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Performance and Spirit:  ‘Lovers and Other Strangers’ at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio Fri-Sat nights only thru Feb 2024

 

Performance and Spirit Stand out with  “Lovers and Other Strangers” at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio.“Lovers and Other Strangers” runs at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio Fri-Sat nights only through February 2024.  The Taylor Acting Studio is an indie theater that hosts actors workshops, classes and shows at 2401 W. Magnolia Blvd in Burbank, CA.  

Cast attends Grand Opening of play “Lovers and Other Strangers” at The Taylor Studio, Los Angeles, CA, February 17th, 2024

 

Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

Starring cast of Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

For those unaware of “indie theater”, it’s a typical “black box” theater.  What it lacks in production budget, it makes up for in spirit and talent.  It’s a place where you discover hidden gems.  And tonight, we found several.

Singer Vanessa Bejine attends Grand Opening of play "Lovers and Other Strangers" at The Taylor Studio, Los Angeles, CA, February 17th, 2024

Singer Vanessa Bejine attends Grand Opening of play “Lovers and Other Strangers” at The Taylor Studio, Los Angeles, CA, February 17th, 2024

The concern was how well would a risque 1970s sex comedy play in LA’s woke 2024.

Let’s find out… 

Lovers and Other Strangers at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

I didn’t walk into the show thinking of it as a “Girls Night Out”, but tonight it definitely played in that direction.    The packed theater was 70% women, who laughed, giggled and gasped throughout.

“Lovers and Other Strangers” at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

Charly Taylor, Bradley Holzer, “Lovers and Other Strangers” at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

Scene 1: Brenda & Jerry

Starring Charly Taylor, Bradley Holzer

What if your best and worst date was the same date?  Holzer’s “Jerry” tries to make his date night a little sexier while Taylor’s Brenda terrorizes him with naive or not-so-much wishy-washy responses.   

Taylor’s Brenda is electric as she walks on stage against Holzer’s kinetic energy.  It’s a high energy, flirty scene that stays fresh thanks to the performer’s chemistry. 

Painfully relatable.  Hilarious.  And it sets the tone for the night.  Laughing. Squirming. Following these characters through a maze of love, romance, disgust, bitterness.  

Phillip Latini, Elizabeth Kyokwijuka

Scene 2: Hal & Cathay

Starring Phillip Latini, Elizabeth Kyokwijuka

Do you love dialogue?  Phillip Latini and Elizabeth Kyokwijuka clearly love their dialogue and are having so much fun.  

Like a tennis match where they volley their bleeding hearts (and heartache) back and forth.  Heartbreak, swing, betrayal, swing, jealousy, embrace. Then repeat.  Latini offers a sneering performance demanding Kyokwijuka’s intensity and delicious she delivers. Great scene!

Art Santoro and Eugenia Kuzmina at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

Art Santoro and Eugenia Kuzmina at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio

Scene 3: Johnny & Wilma

Starring Art Santoro and Eugenia Kuzmina

If you’ve seen Kuzmina’s work on the big screen before you know how easily she holds her stage presence.  

Tonight Kuzmina’s “Wilma” steals the scene in the first few moments with a quiet confidence and a misbehaving perfume bottle. Then like a cat and mouse game, she taunts, teases and plays Santoro’s Johnny until he can’t take it anymore.  He’s a mountain of a guy who’s gentle until he’s not.  When Santoro fires back it becomes a chess match. Physically, emotionally, psychologically.  Tossing and turning – the more they fight, the more their chemistry builds and what does that say about love?

Charly Taylor and Nathaniel Wyatt

Charly Taylor and Nathaniel Wyatt

Scene 4: Susan & Mike

 

Starring Charly Taylor and Nathaniel Wyatt

In tonight’s opening scene, Taylor is electric.  Now she visits us again. In this scene she shows another side  – calmly keeping pace while Wyatt takes the spotlight burning through his dialogue.   He bares his soul with vulnerability, angst, anger, desperation. 

Nathaniel Wyatt has leading man relatability.  Think Tom Hanks in 1984’s massive hit “Splash”.  If he and Charly Taylor aren’t pitching themselves (Hanks and Darryl Hannah, respectively) to the studios for a remake, the movie-loving world is missing out.

 

Sergio Lopez, Jordan Whitney

Sergio Lopez, Jordan Whitney

Scene 5: Bea, Frank, Rickie & Joan

 

Starring Eugenia Kuzmina, Sergio Lanza, Sergio Lopez, Jordan Whitney.

Throughout the night we’ve seen couples wrestling with every quirk and detail of relationships, healthy and not.  Here we see two married couples, one older, one younger – and how both couples are dealing with all of romance’s issues.

Sergio Lopez should win acclaim for his performance in this scene.  In a room full of bombastic characters, your eyes keep going back to him as he makes the subtlest of feelings quake the entire theater.

Sergio Lanza brings heart to the room and a baseline to Lopez’s reactions.  Lopez and Lanza should work together more often.  As Lanza’s internal boiling builds, he fills the room with emotion that all of the actors play off in the second half of the scene. The ensemble harmony is so flavorful and fun.  

Cue Jordan Whitney’s entrance who brings sunshine on a cloudy day.  Moments later, she informs Kuzmina’s performance in one of the highlights of the evening.

Eugenia Kuzmina reveals herself as a character actress

Eugenia Kuzmina reveals herself as a character actress. You know her best from several turns in Hollywood blockbusters, most notably gangsters and spies in big-budget Guy Ritchie movies.

But tonight she’s having a blast playing against type.  She’s moody and vulnerable.  Playing a lowly housewife with a lifetime of regrets. A woman in the audience goes from sobbing to full-on guffawing within seconds thanks to Kuzmina’s heartbreaking monologue in the second half of the scene.

One specific beat is so raw, honest, yet bitterly funny.  Kuzmina captures the mood.

It’s the perfect scene to end the show on.  

Eugenia Kuzmina

Eugenia Kuzmina

 

Indie Theater at Burbank’s Taylor Acting Studio is a fun date night

Why is indie theater important? Because in a town like LA, you can be sure these guys aren’t doing it for the money or the fame.  They’re performing for you tonight because they love it.

Director Jennifer Taylor Acting Studio

Director Jennifer Taylor from Taylor Acting Studio

Years ago, I was sitting in a black box theater and after the show I noticed an Oscar-winning filmmaker getting up from his seat in the back row.  On the walk out, I nudged him about why he was there.  He replied, “Eh, I had a tough week.  Got me cynical.  These kids helped remind me that I love storytelling.”  

Joe Winger at the premiere weekend

Joe Winger at the premiere weekend

If you love storytelling, give indie theater a try.  Pick a restaurant within walking distance.  Make it as date night.

Los Angeles’ A.O.C. Welcomes Celebrated Guest Sommelier Bobby Stuckey MS Feb 28

Los Angeles’ A.O.C. Welcomes Celebrated Guest Sommelier Bobby Stuckey MS Feb 28

Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin welcome the co-owner of Frasca Food & Wine and Scarpetta Wines to A.O.C. on 3rd Street for an evening showcasing his boutique wines.

Caroline Styne and Chef Suzanne Goin will host a special evening at A.O.C. on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, featuring James Beard Foundation award-winner Bobby Stuckey of Boulder’s Frasca Food & Wine and Scarpetta Wines.

Bobby will serve as Guest Sommelier, showcasing the imported wines of Murva and his own Scarpetta Wines.

Caroline Styne has curated wine flights to be enjoyed during dinner, and guests can also choose from featured bottles from Murva or the Scarpetta wine library.

Additionally, A.O.C. will offer a selection of Italian cheeses for wine pairings. The menu will be à la carte, and reservations for the event are encouraged.

“I am beyond excited to have my idol,

Bobby Stuckey, working the floor with us at A.O.C.”

Caroline Styne

“His charisma and dedication to outstanding hospitality are inspirational.”

This evening presents a rare opportunity to meet Bobby Stuckey, a highly talented and charismatic figure in the hospitality industry.

WHEN:

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

5:30 – 10:00 p.m.

WHERE: A.O.C., 8700 W. 3rd Street Los Angeles, California 90049

Phone: 310.859.9859

Bobby Stuckey began his distinguished career in restaurants in his home state of Arizona, working his way from dishwasher to management, establishing his position as one of the leaders in the hospitality industry.

He joined the staff of The Little Nell restaurant in Aspen as a sommelier in 1995. During his five-year tenure, The Little Nell received numerous awards for wine and service, including Gourmet’s “Best Wine Service” Award; Mobile Travel Guide’s Five Star Hotel and Restaurant Rating; Wine Spectator’s Grand Award; and a nomination from the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Wine Service.

In 2000, Stuckey moved west to work with world-renowned chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Yountville, California.

Within his first year, Stuckey led the acclaimed restaurant’s team to earn the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine Service award and San Francisco Magazine recognized him as “Wine Director of the Year.”

The French Laundry received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant Service in 2003. It was during his tenure at The French Laundry where Bobby met his future business partner, chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson.

With the vision of opening a neighborhood restaurant reminiscent of the Italian frascas they had visited in Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, Stuckey and Mackinnon Patterson opened their first restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, in August 2004, in Boulder, Colorado. Having researched and traveled throughout Italy many times, both were deeply inspired by this region in particular — the international influences of its cuisine, the profusion of local ingredients in its rustic yet elegant dishes, its passionate relationship between food and wine, and the gracious hospitality of the locals. Receiving his Master Sommelier Diploma in 2004, Stuckey has been bestowed with some of the restaurant and wine industrys’ highest honors such as James Beard Foundation nominations for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, Outstanding Wine Service, and won the prestigious award for Outstanding Wine Service in 2013.

In 2007, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson launched Scarpetta Wines to produce Friulian white wines. They now produce over eight varietals. In January 2011, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson opened Pizzeria Locale Boulder, a full-service, contemporary pizzeria inspired by the traditional pizzerias of Naples, Italy located adjacent to sister restaurant Frasca with a similar attention to hospitality in a contemporary, laid back, interactive atmosphere. The partners also own and operate fast-fine versions of Pizzeria Locale Denver, with four locations in the Denver Metro area.

In the fall of 2017, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson, along with partners Peter Hoglund, and Continuum Partners’ Mark Falcone, opened Tavernetta in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood. Located directly off the Union Station train platform, Tavernetta is inspired by Italy’s vast culinary traditions, with a menu that celebrates authentic regional classics from across the entire country in an approachable and welcoming environment. In December 2019, they opened Sunday Vinyl, a European-inspired wine bar & restaurant dedicated to providing the highest quality analog listening experience, adjacent to Tavernetta in downtown Denver.

Frasca Food and Wine celebrated 15 years in 2019 and the same year, under Bobby’s direction, the restaurant won the 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Service (changed to Outstanding Hospitality for the 2020 Awards thanks to Bobby’s recommendation).

ABOUT SCARPETTA WINES:

Scarpetta — The drivers of Scarpetta Wine are Bobby Stuckey M.S. and Lachlan Patterson former chef de partie at The French Laundry. They conspired to open a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado and thanks to a fateful trip to the Alpine region of Italy they had their inspiration… the cuisine and culture of Friuli. Always digging deeper for Friulian inspiration, Bobby and Lachlan travel to the region several times a year, even taking their entire staff along for a week of eating, wine tasting and general Friuli-worship every summer. It was only natural that when Bobby and Lachlan dreamt about starting their own wine label they looked first to the beautiful whites of Friuli, and Scarpetta was born. Murva – Moraro and Mariano del Friuli, Isonzo – The wines produced by Alberto Pelos at Murva are pure and vibrant.  Alberto, who spent many years as winemaker at Vie di Romans, describes the vineyard soils that comprise Murva’s vineyards as dolomitic, with small pebbles rich in iron and aluminum, and a high sand and clay content (feretto). He farms 4 hectares of vineyards that he owns, and 1 hectare that he farms in the center of town which is part of a community outreach program to support troubled youth.  The Murva wines have distinct salinity and energy that are not to be missed by any lover of Northern Italian whites.

ABOUT THE LUCQUES GROUP:

With the opening of Lucques, their flagship restaurant, in 1998, James Beard Foundation award-winning Chef/Author Suzanne Goinand award-winning Restaurateur Caroline Styne planted the seeds for The Lucques Group, a Los Angeles hospitality company that comprises two fine dining restaurants – A.O.C. in both Los Angeles and Brentwood. Along with these culinary enterprises, the company also owns the Larder Baking Company and oversees Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine, which curates all the food and beverage outlets at L.A.’s iconic music venue. The duo also operates two new restaurants – Caldo Verde and Cara Cara, and the new Dahlia cocktail bar at the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel. The Lucques Group is dedicated to seasonally influenced cooking and focuses on sourcing local, organic produce from which Goin creates soulful dishes that are bold in flavor, vibrant, layered and complex.

Pasadena’s Newest: Pez Coastal Kitchen Brings Incredible Taste and Romance with Upscale sea and farm-to-table, seasonal California cuisine

Pasadena Newest Pez Coastal Kitchen brings Taste and Romance with upscale sea and farm-to-table, seasonal California cuisine

Executive Chef & Proprietor Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez proudly announce the official Grand Opening of Pez Coastal Kitchen, their new upscale seafood focused eatery in Pasadena on Thursday, February 15th, 2024!

Grand Opening of Pez Coastal Kitchen Thursday, February 15th

Executive Chef Proprietor Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez proudly announce the official Grand Opening of Pez Coastal Kitchen

Executive Chef Proprietor Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez proudly announce the official Grand Opening of Pez Coastal Kitchen // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Located on the corner of Union Street and North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena’s hottest culinary spot, Pez Coastal Kitchen promises a lively and innovative dining experience with a focus on sea and farm-to-table, seasonal California cuisine.

Pez Coastal Kitchen's Oysters on the Half Shell

Pez Coastal Kitchen’s Oysters on the Half Shell // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Executive Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez are a dynamic husband and wife team that have made a significant impact in the hospitality industry. With their passion for culinary excellence and warm hospitality, they have created a signature name for themselves in the Los Angeles dining scene and beyond and they are now joined at Pez Coastal Kitchen in Pasadena with their magnetic team of top industry professionals Director of Operations Chris Mesa, Chef Joe Gillard, General Manager Brittany Player, and Bar Manager Mike Dane.

Pez Coastal Kitchen's Bar

Pez Coastal Kitchen’s Bar // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Chef Bret Thompson’s culinary journey began at the renowned California Culinary Academy in San Francisco where he then honed his skills at esteemed establishments such as Aqua in San Francisco, Roy’s in Hawaii, and Pinot Blanc in St. Helena, California.

Seeking international inspiration, Bret traveled to Spain to study under Chef Martin Berasategui at Restaurante Martin Berasategui, a Michelin 2-star establishment in Lasarte, Spain.

He further expanded his culinary repertoire in Lebanon at Atlas Café, then studied under Chef Bernard Loiseau at La Cote d’Or his Michelin 3-star restaurant in Saulieu, France, and then L’Arpege, Chef Alain Passard’s Michelin 3-star restaurant in Paris.

Throughout his career, Bret also had an extensive tenure with The Patina Group, working at multiple restaurants, running catering operations and ultimately becoming the Corporate Executive Chef overseeing all restaurant operations for the entire group.

Pez Coastal Kitchen's Dining Room

Pez Coastal Kitchen’s Dining Room // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

In 2007 to 2022, Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez owned Milk Ice Cream, and in 2015 they decided to embark on a new culinary adventure together as the proud owners of Pez Cantina, their seasonal, modern, coastal-inspired Mexican restaurant and bar, located in downtown Los Angeles which quickly became a beloved dining destination and in October 2021, they expanded with a new location in Montebello, California, LA Burrito Co.

Thompson and Thompson-Ramirez’s newest venture will continue their commitment to sea-to-table and farm-to-table cuisine, but as Chef Joe Gillard joins Executive Chef Bret Thompson in the kitchen, the focus at Pez Coastal Kitchen will be on innovative techniques such as curing, smoking, and the specialized dry-aging of seafood which will be a distinctive feature.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Rosemary Paloma

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Rosemary Paloma // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

This new concept will focus on seafood, but will also extend beyond, encompassing meat, poultry, and a unique emphasis on the curing and smoking of meats and seafood, known as Sea-cuterie.

Executive Chef Bret Thompson is excited to go back to his European roots.

“I’m excited to serve seasonal cuisine with a big seafood nuance.”

Executive Chef Bret Thompson

“We will be showcasing shellfish towers like you might see in the streets of Paris at the brasseries. We’ll also be doing whole fish fries, and we have a massive open ice area where guests can see all the fresh seafood, we will be serving each night including whole fish, shrimp, oysters, sea urchin, and whatever is in season.”

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Seafood Tower

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Seafood Tower // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

The Pez Coastal Kitchen Menu starts off with Appetizers which include Chilled Beets with hazelnuts, burrata, winter greens and a hibiscus vinaigrette, the Pez Caesar prepared with gem lettuce, black kale, pepitas, colossal nori crisp, and white anchovies, Black Mussels a la Bouillabaisse with smoked pepper rouille and sesame griddle cake, and Crispy Sweetbreads Fritto Misto with a black lime aioli.

The Chilled Seafood and Crudos decadently spotlight Pez Coastal Kitchen’s seafood at its finest starting with a Chilled Seafood Tower for Two showcasing a ½ lobster, six jumbo shrimp, twelve oysters, four crab claws, and two scallop aguachile shooters, with a selection of sauces – black garlic aioli, mignonette, and salsa macha, Daily Oysters on the Half Shell, Dry-Aged Kingfish Crudo, Hokkaido Scallop Tartare, and Steelhead Trout Rillette served with American sturgeon caviar, forbidden rice cake, and pickled shallots.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Spaghetti alla Chitarra

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Spaghetti alla Chitarra // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Pez Coastal Kitchen Entrees

The Entrees are recommended to be enjoyed family-style featuring Whole Fried Fish, Alaskan Halibut, Seared Jumbo Scallops served with a smoked ham-celery fritter and truffled apple salad, Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Prime Center Cut Filet of Ribeye with a green peppercorn demi and Pez fries, Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Manila clams, mussels, and uni nage, and Crispy Half-Chicken with chicken “lule”, petite roasted carrots and radish, apricot, sage, and carrot demi.

Pez Coastal Kitchen Veggies and Sides

And finally, a selection of exceptional Veggies and SidesPotato Gratin with bacon, gruyere, and cippolini onions, Yam Skins with green tahini, whipped feta and Marcona almonds, Hickory Smoked Cauliflower Steak with a spicy kumquat glaze, and shallot yogurt, and Brussels Sprouts with Red Boat caramel, seed crunch, and black garlic vinegar.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Citrus Olive Oil Cake // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Dessert

Dessert is equally exciting with innovative delights such as Warm Chocolate Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake with honeycomb ice cream, Citrus Olive Oil Cake served with mascarpone pistachio cream, limoncello granité, and strawberry, Mint Chip Ice Cream Brownie Sundae with Chocolate Strings, and Chai Spice Poached Pear with hazelnut crunch, tart yogurt, and blackberry compote.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Mint Chip Ice Cream Brownie Sundae

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Mint Chip Ice Cream Brownie Sundae // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Bar

Complementing the mouthwatering menu is the well-stocked Pez Coastal Kitchen Bar, a long contemporary bar with a stunning emerald marble bar top, high ceiling, and magnificent fans making it a haven for cocktail enthusiasts and diners alike.

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Matcha Sour

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Matcha Sour // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

Bar Manager Mike Dane has curated an exceptional cocktail program, featuring the Rosemary Paloma, Matcha Sour, Chartreuse Colada, and the signature Happy Wife, Happy Life comprised of Redemption High-Rye bourbon and Liquid Alchemist Apple Spice with a sugared apple crisp, along with an extensive selection of Premier Spirits, Wines, and Beers

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Lounge & Bar

Pez Coastal Kitchen, Lounge, Bar // Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman

 

Pez Coastal Kitchen sits in a historical building that was built in 1896 and was completely transformed and redesigned by Margee Drews Design to exude a California-Mediterranean coastal feel across multiple spaces.

Guests enter a beautiful light and airy dining room with a stunning feature wall, large plush booths and banquettes with sleek wood tables surrounded by plush greenery, warm and welcoming lounge separated from the dining room by grand Mediterranean arches with high industrial ceilings and romantic Havana-style fans, a prominently placed cocktail bar and open kitchen.

drinks with friends, intimate dinners, group gatherings, or special events

Whether for drinks with friends, intimate dinners, group gatherings, or special events, Pez Coastal Kitchen promises an exceptional experience for all who walk through its doors!

 

As Co-Owners Executive Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez continue to innovate and reinvent themselves, and Pez Coastal Kitchen in Pasadena promises a unique blend of California coastal cuisine, thoughtfully crafted cocktails, specially curated wines, and their dedication to excellence ensures an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates vibrant flavors and genuine hospitality.

The Pez Coastal Kitchen official Grand Opening is Thursday, February 15th, 2024.

Pez Coastal Kitchen will be open for Dinnerevery Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

For more information about Pez Coastal Kitchen or to make reservations, please call 626.210.0775 directly or visit www.PezPasadena.com.

Boozy, Creamy, Yummy Comes to LA and Hawaii! First-Ever Proof Hard Ice Cream Launches Chocolate Espresso Martini

Boozy, Creamy, Yummy Comes to LA and Hawaii! ! First-Ever Proof hard ice cream Launches Chocolate Espresso Martini

Costco members in Southern California and Honolulu will soon be treated to super premium ice cream creations inspired by sophisticated classic cocktails when PROOF Ice Cream introduces its new Chocolate Espresso Martini flavored hard ice cream in select warehouse locations beginning Feb. 9, just in time for the big game and Valentine’s Day.

PROOF Ice Cream will be available in Costco warehouse locations in CypressHawthorneHuntington BeachMarina Del ReySan Juan CapistranoSan Luis ObispoTorranceFontana and Victorville, Calif., and in Iwilei, Honolulu. The Costco two-pint pack will retail for $14.99, while supplies last.

Proof Hard Ice Cream Launches Chocolate Espresso Martini

Proof Hard Ice Cream Launches Chocolate Espresso Martini

PROOF Ice Cream is the first company to combine smooth creamy ice cream with the satisfying warmth of five percent alcohol by volume (5% ABV), producing its ice cream in small batches to ensure an indulgent experience you can taste and feel.

“We are pleased to offer this bold new product exclusively to Costco members in Southern California and Hawaii,”

Jenn Randall

Founder and CEO

PROOF Hard Ice Cream

“Our Chocolate Espresso Martini flavored hard ice cream offers the perfect blend of creamy chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered espresso beans and notes of vodka.”

PROOF has pioneered a new dessert category with its innovative union of regulated levels of alcohol and premium ice cream, using proprietary formulas and production techniques to create a five percent alcohol by volume (5% ABV or 10 Proof) collection of flavors based on classic cocktails.

PROOF’s signature creamy texture is a result of having less air than other leading brands.

PROOF Ice Cream is currently available in six flavors

Currently available in six flavors: Chocolate Cherry Manhattan, Chocolate Espresso Martini, New York Cheesecake Martini, Sweet Caramel Old Fashioned, Strawberry Daiquiri Spritz, and Tropical Piña Colada.

PROOF currently distributes its ice cream in tamper-resistant containers to adults 21 and older in South CarolinaNorth CarolinaFloridaIllinoisWisconsinMissouri, and California, with additional states coming soon, as well as the opportunity to purchase online beginning this summer.

A leader in social responsibility and responsible consumption, PROOF is a Universal Women-Led Certified Company headquartered in Columbia, S.C.

For Passover: Carmel Winery Launches New Signature Series Wine for Passover: Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon

For Passover: Carmel Winery Launches New Signature Series Wine for Passover: Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon

Carmel Winery Launches New Signature Series Wine for Passover: Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon

Carmel Winery, the largest and leading winery in Israel is launching a new wine from the Signature series – Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon

Kosher for Passover & All Year Long

Israel’s Carmel Winery will launch the USA premier of new CARMEL BLACK, a Signature Luxury brand, February 2024, just in time for the Passover season.

Carmel Winery – the largest winery in Israel – adds the new vintage to its distinguished SIGNATURE series, a portfolio of luxury wines from the highest-quality producing vineyards known for its long tradition of winemaking knowledge and expertise.

The new wine joins the brand’s highly successful Carmel Mediterranean Vats ($30 SRP), Single Vineyard ($45 SRP), Carmel Mediterranean ($60 SRP), and Carmel flagship wine Limited Edition ($99 SRP).

Carmel Black, a sign of strength and elegance, is a mysterious marvel that exudes prestige and sophistication.

Inspired by its boundless depth and signature timelessness,  created Carmel Black, a new exclusive edition in the distinguished Carmel Signature series.

This full-bodied velvety wine epitomizes Carmel’s artistry and innovation and encapsulates the vast expertise and philosophy of Carmel Signature: to nurture and enhance the unique qualities of the grapes, extracting their best attributes and realize their full potential with love, care, and minimal interference.

Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee 2021 boasts a rich, dark crimson hue and delights the senses with aromas of ripe fruit, cassis, and hints of tomato leaf, complemented by subtle notes of warming spices.

This wine offers a full-bodied, silky texture, with flavors of luscious ripe red fruits that linger through a satisfying medium finish.

It has been meticulously aged for 14 months in French oak barrels within its wine cellars. Bottle aging potential: 5-7 years under suitable storage conditions.

Yiftah Peretz, Chief Winemaker of Carmel Winery, “Our new Carmel Black is meticulously aged for 14 months in French oak barrels. Grown in the Galilee, its climate provides comfortable temperatures which offer excellent conditions for nurturing and enhancing the unique qualities of the grape.

Etti Edri, Carmel’s Export Manager, “Israel is naturally the historical homeland of kosher wines, and we are excited to introduce our exclusive Carmel Black in the USA in time for Passover, when more than 40 percent of all kosher wine sales occur.”

Carmel BLACK Signature will be launched in the USA at the NJ Kosher Food & Wine Experience (KFWE), February 26, 2024. This important trade show regularly drives trends for Passover holiday wines and spirits, as well as year long forecasts. The trade event at the Meadowlands Hilton in Rutherford NJ is open to wine and spirits industry buyers, caterers, and restauranteurs.

Carmel BLACK Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 Galilee (SRP:  $30) can be purchased at specialty wine stores and online sites.

CARMEL SIGNATURE is Carmel Winery’s most prestigious wine category. The wines are produced from grapes nurtured and selected with strict precision from Carmel’s top vineyards, with an emphasis on elegance and harmony between all the elements.

DTLA’s Boomtown Brewery 9th Anniversary Celebration in the Arts District Feb 17

DTLA’s Boomtown Brewery 9th Anniversary Celebration in the Arts District Feb 17

Boomtown Brewery , L.A.’s iconic craft beer haven located in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, is gearing up to commemorate nine years of brewing excellence with a blow-out Boomtown Brewery 9thAnniversary Celebration coming up on Saturday, February 17th, 2024!

Boomtown Brewery  9thAnniversary Celebration on Saturday, February 17th

Boomtown Brewery invites beer enthusiasts, locals, and visitors alike to join the party in the Boomtown Tap Room located just steps away from their state-of-the-art brewery for a full day and evening filled with Craft Beer, Food Trucks, DJ’s, Live Entertainment, and much more.

Owners John Rankin, Alex Kagianaris, and Samuel Chawinga, along with their dedicated team including Head Brewer Amber Sawicki and Production Manager Benjamin Turkel are thrilled to celebrate nearly a decade of crafting exceptional beer byshowcasing over twenty Craft Beer selections such as the Nose Job IPA, Las Palmas Pale Ale, and Mic Czech Pilsner along with fresh IPAs, Stouts, Sours Gluten-Free Seltzers, and more.

But the highlight of the celebration will be Boomtown Brewery’s BAD HOMBRE BAR featuring one-of-a-kind renditions of your favorite Mexican-style Lager.

Foodies will be impressed with a stellar lineup of top-notch Local Food Vendors including AGL Craft Meats, Correa’s Mariscos,Quarantine Pizza and Eastside Cheesecakes all throughout the event.

No anniversary celebration would be complete without a stellar musical lineup of Live Entertainment featuring performances by Pearl and the Oysters, Al Lover DJ Set, Jonny Marfa and the Lights, You Knew Jack, and Ned Casual.

Boomtown Brewery proudly represents Los Angeles, a beacon for creativity and community in the DTLA Arts District. Crafting old-world, unfiltered, full-flavored beers with integrity, become a haven for expression and grit in the Arts District.

The Boomtown Tap Room serves as a community space for artists, makers, crafters, and a diverse community to come together and enjoy exceptional beer in a vibrant atmosphere.

From live music to trivia, open mic nights, food festivals, and more, Boomtown Brewery continues to contribute to the local community in meaningful ways. So, mark your calendars and save-the-date for Boomtown Brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration!

Boomtown Brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration will take place on Saturday, February 17th, 2024, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 am. This is a 21+ event after 8:00 pm. This event is Free to attend, and no tickets are needed.

For more information on Boomtown Brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration, please visit Boomtown Brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration!

Orange County’s The Wooden Floor Set to Host 41st Annual Concert at Irvine Barclay Theatre from May 30-June 1, 2024

The Wooden Floor 41st Annual Concert: Onward Celebrates a Tradition of Thought-Provoking Dance with an Inspiring Vision That Breaks the Cycle of Poverty in Youth

Students of The Wooden Floor will take the stage to premiere three new dance works for the organization’s 41st Annual Concert: Onward at Irvine Barclay Theatre from May 30-June 1, 2024, for four showings.

Irvine Barclay Theatre from May 30-June 1, 2024

This years’ acclaimed choreographers, Momar Ndiaye, Tristian Koepke, and The Wooden Floor Artistic Director Jennifer Bassage Bonfil will work alongside students to craft unique and transformative dances that claim national recognition and accolades due to their groundbreaking nature.

Momar Ndiaye, Tristian Koepke,  Jennifer Bassage Bonfil will work alongside students to craft unique and transformative dances

Through our rigorous dance education program, students will dedicate hundreds of hours to the performance process, while evolving their intellectual capabilities through artistic collaboration.

By co-creating dance works with these renown choreographers, students drastically develop their Creativity, Confidence, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Character, and Courage, which helps them succeed both in school and in life.

“Those who have never attended The Wooden Floor’s Annual Concert

are usually surprised by what they experience.

It is an important artistic performance for our students,

co-created with artists and designers

working at the top of their fields.

It is about uplifting our student’s belief in themselves,

and in each other,

which permeates all that they strive to accomplish each day,”

Dawn S. Reese

CEO of The Wooden Floor

“The art-making that you will witness on stage is the embodiment of the creativity, focus, and determination which each child brings. It is these personal learnings which provide the confidence and courage in each child to pursue their bold visions for their lives,” she said.

Meet the Choreographers

Jenniffer Bassage Bonfil, MFA is a respected Southern California-based modern dancer, dance maker, and dance educator and serves as The Wooden Floor’s Artistic Director. Jennifer earned her BFA from Chapman University in Dance Performance and an MA in Dance Education through the University of Northern Colorado. Jennifer was a founding company member of Orange County’s critically acclaimed Backhausdance from 2003 to 2016 and performed in over 15 original works, touring nationally and internationally. Jennifer is an adjunct professor and lecturer who has taught at Chapman University, California State University Long Beach, Santa Ana College, and West Coast Conservatory of Ballet. Chapman University awarded Jennifer the Distinguished Alumni Award, and California State University, Fullerton recognized Jennifer at their annual Honor an Educator event, both in 2022.

Momar Ndiaye, MFA is an international performer, choreographer, and instructor from Senegal. Prior to earning his MFA in dance from the University of Illinois, he worked as a performer-collaborator with many well-known choreographers from Africa, Europe, Asia and America and has toured his work internationally since 2004. Momar has danced with the international dance company Premiere Temp and has his own dance company called Cadanses. Momar is a recipient of the Bruno Nettl Award for excellence in choreography. He is also on faculty at the American Dance Festival and is an Assistant Professor at Ohio State University.

Tristian Koepke, MFA is a dancer, educator, choreographer and Rolfer® based in Portland, Maine. Tristian holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is an Assistant Professor at Bates College and is Associate Director of the Young Dancers Intensive at the Bates Dance Festival. He has performed in contemporary and experimental dance works by numerous acclaimed choreographers, including Kendra Portier. Tristian was a member of Zenon Dance Company and has shared his choreography, expertise, and artistic insight all over the country.

Join The Wooden Floor in a night of elevating dance that will captivate the minds of the audience through fresh and inventive choreography and artistry, while supporting the future of children in our community.

Event Details

Name: The Wooden Floor’s 41st Annual Concert, Onward

When: 8:00pm May 30 – June 1, 2024, plus 2:30pm matinee June 1, 2024

Where: Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612

Tickets: $20 General Seating; $10 seating for children under 13 and students; $50 Benefit Seating, which includes a $30 tax-deductive contribution

Available: On sale beginning April 1 at TheWoodenFloor.org

About The Wooden Floor

Founded in 1983, The Wooden Floor is one of the foremost creative youth development nonprofit organizations in the country. We inspire and transform the lives of young people through the power of dance and access to higher education.

In Orange County and through national licensed partners, we use a long-term approach grounded in exploratory dance education to foster the confidence and gifts within each child to innovate, communicate, and collaborate – skills necessary for success in school and in life.

100 percent of students who graduate from The Wooden Floor enroll in higher education. Our students become change agents and beacons of hope within their own families, their neighborhoods, our community, and our world.

SNL Legend Darrell Hammond, DJ Paul Oakenfold Celebrate Comic Christine Peake’s Birthday at Sunset Strip’s Hotel Ziggy to Support Breast Cancer Bandit

SNL Legend Darrell Hammond, DJ Paul Oakenfold Celebrate Comic Christine Peake’s Birthday at Sunset Strip’s Hotel Ziggy to Support Breast Cancer Bandit

Comic Marisa Sulivan with Christine Peake

Comic Marisa Sullivan with Christine Peake

Hotel Ziggy was jam-packed to celebrate Comic Christine Peake’s birthday February 5.

Comedian and show Producer Christine Peake seen with CEO of sponsor ONEHOPE wine,her son Oliver Peake & his girlfriend Chandra East // Photo: Christine Peake

Comedian and show Producer Christine Peake seen with CEO Jake Kloberdanz of sponsor ONEHOPE wine,her son Oliver Peake & his girlfriend Chandra East // Photo: Christine Peake

Spotted among the crowd was SNL legend Darrell Hammond, One Hope Wine’s CEO Jake Kloberdanz, comics Marisa Sullivan, Cat Ce, Greg Baldwin, Elijah Blue Allman and wife Queenie, Executive Lainie Jordan, Media Publisher Joe Winger, indie filmmakers Susan Dynner and Alesia Glidewell.

Elijah Blue Allman and Queeny King. PHOTO: EUGENE POWERS PHOTOGRAPHY

Elijah Blue Allman and Queeny King. PHOTO: EUGENE POWERS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Comedians Thash Mose, Christine Peake, Marisa Sullivan and Marc Gordon

Comedians Thash Mose, Christine Peake, Marisa Sullivan and Marc Gordon

The show started with a “this is your life” inspired segment hosted by Mark Gordon that walked Christine through her famed, outrageous, and notorious history.  Her modeling days, her celebrity days, being a mother, and most of all – being a badass.

Author Scott Nathan was chatting with DJ Paul Oakenfold about his new book “The Big Book Of Bad Decisions”

Author Scott Nathan was chatting with DJ Paul Oakenfold about his new book “The Big Book Of Bad Decisions”

Christine Peake had an explosive night. Unapologetic, and all smiles.  She walks on stage with a Liza Minelli via 1970s “Cabaret” vibe, all sass and attitude.  Within moments the crowd explodes with a “Did she really just say that??” feeling.  Oh, she did.  And she’s gonna go way further.

Peake razzle dazzles on stage, melting away any “cancel culture” chilly vibe and creating a hot room for big laughs.  She pops and shimmies across the stage in a Charlie Chaplin’s classic “Tramp” kinda way, while letting loose on politics, culture, and all the thoughts her audience is thinking, but are too afraid to say — she says them!

Keep an eye on Marisa Sullivan.  A veteran of sketch comedy, but tonight was her first stand-up show.  Powerful, brave, sensual and funny.  She is a cancer survivor and founded Breast Cancer Bandit. She teases us along, slowly going deep, getting real, more vulnerable with her life’s journey.  Then, like a comic ninja, she attacks with her biggest joke. Big heart, even bigger laughs.

Greg Baldwin is equal parts “aw shucks, nice guy”, self-help guru and deranged clown.  He’s been through alot and he makes jokes through even the darkest parts. One second we’re sharing a cathartic moment, the next step we’re laughing at his zany adventures. 

Socialite Linda Chou, Comedian Christine Peake and actress Nika Khitrova //photo David Chou

Socialite Linda Chou, Comedian Christine Peake and actress Nika Khitrova // photo David Chou

Darrell Hammond continues his reign of making laugh out loud comedy look easy.  I’ve seen him live 6 times and every time the room shakes with laughter.  Tonight he used the intimate setting to bring some crowd work into his act and the laughs echoed out onto the Sunset Strip.

Darrell Hammond // photo: by Arpit Mehta

Darrell Hammond // photo: by Arpit Mehta

DJ Paul Oakenfold brought rhythmic love and thunder to close out the night.  Intense, wild and lords of love! Oakenfold knows how to crank the party to 11 and he and his music brought it to a rainy Monday night.  

Hotel Ziggy

West Hollywood’s Hotel Ziggy Is a Place for the Creative Renegades. Part Music Venue, Part Boutique Hotel. Their Stylish Accommodations Are the Perfect Oasis.

ChocoVivo

ChocoVino is the first bean to bar chocolate factory in LA.  In 2009, ChocoVivo’s journey began at one farmer’s market stand stone-grinding cacao nibs from bean-to-bar. Fourteen years later, they’ve changed lives and contributed positively to the community and evolved with the mantra “Simple is Better”.  Today they offer tastings, tours and a variety of high quality chocolate for sale. 

BTL SVC

The 1934 Cosmo, Gin martini, Old fashioned, Sidecar, Manhattan.  They offer all the classic cocktails and more!

The BTL SVC family of cocktails are a symbol of craftsmanship and passion. Made with only the finest ingredients, each one is as unique as the individual

 

Tikkun Holistic Spa

All lucky guests found a celebrity favorite, Tikkun Holistic Spa,  pass on their seats

Aqua Hydrate Water

The performance water is formulated for people with or seeking an active lifestyle. AQUAhydrate offers superior hydration without sugar or calories.

Parch Agave Cocktail

Taking a break from alcohol?  This tasty mocktail is your answer.  A citrus and bittersweet cocktail that showcases the lively pairing of Organic Blue Weber Agave, Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit, Grapefruit & Orange Bitters

 

Elijah Blue Makes his First Public Appearance at Comic Christine Peake’s Birthday Bash after Cher Legal Drama

Elijah Blue Makes his First Public Appearance at Comic Christine Peake’s Birthday Bash after Cher Legal Drama

On Monday night actor Elijah Blue Allman and his wife Marieangela “Queenie” King made their first public appearance since the court announcement, at Comedienne Christine Peake’s birthday show to benefit Breast Cancer Bandit on Sunset Strip’s Hotel Ziggy.

Allman and King were in good spirits relaxing with some of the performing comedians and DJ Paul Oakenfold.

Actor Elijah Blue Allman can finally relax after a long and traumatic battle with one of the world’s most iconic performers.  Who?  His own mother, Cher.

After years of public drug abuse and mental health issues, Cher was trying to have a court-ordered conservatorship over her son with Legendary Rocker Greg Allmann, Elijah Blue Allman.

The Oscar- and Grammy-winning singer and actor argued to the court  in a petition that 47-year-old Elijah Blue Allman’s large payments from the trust of his late father, rocker Gregg Allman, are putting him in danger because of his struggles with mental health and substance abuse.

If granted, Cher would have legal access to millions of dollars from the trust of his late father, reminiscent of what Britney Spears went through with her family and what ultimately caused the #FreeBritney movement.

Rumors flew about where Cher was sending Elijah Blue to ”rest and recover”.  Has he disappeared?  Is he really in a Mexican rehab center ”prison”?

Allman was in the courtroom with his attorneys, who acknowledged his previous struggles but argued he is in a good place now, attending meetings, getting treatment and reconciling with his previously estranged wife.

Finally, just last month a conclusion was announced.

Cher was denied temporary conservatorship over 47-year-old son Elijah Blue Allman in a court of law.

“We are thrilled that the court saw that he does not need a temporary conservatorship,” Allman’s lawyer said as he stood alongside him outside the courthouse. “He’s got a lot of support, he’s doing great.”

Allman first filed for divorce from King, 36, in 2021 after taking their marital vows in December 2013. They’ve since reconciled amid legal drama with Cher.

Monday night at Hotel Ziggy for Christine Peake’s birthday show was the fun and relaxing date night they both needed after years of legal drama.

Hey LA, Why does Wisconsin Already know the Big Winner on Superbowl Sunday?

Wisconsin Already knows the Big Winner on Superbowl Sunday

When the Big Game rolls around each February, Wisconsin Cheese knows that eyes are on both the TV and what’s on the table.

If you do the cheese math, Wisconsin crafts 600 types, styles, and varieties of cheese, which means there are 600 options for cheese A, 599 options for cheese B, and 598 options for cheese C. The total combinations equal 214 million cheeseboard options, and with 126 million households in the U.S., no two game day spreads need to be the same.

“With friends gathered around the TV and taste buds craving something extraordinary,

Wisconsin Cheese is here to elevate the game day experience

with artisan cheeses for a vast array of cheeseboard combinations,”

Suzanne Fanning

CMO of Wisconsin Cheese.

Wisconsin crafts 50% of the nation’s specialty cheese, which means The State of Cheese has the award-winning cheeses to make every spread score points with fans of any team.”

Play your starting lineup: an award-winning cheeseboard that will win over every guest’s taste buds. Whether you want to keep it classic or try a creative new play with thrilling flavors, these cheese boards will enliven your snacking array:

Whichever team you’re cheering for this season, Wisconsin Cheese is always a winner during the big game. Find inspiration for future game day parties with another one of our cheese board recipes, like this Fiesta Cheese Board, this Wisconsin Cheese and Charcuterie Board, or another spread that suits your style from our selection of over 300 handcrafted recipes featuring Wisconsin Cheese.

Be sure to share your creations with us on Instagram and Facebook. For more information about award-winning Wisconsin Cheese and winning recipes, visit www.wisconsincheese.com.

Wisconsin Cheese

The tradition of cheesemaking excellence began more than 180 years ago before Wisconsin was recognized as a state. With 90% of the State’s cow’s milk being turned into cheese, Wisconsin’s 1,200 cheesemakers, many of whom are third- and fourth-generation, continue to pass on old-world traditions while adopting modern innovations in cheesemaking craftsmanship. Wisconsin has won more awards for its cheese than any other state or country.

For more information, visit WisconsinCheese.com.

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products.

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