LAWineFest 2015 celebrating 10 years!

Wow I can’t believe it’s been ten years from the very first LA Wine Fest WHERE I had a great time volunteering! Over the years I’ve attended and covered LAWineFest where every year this festival meets and surpasses my expectations. It’s just a casual fun event that is low key where non wine snobs get to enjoy tasting from wineries that criss cross the globe.



If you’ve never attended LA Wine Fest you have to take advantage of the offer I have for tickets for the event from May 30 & 31. Use my blogger code (BLOG15 ) for $48 general admission tickets for either day (Door value is $85) <buy LAWineFest Tickets>.  You’ll have the opportunity to try food, wine, beer and other spirits. Make sure you download the Quini wine tasting app on Apple Store, Android (Beta) and Web App to track and recommend wines you enjoy like your own personal wine steward. So who’s meeting me at the LA Wine Fest 2015? Leave a comment below and maybe I’ll give you a personal tour!

Review of Pitch Perfect 2

pitch-perfect-2-movie-poster-2We all know the fairy tale story of the little movie that done good so of course Universal had to make a sequel. So like a lot of fans I went to see it over the weekend to avoid spoilers and be unduly influenced by other movie reviews.

so I have to say again HUGE fan of the first film. The soundtrack is played weekly on spotify and I watch the movie often (not as many as Star Wars but dozens of times). I went in with super high expectations that lightening would strike twice but with fewer Fat Amy and ethnic jokes.


First of all TONS of fat jokes about Fat Amy but since she did most of them I suppose it’s OK. What really struck me a little off was that they added a Latina JUST to have her make immigrant/illegal jokes so didn’t find them that funny or the Black Lesbian jokes hmm as I write this am reminded of the jokes that fell flat for me. Pretty much all the ethnic, fat and gay jokes (but that’s just me). Am sure all the many people who were laughing beside me in the theatre didn’t get annoyed.

I’m going to focus on the new story. It’s been about three years were the Barden Bellas have been kicking acapella ass and ruling the school. Fast forward to a Kennedy Center performance for President Obama’s Birthday setting up the story of their crashing in ‘flames’ or flashing the first family from ‘Down Under’. We get to see old characters from the first film and are slowly introduced to the next generation of Bellas. The women are intimidated by the Das Sound Machine the German acapella , who are top of heap worldwide after watching them perform. The random star appearances weren’t distracting (aka Snoop) since it made sense so that was an interesting addition but the Green Bay Packers (Clay Matthews, David Bakhtiari, Don Barclay, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and Jordan Rodgers) stole their scene competing with the other groups in a ‘thunder dome’.

It’s not a bad movie especially for a sequel and it was amusing but it just didn’t click for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t love the music or that the new staff addition was distracting or that Utkarsh Ambudkar (Donald) didn’t return . YES but once you let that go and just look at it as a silly popcorn movie it’s OK. Will I see it more than once but it’s OK especially if your in the mood for a light comedy that has some good zingers. I’d write about them but have already forgotten them. I think that’s my issue with the movie. Seeing the first time I literally left the theatre singing the songs. I was acabitching all my friends and left in a good mood. This one was just OK. No issue with Elizabeth Banks as a director it’s just a blah OK script that they were so busy replicating the underdog fight to victory that they forgot what made the first one such a pleasure.


In this sequel to Pitch Perfect, the collegiate acappella group called the Barden Bellas enter into an international competition, but they are told it will be impossible to win because they are from the U.S. The girls refuse to give up and vow to be the first Americans to take home the top prize. Directed by Elizabeth Banks, the film features an ensemble cast that includes Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Hailee Steinfeld, Katey Sagal and Alexis Knapp.

Who’s your favorite movie mom?

So many TV and movie moms I imagined as a child that would soothe my aching head that it’s so hard to pick simply one. I always had a weakness for Ripley in Aliens for a mom figure who would fight a giant monster to protect me.  Not that I want crazy aliens trying to eat me but you know if they are I’d so be crying for my mommies! <guffaw>

Who’s your dream mommy? Let me know below.


Throughout the history of cinema, mothers have had an everlasting impact on the screen characters we love.  And, as we get ready for Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10), Indiewire cordially invites you to celebrate some of the movie’s most memorable moms, courtesy of the Indiewire contributor blog Press Play(which Roger Ebert called “the best video essay source on the web”) and independent digital filmmaker, writer and content creator, Nelson Carvajal.



A list of the moms appearing in this video essay, in order:


Flowers in the Attic
Mother (Victoria Tennant)

Rebecca Morgan (Cicely Tyson)

Bambi’s Mother (Paula Winslowe)

The Incredibles
Helen Parr (Holly Hunter)

Mrs. Miniver

Mrs. Miniver (Greer Garson)

Mary (Mo’Nique)

Gloria Swenson (Gena Rowlands)

The Grifters
Lilly Dillon (Anjelica Huston)

Florence ‘Rusty’ Dennis (Cher)

Fairy Godmother (Verna Felton)

Not Without My Daughter
Betty Mahmoody (Sally Field)

Freaky Friday
Mrs. Andrews (Barbara Harris)

Beatrice Henderson (Debbie Reynolds)

Bloody Mama
‘Ma’ Kate Barker (Shelley Winters)

The Manchurian Candidate
Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin (Angela Lansbury)

Mildred Pierce
Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford)

Rosemary’s Baby
Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow)

New York Stories
Mother (Mae Questel)

Freaky Friday
Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis)

Ordinary People
Beth (Mary Tyler Moore)

Throw Momma From The Train
Momma (Anne Ramsey)

Mommie Dearest
Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway)

Serial Mom
Beverly R. Sutphin (Kathleen Turner)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Monica Swinton (Frances O’Connor)

American Gangster
Mama Lucas (Ruby Dee)

Margaret White (Piper Laurie)

The Brood
Nola Carveth (Samantha Egger)

Mother (Hye-ja Kim)

The Fighter
Alice Ward (Melissa Leo)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton)

Norma Bates (Virginia Gregg)

Mrs. Doubtfire
Mrs. Doubtfire (Robin Williams)

American Pie
Stifler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge)

The Kids Are All Right
Nic (Annette Bening)

Jules (Julianne Moore)

Mamma Roma
Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani)

Tommy’s Mother (Catherine Scorsese)

Mrs. Jumbo (Verna Felton)

Sophie’s Choice
Sophie (Meryl Streep)

Sarah Beckett (Joanne Woodward)

Terms of Endearment
Emma Horton (Debra Winger)

Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine)

Boyz N The Hood
Mrs. Baker (Tyra Ferrell)

Monster’s Ball
Leticia Musgrove (Halle Berry)

The Passion of the Christ
Mary (Maia Morgenstern)

The Curious Base of Benjamin Button
Queenie (Taraji P. Henson)

Jackie Harrison (Susan Sarandon)

Forrest Gump
Mrs. Gump (Sally Field)

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
Bonnie Grape (Darlene Cates)

The Fox and the Hound
Tod’s Mother (N/A)

Hillary Whitney Essex (Barbara Hershey)

A Farewell to Arms
Catherine Barkley (Helen Hayes)


About Indiewire®

Indiewire® is the leading news, information, and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers alike, Indiewire launched on July 15, 1996 and re-launched with a bold new approach on January 12, 2009 from new parent company SnagFilms. Two-time winner of the Webby Award for best film website (most recently, in 2012), Indiewire was lauded as a “must read” by Variety, branded the “online heartbeat of the world’s independent film community” by Forbes, and dubbed “best indie crossroads” by film critic Roger Ebert.

I want to enjoy 2015 National Concert Day

I haven’t been to a concert in a while and looking over the shows for Irvine. Well am thinking that I want to go back to the 80s with Bryan Adams, Jack’s 10th Show (Tears for Fears, BushCAKEEverclearLit), Foreigner, Hall & Oats and nerd out with the Pacific Symphony with Star Trek music (squeal).

View this on the web 
National Concert Day
5 Seconds of Summer
Brad Paisley
Bryan Adams
Counting Crows
Darius Rucker
Dave Matthews Band
Def Leppard
Fall Out Boy &
Wiz Khalifa
Florida Georgia Line
Foo Fighters
Idina Menzel
Incubus & Deftones
Jimmy Buffett
Kid Rock
Lady Antebellum 
Lana Del Rey
Rascal Flatts
Mayhem Festival
Steely Dan
Sublime with Rome
The Smashing Pumpkins &
Marilyn Manson
Third Eye Blind &
Dashboard Confessional
Tim McGraw
Toby Keith
Warped Tour
Zac Brown Band
Please note: Not all artists will be performing at all Live Nation Amphitheatres
National Concert Day
*Legal residents of US, 18+. Online only at . Purchase 2 tickets in a single transaction to a participating Live Nation® amphitheater in the U.S. between 12am PT 5/5/15 & 11:59pm PT 5/9/15 (“Offer Period”) and receive $30 Concert Cash in the form of 2 $15 codes (“Codes”), while supplies last (“Offer”). Purchasers may qualify for a maximum of 2 Offers per person (maximum 4 Codes per person) regardless of number of tickets purchased during the Offer Period. Offer not valid on ticket purchases before or after the Offer Period, $0 tickets, complimentary tickets, Fast Lane, parking, shipping charges and TM+ tickets or tickets not sold directly by Live Nation. Codes delivered to qualified consumers via email within 5 business days of ticket purchase.

Each Code redeemable online only at by 3:00 PM PT on 5/31/15, while supplies last. One Code per transaction. The Code is a one-time use voucher code good toward $15-off final concert ticket purchase at participating Live Nation owned and operated venues in the US, based on availability under this program. Exclusions apply. Void if sold or exchanged for compensation. Tickets not for resale. Unused value will be forfeited. Full Code Terms of Use apply: Codes are void where prohibited by law. Ticket purchases subject to the Purchase Policy:

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Thanks Ultron for the free month of Marvel Unlimited!

MarvelUnlimited_AgeOfUltron_FreeMonthIt looks like Marvel is in a giving mood celebrating the new Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron movie out this Friday, May 1, 2015! They are giving us comic book nerds a MONTH of Marvel Unlimited! All you have to do is join Marvel Unlimited and get the first month free! It’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet a few new ones. I was a marvel chick back in school so took my lunch money every week to live out my superhero fantasy with the Xmen, Teen Xmen, She-Hulk and a few DC Comics that will remain unnamed.

If you were a past subscriber don’t worry they are welcoming retuning readers too! All you have to do is use the promo code: ULTRON at Marvel Unlimited Checkout and read Marvel comics featuring Captain America, Iron ManThor, Black Widow and many more!  Marvel Unlimited is accessible on the web and through the Marvel Unlimited app for iPhone®, iPad® and Android™ devices.

If you didn’t grow up reading comics or it’s been so long you don’t know what comics to buy Marvel Unlimited subscribers have access to the DISCOVER section. It’s a great way to discover characters, see what writers/creators have written or follow favorite characters from movies, TV or animated series! It’s constantly being updated and to kick off the new Avengers movie they have a special treat. They have curated a history of Avengers series heroes AND villains! A great way to get more depth before or after the movie! A few of the characters that you may not have met before:

Character Spotlight: The Vision

Character Spotlight: Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver

Character Spotlight: Ultron

Event: Age of Ultron

Event: Civil War

Marvel Unlimited updates the site with new content of comic books as soon as six months after being in your local comic book shop.

So Avengers Assemble and get ready for the baddest villain on the planet!

With classic and newer issues being added to Marvel Unlimited on a weekly basis as early as six months after they’re in stores, you’ll definitely want to join Marvel Unlimited to prepare for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron!


Follow Marvel on Facebook at join in the conversation on Twitter with #Marvel and for all things Marvel, please visit



*Offer valid 4/29/14 12:01 AM EST to 5/17/15 11:59 PM EST.  Offer available only for new and former (now-cancelled) Marvel Unlimited members.  Valid only on monthly MarvelUnlimited subscriptions only.  Valid payment card required to redeem offer. Subsequent months billed at then-current monthly subscription fee (currently $9.99/month) unless and until cancelled. Cancel anytime through My Account following registration.  Auto-renewal and other terms and conditions apply; please see Marvel Unlimited Terms of Use for terms and for further details.


Art Weekend LA Mid-Wilshire 2015

Temporary Space LA Joins LACMA & The Craft & Folk Art Museum for 
Art Weekend LA Mid-Wilshire Tour on May 3rd

Art Weekend LA, the biannual exploration of art fairs, galleries and museums across Los Angeles, will host a tour of Mid-Wilshire tour on Sunday, May 3rd.  The tour will begin at LACMA, continue on to the Craft and Folk Art Museum and close with an artist talk at Temporary Space LA.  This event is free of charge. For additional information or to RSVP, please visit or email

Art Weekend LA Mid Wilshire Tour Schedule:

1pm – LACMA
Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East
Larry Sultan: Here and Home

2pm – Craft and Folk Art Museum 
Focus Iran: Contemporary Photography and Video
Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters

3pm – Temporary Space LA
Walk-through with the artist:  Richard Shelton, 50 Years of Painting on view through 6/20
Artist talk and preview of the upcoming exhibition, Signs and Alarms: The Art of Margaret Nielsen and Scott Grieger, 1970-2015

Temporary Space is an alternative exhibition platform to the traditional art gallery model.  Unlike the traditional gallery model, Temporary Space will not represent artists. Instead of showcasing the art of developing or emerging artists, Temporary Space will exhibit the art of mid-career and late-career artists, with particular emphasis upon artists who have been under-appreciated, both critically and economically, by the art establishment.

About the artists at Temporary Space LA:
Richard Shelton’s paintings have been displayed in the Smithsonian Art Institute’s Hirshhorn Museum and other museums in the United States and are in numerous private collections. Praised by critics for his technique and intensity, each of Shelton’s emotionally charged paintings offers a snippet of social commentary on life in the modern world.

For painter Margaret Nielsen, the journey has been a recurring theme in her artwork. The painter travels through her work and her own psyche, portraying aspects of life with a universal commonality and delving into the mystery of the human condition. Through the use of recurring imagery such as birds, the four elements, and other natural motifs, Nielsen connects the private, intangible world with the external, physical world. Her paintings, often small, jewel-like, and intimate, evoke Jung’s notion of the collective unconscious in that they touch upon experiences common to us all in the journey through life.

Since the beginning of his career, Scott Grieger has sought to question and challenge assumptions of art and culture. He uses his art to communicate the ironies he observes, juxtaposing conventionally disparate art historical periods, media, imagery, and ideas. Humor and satire are used to question dominant positions, both hidden and implied, often through both text and image. The scope of Grieger’s work has been vast, from combining the signature style of Donald Judd with the body of a guitar to placing the Venus of Willendorf on a bucolic wooden sign next to her husband, Mr. Willendorf. As Grieger states, “free thought is the goal, and in humor there is insight.”

For more information about Art Weekend LA, discounted tickets for particular art fairs, benefits, and VIP events, visit To help navigate your art weekend, a complimentary art weekend LA program guide will be available for download.

Motown is coming to the Pantages in Hollywood


Get ready to dance in the aisles at the Pantages for Motown the Musical from April 28 – June 7, 2015. It’s the Broadway hit that’s crossing America with the music that we all know from the Motown song that’s still heard today in hits from Rock to Soul. The smooth vocals and words that evoke pictures had to be embraced for the enjoyment of a new generation of theater goers. It’s very exciting to have Julius Thomas III and Allison Semmes playing the leading roles of Berry Gordy and Diana Ross with Nicholas Christopher as Motown the MusicalSmokey Robinson and Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye.  Leon Outlaw, Jr. and Reed L. Shannon will portray Berry Gordy’s boyhood counterpart and the roles of young stars Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.  Motown the Musical is directed by Charles Randolph-WrightMOTOWN THE MUSICAL and is the quintessential rags to riches true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.

Gosh this is one of the shows that just has me so excite! I remember hearing about the musical when it was in development and once it made the huge splash on Broadway interviews all Good Morning American and the MHP Show on MSNBC (among others). Listening to these talented artists perform got me excited to see them and I hoped and hoped that they’d come to Hollywood. So when the Pantages announced that this was part of the 2015 season it felt as if my prayers (and am sure other Motown fans) were answered!

I think a lot of people are looking forward to hearing music that evokes memories. I’ve been getting ready and had to follow them on Spotify for some Motown sound to tie me over till the show starts! Well It’s coming this week and listening to the music has brought tears to my eyes. The Motown sound takes me back to being a kid with my grandparents as they had parties and played in their own band with friends performing not only Jazz but music from the Supremes to Smokey Robinson to the Jackson 5. It’s  the music that evokes memories of childhood with my cool grandparents smoking and drinking while dancing with friends at backyard parties in my small town of Iowa. I know when I see the show that my minds eye will have me awash in memories that are dear to my heart.

Photo 2As Motown the Musical is on the road it’s also going to be heading across the pond to the UK for a run in Spring 2016 and for my New York friends it will be back to Broadway for Summer 2016.

I’m sure this is a popular show for music fans of all ages and if you haven’t bought a package head over to or or call 800-982-2787 to check on available seats. You can always head over to the Hollywood Pantages Box Office (6233 Hollywood Boulevard) daily at 10am except for Holidays to purchase in person or day of show tickets.

What’s your favorite Motown Song? What does the music remind you of? Leave a comment below and get ready to dance!  Motown the Musical Motown Tour



MOTOWN THE MUSICAL will also feature Erick Buckley, Patrice Covington, Jamarice Daughtry, Tamar Davis, Lynorris Evans, Melanie Evans, Devon Goffman, Jennie Harney, Rod Harrelson, Robert Hartwell, Dana Marie Ingraham, Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr., Trisha Jeffrey, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Jarvis B. Manning, Jr., Krisha Marcano, Moeisha McGill, Marq Moss, Rashad Naylor, Chadaè Nichol, Ramone Owens, Nicholas Ryan, Jamison Scott, Joey Stone, Doug Storm, Martina Sykes and Galen J. Williams. 


Featuring more than 40 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,”MOTOWN THE MUSICAL tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat.


MOTOWN THE MUSICAL features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (A Night with Janis Joplin) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical,Annie), costume design by Tony Award® nominee ESosa (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, “Project Runway”), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (OnceSister Act), sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of AgesThe Scottsboro Boys), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Jekyll and Hyde), hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe (Memphis) and casting by Telsey + Company. 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL’s arrangements and orchestrations are by Grammy and Tony Award® nominee Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who also serves as music supervisor in reproducing the classic “Sound of Young America,” with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Tony Award® nominee Bryan Crook (“Smash”) and dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is produced by Tony Award® winning producer Kevin McCollum(RentIn the HeightsAvenue Q), Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment Doug Morris and Motown founder Berry Gordy.


The performance schedule for MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm. Opening Night is Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 8pm.


MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is recommended for ages 10 and up. (Children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre. All patrons must have a ticket, regardless of age.)


Individual tickets for MOTOWN THE MUSICAL start at $25.  Prices are subject to change without notice.


For more information on MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, visit


For tickets or more information about the Los Angeles engagement of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, please visit the official website for Hollywood Pantages Theatre:

Geeking in color!


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