Posts Tagged ‘ beauty ’

Pink Diamond Guide – Celebrity Jewelry Trend 2012

April 11, 2012

Given that we’re now in the heart of the spring season, Diamond & Estate Trust is devoting this week to this season’s most colorful, lively luxury jewelry trend: colored diamonds . Up today is the pink diamond , perhaps the most popular colored diamond of the last few years. From its striking Red Carpet presence (did you see Penelope Ann Miller ’s 3 carat pink diamond ring at the 2012 Oscars?) to its massive price tag at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions (one fetched more than $600,000 just last month), it’s no surprise that the pink diamond is one of the most coveted gems of 2012. How rare are pink diamonds? Just how rare is the pink diamond? If you’ve been reading our posts this week, you already know that 1 in every 10,000 diamonds mined is a color other than white. Within the spectrum of colored diamonds , the pink diamond falls somewhere in the middle: It’s not as rare as the red, purple, blue or green diamond, but it is far less common than brown, black, yellow and grey diamonds. The number of pink diamonds in the world is so few that most people will never see one of these gorgeous gems outside of a museum or auction (which may explain the world’s excitement over the recent pink diamond discovery at Australia’s famed Argyle Mine!) How do pink diamonds get their color? Whereas nitrogen gives yellow diamonds their hue, and boron causes a diamond to turn blue, scientists are still not sure what causes diamonds to take on a gorgeous, rosy hue. Still, most agree that the romantic pink color is the result of a rare atomic structure present while a diamond is forming. As with most colored diamonds, the richer and deeper the pink hue, the more valuable the gem. When it comes to pink diamonds, natural fancy deep and fancy intense hues are the ultimate sign of luxury. Capitalizing on the world’s love affair with pink diamonds, many jewelers use techniques like irradiation and heat to turn white diamonds to that desirable rosy pink hue. Just remember that natural colored diamonds are much more valuable than artificially treated ones. Want to know for sure that a pink diamond has a natural color? Check its certification! What are some famous pink diamonds? The Conde Pink Diamond The largest known pink diamond in the world is the Darya-i-Nur or Sea of Light diamond. At 175 carats, this flawless, rosy pink diamond is found in the crown jewels of Iran. Another notable pink diamond is The Grand Conde, also known as The Conde Pink, The Conde Diamond, or Le Grande Conde. At 9.01 carats, this light pink pear-shaped diamond has as much beauty as it does history. The story goes that King Louis XIII presented this stunning diamond to Louis de Bourbon, the commander of the French Army during the Thirty Years’ War. And numerous pink diamonds have gained worldwide fame at recent luxury jewelry auctions . A fancy vivid pink 5 carat diamond in a chic cushion cut fetched $11.8 million at a Christie’s Hong Kong sale in 2009. Another pink diamond from Christie’s, a 14.23 carat rectangular cut fancy intense pink diamond, fetched $23.2 million at a 2010 sale in Hong Kong. And a 6.01 carat fancy vivid blue and pink diamond ring set a world record for price-per-carat when it fetched a cool $10.1 million in an October 2012 auction. What’s the next major pink diamond to go up on the auction block? An exquisite 9 carat cushion cut pink diamond ring that copper heiress Huguette Clark inherited from her mother. Christie’s expects this gorgeously cut, perfect condition pink diamond from 1910 to go for $10 million to $15 million when it’s sold later this month. What cut is best for pink diamonds? Pink diamonds are often seen paired with white diamonds , a popular design aesthetic that amplifies the beauty of a pink diamond’s color. Radiant, princess and brilliant cuts are preferred for pink diamonds, as these cuts feature strong facets that bring out the depth and color of a pink diamond. But because a pink diamond is so romantic, many jewelers choose antique cuts not commonly seen in colored diamonds. The cushion cut, for instance, is a soft, lustrous diamond cut that matches the romance of a soft pink diamond. Which celebrities wear pink diamonds? Penelope Ann Miller stole the spotlight at the 84th Annual Academy Awards when she wore a stunning 3 carat pink diamond ring that matched the powdery pink color of her vintage gown. Jennifer Lopez was one of the first celebrities spotted wearing a pink diamond, a magnificent 6 carat pink diamond engagement ring given to her by then-fiancée Ben Affleck. Mariah Carey, Nicole Kidman, and Salma Hayek have been spotted recently wearing pink diamonds. (We can’t think of anyone who’s worn a pink diamond better than Nicole Kidman did. Did you love her Red Carpet pink diamond Bulgari necklace as much as we did?) Pink diamonds and Diamond & Estate Trust For the ultimate symbol of luxury and romance, there’s nothing more exquisite than a rare, breathtaking pink diamond. This 6.8 carat fancy intense pink radiant cut diamond in our collection has a gorgeous natural hue and a quality cut that brings this pink diamond to life. It would be perfect in a classic ring setting or as a custom piece designed just for you by our experts.

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"Vertical" Silicon Valley Music Video

January 29, 2012
"Vertical" Silicon Valley Music Video

“Vertical” is a techno trance song by Vibrasphere featured in a high-tech music video produced by Visual Chaotics of Silicon Valley, California. Made using Harmony™ software, the song “Vertical” comes alive in a hypnotic music video (below) highlighting the beauty of 21st century Silicon Valley technology. After watching the following video, download this great song by Vibrasphere.

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Extra, Extra: ‘Pot-tel’ Hopes Are Dashed, David Hasselholf’s Hairy Chest Inspires Scientists, School District Gets Lucky

January 8, 2012
Extra, Extra: ‘Pot-tel’ Hopes Are Dashed, David Hasselholf’s Hairy Chest Inspires Scientists, School District Gets Lucky

In tonight’s Extra, Extra, David Hasselholf’s hairy chest inspires scientists, celebs are going on juice cleanses and hopes for a K-town pot-tel are dashed. Plus: Keep up with us on Facebook , and follow us on Twitter: @LAist @LAistFood @LAistSports . more › The rest is here: Extra, Extra: ‘Pot-tel’ Hopes Are Dashed, David Hasselholf’s Hairy Chest Inspires Scientists, School District Gets Lucky

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Brooke Mueller Prevails In Barring Cameras From Looming Aspen Court Appearance

January 8, 2012

Brooke Mueller attends the ‘On The Go Beauty’ Event at the Gavert Atelier on May 9, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. Link: Brooke Mueller Prevails In Barring Cameras From Looming Aspen Court Appearance

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Hanukkah: Festival of Lights and Liberation

December 20, 2011

Hanukkah is many Jews’ favorite holiday and with good reason. Its rituals are beautiful, complete with a shining candelabra ( menorah)  in the window, the rich smell of latkes or jelly donuts frying in oil, and the modern custom of giving gifts to friends and loved ones. It’s a holiday for the home, rather than for the synagogue—an opportunity to fill our houses with friends and family and to share in good times together. Its message is one of liberation and hope. We recall the miracles of our past and remind ourselves that light will always conquer darkness. The story of Hanukkah begins in 167 BCE, in the land of Israel. Antiochus, the Syrian-Greek governor of the region, issued an order outlawing Jewish practice and commanding that pagan sacrifices be offered in the Temple. A small band of resistance fighters, known by the name of Maccabees, led a three year uprising, which successfully defeated the Syrian-Greeks and restored Jewish sovereignty and self-determination. In the aftermath of the rebellion, the Jews held a spontaneous eight day celebration of freedom in the restored Temple, which we continue to mark to this day. An additional reason for the eight days of Hanukkah comes from the Talmud, the major collection of Jewish wisdom, law and tradition from the first five centuries of the Common Era. The Talmud records that when the Maccabees entered the Temple to restore it, they were only able to find one small vessel of pure oil to relight the sacred, eternal lamp. Miraculously, that small amount of oil burned for eight days – long enough to prepare more pure oil. This story reminds us that Hanukkah is about all kinds of miracles: from the very large, like a military victory against impossible odds, to the very small, like a tiny flame that refuses to burn out. The most important ritual of Hanukkah is the lighting of the  menorah.  Each night we add candles, lighting one the first night, two on the second and so on—until the final night when eight little flames shine in our windows. Aside from their beauty, these lights serve the role of  pirsumei nisa,  publicizing the miracle to the broader world. Our  menorahs  burn today to spread the hopeful message that miracles are possible and that darkness can be overcome through persistence and faith. In a world with so much suffering and strife, could there be any more important message than that? Rabbi Adam Greenwald is the Revson Rabbinic Fellow of IKAR, a Jewish community in West Los Angeles, dedicated to the intersection of spirituality and social justice. For more information, please visit:  www.ikar-la.org .   Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . More: Hanukkah: Festival of Lights and Liberation

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Library Media Teachers Returning to K-8 Schools

October 14, 2011

After a yearlong lobbying campaign by Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education President Lisa Korbatov, the board voted Tuesday to hire two library media teachers to work at the city’s four K-8 schools. “I am really excited at the thought that our children will see a librarian at school,” Korbatov said after the 4-0 vote. Board member Jake Manaster was not at the meeting because of a business trip. There have not been library media teachers at Beverly Vista, El Rodeo, Hawthorne or Horace Mann schools since 2008, when the board voted to eliminate the jobs to save funds. Beverly Hills High School was able to keep its librarian. “That vote [in 2008] was a mistake and this is an opportunity to rectify that mistake,” Vice President Brian Goldberg said before the vote. “If we’re going to move the district from good to great to the best, we need to provide qualified library media and technology teachers to engage our students.” Each library teacher will cost approximately $100,000 in salary and benefits, BHUSD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dawnalyn Murakawa-Leopard told the board. Since the positions were not included in the current fiscal year budget, funding for the jobs will come from unrestricted district reserves. The BHUSD recently announced it had accumulated a cash reserve of more than 10 percent  of its yearly budget. It is yet to be determined how the two librarians will divide their time among the four schools, although Korbatov said she is confident the BHUSD will come up with a plan by the time the staff members are hired. She noted that there are probably many suitable job candidates available since the Los Angeles Unified School District recently eliminated most school librarian positions. According to the job description posted on the BHUSD website, the new librarians will provide “library and media services to elementary and middle school students and teachers.” Such services include: The development of student literacy through the library media program Providing instruction in the skills needed to use instructional materials, research and reference tools effectively The introduction of appropriate literature for students The integration of instructional materials Curriculum resource selection and ordering Overseeing the library’s circulation, utilization, organization and maintenance In an interview with Patch in December when she took over the board presidency, Korbatov said that one of her top priorities would be restoring the library media positions at the K-8 schools. Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . Read this article: Library Media Teachers Returning to K-8 Schools

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Death Threats Marked Divorce Proceedings

October 14, 2011

SEAL BEACH, Calif. — The horror for most people in this quiet seaside town began to unfold with the staccato `pop, pop, pop’ of a handgun as a shooter opened fire in the beauty salon where his ex-wife worked. But for Michelle Fournier, family and friends say, the nightmare began much earlier. Fournier, a stylist at Salon Meritage, was engaged in a long and bitter custody struggle with ex-husband Scott Dekraai for custody of their 8-year-old son and Fournier had recently told friends and family and said in court documents that she feared for her safety as Dekraai became more and more unbalanced. Dekraai, 41, was being held without bail Friday on suspicion of murder after police alleged he barged into the upscale salon and opened fire, killing six women and two men and leaving another woman in critical condition. Police said Thursday that Fournier was among the dead. Fournier’s brother said he saw Salon Meritage on TV and immediately sensed what had happened. “The worst part about it was seeing the news and seeing the awning and knowing exactly what happened without even hearing a word,” Butch Fournier said. “That’s what killed me.” The quaint, sun-splashed town of Seal Beach, with its Main Street of vintage shops, restaurants and boutiques, has had only had one homicide in the previous four years – and this week’s bloodbath left residents reeling. Several hundred attended a prayer service at a church across from the salon on Thursday night and more than 1,500 showed up with candles at a vigil in the parking lot of the shopping center where the salon stands. About a half-dozen therapy dogs, wearing green vests embroidered with names like Anise and Riley, moved through the crowd providing comfort to mourners. “We’ve all heard the expression: Wrong place at the wrong time. But what if you are exactly where you are supposed to be? What if you are right where you had every right to be and to be safe and secure right where you were?” police Chaplain Donald Shoemaker told the crowd, as people wiped away tears. “They got up on Wednesday morning and went to earn an honest living or do something they enjoyed … No amount of planning or decision-making could prepare them and their friends and loved ones for what would unfold.” Dekraai suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from a 2007 tugboat accident that mangled his leg and left a colleague dead but his marriage to Fournier was falling apart even before that, and the court battle over their son was still raging Wednesday before the shooting. Fournier had indicated to friends and in court documents that she was afraid of her ex-husband. Her friend Sharyn White said that just weeks before the killings, Fournier told her that her ex-husband had stopped by and threatened to kill her and others there. White, who is also Dekraai’s step-aunt, said Fournier told her she took the threat seriously, though others in the salon laughed it off. She said Fournier also had told her that when they were still married Dekraai had once held a gun to her head. “She said `Sharyn, Scott has threatened to come in here and kill us,’” White said. There is no sign that Fournier sought a restraining order against her husband, though other friends agree she was afraid. “As recently as a month ago, she told me how scared she was and I offered to hire her bodyguards,” said Tim Terbush, a longtime friend. He said she turned him down because she feared that would only make Dekraai angrier. Police officers who arrived within minutes of reports of shots fired encountered a horrific scene, with bodies of victims scattered throughout the salon and a man bleeding in the parking lot outside. Ron Sesler, working the lunch rush at his restaurant next door, said he thought the rapid “pop, pop, pop” he heard was a jackhammer until a terrified woman ran through the restaurant and into the kitchen, screaming, “They’re shooting people!” Over the next nightmarish minutes, Sesler watched as hairstylists and customers from the next-door Salon Meritage streamed into his restaurant seeking refuge. Hysterical stylists still wearing their smocks with hair clips in the pockets and customers halfway through dye jobs and permanents piled inside Patty’s Place as Sesler locked the door and his wife frantically dialed 911. Police soon showed up and used the restaurant as a temporary base to interview witnesses. “The whole place was filled, it was whoever survived,” said Sesler, 68, still noticeably shaken on Thursday as he tried to resume business as usual. “We just locked the doors and waited for police. It seemed like a long time – minutes – but it was probably seconds.” He said David Caouette, the only victim killed outside the salon, was a regular at the restaurant who just happened to park next to the gunman as he was running back to his truck. “If he was late, the guy would have driven away. If he was early, he would have been in here,” Sesler said. Other victims were identified by police Thursday as Randy Fannin, Victoria Buzzo, Lucia Kondas, Laura Elody, Christy Wilson and Michelle Fast. Fannin was the salon’s owner, according to Sesler and other family and friends. The witnesses who gathered in Sesler’s restaurant, many of them longtime friends, said Dekraai first took aim at Fannin, and shot him once in the head and then turned to his own ex-wife, shooting her three times. Fannin’s wife, Sandy, escaped only because she was in the back, possibly mixing hair dye, Sesler said. A masseuse hid in the massage room with two others and locked the door. Two more hid in the bathroom, Sesler said, according to accounts from people who were interviewed by police inside his restaurant in the immediate aftermath. An elderly woman fled the salon after the shots broke out and seemed frozen on the sidewalk. Sesler’s wife, Patty, grabbed her through the restaurant’s side door and pulled her into the kitchen, Sesler said. The shooter had been staring directly at the woman but didn’t fire, he said. Just hours before the shooting, Sesler said, Michelle Fournier had stopped by the restaurant to ask about the lunch special and promised to come back. Throughout Seal Beach and the nearby city of Huntington Beach, where Dekraai lived, his bitter custody battle with Fournier was common knowledge among friends, and the couple attended what should have been a routine court hearing Tuesday in the matter. While court papers show the case was continued until December, Fournier’s boyfriend said the case had greater importance. He told The Associated Press the judge had pressed Dekraai to explain why he was continuing to push for more time with his boy. A report by a court-appointed psychologist found the current custody arrangement was working and should not be changed, said Michael Warzybok, who dated Fournier for a year. “The judge was like what are you going to come back for?” Warzybok said. “All of a sudden he didn’t get his way.” Dekraai had tried to meet Fournier for coffee the day of the shooting, but she refused. In court documents filed in February, Dekraai said he had 56 percent custody of his son and his wife had 44 percent. He wanted the court to grant him “final decision making authority” when it came to matters involving their son’s education and his medical and psychological treatment. In court documents filed in May, Fournier described her husband as “almost manic” when it came to controlling their son. She said Dekraai “is a diagnosed bipolar individual who has problems with his own medication and his reaction to same, and he certainly shouldn’t be allowed to have unilateral and unfettered control of any and all medical and psychological aspects of our son’s life.” She said then that giving Dekraai such authority would be akin to “a situation where the inmates are running the asylum.” Fournier also alleged that Dekraai had called 911 at least once and “advised that he was going to kill himself or someone else.” Board-certified psychiatrist Ronald Silverstein told the court that he had diagnosed Dekraai, a tugboat operator, with post-traumatic stress disorder that he determined was caused by the 2007 accident. Court records show a temporary restraining order was obtained by Dekraai’s stepfather in 2007 after the man said Dekraai attacked him, leaving him with cuts and bruises on his face and right arm. The order also said his young son had witnessed the attack. Growing up, Dekraai’s parents had a difficult time raising their son and had to take the door off his bedroom because he was having sex with girls when he was as young as 12, said White, his step-aunt and a friend of Fournier’s. Sometime later, they sent him to live with his grandparents. Dekraai said in court documents that his ex-wife had poor parenting skills and a drinking problem. She called him several times a day, Dekraai said, often screaming at him over the phone and in front of their son. He said she addressed him by an expletive instead of his name and made racist references to his current wife. At the strip mall where the shooting occurred, people streamed by a memorial to pay their respects Thursday. Susan Davenport, who was Dekraai’s neighbor and knew him since his teenage years, choked up as she spoke of Fournier. “She was a loving mom. She was a wonderful woman. She was kind. She was generous. She was all of those things,” she said. __ Taxin reported from Santa Ana and Garden Grove. Associated Press writers John Rogers and Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles and The Associated Press News Research Center contributed to this story. Read the original here: Death Threats Marked Divorce Proceedings

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Paul Schwennesen: Eating from the Same Dish: Liberals and Conservatives Should Both Enjoy "Local" Food

October 7, 2011

I make my living at farmers’ markets and know my core clientele well. It generally doesn’t sport “Gun Control is Hitting Your Target” t-shirts, so it struck me when one showed up at our stand. In answer to my jests, the wearer asked a telling question: “What could be more conservative than eating what my grandparents ate, eating it in season, and knowing my farmer neighbors?” I had to admit he was on to something. The local foods movement, springing from a generally affluent, generally left-leaning and thoroughly disenchanted consumer base, has been so identified with liberal motifs that the movement is usually derided by the right as the freak love-child of hippies and yuppies. To be sure, some of the poetic allegiance to all things organic and a frantic fear of all things Monsanto worries those who pride themselves on reasoned discourse. Yet for those of us who see folly in centralized power, the local foods movement has something to tell us. In doing so it is reinventing how many of us eat — and how an increasing number of us produce — food. Those on the right generally distrust centralization of political power and its litany of transgressions against the individual. Those on the left, meanwhile, distrust centralization of market power, which also has an offensive record of abuses against the individual. Centralization in agribusiness, that hazy realm from which our food spontaneously appears, poses its own peculiar set of dangers to the individual because it really represents the accumulation of both political and market power. Now that fewer than two percent of the population is directly engaged in food production (down from twenty-five percent at the beginning of FDR’s failed drive to “save the farmer”), the fact that agriculture has been massively consolidated is inescapable. While this is not entirely a bad thing (obesity now trumps hunger in our collective top-ten list of concerns), it does present a troubling aspect. When the vast majority of meat processing (87%) is done by just four companies, the system is top-heavy and fragile. Coupled with the crony-capitalism of powerful lobbies, centralized agriculture makes youthful entry into “the field” difficult and financially reckless. The local foods movement offers an alternative to the agricultural-industrial complex, presenting producers with healthier profit potentials and reviving a more diffuse and independent agrarian production base. In an address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in 1859, Abraham Lincoln stated that, “no other human occupation opens so wide a field for the profitable and agreeable combination of labor with cultivated thought, as agriculture.” The advent of highly mechanized industrial production systems has largely erased the intellectual and emotional bond that Lincoln (and Jefferson before him) relied upon to maintain virtuous citizen-farmers. Today, a newfound appreciation for old patterns has sprung up. Many erstwhile leftists have discovered that the “Tea Party” themes of liberty and individual responsibility resonate strongly if rooted in a land ethic and in local produce. Right-leaners, for their part, find a novel way to consume food, one which looks very much like their forebears (which is, after all, the essence of “conservatism”). For both, centralization in markets and among corporations is just as pressing a concern as centralization of the State. For both, feeding their dollars into local agriculture is a palatable way to participate in a free-market. Ironically enough, while many liberals express skepticism about laissez-faire economies, they are the first to indignantly resist intrusion by bureaucrats into local farmers’ markets, raw-milk cooperatives, and community supported agriculture programs. And while many conservatives balk at “boutique” markets, they find that a connection to real producers gives them a glow not found at Costco or Walmart. It has always struck me as exemplifying the beauty of a free market that I sweat and toil to serve a clientele that in general I’m ideologically adverse. I serve customers who, if their accoutrement is to be taken seriously (Obama bags, Che t-shirts, “profit is poison” bumper stickers and the like) are decidedly anti-capitalist. And yet during the course of our clearly capitalistic transactions, we both find pleasure in the process and discover a newfound respect for each other. The revival of local food and local markets is an interesting phenomenon. While it still marches under the banner of the left, it blurs the political distinctions enough that the right ought to feel comfortable joining in. They say that politics makes for poor digestion; who knew that what we digest makes for good politics? Paul Schwennesen is a southern Arizona rancher. He can be reached at AgrarianLiberty.com . Excerpt from: Paul Schwennesen: Eating from the Same Dish: Liberals and Conservatives Should Both Enjoy “Local” Food

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James Scarborough: Snooty and the Beast, All American Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall/Screaming Mimi!, Act Out Mystery Theatre

October 4, 2011

Two current Long Beach productions present live theatre at its best. Each production amounts to a world premiere, the actors perform in our space, and we get to eat and be enchanted. The productions’ sense of audience, actor, and audience cum actor interaction is keen; it causes the Fourth Wall to crash down as, one way or another, we participate in the production. Snooty and the Beast, All American Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall Written and directed by Ken Parks, with music by Parks and Rick Illes, for the All American Melodrama Theater & Music Hall, Snooty and the Beast, represents the theatrical equivalent of “Goofus and Gallant,” the life lesson found in each issue of the Highlights for Children magazine. Legible and fun for children, it’s even funnier for adults. Our heroine, for instance, is named Belle or she’s called Beauty — never just one. Why? Because of the ever-present threat of legal action by Disney. Along with children, we also learn to deal with unpleasant people. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply boo and hiss office Machiavellis and bumptious bosses instead of plotting bottom line- and morale-sapping revenge? The story sets up quickly, the issue’s clear. Prince Edward Overheels (Ken White) vies with his evil stepmother Urika Garlic (Dawn Stahlak) for the fortune left by their recently-deceased King. The King leaves but one stipulation: If Edward falls in love within a prescribed amount of time, he inherits the kingdom; if he doesn’t, it reverts to Urika. Easy, right? Not only is Edward stalwart and handsome, sensitive and honest, his voice (White’s voice) is mesmerizing and captivating. Problem is, Urika, devious and shrew-like, has turned The Girl Most Likely to Marry Edward, Beauty or Belle (Amber Hubbard) into the most overbearing girl this side of the San Fernando Valley. Though we have no doubt who will triumph — in melodramas, we never do –it’s the unfolding of the struggle that makes the production so successful. The story is fall-down-the-stairs funny. Rousing and spirited, always over the top, it keeps us in stitches, beginning with the first song, “Legally Allowable Tale,” which explains why Beauty or Belle can’t consistently be called one or the other. The production is well-paced, metronomed by Jimmy Dunn’s saloon-style piano playing and punctuated by our boos, yays, and aws. Despite the predictable outcome, we’re happy when it occurs, for it confirms what we at least hope on stage if not in real life, that the good guys will win. The acting rocks. Stahlak’s Urika reeks with unpleasantness. Greedy, covetous, and jealous, she presents us with what we imagine to be the face behind horrible telephone customer service. She’s cranky, loud, and snarky, in short, she doesn’t have one redeeming quality. She’s self-conscious of her unpleasantness, proud, in fact: to make Beauty or Belle undesirable to Edward, she clones herself. When Hubbard’s Beauty or Belle is sweet, she’s either Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm or Shirley Temple: earnest, sincere, and squeaky clean, as if she’s been polished with Lemon Pledge. As the clone-of-Urika, though (the transformation’s magnificent), she’s whiny and pouty, with a voice that could make satellites fall out of the sky. White’s Edward makes us older folk think of Dudley Do-Right from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show . For those a few generations younger, think of Edward Cullen, from the Twilight series. He exudes humility and forthrightness, as befits a melodrama Hero. His manners seem to come from long, long ago. The little touches are memorable. Urika consults a Magic Mirror, set above the stage, as to how best thrwart the union of Edward and Beauty or Belle. Of course the Mirror resembles an iPad, of course it has an app to turn a girl next door into a b&*%h. Besides the requisite enchanted castle there’s a place called The Horse You Rode Inn, wherein dwells the Beast (White). And tweeting is conducted, yes, with a crow that drops from the ceiling ala The Groucho Marx Show . Performances are 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday, 4:30 pm Saturday and 7:00 pm Sunday. The play runs until November 6. Tickets are $14-20. The Theater is located at 429 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach. For more information call (562) 495-5900 or visit www.allamericanmelodrama.com. Screaming Mimi!, Act Out Mystery Theatre The Halloween-themed Screaming Mimi!, written and directed by Paul Vander Roest for Act Out Mystery Theatre and staged at the Reef Restaurant may offer the formulaic unpleasantness of a murder and its hilarious solution, but, oh, what a formula! Vander Roest presents a goody bag that brims with cinematic references. Peopled with an ungodly number of wacky characters played to perfection by a cast of four, the story, its enactment, and the setting offer a rollicking interlude of tricks and treats. Though it seems to fly by the seat of its pants, the story’s tightly constructed plot begins with the reading of the will of the recently deceased Miss Mimi, an action that brings out the worst in her eager-to-profit household staff. It carries through with the murder of attorney Barry Mason (Carson Gilmore), who’s going to execute the will, at which time the story turns into a homicide to be solved by Detective Boris Barlift (Gilmore). There’s the revelation that Mimi herself might have been murdered, which makes this a possible double homicide. And there are the various motives and alibis, plausible and im-, all of which lead to the eventual solving of the crime. Though you wonder afterwards how you could have just seen almost twenty characters packed into a 3-act play, it passes by so fast, is to perfectly paced and so outlandishly funny that the whole thing bristles with laughter and mirth, from salad, through the main course, to dessert. So well-defined are the theatrical personas of Rigores, Gilmore, and Vander Roest that the production feels more like goofing around in a living room than like acting on a stage. Rigores is chihuahua-hilarious, always in motion, always exaggerating to brilliant effect her voice, her gestures, and her movements. Gilmore ponders a lot and, if he’s not exactly reflective, then at least he’s the most pensive of the trio. He’s the exact opposite of Vander Roest who, Mardi Gras outrageous, is always larger than life. They play off each other perfectly, blend well with their other cohorts, and are stupendous — Rigores, especially — with the various audience members assigned walk-on roles. Whether she’s Mrs. Dithers, the melodramatic, semi-English housekeeper or Eeyore the Attention Deficit Disordered chauffeur, Lara Starr Rigores is funny even if she’s not the center of attention. Her delivery (high-pitched, lilting) carries a wallop. As Barry Mason, the paunchy attorney who’s never lost a case or as Detective Boris Barlift, a vampiric Columbo, Gilmore carries the story forward, lurching about at times, often sidetracked, but always forward. Vander Roest brings a sense of Mardi Gras outrageousness to both Glow, the huba-hubba Southern cook with a signature “Kiss my grits!” phrase or Morbid Mulch the ornery gardener. Finally, Melinda Parker makes her broom-wielding Witch Hazel, the cackling downstairs maid astringent and snarky and her Mae East, the upstairs maid ( Come up and see me sometime ), the epitome of va-va-voom. The cast flings the witty dialogue like a cafeteria food fight. The cherry that tops this luscious sundae splattered against the wall consists of a hilarious exchange reminiscent of Abbot and Costello’s iconic “Who’s on First?” that involves a play on “Werewolf/Where, wolf?” and “There, wolf.” Performances are 7:00 pm, Friday and Saturday, 1:30 pm Sunday. The show runs until November 5. Tickets are $49.95 (dinner and show). The Restaurant is located at 880 Harbor Scenic Drive, Long Beach. For more information call (562) 961-9862 or visit www.actoutmystery.com. View original post here: James Scarborough: Snooty and the Beast, All American Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall/Screaming Mimi!, Act Out Mystery Theatre

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Raw Police Video