The Klezmatics

By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor


Beginning January 6, 2012 and running through June 1, 2012 will be the popular after-hours series which features live music, cutting edge authors, lively science discussions and curatorial tours at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez will return in the DJ Lounge for the series, with special guest appearances by other DJs from the public radio station (heard on air at 89.9FM and online at each month. Some of the hottest indie bands will be performing: Mariachi El Bronx (January 6), The Soft Moon (February 3), and Zola Jesus (March 2). Science Discussions: – January 6, 2012, “The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies — How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths” with Dr. Michael Shermer. – February 3, 2012, “The New Science of Darwinian Feminism: Evolutionary Insights from Bonobo Social and Sexual Interactions” with Dr. Amy Parish. – March 2, 2012, “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming” with Dr. Michael Brown. – March 30, 2012, “Is It Good or Bad That the World Has So Many Languages” with Dr. Jared Diamond. The museum scheduled this lecture for March 30th as the first Friday in April is Good Friday. – May 4, 20123 “Wicked Bugs: Fearsome and

The Klezmatics
The Klezmatics

Ferocious Creatures in Your Backyard and Beyond” with Amy Stewart. – June 1, 2012, “The Imagination is Made of Other People” with Jonah Lehrer. For more information go to


Last Monday night, my friend Diane Milavetz and I had the pleasure of spending a joyous evening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall enjoying the sounds of Eastern Europe with a little helping of jazz, funk, miarchi and a “bissel” of everything else. In honor of the upcoming Hanukah holiday, the Klezmatics included songs like “Hanuka’s Gelt,” the familiar “Spin Dreydl, Spin,” and others. Before playing “Hanuka Tree” he asked the audience if anyone had a tree. No one raised their hand. But our hands were raised and clapping along with the joyous sounds, especially in response to the rhythm set by the drummer Richie Barshay. The performers moved between their several instruments: Lorin Sklamberg with his ability on the accordion, guitar and piano; Matt Darriau on the clarinet, alto sax, kaval; Frank London on trumpet, keyboard and vocals; Paul Morrissett on the bass and tsimbl; Richie Barshay on the drums; and Lisa Gutkin on the violin. The audience clamored for more and the group responded with several encores. Especially haunting was Frank London’s Shnirele, perele. The two hours went by too swiftly. I hope this New York based group returns soon.


On Tuesday, January 3rd, Deborah Swan-McDonald will be conducting a water color demonstration at the San Fernando valley Art Club. Ms. Swan-McDonald is a juried member of Water Color West and taught art at Otis College of Art and Design. The program begins at 7:00 pm with a social time beginning at 6:30 pm. The San Fernando Valley Art Club was organized 68 years ago and has provided a continuing forum for artists of all skill levels and working in all mediums. Guests are welcome to attend the monthly meeting/ workshops. For more information go to www.


The Sierra Madre Playhouse has been pleased to present the stage version of the classic Christmas film, “It’s A Wonderful Life” this holiday season. You know the story: George Bailey, a family man who heads the Building and Loan Association in the town of Bedford Falls, has encountered an angel in training, Clarence, when he attempted to commit suicide. Clarence

Bridge, A Play
Bridge, A Play

shows George how he made a difference in the lives of his family and friends. Facing possible prosecution, George is saved by all the townspeople he’s helped over the years. James W. Rodgers wrote the adaptation of the Frank Capra film and story by Philip Van Doren Stern, Christina Harris directed and Ward Calaway produced for the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Because of popular demand, “It’s A Wonderful Life” has been extended to January 14th. Performance Schedule: Fridays January 6 and 13 at 8 pm; Saturdays January 7 and 14 at 8 pm; Sunday, January 8 at 2:30 pm. Tickets: $25. Seniors (65+) and students (13-17), $22; Children 12 and under, $15. For reservations, call (626) 355-4318 or go to www.


“Bridge” is the story of an aging saxophonist who finds what he believes will be a solitary spot to practice his music in the middle of the night — on a bridge. He finds himself confronted by three individuals at different times who also seek the solitude of the bridge with a common purpose — they intend to jump off. The characters are a substance-abusing woman; a transvestite living with AIDS who’s been abandoned by his lover; and a Japanese tsunami survivor stricken with survivor guilt. Playwright Willard Manus found the inspiration for his protagonist in legendary jazz musician Sonny Rollins, who ceased performing in public for two years and would practice his saxophone playing on the Williamsburg Bridge in the middle of the night. Kathy Galindo directs. “Bridge” is being performed at the Ruby Theatre at The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood CA 90038 from January 5-January 15, 2012. Performance Schedule: Thursday-Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm. Admission $25. For reservations (323) 960-7740.or visit www.

By Jean Strauber

Entertainment Writer

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