Last night I was delighted to attend two previews of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, which runs June 8 to June 25 in Hollywood. This is a large performing arts celebration held for eight years now, and includes wildly diverse productions, from comedy, musicals, solo performances to immersive theatre. Most are within walking distance, and they also have food venues, parties, and lots of fun things to explore.
First I saw Nights at the Algonquin Round Table, which is a witty play about the literary types at the famous Algonquin in 1926 in New York City. Neophyte writer Jack wants badly to be invited to their group, and this sweet and amusing production is well acted and realistically conveys the times and flavor of that era. The setting in the nightclub Three Clubs on Vine Street was perfectly suited to the production. The actress playing Dorothy Parker was particularly impressive, but all the acting was good.
Next I attended a party at one of the Fringe venues nearby which had a fun Karaoke stage set up. Most of the singers were very good, and spirits were high among the friendly and talented Fringe participants.
Finally I saw Slightly Off-Broadway, a musical that substitutes witty and enjoyable lyrics to popular show tunes. It was genuinely funny, and the singing was very well done. Light and fun, I predict this show will be a hit at Fringe Fest 2017.
For more information and very reasonably priced tickets to all the Fringe events, visit hollywoodfringe.org. For more photos from last night, visit my Flickr page here: Flickr.com/joybennett. Support your local talented performing artists!
The 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival is coming! This wonderfully eclectic festival featuring emerging actors, musicians, comics, playwrights, and all types of performers runs from June 8th to 25th in Los Angeles. It's a wonderful grab bag of all things entertainment. For more information and reasonably priced tickets, visit hollywoodfringe.org. Support your local performers, you'll be so glad you did!
This lovely, well-told film tells the story of a man coming to terms with his family, his career, and his relationships, all told with a distinct Southern accent and charm. With exceptional, natural acting all around, especially by writer/director/actor Phillip Irwin Cooper and the excellent Mariette Hartley and John Heard, the story follows a colorful, quirky Southern family where the mother is struggling with health issues and the adult son comes home from Los Angeles to help. At turns, funny, sad and moving, this very enjoyable, well-written film is a charmer.
It was released yesterday 5/2/17 through Wolfe Video, for more information visit Wolfeondemand.com.
Last night I had fun at the Opening Night Gala of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival in Beverly Hills. First I hung out around the Red Carpet, where Ed Asner, Ed Begley, Jr., Aaron Wolf and many others passed through. They also had a reception in the lobby of the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre where the event was held, with delicious snacks, wine and beverages. Next they presented an award Ed Asner for his outstanding work as an American actor and activist. Many of his friends and colleagues took the stage to thank him for his contributions.
Then they screened a hysterical short film Super Sex, starring Ed Asner; following by a screening of the wonderful film My Friend Ed which explores Mr. Asner’s tireless work over the years as an actor and activist.
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival continues on through May 3, with a well-curated selection of films exploring the Jewish experience. For more information and tickets visit lajfilmfest.org. More photos from the evening are available on my Flickr page here: flickr.com/joybennett.
Last night I was delighted to attend the Opening Night Gala of COLCOA French Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. This festival highlights feature films, shorts, TV series, and other forms of entertainment and enlightenment with a distinctive French accent and elegance.
I arrived early and soon the reception started, with lovely snacks and treats from the many local French restaurants -- delicious! An open bar was offered, and folks chatted and caught up with friends while the Red Carpet was going on nearby.
Then we all lined up to enter the theatre to see a short film, following by the Opening Night film, Everyone’s Life, directed by Claude Lelouch. He directed the international hit film, A Man and a Woman in the 60’s. Everyone’s Life is a very unusual film in that the narrative arc is splintered into telling dozens of characters’ stories. It has humor, some remarkable acting, and is generally an entertaining film, if perhaps a bit too long. Afterwards there was a discussion with the writer/director Lalouch and his co-writer and partner Valerie Perrin.
A very French and very fun evening. The COLCOA French Film Festival continues on through Tuesday, May 2. For more information and tickets visit colcoa.org. For more photos, visit my Flickr page here: flickr.com/joybennett . COLCOA stands for City of Light, City of Angels, demonstrating the joint endeavors of France and the United States in the pursuit of wonderfully adventurous filmmaking.