October 7, 2009 |

Backlot Film Festival Begins

Enjoying a fun second career as a Director’s Assistant is Lynn Miller, who has been working on a new musical called "Children of the Night". The show opens this Saturday at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 S. Robertson Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Call (310) 855 - 1556 for reservations (or check out Goldstar’s website for half price ($12.50) tickets on certain dates.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Agnes Agzarian, seriously ill and hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center. Wife of the late Dr. George Agzarian and mother to Drs. Alice and Anita Agzarian, Agnes has always had top-notch medical care right in the family, so best wishes for a speedy recovery, Agnes!

Congratulations to local (though now living in Vista, CA) artist Lori Escalera, Lori took First Place, Best of Show at Carlsbad's ArtSplash 2009, held last month. Her beautiful chalk art piece, "Laurel Branch," was a reproduction of French Academic Master William Bouguereau, measuring 8 x 12 feet. She started on Friday afternoon and completed her piece Sunday afternoon in just one of many festivals in which she’s scored high “marks.” Locally Lori’s headed up our own mural renovations along the creek and at Syd Kronenthal Park, and urges everyone to report graffiti sightings as soon as possible, (310) 253-5555.

The Fifth Annual Backlot Film Festival kicked off yesterday at Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium, and this year’s Thomas Ince Award honoree, Mickey Rooney, can be seen there in three of his classic films, including “National Velvet,” co-starring Honorary BFF Chair Elizabeth Taylor. Other day and evening screenings include Patrick Swayze’s last motion picture, “Jump,” which will be opening nationwide next month; comedy “Herstory,” in which a young female filmmaker makes a documentary interviewing her old boyfriends; “Toot Blues,” a musical documentary, “Let it Be,” from Taiwan; “90404 Changing,” about Santa Monica’s Pico neighborhood; along with student films, short fiction and documentaries and more. 2009 Founders Awards go to film critic and author Charles Champlin and Culver City’s own Syd Kronenthal.

Day Passes start at $5; Evening Passes at $10; a Festival Pass starts at $80 and the Saturday evening Gala Event Pass starts at $20. For more details go to www.backlotfilmfestival.com.

Happy birthday to you-u-u-u-u: Marina Tidwell, Leslie Manderscheid, George Adkins, Agnes McClain, Jean Urushima, Eric Seeberger, Philip Borawski, Eric Weaver, Greg Simoes, Ken Leung, Barbara Hodson, Natalie Meyers, Daniel O’Connor, Megan Atmavidya, Kaitlyn Weaver, Dave Mateyka, Cathie Seeman, Judith Carlson, Lila Swenson, Don Strong, George Audet, Carmen Chavolla, Kim Jacobi, Patrick Bent, Robert Tidwell, Joyce Dallal, Faith Keyers, Ed Gress, Cindy Lundquist, Judith Hodson, Sarah Grimm-Weeks, Lothar Hubschen, Timothy Lee, Laura Hay, Alejandro Hernandez, Ken Kamba, Maria Haro,Tom Konkel, Emelie Gerard, Janice Church, Sal Pitari, Deborah Gregory, Sherman Tande, Kimiko Kelly, Bud Ramirez, Ondina Manzanares, Glenda Rivera, Kate Glaspey, and Ara Aaron Bonyadian.

Just when you thought you could take a break from yard work, comes the Culver City Garden Club’s instructions for October, to begin with: Clean and sharpen tools;

Prune to shape evergreens (i.e. juniper, magnolia, spruce and pine); Sow winter crops (i.e. beets, chard, peas, leeks, mustard, shallots, spinach, carrots, and lettuce);

Plant African daisy, calendula, larkspur, pansy, sweet alyssum, sweet pea, viola, etc.;

Give one last deep watering to grapevines and deciduous trees, but discontinue feeding. And the list goes on. To make sure you’re in the running for “nicest yard on the block,” go to larryebner@netscape.net and get the Garden Club’s newsletter. The club meets on the first Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Building.

Longing to eat out more often, but the prices seem pretty high in this economy? Check out the “Happy Hour” specials available at many of our top Culver City restaurants. You can try some tasty samplings of their specials (many of which are far from tiny), have a glass of wine or good beer or ale, and not spend a lot of money!

Good news for Culver City residents (especially those in our near Culver Crest) is that Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas has called for a Town Hall Meeting on oil field health and safety issues, and right in the ‘hood. Next Thursday, October 15 from 6 p.m. to 9. questions regarding health, property values and quality of life will be addressed before the County grants drillers PXP any new oil drilling permits. The meeting will be held in West Los Angeles College’s Fine Arts Theatre, 9000 Overland Avenue )turn at Freshman Drive). To RSVP visit http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/RSVP/BHCSD.htm or call (213) 974-2222.

It’ll be “Sopranos Galore,” this Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at Grace Church’s Opera Plus! concert. Featured will be Charlene Capetillo, Emily Dyer, Sherry Hutson, Samantha Eiko Kim, Elena Loper, Delicia Smith and Clare Snodgrass, with guest artists, baritone William Ben Lowe and flutist Megan Hayes. Music Director is Marya Basaraba and accompanist, Greg Schreiner. You’ll enjoy opera, operettas and more by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Lehar, Bernstein and Webber – all free (though your donations are most welcome). Grace is located at 4427 Overland Avenue.

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