Twelfth Night!

Twelfth Night!
January 6, 2017

“On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me

Twelve Drummers Drumming!”

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“If music be the food of love, play on!”
-Duke Orsino Twelfth Night Act I, scene I by William Shakespeare

Nevermind the religion…
Twelfth Night on January 6th has always been the date we use to mark the end of the winter Holiday Season. Also, it’s the name of a Shakespeare play that we like. And if they’re going to sell Christmas for 3 months beforehand, we should get to appreciate and celebrate the entire Twelve Days of Christmas! This year (2017) Twelfth Night (January 6th) falls on a Friday, so we get to extend the holiday for one more weekend, even though we’re expecting a monster storm to hit hard in Los Angeles Saturday through Monday.

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Originally a Catholic holiday, the Feast of the Epiphany, the actual Elizabethan festival of Twelfth Night became a day of revelry. Servants dressed as their masters, men dressed as women and women as men. The festive ritual and role reversal was based on the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia. It involved the antics of a Lord of Misrule, who before leaving his temporary position of authority, would call for entertainment, songs and mummery: comedic plays performed by costumed amateur actors (traditionally all male) at feasts and functions in exchange for money and/or food.

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“Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrown upon them.”
– Feste, the Clown

Shakespeare’s comedic play “Twelfth Night, or What You Will” was written to be performed as a Twelfth Night entertainment. The earliest known performance took place at Middle Temple Hall on Candlemas night, February 2, 1602, the formal end of Christmastide in England. It may have been staged a year earlier in a private performance for Elizabeth I before the Court at Whitehall Palace on Twelfth Night, January 6th, 1601.

The influence of English folk tradition can be found in the play, particularly in Feste the clown’s songs and dialogue. Many elements are reversed in the tradition of Twelfth Night: a woman dressing as a man, and a servant imagining that he can become a nobleman. Shakespeare also chose to fictionalized Illyria, an ancient region in southern Europe on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, as the romantic setting for the story.

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Twelfth Night or What You Will” by William Shakespeare

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The Wisdom of Feste the Clown:jester-with-puppet

“Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those 
that are fools, let them use their talents.”

“Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage”

“Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, 
it shines every where.”

“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”

“There is no darkness but ignorance.”

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Feste’s Song (at the conclusion of Act V):

“When that I was and a little tiny boy, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
A foolish thing was but a toy, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came to man’s estate, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
’Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came, alas! to wive, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
By swaggering could I never thrive, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came unto my beds, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
With toss-pots still had drunken heads, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
A great while ago the world begun, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
But that’s all one, our play is done, 
    And we’ll strive to please you every day.”
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So, is it really unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night?

Generate your own Elizabethan Oath, Curse or Insult > http://www.renfaire.com/Language/insults.html

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Twelfth Night 2016

 

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…And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!


GOOD SHABBOS! Shabbat Shalom!
Happy Twelfth Night! Let’s Feast!

“Old Christmas is past, Twelfth Night is the last,
And we bid you adieu, great joy to the new!”

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On The Menu: NY Steak, sautéed onions, roasted red potatoes, steamed broccoli & carrots, bread & butter and an iced espresso. Later for dessert, 2 chocolate covered custard filled donuts and an espresso.

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William Shakespeare RIP: poet, playwright, actor-Died April 23, 1616

William Shakespeare RIP: poet, playwright & actor
A great writer and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist
England’s national poet aka the “Bard of Avon”
Died April 23, 1616

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
~William Shakespeare ‘Twelfth Night’

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The playwright was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Warwickshire market town, and returned there when he retired.

  • Born in 1564, and the earliest record of his writing dates from 1592
  • Wrote around 38 full plays (including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth), 154 sonnets and other works.
  • Words including “assassination”, “addiction”, “generous” and “bedroom” had their first recorded uses in his plays
  • Introduced phrases like “elbow room”, “heart of gold” and “tower of strength” to the English language
  • Acted as well as wrote, and owned a share in the original Globe theatre
  • Died on 23 April 1616, aged 52

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Greg Bell as Shakespeare at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Agoura 1985

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The Reduced Shakespeare Company (original members) performed “Hamlet” and “Romeo & Juliet” on the Caravanserie Stage at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato, California 1984-87

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Jess, Adam & Daniel – The Reduced Shakespeare Company Original Members

When we were in college in Santa Cruz we worked for the University of California, Santa Cruz, Performing Arts Department and the Living History Centre (the producers of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire & Dickens’ Christmas Fair) in Black Point, Novato, California.

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Shakespeare Santa Cruz 1984

“And, most dear actors, eat no onions or garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy.”
~ A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 4, Sc 2

In 1989, we traveled to Stratford-upon-Avon and London, England as a consultant to Homer “Murph” Swander’s “Theatre in England” (associated with UC Santa Barbara).

We saw 13 plays in 3 weeks at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s theaters in Stratford, and at The Pit, the National and Barbican in London. We saw Mark Rylance perform the title role of “Hamlet” in pajamas in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the role of Romeo in “Romeo & Juliet” in The Swan Theatre. We also saw “Two Gentlemen of Verona”, “Cymbeline”, “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and many other non-Shakespearean classical performances. We even saw Dustin Hoffman perform Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice” in London (his first time doing Shakespeare on stage).

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Mark Rylance as the title character in the RSC’s “Hamlet” 1989

NOTE: While in Stratford-upon-Avon, we had the pleasure to meet and drink with many of the RSC actors after the performances at the Falcon Hotel Bar across the street from the theatre. In addition, some of the RSC actors spoke, performed and answered questions at scheduled daytime meetings of our travel group. We also toured Broughton Castle.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival:

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival – Allen Elizabethan Theatre’s Stage

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3c4

Past OSF Performances we’ve attended (only a partial list of course):

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37 Plays! How many have you read? How many have you seen?

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Shakespeare Doodles (thanks http://www.goodticklebrain.com)

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Some Shakespeare Infographics:

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Some Shakespeare Insults:

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Some Shakespeare Humor:

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Shakespeare is buried in the cemetery at the Church of the Trinity in Stratford.

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Church of the Trinity – Stratford-upon-Avon, England

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3c4

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UPDATED Saturday, February 11, 2017

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Spring 2016 – Ashland, Oregon

THIS BLOG IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION!
COMPUTER INTERNET PROBLEMS AGAIN FORCED US TO PUBLISH!
WATCH AS THIS BLOG IS CONSTRUCTED!
First Posted 4-19-2016 and Last Updated 4-23-2016

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is one of the best things about visiting Ashland!

We love the OSF and whenever we’re in town we try to see as many of the shows currently playing as we can (time & money permitting). They produce eleven plays in three theaters each season: Shakespeare and “the classics”, adaptations, musicals and new “world premiere” plays which run in reparatory February-November.

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Festival Welcome Center’s Clock on Main Street in Ashland Oregon

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Pioneer St and Main St in Ashland Oregon

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Bronze Relief Statue at Pioneer St and Main St in Ashland Oregon

The campus is located at Main Street and Pioneer in downtown Ashland and there are 3 theaters (the large outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, the large Angus Bowmer Theatre and the smaller Thomas Theatre), the box office, the Tudor Gift Shoppe, the Founders Room and patio, rehearsal rooms and administration offices. They offer guided tours, pre and post show talks, and other special events. During the summer and early fall months there are FREE Green Show performances before the evening shows (weather permitting).

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Allen Elizabethan Theatre in Ashland Oregon

The Allen Elizabethan Theatre is a large outdoor “open-air” amphitheater in the style of the Globe Theatre from Shakespeare’s era, except it’s built out of modern materials and has high-tech lighting and sound.

Shows don’t open in the outdoor theatre until summer, and even then there’s a “rain or shine” policy for most performances. We’ve sat through outdoor shows in the rain and cold, where we were under the balcony and the rain was blowing in sideways and hitting us in the face, and other shows where it was “hot as hell” and there was no breeze blowing at all. Most times it’s a great experience and the weather isn’t a factor, but other times it’s been very uncomfortable, so now you’ve been warned.

TIP: Dress in layers and prepare for the weather and other conditions you may experience when seeing shows in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre!

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Allen Elizabethan Theatre’s Outdoor Stage

NOTE: This stage pic is from a previous trip and Blog. Last fall when we visited there were large wildfires burning in the area around Ashland and the Rogue Valley. A number of outdoor performances were cancelled because of heavy smoke (health, air quality and visibility issues were determined each night prior to the performance and the audience was warned that conditions might cause cancellation).

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Box Office

The Box Office is housed on the first floor of a building next to the Thomas Theatre on Pioneer Street. The OSF is completely “special needs” friendly and fully accessible.

 

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OSF Tickets for “Twelfth Night” & “The Yeoman of the Guard”

Tickets for the two shows (Twelfth Night Wednesday Matinee and Yeoman of The Guard on Thursday Evening) were available for pickup at Will Call in the Box Office.

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OSF’s Spring 2016 Playbill- “Twelfth Night” on the cover

Wednesday Matinee of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” done 1930’s Hollywood style in the Angus Bowmer Theatre

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Wednesday Matinee of “Twelfth Night” in the Bowmer Theatre

 

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Wednesday Matinee of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in the Bowmer Theatre

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Wednesday Matinee of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in the Bowmer Theatre

 

We had a ticket to the Thursday Evening performance of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s adaptation of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Yeoman of the Guard” done Country “Corn Pone” in the Thomas Theatre at 8pm and we were told to arrive early for the “pre-show” at 7:30pm. There was audience interaction with the characters before and during the show, and some of the best and funniest moments were the unscripted improvisation with the people sitting on the stage.

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Friday Night Performance of “The Yeoman of the Guard” in the Thomas Theatre

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Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Yeoman of the Guard” in the Thomas Theatre

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The “Bill of Fare” at the OSF’s Concession Stands

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“The Yeoman of the Guard” pre-show in the Thomas Theatre

There was no intermission. It was a relatively short show and it ended about 9:45pm.

Be sure to visit the Plaza at night for the “after theatre” experience. Most of the restaurants, breweries and bars stay open late and cater to both locals and the tourists in town. Weekends and some weeknights there is live music performed at some of the local venues.

NOTE: Be aware! The “transient” population tends to congregate in the area at night, but they are mostly harmless and usually don’t bother other people except to ask for money.

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Our Friday afternoon activities were cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances so instead we drove over to the OSF Box Office and switched our “comp” ticket to the Friday matinee of “Great Expectations”. We parked the car in the 4 hour lot and went to the show.

Friday Matinee of the World Premiere adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” in the Angus Bowmer Theatre

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Friday Matinee of “Great Expectations” in the Bowmer Theatre

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Friday Matinee World Premier of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”

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The Angus Bowmer Theatre in Ashland Oregon

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The Angus Bowmer Theatre in Ashland Oregon

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Friday Matinee World Premier of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”

 

The other shows playing “Viet Gone” and “The River Bride” both had great reviews.

Visit the OSF’s Festival Welcome Center for information and view the beautiful costumes from last season’s shows up close! The Volunteer Staff also have good tips about the town of Ashland.

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Welcome Center

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During the Summer and early Fall months the OSF has FREE Green Shows before the evening performances (weather permitting) “on the bricks” in the OSF plaza between the theaters.  The OSF invites visiting artists of all types to perform “On The Bricks” on the Plaza stage:

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Dirty Cello Perform at the OSF’s Green Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: This Green Show pic is from a previous trip and Blog. The Stage and Brick Plaza (as well as the Path to the Downtown Plaza) are currently undergoing extensive renovation.

And of course visit the Tudor Gift Shoppe for all your OSF souvenirs!

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William Shakespeare’s Bust is Available in the Tudor Gift Shoppe

 

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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“Pericles” Spring 2015 was fantastic!

 

Road Trip to ‪Ashland‬ ‪Oregon 2015‬! pt. 2 – NEW BLOGS!!!

Spring 2015 Road Trip to ‪Ashland‬ ‪Oregon‬!

New Blogs posted:

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Memorial Day 2015 ‪ROAD TRIP‬!

Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland Oregon with JoshWillTravel

Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland Oregon with JoshWillTravel

The ‪Brickroom‬ http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1AV

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

Oberon’s Tavern http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Bj

Oberon's Tavern in Ashland Oregon

Oberon’s Tavern in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Dn

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

Saturday Farmer’s Market & Anti-GMO Protest http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1zH

Anti-GMO Protest in Ashland, Oregon

Anti-GMO Protest in Ashland, Oregon

Sunday Morning in ‪Lithia Park‬ http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1yg

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

Ignition Gallery and Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1xO

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1xx

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Cripple Creek Music Co. http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1CX

Cripple Creek Music Store

Cripple Creek Music Store

O’Ryan’s Irish Pub and the Black Sheep Pub http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1CF

O'Ryan's Irish Pub

O’Ryan’s Irish Pub

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Tokyo Sushi – Dinner in San Jose CA http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1wF

Tokyo Sushi - San Jose, CA

Tokyo Sushi – San Jose, CA

In-N-Out Urge! National Burger Day! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1wu

In-N-Out Urge!

In-N-Out Urge!

National Donut Day! And a Tribute to Mitch Hedberg! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1zk

Mmmm....Donuts.

Mmmm….Donuts.

16200 Hits! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Cy

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

“Dear Jerry” Envelope Art! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1BO

“Dear Jerry” Envelope Art (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

and still more to come.

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel.

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Rogue Valley Sunset - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Sunset – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Mother’s Day Matinee at the Colony Theatre and a Party at Bow & Truss Restaurant

Mother’s Day Matinee of “The Lion In Winter” with Mom at the Colony Theatre in Burbank

"The Lion in Winter" Matinee at the Colony Theatre in Burbank

“The Lion in Winter” Matinee at the Colony Theatre in Burbank

Colony Theatre in Burbank (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Colony Theatre in Burbank (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Just across from IKEA at the Media Center in Burbank is the Colony Theatre, enter the parking structure on 3rd Street. Parking on Sunday afternoon (and Mother’s Day) is always tight! Enter the theatre on Level 4. They have a lovely lobby with the box office window inside, a concession area (Coffee, water, soda, candy etc.) and a “gallery” with weird art for sale.

The play was “The Lion in Winter” starring Ian Buchannan and Marriette Hartley. Mariette is a friend of the family, and I worked with Ian a long time ago on David Lynch’s “On The Air” for Lynch/Frost Productions and ABC television.

A quick drive and then Party Time with Mom! On Magnolia Blvd between Lankershim and Vineland is Bow & Truss Restaurant in North Hollywood (aka NoHo for out-of-towners) – so right away you know there’s no parking…

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have valet parking on Magnolia (so I found a space down the street and around the corner on Lankershim). There’s a large patio yard exterior and a very cold industrial interior. Concrete floors, open floor plan, red brick walls and bow & truss ceilings (hence the name). There’s an open kitchen and prep area in one of the corners and a large square bar in the center of the dining room. IT’S LOUD! The kitchen and bar noise echoes off the brick and concrete, and as is too often typical they play “trendy” music throughout the space at a sound level that is more annoying than it is enjoyable. It was late afternoon on Mother’s Day and the place wasn’t very busy, so I can’t imagine how loud it must get with a full house and bar. The seats, stools and booths are hard wood, so it’s not very comfortable and there’s no intimate space so it’s not very romantic. There are “picnic” tables under a tented area and a lounge space with couches and small tables on the outside patio.

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Bar – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

On The Menu: Fig bread with blue cheese butter, shrimp and scallop ceviche on a fried avocado, lamb ribs, pork belly with kale and crackling, chop chop salad, filet tacos and a coke. Also sampled were the paella de la tierra and pork cheek tacos.

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Fig Bread – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Ceviche – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Pork Belly – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lamb Ribs – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Chop Chop salad – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Filet Tacos – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Foodies and restaurant reviewers have been going “ape-sh*t” crazy for this place. So, there’s the menu, the food and the service left to talk about. As you can see, the menu is different and offers a variety of Spanish food (on small plates). I did not have a good experience with the food and for all the people that were working there, I thought the service could have been much better! (I counted three managers, two hostesses, two bartenders, five cooks and six servers for a half empty restaurant)

Everything sounds and looks good, but the taste part was my issue: the lamb, pork belly and steak on the tacos were all TOO FATTY. The fig bread was delicious, but it’s more like cake than bread…and it’s pricey. They liked the paella, the chop chop salad and the pork tacos, but after three dishes of disappointment I was done. I didn’t even stay for dessert.

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Patio – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Patio – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Patio – Bow & Truss Restaurant (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Well, maybe it was just me, but it wasn’t a good dining experience. And that’s my story. Eat here before it’s something else…..

Bow & Truss – 11122 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood 91601 http://www.bowandtruss.com

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21-JUN-13: Friday Night at the Formosa Cafe

Friday Night at the world famous Formosa Cafe

Pre and Post Theater drinks on opening night of “Absolutely Filthy” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  My Rating: Go See This Show!

Friday Night at the Formosa Cafe

Friday Night at the Formosa Cafe (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Formosa Cafe –  7156 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA

More Pics:

Welcome to Hollywood! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Welcome to Hollywood!
(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood and Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood and Highland (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Audience pre-show (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Audience pre-show (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“turn off your electronic devices” (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

www.hollywoodfringe.org

“Absolutely Filthy” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival http://www.hollywoodfringe.org

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Closing down the Formosa at 2:15am (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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08-MAY-13: Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Shakespeare Santa Cruz (at the University of California, Santa Cruz)

Founded in 1981, Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC) is a professional repertory company operating in cooperation with the Theater Arts Department in the Arts Division at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).  The support of the Arts Division and the work of the Theater Arts faculty, students, and staff play an important in shaping the SSC aesthetic.  Through this partnership, SSC has attained a national reputation for linking the best in contemporary scholarship with the highest artistic standards of production and the exciting possibilities of repertory performance.  In addition, SSC and the UCSC Theater Arts Department collaborate directly on two projects each season – the Shakespeare to Go touring program that brings Shakespeare to over 7000 students annually, and the annual holiday show.

Shakespeare Santa Cruz 1984

Shakespeare Santa Cruz 1986 Season

The 2013 Summer Season in the Glen at UCSC Performing Arts July 23 – September 1: The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V, Tom Jones the Fringe Show!   

2013-season-slide

One for the Road/The Lover (a collaborative production with Shakespeare Santa Cruz starring Paul Whitworth, Mike Ryan and Julie James) is currently running at the Center Stage Theater in Santa Cruz. http://www.jeweltheatre.net/

University of California, Santa Cruz Barn Theater - Santa Cruz, CA

University of California, Santa Cruz Barn Theater – Santa Cruz, California

Schedule of upcoming art events at UCSC: http://arts.ucsc.edu/news_events/all_upcoming_events

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UCSC Performing Arts Map 2012

University of California, Santa Cruz Performing Arts Map 2012

U.S. Travel Association - www.ustravel.org

U.S. Travel Association – http://www.ustravel.org

UPDATE: November 13, 2015 – Summer 2013 was the last season of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. The University foolishly decided to withdraw funding and cancel the partnership of 30+ years. A tremendous effort was made to save the program and it was renamed Santa Cruz Shakespeare an independent non-profit currently prepping it’s 3rd season. https://www.santacruzshakespeare.org



Dinner & Show: Nan Ban Kan & “Assisted Living” Opening Night @ Odyssey Theater

Friday Night 05-APR-13

Our evening begins with a drive on the 405 from the San Fernando Valley.  A quick shortcut up the hill to Mulholland, and across the bridge at Skirball Center, and onto Sepulveda and then up the new onramp to the 405 Freeway south.  Of course, it’s necessary to mention the MAJOR CONSTRUCTION that is always a potential nightmare for the freeway traveler.  CalTrans and the contractors are widening, replacing and retrofitting the bridges and overpasses.  They are building huge retaining walls, literally moving mountains and rebuilding the on and off ramps between the valley and West Los Angeles.

405 Freeway south - Sepulveda Pass

405 Freeway south – Sepulveda Pass (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I’m in the passenger seat tonight, so don’t freak out.

405 Freeway south

405 Freeway south – Sepulveda Pass (copyright 2013 JoshWill Travel)

405 Freeway south - Getty Center

405 Freeway south – Getty Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

405 Freeway south - Sunset

405 Freeway south – Sunset at Sunset Blvd and the 405 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

At Hotel Angeleno, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel, every room includes complimentary valet parking, free wireless internet access, courtesy shuttle service, and a complimentary wine hour every evening in the lobby.  This L.A. landmark building, once was a Holiday Inn, and is the last of a vanishing breed of circular hotels from the 1960s. Mixed reviews after the renovation and renaming as Hotel Angeleno, a joie de vivre hotel, because of the high noise level due to it’s proximity to the 405 freeway!

405 Freeway south - new retaining wall

405 Freeway south – new retaining wall (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The new retaining walls that were recently built and remain unfinished (that’s unfinished interlaced rebar in the picture) are true feats of engineering! Think about the half-mountain and mammoth pile of earth that was once there.  The carpool lane runs the entire distance of the 405, from the valley to the airport and beyond.  They are doing construction on some of the busiest on and off ramps in the nation, rebuilding massive bridges and under/overpasses and widening the freeway on both sides. Maybe someday they’ll be done….

Traffic was light until we got past Sunset Blvd, which was amazing considering it was Friday at 5:30pm and then we hit traffic and it took a little time to get to the Santa Monica Blvd exit.  They are doing construction at Sunset, Wilshire, Santa Monica and Olympic.  The Santa Monica exit was down to only one lane because of the road work, opening up into four turn lanes only at the bottom of the ramp.  I used to work in West L.A. and the traffic was bad with all four lanes open, so I can’t even imagine what it must be like at rush hour these days!

405 Freeway south - TRAFFIC approaching Santa Monica Blvd

405 Freeway south – TRAFFIC at Santa Monica Blvd (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We exited the freeway, turned west and a short distance down Santa Monica Blvd, in a neighborhood with ample metered street parking, we arrived at our first destination: Dinner at Nan Ban Kan restaurant in West L.A.

Santa Monica Blvd - West L.A.

TRAFFIC on Santa Monica Blvd looking west – West L.A. (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

West L.A.

West L.A. Municipal Building sign on Corinth (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I’m going to take a moment here to mention Los Angeles’ Homeless Problem, before we get to the foodie stuff.  This neighborhood is adjacent to the V.A. Hospital in Westwood and has a large homeless population and disabled veterans living in crappy motel/apartments. It’s impossible to not be moved by the presence of the less fortunate among us.  I saw a guy in an army jacket sitting and counting a huge stack of one dollar bills, the earnings from a long day of panhandling at his freeway exit.  And I watched a woman in a wheelchair, with only one foot, push herself backwards across an intersection and up the ramp at the curb, and it only took her two traffic light changes and a ton of effort to accomplish this simple task we take for granted.  So, think of these people who aren’t as lucky or blessed as you and do something about the silent problem across “the richest country in the world” (please volunteer or make a donation if you can afford it)

Thank you for your attention and now back to Dinner at Nan Ban Kan.

Nanbankan

Nan Ban Kan – 11330 Santa Monica Blvd, West L.A. (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Nanbankan

Nan Ban Kan Restaurant for Dinner (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Party of six for dinner!  Reservations are suggested because it’s not a very large restaurant and the yakitori grill and sushi bar take up a lot of the dining room space.  They actually fit us in and we had a nice table against the wall, but we promised to finish before 7:30pm because they had a reservation for another party.  That was fine because we were going to the show and had to get to the theater.  We started with drinks. a hot towel, a raw vegetable salad appetizer with dressing/dipping sauce and an order of shrimp and vegetable tempura, which was good, but not great.

I’ll mention the service right now, it was CHAOTIC.  We were served by three waiters, one waitress and the host/owner, and they didn’t get the order right!  It wan’t really bad service, there just wasn’t proper attention to detail and timing.  I had to ask for another coke three times and they didn’t write down the my order of chicken meatballs when I ordered them.

Nanbankan

Nan Ban Kan – Yakitori Grill and Sushi Bar (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Nanbankan

Nan Ban Kan Menu with Hot Sake and a Coke (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We ordered a lot of different things, it’s a “small plate” experience, from the grill or sushi bar.  On the Menu: spicy yellowtail roll, hot sake, grilled shishito peppers, grilled brussel sprouts, live scallop, chicken meatballs, pork belly, spicy tuna roll, california roll, and a grilled rice ball filled with salmon.  Other people in our party tried the black cod, yellowtail collar, stuffed shitake mushrooms and grilled zucchini.  The food was also kind of “hit and miss”, some things being terrific and other things being just okay.  I recommend the chicken meatballs, shishito peppers, live scallop, (real crab) california roll and everyone loved the stuffed mushrooms.  The pork belly was overcooked and very chewy, like bacon flavored gum (which I actually think might be a great product).

Nanbankan - shrimp tempura

Nan Ban Kan – shrimp (and vegetable – not shown) tempura, remaining cabbage from the raw vegetable salad appetizer, salad dressing/dipping sauce and tempura sauce (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Nanbankan -spicy yellowtail cutroll

Nan Ban Kan – spicy yellowtail cutroll (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Nanbankan - chicken meatballs

Nan Ban Kan – Try the tasty chicken meatballs! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We finished dinner and split the check, six people ate and drank for just under $200, including the tip (~$33 per person).  It was a fun dinner with good company, and although it was “hit and miss” on the food and service, we had a great time.  So we paid, and as promised, we were done before the other party arrived.

We got back into our cars and drove around the corner for the “Assisted Living” Opening Night Performance and Party at the Odyssey Theater on Sepulveda Blvd.  Parking $3, Ticket to the Show $45, witnessing a great performance and laughing for 95 minutes straight, PRICELESS. http://www.odysseytheatre.com

"Assisted Living" starring Paul Dooley & Winnie Holzman

“Assisted Living” starring Paul Dooley & Winnie Holzman at the Odyssey Theater (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

SPOILER ALERT! – although not key to the plot, the following may be considered by some as a spoiler, so I will warn you to read at your own risk.  (Thank you!)

“Assisted Living” is a wonderful two person-four character production starring and written by Paul Dooley and Winnie Holzman, and directed by Larry Biederman.  The actors are married in real life and wrote the play over twenty years together.  Both actors play dual roles: In Act One, Dooley first plays Frank Maxwell an aging soap opera actor who has played “Doctor Dan” for his entire career and Holzman plays his long-suffering girlfriend Emily.  And then in Act Two, Dooley plays Edgar, a dying man whose son has put him in an “old folks” home and Holzman plays his long-suffering daughter Heather, a true soap opera fan.  And finally in Act Three, Dooley plays Frank and Holzman plays Heather.  The play runs 95 minutes without an intermission.

"Assisted Living" at the Odyssey Theater

“Assisted Living” Set (pre-show) at the Odyssey Theater (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The play’s writing and dialogue is witty, smart, touching and funny.  The characters were incredibly genuine, real, and portrayed by two fantastic actors.  The chemistry that Dooley and Holzman have as a married couple is ever present in their acting performance.  He is a great actor and she was terrific.  The set, lighting and technical effects worked great to serve the story, and 95 minutes later without an intermission, they received a standing ovation from the opening night audience.

Full House - Opening Night of "Assisted Living" at the Odyssey Theater

Sold-Out Full House on Opening Night of “Assisted Living” at the Odyssey Theater (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Following the performance there was a catered reception outdoors next to the theater, with food and drink and many industry friends and other familiar faces.  I was still full from dinner, so I didn’t eat and only drank a bottled water at the party.

"Assisted LIving" Opening Night Party - Charlotte Rae and the director

“Assisted LIving” Opening Night Party – Charlotte Rae and the director Larry Biederman (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And the high point of my evening was meeting Charlotte Rae again (Mrs. Garrett from “Different Strokes” and “Facts of Life”).  She is such a sweet and wonderful woman (and a cancer survivor).  I had met her a long time ago and we spent some time talking at the party before I asked her if she would take a picture with me.  Of course, she was happy to oblige:

"Assisted Living" Opening Night party - Hangin' with Mrs. Garrett! (the wonderful Charlotte Rae)

“Assisted Living” Opening Night party – Hangin’ with Mrs. Garrett! (the wonderful Charlotte Rae) And yes, that is Dennis Christopher behind me. (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We hung out and schmoozed for awhile, while waiting for Paul and Winnie to join the crowd.  When they finally emerged, we congratulated them and then said goodnight.

West L.A. Fadeaway!  We’re back on the 405 freeway, dodging lunatic drivers in a hurry to go wherever, and we drove back home to the valley.  It was a terrific Friday night.  Dinner was fun, the show was great and a good time was had by all!  (And big thanks to my designated driver, even though I didn’t drink anymore after dinner)