A rare outlet for commercially sanctioned laughter in downtown Los Angeles, Garrett Morris’ Downtown Blues and Comedy Club helps visitors escape the stresses of the workweek with a rotating stable of top-tier standup talent every Friday and Saturday. Comic legend Garrett Morris, now seen as Earl on CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, hosts showcases of comic talent with charming wit and tales of how he outlived the original cast of Saturday Night Live. The bill remains consistently loaded with fresh-faced and seasoned funny folk, with past luminaries including George Lopez, Margaret Cho, and Wayne Brady, along with aspiring stars in the twilight before their first mismatched-marriage sitcom.
Keeping true to its name and Morris’ roots in the New Orleans music scene, the venue often punctuates its comedy shows with performances from top blues artists—including Morris himself, who has lent his soulful pipes to the Harry Belafonte Singers—that add melody to the mirth. While weekend shows feature Garrett’s hosting and harmonies along with the headlining acts, the Thursday Night Experience allows youthful burgeoning comics and musicians to hog the spotlight.
Vancouver hometown heroes Theory of a Deadman return to their roost in an exertive panorama of stadium-sized riffs and hard-rocking party anthems. Like the letter E at an optometrist’s office, the band has grown accustomed to the top of the charts, with mainstream rock hits such as “Lowlife” and “Bad Girlfriend” and the life-affirming sing-along “Hate My Life.” Stuffing kevlar crunch, post-grunge, and rockabilly into its sonic calzone, Theory of a Deadman dethaws January fans with seasoned classics and newborn cuts from its latest smash The Truth Is…. Locally acclaimed indie rockers Louder Than Love whet aural appetites in their opening performance as they juggle genres without falling off their tandem unicycle.
Cicada Restaurant stands as a golden monument to the art deco movement. Built in 1928 for prestigious haberdasher Alexander & Oviatt, the building rewards the eye with florid geometric designs in every direction. The lobby ceiling glows with smoked-glass assemblages designed by Rene Lalique, and golden sunburst emblems that emblazon the lobby doors lead into a two-level dining room. Here, a chandelier illuminates carved-wood columns inscribed with art-deco designs that peak on the mezzanine tier. The stair rails and zig-zag paneling between the two floors likewise cast a historic air over guests, who feast and dance beneath a 30-foot ceiling. Their dinners are inspired by the cuisine of Northern Italy. Appetizers of baked camembert cheese precede pastas such as fettuccine with filet mignon and mushroom ravioli with pan-seared duck breast. Deciding on a dessert deserves just as much deliberation as choosing your main course or your waiter's pet name—the variety includes tiramisu with espresso sauce, chocolate molten cake, and a selection of handcrafted cookies.
Though all the food at Nola's is modeled after the Cajun and Creole cuisine of the Big Easy, the restaurant?s housemade ingredients give it a personalized spin. Chefs toss fried wings in a special tangy hot sauce, serve popcorn shrimp with a signature honey-chipotle sauce, coat 10-ounce catfish fillets with a special blend of seasonings, and cook fried chicken for 20 minutes.
When it comes to classic dishes such as jambalaya, the cooks approach from various angles, adding shirmp and crab claws to create a seafood version. For vegetarians, they've come up with a version that uses tofu sausage and fresh veggies. Rounding out the jambalaya variations, there is also a breakfast jambalaya souffl?, for those who love breakfast at all hours of the day. For lunch, they specialize in shrimp, oyster, and catfish po' boys, which are drenched in a cornmeal-and-flour batter, fried, and served with housemade roasted-garlic tartar sauce.
To complement feasts, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails, including a tequila-and-watermelon-juice blend called the Witch Doctor, inspired by the witch doctor that lives on the roof. Beneath the chandeliers and wooden beams of the rustic dining room, meals unfold as live musicians serenade diners with the sounds of New Orleans?style blues and jazz.
The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, which the Huffington Post calls “the gold standard of the avant garde in LA,” introduces members to emerging local and international artists with gallery exhibitions and innovative performances in art, music, dance, film, and multimedia. In time for the debut of the 2012 schedule, individual members enjoy a 20% discount on up to two tickets to each of REDCAT’s theatrical productions, which include Lars Jan’s genre-defying Abacus, with high-tech effects and compelling performances that explore media’s persuasive power. With 24 hours’ notice, members can trade in tickets for another date, increasing their chances of catching chats with filmmakers such as William E. Jones, comedy sets by jokesters such as Sandra Bernhard, or recollections of '70s New York by former Yankees shortstop Lou Reed.
In 2008, South Pacific swept the Tony Awards®, capturing seven golden trophies, including Best Musical Revival and Best Director for Bartlett Sher. Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize–winning book, Tales of the South Pacific, South Pacific tells, dances, and sings the story of two couples—Navy nurse Nellie Forbush with French plantation owner Emile de Becque, and airman Joe Cable with lovely native lass Liat— torn by war and the temptations of tropical paradise. The original production won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1950, with its frank depiction of racial prejudice as a central theme.