often poignant piece choreographed by Vaca and set to an eclectic score by Pink Martini.

COLABO Youth Dance Collective was established in 2008 by choreographer and dance educator Francisco Gella as a revolutionary alternative to competitive studio training and is affiliated with NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance in Chino, CA. The company will perform two pieces: “Stairway,” an emotional journey associated with the human struggle to maintain connection and accept loss, choreographed by Francisco Gella, and “Stride,” a contemporary piece exploring how empathy builds strength within humanity, choreographed by Saleemah E. Knight.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company is a non profit dance company based in downtown LA that performs a diverse repertoire of modern, ballet, and jazz-influenced works representative of LA’s vibrant culture. LACDC will present “The Better To See You With,” a dance theatre work that presents a dark, humorous, and graphic rendition of the “Little Red Riding Hood” story, choreographed by Holly Rothschild.

Invertigo Dance Theatre is a Los Angeles-based company that creates whimsical, compelling dance theatre with a strong educational component, blending athleticism, theatricality, and a healthy sense of the absurd. They will present “Waiting at Home for the Witches,” in which the husbands of the three sisters in Shakespeare’s Macbeth are stuck at home waiting for their wives, getting into toil and trouble of their own.

LA So-Cal Dance Invitational, presented by South Coast Dance Arts Alliance, will play one performance only, on Friday, June 20, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Boulevard East, in Hollywood, CA, 90068. Showtime is 8:30pm, and tickets are on sale now. Admission prices are $50 for a VIP package (includes premium seating, pre-show reception with company directors and gift bag), $30 (general admission), $20 (students), and $12 (children 12 or under). To purchase tickets, go to or call (323) 461-3673. General admission tickets purchased prior to June 2 receive a $5 discount. For more event information, visit



The Ford Theatres are located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway between Hollywood Blvd. and Barham Blvd. in the Cahuenga Pass. The grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking. The Ford offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages is available on site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink.

The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request. On site, stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle for evening shows and $1 per vehicle for morning family shows. FREE nonstacked parking serviced by a FREE shuttle to the Ford, for evening amphitheatre performances only, is available at the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station parking lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. The shuttle, which cycles every 15-20 minutes, stops in the "kiss and ride" area. Please allow an extra 30 minutes if taking the shuttle.

This event is part of the Ford Theatres 2014 Summer Amphitheatre Season, a multi-disciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County based arts organizations. A complete season schedule, directions to the amphitheatre and parking information can be found at



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When the great Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work,” he clearly had Damian Pelliccione in mind. An educator, event planner, producer, actor, host and self-professed nerd, Damian has turned his love of all things media into a full-fledged empire- spending his free time soaking up as much tech news as possible on websites like Tubefilter and while the rest of us nap in front of our flatscreens. And with drones and self-driving cars leaping off the pages of science fiction novels and into our driveways, getting interested in technology might not be such a bad idea. “When I hear about things like how Facebook is creating 50 new ways to identify your gender, that really excites me, and I have to tell everybody,” he says during our interview.

Monday, 28 April 2014 06:00

BLASTOFF's 3rd Anniversary Sale!

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Wednesday, 09 April 2014 07:09


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Combray Productions
Presents North Hollywood Premiere of


Finding Love in a City in Love with Itself

Written by Alexander Tovar
Directed by Rob Herring and Alexander Tovar


North Hollywood Premiere of “NOTHING IN LOS ANGELES” - A story about an aspiring artist who's romantically involved with an older woman and soon falls in love with his best friend's wife.

Cast: Alexander Tovar, Marguerite Insolia, Daniel Halden, Kelly Gallagher Nick, Rob Herring

Alexander Tovar, Marguerite Insolia, Daniel Halden, Kelly Gallagher Nick, Rob Herring

Laemmle Theaters/NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Tickets can be purchased here:



Twitter: @NothingInLA


**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood's NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, or anything and everything about the NoHo Arts Community, bookmark

theatremania, the premier matchmaking business, bridging the gap between theatergoers and performance art organizations around the world, is definitely not only in the business of sales. Indeed, at first glance, selling tickets to shows appears an obvious reason for the existence of their enterprise. But underneath that is the promise and commitment to provide the public with direct access to discover something for themselves through the consumption of live theater that touches, moves and inspires them while also providing the theater industry with tools and services to increase tickets sales, service their patrons, and manage their organizations. Yes, is in the business of contribution.

Mayor Eric Garcetti visits NoHo Arts District

The Mayor of Los Angeles came to NOHO this week. The visit was arranged by Councilmember Paul Krekorian and the timing could not have been better.

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