Kelocity.com

A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Iris: A Party for the Eyes October 5, 2011

Filed under: Hollywood Events,Los Angeles — Kelocity @ 10:08 pm
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Irving and I love going to Cirque shows. Vegas is known for its out-of-this-world shows with dazzling costumes, incredible acts and gorgeous sets.  We’ve seen Zumanity and KA and really liked them both. It’s always the highlight of a trip to Sin City.
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But now we don’t have to drive four hours to Nevada to catch an amazing stage show. Hollywood now has its very own resident Cirque show. Introducing: IRIS.
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We’ve been itching to see this show since we first heard about it two years ago. Unlike the shows in Vegas, IRIS didn’t have a building designed around the performance. Instead, they had to use the existing space inside the Kodak Theater and retrofit it to their needs. It was a three year process that involved a $40 million excavation project to create room for the sets they had in mind.
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The two hour show is comprised of human artists, mechanical props, film, light, music and sound all interacting with each other in the most magical way you can imagine. The execution is flawless and you really are transported out of reality and into a whimsical world that will catch your breath and hold it til the very end.
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There are 72 cast members, 200 costumes, 20 projectors and more than 300 stage cues throughout the show. There are times when you don’t know where to look because there is so much going on at once. You can look left, right, up or down and your eyes will be fascinated with what they can see.
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The acts were impressive, it is truly amazing what the body is capable of. It’s the human aspect that really impresses me. There is risk, fear and adrenaline involved in all of the performances. It’s the “how do they do that” questions that mesmerizes the audience.The circus has evolved into a fantastical and glamorous occasion and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the marriage between people and technology. 
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The above image represented a film strip. The actors all moved in identical unison and it looked like you watching a movie. IRIS is located in the Kodak Theater which is in the heart of Hollywood. The whole show is about the evolution of the movie industry and it made me giddy to witness it right where the magic originally happened.
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One of my favorite acts was the Cops and Robbers sequence. It plays out like a Dick Tracey skit. The good guys and the bad guys in battle with each other. The pursuit of justice and the evasion of getting caught. I won’t spoil the details in case you get the pleasure of viewing it live, but trampolines were involved and it was so cool to watch!
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After the show, I was invited to join a blogger’s Q&A with two of the performers, Andrew and Kevin Atherton. They are identical twins who perform aerial tricks on the straps together. They both got involved with gymnastics at age 7 and joined Cirque when they were 24. They were with Varekai for 8 1/2 years before joining the cast of IRIS. In those years, they never missed a single performance due to sickness. These guys really love what they do and you can tell they are very proud to be a part of this show.
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They talked about how what they do does involve a bit of risk, but they trust each other with their lives. They said that some people dream of being able to fly and they get to do it for a living.
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The performers get a lot of freedom to choreograph their own acts and the music was added later. Danny Elfman, who has scored numerous blockbuster films (The Hunger Games, Alice in Wonderland, Chicago, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) also scored IRIS. It must have been quite a challenge to not have locked video to work with like he was used to. The music was such an important role in the show and it was very well done.
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IRIS will be playing in the Kodak Theater for more than a decade and I already can’t wait to see it again. The performances evolve over time and no two shows are alike. As cast members are added, new talents will be written into the show. Whether you’re an LA local or a visiting tourist, it’s a must see. For tickets, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/IRIS .

PS: I went to Circus school last year to learn how to swing from the trapeze! Click here for my pictures! What do you think? Should I audition for Cirque?

 

Tickets were provided to us, but as usual, all opinions are my own.

 

Ghetto Klown: Call your Bank and Press 2 October 4, 2011

Filed under: Celebs,Hollywood Events,Los Angeles — Kelocity @ 5:59 am
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“If you want to learn Spanish, call your bank and press 2”. That was my favorite of the many great jokes we heard John Leguizamo tell Sunday night during his performance of Ghetto Klown. We were invited to the press opening of of the show, which has just come off Broadway. Irving and I are both huge fans of John Leguizamo and were really excited to see him back on the stage.
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Ghetto Klown was written and performed by John himself. He weaves hilarious stories of his youth in with his tough family history as he struggled to become the person he knows he wants to be.
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John comes from Latino descent and growing up in Jackson Heights, New York was far from easy for his family. He’s a great writer and knows how to tell a great story. When he talked about the harder moments in his life, it was almost uncomfortable to watch. As if he brought you inside a life that you weren’t supposed to see. But that is one of the reasons that makes the show outstanding. It was real. It was raw. It was personal. And he’s brave enough to share it with the world.

I don’t even think this show can be reviewed as a show. You can’t review a person’s life. His stories opened up his vulnerable side when he talked about how he was at war with himself, torn between his personal and professional life. Finding that balance and believing in himself.  I especially loved hearing about his experience in Romeo + Juliet since it’s my favorite movie. He even acted out some of his lines from the movie. I got chills.

The stage was phenomenal. At first it didn’t look like much. Just a desk, a few chairs and projector. But the way the space was used was really unique and impressive. He intertwined video, slides and sound effects to make the stories come to life for the audience.

The theater house, The Montalban Theater, is old and gritty, located in the heart of Hollywood. I can’t think of a more perfect venue for a show like this. The show runs through October 16th and tickets can be found here.
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I love the concept of “Everybody has a Story” and it’s always a treat to hear someone tell theirs… and tell it well. It also makes me reflect on my own life. What’s MY story? What actions along the way have defined my life? Any play that makes you ask yourself questions like that is a winner in my book.

 

Singing Stars of Hollywood August 2, 2011

Filed under: Celebs,Hollywood Events — Kelocity @ 11:10 am
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We had yet another night at the Hollywood Bowl this past weekend. It was the LA Philharmonic with “The Singing Stars of Television”! It was quite the all-star cast and we had a great time. But first! The food!

We usually picnic beforehand, and it’s SO much more fun with a big group of people. We had an impressive spread this time!
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We had 8 people in our group (whoo hoo!) and this was the menu:
-Chicken and Beef Skewers from Zankou Chicken
-Basmati Rice from Zankou
-Buffalo Chicken Dip with chips (made by yours truly! Recipe coming tomorrow!)
-Summer Garden Salad
-Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
-Fresh Fruit
-Hummus
-Blonde Brownies
-CRUMBS CUPCAKES!
-Sparkling Lemonade

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Yea. It was epic.
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I’d say the Bowl was only about half full that night (which is crazy considering how amazing the show was!) We had a whole section (or two) all to ourselves!
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Ok! Get Ready! Blurry pictures ahead!

First up was Michael Feinstein. He’s really talented. I was impressed at the range of his voice.
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Next up was Florence Henderson! Yep. THE Mrs. Brady!!! She even sang the theme song to the Brady Bunch! It was so cool!!! She’s adorable.
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Wayne Brady and Cheyenne Jackson also did a few numbers. Cheyenne is super cute! I guess he’s on Glee? I need to watch more TV.

But I was most excited to see Dick Van Dyk. That man is incredible! You can just tell that he’s had a career doing something that he loves. He did a bunch of songs from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins!!!
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And perhaps the best part was when he actually rapped a song with his group “The Vantastics”.
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I found a video of it on Youtube that you have see. Click ahead to 2:45 in the clip.

I feel so lucky to see these amazing stars live on stage! What a fun night.
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PS. Check out my next Guest Post on Contiki! I reveal my top-secret tips for creating our fun annual holiday cards!

 

Dudamel and Lang Lang At the Bowl July 14, 2011

Filed under: Hollywood Events — Kelocity @ 7:33 am
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We haven’t really have a ton of plans recently, but I’ve been keeping busy with scrapbooking, digitizing some home video tapes and of course, reading THE TWILIGHT BOOKS!! (I’m in the middle of Breaking Dawn and I am LOVING it!

We actually almost forgot that we had Hollywood Bowl tickets for Tuesday night. It was just the two of us this time, and we were happy to be outside, hear some good music and get out of the house for a few hours. It was a cool and breezy night, perfect for wearing a hoodie (my favorite!)

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We kept it real simple for dinner. Instead of our usual picnic, we opted to just bring a small pizza in. Easy peasy.
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Before the show started, we were just talking about how lucky we are to live in LA. We absolutely LOVE it out here. Sometimes I take it for granted that we have all these amazing places to see right at our fingertips. From our seats, we could see the Hollywood Sign, the Ford Theater and the Griffith Park Observatory! What you don’t see in this picture is the Greek Theater, Hollywood and Highland, The Walk of Fame and SO many others within a half mile from there.

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Soon the show began. Dudamel is such a talented young conductor. He gets really into the music and you can tell he’s passionate about what he does.

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I don’t know much about classical music, but I did recognize a few of the songs they played. It’s such an amazing orchestra.
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And then Lang Lang came out and played his piano along with the band. He is incredibly gifted. He doesn’t even look at the keys when he plays. It’s amazing that only ten fingers are making such beautiful music. It sounds like there would be three people playing at once!  IMG_6320

I really enjoyed the music, but I have to admit, I was so excited to read my book while I listened. I bought Breaking Dawn on the Nook software and was happy to read for an hour. Yea, it was probably rude, but we were in the cheap seats and we were the ONLY people in our section. Don’t judge.IMG_6322

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In other news, I am in love with the flowers Irving bought me for our anniversary this week! I love buttom mums. I had them in my wedding bouquet. So summery!anni (9)

And I bought us two cupcakes to share. They were good, but not as good as our wedding ones. Le sigh.anni (7)

 

Superior Donuts at the Geffen June 29, 2011

Filed under: Friends,Hollywood Events,Los Angeles,Theater — Kelocity @ 7:31 am
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My friend Chely scored some free tickets to the Geffen Theater in a fundraising raffle last year. I was thrilled when she invited me to be her guest for a show last night. I don’t go to the theater nearly as often as I should and it was a great excuse for a night on the town.
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We had a communication mixup and I was parked in front of her house, and Chely was parked in front of my house. We kept telling each other “I’m out front” “Me too” “Where are you?” “Right in front!” Oops. We laughed about it later, too funny. We finally met up and headed over to the theater.
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The Geffen is really beautiful. It’s an intimate theater with all the right touches.
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With our tickets, we also had entrance into the Founder’s Room, a VIP area to hang out before the show. That’s how we roll!
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I know, I had the opportunity to snag a free MINT CHOCOLATE Clif Builders bar or a cookie and I didn’t take it. Day 3 of eliminating sugar. And you know what? I’m not even really missing it yet.

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There weren’t too many people in the room with us, but everyone else was fairly older. I love people watching. I think it’s so cute to see older couples get all dolled up to see a show together. The men wear their suit coats, and the women put on their lipstick. It’s so beautiful.

I also noticed that old people LOVE Hershey Kisses. LOVE them! They’d sneak over, and grab a whole handful. One woman winked at me and said “I took 7. One for every day of the week”. So cute. When I’m old, I hope I can enjoy life’s simple pleasures with such enthusiasm too. If you pay attention, you really can learn a lot from the older generations.
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The play was Superior Donuts and it was just amazing. It starred Gary Cole, who I know from Entourage, but he’s been a bunch of other things. Also starring was Kathryn Joosten (known for her role as Mrs. McClusky on Desperate Housewives) and Edi Gathegi (OMG, he plays Laurent in Twilight!!!!!!!!!)
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It was witty, funny, emotional and brilliantly written. I loved it from start to finish. The set was very impressive and the way the used the space was really smart. I laughed out loud several times. I have to say this was probably the best play I’ve ever seen in LA.
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We had great seats, but behind us was a group of kids on a field trip(?) that were quite loud. The play was riddled with cuss words, adult jokes and (a little) bit of violence, so I was surprised to see so many kids there. But regardless, I think it’s great that they enjoyed the show. I just wish someone would have schooled them in theater etiquette before hand. See, I fit right in with the old people. I’m probably more cranky than they are. ha!

If you’re in the LA area, definitely check out this play before its run is over. You have another week or so. It is definitely worth it.

 

Grease is the Word… June 25, 2011

Filed under: Food,Friends,Hollywood Events — Kelocity @ 10:47 am
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Last night was our first summer night at the Hollywood Bowl. Hard to believe the season is here again!
The show was a Grease Sing-A-Long! They played the movie on the big screen and everyone sang along! It was a blast!
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But let’s back up to dinner! We met up with Katherine, Kaitlin, and a few of their friends.
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One of the pest parts of going to the bowl is being able to picnic beforehand! We spread out our blanket and munched on some goodies.
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I had a spinach & tomato salad with a drizzle of honey and some buffalo pasta chicken salad. Delicious!
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Irving had that awesome sandwich I made him earlier. haha Wife for the win!IMG_6126

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LA Bloggers!
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And then we waited for the show to begin!
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They put the lyrics up on the screen so everyone could sing along! It was a blast.
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They also gave everyone a goodie bag before the show with props to use during the movie. I missed what all of them were, but the yellow fabric was to hold up during the drag race, and the pom poms were for the pep rally scene. And the bubbles were for the “beauty school dropout” song.

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Such a fun night, it’s been a while since I saw Grease and I was surprised by how much of it used to go over my head when I was little. My favorite part of the night was when Danny and Sandy are in the drive-in and a little kid behind us asked his dad what Danny was trying to do. BAHAHA. Awkward!

 

PS. This was Irving’s FIRST time seeing it. Whaaaat? I think he liked it though.

 

Do you remember your first time Seeing Grease? Mine was at a fifth grade sleepover!

 

The Hollywood French Toast Tour June 12, 2011

I don’t venture “over the hill” often. I love living in the Valley and can’t stand the Hollywood traffic. But I made the drive twice this weekend with one of my favorites! Janet is pregnant and she’s been craving french toast. And when pregnant mama wants french toast, you go with her to get it. TWICE!
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We called this weekend, “The French Toast Tour”, and it all started Friday night at the Larchmont Bungalow.
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This was my second time there, and I loved it the first time, so I was psyched to go back again!
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I looked at the menu, really I did, but really, I knew in my gut the decision was already made. I ordered the red, white and blue pancakes… again! But Janet came for one reason, and one reason only…. french toast. I think she loved the décor just as much as I do!
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We sat outside and chatted for a bit before the food came out. It’s fun dining al fresco on summer nights!
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My pancakes were every bit as amazing as I remembered. It’s such a unique taste, and it’s just so pretty!
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Janet’s french toast looked beautiful too!
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Served with a side of Bacon! Oh man, their bacon was delicious!
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I think we had a happy mama!
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Breakfast for dinner is fun! I ate as much as I could, and still couldn’t eat the blue velvet slice. I saved it for later!
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Friday night dinner with friends!
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Janet liked the french toast, but said she was still dreaming about the Griddle Café. We made plans to go for breakfast the next day for part two of the french toast showdown. Janet arrived promptly at 8am yesterday morning. We wanted to avoid the crazy lines and get in early!
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Our plan worked, we were seated almost immediately! We ordered coffee, which each came in an individual french press! So cool!
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Janet, of course ordered the French Toast. I stole a bite and it tasted like cake! I’ve never tasted anything like it!
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Irving ordered a waffle. It was dense and savory and a little bit sweet.
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And I completed the breakfast item trifecta by ordering the “Mounds of Pleasure” pancakes (coconut and chocolate filled pancakes topped off with whipped cream). I love coconut, so I ordered them. Holy Canoli! This thing was HUGE!
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Three 12-inch pancakes with layers of coconut and chocolate in between. It was the size of a birthday cake. Literally. I can’t even put into words how big this thing was. I was in shock. Right away, I asked for a to-go box. I couldn’t even cut into it, it was so large! I ate about 1/8th of it before being stuffed to the gills. I actually needed a second to-go box just to fit it all in!
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The taste was incredible, but next time, just ONE pancake will do! And even then you could probably split it!

We had a great time, the griddle café is a hollywood legend that must be eaten to be believed. I’ve officially been initiated in!
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Oh, hi Irving!
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So in the end, I think the Griddle Café won for “best tasting french toast”. And it also wins for best tasting and unique flavors of pancakes. And they win for size of pancakes too.

But in my heart, Larchmont wins for prettiest red velvet pancakes.

So much fun, thanks Janet!

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After the Griddle Café, Janet, Chely and I scrapbooked for a solid five hours! I got a few pages done that have been on my to-do list for ages! And when I came home, I took a three-hour nap. Guess I was tired! Can’t think of a better way to spend a saturday: friends, food, scrapbooking and a nap!

 

 
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