Be very afraid.

Be very afraid.

Did you think this weekend would be a “fun lull” before Memorial Day weekend?

Think again.

WITCHES BREW: ALL OF THEM WITCHES — Want to brush up on your incantations?  Pining for a chance to wear your Seventies pentacle?  Dust off your occult duds and head to Cinefamily for the late Friday night Opening Party of their May-into-June witch-centric film series featuring films like Practical Magic, Teen Witch and three separate screenings each of supernatural/horror classics The Devils and Rosemary’s Baby.  At the kick-off event, view rare and archival footage of all things mystical before heading to the Cinefamily patio where practitioners of the magickal arts will tell you everything you want to know and undoubtedly things you’d rather not hear.   Why:  The chance to see “eye of newt” in action and look haute-as-hell in black velvet in May.

Rock 'n Rioja.

Rock ‘n Rioja.

RIOJA WINE & TAPAS FEST — One of the most thematically immersive food and wine events around, this all-Saturday-afternoon fest at Los Angeles Union Station’s gorgeous, former ticket hall features Spanish sips and nibbles from 30 top Rioja wine makers and 25+ lauded chefs including Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish), Nikki Martin (My Haute Kitchen) and Daniel Rebelo (Union Pasadena).  The all-inclusive ticket gives you access to 200 wines, a Galleria of Jamon Iberico (i.e. Spain’s famous ham), an olive bar, reserve wine tastings, seminars and more while DJ Lord of Public Enemy (ATL) spins the most influential albums of Spain.  Bonus: you’ll be automatically entered into the contest to bring home a bottle of each Rioja wine served at the festival.  Why: Sipping vino while circling between the paella garden and the cheese cave. (The Cheese Cave!)



HEARSAY: ARTISTS REVEAL URBAN LEGENDS — WITH CARTWHEEL ART TOURS x ATLAS OBSCURA — That sleepaway camp creep-out that led to a childhood of gnawed nails and nightmares? It’s probably included in this 30+ artist show at LosJoCos Gallery in the DTLA Arts District.  This Sunday, dig deeper if you dare into urban legends with Cartwheel Art Tours and Atlas Obscura for a 12+ exploration of modern myths via the Hearsay artists’ interpretations; each artist chose an urban legend that she or he had a personal connection to.  Atlas Obscura Field Agent Hadley Meares will suggest other L.A. sites to explore more local lore.  Why: Learning about purple squirrels and the Goat Man from people with wilder imaginations than you.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Christmas + Comedy + Pie

Ho Ho Hope you win a pie!

We’re in the countdown zone for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year .

Here are a few only-in-L.A. alt-Christmas “classics” guaranteed to jingle your bells.

You can feel the tingle already.

Or maybe that’s just the numbness in your arms from carrying 20 lbs. of presents….

Christmas + Comedy + Pie

An evening with The Upright Citizens Brigade is always an evening well spent: the improv troupe — now double the fun with two locations — is one of Hollywood’s fave spots to recruit comedy up-and-comers.

Tonight only, The UCB Yuletide Christmas Holiday Special (at the Sunset location) features  Ian Roberts  (Key & Peele) in a special guest appearance at Santa and Mrs. Clause’s annual, corporate retreat.  To sweeten the evening two-fold, you’ll also have a chance to win a pie from Sugar Pie, Honey Buns.

It’s the best $5 you’ll spend this season.

THE UCB YULETIDE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SPECIALFri, Dec 19 & Sat, Dec 20 @ 10:30pm.  $5 (pie raffle also at Saturday’s show)UCB Sunset, 5419 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood 90027.  For tix & more info, go HERE.

Do they know it's Christmas?

Do they know it’s Christmas?

Christmas Carol Sizzle

Given their predilection for ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night, A Christmas Carol is the perfect holiday vehicle for NoHo Ho impresario Zombie Joe, director Denise Devin and their band of scary elves.

In the ZJU version of the Xmas classic, expect a chorus line of steampunk swagger with your Scrooge played by troupe mainstay Sebastian Munoz.  Devin delivers a trifecta of iconic Dickens spirits with deft turns as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.  And in this busiest time of the year, the streamlined tale of horror and redemption will have you out the door with plenty of time for a holiday night cap by the fire.

And for that, God bless them, every one.

ZJU PRESENTS “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”Saturdays at 8:30pm and Sundays at 7pm through December 28. $15ZJU Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd, NoHo 91601  For tix & info, go HERE.

Holiday howlers, horror and the man from Grizzly Adams.

Holiday howlers, horror and the man from Grizzly Adams.

Holiday Horrors

Are you at the point in the season where holiday shopping malls have become the ninth circle of  hell?

If you screamed yes to that question, you might want to forego the muzak fa la la this Sunday and head over to Cinefamily for a late night of seasonal horrors with Ghoul Skool, of found footage foragers Everything is Terrible!

In addition to a merry mishmash of gloriously bad holiday media including vintage ads, public access weirdness and understandably-forgotten TV specials, the evening will include a rare screening of 1989 movie Elves.

Playing a washed up, alcoholic, department store Santa, Dan Haggerty (of Grizzly Adams fame)  battles demonic elves in a shopping mall (and beyond) to protect the last, remaining, pure-blooded Aryan virgin in the world.

The latter is not to be confused with a certain, well-known mom in a manger.

A VIDEO NIGHTS CHRISTMAS SMORGASBOARD (featuring ELVES) Sun, Dec 21 @ 10:30pm. $12/free for members Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax, LA 90036. For tix & more info, go HERE.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….



Million Dollar Theater (Photo by Wendell Benedetti/LAHTF

Million Dollar Theater (Photo by Wendell Benedetti/

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!

The Haunting of LACMA Muse by ZJU Theater Group.

The Haunting of LACMA Muse by ZJU Theater Group.

Whether you want to shiver, shimmy, scream, or shake, here are a few of Ms. Go Go’s Halloween event faves.

The Carpet is Red…Probably Not with Blood

Tinseltown more appealing than Terrortown?  Grab tix to the 10th Annual LACMA Muse Costume Ball where the theme is Old Hollywood and you’ll walk the red carpet instead of the razor’s edge.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rockettes sultry up the Urban Light installation, DJ Theophilus London keeps it smooth ’til the early hours and Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater Group will make sure you don’t forget it’s Halloween.

Not that you were in danger of forgetting.

You’ll view photography exhibits such as See the Light—Photography, Perception, Cognition: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection  and John Divola: As Far As I Could Get and video installations like Bruce Nauman’s For Beginners in galleries populated by glamorous fellow party goers instead of the hoi polloi.

Unless someone comes dressed as a hoi polloi.

Speaking of disguises, there’s a Costume Contest with costume designers Judianna Makovsky (The Hunger Games), Julie Weiss (Hitchcock), and Daniel Orlandi (Down With Love) awarding prizes for: “Best Black-and-White Costume”, “Best Classic Movie Monster”, “Best Ghost of Hollywood Past”.

Be ready for your close-up…or else.

10TH ANNUAL LACMA MUSE COSTUME BALLSat, Oct 26, 8pm – 1am; $60 – $100 (tix incl. admission & 2 drink tix)LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, LA 90036

That's not a yellow brick road....

Warning: that’s not a yellow brick road….

Mad Movie Music

It’s said that “Music has charms to soothe the savage breast.”

Note: see Lucha VaVoom’s “saucy striptease” below,

Former Oingo Boingo lead singer/guitarist Danny Elfman’s decades-long collaboration with director Tim Burton has been more likely, however, to bring beasts (ok, and breasts cough Corpse Bride cough) to life.

On Halloween and the two nights preceding it, fall in love again with the dark side — and Pee Wee and Batman and Jack Skellington and Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands and and and — at Danny Elfman’s Music from  the Films of Tim Burton.  Elfman will perform with The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and The Page LA Choir conducted by John Mauceri at Nokia Theater LA Live.

It will be the composer’s first live U.S. performance in 18 years.

As if that isn’t enough to get you out of your Barcalounger and away from the mini-Mars Bars, the music will be accompanied by film clips and Burton’s art work…

…and Alice and Corpse Bride and Ichabod Crane and Sweeney Todd and and and….

DANNY ELFMAN’S MUSIC FOR THE FILMS OF TIM BURTONTues, Oct 29 @ 8:15, Wed, Oct 30 @ 8:30, Thurs, Oct 31 @ 8:15; $45 – $125Nokia Theater LA Live, 777 Chick Hearn Court, DTLA 90015  For tickets click HERE

Jungle Heat....

Night of Savages

Aztec Horror

Go Go’ers, the above is not a stomach bug suffered by unwitting south-of-the-border tourists.

Still, danger lurks.

You’ll want to guard your loins, steady your drinking hand, and limber up your funny bone for Lucha VaVoom‘s Noche de los Salvajes.

The two-night extravaganza features: savage lust (courtesy of strippers like debuting “Canadian Sensation” Raven Virginia); savage beasts (e.g. flying luchadore/Mexican masked wrestler Stuka); and savagely funny comedic commentators (that in the past have included Patton Oswalt and Fred Armisen).

All this and a Halloween night costume party with a $250 prize!

Caution: you’ll have to find really amazing pasties to stand out in this crowd.

LUCHA VAVOOM’S NOCHE DE LOS SAVALJES!Wed, Oct 30 & Thurs, Oct 31 @ 8pm; $35/21+ — Mayan Theater, 1038 S Hill St, DTLA 90015

Where's the giant can of Raid?

Where’s the giant can of Raid?

Tingler Tales

Q:  What do you get when you combine LSD, “Percepto”, and Halloween horror staple Vincent Price?

A:  A possible buzzed butt and the chance to “scream for your life” in The Tingler.

Shlock and shock-meister William Castle was King of the Movie Gimmicks in the late 50’s/early 60’s.  Publicity stunts included “Fright Insurance” policies for horror movie patrons; seat belts to keep frightened audiences in their seats; and glow-in-the-dark “punishment poll cards” that (theoretically) allowed moviegoers to determine a villain’s fate.

Oh, the power….

On Halloween, feel the retro terror of the Tingler, a creepy, insectosoid monster that feeds on fear in the human body.  Audiences could/may/might experience the monster’s “spine-tingling attacks” — originally filmed in the very theater that is now Cinefamily — courtesy of “Percepto”.  The latter was not a heightened state of awareness  — that would be The Tingler‘s LSD plot device — but electric buzzers Castle had installed on theater seats.

Good decision to have a rubber hot water bottle costume this Halloween….

THE TINGLERWed, Oct 31@ 7:30 pm; $5 -$12Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax, LA 90036

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….