Author Archive


Mike & Tina, the Magic Couple

Mike & Tina, the Magic Couple

We’ve often noticed that couples who are in the same business seem to be polar opposites, even if they share some deep connection. Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter may sport similarly winsome hair, but they don’t even live in the same house. Annette Bening and Warren Beatty are both classy, but while she’s perky, […]

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

If Miss Marple investigated social consciousness instead of murder mysteries, Agatha Christie might have written this book. Set in a charmingly upscale village on the Sussex downs, this novel is a charmingly upscale commentary on British snobbery as widowed, bookish and oh-so-English Major Pettigrew falls inevitably in love with the village’s Pakistani shopkeeper. Consequences ensue, […]

The Reality of Camino Real

The Reality of Camino Real

A confined, claustrophobic place filled with desperate people controlled by a despotic ruler. The latest urban Middle East protest? No—an early 1950s work by Tennessee Williams, rarely produced, atypical (think Dante, not Stanley Kowalski) and now strangely relevant: Camino Real. The Theatre @ Boston Court could not have predicted the resonance of its current production […]

Dangerous Beauty

Dangerous Beauty

It’s a voguish year for biographies as entertainment – just look at the Oscar nominations if you disagree. The first full production of the resurrected Pasadena Playhouse, Dangerous Beauty, is right on trend. Based on the story of a real-life Venetian courtesan, Veronica Franco, this sumptuous musical hits the highs and lows of the tumultuous […]

Monopole Not So Hot

Monopole Not So Hot

A few nights ago, a friend and I were debating whether to go to Elements Kitchen (and its swanky bar) or drop in to Monopole Wine before a movie. We were more in the mood for wine and reasoned that newcomer Monopole would be a better choice. Wrong. But it looked okay at first. I […]

Noises All Around

Noises All Around

The confusion that arises from the theater troupe known as A Noise Within (let’s call them ANW) doing a show called Noises Off, which is a show about another show called “Nothing On,” is really only the beginning. Reviving last year’s hit production, ANW’s show is fast-paced, funny, overwrought and charming. It’s an exhilarating night […]

Phoenix Food Boutique

Phoenix Food Boutique

When I lived in central Florida, I learned never to ignore restaurants in shopping centers and strip malls. Since that’s all they had there, it was easy advice to follow. But in our more architecturally rich environs, strip-mall restaurants are often overlooked in favor of locations with more charm and street life. That’s why the […]

Mudbound

Mudbound

Pasadena’s selection for the upcoming One City One Story program is Mudbound. This debut novel by Hillary Jordan is set in the Mississippi Delta just after World War II, as two families play out the South’s eternal conflicts over race, land and class. Six main characters alternate in telling the story, which begins with a burial […]

Loving Frank

Loving Frank

The first time I heard of Frank Lloyd Wright, I was standing in the living room of the Hollyhock House, transfixed by my Occidental College professor Bob Winter. He was re-enacting the suicide of Mrs. Barnsdall’s goldfish. The tyrannical genius architect Wright (I believe the epithet Winter used was “Napoleonic”) had designed an indoor fishpond […]

9 Great Kids’ Books for Holiday Gifting

9 Great Kids’ Books for Holiday Gifting

San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe employs some of the savviest elves in town, ever ready to help with the eternal question, “What should I get for my niece/cousin/neighbor in the (fill in the blank here) age group?” The large and airy space on Huntington Drive is a mecca for birthday and holiday shoppers, because […]

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Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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