American Ballet Theatre Premieres ‘Whipped Cream’ at Segerstrom on March 15-19

Segerstrom Center for the Arts will present the World Premiere of American Ballet Theatre’s new production of Whipped Cream, choreographed by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, with sets and costumes by pop-surrealist Mark Ryden. ABT will give seven performances of the full-length work March 15-19, 2017 in Segerstrom Hall. Whipped Cream is based on Schlagobers, a two-act ballet with libretto and score by Richard Strauss that was first performed at the Vienna State Opera in 1924. The Pacific Symphony will perform the score live. The opening night principal cast includes: Daniil Simkin (The Boy); Stella Abrera (Princess Tea Flower); David Hallberg (Prince Coffee) and Sarah Lane (Princess Praline).

“I am particularly excited for audiences to experience Strauss’ music in this ballet, Whipped Cream. There is real craziness in this score which inspired me to approach the pop surrealist Mark Ryden,” said Ratmansky. “He is creating an incredible world that is a little scary, full of weird details and super precise. His technique is astounding, and I am matching him with my own tiny choreographic details.” A dollop of delightful whimsy, this thoroughly inventive full-length premiere tells the story of a young boy who overindulges at a Viennese pastry shop and falls into a delirium. To help him escape from his attending physician, the boy dreams of his triumphant rescue by Princess Praline and her court, replete with Princess Tea Flower, Prince Coffee as well as marching Marzipan, concluding in a festive celebration! As light as meringue, Richard Strauss’ score is the perfect inspiration for this all-new production destined to delight ballet fans of all ages.

This new production springs from the imaginations of Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky and popsurrealist visionary Mark Ryden. “I am so very intrigued by this unique story and the approach Alexei and Mark are taking,” said Kevin McKenzie, ABT Artistic Director. “The combination of fantasy and surrealism will prove something dreamlike from both of them.”

Tickets to American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream start at $29 and are now available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office located at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 5562787.

Long Beach Mardi Gras Parade Returns to Shoreline Villiage on Saturday, February 25

On Saturday, February 25th, join thousands of revelers of all ages as they once again descend on Shoreline Village, and neighboring Rainbow Harbor and Aquarium of the Pacific, for the largest annual parade event to hit the Long Beach coastline – the 2017 Long Beach Mardi Gras Parade and Festival!

Celebrated for its focus on offering a family-friendly alternative to the more traditionally risqué and adult-oriented annual tradition, Long Beach Mardi Gras has quickly become embraced as one of Long Beach’s signature annual events. Produced by Shoreline Village, with the support of partnering sponsors and vendors, Long Beach Mardi Gras offers visitors a free day of music, costumes, festivities, and more as businesses throughout Shoreline Village transform themselves to bring a taste of New Orleans to Southern California by offering Mardi Gras-themed menu items, interactive activities, drink specials – and of course, beads! Since its inception in 2009, over 15,000 participants have flooded Shoreline Village’s unique nostalgic locale to take in “Fat Tuesday” on a breezy Saturday – and this year, we’re working hard to make this our biggest event yet!

As is our annual tradition, Shoreline Village will be honoring two Long Beach individuals who we feel are strong and inspiring leaders in our community, and heralding them as King and Queen of Mardi Gras!!  This year, we are proud to honor KING BRIAN ADDISON and QUEEN JEANNINE PEARCE!

As always, participation in our Mardi Gras Parade down Rainbow Harbor is completely FREE, and businesses are welcome to represent their brand with their banners and signs!  We encourage revelers to let us know they’re coming by signing up at http://longbeachmardigras.com!

This year’s event has been sponsored by the Port of Long Beach, H&R Block, and Current Hotel. We thank our sponsors for their support!

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!
KING BRIAN ADDISON

Winner of the Los Angeles Press Club’s award for Journalist of the Year for his work at the Long Beach Post and Longbeachzine, Brian Addison’s name has become synonymous with impactful journalism in Long Beach. After serving as editor of Long Beach Post from 2011 – 2014, Brian served as Communications Manager for Downtown Long Beach Associates, and ultimately launched his own marketing company, Addison Communications, this past December. A vocal lover of all things Long Beach, and dedicated volunteer with organizations that address issues ranging from human rights, arts and culture, HIV/AIDS services, and economic development, Brian has received Recognition from Mayor Robert Garcia and Senator Ricardo Lara for his many contributions to his beloved community of Long Beach.

QUEEN JEANNINE PEARCE

A CSULB alumna, Jeannine Pearce took her passions for civic duty and social activism all the way to her current position as Long Beach City Councilor for the 2nd District. Jeannine has served as Public Policy Director of the Los Angeles for a New Economy (LAANE), where she campaigned in the front line to ensure the rights of hotel workers; Steering Committee Member of both Building Healthy Communities Long Beach and Housing Long Beach; and co-founded the LGBTQ-Labor Alliance, along with Long Beach’s Porter Gilberg and Gerrie Schipski, and famed civil rights activist Cleve Jones. Jeannine has received several Recognitions, including Steward of the Second District (2015), the Go Long Beach Award (2014), the Women’s Democratic Study Club’s Betty Karnette Community Activist Award (2013), and Long Beach Post’s “40 Under 40” (2013). In June of 2016, Jeannine was a candidate in one of Long Beach’s tightest and most fiery City Council races – and emerged victoriously, currently serving our community in City Hall.

Comfort Movie Comes to Home Video This Valentine’s Day

William Lu’s Comfort was one of the shining stars of the 2016 Los Angeles Pacific Film Festival and now your chance to see it is coming this Valentine’s Day. Go to ComfortMovie.com for purchasing details.

The Geek Lab and KTST fm not only had the chance to seek this fun romantic comedy at the Film Festival, but had the privilege to speak with the stars Chris Dihn and Julie Zahn and the Director William Lu.

This is a link to our review: Geek Lab Review

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone – Movie Review

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is a faith-based film that tells a predictable but fun story of a washed-up child actor who must confront his Hollywood past, while at the same time playing Jesus in order to impress a girl. Thanks to the financial and talent backing of WWE Studios, this low-budget story of salvation is transformed into a professional touching and funny movie.

Release Date: January 20, 2017
Writer: Andrea Gyertson Nasfell
Director: Dallas Jenkins
Cast: Brett Dalton

Gavin Stone (Brett Dalton) is a former child actor, who lost his way as a young adult. After trashing a hotel room, Gavin finds himself needing to complete 80 hours of community service or jail. Inconvenienced by this pause in his career, Gavin is forced to return to his hometown near Chicago and work at the local church.

The church’s pastor, Allen Richardson (D.B. Sweeney) is a good honest pastor, who sees behind Stone’s desire to simply fulfill his hours. Seeing that Stone needs to keep his high-profile persona low profile, Richardson puts Stone on janitorial duty. While cleaning the women’s bathroom, Stone meets Kelly (Anjelah Johnson-Reyes), who runs the children’s ministry and also happens to be the director of the church’s passion play.

Seizing the opportunity to act instead of cleaning bathrooms, Stone immediately auditions for the role of Jesus. Since only Christians can audition for the play, Stone quickly searches Google to help put his Christian “testimony” together. Stone manages to impress the crowd with his testimony, except for Kelly, who is quickly revealed as the pastor’s daughter and remains skeptical of Stone’s motives.

Returning to his hometown, Stone also has demons to face and Stone’s demon is his estranged father, Waylon (Neil Flynn). Gavin and his father have not spoken since the death of Gavin’s mother/Waylon’s wife. Having no money, Gavin is forced to ask his father if he can live in his childhood home for the duration of his community service.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is a sweet, funny story of faith. It is by no means groundbreaking, but the script is solid and extremely predictable. Everything ends as it should and lives are changed. Predictability is not bad provided the journey to the end is entertaining.

For a faith movie to have the backing of the sport entertainment company, WWE Studios and the horror film studio Blumhouse, means that the film has a bigger budget and access to actors, who would not otherwise appear in a faith film. The Resurrection of Gavin Stone benefits from its star power to provide amazing performances. Let’s put it this way, good actors reduce the number of “eye-roll” moments commonly associated with faith films.

As the lead character Gavin Stone, Brett Dalton seems to be born to play this role. He brings the range necessary as the conflicted actor, which many in the faith film genre would have a hard time pulling off. Stand-up comedian, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes is also great as the pastor’s daughter but stern leader.

As with all movies about churches, there are the goofy church members and The Resurrection of Gavin Stone has plenty. Funny are Tim Franks, who plays the nerdy John Mark and Patrick Gagnon as the no-it-all Anthony. Of course, the reason I went to see this movie was to see one of my favorite wrestlers, Shawn Michaels as the former con, Doug.

If you’re a fan of faith-based movies, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is fun movie and worth seeing. It’s safe for the whole family. The church scenes are real and somewhat eye-opening when you see church through the eyes of the unchurched Gavin Stone. It does what all feel good movies should do…make you feel good.