Archive for Venice

“Sweet Thursday” — LA theater review for LA Weekly

Photo by Vitor Martins.


::STOP PRESS:: John Steinbeck’s SWEET THURSDAY, now playing at Pacific Resident Theatre has been extended an additional four weeks through Sunday, October 28, 2012.

Dear readers!

My theater review last week for the LA Weekly was of Sweet Thursday, a Steinbeck adaptation by Robb Derringer and Matt McKenzie, now playing at the Pacific Resident Theatre, in Venice.


Click here to go to the LA Weekly’s theater page and scroll down towards the bottom.


~ OR ~


You can just read it here!!


Happy reading!

Sweet Thursday

Take a trip back sixty or so years to a sweeter, gentler time when alcoholic bums were jovial and kind and bordello madams had a heart of gold.

Robb Derringer and Matt McKenzie (who also directs) have beautifully adapted novelist John Steinbeck’s sequel to Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday, into a three-act stage play with music. Steinbeck’s early line about how “gossamer threads of steel” connect everyone in this small community is diligently played out in the adorable love story that ensues.

Doc (Joe McGovern) returns to his northern cali beachtown after WWII to resume his marine biology experiments. Suzy (Lela Loren) is a fresh-off-the-bus cutie who is not cut out for working at Fauna’s brothel/finishing school. The motley crew of locals conspires to repay Doc’s enduring kindness with two separate schemes.

Musical director London Shover shines playing bluesy steel-stringed guitar, while other colorful characters intermittently accompany him on flute, harmonica and muted trumpet. Performances are all pitched a little larger than life, but somehow it works. A highlight is a spirited swing dance number.

The writers collaboratively weave comedy, humanity and insight into a delightful tale that is true to Steinbeck’s original. Charles Erven’s authentically cluttered set and Audrey Eisner’s period costumes are perfect.


Sweet Thursday: Robb Derringer and Matt McKenzie’s adaptation of John Steinbeck.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.

Continues through Sept. 30, (310) 822-8392,

Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice.



Meet the author – Barbara Kraft, writer of “Anaïs Nin: The Last Days,” review

Barbara Kraft’s sensitive memoir, Anaïs Nin: The Last Days, captures the humanity, mortality and essence of one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated and yet mysterious literary figures, employing sometimes loving and sometimes raw prose.

You can meet the author at a reading at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center,

Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 7 p.m.  (More info below.)


Kraft intriguingly opens her chronicle with this explanatory paragraph:

“I have chosen to reveal the intimacies of Anaïs Nin’s last days as I witnessed them so that the story of her death is not lost. Everything comes back in the mind’s eye. Everything comes back in the crucible of the heart. She remains in my psyche all these years later as the most refined and rarified human being I have ever encountered.”


Anaïs Nin, noted for her intimate diaries and scandalous, deliciously sensual erotica, was at the height of her fame when she took on Barbara Kraft as a writing student. The two women immediately became intimate friends at the moment when both would encounter tragedy: Nin’s terminal cancer and Kraft’s impending difficult divorce. These circumstances created an environment of interdependency: Nin, despite her failing health, supported Kraft’s writing and life decisions, and Kraft became a devoted and tireless part of Nin’s support system during her last two years of celebrated life.

As Noel Riley Fitch, author of Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin, writes of Kraft’s book: “An intimate and beautiful portrayal of the final years and painful death of Anaïs Nin… This compelling memoir is honest, critical, and full of perceptive insights into the relationships between Nin and her men.”

“Of all the young women I’ve worked with, you are the one most like me,” Nin told Kraft as she lay dying.

Kraft describes her initial meeting with Nin in February 1974, writing that Nin was poetry embodied and seemed to ‘glide’ over the rose-colored carpet of her Silver Lake home ‘like a swan skimming the surface of still waters.’ And in December of that year she begins what was to become a chronicle of Nin’s terrible two-year battle with cancer.

Because of the overwhelming reality of cancer, Anaïs Nin was stripped down to her bare essence, which Kraft expertly captures. She poignantly records not only Nin’s stubborn grip on life, but also the heroic efforts that Rupert Pole, Nin’s West Coast lover, made to shield her from the inevitable pain, agony and humiliation associated with the disease. It is a monumental tribute not only to those fighting for their lives, but also the forgotten ones—the caregivers.

The very personal events in this book will resonate with anyone who has gone through terminal disease or knows someone who has had to endure that challenge. So, like Nin herself, the raw reality of Anaïs Nin: The Last Days becomes symbolic, mythical, and universally inspirational.


Inscribed: "For Barbara with love and many affections, Anais"

Anaïs Nin: The Last Days is currently available for purchase on Amazon,

and also on Smashwords.

Anaïs Nin: The Last Days is also available directly from iPad (through the iTunes store), Nook, the Sony Reader, as well as other Kindle-friendly devises such as the iPhone and is available through nearly every credible device worldwide.


*** Meet the author at a reading ***

Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center

681 Venice Blvd

Venice, CA 90291-4805

(310) 822-3006

Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 7 p.m.

About the Author:

A former reporter for Time, Washington Post, People, USA Today, and Architectural Digest, Barbara Kraft is author of The Restless Spirit: Journal of a Gemini, with a preface by Anaïs Nin. Kraft’s work has appeared in Hudson Review, Michigan Quarterly, and Columbia Magazine, and among the many radio programs she has hosted and produced is Transforming OC, a two-part documentary on the 2006 opening of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. Kraft lives and writes in Los Angeles, California.

Visit her website here; Contact: [email protected]






Published as an e-Book by Sky Blue Press.


Sky Blue Press, established in 1996 by Paul Herron, is “dedicated to the preservation of literature as art,” and strives to achieve this goal with each publication.

Previous Works:

Barbara Kraft has written and published in a variety of genres including drama, fiction, non-fiction (essays, book reviews), autobiography, poetry, and opera libretti.


An hour-long radio play written, directed and produced for KPFK on the Irish revolutionary and extravagant muse of William Butler Yeats; Maud Gonne received the prestigious Ohio State Award as “an outstanding example of original radio drama…” The production featured Julie Adams as the extraordinary Maud.


Kraft wrote the libretto for William Kraft’s The Innocents: Witch Trial at Salem, a chamber work for chorus and orchestra. The Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote: “The libretto by Barbara Kraft gives vivid, incantatory fragments to vocal quartets of Magistrates, Clergy, two groups of Innocents and a chorus representing the Populace. Sections of raucous, conflicting (but tightly written) cries portrayed a community beset by hysteria….the union of words and music bore complete conviction.”


Kraft wrote and performed the narration for The Dream Tunnel: A Musical Journey Through America set to music by composer William Kraft. The work was commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 1976 Bicentennial; the first of the three performances was broadcast live over KPFK Pacifica Radio.


A dramatic documentary written, directed and produced for KPFK Pacifica Radio. The legendary Salome, featuring Julie Adams in the title role, was the object of Nietzsche’s thwarted adoration, muse to the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and, late in life, a student of Sigmund Freud’s in Vienna.


A radio documentary written, directed and produced for KPFK Pacific Radio. An unscholarly conjecture about the women in Richard Wagner’s life, both real and ‘operatic,’ and how they became intertwined in the composer’s life and work.


“Recollections of Anais Nin by her Contemporaries,” Ohio University Press, 1996

“Anais Nin A Biography” by Deidre Bair reviewed for The Los Angeles Times Book Review, 1995

“An Edited Life: The Death of Anais Nin,” Anais Nin: A Book of Mirrors, Sky Blue Press, Michigan, 1996

“The Last Days of Henry Miller,” Henry Miller: A Book of Tributes, 1931-1994, Standish Books, 1994

“The Last Days of Henry Miller,” The Hudson Review, New York, Fall 1993; also broadcast over KCRW-FM

“Art is What Artists Do,” on John Baldessari, for Articles, published by CalArts, 1984-85 issue

“The Universe of Sidney Sheinberg,” Columbia, published by Columbia University Magazine, 1984

“A Conversation with Henry Miller,” Michigan Quarterly Review, the University of Michigan, 1981; also broadcast over KCRW-FM

“Interview: Eugene Ionesco,” Canadian Theatre Review, York University, Downsview, Ontario, 1981


Venice Art Walk & AuctionsӬ, May 20-22

Venice Art Walk - 2010


Venice Art Walk & Auctions, by and for the Venice Family Clinic, will showcase hundreds of Artists, Studios and feature Silent Auctions, Architectural Tours, Skate and Surf Auction and more!

It”™s all happening over the weekend of May 20-22, 2011.

Report by Pauline Adamek

The Venice Art Walk is the best way to experience all that is great about this legendary beach community. The Art Walk provides rare opportunities to go behind the scenes””exploring artists”™ studios and private residences that are not otherwise open to the public. A destination to meet and interact with cultural tastemakers, it offers visitors the chance to bring home their own work of art by renowned emerg­ing and established contemporary artists and designers at one of the Art Walk”™s signature Silent Auctions and other artful living emporiums. All events benefit Venice Family Clinic.


See where art is made. The Venice community has long been home to some of the world”™s leading artists. For just this single day per year, some of the community”™s most exciting creative minds allow us a glimpse inside their world.

2011 Artists include:

Larry Albright, Alex Andre – NEW, Bill Attaway, Peter Bill, M.B. Boissonnault, Laurie Cozzen-Geller – NEW, Ruth (Cozzen) Snyder – NEW , Jamie Dean – NEW, Laddie John Dill, Jean Edelstein,  Greg Falk, Mollie Favour, Linda Fenster, Patrick Fraser, Frederick Fulmer, Alejandro Gehry, Stephen Glassman – NEW, Lynn Hanson, Kenny Harris, Jim Hubbard, Amir Magal – NEW, Scott Mayers, Brad Miller, John Mooney – NEW, Jules Muck – NEW, Judy Nimtz – NEW, Elizabeth Orleans, Gary Palmer,  John Robertson, Eric Schwabel, Barbara Schwan, Robert Schwan,  Sudad Shahin, Tanja Skala, David Skinner, Michael Sokolis,  Stacy Solodkin, Judy Stabile, Sarah Stockstill – NEW, Michael Weber – NEW, Pontus Willfors, Marian Winsryg, Jennifer Wolf – NEW

Special Exhibits

  • Amino Venice Charter High School – NEW
  • Creative Visions Foundation – Dan Eldon, Exhibited by Aran Cravey- NEW
  • Jay Mark Johnson at Animal West
  • The Lamp Community”™s Art Habitat
  • Van Buren Art Collective – Jay Kelly and James Georgopoulos – NEW
  • Westminster Elementary & Westminster Computer/Math Magnet Student Art

Galleries on the Tour

  • C.A.V.E. Gallery – NEW
  • Kana Manglapus Projects – NEW
  • Neptina

Ticket price: $50.00

For details, go here.

To purchase tickets, go here.


Venice Art Walk - Peter Alexander, Morongo Sunrise, 2011


More than 400 artists have donated sculpture, fine art, and ceramics, transforming Westminster School into the area”™s biggest art gallery. Take home an item of Venice art – and support free health care for people in the community.

Artists who have donated their work include Kim Abeles, Peter Alexander, Tony Berlant, Laddie John Dill, Joe Goode, Kim McCarty, Judy Stabile and Tom Wudl.

Entrance to the silent auction is FREE!

For a complete list of artists participating in the auction, go here.

In addition to the artists included in the silent auction, members of the community have stepped up to support the Clinic and create events that showcase contempo­rary popular culture.


Venice Art Walk - Eddie Ruscha, Jr. Feelin So Fine, 2011. Limited edition from Art Within Reach.

Among the new features of Art Walk 2011 is ҬArt Within Reach. Own a piece of the future at a price point anyone can afford! This new addition showcases limited editions by fifteen internationally recognized and emerging artists never before featured in the Art Walk.

The artists will create original archival digital ink jet prints in a signed and numbered edition of 20.

Artists include: Delia Brown, Erin Cosgrove, Todd Gray, Dion Johnson,Mara  Lonner, Renee Petropoulos, Fay Ray, Eddie Ruscha Jr., Analia Saban, Kim Schoenstadt, Samantha Thomas, Mungo Thompson, Kerry Tribe, Jennifer Wolf and Bari Zipperstein.

This event is free to the public and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Clinic.

Each piece of art is priced at $300.00.

For more info, go here.


ART WALK SKATE SURF / one night only, Friday May 20.

Kicking off the Venice Art Walk weekend is a skate and surfboard auc­tion featuring artist-designed skate decks and specially-shaped boards by more than 60 artists. FREE.

For more info, go here.



Designed to give guests an opportunity to explore important architectural gems in Venice and the Westside of Los Angeles, ticket holders will be given privileged access to private residences and gardens designed by some of the city”™s most renowned architects and landscape designers.

For more info, go here.

More information on the Artists, Auctions, Architecture Tours, Event Schedule and Tickets can be found here.

The Art Walk Studio Tours and signature Silent Auctions are complemented by the Community Fair on the green at Westminster School. There you will find the Art Within Reach Pop Up gallery, Artful Living (a select auction of items for the home), music, great food, and more. Admission is FREE!

Westminster School

1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice

The Venice Art Walk & Auctions will be held on Sunday, May 22, 2011 from 10am ’till 6pm.

Architecture Tours will be held on Saturday, May 21 (11am-4pm) and Sunday, May 22 (11am-2pm).

Art Walk Skate Surf will be held on Friday, May 20 (6-10pm).

For a full calendar of events, go here.

Venice Art Walk - Kim McCarty, Blue Boy, 2005

About Venice Art Walk & Auctions

For more than thirty years the Venice Art Walk & Auctions have pro­vided income and awareness to support Venice Family Clinic”™s pro­grams. A cherished part of the local community, the Art Walk features renowned artists”™ studios tours, special exhibits, and its signature si­lent auctions. The Venice Art Walk & Auctions is complemented by separately ticketed Art & Architecture Tours. The event is a vibrant expression of the Venice community. Like the town that gave it birth, the Venice Art Walk is a “destination” for viewing and acquiring the art of our time and a celebration of beach culture that has become one of the most important public expressions of the city”™s identity. And it is still the only “art walk” in the city that is a fundraiser””organized by and for Venice Family Clinic with support from hundreds of volunteers.


About Venice Family Clinic

Venice Family Clinic”™s mission is to provide free, quality health care to people in need. Established in 1970 by founder Phillip Rossman, MD, and co-founder Mayer B. Davidson, MD, the Clinic has grown from a small storefront operation into the largest free clinic in the coun­try. With the help of more than 2,000 volunteers, including over 500 physicians, Venice Family Clinic provides a medical home for close to 25,000 patients through nine sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood, and Culver City.

Faces from the Southern Ocean — G2 Gallery

Faces - Emperor Penguins


Breathtaking visions of a snowy wilderness, and the sweet faces of the creatures that inhabit it, feature in an exhibition of prints from Antarctica by fine artist and photographer J. J. L”™Heureux, opening at The G2 Gallery in Venice, March 29, 2011.

Report by Pauline Adamek

L”™Heureux has just returned from her eleventh trip to Antarctica in as many years. Once a remote destination, tourism to Antarctica has quadrupled in the last several years; according to a recent piece on KCETs Globe Trekker 46,000 tourists traveled to the fifth continent”™s Southern Ocean in 2008.

J. J. L”™Heureux made her first trip to Antarctica in 2000 where she collected digital images of ice and snow for a white-on-white color field series of “landscape” paintings. During this initial expedition she became fascinated by the wildlife and pristine environment she discovered there.  Penguins, all types of seals, whales and the unique varieties of birdlife found in the Southern Ocean became living models for her in the setting of the vast, wind-swept, icy landscapes of Antarctica.

Regarding the wildlife portraits in Faces, the Venice-based L”™Heureux says, “I want to share my sense of the intimate relationships that come with experiencing this unique continent and its wildlife.  Faces and eyes are among the first thing we register when meeting our fellow human beings.  My intention is to introduce the viewer to the faces and eyes of some of the amazing creatures I met and photographed in Antarctica. Inhabitants like the Southern Royal Albatross, the Antarctic Fur Seal, the Emperor and Macaroni Penguins.”

Since that initial trip, L”™Heureux has returned to Antarctica every year and continues to build her extensive digital database.  She has traveled as a passenger on a Russian icebreaker, as an art and photography lecturer on adventure cruises, and on her own in a small motor sailor, the Golden Fleece.   She also participated in The South African Penguin Study on Robben Island, South Africa, part of a project with The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).

Faces - cold Emperor chick with parents

L”™Heureux”™s book, Faces from the Southern Ocean, accompanies the exhibition and is available in The G2 Gallery Gift Shop and online at

Visit her websites – J. J. L”™Heureux and PenguinSpirit

The G2 Gallery is in itself a story - a green art space, the gallery donates proceeds from all art sales to environmental concerts. A Venice resident, L”™Heureux has exhibited extensively throughout galleries and museums in the United States and abroad.

Faces from the Southern Ocean

A photographic exhibition of thirty-five prints from Antarctica by artist and photographer J. J. L”™Heureux

Exhibition runs until May 8, 2011

The G2 Gallery

1503 Abbot Kinney Boulevard,

Venice, CA 90291-3742

Telephone: (310) 452 2842

Gallery Hours:

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11a.m.””9 p.m.

Sundays, 11 a.m.””6 p.m.

E-mail: [email protected]

Faces - Weddell Seal

Upcoming Events:

Ms. L”™Heureux will give an artist”™s talk at the gallery Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m.

A closing reception for Faces will be held Friday, May 6, 6:30-9 p.m.

About The G2 Gallery:

Established in March 2008, The G2 Gallery in Venice, California, is a green art space with a dedicated focus on contemporary nature and wildlife photography. In keeping with G2″™s commitment to supporting arts and the environment, the gallery presents exhibitions with eco-conscious themes, donating the proceeds from all art sales to environmental charities and hosts free concerts and lectures that bring awareness of critical issues to our community.