Sep 302013


Go Metro to REDCAT’s Radar L.A. Theater Festival

Go Metro to REDCAT’s Radar L.A. Theater Festival and Save 20 Percent on Select Performances
REDCAT is celebrating its 10th anniversary as CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary art with Radar L.A., an international festival of contemporary theater taking place Sept. 24 to Oct. 1. The festival’s second edition features 18 innovative works by leading contemporary artists from Los Angeles, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim. Go Metro to activate your artistic side and save on select Radar L.A. performances.

To receive 20 percent off on tickets to select performances, show your valid TAP card, Metro employee ID, or LA County employee ID at the REDCAT box office, located at 631 W. 2nd St. in Downtown L.A. To access the discount when purchasing tickets online or ordering by phone at 213.237.2800, use the promo code “Metro.” The offer is limited to two tickets per customer. This exclusive discount is part of Metro’s Destination Discount program and cannot be combined with any other offers.

The majority of Radar L.A. venues are located near Metro Rail stations and bus stops. Here are a few performance locations easily accessible by Metro:

  •     REDCAT/631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles – Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, Metro Bus 70 to Grand/2nd
  •     Los Angeles Theatre Center/514 S Spring Street, Los Angeles – Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square, Metro Bus 16/316 to 5th/Spring
  •     The Million Dollar Theater/307 Broadway, Los Angeles – Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square, Metro Bus 4 to Hill/3rd
  •     The Palace Theatre/630 S Broadway, Los Angeles – Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square, Metro Bus 4 to Hill/3rd
  •     The Tower Theater/802 S Broadway, Los Angeles – Metro Red/Purple, Blue, or Expo Lines to 7th St./Metro Center Station, Metro Bus 45 to Broadway/8th
  •     Automata/504 Chung King Court, Los Angeles – Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, Metro Bus 45 to Broadway/Chinatown
  •     MOCA Grand Avenue/250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles – Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, Metro Bus 70 to Grand/2nd
  •     Kirk Douglas Theatre/9820 Washington Boulevard, Culver City – Metro Expo Line to Culver City Station, Culver City Bus 1 to Washington Blvd/Madison Ave SE
  •     Freud Playhouse at Macgowan Hall, UCLA/405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles – Metro Bus 2/302 to Hilgard/Charing Cross
  •     The Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater, The Getty Villa/17985 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades – Metro Bus 534 to PCH/Coastline

For further information regarding performance dates, locations, and times, visit

Sep 262013
Neil Simon s The Sunshine Boys Opens October 2 at the Ahmanson

L-R: Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch in Neil Simon€™s The Sunshine Boys€ directed by Thea Sharrock, at the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre .
Photo by Craig Schwartz


Wednesday, October 2 at 8 p.m. is the opening performance for Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch in Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. Directed by Thea Sharrock, “The Sunshine Boys” continues through November 3, 2013.

Joining Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch is Justin Bartha, with Annie Abrams, Matthew Bohrer, Benjamin Burdick, Gibby Brand, Johnnie Fiori, Frank Kopyc and PaSean Wilson.  Set and costume design by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting design by Neil Austin, music by Adrian Johnston and sound design by Cricket S. Meyers. Casting is by Jim Carnahan with Los Angeles casting by Mark B. Simon. The production stage manager is Barclay Stiff.

In “The Sunshine Boys,” Willie Clark (DeVito) and Al Lewis (Hirsch) are former vaudevillian stars who, after a partnership of over 40 years, are no longer speaking to each other.  When Clark’s nephew, Ben (Bartha), gets a lucrative television offer for Lewis and Clark to give one last show, the two are lured into a grudging reunion and sparks fly in this classic comedy of showbiz and friendship.  DeVito and Hirsch are reuniting on the Ahmanson stage 30 years after they both starred in the landmark television series “Taxi.”

 “The Sunshine Boys”  “… celebrates the clown’s classic gift for turning anger into art,” said Ben Brantley of The New York Times. “Willie Clark … has a carved-in-stone list of things that are funny. Words that have “k” sounds, for instance, like pickle and cake and cucumber. Might I add to that list the image of a tufted Danny DeVito in striped pajamas and a sports jacket? … That’s comedy, folks. And it’s one of the reasons that Thea Sharrock’s production of ‘The Sunshine Boys’ works so incredibly well.”

Tickets for “The Sunshine Boys” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, visiting online at, or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $20 – $110 (ticket prices are subject to change).

The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

Sep 252013
CTG Announces 2013-2014 August Wilson Program

CTG Announces 2013-2014 August Wilson Program / Anything L.A.


Applications for Both Programs are Due October 1, 2013
Center Theatre Group is now accepting applications for the 2013-2014 August Wilson programs – the August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC) and the CTG August Wilson In-School Residency Program.

Student applications for the AWMC and applications from educators to participate in the in-school residency program are due on October 1, 2013. Applications for both programs are available at

Center Theatre Group will be the Southern California host of the AWMC for the third year in a row. The national competition, presented by Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamcyn Theaters, is now in its sixth year and also includes students from Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Boston, Portland, Seattle and Pittsburgh. The goal of the program is to introduce high school students to August Wilson’s works and help the students to find their own creative voices.

Southern California students from all backgrounds and experience levels are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be in grades 10, 11 or 12 and reside in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino Counties.

Pablo Lopez, 2013 Los Angeles Regional Finalist and winner of second place nationally said, “Do not cheat yourself of this opportunity because of fear or insecurities. Wilson wrote these characters about everyday people, so anyone can do it! As long as you have a heart that beats, you are fully capable of bringing a character to life.”

Sep 232013
Hes Back Neil Patrick Harris To Host The 2013 Primetime Emmys

Neil Patrick Harris is set to emcee the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards® on Sept. 22 on CBS, marking the renowned entertainer’s second time hosting the Primetime Emmys./ Anything L.A.

Neil Patrick Harris has been named Host and Producer of the 65th Primetime Emmy® Awards, his second time at the helm of television’s biggest night.

“I couldn’t be more honored and excited to be hosting this year’s Emmy Awards,” said Neil Patrick Harris. “And what perfect timing — I’ll just do the exact same script I’m about to use for the Tonys. ‘And the Emmy for Best Revival of a Musical goes to “Breaking Bad!”‘ See, told you it works.”

The 2013 Primetime Emmys broadcast will air live from the Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 22, on CBS.

Multitalented television, film and stage star Harris emceed the 2009 Primetime Emmys on CBS to critical acclaim.

“Neil is the quintessential host — engaging, entertaining, and a true showman — with a passion for celebrating the medium we all love. We’re thrilled for him to return for CBS’s broadcast of the Emmy Awards,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment.

“Four years ago, Neil was an amazing Emmy host and we are excited to have him back,” said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum. “Neil is an extremely gifted and inventive performer, and we look forward to seeing what he has in store this year.”

Ken Ehrlich, Executive Producer of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, said that Harris is one of the most versatile artists working in television today and looks forward to collaborating with the How I Met Your Mother star again.

“It’s going to be great fun to utilize his acting, hosting, musical and producing talents on the Emmys, an event designed to showcase all of the elements that combine to make great television,” Ehrlich said.

“We’ve had the pleasure of working together on other award shows in the past, and to have him bring all of that versatility to this year’s Emmy telecast again is very exciting for all of us working on the production.”

Three-time Primetime Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris currently stars as “Barney Stinson” on CBS comedy, How I Met Your Mother. He took home gold statuettes for his guest-starring role on Glee and for his turns as host of both the 63rd and 65th Annual Tony Awards. Harris returns to the Tonys as host this year on June 9.

Sep 222013
Secretive DWP Nonprofits Should Open spending Records Mayor Says

Secretive DWP Nonprofits Should Open spending Records Mayor Says / Anything L.A.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called Friday for a public accounting of roughly $40 million in Department of Water and Power ratepayer money that went to two secretive nonprofit groups in charge of improving relations with the utility’s largest employees union.

“I think that ratepayers deserve to have transparency — to know where ratepayer money is going,” Garcetti told reporters as he prepared to take questions from constituents at a curbside “office hours” event in Boyle Heights.

The Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute, controlled by union leaders and managers of the DWP, have received up to $4 million a year since their creation more than a decade ago.

Nearly all of the nonprofits’ money comes from ratepayers, records show. About $1 million per year has gone to salaries for a handful of administrators and more than $360,000 was spent on travel from 2009 to 2011, The Times reported Thursday.

Officials at the nonprofits, the DWP and the employees union, Local 18 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, declined to be interviewed about the institutes’ activities and spending.

The broad purpose of the organizations, city records show, has been to “identify” safety and training as core values at the department, and to promote “communication, mutual trust and respect” between DWP managers and the union. But ordinances establishing the nonprofits in 2000 and 2002 don’t specify how the ratepayer money should be spent.

“Everybody wants workplace safety,” Garcetti said Friday. “That’s a great goal. So I think that the reason why something like this would be set up in itself isn’t bad. But if it’s being spent well, let’s see where it is.”

For years, DWP managers and the city attorney’s office have quietly debated whether to make the institutes’ meetings and records public. The DWP has invoked attorney-client privilege to block disclosure of memos written by city lawyers arguing the nonprofits should be bound by open government rules that apply to city agencies.

On Friday, Garcetti, who has promised greater transparency at City Hall, sidestepped the question of whether he approved of an agency that he now oversees invoking attorney-client privilege to keep the memos secret.

“I’ll be talking to the department,” Garcetti said. “I’d like us to be able to show that. Obviously there’s some legal rights that the other side of this agreement has. But moving forward, if we’re putting money in, we should design this in a way where people know — if there’s nothing to hide, let’s see it.”

The DWP union ran a brutal and high-profile campaign against Garcetti’s election. The city recently reached a tentative four-year pact with Local 18, but the union has not yet ratified it.

Garcetti described his call for public disclosure of the nonprofits’ spending as “part of reforming DWP from a place where we did too many things behind closed doors and out of the spotlight to a place where we shine sunlight.”

“We’re spending the money on our bills,” he said. “We deserve to know where that money goes — how it’s spent, how it’s paid. And I welcome all people to be a part of that. This isn’t an us-versus-them. Whether it’s the union, whether it’s the bureaucrats at DWP, we should have them be a part of this mission to reform DWP.”

By Michael Finnegan

Sep 202013
The Academy Celebrates The Animated Genius Of Richard Williams

The Academy Celebrates The Animated Genius Of Richard Williams / Anything L.A.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “This Amazing Medium,” an animation master class and retrospective tour with Oscar®-winning animator Richard Williams, on Friday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  Presented as part of the Academy’s Marc Davis Celebration of Animation, the evening will feature film clips from Disney and Warner Bros. animation classics as well as from Williams’s own work. The event also marks the opening of the new exhibition “Richard Williams: Master of Animation” in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery.

Sep 202013
MOCA Announces Sharon Stone to Host 8th MOCA Award to Distinguished Women in The Arts Luncheon

Sharon Stone / Anything L.A.



This year’s highly anticipated award welcomes guests from the contemporary art, philanthropy, film, fashion and entertainment worlds and honors celebrated Los Angeles artists Lita Albuquerque, Helen Pashgian, Nancy Rubins and Betye Saar.
Event Chairman Ricki Ring said, “We are delighted that Sharon Stone will participate in this year’s MOCA Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts. She has established herself prominently in the world of film and humanitarian activism. We are proud to include her in this diverse group of outstanding individuals who have set a standard for contemporary visual arts, culture and entertainment in Los Angeles.”

Lita Albuquerque was among the first founding artists for MOCA and gained international acclaim for her ephemeral pigment installations. Helen Pashgian was one of the pioneers of the California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and participated in The Artist’s Museum (2010). Nancy Rubins blazed a trail as one of the most important sculptors of her generation, and her large-scale, outdoor sculpture has been a striking presence at MOCA Grand Avenue for more than a decade. Betye Saar, one of the great assemblagists of our time, participated in important solo and group exhibitions at MOCA including WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, 1965-1980 (2007) and Sanctified Visions (1990). The four artists were all represented in various exhibitions that were part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980, celebrating the birth of the Los Angeles art scene.

A fashion presentation by Los Angeles-based curated space Just One Eye, which offers extraordinary pieces of art, fashion, jewelry and objects and facilitates and fosters creative relationships between artists and designers, will be part of the event.

Presented by The MOCA Projects Council, one of the museum’s major support organizations, the event will benefit MOCA’s award-winning education programming, particularly Contemporary Art Start, which received the 2012 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education, an honor jointly awarded by the California Association of Museums and the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Education.

The MOCA Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts was established in 1994 by the MOCA Projects Council to recognize the many gifted women providing leadership and innovation in the visual arts, dance, music, and literature. Past recipients include noted collector and patron Beatrice Gersh (1994), editor Tina Brown (1997), choreographer Twyla Tharp (1999), actress and director Anjelica Huston (2001), and artists Barbara Kruger (2001), Yoko Ono (2003), Jenny Holzer (2010), and Annie Leibovitz (2012).

This year’s event is led by Event Chairman Ricki Ring. Honorary Co-Chairmen are Dallas Price-Van Breda, Carolyn Powers, Catharine Soros, Maria Hummer-Tuttle, and Andrea L. Van De Kamp. The Honorary Event Committee includes Wallis Annenberg, Maria A. Bell, Jackie Blum, Edythe Broad, Kimberly Brooks, Betye Burton, Judy Chang, Christine Alexandra Chiu, Aviva Covitz, Rosette Delug, Mandy Einstein, Susan Gersh, NJ Goldston, Joanne Heyler, Sydney D. Holland, David G. Johnson, Wonmi Kwon, Annie Leibovitz, Deborah McLeod, Marti Oppenheimer, Carla Sands, Sutton Stracke, Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, and Orna Amir Wolens.

Ticket prices range from $275 to $1,000 and tables for 10 are $5,000. To reserve a table or tickets, please contact Paula Morehouse at 213 621 1768 or
Champagne generously provided by Lanson.
Designer table linens generously provided by Youngsong Martin of Wildflower Linen.
Sharon Stone is an actress, producer, writer, song writer/lyricist, activist, and humanitarian. She became one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading ladies after her role in “Basic Instinct” (1992). She received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and an Academy Award nomination for “Casino” (1995) as well as the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in A Drama Series and has starred in many critically-acclaimed film and television roles. Off screen, she has dedicated herself to various humanitarian causes and has been recognized for her activism, notably as a long-time advocate for HIV/AIDS research and hunger relief.

A pioneer in arts education, MOCA presents award-winning programming that benefits adults, families, students, and community members of all ages and backgrounds. For three decades, the museum’s professional educators have made MOCA’s collection and exhibitions accessible to diverse audiences through a myriad of offerings that enable visitors to build relationships with works on view. These programs range from public tours, free Sunday workshops, art talks, courses, and teen internships to community collaborations, such as Contemporary Art Start (CAS)—a nationally recognized art education program that annually serves more than 170 teachers and 5,500 elementary, middle, and high schools students in over 65 schools across the greater Los Angeles area, encouraging creativity and critical thinking through an interactive study of contemporary art.
For 24-hour information on current exhibitions, education programs, and special events at MOCA, please call 213/626-6222 or access MOCA online at


Sep 192013
Shot of the Day, Powwow, Planning Party

Corina Roberts, Founder Redbird / Anything L.A.

Four days left in Katianna’s campaign

Where does the time go?  Only four days left in our campaign to send our powwow princess home for the Northern Navajo Nations Fair.  If you didn’t get a chance to meet Katianna and her family when she was crowned at the Redbird powwow, she’ll be dancing at the Harts of the West Powwow (flier attached) September 28 and 29.  Here is the link to her campaign:
Robert and Kristian – Silver Fire Survivors – to be at Harts of the West Powwow on Sunday, September 29
Many people have asked how they can give directly to Robert Silent Thunder and Kristian Smith, who lost everything in the Silver Fire in August.  They will be at the Harts of the West Powwow on Sunday, and there will be a special (an event inside the dance arena) for them somewhere in the 2 PM to 3 PM neighborhood, or thereabouts.
If you have items or financial support to gift them, during the special is an appropriate time.  If they have a canopy on the arena (they may not own a canopy at this point) you can also bring gifts there.  Victor Chaves, the Arena Director, as well as many of Robert and Kristian’s friends should be able to help anyone who has questions, and the special will be announced by the Master of Ceremonies over the P.A. system. 
If you can’t be at the powwow and would like to offer financial support you can do one of two things.  You can make a check payable to Kristian Smith and send it to Redbird, but please do it soon so that I have it in hand for the powwow.  If you need your donation to be tax deductible, make the check payable to Redbird and indicate what it is for in the memo line.   We can also accept donations via Paypal which will automatically generate a tax deductible receipt.  Our mailing address is Redbird, P.O. Box 702, Simi Valley, CA 93062. 

Our Paypal email is

Special event at Chilao School October 19-20
The Future of Forests (flier attached) is a two day workshop to create a K-12 day visit curriculum for Chilao School.  This is an all volunteer effort and we have room for more volunteers.  While the focus of the gathering is specific, everyone is welcome and we will be joined for our potluck on Saturday by the Cherry Blossom Garden Club.  If you have not yet come to check out Chilao School, please consider doing so on the weekend of October 19-20.  If you would like to contribute curriculum ideas for a specific grade or grades, please contact us so we can discuss and integrate your ideas.

Thank you Maria Muriello
Maria Muriello of Dilbeck Real Estate, in response to our last email, made a financial donation to cover the cost of repairing the valves in the school toilets, and donated two beautiful, new Hunter ceiling fans for the school.  Maria is a supporter, a neighbor (owning a historic property in the Angeles not far from Chilao) a friend, and a trusted Real Estate professional.  Since she isn’t looking for a donation letter, all we can really do to say thank you is share her professional contact information for those of you who may need the services of a top notch Realtor.  Thank you Maria for your continued support and loving friendship.

Maria Muriello,CRS,GRI,SRES
Dilbeck Real Estate – 24 Yrs. Experience

2943 Foothill Blvd
La Crescenta, CA 91214
Lic# 01015783

We hope to see you all at the Harts of the West Powwow!

Corina Roberts, Founder
2013 Vice President, MEPSA

Sep 182013




The Hollywood Wilshire YMCA will celebrate its 10th annual Comedy For A Cause fundraiser. Comedy For A Cause brings together acclaimed comedians who volunteer their time and talent to showcase a line-up of stand-up comedy in support of the Hollywood Y’s youth programs, which are dedicated to instilling leadership qualities in its community’s children. The event will take place at the Sunset Strip’s world-famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood from 8 – 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Emceed by comedic actor Rainn Wilson and hosted by sitcom star Mike O’Malley, the star-studded benefit will provide an entertaining evening of stand-up comedy by Hollywood’s top entertainers to benefit the Hollywood Y.

“What better way to celebrate kids and families within the Hollywood community than with a night of great comedy at the Laugh Factory,” says Rainn Wilson, star of NBC’s The Office. “I used to be a member of the Hollywood Y when I first came to Los Angeles so to be able to spend the evening supporting its programs is of great personal pride for me – it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The evening will begin with a VIP reception at 6:30 p.m. during which guests will mingle with the performers and take delight in pass-tray hors d’oeuvres and specialty drinks provided by local event sponsors.  With an introduction by host Mike O’Malley, the program will begin promptly at 8 p.m. and will end at 10:00 p.m.  Only 250 tickets will be sold for this exclusive fundraising event and can be purchased for $250 each.  For more information visit

“The support we’re getting from the Hollywood community, including from those in front of the camera and those behind the scenes, is amazing,” says Laurie Goganzer, Executive Director and Group Vice President of the Downtown-Ketchum and Hollywood Wilshire branches of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles.  “We’re so grateful to be able to bring L.A. community members and TV’s funniest people in the same room for the purpose of supporting kids and our youth programs,” added Goganzer.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are still available for this event. To sponsor Comedy For A Cause, contact Natasha Radojcic, Associate Director of Development for the Hollywood Wilshire YMCA at (323) 762-8749.


Comedy For A Cause (formerly “Comedy For Kids”) is an annual entertainment showcase held by the Hollywood Wilshire Y. Past talent includes comedy greats such as Jay Leno, Tim Allen, George Lopez, Andy Richter, Patricia Heaton, and Ray Romano.  Comedy For A Cause is one of Hollywood’s main showcase events committed to supporting the Hollywood Wilshire Y’s youth programs, which provide tailored activities to develop character, leadership, health, and wellness among children and teens. More than 110,000 youth participate in Hollywood Wilshire Y programs ranging from preschool to wellness opportunities. For many low-income youth, the Y may be the only access to such activities — opportunities that provide a path to maturity, to college and to a brighter future.


The Hollywood Wilshire YMCA is one of 26 branches of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA has been making a positive impact in the LA Metropolitan area for over 130 years, and it is committed to ensuring that all community members, regardless of age, income, or background have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.   Hollywood Wilshire YMCA programs currently service hundreds of children, many of who come from low-income households and are classified as at-risk. For more information about the Hollywood Wilshire YMCA, visit

Sep 172013
Dancing With the Stars Season 17 Premiere Recap

Dancing With the Stars Season 17 Premiere Recap / Anything L.A.

Welcome to the 17th season of “Dancing with the Stars“! The temperatures may be dropping, but the ballroom dance floor still sizzles. It’s not the same show you watched before, though – some cosmetic and structural changes have taken place since May.

First and foremost: “DWTS” is on just one night a week, Mondays. Instead of revealing fates in a results show 24 hours later, host Tom Bergeron and co-host Brooke Burke Charvet will make the weakest link wait until the end of the following Monday’s two-hour show to know its destiny. That’s right: You have to dance twice, but a good dance in Week 2 may not be enough to overcome a bad dance in Week 1. It’s still a combination of viewer votes and judges’ scores that send people home.

The skybox/Celebriquarium has floated away, and the judges’ table has moved “to the Australian and British side of the set,” Tom explains. (Please, please let this be the end of using the judges’ table as a time-wasting prop.) Instead, Tom and Brooke will talk to the dancing darlings on the floor or in newly created makeup and rehearsal rooms. The couples will sit in a pit on the floor near the relocated judges’ table.

The Troupe will continue to appear, albeit in a formation of four rather than six. Two members of the Troupe, Sasha Farber and Emma Slater, moved to the pro roster, and two of last season’s pros, Gleb Savchenko and Lindsay Arnold, are with the Troupe. This pro-to-Troupe move hasn’t happened before. Henry Byalikov and Witney Carson are status quo with the Troupe.

The musical shilling isn’t going away after all; somehow, album-plugging performances will make their way into the very crammed episodes.

(Deep breath.) Now, are you ready for some dancing?

We start the show with a massive dance party set first on a red carpet before it moves to the ballroom. Snippets of the couples, the pros, the Troupe … and even the judges and hosts get in on the fun. Val Chmerkovskiy, no longer dancing with an underage contestant as he was last season, is back to revealing large amounts of his chest.

A man with a likely powerful fan base leads off the night, as “Pretty Little Liars” actor Brant Daugherty – he’s also been on “Army Wives” and “Days of our Lives” – will do a cha-cha with Peta Murgatroyd. With the gray suit, Brant resembles James Marsden when he was Corny Collins in “Hairspray.” And yep, Brant and Peta are playing up the showmance. She’s ogling him, and gee, how convenient – they’re both single. What is cute: geeky-looking Brant as a child and the story of his “DWTS”-loving mother. It took the show no time at all to break out “Blurred Lines,” and it’s using the actual recording rather than a band rendition. Brant Peta emphasize the club aspects of the song, which the audience loves, although sometimes the actual cha-cha disappears in favor of the hip grinding. Len calls it fabulous. Bruno thinks they’re easy on the eyes but warns Brant not to lose timing. Carrie Ann echoes Bruno’s comments. Both are more subdued than usual. Score: 22 (Carrie Ann 7, Len 8, Bruno 7). Wow, this IS a new show when Len gives an 8 to the first dance of the year!

Leah Remini probably has more links to pop culture than anyone else in this season’s cast. She has been a part of the ABC family since 1988, with her first three television credits all coming from the network’s sitcoms. (Remember when she and Halle Berry were models on the brief “Who’s the Boss?” spinoff?) She co-starred on “Saved by the Bell” with fellow “DWTS” contestant Elizabeth Berkley in the early 1990s and had a nine-year run on “The King of Queens.”  She co-hosted “The Talk” for a season with Sharon Osbourne – and hey, we’ll see Sharon’s son Jack dance in about 15 minutes! She has arguably the most famous friend in the ballroom, Jennifer Lopez. These days, Leah is in the news for leaving Scientology, the same church to which two-time “DWTS” contestant Kirstie Alley belongs. For now, though, Leah’s partner, Tony Dovolani, wants to concentrate on the foxtrot. Leah says she can’t dance and, despite being known for having a big mouth, acts insecure and neurotic. For the performance, she’s in a long gray dress, and his suit is really, really shiny. As for the dance itself? It has Leah’s sassy facial expressions, which don’t quite fit this foxtrot, although Carrie Ann likes them. Len thinks it was a bit careful; indeed, the speed of the song didn’t match Leah and Tony’s foxtrot moves, which seemed too dainty in moments (walking instead of gliding). Bruno brings up Miley Cyrus and twerking (???), and he doesn’t believe Leah when she claims she’s never danced. Score: 21 (7s from all).

Rather than casting someone currently on a Disney Channel show as it often does, “DWTS” has given us a Disney alum this season, Corbin Bleu from “High School Musical.” (The other “HSM” player on “DWTS,” Monique Coleman, made it to fourth place way back in Season 3.) Karina Smirnoff has said Corbin is a dream partner for her, and now she has him. What kind of a contemporary number can she craft, especially considering it’s her first attempt at it? Will Corbin’s dance background – he knows ballet and tap and has been on Broadway – be a help in learning choreography or come across as “ringer” to the audience? (Corbin tells Brooke next week’s jive could be more of a problem because of the frame.) Corbin and Karina are breaking out the crazy lifts already, and he isn’t talking her out of the crazy. Corbin’s ballet background shines in this contemporary number. Bruno praises the jetes as well as the athleticism; Corbin’s moves look a little like capoeira. The lifts flow rather than distract. Karina is shaking afterward. “(Contemporary) is like my other hip-hop!” she exclaims, harkening back to a disastrous night with Apolo Anton Ohno in Season 15. No disaster here – Carrie Ann and Len praise the choreography. In the audience, Brant is wowed. Score: 24 (8s across the board).

Kelly Osbourne made an unexpected run to the finals in Season 9 and has capitalized on her post-“DWTS” fame better than almost any contestant. (But how did she become a fashion “expert?”) Can brother Jack can top her run? He and partner Cheryl Burke will give it a try with a foxtrot. Jack, who is 27 years old, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year but won’t let that stop him. (Distraction: Dad Ozzy, in the audience, looks really awful!) Cheryl is impressed with Jack, complimenting his frame and ability to pick up steps. He practically skips on to the floor, and he is in fact light on his feet as Cheryl promised he would be. It’s a playful, fun number that makes Mama Sharon weepy. “You can dance!” Len cries out. In another sign the “DWTS” world as we know it has changed, it’s Bruno who provokes the first boos of the season when he claims Jack loses spots on turns. Carrie Ann is charmed. Score: 23 (Carrie Ann 8, Len 8, Bruno 7 – and yes, more audience booing).

Another celebrity probably coming in with a sizable fan base takes to the floor next. Amber Riley, best known as Mercedes on “Glee,” also has the good fortune to be paired with four-time and reigning “DWTS” champion Derek Hough. Furthermore, they have the fun cha-cha to rev up the audience. Amber has lots of “Glee” cast members in the audience to root her on. She tells Derek dancing was a dream deferred, as she couldn’t afford singing as well as dancing lessons. (Derek, please, no, you did not just compare yourself and Amber to a virgin couple on your wedding night. Just stop.) Amber says she wants to be an inspiration to fellow women of size and substance. This may be the crowd pleaser of the night, with Amber keeping up right away with Derek’s lickety-split choreography. The dancing slows a bit at about the two-thirds mark, but then a saucy and spot-on finger pointing/kicking session brings the energy back. It’s midseason-level dancing, and Len can’t believe it’s only Week 1. Karina is screaming. Bruno calls Amber the “tigress of Season 17.” Carrie Ann is speechless and worshipping. Score: 27 (the first three 9s of the season).

“Saved by the Bell,” Take 2. Elizabeth – labeled as Elizabeth Berkley Lauren – and Val hope to top Leah and Tony’s score of 21 with their contemporary number. Elizabeth has some previous dance experience – and not just of the pole-dancing (“Showgirls”) or spazzed-out (“Saved by the Bell”) variety. Tom says he pitched “DWTS” to Elizabeth back in Season 3. Val says he learned English watching “Saved by the Bell.” (He says he liked “the other one” better, meaning the character of Kelly.) Dancing was Elizabeth’s first love, although it’s been years since she engaged in it. She says she closed the door on it when “Showgirls” came out, but as a new mom and wife, she wants to reconnect. This contemporary number is more traditional than what we saw from Corbin and Karina. It has the push and pull of emotion, the proper light and shading, and it plays to Elizabeth’s elegant strength. Bruno praises the challenging choreography and wants Elizabeth to extend her arms even more. Carrie Ann thinks the number was sweet, and Len finds it to be lovely. Score: 24 (three times eight).

Bill Nye the Science Guy wants to be known as Bill Nye the Dancing Guy – and as it turns out, he already likes to groove a little. He says he can swing dance. Let’s see what he and new pro Tyne Stecklein can bring to the ballroom in the cha-cha. Bill has coined them “Hot Knowledge” and makes jokes about chemistry and sexual tension. He tries to teach her the difference between a beaker and a flask. The beauty meets the geek in the lab, a not-that-original concept. This doesn’t have a lot of cha-cha, and the moves are herky-jerky, especially at the beginning. Bruno thinks the movements were backward and all over the place. The audience chants Bill’s name. Len won’t, though. “It was like being waxed – it was painful when it happened and pleasant when it was over.” Carrie Ann gives that faint praise to contestants who try hard but aren’t very good. Score: 14 (Carrie Ann 5, Len 4, Bruno 5).

“Just Give Me the Damn Ball,” Keyshawn Johnson titled his autobiography. Does the wide-receiver-turned-ESPN-broadcaster think he can just grab the Mirror Ball bauble for himself and Sharna Burgess? Not quite, Keyshawn – first you have to dance a cha-cha. They joke about the Aussie pro’s accent, which Keyshawn attempts but sounds more like Brit Len than Sharna. He has to work on bending the proper leg at the proper time. “There’s a charming level of annoyance between you,” Tom says to them. Keyshawn’s cha-cha is like Jacoby Jones’s last season, also from Week 1, with a lot of being hunched and tight and favoring club moves. In parts, it seems Sharna hasn’t figured out how to compensate for the foot difference in height between herself and Keyshawn. Bruno notes the height problem and says Keyshawn lost timing. Carrie Ann thinks the dance got better as it went along. Len likes the attitude but says Keyshawn needs to refine the technique. Score: 17 (Carrie Ann 6, Len 5, Bruno 6). Has a football player ever scored that low in Week 1? P.S. Sharma’s gold hot pants are amazing.

Christina Milian, whose red hair makes her resemble Rihanna circa three years ago, joins Monday’s contemporary circuit with partner Mark Ballas. Christina says she’s never danced with a partner before, and she hesitantly describes Mark’s choreography as “slightly unusual.” It’s like a mix of what Corbin and Karina did (except Mark is what stands out rather than his partner) and the light and shade/push and pull of Elizabeth and Val. The smoke machine is in full force, making it tough to judge footwork. Christina seems disconnected – does this reflect a lack of confidence, comfort or trust in Mark? In any case, that will be a problem for her because it’s obvious that this season, personality will count for a lot. Carrie Ann pinpoints this and notes Christina looked at the floor for much of the first part. Len likes the mood of the choreography and wants Christina to come out of her shell more. Bruno appreciates the introspection, though. Score: 22 (Carrie Ann 7, Len 7, Bruno 8).

The Battle of the Bills moves from Nye to Engvall. Like the Science Guy, this Bill has a new blond pro, Emma. However, Bill Engvall’s specialty is humor, and he’s known for being part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Andy Dick not withstanding, funny men don’t tend to get very far on “DWTS.” Will Engvall follow in the footsteps of Andy, or will he land in the Cemetery for Comedians with Adam Carolla and Jeffrey Ross? Bill wants to be the redneck’s dancing king. Bill and Emma have a foxtrot to “Hot Stuff,” and while he’s not going to win the Mirror Ball, he shows more ability than probably any comedian before. This foxtrot has hints and teases of sophistication and smoothness, and he can produce a semblance of ease. The foxtrot has more energy than Leah and Tony’s did, and Bill E, definitely did better than Bill Nye. Len is glad he remembered the routine. Carrie Ann admits to being pleasantly surprised and likes his frame. Score: 18 (Carrie Ann 6, Len 6, Bruno 6).

Time for what could be the heartwarming moment of the night, a foxtrot from four-time Emmy-winning sitcom legend Valerie Harper and Brooke’s (and OK, my) crush, Tristan MacManus. The 73-year-old Valerie was fighting for her life a few months ago. Now, though, it’s a strained knee rather than brain cancer that’s plaguing her foxtrot rehearsals. Valerie first danced for money at Radio City Music Hall as a young’un, and now she’s dancing again. Valerie beams through the light and easy foxtrot. She flows. Bruno: “How can you criticize a national treasure?” He warns her not to let her shoulders rise so much. Carrie Ann is crying and speaking of the healing power of dance. Len enjoys Tristan’s choreography. Score: 21 (all 7s).

I would have thought “DWTS” would end the night with Valerie. Instead, it’s Snooki who takes the spotlight with newly promoted Sasha for a cha-cha. Snooki wants to be known as Nicole (Polizzi) now that she has a year-old son, and she doesn’t want America to think she’s a hot mess anymore. Snooki – er, Nicole – worried about who her partner might be, given that she’s only four feet nine inches. Fortunately, she matches well with Sasha, who’s pretty small himself. He thinks they might be the shortest couple in “DWTS” history. The celebrity also likes her pro’s coaching style. She looks nervous before the dance. The cha-cha is a natural dance for her. Sasha has her doing mostly basic steps, and she performs them well. It’s not dynamic like Amber’s cha-cha, though. Carrie Ann and Bruno like the tone of her legs. Len calls Snooki/Nicole a pocket rocket and praises the Cuban breaks Sasha has choreographed. Score: 23 (Carrie Ann 8, though at first she holds up a 7; Len 8; Bruno 7).

Thus, we conclude the first week of the revitalized “DWTS.” Do the changes work? Does the voting plan make sense to you? What couples do you like, and who’s going home? Are Corbin and Amber at an unfair advantage? Leave your thoughts below!


Amber/Derek: 27

Corbin/Karina: 24

Elizabeth/Val: 24

Jack/Cheryl: 24

Nicole/Sasha: 23

Brant/Peta: 22

Christina/Mark: 22

Leah/Tony: 21

Valerie/Tristan: 21

Bill Engvall/Emma: 18

Keyshawn/Sharna: 17

Bill Nye/Tyne: 14

Sep 162013
Governor Brown Expands Partnership With China To Combat Climate Change

Governor Brown Expands Partnership With China To Combat Climate Change. / Anything L.A.

Building on California’s growing relationship with China, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined China’s top climate official, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua, to sign a first-of-its-kind agreement on climate change between the NDRC and a subnational entity. The NDRC oversees China’s efforts to address climate change and much of the government’s economic strategy.

“The fact that the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China is entering into an agreement with one of the fifty states reflects the important position of California not only in the economy, but in science, technology and climate change initiatives,” said Governor Brown before signing today’s agreement. “I see the partnership between China, between provinces in China, and the state of California as a catalyst and as a lever to change policies in the United States and ultimately change policies throughout the world.”

The MOU seeks to enhance cooperation through a range of activities, including:
• Mitigating carbon emissions;
• Strengthening performance standards to control greenhouse gasses;
• Designing and implementing carbon emissions trading systems;
• Sharing information on policies and programs to strengthen low carbon development;
• Exchanging personnel and jointly organizing workshops and training; and
• Researching clean and efficient energy technologies.

This agreement builds on more than a year and a half of significant diplomatic and business exchanges between California and China, including the Governor’s Trade and Investment Mission to China, the opening of the California-China Office of Trade and Investment in Shanghai and a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. Partnership on climate change was one of many subjects the Governor discussed with President Xi and a key component of the trade mission, which included a meeting with officials from the National Development and Reform Commission and remarks on climate change at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In June, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols also traveled to Shenzhen, site of China’s first carbon trading program, to pledge cooperation on emissions trading.
Photo captions can be found below:

1.) Governor Brown meets with NDRC officials.
2.) Governor Brown and Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua (left) sign MOU.
For high resolution copies of these photos, please contact Danella Debel, Office of the Governor at
Photo Credit: Brad Alexander, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The agreement, signed today, is copied below:


This MOU to Enhance Cooperation on Low Carbon Development is entered into by the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NDRC) and the State of California of the United States of America (California) and hereafter jointly referred to as the “Parties,” in order to strengthen and coordinate efforts to combat global climate change, promote clean and efficient energy and support low carbon development, while protecting public health, the environment and natural resources.
Article 1 Areas of Cooperation
The Parties agree to cooperate in the following areas, on the basis of the principle of equality and mutual benefit:
• Activities to mitigate carbon emissions while enabling sustained economic growth;
• Activities to strengthen performance standards within various economic sectors to control carbon, methane and other high global warming potential gases while enabling economic growth;
• Activities to implement carbon emissions trading systems and other market-based instruments;
• Activities that strengthen support for low carbon and ETS pilot programs;
• Activities that reduce energy consumption among industrial, commercial, and residential buildings;
• Activities that increase the usage of electrified transportation;
• Activities that support new and expanded markets for clean and efficient energy technologies, including within energy-intensive industries and transportation;
• Activities that support joint-ventures, partner-agreements, and capital investments in the design, construction and operation of clean and efficient energy and infrastructure projects; and
• Other mutually agreed activities.

Article 2 Forms of Cooperation
Forms of cooperation may include the following and any other forms agreed to by both Parties:
• Sharing information and experiences regarding policies and programs to strengthen low carbon development across economic sectors;
• Sharing policy design of carbon emissions trading programs;
• Inviting the other Party to advise on program and policy design and rule-making processes that it developed;
• Exchanges and temporary assignments of personnel from one of the Parties to the other;
• Cooperative research on clean and efficient energy technologies, including developing shared research, development and deployment projects;
• Joint organization of symposia, seminars, workshops, exhibitions and training; and
• Any other mutually agreeable forms of cooperation that contribute to the purpose of this MOU.
Article 3 Implementation
The Parties shall, on a regular basis, inform and consult with one another on matters of common interest that represent opportunities for mutual benefit consistent with this MOU.
In order to explore specifically how to collaborate through the framework of the MOU, the Parties agree to form an MOU Implementation Taskforce, co-chaired by the Director General of the Department of Climate Change for the NDRC side and the Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Advisor to the Governor for the California side. Additionally, NDRC will be represented by the Director General of the Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Conservation, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation, Director General of the Energy Research Institute and Director General of National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, and California will be represented on this taskforce by the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Chairman of the California Air Resource Board, and Chair of the California Energy Commission.

The Taskforce will coordinate the implementation of this MOU, as appropriate, with other agreements between entities in California and the People’s Republic of China, and will meet in person once annually and by video or telephone conference as often as necessary.

Article 4 Duration, Termination, Modification This MOU will remain in effect for two years from the date of its signature by the parties and may be amended and/or extend its effective term as agreed by the Parties in writing.

Either Party may withdraw from this MOU after 45 days written notice to the other Party.

The present MOU is signed in San Francisco, California on September 13, 2013 in the Chinese and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.

National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Sep 152013

Paula Wagner will produce the 5th Annual Governors Awards for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced today.  The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and three Honorary Awards will be presented to Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin and Piero Tosi, respectively, on Saturday, November 16, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.



“Paula’s expertise, coupled with her love for film, makes her the ideal person to produce this special event,” said Boone Isaacs.  “She is certain to deliver an exciting and memorable evening for our honorees and guests.”

“It is a privilege to work with the Academy to produce this year’s Governors Awards, honoring iconic talents who have deeply influenced our contemporary culture with their artistry,” said Wagner.  “I look forward to being a part of an event that illuminates and supports these artists’ incredible achievements.”

Wagner has produced or executive-produced more than 20 feature films, including the first three “Mission: Impossible” films, “Vanilla Sky,” “The Others” and “The Last Samurai,” as well as the television film “Five” and three Broadway plays (The Heiress, which received two Tony® nominations, Grace and the recently announced Mothers and Sons).  After beginning her career as an actress and then becoming a top-ranking talent agent at CAA, she went on to co-found Cruise/Wagner Productions and serve as CEO for United Artists.  She now continues to independently produce film and theater through her company Chestnut Ridge Productions.  Wagner is an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, and also lectures at universities around the nation.  Wagner is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America and The Broadway League.  She also sits on the boards of the PGA, the Film Forum, American Cinematheque and the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Sep 122013




Directors Woody Allen and James Mangold to introduce 60th Anniversary Screenings in New York and Los Angeles

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the classic Western “Shane” with a screening of a new digital restoration from Paramount Pictures on Monday, September 16, at the Academy Theater in New York City, with a special video message by director Woody Allen; and on Monday, October 7, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, with an in-person introduction by director James Mangold.

Sep 042013


Academy Tribute to Gabriel Figueroa

Academy Tribute to Gabriel Figueroa / Anything L.A.

Writer-director Gregory Nava, actor Gael García Bernal, cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto and Gabriel Figueroa Flores will celebrate the life and career of the renowned Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa on Tuesday, September 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  The evening will feature an onstage discussion and excerpts from many of Figueroa’s greatest cinematic achievements.  The program serves as a prelude to the exhibition “Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa – Art and Film,” co-presented by the Academy and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will open at LACMA later this month.

Figueroa (1907–1997) is often referred to as “The Fourth Muralist” of Mexico, and his seminal work contributed to the establishment of a visual culture and national identity in post-revolutionary Mexico.  His films include such Mexican classics as “María Candelaria,” “Enamorada,” “La perla” and “Víctimas del pecado,” which stand alongside works for such diverse directors as John Ford (“The Fugitive”), Luis Buñuel (“Los olvidados”), Don Siegel (“Two Mules for Sister Sara”) and John Huston (“The Night of the Iguana”).  Figueroa’s dazzling black-and-white cinematography for the latter film earned him an Oscar® nomination in 1964.

Tickets for “An Academy Tribute to Gabriel Figueroa” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID.  Tickets may be purchased online at or by mail.  The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Ticketed seating is unreserved.  For more information and guest updates, call (310) 247-3600 or visit

The exhibition “Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa – Art and Film” will open on Sunday, September 22, at LACMA’s Art of the Americas building.  The exhibition examines Figueroa’s prolific career through film clips, paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, posters and archival documents.  It also includes a range of works by contemporary artists and filmmakers that reflect on Figueroa’s legacy.  For more information, visit