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James Caan 1940-2022

JAMES CAAN

  • By KEN WERTHER

James Caan, who died on July 6 at age 82, was known to an entire generation of fans for playing the short-tempered Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (1972), a performance which earned him Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor. (He reprised the role in The Godfather Part II in 1974.) But before that, he received wide critical and audience acclaim (and an Emmy Award nomination) for his portrayal of dying football player Brian Piccolo in the ABC television movie Brian’s Song (1971). Meanwhile, back on the big screen he starred in Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Gambler(1974), Funny Lady and Rollerball (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Comes a Horseman (1978), Chapter Two (1979), For the Boys (1991), and Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), among many others. But it was his performance in Stephen King’s Misery (1990) opposite Kathy Bates that earned him a whole new generation of fans. He wowed yet another new generation of fans on the TV series Vegas, which ran from 2003–07. He received a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978 and his career spanned six decades! Said his Godfather co-star Al Pacino, “It’s hard to believe that he won’t be in the world anymore because he was so alive and daring. A great actor, a brilliant director, and my dear friend. I’m gonna miss him.” So will the rest of us.  

James Caan | March 26, 1940 – July 6, 2022

MUD (by Loft Ensemble) plays August 19 – September 11

Mud

  • By Ken Werther

Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood is about to embark on its 10th anniversary season with Mud, written and directed by the company’s own Bree Pavey! After the collapse of society, a group of people band together for safety, survival, and community. As they begin to rebuild, they examine the failures of the past with an eye on Truth. But can they escape the Beast that haunts them and avoid falling into the holes humanity has left behind? The cast will feature Biniyam Abreha, Antwan Alexander II, Lemon Baardsen, Britt Crisp, Emilie Crotty, Madylin Sweeten Durrie, Travyz Santos Gatz, Barbera Ann Howard, Silas Jean-Rox, Robert Jolly, Matt Lorenzo, Maia Luer, Benjamin Marshall, Kristian Maxwell-McGeever, Ignacio Navarro, Sarah Nilsen, Danielle Ozymandias, Benjamin Rawls, and Mitch Rosander.

Loft is one of the few NoHo Arts District theatres that came through the pandemic shutdown relatively unscathed and is able to present a 2022-2023 season. The plays chosen, in the company’s own words, represent a desire to celebrate new voices while re-examining the fundamentals of theatrical storytelling. And, utilizing what I think is an interesting design idea, a modular set will be shared by all productions; it will include various pieces and platforms that can be moved around and reconfigured to give each show and its furnishings a unique geography. This group of talented artists does consistently top-notch work! Mud begins performances on August 19 and admission for all shows is Donate What You Want!

Plays August 19-September 11, for tickets click here.

The Bungalow Kitchen Belmont Shore by Michael Mina Restaurant in Long Beach

THE BUNGALOW KITCHEN

  • By SASHA GARY

Belmont Shores in Long Beach is an awesome area not far from Los Angeles proper and perfect for a day-cation. I loved discovering 2nd Street, the fab shopping district with the cutest roller-skating rink. I had dinner at The Bungalow Kitchen by Michael Mina, right on PCH facing the beautiful marina. Award-winning Chef Mina and hospitality veteran Brent Bolthouse brought this to fruition. It’s California cuisine and the decor is very rock and roll in the lobby and indoor dining is stunning; very tropical and comfortable. There was a line out the door waiting for the restaurant to open — everyone wants a good seat outside. I had the Stone Fruit and Wild Arugula Salad tossed in White Balsamic, topped with Burrata Cheese, Marcona Almonds, sliced Pork Lomo with fries, and their Spice is Right, Lyre’s non-alcoholic cocktail. It was fabulous! I will definitely go back for another fantastic meal. 

Michael Mina is a Michelin Star Chef and has cooked for Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. He has numerous restaurants around the United States and Dubai, along with others in LA — Bourbon Burger Bar, Bourbon Steak, and Mother Tongue. The Mina Restaurant Group has partnered with Andre Agassi since 2002. Either before or after your meal, take a stroll through the Belmont Shore sandy beaches, calm lagoons, picturesque canals, and elegant home-lined boardwalks. The Bungalow Kitchen is also open for brunch! 

For menu and details, click here.

The Princess (Diana) documentary August 13 on HBO and HBO Max

The Princess 

  • By Debbie Emery

Aug. 31 marks 25 years since Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, while the pair were allegedly being followed by paparazzi. The death of the “people’s princess” sparked international mourning as thousands of fans placed flowers at Kensington Palace and 2.5 billion viewers watched her funeral.

To honor the late mother of Prince William and Harry, HBO is airing a new documentary, The Princess, directed by Ed Perkins that uses archival footage of old interviews, news reports and TV appearances. Instead of focusing on her early life as Diana Spencer, the film spotlights the phenomena that captured global media and made her the most photographed woman in the world. 

As the HBO press release states, “the relationship of Diana and Charles, the Prince and Princess of Wales, was tabloid fodder for nearly two decades, the subject of almost daily headlines in the 24-hour news cycle. The Princess draws solely from contemporaneous archival audio and video footage to take audiences back to key events in Diana’s life as they happened, including their seemingly fairy-tale public courtship and wedding, the birth of their two sons, their bitter divorce, and Diana’s tragic and untimely death on August 31, 1997.”

“The Princess” debuts on HBO on August 13, click here.