Last chance for lust & love....

Say it ain’t so….

You’ve been go-going non-stop.  Sure, it’s been fun but you’re ready to take a breather this weekend.

But wait…

It’s your final chance for love and lust.

Your first chance at blood lust.

Your only chance for an Atomic blast from the past.

Come to think of it, Go Go’ers — relaxation is for sissies.

Good-bye Love and Lust

Say it ain’t so, Anna David!

The doyenne of L.A.’s best “dames dishing dates” spoken word event is calling it quits.

GIANT sad face.

Accordingly, you will want to cancel any existing plans and head to M Bar tonight for the final installment of the smart and sexy True Tales of Lust & Love featuring the creme de la creme of true tale tellers: Amy Dresner, Pamela Ribon, Sara Benincasa, Taylor Orci, and Fielding Edlow.

Happily, going forward,  there will still be lust and love in the world: David has edited the best of the true tales  into a book and you can get into the final show free with a $16 purchase of said tome.   There will be giveaways and, as always, you’ll get a chance to write down your own tales of romantic/sexual woe or wow, which will be shared on stage for a chance to win a gift bag of goodies.

A.k.a. turning your dating dross into gold….

TRUE TALES OF LUST & LOVEThurs, Feb 20 @ 8pm; doors @ 7:30.  $10 or FREE with atd purchase of book ($16)M Bar, 1253 Vine St, L.A. 90038  For more info, go HERE.

The trickle down effect....

The trickle down effect….

Forbidden Love

Vampire lovers, take note: Dracula may be the most famous neck-biter but he was neither the first nor the most infamous.  That distinction goes to the eponymous seductress of Joseph Sheridan LeFanu’s 1872 novel CARMILLA about a lesbian vampire and her hapless victim.

Even in the 19th century, love hurt.

This Friday, expert gothic horror meisters ZJU Theatre Group premieres the blood-lust tale of  “the love that dare not speak its name” set in 1940’s Nazi-occupied Austria.  Playwright David MacDowell Blue and director Mark Hein promise to bring the Sapphic seduction-with-a-bite to the stage with “all nuance and eroticism intact”.

So basically, your Valentine’s Day revisited….

CARMILLAFri & Sat @ 11 pm, Feb 21 – March 15.  $15Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd, NoHo  91601   For tix, go HERE.

Be there and wish you'd been there....

Be there and wish you’d been there….

Atomic Blast from the Past

Angelenos of a certain age will remember the Atomic Cafe‘s noodles, GoGo chicken, and “Hamburger Gotcha”  — a.k.a. the perfect 4:00 a.m. food for Japanese mobsters, drunk punks, and then-emerging acts like X, Blondie, and Devo.

The real lure, though, was the legendary jukebox programmed with 45’s by Atomic Nancy, owners Ito and Minoru Matoba’s daughter, who also papered the  walls of the Little Tokyo hangout with punk posters and flyers.

This Saturday, the music reigns once more with JUKEBOX: Sounds of the Atomic Cafe, a set DJ’ed by Nancy Sekizawa before the building — which later housed the legendary Chicano music hangout the Troy Cafe — is demolished  to make way for a Metro Station.

The $15 suggested donation will go to The Little Tokyo Service Center, which will help ensure the story is preserved and represented in a permanent public art piece at the future Metro station.

She had to leave   Los Angeles***, indeed.

JUKEBOX: SOUNDS OF THE ATOMIC CAFESat, Feb 22. 8PM doors/9PM DJ set.  $15 suggested donationSenor Fish Restaurant (Resto side, not the Cantina), 422 E 1st, Little Tokyo, LA  90012  Donate HERE.  ***Lyric from Los Angeles by X.

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!

Don't get your holiday knickers in a twist!

Get your holiday knickers in a twist!

Tis the Season to Fezziwig

Possible scenarios requiring a Dickens intervention:

1. You have a friend/relative/co-worker who can’t live without their yearly dose of Tiny Tim. (You have serious doubts about the relationship.)

2.  Someone who clearly doesn’t know you very well designated YOU as the festive group/holiday outing planner.  (Uh-oh.)

3.  Inexplicably, your usual dried up peach pit of a heart is feeling the teensiest warming to the spirit of the season. (Yes, it IS a Christmas miracle.)

But what’s a humbug to do when Dickens is a must but the mere idea of a treacle-y version of A Christmas Carol induces  sugar shock?

Read on for ways to assuage your inner Ebenezer and still seem like the jolliest of holiday pals.

What a Dickens!

Feeling especially irritable  irreverent this season?   Want to insert your own cranky comic spin on Dickens’ iconic Xmas tale?

Most importantly, want a cocktail with your Carol?

If you answered “OMG, yes” to any of the above, head to the Center Theater Group’s Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City for the second year of Twist Your Dickens!

The Second City’s not-for-tykes take on A Christmas Carol has it all: anachronistic characters (e.g. The Three Wise Guys Kings), scenes improvised from sassy audience suggestions, and a surprise celebrity guest every night.  The latter group of comedy high-flyers includes: Casey Affleck, Diedrich Bader, Gregg Binkley, Mindy Cohn, Mike Hagerty, Jane Kaczmarek, Richard Karn, Keegan-Michael Key, Matthew Modine, Rhea Perlman, Paul Provenza, Danny Pudi, Yakov Smirnoff, Mindy Sterling, Verne Troyer, Reginald VelJohnson and Fred Willard.

It’s the roulette wheel of improv but you’re always a winner.

To ensure  audience suggestions are neither lame nor tame, theme cocktails — Tiny Timtinis and Scroogedrivers — “will be flowing in the lobby” and a “kissing booth” ensures an abundance of holiday warmth and embarrassing PDAs.

There may also be “tidings of comfort and joy”.

THE SECOND CITY’S “TWIST YOUR DICKENS!” — through Dec 29; Tues – Fri @ 8pm; $20-$57.  Sat & Sun @5pm & 9pm; $30 -$65; 16+Kirk Douglas Theater, 9820 Washington Blvd, Culver City 90232.  Buy tickets here.  Directions & parking here.

ZJU's Very Merry Xmas Carol

ZJU’s Very Scary Xmas Carol

Steampunk Your Carol

It’s a safe bet Dickens didn’t envision a Steam Punk Chorus belting out pre-show carols before his beloved revitalization-of-Christmas tale but that’s just one of the reasons you’ll love ZJU Theatre Group’s  A Christmas Carol.

Also, ghosts.

It should come as no surprise that at NoHo’s reigning home of Grand Guignol horror, ghosts get as much focus as generosity in ZJU’s spin.  Ever-deft director Denise Devin  plays the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future with gleeful gusto and slaloms through the classic holiday offering with the help of whiz bang Musical Director Annalee Scott at the head of the live band that also produces most of the sound effects.

The nimble cast includes Sebastian Munoz as Scrooge and Zombie Joe himself  in a rare turn treading the boards as — what else? — The Ghost of Jacob Marley in all his clanking, ghoulish glory.

You’ll say “God bless us, every one”  for protection instead of benediction.

ZJU THEATRE GROUP’S “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”through Dec 22; Sat @ 8:30pm & Sun @ 7pm.  $15; 12+ —  ZJU Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd, NoHo 91601 Reservations: 818.202.4120  http://zombiejoes.tix.com/Schedule.aspx?OrgNum=4552

Background, left to right: Alan Blumenfeld (Ghost of Christmas Present) and Geoff Elliott (Ebenezer Scrooge) with the Cast of A Christmas Carol at A Noise Within.

Background, left to right: Alan Blumenfeld (Ghost of Christmas Present) and Geoff Elliott (Ebenezer Scrooge) with the Cast of A Christmas Carol at A Noise Within.

Spectacle and Score Carol

If it really, truly, has to be straight Dickens,  A Christmas Carol at A Noise Within is your ticket to hangin’  with the Cratchit clan as well as your Mom.  Geoff Elliot’s adaptation uses only Dickens’ original words and he and co-director  Julia Rodriguez-Elliot offer plenty of holiday tradition and spooky spectacle with a soupçon of punk.

Or maybe they had pink hair in Dickens’s days.

The best subversive little twist is the tinkly music box score by composer Ego Plum: the musical director of the Ebola Music Orchestra.  Plum’s collaborators have included David J (Bauhaus/Love & Rockets), Frank Black/Black Francis (The Pixies), and Steve Bartek and Johnny Vatos (Oingo Boingo).

Go Go’ers, there’s no need to mention collaborator Gidget Gein (Marilyn Manson) to Grandma.

She has enough to worry about with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

A NOISE WITHIN’S “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” —  Through Sun, Dec 22; schedule here. $45-$62/7+A Noise Within, 3352 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena 91107  http://www.anoisewithin.org/play/a-christmas-carol-2/

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Blue skies ahead at the L.A. Art Book Fair

Dive into the L.A. Art Book Fair

There’s a sporting event this weekend.  You may know about it.

If you’re looking for something to do in addition to — or instead of — your pigskin and pigs-in-a-blanket, Ms. Go Go has a few suggestions.

Note: no nachos will be harmed in the making of this weekend.

Pictures Worthy of a 1000 Words

Go Go’ers, if you’re the sort who likes coffee table books with sunsets on the cover, Printed Matter’s inaugural L.A. Art Book Fair may not be your cup of ink.

If, however, you like naughty pulp paperbacks, zines from the likes of Gary Scott Davis, Ray Pettibon and Christopher Russell, and photog provocateur Larry Clark (and by extension, a Larry Clark pop-up shop by BOO-HOORAY), you should make speedy tracks to the Geffen Contemporary @ MOCA starting Thursday night.

For four days, you’ll get FREE entry to the fair where 220 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from twenty-one countries will present artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines.

So there will be things to look at.  Also, things to listen to.

There’s a lecture about and visual homage to the late artist Mike Kelley on the one year anniversary of his death, a primer on how to discharge art school debt through the “Certainty of Hopelessness”, and an opening night party tonight, January 31 that features Eddie Ruscha Jr.’s band Secret Circuit and tarot card readings by witch Marty Windahl.

You might want to ask witch Marty how the Certainty of Hopelessness thing will pan out.

PRINTED MATTER’S L.A. ART BOOK FAIRThurs, Jan 31 (6-9pm), Fri, Feb 1 (11am-5pm), Sat Feb 2 (11am-6pm), Sun Feb 3 (noon-6pm); FREEGeffen Contemporary @ MOCA, 152 No Central Ave, DTLA 90012. http://laartbookfair.net/

An intimate look at the most intimate act.

An intimate look at the most intimate act.

A (Sex) Night at the Museum

Sex know-it-alls — and you know who you are — will want to add to their collection of party chat sex facts courtesy of Mary Roach: TED talker (ab0ut orgasms) and author of several books including Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.  The latter book will inform her presentation — and up your sexpertise game — this Friday, February 1st, at the Natural History Museum’s First Fridays.

You’ll probably have a question or two.

Performances by DJ The Gaslamp Killer and “sonic explorers” Adventure Time (a.k.a. Daedelus and Frosty) round out the evening, which begins with the NHM’s Dr. Brian Brown giving a “Tools of the Trade” tour, which could be odd and weird or could be about, you know, plants.

Yep, it always comes back to the birds and the bees.

NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM’S FIRST FRIDAYSFri, Feb 1; 5 – 10pm; $5 – $12 at the doorNatural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd, LA, 90007     http://www.nhm.org/site/activities-programs/first-fridays

Love Me Deadly..in a GOOD Way

It’s a tale as old as time….  “A beautiful yet mysterious woman…will stop at nothing to secure her soul-mate and the bond of eternal love.”

Femme fatale with ciggy?  Let's go!

Sexy girl with ciggy? Let’s go!

Okay, so maybe Love Me Deadly is more spine-tingling/spooky than it is Beauty and the Beast.

This isn’t a BAD thing, Go Go’ers, especially since the old timey radio play was written by audience fave/award-winning playwright Matt Sklar (also the Narrator this time around), is directed by crowd-pleaser Sebastian Munoz, and is re-opening this Sunday at producer Zombie Joe’s always wild and wonderful ZJU Theatre Group where the piece first debuted over a decade ago.

As they say, it’s time to revisit.

So this Sunday night, if you’ve downed chicken wings and PBRs until your eyeballs are rolling in their sockets, you’ll want to cool things down with some dangerous dames and dark-as-sin love…

…which is the best kind.

Love Me Deadly is opening this Sunday, February 3rd and is only running for seven Sunday nights with the exception of February 17 so you’ll want to call fast for a reservation.

When it comes to femme fatales, good things don’t always come to those who wait.

LOVE ME DEADLYSun, Feb 3 – March 24 @ 7pm (NOTE: No Love Me Deadly performance Sun, Feb 17); $15Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankersham Blvd, NoHo,   www.Zombiejoes.com    For reservations, call: 818.202.4120

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

This event will be the cat’s meow. (“Tigger and Apple Pie” Jo Ann Callis c.1980; Courtesy of LACMA)

Important news flash: summer did not end at Labor Day.

First, you’re welcome.

Second, since the mercury is still kickin’ it in the upper 80’s, it’s a good thing you have another two weeks to officially wear white shorts not to mention at least one outside weekend event to wear them to.

Yes, Go Go’ers, the livin’ is still easy.

Let Them Eat Pie

Proof that summer isn’t over: pie and lots of it.

KCRW’s 2012 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest keeps your haze of summer happiness going strong at LACMA  on Saturday, September 8th from 2:00-4:00 p.m.  Come at 11:30 a.m. to purchase Patina picnic food — you can dine and gaze at a certain rock — but the real event is the Pie Contest.

With celebrity food judges on hand to taste and choose, 200+ pro and non-pro pie makers will vie for the gold bragging rights with Fruit, Nut, Cream/Chiffon/Mousse, and Savory Pies PLUS Metropolis II Inspired pies.  Haven’t seen the mind-boggling Chris Burden’s Metropolis II  installation at LACMA?  Wear an apron and you get free admission to the museum.

Yes, you can wear it over your white shorts.

But Go Go’ers, here’s the BEST part!  Grab a ticket at the KCRW Hospitality Table just north of the Ahmanson Building (first come, first served) and you’ll get free pie.

Which really may be the best thing in life….

KCRW 4th ANNUAL GOOD FOOD PIE CONTEST —  Sat, Sept 8th, 2-4pm; FreeLACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90036

Truth in advertising…..

Dirty Pretty Things

Just to set the record straight, Ms. Go Go is not referring to Ms. Vanessa Cate and her lingerie-clad ladies as “things”.

It’s a movie reference, Go Go’ers.  Look it up.

Count on those adjectives, though, when it comes to Down & Dirty: Cate’s cabaret spectacular, about a chorus of dancers and their frantic efforts — which may or may not involve clothes coming off — to keep their show from collapsing when their MC suddenly disappears.

You can SO relate…

The late-night, Saturdays-only cabaret — part of the 20th anniversary celebration of  Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group — has been playing to packed houses but — lucky you — has been extended through September 9th by popular demand.

There’s nothing like skimpy lingerie when it comes to making friends.

DOWN & DIRTY – Saturdays through Sept 29th @ 11pm; $15 — Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, 91601

Reservations: 818-202-4120
Website:  www.ZombieJoes.com

Comedy with soul

Dinner Comedy

Go Go’ers, there’s cabaret, there’s comedy and then there’s UnCabaret: Beth Lapides’s legendary, weekly Sunday night comedy line-up, which recently relocated to the swanky Bar Fedora at the First & Hope supper club.

Swanky + comedy = good.

This week, Jackie Kashian, a Ms. Go Go fave, will take the stage along with a handful of other hilarious types including Danny Shorago of the Fuxedos.

Fuxedos…bet you can’t say it just once.

Expect music, expect laughter, and also, expect dinner if you opt for the “Platinum Package” (Hey, Big Spender), which includes a drink, preferred seating, and a three-course “American Bistro” meal.

Go Go’ers, you’ll want to keep your strength up.

UNCABARETSundays @ 8pm; $20-$55First & Hope, 710 W 1st St, DTLA 90012,213-617-8555; Across from the back of Disney Hall; STREET PARKING & VALET GARAGE UNDER VENUE  Tickets

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Guests at Create: Fixate’s Snap Flash All Photography Exhibit

Go Go’ers, April showers bring…wetness.  Then there will be sunshine.  The May flowers may or may not happen but the last weekend of April will.

Plan accordingly.

A Buttload of Belly Laughs

Is web-trolling for laughs your favorite activity?  Do you have the attention span of a gnat?  Have you tried to register “Funny or Die” as your preferred tombstone inscription?  (That’s All, Folks?  Taken.  Saturday Night Live?  Lawsuit-bait.  WTF?  Verboten at Hollywood Forever.)

If you nodded enthusiastically at any of the above, a) you are morbid and b) save the weekend for the Comedy Shorts Film Festival.  Actor and comedian Gary Anthony Williams (Boston Legal, Malcolm in the Middle) and Jeannie Roshar created the dedicated-to-funny fest out  of frustration after their comedy short was forced to compete in other fests against heavy-hitter films with subjects like genocide.

See this image, hope for the Apocalypse.

Hard to get a chuckle after that last one.

Williams and Roshar allegedly screened 800 entries s to come up with the 89 contenders in the four-day fest.  Selected shorts include newbie quickies as well as name brand entries from the likes of Michael Cera, Wilmer Valderrama, Margaret Cho, David Allen Greer, and  Kids in the Hall Scott Thompson whose short The Immigrant  opens the fest on Thursday.

Films will be screened in two-hour blocks with  pun-tastically Apocalypse-themed  titles like “It’s a Wrap-ture” and “Doomsday Come and Me Wanna Go Home”.  There will be parties for woo-hooers and wannabe shorts-titans can attend panels with the likes of  the legendary Buck Henry (SNL, Heaven Can WaitGet Smart).

Ladies and gentlemen, start your shoe phones.

L.A. COMEDY SHORTS FILM FESTIVALThurs, April 26 – Sun, April 29Downtown Independent Theater, 251 So Main St, DTLA.

For sked/prices/info on Sunday street closures: http://www.lacomedyshorts.com/lacs2012new/home.html

Hopefully, they won’t fall off before you get there.

Grimm Keeper

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater is famous (infamous?) for grim productions like Urban Death.  So you’d be forgiven for expecting The Grimm World, directed by Sebastian Munoz with music by Mike Maio and costumes by L.A. Weekly Theater Awards-nominated Jeri Batzdorff, to focus on the more macabre (read “non-Disney-fied) elements of everyone’s favorite fairy tale tellers.

Cinderella’s eyeless stepsisters, anyone?

Adam Neubauer and Samantha Levenshus, who co-wrote The Grimm World, were equally intent  on staying true to the darker elements of the original tales and therefore interesting to adults while keeping the play appropriate for kids (10 and up).

Expect The Grimm World to be more high energy than high scream.

Since 2012 is the bicentennial of the brothers’ first, published  collection of tales, Grimm aficionados  will be intrigued by the playwrights’ decision to include some of the Grimms’ lesser known tales as well as iconic characters such as Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, and, of course, Cinderella…

…whose stepsisters will presumably have eyes.

THE GRIMM WORLDFridays, April 20 – June 8 @ 8:30 p.m.; $15/10+ — Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater, 4851 Lankersham Blvd, No Hollywood, 91601.  www.zombiejoes.com

Reservations recommended as the small theater often sells out: 818.202.4120

Create: Fixate presents SNAP FLASH – All Photography Show

Snap Flash Go

Yikes.  Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA) is almost over and your photography viewing needs have yet to be met.

Admittedly, your photography viewing needs are prodigious.

To give you a final fix — and MOPLA the send-off it deserves — Create: Fixate presents Snap Flash: a big Saturday bash with 40+ artists, DJs and musicians.  All mediums and styles will be represented including:  film, digital, 3D, multi-media image manipulation, and interactive.

You’re all about the interactive.

Highlights of the Optical Lounge include: prolific music video director Dean Karr (Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne, the Dave Matthews Band); photographer Andrew Matusik, whose fashion work includes mind-bending surrealism;  the digitally projected 54th Hollywood International Stereo Exhibition 2012 from The LA 3-D Club; and internationally lauded video installation artist Tiffany Trenda who will be presenting her latest performance Camera Obscura: an interactive live performance piece and video installation with models, dancers, and performers that allows you, the viewer, to participate by taking a photo that will then become part of the piece online.

Ms. Go Go hopes her phone will be artistic as well as smart.

The Audio Lab (a.k.a. music portion of the evening) includes musical stylings by Garth Trinidad (KCRW), Joplin, and Space Ribbon.

Seriously.  You gotta love a Space Ribbon.

Families are welcome from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. when there will be plenty of art materials for use by young artists.  The main event, which starts at 7:00, is 21+ only.

Expect to be satiated.

CREATE:FIXATE’S SNAP FLASH — Sat, April 28, 4pm – 2am; $5-$20/21+ after 7pm —  Premiere Events Center, 613 Imperial St,  DTLA, 90021  https://www.createfixate.com/shop/createfixate-i-art-you-presale/

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

UPDATE: The updated post correctly lists “Camera Obscura” as the current piece by internationally award winning video installation artist Tiffany Trenda.

ATTENTION GO GO’ERSU Want 2 Go Go should be arriving in your in-box on the DAY OF the first event if not before.

If your posts are significantly delayed, please let Ms. Go Go know via the Comments.  Merci beaucoup!

Shiver those timbers.

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater, is known for the weird and the wonderful, the morbid and the macabre. A prime example is their current smash hit: Joe Russo‘s world premiere play Blood Water about love, lust, and betrayal in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans.

Kind of a recap of Ms. Go Go’s Mardi Gras 2012…but I digress.

ZJU continues the tradition of delightfully grim entertainment on Friday, February 24th, with a one-night-only-benefit for the Red Cross.  Haunted House Calls by magician and mentalist Micah Cover blends history, theater, magic, and mentalism into a uniquely compelling — and unsettling — mix.

Ms. Go Go was lucky to snag Micah for an email interview but don’t count on luck to get tix for Haunted House Calls.  Reserve NOW at (818) 202-4120.

Ms. Go Go: Haunted House Calls seems very different from other magic shows.  Can you tell Go Go’ers what to expect?
Micah Cover/Haunted House Calls: First, let me thank you, Ms. Go Go, for the opportunity to talk about my show.  I’m really flattered!
You’re right – Haunted House Calls is very different from other magic shows.  For one thing, it’s one of the only magic shows in existence that tells an actual story from beginning to middle to end, and every magical effect is organic to the story.  Also, it’s one of the most (if not the most!) interactive magic shows out there.  The audience gets to participate in the magic and even control many of the outcomes.  Many of those outcomes will have something to do with the audience themselves – the name of their best friend will appear in a surprising way, their own memories will play a part in the effects and more.  And in some cases, the magic will literally happen in their own hands.
MGG:  The post World War II era is unusual to see in a magic show.  Does that era hold a special attraction for you and if so, why?
MC/HHC: Yes, that era certainly does hold an attraction for me.  The majority of the story takes place at the tail end of World War II, which was a fascinating and very mysterious time in American history.  Countless planes vanished over the Bermuda Triangle during that time.  American General Henry Arnold told the public that the military had developed “secret weapons” so powerful that there “may not be any more wars.” Twelve days after Hiroshima and nine days after Nagasaki, he apparently was referring to something other than atomic weapons (true story)!  Finally, it marked the 100th anniversary of the publication of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.  Haunted House Calls weaves all of these elements and more together and makes the argument – through magic – that everything is connected.
 
MGG: Your bio indicates that you’ve trained as a mentalist as well as a magician.  Can you talk about the differences between the two and why mentalism is an integral part of Haunted House Calls?
MC/HHC: Sure!  While there’s often an overlap with general magic, mentalism is a specific branch of magic where the magician attempts to make magic happen with the power of his or her mind.  This can include reading the audience’s minds, accurately predicting outcomes despite impossible conditions, telekinesis, clairvoyance and more.  Mentalism often feels more supernatural and mysterious than sleight of hand or big stage illusions because it’s often harder to explain.  Since Haunted House Calls is the story about two people who disappeared years ago under very mysterious circumstances, the use of mentalism seemed a natural fit.  In the show, the audience gets to play the part of The Bermuda Triangle, participates in predictions, witness telekinesis, pulse control, levitations and more.
MGG: Friday night’s show at Zombie Joe’s Underground is a rare public performance of Haunted House Calls, which seems like a very intimate experience.  How do you keep the intimacy with a larger group?
MC/HCC: Yeah, usually I do this show in people’s living rooms with a small group.  ZJU gives me the opportunity to perform for a wider range of people.  But I do make sure everyone in the audience feels like it’s an intimate experience.  It’s highly interactive, and I communicate with the audience a lot more than most magicians.  This creates a much more informal and (hopefully!) conversational atmosphere.  And since the audience plays such an important role in the story and the show, the format relies heavily on improvisation anyway, so I continue to improvise with the audience even between effects.  And there is no fourth wall in Haunted House Calls.  The audience is ALWAYS a part of it.
MGG: I’ve read testimonials that indicate audience members are not just entertained but quite spooked!  Is there an age limit for the performance?  Should people with heart conditions avoid the show?!
MC/HCC: Ha!  Thanks!  Yeah, some people do have a genuine visceral reaction to what happens.  In general, since it’s a sophisticated and sometimes spooky show, I prefer to do it for teenagers and up.  But I’m sure people with heart conditions will still be okay!  While I’d love the audience to be freaked out, my goal is to leave them with a magical story that will haunt them long after the show is over.
MGG: Finally, can you talk about why you chose the Red Cross as your charity?
MC/HHC: Sure.  Zombie Joe and I decided that Haunted House Calls created a unique opportunity to give back to people in need.  And if the “benefit” angle increased ticket sales, it would be a win-win anyway.  I do a lot of charity work already, whether performing for the Shriner’s Hospital each month, or the VA each month or producing my annual benefit at the Magic Castle called The Night of the Raven.  I had toyed with the idea of sending Haunted House Calls proceeds to a charity, and when the Red Cross asked for help with the victims of the recent disasters in Japan, I knew who should get the money.  Haunted House Calls has been a benefit for the Red Cross ever since.
I’m so grateful to any GoGo’ers who have read this, and I’d LOVE to see you at the show on Friday, 2/24/12 @ 8:30 PM @ ZJU Theatre @ 4850 Lankershim in NoHo.  Thank you!

For more information about Micah Cover and Haunted House Calls go to: www.hauntedhousecalls.com

Make it a double bill night of theater!  As an appropriate end to Mardi Gras week, catch the final night of Blood Water at 11:00 pm.

Haunted House Calls — Fri, Feb 24th @ 8:30 pm. — ONE NIGHT ONLY

Blood Water – Fri, Feb 24th @ 11:00 p.m. — FINAL NIGHT

To RESERVE TICKETS call: 818.202.4120

ZJU Theater Group, 4850 Lankersham Blvd, North Hollywood (located north of Camarillo and the 101/134 Fwys and across from KFC) www.zombiejoes.com 

Have weenie tree, will travel.

Just about now, you’re hoping it’s YOU who’ll  get run over by a reindeer what with the Muzak-mauled carols, the mall-maddened crowds, and the 7-11-icky eggnog.

De rigueur holiday gift: a cocktail guide stocking stuffer for the office party planner.

To put you out of your seasonal misery, Ms. Go Go advises cutting the sugar with a little spice — say,  juniper berries taken in the form of gin — and adding a theatrical chaser — or four — with the following So-Not-Taking-the-Season-Seriously shows. You’ll have to move fast; these theatrical events are late-breaking, ending soon, or sure to be sold out.

You’re obviously not the only Grinch in town. 

True Tales, Retro Slides, and Astro Weenie Trees

STOP!  Before reading on, clickety-clack those computer keys to grab tickets to kitsch historian Charles Phoenix’s just-added, sure-to-be-sold-out  Retro Holiday Slide Show this Sunday, December 18th at 3:00 p.m. Gape at the glory of a Kodachrome year in vintage slides that start with politically incorrect Rose Bowl Parade floats and end with a Christmas bondage party.

Sure, you can take notes for your next birthday bash.

LATE BREAKING NEWS!  Now that you’ve got Sunday scheduled, cancel your Hump Day lunch and head downtown for True Holiday Tales With Charles Phoenix and Friends, a FREE Grand Performances midday event today, Wednesday, December 14th from noon to 1:00 p.m.   Joining the Ambassador of Americana are tellers of true tales such as Ric Salinas (one-third of the comedy group Culture Clash) and Kristina Wong (who tours with her one-woman show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest while feuding with James Franco).   You’d go mano  a mano with Franco any time.

And yes, Grand Performances dares you to bring an Astro Weenie Tree.

(TRUE HOLIDAY TALES with Charles Phoenix and Friends — Today! Wed, Dec 14th from noon-1pm/FREEGrand Performances, California Plaza Watercourt, 350 South Grand, DTLA 213.687.2159, grandperformances.org)

(CHARLES PHOENIX RETRO HOLIDAY SLIDE SHOWSun, Dec 18 @ 3pm; $30REDCAT Theater, 631 West 2nd St, LA 90012; http://www.redcat.org/event/charles-phoenix-0)

Buk up!

Buk the Season

What better antidote to Xmas than the man who said, “I don’t like jail, they have the wrong kind of bars in there.”

Happy holidays!

Whether you already love the chronicler of L.A.’s low life or just wanna say Scrooge the season, don’t miss the final performance of  Christmas 4 Bukowski this Friday, December 16th at 8:30 p.m. at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater.  Jessica Lynn Verdi serenades with carols as you enter the black box theatre but don’t get your pom-pom panties in a twist; director Josh T. Ryan cuts the cheer with a healthy dose of Bukowski’s cyanide-sharp prose and poetry.  By the time you leave the theater, all Xmas sentiment will have been scoured away so you can wade into the holiday fray once more. 

Bukowski would definitely approve your post-performance, wading-into-the-fray nightcap.

(CHRISTMAS 4 BUKOWSKI — FINAL PERFORMANCE!  Fri, Dec 16th @ 8:30 p.m./$10 — Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd, No Hollywood;  818.202.4120 zombiejoes.homestead.com)

'Cause he's your best friend.... (Courtesy of Santasia)

Merry Full Monty and the Little Penguin That Could

The bad boys of Santasia, all alumni of ImprovOlympics, Second City, and ComedySportz,  have been gleefully skewering holiday traditions for over a decade — that’s 40 reindeer years to you — with their R-rated mix of  original claymation (penguin), film shorts (penguin again), and laugh-’til-you-choke sketches such as an epic get-the-bully snowball brawl and the sleigh ride from hell.

Just in case you’ve been dreaming of a  James Cameron-does-White Christmas….

And if you’ve been dragged to one too many performances of The Nutcracker and The Snow Queen, you’ll appreciate the definitely-not-Kringle-approved choreography in musical parodies ranging from Chicago to Fame to The Full Monty

Nothing says holiday like a scantily clad man wearing a Menorah.

(SANTASIA through Sat, Dec 24; various days/times; $23 on line/$35 at the door; Rated R — Whitefire Theater, 13500 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, 91423, for info and tix http://santasia.com/index.htm)