New play Remembers Holocaust, Celebrates Anne Frank’s 90th Birthday at Museum of Tolerance

LOS ANGELES (May 2, 2019) — In observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Simon Wiesenthal Center today announced casting for a new play about Anne Frank that will celebrate what would have been her 90th birthday this summer.

Eve Brandstein will direct Timothy P. Brown, Rob Brownstein, Tony DeCarlo, Andrea Gwynnel, Ava Lalezarzadeh, Kevin Matsumoto, Mary Gordon Murray, Aylam Orian and Marnina Schon in the U.S. premiere of Anne by Dutch playwrights Jessica Durlacher and Leon de Winter — in a never-before-seen adaptation by Nick Blaemire. Suzi Dietz will produce.

In this new adaptation of the immortal Holocaust story, 13 year-old Anne Frank imagines her life as a young woman — safe in a post-war world. When she meets a publisher who expresses interest in her story, Anne looks back on the two years she spent hidden away with her family during the Nazi regime.

This innovative production eschews traditional sets and costumes to place the audience and actors on the same dramatic plane as the characters — all real people under real circumstances — fighting for their lives, sanity and dreams of the future.

Previews will begin June 5, with performances taking place June 16 through July 22 at the Museum of Tolerance.

A Tasty Wine for Republicans, Democrats and the Undecided

Los Angeles: October 14, 2012

Just in time for the Presidential elections in November comes a great new, you might say bi-partisan wine that is available along political party lines. Called Elephant Wine (for Republicans) and Donkey Wine for those of us more democratically inclined, this delicious libation is the brainchild of Leah Canon, a Los Angeles based wine promoter.

Ms. Canon was racking her brain to come up with a quality wine that tastes great and could be a unique concept that may inspire people to vote. Something that could be sold at large events. And what was the biggest event Ms. Canon could think of? The 2012 National Presidential Election.

Springing into action, she partnered up with entrepreneur, Peter Porreca and the pair soon raised the required funding to go into production. But they still needed a name for their new enterprise. While searching the web for available company names Peter turned to Leah and jokingly asked, ‘‘Want schmor wine?’’ And thus Schmor Wines Distributors was born.

Bottles have been flying off the shelves with Americans from both political parties ordering cases for their upcoming events.

Even the recent Presidential Debate has had an influence, claims Ms. Canon. After Mitt Romney was largely touted as the winner of the first debate, sales of the Elephant Wine saw an upswing. Is it possible Schmor Wines can predict the next President of the United States?

While all this may sound like pure novelty, it’s not. This wine is well worth the price and can be enjoyed alone or with your favorite meal.

Having recently sampled a glass of Donkey, I can report that the wine is primarily a blend of 2009 Central Coast Merlot and Syrah. There’s approximately 10% of nicely aged French Oak Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with a tiny amount of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. These add a hint of austerity and structure to the flavor. A few drops of fruity 2010 Voignier from Santa Maria smoothes out any rough tannins and adds a floral note. The warmer climate Merlot and Syrah creates a fruit salad of red plum and raspberry notes. The Cabs add dark blackberry notes with hints of vanilla and dark chocolate from the barrel aging. This wine is decadent and clings to your challis.

But these wines don’t just please your palate. They come complete with their own wine-ties that speaks to you when you press their buttons. Red of course for the Elephant wine and a blue tie for the Donkey. These certainly add a touch of humor to experience and the otherwise serious side of listening to politics and debates.
Elephant and Donkey wines are available individually, by the case or in a gift pack. They are a limited edition and commemorative of the 2012 political season as well as a wonderful gift to any lover of politics or a keepsake for your own wine collection.

To PURCHASE or for more information go to: www.schmorwine.com

“AVATAR” AND “THE HURT LOCKER” LEAD ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS WITH 9 EACH

The 2009 Academy Award nominations were announced this morning in Hollywood by Academy President Tom Sherak and 2008 Oscar-nominated actress Anne Hathaway.

The mega hit Avatar received nine nominations, matching that of The Hurt Locker. Perhaps for the first time in the Oscar’s history, ex husband and wife James Cameron and Catherine Bigelow are going head to head in the best director competition.

The Cohen Brothers disturbing sixties family drama, A Serious Man received a best a-serious-manpicture nomination despite performing somewhat poorly at the box office. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the nominations of fan favorite, The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock who was also nominated as Best Actress. Invictus was snubbed for best picture and best director but received recognition for it’s two star, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, who each got acting nominations.

The unwatchable musical Nine was saved from complete humiliation with the nomination of Penélope Cruz as Best Supporting Actress.

Missing from the list all together is the movie The Hangover that many said would be the first raunchy comedy to get a nod. Seems the Academy’s aging voters didn’t see it that way. Also absent from the best film list is the beautifully shot and well acted film, A Single Man, that saw it’s star Colin Firth receive recognition as a Best Actor nominee.

500 Days of Summer was also 500_days_of_summerignored, with the somewhat over-rated Up in the Air carrying the ball in the romantic dramedy catagory.

Another surprise was the nomination of the little seen The Messenger as Best Film and and  it’s star, Woody Harrelson nominated as Best Supporting Actor. Most will agree that Christoph Waltz has a lock in that catagory for his brilliant turn as a a memorable Nazi villain in Quentin Tarantino’s compelling war thriller,inglourious_basterds_xl_03-film-a Inglourious Basterds. Waltz, an veteran Austrian actor hardly known outside Europe until last year, won the Golden Globes and SAG best actor awards last month.

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood Los Angeles.

Complete List of Oscar Nominations 2010:

Best Picture

“Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

“The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined

“District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers

“An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers

“The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined

“Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers

“A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers

“Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer

“Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Directing

“Avatar” James Cameron

“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow

“Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels

“Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Actor in a Leading Role

Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”

George Clooney in “Up in the Air”

Colin Firth in “A Single Man”

Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”

Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role

Matt Damon in “Invictus”

Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”

Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”

Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”

Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role

Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”

Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”

Carey Mulligan in “An Education”

Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role

Penélope Cruz in “Nine”

Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”

Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”

Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”

Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film

“Coraline” Henry Selick

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson

“The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements

“The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore

“Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction

“Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith

“Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim

“Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

“The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Cinematography

“Avatar” Mauro Fiore

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel

“The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd

“Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson

“The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

Costume Design

“Bright Star” Janet Patterson

“Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme

“Nine” Colleen Atwood

“The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

Documentary (Feature)

“Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller

“The Cove” Nominees to be determined

“Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein

“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith

“Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher

“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

“Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

“Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

“Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron

“District 9” Julian Clarke

“The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis

“Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

“Ajami” Israel

“El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina

“The Milk of Sorrow” Peru

“Un Prophète” France

“The White Ribbon” Germany

Makeup

“Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano

“Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow

“The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)

“Avatar” James Horner

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat

“The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders

“Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer

“Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)

“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas

“Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston

“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Short Film (Animated)

“French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert

“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell

“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia

“Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin

“A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

“The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn

“Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström

“Kavi” Gregg Helvey

“Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey

“The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

“Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle

“The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson

“Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman

“Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin

“Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

“Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson

“The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett

“Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano

“Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects

“Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones

“District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken

“Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell

“An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby

“In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher

“Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal

“Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino

“The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman

“A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

“Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Alice Checks Out Shutters

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One Pico at Shutters on the Beach: Escaping LA

by Alice Greczyn

“Have you been to Shutters?” my date asked me, spur of the moment after finding out our restaurant of choice had been unexpectedly closed. Hunger crazed, I shook my head. “Oh,” he smiled, “you’re going to love this place!”

Once I stepped inside the fire-lit lobby, I was smitten. Hotel guests sipped champagne and nibbled on cheese, a happy hour of sorts. We walked through the lobby and up the stairs to the restaurant, One Pico. I was dazzled, hoping desperately there would be seating available for us. Fortunately there was. Walking to coast-shutters-6our table, I took in the child-size row boats that hung from the ceiling, and the sand in the glass hurricane vases cradling candles that cast a golden flicker throughout the space. The walls seemed to be entirely windows, and huge glass lanterns hung from the ceiling.

As my date and I sat in the elegant blue chairs, I indulged in the wonderful simplicity of crusty French bread and butter. It struck me that not many restaurants offer this complimentary appetizer anymore. Most have been reduced to dry breadsticks, or nothing at all, hoping to make more money from guests ordering starters off the menu. The occasional fine Italian establishment might serve warm bread, but often with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I adore olive oil, but the nostalgia and flavor of creamy butter on white bread is, as I stated, simply wonderful. Especially while watching the sun set, painting the clouds colors of sherbet above the horizon. The black outline of the palm trees swayed against the sky.

Braised beef ravioli is not something I would typically order at a seafood restaurant, but for some reason sounded just the ticket. I like the word “braised”. It makes me think slow-simmered and seasoned, strings of beef stuck together in their juices and wrapped in the delicate dough of ravioli. They were indeed savory and delicate. The Truffled Cavatelli Gratin, a fancy version of macaroni and cheese, had tiny mushrooms floating throughout, centering me with their earthy flavor, swimming in my mouth alongside bites of cheddar and the soft texture of split noodles.

Dessert was miniature doughnuts, served with cold vanilla custard. I fought with my date over who got to have the last finger-swoop of custard from the bowl, heavily peppered with clumps of cinnamon-sugar that had fallen off the doughnuts when dunked. We had very carefully tried to be equals in this battle over dessert, so I’d sliced the fifth doughnut ball in half, and we each took a turn dipping the bite sized fluffs into a thick, creamy heaven. I admit, I dipped deeper than he did, but justified it because hadn’t he said something about watching his figure for a shirtless scene coming up? Only in LA…

Shutters Hotel has a gift shop, which we perused through while digesting our dinner. Amidst plush towels and buttercream-scented body souflees, I found a tall book with a glossy cover over it, that read “The Summertime Anytime Cookbook”. What luck! It had the recipes from One Pico inside it, by author and executive chef Dana Slatkin. It was my favorite kind of cookbook, full of simple, concise recipes with almost all of them printed next to a photograph of the finished outcome. I like seeing what a dish is supposed to look like before I attempt making it, and photographs of food are always inspiring to flip through when trying to decide what to make for a dinner party. I had to have it, and my date knew that when he saw me smiling at the cover. What a lucky girl I am that he said he wanted to buy it for me.

Come to One Pico at Shutters on the Beach for sunsets, ocean breezes, buttered bread, fresh fish, candlelight, and spacious elegance. Doughnuts just make it even more appealing, and a cookbook to make it all happen at home says something about the generosity of the owners. I highly recommend One Pico to anyone planning a special date or anniversary, or to anyone who wants to feel like they’ve escaped from LA if only for an evening. Make it a true mini-vacation by booking a night at the Shutters Hotel, so you can unwind after dinner in the comfort of your breezy, ocean-inspired bedroom overlooking the sea.

One Pico is located at, you guessed it, 1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Their phone number is 310-458-0030, and to check out the hotel and see pictures of the restaurant, visit http://www.shuttersonthebeach.com/.

Alice Checks Out The Larchmont Grill

Larchmont Grill: The Casually Romantic Retreat

by Alice Greczyn

My ever-hardworking mom was just in town visiting, helping me pack boxes for my upcoming move. To our horror we realized that in the two weeks she had been in LA we had dined out at a restaurant only once. Well, I suppose we did overdo Yogurtland just a little bit, but does that count as dining? As refreshing as a cup of frozen pistachio yogurt is on a hot spring day, it’s not the same as being waited on, feasting until gorged of hot, new food. Mom needed some food-pampering, and I was happy to take a break from paperwork.

At the recommendation of a friend of mine, we decided to try out Larchmont Grill. We 3037757022_923ced59f6both were skeptical of the name–was it a noisy sports pub, or a bland restaurant catered to the rich and elderly? Lucky for us, it was neither. Larchmont Grill is full of charm and indulgence, with an accommodating staff and relatively fair prices.

We chose to sit upstairs, not on the balcony, but inside a beautiful room that made me feel as if I were in a 16th century tapestry. I pretended I was Marie Antoinette in a French conservatory that served food. Fresh flowers were in bunches everywhere, along with candles and lovely fabrics. While the setting was elegant, jeans seemed to be welcome and common attaire. The big band jazz music warmed the atmosphere, as did our lively waitress. When I asked her how the sweet corn ravioli with roasted pepper sauce was, she turned her eyes heavenward and breathed out, “They’re trying to make me fat, adding that to the menu!” My eyes also turned heavenward with the first bite. If I were a waitress here, I’d probably question the chef’s buttery motives myself.

Besides the ravioli, we also ordered filet mignon and mac n’ cheese, which came served in a skillet with chunks of bacon floating throughout. Toasted parmesan slivers lay sprinkled on top, adding a soft crunch to the otherwise gooey texture. I felt like a cowboy eating out of the wrought-iron pan. A Marie Antoinette cowboy in an indoor garden. The filet mignon was smothered with a black cherry merlot reduction that felt naughty, like it should be coating ice cream instead of sizzling meat. The cherries were tender and soaked, the tinges of wine barely detectable. The creamy smashed potatoes were thick, the sauteed shiitake mushrooms firm and meat-like.

For dessert, Mom and I debated between the flourless chocolate mocha espresso cake and the citrus ricotta cheesecake. The cheesecake won, filling our mouths with creamy fluff and berries. The orange rind was delicately laced throughout, adding the zing of upcoming summer.

Beyond satiated, the tension of moving having left our bodies, we reclined in our chairs and procrastinated paying the check. The idea of returning to my box-filled and messy apartment seemed dreadful after so lovely a dinner.

Larchmont Grill is located at 5750 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038. Their phone number is 323-464-4277. They are open for lunch Monday-Friday, and dinner every night but Monday. For more information and to see their ample specialty days and nights, go to www.larchmontgrill.com

Tony Loves “Billy Elliot” “Rock of Ages” — and “Hair”

The Tony Nominations were announced today and the musical, “Billy Elliot” swept the musical nods, (15), and also tied the Tonys record, which was set by “The Producers” in 2001.

Other musicals getting Tony recognition hair70_71were “Next to Normal,” “Shrek” and “Rock of Ages”.

The rock musical, “Hair” was also recognized with a nod as “Best Revival.”

Missing from the lineup are “9 to 5,” which led with the most drama desk nominations (15), and [title of show], which was a huge critical hit when it transferred from off-Broadway to the Lyceum Theatre last July before closing in October. The inclusion of “Rock of Ages” was a big surprise to most Tonys pundits, who had predicted that either “9 to 5” or “[title of show]” would take the fourth slot.

The bid for “Rock of Ages” is great news for the L.A. theater scene since the jukebox musical about 1980s rocks bands on the Sunset Street originated at the King King Club in Hollywood before moving to Broadway.

Also snubbed by the Tonys were Daniel Radcliffe for his nude turn in “Equus”, Kristin Scott Thomas (“The Seagull”) and “Waiting for Godot” stars Bill Irwin and Nathan Lane.

Here is a complete list of nominees:

BEST PLAY
“Dividing the Estate”
“God of Carnage”
“Reasons to Be Pretty”
“33 Variations”

BEST MUSICAL
“Billy Elliot, The Musical”
“Next to Normal”
“Rock of Ages”
“Shrek the Musical”

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
“Billy Elliot, the Musical,” Lee Hall
“Next to Normal,” Brian Yorkey
“Shrek the Musical,” David Lindsay-Abaire
“[title of show],” Hunter Bell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS)
“Billy Elliot, the Musical” — music: Elton John, lyrics: Lee Hall
“Next to Normal” — music: Tom Kitt, lyrics: Brian Yorkey
“9 to 5: The Musical” — music & lyrics: Dolly Parton
“Shrek The Musical” — music: Jeanine Tesori, lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
“Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”
“Mary Stuart”
“The Norman Conquests”
“Waiting for Godot”

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
“Guys and Dolls”
“Hair”
“Pal Joey”
“West Side Story”

BEST SPECIAL THEATRICAL EVENT
“Liza’s at the Palace”
“Slava’s Snowshow”
“Soul of Shaolin”
“You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Jeff Daniels, “God of Carnage”
Raúl Esparza, “Speed-the-Plow”
James Gandolfini, “God of Carnage”
Geoffrey Rush, “Exit the King”
Thomas Sadoski, “Reasons to Be Pretty”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Hope Davis, “God of Carnage”
Jane Fonda, “33 Variations”
Marcia Gay Harden, “God of Carnage”
Janet McTeer, “Mary Stuart”
Harriet Walter, “Mary Stuart”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish‚ “Billy Elliot”
Gavin Creel, “Hair”
Brian d’Arcy James, “Shrek”
Constantine Maroulis, “Rock of Ages”
J. Robert Spencer, “Next to Normal”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Stockard Channing, “Pal Joey”
Sutton Foster, “Shrek”
Allison Janney, “9 to 5: The Musical”
Alice Ripley, “Next to Normal”
Josefina Scaglione, “West Side Story”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
John Glover, “Waiting for Godot”
Zach Grenier, “33 Variations”
Stephen Mangan, “The Norman Conquests”
Paul Ritter, “The Norman Conquests”
Roger Robinson, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Hallie Foote, “Dividing the Estate”
Jessica Hynes, “The Norman Conquests”
Marin Ireland, “Reasons to Be Pretty”
Angela Lansbury, “Blithe Spirit”
Amanda Root, “The Norman Conquests”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
David Bologna, “Billy Elliot”
Gregory Jbara, “Billy Elliot”
Marc Kudisch, “9 to 5”
Christopher Sieber, “Shrek”
Will Swenson, “Hair”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Jennifer Damiano, “Next to Normal”
Haydn Gwynne, “Billy Elliot”
Karen Olivo, “West Side Story”
Martha Plimpton, “Pal Joey”
Carole Shelley, “Billy Elliot”

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
Dale Ferguson, “Exit the King”
Rob Howell, “The Norman Conquests”
Derek McLane, “33 Variations”
Michael Yeargan, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Robert Brill, “Guys and Dolls”
Ian MacNeil, “Billy Elliot”
Scott Pask, “Pal Joey”
Mark Wendland, “Next to Normal”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY
Dale Ferguson, “Exit the King”
Jane Greenwood, “Waiting for Godot”
Martin Pakledinaz, “Blithe Spirit”
Anthony Ward, “Mary Stuart”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Gregory Gale, “Rock of Ages”
Nicky Gillibrand, “Billy Elliot”
Tim Hatley, “Shrek”
Michael McDonald, “Hair”

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
David Hersey, “Equus”
David Lander, “33 Variations”
Brian MacDevitt, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”
Hugh Vanstone, “Mary Stuart”

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Kevin Adams, “Hair”
Kevin Adams, “Next to Normal”
Howell Binkley, “West Side Story”
Rick Fisher, “Billy Elliot”

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY
Paul Arditti, “Mary Stuart”
Gregory Clarke, “Equus”
Russell Goldsmith, “Exit the King”
Scott Lehrer and Leon Rothenberg, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Acme Sound Partners, “Hair”
Paul Arditti, “Billy Elliot”
Peter Hylenski, “Rock of Ages”
Brian Ronan, “Next to Normal”

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Phyllida Lloyd, “Mary Stuart”
Bartlett Sher, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”
Matthew Warchus, “God of Carnage”
Matthew Warchus, “The Norman Conquests”

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Stephen Daldry, “Billy Elliot”
Michael Greif, “Next to Normal”
Kristin Hanggi, “Rock of Ages”
Diane Paulus, “Hair”

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Karole Armitage, “Hair”
Andy Blankenbuehler, “9 to 5: The Musical”
Peter Darling, “Billy Elliot”
Randy Skinner, “White Christmas”

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
Larry Blank, “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas”
Martin Koch, “Billy Elliot”
Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt, “Next to Normal”
Danny Troob and John Clancy, “Shrek”

* * *

Special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in the theater
Jerry Herman

Regional Theater Tony Award
Signature Theatre, Arlington, Va.

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Phyllis Newman

Tony honor for excellence in the theater
Shirley Herz

Asia de Cuba: Overpriced for a Less-Than-Satisfactory Dining Experience

By Alice Greczyn

I had heard that Asia de Cuba, a Latin/Asian fusion restaurant claiming to be the first of its kind in LA, was absurdly overpriced and remarkably good.

I decided to find out for myself what all the hype was about.

There were stunning views to be had looking out the large windows, but unfortunately my jolly Dominican hostess sat me along a glass wall toward the back of the restaurant. I had not made a reservation, as it was only a Tuesday night, but I wished I had as I envied the eight o’ clock crowd that got to sit at the window booths, against the sparkling backdrop of Hollywood. The service was slow (I waited twenty minutes just for a waiter to ask if I’d like to start with water), the valet $15, and indeed, the prices on the menu were steep. The food had better be good, I thought, as I eyed the cockroach that was creeping up the glass wall to my right. I worried at any second he might lose his grip on the slippery surface and plummet into my hair. After finally getting my waiter’s attention, he tried to reassure me that it was only a water bug. Later I found out that water bug is just another name for the American cockroach.

My food arrived at last, and here the restaurant almost made up for drastically lost points. The meat dishes were definitely better than their sides. For my starter, I tried the Braised Beef Spring Roll with Cuban Black Bean Papaya Salsa. Tasty to be sure, but maybe I was just so starved by then. The Thai Coconut Sticky Rice that accompanied my Cuban BBQ Chicken was disappointing. It looked very pretty, wrapped tightly in a bright green leaf, but tasted bland, not sweet at all. The chicken, however, was lip-smackingly good. The Char Sui Beef Short Ribs were tangy and tender, yet the Lobster Mashed Potatoes were too buttery for my taste, and I’m a gal who loves her butter. Then there was dessert…

The Mexican Doughnuts alone are reason enough to return, even if I only ordered them to-go… Sweet Brioche Donuts Rolled in Cinnamon Sugar with Toffee Sauce. Every granule was the sweetest, spiciest crumb of fluff it promised to be, and the toffee sauce was addictive. I licked my fingers, not caring I was making smacking noises that all the elegant people could hear. The sugar melted on my tongue as I scraped it off. The Cuban Opera Cake was silky and dark, dense with moisture and seductively rich.

My bill? $161.57 with a moderate tip, and I had not even ordered alcohol. Far too pricey to justify a dining experience for two that was anything less than impeccable. Views? Check, if you made a reservation and requested a window table. Food? Check, depending on what you order. Service? Unfortunately slow, when the restaurant is not even full. Worth the cost? Possibly for an extravagant occasion, such as an anniversary, but with drinks and valet and tip, be prepared to spend over $200.

Asia de Cuba is located inside the Mondrian Hotel at 8440 West Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. Call 323-848-6000 to make a reservation, which I highly recommend. I could not find the restaurant’s own website, but for images and hours, you can find the link for Asia de Cuba on the Mondrian’s website, www.mondrianhotel.com.

ALICE’S FOODGASMS:

Pizzeria Mozza: the Gourmet Pizza That Changed My Mind

Pizza is my favorite food. As long as I can remember, pizza has been the no-fail meal to gratify me morning, noon, or night. Since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve come across few pizzas that hold up to my Chicago-raised standards. None, actually. Unlike the popular New York-style, which is thin and crispy, I prefer mine Chicago-style: deep-dish like pie, with filling layers so thick you need a fork to eat it like it’s the best lasagna you’ve ever had. One piece of that will fill me to smiling satisfaction. Oh Giordano’s, how I miss you! Thin crust pizzas, on the other hand, seem more like appetizers you have to share. I hate having to fold my lovely little slice in half, and even then, the cheese seems to slip right off the slippery sauce-covered crust anyway. It frustrates me, thin crust pizza. But, there is a place that has given me a change of heart, not an easy feat to do when it comes to my mouth and what goes in it…

With pride, allow me introduce the restaurant that has given me the best thin crust pizza of my life: Pizzeria Mozza. Opened by renowned chef Nancy Silverton of the famous La Brea Bakery, together with Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich, this inspiring trio has made a haven for pizza lovers like myself. No, it is not the thick-crusted pies I grew up on, or the predictably comfortable New York slices that we’ve all become accustomed to. This is gourmet pizza at its peak of divinity.

I’ve dined here many times, on some occasions at a hard-to-get table and most recently at the bar. I liked the bar best, where I could watch the talented chefs stretching the pale dough and artfully creating colorful pizzas with the freshest ingredients. It was all I could do to restrain myself from reaching over the counter to help. At the bar, I also got a cozy view of the stone fire the pizzas are cooked in, which cast a warm glow around the restaurant and emitted comforting heat on a rainy LA night. I always have the feeling that I am in Europe when I am dining here. Perhaps it is the cafeteria-like din paired with candlelight, or the menu with ingredients I’ve never heard of before, like speck (smoked prosciutto), rapini (baby broccoli), and sottocenere (a soft cheese made with truffles). The service is unintrusive and very helpful in explaining all the above-mentioned ingredients, as well as any other questions you might have about the menu.

As for the pizzas, I worship them. I’m not sure which I like better, of all the ones I’ve tried. There is one topped with the cutest fried egg that is savory. The pizza with house-made fennel sausage and scallions is juicy and full of flavor, and the one with gorgonzola and fingerling potatoes is sweet. The speck with bufula mozzarella, olive tapenade and oregano is bursting with smoky saltiness, and the funghi misti with thyme and other herbs has an earthy character to it. For those of you who are not so adventurous in your pizza pursuits, be comforted that there is also the traditional margherita, consisting of mozzarella, tomato, and basil, with the tastiest red sauce ever. The crusts of all the pizzas are handmade, and come out of the fire crisp and chewy with air pocket bubbles so big that you just wanna poke them.

The appetizers are creative, too, and just as yummy as the pizzas. The white bean brushette is a must-have for me every time, and the fried potatoes with ceci (chickpeas) and herbs are finger-licking. As for the desserts, the chefs didn’t stop their artistry there. How about an Italian ice cream sundae made with caramel, gooey melted marshmallows, and salty Spanish peanuts? Salt and caramel were never more exquisitely united with sweet before this confection. The butterscotch budino (a pudding) is silky smooth and achingly saccharine in the best way. Their gelato is exactly as gelato should be: glossy, creamy, and rich. I especially like the pistachio.

I would come to this place for any occasion. A work lunch, a casual date, a dinner with friends, any excuse I can find. There is also a tucked-away room reserved for private dining, which would be perfect for birthdays and other group events. Along with the Pizzeria, there is a neighboring restaurant by the same owners called Osteria Mozza. I have not had the chance to dine here yet, but I surely will, and I will write all about it!

Pizzeria Mozza is located at 641 N. Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036, at the intersection of Melrose Ave. For reservations, which are highly recommended, call 323-297-0101. Visit www.mozza-la.com to view the menu. The restaurant is open from noon to midnight daily, and there is a valet.

http://www.hollywoodrevealed.com/342/

Alice Loves a Taste on Melrose

ALICE’S FOODGASMS

TASTE ON MELROSE: Casual Fine Dining at its Delectable Best

There are always happy diners on the front patio outside Taste on Melrose. I have seen them on sunny afternoons spent on Melrose Place, my arms laden with shopping bags from Dolce Vita and Marc Jacobs. I have passed them on my way home from a dance class I used to take regularly, driving by this little restaurant and making a quick mental note to try it out one day. It was attractive (I love outdoor dining), and there were always people eating there, which I think is a very important indicator to a good restaurant. If there’s lots of people, it means the food is probably decent and the service not too shabby. Also, eating in an empty or near-empty restaurant has always creeped me out. I would wonder while sitting in the vacuous space, Is there something going on in the world that I haven’t heard about yet? A terrorist attack? A natural disaster on its way? Are Brad and Angelina outside? So a good crowd is a good sign, when judging a food establishments.

I finally made it to this particular establishment on a recent evening. A friend of mine was running a bit late, and I had arrived a bit early, so I had a good twenty minutes to sit and pretend to read the menu. If there’s anything I hate more than sitting in an empty restaurant, it’s having to sit in a busy one by myself. I have always pitied the poor soul sipping his lemon water and checking his phone for any texts or calls he might have missed. But I decided to bravely put down the menu and own the fact that yes, I was a young girl out at night by herself, for the time being. And the funny thing was, no one seemed to be pitying me the way I would have if I weren’t me.

As I waited, I took in my surroundings. The ambiance is very pleasing… Bare light bulbs lined the beams on the ceiling. A candle was on every table, surrounded by red glass, the kind that looked like it was trapping champagne bubbles in frozen prettiness. Altogether, the lighting created a sexy, warm mood, and I was pleased to note that the music volume was low enough to have an actual conversation. Also, the tables are far enough apart from each other that this would be an excellent place to bring a date to. I don’t like when my intimate evening for two starts off with us shouting at one another above our neighbors’ shouts, which are less than a foot away.

Speaking of dates, if you have a hot one coming up and are looking to impress with something original, but not too over the top… Taste on Melrose has a fun little advantage for you: Full Moon Aphrodisiac Nights, every full moon and the days before and after. They create a special menu designed to “stimulate your senses”, and I must say, I am intrigued. I may have to find myself a date, just so I can try this out and see if I am any more turned on by so-called aphrodisiac food than I already am by delicious standards that don’t have this mysterious and lofty claim. We shall see.

By the time my friend arrived, my hunger headache was killing me. I did wish they had brought out bread or something to nibble on. However, when the Prosciutto & Fig Pizzetta came out, I was in appetizer heaven! The fig jam was spread on thick, covering a crisp, bubbly crust. Thin slivers of prosciutto were beautifully melted into gorgonzola cheese. What a brilliant pizza-inspired idea. I was jealous of the chef who thought of this before I did.

For my entree, I ordered the Cumin Spiced Pork Chop, which pleasantly surprised me. I’m not the biggest fan of pork chops, since I grew up on rather tough cuts of this meat covered in sauerkraut, which I think is awful. But this pork chop looked like it might be better, and it came with a side of White Truffle Oil and Mushroom Mac & Cheese, and that’s what I was really after. Once I took a bite of the juicy, tender meat, I realized it was nothing close to the German-inspired midwest fare I would rather forget. This…was…delicious. The sauce and spice were tantalizing, exotic, yet comforting. This was no ordinary pork chop. The side of Mac & Cheese was equally scrumptious, and I noticed that it wasn’t really macaroni; it was pasta shells. Amidst the gooey cheesiness and the earthiness of the mushrooms, I tasted a faint hint of barbeque. Inexplicably unexpected, but in a good way.

For dessert, my friend and I shared the Chocolate Pot de Creme. Just the name of that sounds cute. I don’t speak French, but in my head it translates as a little pot of chocolate with cream. That’s pretty much what it is, and it was divine. Silky, light, and rich of cocoa, the perfect thing to satisfy the sweet urge I get at the end of a long day. Lately I’ve been eating Trader Joe’s chocolate ice cream by spoonfuls, so this was a welcome alternative to my chocolate binge.

This attractive restaurant really is a gem. It is charmingly contemporary in decor, with little framed mirrors adorning the walls. Candle lanterns hung from the edges of the roof. The menu is simple and globally infused, and the food is, well, tasty. The location’s great, they offer valet parking, and while the prices are in the upper mid-range, the food is worth every penny. All the ingredients tasted fresh, and the portions weren’t the size of my palm. The restaurant also has clever weekly specials besides the Full Moon Aphrodisiac Night: Happy Hour from 4-6, Good Neighbor Nights every Sunday, and Wine Discovery Mondays, when every bottle in the house is half off. I myself am looking forward to the next full moon.

Taste on Melrose is located at 8454 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069, just east of La Cienega. For reservations, call 323-852-6888. Visit www.ilovetaste.com to view the menu and their hours.

Photo of Alice Greczyn by Theo Greczyn

Alice’s Foodgasms

By Alice Greczyn

BREADBAR

Bread… Doughy, chewy, bubble-crusted, soft, beautiful bread. In a town where the word is all but banned by the carb-unfriendly, a sign caught my eye as I walked through the Westfield mall in Century City: BREADBAR. A bar that serves bread. My imagination was hooked, fantasizing of the fluffy croissants that must be in there, of the hearty baguettes just waiting to scoop up spaghetti sauce. My stomach growled while my heart skipped simultaneously. I must!

I walked up to the tucked-away bakery, where beyond the glass windows I could see walls and walls of various shapes and colors of bread. Awed, I stepped inside, the humble way one might enter a temple. Brown loaves dusted in flour sat together in baskets, proudly facing me from mounted shelves. Oblong loaves were displayed next to them, with a card underneath that read Golden Fig. Of course the hearty baguettes were there, begging to be torn apart and drenched in olive oil. Indeed the fluffy croissants were waiting for me behind the counter, seducing me with the chocolate that oozed out of their delicate middles. The shiny tops of sweet rolls winked. The long, twisted braids of honey-colored goodness writhed. Pastries of all sorts beckoned me, promising sweet satisfaction.

I gazed at the astounding variety for several minutes. Did I want to try a slice of the Curcuma Hazelnut Loaf? Perhaps take home an Olive Petit? Or eat a sandwich made with the Sierra Redwood Rye? But it was the simple, plump little bun with the pointy top that I ordered. I just kept coming back to it. It felt safe. It was sprinkled with coarse beads of sugar, with a thin golden brown crust that gently encased white fluff.

Once back inside my car, where I could enjoy it properly without distraction, I tore off a tender piece of the Sugared Brioche. It almost melted in my mouth. The flakiness of the blatant white flour reminded me of lighter, carefree days, when whole wheat and gluten-free weren’t even in my vocabulary. I slowly ate piece by buttery piece, trying to savor every cloud-like crumb. I pressed the brioche into the pearls of sugar that had rolled off and into the bottom of the bag. Too soon, my heavenly little bun was gone.

The next day, I went to the BREADBAR on Third Street. The hustling vibe of the Beverly Hills lunch crowd faded to background noise as I gazed at the beautiful loaves. I had to have my Sugared Brioche again, but I also ordered the Grilled Cheese on Rustic Millstone Bread. The melted mozzarella and cheddar bubbled out of it. The onion confit and sun-dried tomato spread were perfectly balanced, and I didn’t even try the delicious-looking side salad. Who could waste their bites on lettuce when there was bread and cheese to be had?

I flew to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival the following weekend, dreaming of getting back to LA to try BREADBAR’S tasty-looking breakfast. Would I try the Breakfast Basket for Two? What must their French toast be like, or their house-made granola? I have a feeling this artisan bakery/cafe might very well become a regular favorite. With locations in Santa Monica, Century City, and Beverly Hills-adjacent, I just pity my friends who live in the Valley.

Photo of Alice Greczyn by Theo Greczyn