Postmodern artist James Welling, honoree of photo L.A.

Postmodern artist James Welling, honoree at photo l.a. Opening Gala

You’ve had two weekends to recover from ugly Xmas sweaters, eggnog, and futile resolution-making.

Time for art and theater plus liquor and lots of it.

Chop, chop….

Beyond the Photo Booth

January = art month in Los Angeles and photo l.a., the first of four heavy-hitter art fairs, is the perfect symbolic bridge between the  new and the old  with its mix of past and present, vintage and contemporary.

The 25th Anniversary edition of the four-day photography expo kicks off Thursday evening with an Opening Gala honoring Los Angeles artist James Welling, benefiting Best Buddies International, and featuring food by  Escuela Taqueria, cocktails by The Spare Room, and desserts by the Confection Co-op.

Also, bragging rights for first peek at the exhibit….

photo l.a. opens to the public on Friday with 70+  booths from galleries, dealers, museums, nonprofits, vendors, and schools featuring contemporary photography and photo-based art to classic, vintage, and vernacular photos.

Of course, you’ll want to dive deeper….

Lucky you: photo l.a. has tons of special programming on every one of its four days including: lectures (Backstage Pass with Music Photographer Rob Shanahan); panel discussions (The Golden Decade); special installations (Gala honoree James Welling); and docent tours (Ivan Shaw, Executive Photography Director, Vogue)

Start your eyeball calisthenics now….

photo l.a. — Thurs, 1/21; 7-10pm.  Fri 1/22 & Sat 1/23; 11am-7pm.  Sun, 1/24; 11am-6m.  $20-$450  — The REEF/LA Mart, 1933 S Broadway, LA 90007.  Tix & more info HERE.

Drink among the skyscrapers.

Crawl the canyons of DTLA….

Golden Drinking

You are feeling thirsty…very, very thirsty.

Just in time, Golden State of Cocktails lights up the glorious Majestic starting this weekend.

Initially conceived as a to-the-trade show — and still with a couple of bar-industry-only events — the four-day cocktail-a-ganza is now open to the 21+ responsible drinking public.

That’s you, right?  Right?!?!

Whether you sling or sip, check out seminars ($40) from: spirits giants (Broad Spectrum – tastings across Beam Suntory’s whiskey portfolio); indies (Classic Gin Cocktails – Sipsmith Gin); specialists (The Pharmacology of Flavor Part II: Enter the Matrix – Culinary Scientist Larrian Gillespie, M.D.); and a museum (The Spirit of New Spirits – The Museum of the American Cocktail/MOTAC.)

Improved cocktail party libations and banter pretty much guaranteed…..

Free options with seminar purchase include: lunches with Don Q rum, Revel Avila agave and Hendricks Gin & Samovar Tea;  the Museum of the American Cocktail Agave Gallery Opening and Happy Hour at Las Perlas (open to the public; no ticket required); and Ludlows Cocktail Co. Spritz Happy Hour (sip early samples of their Spring Spritz line: Grapefruit Elderflower, Golden Apple Pear and Birch Tonic).

The Luxardo cherry on top: bar crawls in Downtown LA and Hollywood ($65) and a series of upscale dinners ($100) at Girasol, Faith and Flower, and Hatchet Hall presented by MUNCHIES and Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey (whose Northern Harvest Rye was just awarded best whiskey of 2015.)

Come be the judge of that.

GOLDEN STATE OF COCKTAILS — Sat, Jan 23 – Tues, Jan 26; various times.  FREE – $100/21+The Majestic Downtown, 650 S Spring St, DTLA 90014.  NOTE: Evening events take place across the city; check event description for location.  Tix & more info HERE

Speed kills

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

Speed Racer

Producing, writing, directing, rehearsing and performing a play is hard.

Producing, writing, directing, rehearsing and performing four plays in 5o hours is certifiable.

You’ll be the happy beneficiary of this madness when ZJU unveils its 15th Annual 50 Hour Drive-by Theatre Festival.

Yes, they’ve been taking on this insanity for 15 years.

Drive-By by the numbers: 15 performers, 4 writers, 4 directors, 1 musician, 3 performances/1 weekend only.

This is one driving ticket you’ll be happy to get.

ZJU’S 15TH ANNUAL 50 HOUR DRIVE-BY THEATRE FESTIVAL — Sat, Jan 23 – Mon, Jan 24; 8:30pm. $15/12+ — ZJU Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd, NoHo 91601.  For Reservations, call 818-202-4120.  Tix & more info HERE.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Time to mitten up....

Time to mitten up….

The weekend is jumpin’.

The weekend is jammin’.

All the weekend needs is you.

Don’t Bring Your East Coast Friends

Have out-of-town guests fleeing frozen climes?

Send them to Disneyland.

Meanwhile, you’ll take Friday afternoon off and head Downtown for Angel City Brewery’s Snow Day.

Have a snow ball fight in the snow garden or watch others slip and slide while you sip Hot Toddies (made with Angel City IPA and Bourbon from nearby neighbor Greenbar Organic Distillery).

Warm up with comfort grub from Chili Philosopher, Dogtown Dogs and Sweet E’s Bake Shop.  Kitsch up to the simulated fireplace, watch game shows (‘”Personal days” for $200, please!’), howl  at Goonies (screening at 3pm), or get armchair competitive with board games, all while sipping Angel City craft beer.

And in the unlikely chance you get cabin fever, Echo Park Outpost is curating an evening of music with Del Champion, The Anti-Job, Kaygle$ & more!

Check your snowboard at the door.

ANGEL CITY BREWERY SNOW DAY — Fri, Jan 23, 2pm – 10pm 21+ — Angel City Brewery, 216 So Alameda St, DTLA 90012.  For more info, go HERE.

Don't get hit

“Created to amaze in a speedy two days!”

Hit ‘n Run Theater

Hopefully, the writers, directors and actors involved with the ZJU 14th Annual 50 Hour Drive-By Theatre Festival are sound asleep as you read this.

Because once the alarm clock rings, they’ll have only two days to write, rehearse and polish an evening of five one-acts: all created around a trio of random props.  The subject matter may be as-yet-unknown but the finished product is guaranteed to be inventive, thought-provoking, sly, edgy or all of the above.

The three-day mini-fest debuts Saturday night at creative powerhouse Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater in NoHo with two additional performances on Sunday and Monday.

Take the fast lane.

14TH ANNUAL 50 HOUR DRIVE-BY THEATRE FESTIVALSat, Jan 24 – Mon, Jan 26 @ 8:30pm.  $15/12+ Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, 4850 Lankersham Blvd, NoHo 91601.  RSVP at 818-202-4120. For tix and more info, go HERE.

Shaken AND Stirred at Speed Rack L.A.

There’ll be a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on at Speed Rack L.A.

All Shook Up

Start with 20 Ms. Mix-a-Lots, add breast cancer charity beneficiaries, mix with judges and audience, top with a timer and what do you get?

Speed Rack: the only, international, all-female speed-bartending competition, which is shaking and stirring this Sunday in its only L.A. iteration: an adjunct of the Golden State of Cocktails.

Twenty bartenders from fave L.A. bars (Cana Rum Bar, Eveleigh, Three Clubs Lounge, etc.) go shaker to shaker in round robin timed heats to craft cocktails “culled from a list of 50 accepted industry-standard classic recipes.”

In other words, don’t expect Jagermeister bombs.

Masters of the mixology world will rate drinks on speed and precision with the winner crowned the next Miss Speed Rack L.A.

Your ticket gets you cocktails from Speed Rack’s premium sponsors, nom nom from local eateries, and a bar’s-eye view of the competitive action.  100% of the evening’s proceeds, including raffle revenue and even tips, go towards breast cancer research, education and prevention.

This Sunday, put your money where your mouth is.

SPEED RACK L.A. ~ SEASON FOURSun, Jan 25, 3pm – 7pm.  $20 advance/$25 atd.  21+Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028.  For tix and more info, go HERE.

Booze & schmooze fest.

Booze & schmooze fest.

Four Days of Happy Hour

The Golden State of Cocktails may be a booze-and-schmooze spirits industry trade show first and foremost but there’s a bevy of open-to-the-public cocktailian events.

Ban Monday blues with fried chicken and BBQ-inspired drinks at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s with the Bon Vivants.

Anchor Distilling‘s Westside pub crawl on Tuesday includes transportation to and from The Chestnut Club, Brilliantshine, Copa d’Oro, and the Back Room of 41 Ocean plus end-of-crawl food and a swag bag!

At La Descarga, Golden State of Cocktails presents a special Tuesday tiki version of That Time of the Month: a gathering of female bartenders with proceeds benefiting Break the Cycle, an L.A. organization that empowers youth to end the cycle of domestic violence.

Beam Suntory and Imbibe Magazine partner on a series of flavor-pairing dinners featuring cognac, tequila and whiskey respectively.

It’s not too late to take the week off.

GOLDEN STATE OF COCKTAILSMon, Jan 26 – Thurs Jan 29; various times/prices/locations.  For tix and more info, go HERE.

Song of Eva Peron at the Valley Performing Arts Center,

Song of Eva Peron at the Valley Performing Arts Center.

More Weekend Go Go Fun!

TANGO BUENOS AIRESSong of Eva Peron!  Full-length production!  One of the world’s top tango companies!  Fri 1/23

RAW PRESENTS “VISIONARY” — Independent artists-for-artists org!  Showcase & bash!  21+  Fri 1/23

L.A. COOKIE CON & SWEETS SHOW — Samples!  Demos & workshops! Celebrities!  Sun 1/25

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go…. 



Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz presents Sheetal Gandhi in Bahu Beti Biwi

Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz presents Sheetal Gandhi in Bahu Beti Biwi

A warning about the weekend: there’s too much fun to waste it on sleep.

Just put on your high heel sneakers and go go.

Hold Me Closer, Dralion Dancer

Ever wish you could get up close and personal with a Cirque de Soleil performer?’

Here’s your chance but grab it quick, Go Go’ers.

Thursday night,  Sheetal Gandhi, creator/performer for Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion and a leading artist in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Bombay Dreams, performs her gorgeous, stirring, and intimate solo show Bahu-Beti-Biwi presented Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz.

It’s ONE NIGHT ONLY. Don’t delay getting those tix.

The score for the multi-discipline performance  of dance, theater, and live singing was written by Joseph Trapanese.  Past collaborators include Daft Punk.   You may know them.

And after Bahu-Beti-Biwi, you’ll be very glad you know Sheetal Gandhi.

SHEETAL GANDHI IN BAHU-BETI-BIWIThurs, Feb 6 @ 7:30; $15 – $25 — Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90064 (310-286-0553).  Buy tix HERE.

Not too curious a sofa, we  hope....

Not too curious a sofa, we hope….

Walk Like An Edwardian

Absinthe cocktails and Edward Gorey-inspired antics are enough to make the 14th Annual Edwardian Ball the party of the year.

Add in theatricals — this year, a stage adaptation of Gorey’s The Curious Sofa  — as well as aerials, acrobats, cirque, dancing, dinner, music, stilt walkers and more corsets than you can shake a cigarette holder at and you have one hell of a fete.

Edwardian Ball creators and co-hosts Rosin Coven and Vau De Vire Society have once again secured the gorgeous Fonda Theater, which ramps up the deco-meets-steampunk ambiance to “eleven” and this year, you’ll be able to sup while you sip.

You always want to keep your…strength up while wearing a corset.

ROSIN COVEN & VAU DE VIRE SOCIETY PRESENT THE 14TH ANNUAL EDWARDIAN BALLSat, Feb 8, 8pm – 2am.  $45-$75The Fonda Theater, 6126 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood  Get tix HERE.

An online mausoleum for memories.

An online mausoleum for memories.

Net Cemetery

It’s a brilliant, shivery, stunning idea.

A late, beloved someone has left you something — or maybe many things: tangible mementos in addition to memories…meaning beyond monetary worth.   How to honor the person and value the legacies?

Dudley Saunders can help.

The musician/performer’s new transmedia show In These Boxes at the stately Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, uses live music, narratives and video art  of  bequeathed possessions to celebrate the dead through their detritus.

Don’t think of this as kitsch; it’s more like church.

Saunders also offers, as he puts it: “An online cemetery for things the dead left us.”  You can add items to a virtual memory wall by taking a photo and posting it to Instagram with the hashtag #InTheseBoxes.  Or, send the photo, with or without story, to Saunders ( who will incorporate the pieces into the show, which will be performed around the country in the upcoming year.

And unlike a gravesite, you can visit whenever you want.

IN THESE BOXESSat, Feb 8 @ 8pm; $8-$10Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, 2225 Eagle Rock Blvd, LA 90041.  Get tix HERE.

More Weekend Go Go Fun!

Eat Your Words!    Live storytelling!   Caroline on Crack + others crack wise!   Free but RSVP!   Thurs, Feb 6

Moulin Russe —  French chansons!   Russian ballads!   Cabaret Versatile can can!   Thurs, Feb 6

L.A. Underground Market —  New food artisans!    Many samples!    L.A. debut!   Sat, Feb 8

50 Hour Drive-By  —  50 hrs from props to performance!  Zombie Joe’s Underground!  3 nights only!   Sat, Feb 8 – Mon, Feb 10

Bob Baker’s 90th Birthday —  Historic puppet show!   Charles Phoenix emcees!   Cake and ice cream!  Sun, Feb 9

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!

Are you going to L.A. Zine Fest?, she wonders. (Illustration by Amanda Verwey)

Are you going to L.A. Zine Fest?, she wonders. (Illustration by Amanda Verwey)

For Presidents Weekend, perhaps you’ve planned an exciting, three-day trip to Mt. Rushmore to gaze at Prez Heads.

If not, Ms. Go Go has a few suggestions for the weekend.

None of them set in stone.

Best Val-Day Event Ever

Ms. Go Go firmly believes that Fun is not just the provenance of the weekend, which means, at the very least, kicking it off on Thursday.

Of course, this Thursday is V-Day with its ritualized romance and unreasonably high expectations.  Sigh.

Instead of a chin-up singleton affair or overpriced champagne and a long-stemmed rose that will be dead by Friday — no comment on your relationship, of course — head to Cinefamily for their annual, late night 100 Outrageous Fucks: a compilation of cinematic sex scenes that are more kooky than kinky, more comedy than kama sutra.

Just 1 of 100 Outrageous Fucks at Cinefamily.

Just 1 of 100 Outrageous Fucks at Cinefamily.

And still, so much sexier than an “I Wuv You” teddy bear.

100 OUTRAGEOUS FUCKSThurs, Feb 14 @ 10pm  — Cinefamily, 611 No Fairfax, LA 90036

So Much Theater, So Little Time

So. Your career as a playwright.   How’s that going?

If you need inspiration to jump-start your “Waiting for Bardot” (copyrighted) opus — or just enjoy wild, by-the-seat-of-your-pants theater, head to Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre this weekend for their 50-Hour Drive-By Theatre Festival.

The Process: five writers speed-write short, three-person plays incorporating props they’ve been given.  Five directors and the fifteen actors turn the written word into slam-bang stage pieces with interstitial musical breaks.

No cheetahs were harmed i the making of these plays.

No cars or cheetahs were harmed in the making of these plays.

The Twist: from receipt of props to lights up in front of an audience, the plays are created within the span of 50 hours.

The Result: theater-without-a-net, receptive audiences, and bravura displays of writing, directing, and acting talent combine for an immensely entertaining evening.

How’s that Writer’s Block doing now?

50 HOUR DRIVE-BY THEATRE FESTIVALSat, Feb 16, Sun, Feb 17 & Mon, Feb 18 @ 8:30 pm; $15ZJU Theatre Group, 4850 Lankersham Blvd, NoHo, 91601.

For RESERVATIONS, call:  818.202.4120

Every Picture Tells a Story. So Do Words.

There may be dire predictions for the fate of traditional publishing houses but as with many industries, the artisanal/DIY/small-is-better movement continues to thrive as evidenced by this week’s second, annual L.A. Zine Fest where 100+ zine and small press exhibitors will gather at the Ukrainian Cultural Center on Sunday, February 17.

There will probably be girls with bras but no guns.

There will probably be girls with bras but no guns with girls.

Yes, there will be Zinester Speed-Dating.

Satellite spaces include a zine library across the street at art gallery/vinyl store HRLDRY as well as The Moth Theater just down Melrose where workshops and panels include Bratmobile member Allison Wolfe, iconic punk-rocker Alice Bag, filmmaker-musician Drew Denny and actress-comedian Charlyne Yi talking shop with moderator K. Bradford.

Related pre-fest events include the free, all ages Rad Dad event Use Your Words — authors include ex-heroin addict Jerry Stahl and ex-harem member Jillian Lauren — at Stories Books and Cafe on Friday, February 15th and the L.A. Zine Fest Reading and Rock Spectacular (21+) at Footsie’s on Saturday, February 16th.

Expect an unholy marriage of headbands and headbangers.

L.A. ZINE FEST 2013Sun, Feb 17, 11am – 5pm; FREE — Ukrainian Culture Center, 4315 Melrose Ave, LA 90029.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….