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Million Dollar Theater (Photo by Wendell Benedetti/LAHTF

Million Dollar Theater (Photo by Wendell Benedetti/www.LAHTF.org)

The Academy did not recognize the genius of your groundbreaking sci-fi/inter-species romance about kittens and puppies in space.

Your  invitations to the Vanity Fair party and the Governor’s Ball have, apparently, gotten lost in the mail.

Despite the criminal oversight of your creativity and the incompetence of the U.S. mail, you’re still looking for a good party.

Where to go to make the scene, dish the dresses, and eat and drink like a movie star?

Here are the nominees….

Million Dollar Evening

If your aim is to recreate the Hollywood experience, red carpet and all, you’ll want to opt for Hollywood’s Biggest Night at Grauman’s Million Dollar Theater.

Yes, Virginia, there IS still a theater named Grauman’s….

Don your best glam rags (or come in your “I don’t give a damn jeans and t-shirt) then walk the Broadway red carpet while avoiding the paparazzi — so tiresome — and enter the legendary Million Dollar Theater.  Grab a drink at the no-host bar, discreetly (or not) ogle the stunning interior, and mingle with your fellow should-have-been-nominees.  Inside, your Academy Award experience will  be less eye-straining than the actual Oscars thanks to the Million Dollar Theater’s giant screen.

You don’t want to have to squint when you dis the competition….

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT!4 pm doors/red carpet coverage, 5:30 pm Awards show live streaming begins.  $20; $15 LAHTF membersGrauman’s Million Dollar Theater,  307 S Broadway, DTLA 90013.  Get tix HERE.

Oscar with a view....

Oscar with a view….

The Movie Star Experience

If you want the Brangelina luxe life in addition to watching them on the red carpet, make reservations at Terranea Resort‘s annual Oscar Night Viewing Party at Mar’sel.

Wunderkind Chef de Cuisine Rebecca Merhej has created a menu inspired by eleven Oscar hopefuls.  Dishes include: Potato Blini with caviar, crème fraiche, and truffle oil (The Wolf of Wall Street) to “Science Oven” Hot Pockets made from house-made pan bianco and filled with white cheddar and prosciutto (American Hustle),  and Roasted Bone Marrow with garlic confit and pickled vegetables (The Croods).  Desserts include Moon Pie (Gravity, natch) and Saltwater Taffy (Captain Phillips).

Of course there will be themed cocktails as well as three varieties of champagne….

In addition to eating the Oscars, you can vote on them.  The Viewing Party guest with the most correct answers on their Oscar ballot will win dinner for two (valued at $250) at Mar’sel.  And, of course, you have the option of spending the night at the gorgeous Terranea Resort and waking up to the sound of ocean waves.

American Hustle money view?  Priceless….

OSCAR VIEWING PARTY AT MAR’SEL4pm viewing party begins; broadcast at 5pm. Reservations required; call 310.265.2836 or book online — Mar’sel, Terranea Resort, 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, 90275

Your guide to the Oscars?!?!

Your guide to the Oscars?!?!

Oscar Hi-Jinks

If you want irreverent hilarity with your movie hits, head to Cinefamily for The Doug Benson Movie Awards Party 2014 where everyone’s fave Wise Fool pokes holes in the pretentious bubble of the movie industry’s self-celebration.  This is a FREE, Members-Only +1 event but if there was ever a time to join L.A.’s best, curated movie experience, today is the day.

Registration is a must as is a potluck dish.

Don’t try rolling in with a bowl of stale popcorn.

You’re encouraged to step up your game with an Oscar-inspired dish; in addition to a bevy of equally snarky pals adding their own commentary throughout the show, Benson and Dining with Doug and Karen podcast partner Karen Anderson will be sampling your culinary creations during the podcast.

Wolf of Wall Street steak with a side of Adderall, anyone?

THE DOUG BENSON MOVIE AWARDS PARTY 2014Potluck 3-4pm. Red Carpet Interruption 4-5pm. Awards Interruption 5pm.  FREE to Cinefamily Members +1The Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax, LA 90036.  To register, go HERE.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Check out The Go Go on EAT: Los Angeles, LA.’s best online source for curated food news and reviews!

How to watch films in L.A. (Courtesy of Downtown Film Festival)

How we watch film in L.A. (Courtesy of Downtown Film Festival)

Your stars and stripes buns were a hit at the grill.

Your spontaneous rendition of Born in the USA inspired a flash mob at the fro-yo stand.

And everyone was jealous of your rocket’s red glare.

Read on to be the hero of your own summer.

How to Be Cool and Beat the Heat

There’s a reason theaters are mobbed in summer.

Air conditioning.

Unlike multiplexes in the ‘burbs, the Downtown Film Festival offers cool with your cool.

Celebrating its fifth year, the award-winning fest presents 100+ indie features, documentaries, and shorts over eleven days;  many are L.A. premieres of award-winning films from national and international fests.

Downtown Film Festival 2013In addition to series that feature both female and Latino filmmakers, fest highlights include: screenings of international digital shorts at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art during this Thursday’s Downtown L.A. Art Walk; a free public screening of the 2013 winners of the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series, presented by Oscar-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious) on Friday, July 12th; and a special showcase of  French 3-D shorts on Sunday, July 14th, which not-so-coincidentally happens to be Bastille Day.

Viva les shorts.

The majority of films will screen at the Downtown Independent Theater; other unique venues include the L.A. Grammy Museum, the Edison, and a free, closing night screening  at Los Angeles Union Station.

Forget it, Jake.  It’s Chinatown.

DOWNTOWN FILM FESTIVALWed, July 10 – Sat, July 20; FREE – $20For more info re: schedules, venues and films, go to: http://www.dffla.com/

More music for Moore, OK.

More music for Moore, OK.

Good for OK

This Thursday’s Moore, Oklahoma benefit is practically a country song in itself.

When Angie Taylor’s students lost their instruments in the May 20th tornado that decimated the town of Moore, Oklahoma, the band director vowed that she would replace them.

This Thursday, July 11, a half-dozen of L.A’s best singer-songwriters will help Taylor keep her promise.

Veteran songwriters Tracy Newman and Severin Browne are producing the benefit, which will feature fellow stellar writers/performers Marty Axelrod, Bill Berry, Cynthia Carle, and Kevin Fisher at the Talking Stick in Venice.  100% of the night’s proceeds will go directly to help Taylor and the kids of Highland West Junior High start making music again.

This Thursday, the happy ending is up to you.

TRACY NEWMAN AND SEVERIN BROWNE PRESENT A BENEFIT FOR VICTIMS OF THE TORNADO IN MOORE, OKLAHOMAThurs, July 11 @ 7:00 p.m.; all ages; $20 The Talking Stick, 1411 Lincoln Blvd, Venice 90291  https://www.facebook.com/events/474222522660917/

People say funny things.

People say funny things.

Grand UnPerformances

Comedian Beth Lapides’s weekly Sunday night UnCabaret at First & Hope is one of L.A.’s classiest comedy nights.  On Friday, UnCabaret joins with Grand Performances and goes al fresco.

Plan accordingly.  Bring your cocktails in a flask.

Alec Mapa, Mary Beth Abella, Kristina Wong, Suzanne Whang and Charlene Deguzman crack wise at this special UnCabaret under the stars as part of Grand Performances’ “NEA-supported look at Los Angeles as the gateway for Asian immigration”.

You’ll just call it the gateway to laughs.

UNCABARET AT GRAND PERFORMANCESFri, July 12 @ 8pm; FREECalifornia Plaza, 350 S Grand, DTLA 90071 http://www.grandperformances.org/events/uncabaret/

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Firecracker.

This may not be safe firecracker-lighting distance but the post-Memorial Day “white shoes” fashion rule has been followed.

You’ve unloaded the truck of craft beer, stocked the sangria-for-hundreds, and cleared the local liquor store shelves of  margi/martini/mint julep mixings.

Also, depleted Tijuana’s supply of ch-ch-ch-cherry bombs.

Your schedule is clear to start the party early.

It’s all about celebrating your freedom, people.

Funny Ha-Ha…but Sad

Go Go’ers, there are heroes.  And then there are heroes.  (Sniffle.)

Dave Ross is one of the latter.

For three and a half years, Ross has been running Holy Fuck, one of Downtown L.A.’s best comedy venues, which has featured all  creatures comedians great and small.

Here’s a list of people who have appeared on the Holy Fuck stage one or more times:  Louis CK, Aziz Ansari, Demetri Martin, Margaret Cho, Natasha Leggero, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Dana Gould, The Sklar Brothers, Ron Lynch, Kyle Kinane, Eric Andre and Todd Glass.

The Vice President did not perform at Holy Fuck.

Holy Fuck. That happened. (Sniffle)

If you saw one or more or many of these shows, you are a comedy geek and Ms. Go Go is in awe.

If not, you have one last chance because all good things must come to an end.

On Tuesday, July 2nd, Ross and producing partners Jeff Wattenhofer, Matt Ingebretson, Megan Koester, and Jeremy Burke present Holy Fuck.  The End.

Ms. Go Go knuckles teary eye.

The  Final Fuckapalooza (not its real name) will still take place at the Downtown Independent Theater but the hosts and the lineup are super-secret.   Really, really super secret.

Decoder-ring secret.

You just have to show up knowing only that there are comedians (as usual), beer (as usual), food, and video.  Also, hugs.  Also, free.  The hugs AND the show are free.

‘Cause it would be creepy if you had to pay for hugs.

HOLY FUCK. THE END.Tues, July 2 @ 9pm; FREEDowntown Independent Theater, 251 S Main St, DTLA 90012 https://www.facebook.com/events/613403452017498/

Patriotic Drinking

Mad Men‘s Don Draper has proved that Maker’s Mark is as American as apple pie, advertising, and adultery.

Are you an American?  Then show up, dammit.

Are you an American? Then show up and drink, dammit.

Don’t argue with patriot Don Draper.

Instead, head down to Seven Grand, Downtown L.A.’s most patriotic hooch hot spot, for their annual 3rd of July Maker’s Mark Party.  On Independence Day Eve, Seven Grand Spirit Guide and Whisky Society co-curator Pedro Shanahan and his compatriots will be pouring $5 Makers Mark drink specials all night long starting at 5:00 p.m.

Go ahead, take refuge from the sunset’s red glare.

The Midnight Blues band does what it does best starting at 10:00 p.m. (a.k.a. Hour Five of your Don Draper-worthy booze-a-thon); Shanahan also hints that he and the 7G staff have a few surprises up their collective sleeve.  Even better, Seven Grand Whisky Society members can show their membership cards for a free shot to celebrate freedom.

Just to be clear, those shots are bourbon, not bullets.

SEVEN GRAND’S ANNUAL 3RD OF JULY PARTYWed, July 3 @ 5pm; 21+/FREE admissionSeven Grand Whiskey Bar, 515 W 7th St, 2nd Floor, DTLA, 90014   https://www.facebook.com/sevengrandla

Four Block Party for the 4th of July

Three options to celebrate America’s freedom for free:

1) Jockey with other cars on a rocky, tree-denuded hill for glimpses of fireworks through binoculars.

2) Lurk around stadium gates and try to spot baton twirlers in sequins.

3)  Head to Downtown L.A. for Grand Park’s first ever 4th of July Block Party.

Freedom is just another word for not paying.

Freedom is just another word for not paying.

The park is open all day for splashing in the “membrane pool” (legal!) and noshing (but not cooking — illegal!); a dozen food trucks parked on Hill Street keep hunger at bay.

KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez provides the soundtrack to your freedom party, which ramps up around 2:00 p.m. with bands Ethio Cali, Jungle Fire, and the roaming Banda Cielo Oaxaqueño.

The beauty of park vs. football stadium?  You can roam too.

There’s a late afternoon poetry slam courtesy of Get Lit; later, Latin Grammy winners La Santa Cecilia  segue revelers from day to dusk when the night sky explodes with Pyro Goes Boom: a light show spectacular.

Luckily, your eyeballs won’t fry; you’ll be wearing the Grand Park sunglasses you scored by Metro-ing instead of motoring to Grand Park.

Fourth of July freedom from driving/circling/parking garage gridlock?   Priceless.

GRAND PARK 4TH OF JULY BLOCK PARTYPark open all day; program begins @ 2:00 p.m.; all ages/FREEGrand Park, 200 N Grand Ave, DTLA 90012 https://www.facebook.com/grandparklosangeles

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

We'll trade you whisky for your words....

We’ll trade you whisky for your words….

The long days of summer are upon us and the nights are that much sweeter.

For the first Whisky & Poetry Salon of summer, Literary Libations welcomes actress and poet Grace Zabriskie as our feature.

On Thursday, June 27th, exchange whisky for words (plus $25).

Bring a poem, original or not, to B. Black Penthouse in Downtown L.A.

Read your poem in a candlelit circle of fellow aficionados.

Get a flight of fine whiskies in return.

What a way to start the summer….

Slainte!

WHISKY & POETRY SALON WITH GRACE ZABRISKIEThurs, June 27, 7-10 pm; $25/21+ B Black Penthouse, 546 S Los Angeles, DTLA 90013  http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7069048715

PLEASE NOTE: The Whisky & Poetry Salon is NOT a drop-in event.  Advance tickets only.  No tickets will be sold at the door.

 Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Drinking with skulls....

Party with skulls….

Go Go’ers, in the City of Angels, Cinco de Mayo is a weekend not a day.

Here’s where to celebrate early and strong.

TE’KILA

It’s always a party at Te’Kila‘s courtyard location on Hollywood but they’re kicking off the Cinco celebration early this weekend with tequila shot specials and extended Happy Hours (4:00 to 8:00 p.m.) starting on Friday.  The fun ramps up on Sunday with free gifts, guest appearances, live mariachi, and a pinata smash.

The latter refers to the pinata, not you.

TE’KILAFri, May 3 – Sun, May 5; 11am – 2pm — 6541 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028 https://www.facebook.com/TekilaHollywood

RUSH STREET

If Cinco de Mayo is a fave drinking holiday and brunch is your favorite meal of the week, double down at Rush Street  with an all-day, two story/two bar/two lounge/two patio bash.

Drinking at gunpoint..

Party at gunpoint (not really)….

Get your drink (and food) on starting at  10:30 am with an endless $20 Micheladas & “Bloody Maria” bar, move on to afternoon Dos Equis drafts and Coronas specials plus free tequila samples (while they last), get serious with Margarita specials at dinner, and finish your Cinco de Drinko on the roof with Dos Equis pitchers specials and a Beer Pong and dance party until close.

And just in case you like to mix kids and 25 kinds of tequila, dinner is free to tykes under twelve.

Your call.

RUSH STREETSun, May 5; 10:30 am – 1:30 pm — 9546 Washington Boulevard, Culver City 90232  https://www.facebook.com/RushStreetCulverCity  For reservations, call 310.837.9546..

TORTILLA REPUBLIC

If you like to drink and donate al fresco, head to WeHo on Sunday where Tortilla Republic is throwing their first ever Grande Cinco de Mayo Block Party , which will benefit Project Angel Food.

Margarita Pitchers, tons of tacos, a Top 40 Mariachi band, and  DJ’s Dan Knapp + Aaron Elvis are enough to make it a party but trust Tortilla Republic to innovate with a Pinata Pit.

You don’t want any of that pinata loot to get away….

TORTILLA REPUBLICSun, May 5, 2-7pm; Donations: $10 GA/$20 — 616 N Robertson Blvd, WeHo 90069

Advance tix here: http://tortillarepublic.com/west-hollywood-california/grande-cinco-de-mayo-block-party/

LAS PERLAS

When it comes to Cinco de Mayo, you don’t need bells and whistles (or sombreros and mariachis).  All you ask for  is top shelf tequilas, the best street tacos, and a great space to consume them.

Party with Los Lobos....

Party with Los Lobos….

Natch, Las Perlas has you covered with $7  Herradura Blanco & Herradura Reposado shots, $6 Palomas, Batangas, and El Jimador Margaritas, $5 El Jimador Tequila shots and tortilla-wrapped goodness from Julio Arenas.

It’s good to be a purist.

LAS PERLASSun, May 5, 4pm – midnight; 21+ – 107 E 6th St, DTLA 90014  http://213nightlife.com/cinco-de-mayo-w-las-perlas?id=May%205th,%202013

KCRW’S 2ND ANNUAL CINCO DE MAYO FESTIVAL WITH LOS LOBOS

If it’s all about the music, head to the Greek Theater, which is kicking off their 2013 season with KCRW’s 2nd Annual Cinco de Mayo Festival featuring Los Lobos with Robert Randolph and special guests Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated Kinky and jazz group El Chicano, which has garnered five gold records.

The beers may be pricier but with a lineup like this, who cares?

KCRW’S 2ND ANNUAL CINCO DE MAYO FESTIVAL WITH LOS LOBOS — Sun, May 5 @ 6:30 PM; $25-$69.502700 N Vermont, LA 90027 http://www.greektheatrela.com/index.asp
Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….
Lips that touch whisky,,,,

Lips that touch whisky,,,,

April is National Poetry Month.

Of course, Whisky & Poetry Salon is celebrating in style with “guerilla fighter of poets” Brendan Constantine in attendance.

On Thursday, April 18th, Literary Libations and Whisky Ambassador Johnnie “TheScot” Mundell will ply you with whisky in exchange for your words (plus $25).

Whether you’ve been spiffing up a sonnet or just want to bask in the glow of candlelight, alcohol, and the spoken word, bring a poem, original or not, to a 1920’s loft in Downtown L.A.

Read your poem against the backdrop of the Downtown skyline.

Get a flight of fine single malt whiskies in return.

Using your inside voice has never been so much fun.

WHISKY & POETRY SALON Thurs, April 18, 7-10pm; DOOR CLOSE @ 7:30 PM; $25 + a poem B Black Penthouse,546 South Los Angeles St, DTLA 90013  Tickets here: http://whiskyandpoetrysalon.eventbrite.com/

NOTE: Event is capped at 30 and is almost sold out.  No tickets will be available at the door!

Lips tht touch whisky,,,,

Lips that touch whisky,,,,

On February 21, 1925, The New Yorker published its first issue.

We think that’s the perfect excuse for a Whisky & Poetry Salon.

On February 21, 2013, Literary Libations and Johnnie “The Scot” Mundell will ply you with whisky in exchange for your words (plus $25)

Bring a poem — it doesn’t have to be yours — to B. Black Penthouse in Downtown L.A.

Read it in a candlelit circle of fellow aficionados.

Get a flight of fine single malt whiskies in return.

Listen to Adrian Wyatt, recent Literary Death Match poet!

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate literary history.

WHISKY & POETRY SALONThurs, Feb 21; 7 pm (doors open); 7:30 start – 10pm; $25 + a poemB. Black Penthouse, 546 South Los Angeles St, DTLA 90013

Event is capped at 30.  Final event details will only be sent to ticket holders. http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5350018048

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