Hi folks. This week we have one in-person art exhibition, a stop for donuts, some drive-in movies and some online offerings.
Through Aug. 21, the Bank of America Plaza, 333 S. Hope St., is hosting a display of animal-themed art by Helmut Koller.
He selected images of his intensely vibrant and colorful depictions of wild animals and installed large-scale versions on the windows of Bank of America Plaza.
“Koller has coined his style of electric, color-saturated painting as Kollerism,” artsbrookfield.com, a sponsor of the exhibition said. “The incredible precision of his imagery coupled with the surrealism of his extreme color palette renders the creatures both familiar and alien, locking them in an arresting stance and hopefully reminding viewers of the mesmerizing beauty of all living creatures.”
The plaza is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Donut Man
A short walk from the B of A Plaza is Grand Central Market and its new hot tenant — The Donut Man. The Donut Man, a staple of Historic Route 66 in Glendora for decades, is noted for the Fresh Strawberry Donut.
The late food critic Jonathan Gold referred to the Fresh Strawberry Donut as LA’s first “destination donut,” meaning people have gotten in their cars and have driven for miles just to get one. Gold called the donut “monumental.”
Grand Central Market is located at 317 S. Broadway and the Donut Man is one of the first vendors you’ll see as you enter. The Donut Man is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily.
Street Food Cinema
Every summer, Street Food Cinema would hold movie screenings, accompanied by food trucks at various venues throughout LA County. This summer, though, Street Food Cinema is doing drive-in movie screenings, which is limiting the venues to locales that require some driving, like Ontario, Simi Valley and Malibu.
The upcoming line-up includes “Napoleon Dynamite” at the Ontario International Airport on Friday; “The Wedding Singer” on Saturday, at the Brandeis Bardin Campus of the American Jewish University in Simi Valley; and “The Princess Bride” on Aug. 8 at Lakeview Park in Orange County.
Tickets are $30 a carload, except for the “Napoleon Dynamite” screening, which has free admission. For a full schedule and all the details, visit www.streetfoodcinema.com
At 4 p.m. Friday, Cal State Northridge’s performing arts theater, The Soraya, will screen the dance film “This is Me: Letters from the Front Lines.”
The production is by Diavolo, Architecture in Motion, a dance company that combines theater, film, dance and architecture.
“‘This Is Me’ is a dance film exploring how the current climate of isolation has encouraged us to look within ourselves,” thesoraya.org says. “We follow the paths of military veterans and first responders as they share what it means to be a true warrior — to be on the front lines — and fight the invisible enemy that all humanity is currently battling. At a time when most have been asked to halt and withdraw, others, like soldiers, are charging forward. ‘This Is Me: Letters From The Front Lines’ captures the resilience, determination and hope of the human spirit.”
The film will be shown on The Soraya’s Facebook site and on YouTube. Visit www.thesoraya.org for the links.
The Road Theatre Company is putting its 11th annual Summer Playwrights Festival online this year and you can start watching them Friday.
The company aims to introduce plays not previously available to the Los Angeles public, that introduce socially and politically relevant voices and thoughts to the American stage. The company also aims to bring theater to youth, limited-income seniors and other under-served audiences.
The staged readings of new plays includes:
• “Reykjavik,” a collage of darkly comedic, intimate and sometimes magical stories set against the backdrop of the Northern Lights.
• “Pictures from Home.” The play is based on the photo memoir of the late Larry Sultan who spent years trying to create a portrait of his parents. Sharr White’s adaptation of Sultan’s extraordinary photo memoir of his parents depicts a volatile yet loving exploration of twentieth-century American optimism — deceptively banal, deeply personal, ultimately human.
• “Agathe.” Inspired by the woman who served as Rwanda’s president for just 14 hours, on the first night of the Rwandan genocide, “Agathe” is a true story of heroism, hope and human connection during a time of unspeakable tragedy.
The readings will be present on the company’s website, Facebook page and YouTube. The festival runs through Aug. 16. Visit https://roadtheatre.org for the program schedule and links.
I’ve got two Muppet-related items this week. First, a couple of weeks back, I told you about voice artist Ricky Downes III recording the first act of Hamilton using Muppet voices. He recently completed the entire second act. You can now listen to the whole “Muppet Hamilton” musical on YouTube.
The second item is that Disney+ has just dropped “Muppet Now,” a new series featuring all the characters we’ve come to love. The good news is, the series will return to the form of the original show that ran from 1976 to 1981. The bad news is, there’s just six episodes.
Disney+ does have Muppet offerings, including the original “Muppet Movie,” “Muppet Treasure Island” and “The Great Muppet Caper.” Sadly, no one seems to have the original TV series.
Other Disney+ offerings
I didn’t intend this to sound like an ad for Disney+, but I thought I’d share a couple of shows that I’ve enjoyed that aren’t “Hamilton” and “The Mandalorian.”
I really enjoyed “The Imagineering Story,” a docu-series on how each of the parks and some of the popular rides were created. There’s some really amazing stuff here, such as the new level of sophistication in animatronics in Pandora — The World of Avatar at Disney’s Wild Kingdom that is light years ahead of the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction that astonished Disneyland fans in the 1960s.
I was surprised to see how honest the series was on some of the failures – the first iteration of California Adventure, Disneyland Paris. I came away from the series wishing I had studied engineering and art and had found a way into the Disney Company.
The other series is “The World According to Jeff Goldblum.” Each episode focuses on a common thing such as sneakers, ice cream, denim and barbecue as seen through Goldblum’s eyes. As the series promo says: “Jeff pulls the thread on these deceptively familiar objects and unravels a wonderful world of astonishing connections, fascinating science and history, amazing people, and a whole lot of surprising big ideas and insights.”
The success of each episode really rests on Goldblum’s considerable charm and more often than not, he delivers.
That’s it for this week. As always, keep safe, keep strong.