Picture from the Warner Brothers Studio Tour two weeks ago! Looks like baby wanted to ride the Hogwarts Express!
All Aboard the Hogwarts Express! April 26, 2012
Iris: A Party for the Eyes October 5, 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dudamel and Lang Lang At the Bowl July 14, 2011
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!)
We kept it real simple for dinner. Instead of our usual picnic, we opted to just bring a small pizza in. Easy peasy.
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.
I sometimes can’t believe this is my town.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
And I bought us two cupcakes to share. They were good, but not as good as our wedding ones. Le sigh.
She Runs LA: A Blogger’s Night Out April 29, 2011
Last night, hoards of girls headed down to the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles to for a Girl’s Night Out hosted by Nike+! Everyone had to run a 10k race on their own, and then join Nike for the post-race celebration.
My friend, Tessa, and I took the metro downtown (Hooray for being Green! — and too cheap to pay for parking down there!) I love the whole LA Live center downtown. They did an amazing job with it. It’s so pretty and fun.
My tank got mailed to me, but we waited for Tessa to grab hers. They are adorable. One of the best race shirts I’ve ever got.
This event was exciting for me, because I attended as ‘Press’! We even got credentials! This is very exciting in the blogging world (at least for a newbie like me!)
VIPs right here!
We rocked the pink carpet!
Tessa, me, Sarah (Two Boo‘s sister!), Katherine, Amanda and Kaitlin!
Inside was all lit up pink too! It screamed ‘Girl Power’!
The pre-concert party was three floors of massages, hair styling, dance music and Nike Demos. The lines for the massages were way too long and crowded, but I did score some Body Butter from Bliss Spa. I ❤ Bliss!
I had full intentions to change into my black heels for the event…. but my sketchers were just so comfy, I kept them on all night. No Regrets.
Nike had some of their new products out to see.
The highlight for me was seeing their new GPS watch for runners. I bought a garmin GPS watch back in 2005 and I love it. It tells me the exact route I ran, the elevation and a bunch of other great stats that the Nike+ couldn’t provide. But now they have this GPS one and it looks pretty awesome. I haven’t looked into all the features it has, but I’d definitely be interested in trying it out.
It was pretty crowded inside, I really wish they had some snacks to munch on since everyone came straight from work. They did have some drinks, but ran out before I got the chance to snag one.
We had fun chatting, people watching and showing off our media badges.
The lovely Kaitlin and Katherine!
Look who else we ran into! Healthy Coconut! || And Tessa took advantage of the Paul Mitchell hair styling. Pretty curls!
It’s always a fun time with these ladies. Such a great group!
Then we headed into the Nokia Theater for the main event. It was supposed to be the Winner’s of America’s Best Dance Crew and then a concert by Mike Posner. The stage did look really great.
But we didn’t stay for the show. We were starving!!
And the yard house is known for BEER! Check out all the kegs!
I asked for the lightest thing they had on tap…. which was the Wyder’s Pear Cider. It was so clear it almost looked like water. It was sweet, crisp and delicious! It actually tasted like a Chardonnay.
I ordered the Grilled Cheese with Tomato Bisque. Oh. My. Gosh. I have to say this was probably the best grilled cheese I’ve EVER had. And I eat a lot of grilled cheese. Ohhh, the tomatoes! The cheese oozing out… I’m already craving another one! ((I will post the picture when I get home, promise!))
Such a fun night out with a great group of girls (And some other bloggers too, not pictured!)
When we left the event, we all got goodie bags too! It came in an awesome reusable tote and included lip balm, a Luna bar, Pop Chips and some Paul Mitchell samples.
Thanks Nike, for inviting me (and my readers). I hope in future years they can better manage the crowds and provide some snacks. Although I didn’t pay to enter the virtual race or attend the party, most people paid $40 to get in. I’d probably attend again though, just plan my night a little better. I love that they are celebrating women runners. It was a great evening downtown with some awesome girls.