Founded in 1974, L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) is a non-profit media arts organization whose mission is to present, preserve and distribute significant classic and contemporary plays through audio recordings. Originally named “Artists in Prison,” the organization used theatre as a tool for creative expression by incarcerated men and women. In 1985, LATW began producing audio recordings of plays, which can now be found in some 11,000 U.S. libraries. The group’s catalogue consists of over 400 plays by classic and notable playwrights, many recorded by famous film and TV actors. In 2012, LATW began releasing e-books and apps as well, which accompany the audio performances – which are staged locally at UCLA’s James Bridges Theatre – and allows a user to read the text of a play as they listen to the recording. The company also tours nationally.
Built in 1929 as one of the first four original structures on UCLA’s campus in Westwood, the two towers of Royce Hall are now the defining image of the school. Named for California-born philosopher Josiah Royce, the looming brick building is modeled after Milan’s San Ambrogio Church. In the many decades since its introduction, the popular events space has undergone seismic retrofitting, and now boasts some 1,800 seats, nearly all with perfect sightlines to the deep stage. The annual events calendar features a variety of fine art performances with world-class talent ranging from speakers to dance to contemporary and classical music. Entertainers use the stage to tell stories and jokes, radio personalities bring their live shows through Royce Hall, and students have the opportunity to witness never-before-seen productions throughout the year. Patrons can customize their own subscription packages, and students receive discounts to every event.
The Improv Space is a multifunctional comedy laboratory that both teaches and performs unscripted humor. Catch one of the troupe-hosted shows ($5–$10), such as the seasoned cast of Robert Downey Jr. Jr. performing Hometown Interview on Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. In this show, the cast interrogates an audience volunteer for tidbits about their hometown experiences to use as inspiration for a fully improvised comedy show, then the volunteer returns to his seat to apologize to his friends for using their real names.
Punctuating the elegant ivory of the dining room's tablecloths and padded booths is a bright-red curtain. This drapery lines the stage where musicians at H.O.M.E. weave elaborate jazz melodies every single day. The live music mingles with aromas of dinners and Sunday brunches strewn with upscale ingredients such as truffles, organic veggies, slow-braised rabbit, and maine lobster. A wide variety of bands, solo artists, and bionic human-phonograph hybrids cycle across the stage at H.O.M.E., but the kitchen is always piloted by Executive Chef Shawn Davis, whose colorful creations feature nests of violet-streaked green sprouts, drizzles of vibrant sauces, beds of luminous gold caviar, and thin fillets of strawberry.
Originally built in the late 1800s as a vaudeville theater and then seeing time as a German film theater in the 1950s, today Bogart’s stands as a portal to a world of live music. Six bars stand at the ready to keep rocking bodies hydrated, and three concert-viewing levels ensure pristine sightlines so that lead singers can have midconcert staring contests with anyone they choose.