Archives for December 6, 2019

Blue Man Group On Tour Comes to Segerstrom Center

Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Blue Man Group New Tour – Photo by Lindsey Best

STILL BLUE. THE REST IS NEW.

KIDS NIGHT ON BROADWAY ANNOUNCED FOR TWO PERFORMANCES
BUY ONE TICKET AT FULL PRICE – RECEIVE ONE CHILD’S TICKET FREE.

January 7 – 12, 2020
Segerstrom Hall
Tickets on sale now

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that tickets are on sale for the all-new tour of BLUE MAN GROUP coming to Orange County January 7 – 12, 2020. A special Kids Night on Broadway discount will be offered for two performances on January 7 and 8. With the purchase of one full-price ticket, parents can receive a second ticket FREE for children. Ticket prices start at $26. Use code BLUEKID when purchasing. Children and families are also encouraged to arrive early and enjoy pre-show activities in the Segerstrom Hall lobby beginning at 6:00 p.m., including coloring stations, crafts, activities, photo opportunities and more!

More than 35 million people around the world have experienced the smash hit phenomenon that is BLUE MAN GROUP, and the world-renowned bald and blue trio are back on the road in a new North American tour. Under the helm of visionary director Jenny Koons, in her first-time collaboration with BLUE MAN GROUP, the tour features everything audiences know and love about BLUE MAN GROUP—signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity and quirky comedy—the men are still blue, but the rest is all new! Including pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity, audiences join the Blue Men in a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages.

Tickets to BLUE MAN GROUP start at $26 and can be purchased at SCFTA.org, by calling (714) 556-2787 and at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. To take advantage of the Kids Night opportunity, use promo code BLUEKID. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, please call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. The 2:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, January 11 will include audio description, open captioning and sign-language interpretation. The Center offers many services for patrons with disabilities including removable wheelchair locations, binoculars and assistive listening devices. To learn more visit SCFTA.org/accessibilityinformation.

BLUE MAN GROUP is the global entertainment phenomenon, known for its award-winning theatrical productions, iconic characters and multiple creative explorations. BLUE MAN GROUP performances are euphoric celebrations of human connection through art, music, comedy and non-verbal communication. Since debuting at New York’s Astor Place Theatre in 1991, the live show has expanded to additional domestic residencies in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando, an international residency in Berlin, and multiple North American and World tours, reaching more than 35 million people worldwide. BLUE MAN GROUP is universally appealing to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds.

In addition to Koons, the BLUE MAN GROUP North American tour includes an established and prolific creative team including costume design by Emilio Sosa (On Your Feet!Motown), video design by Lucy MacKinnon (The Rose TattooSpring Awakening), and set design by Jason Ardizzone-West (Jesus Christ Superstar LiveNext to Normal).

A part of the pop culture zeitgeist, BLUE MAN GROUP has appeared countless times on hit shows including Dancing with the StarsThe Tonight ShowArrested DevelopmentThe Ellen DeGeneres ShowSchlag den Raab (Germany), WOWOW (Japan) and Caldeirão do Huck (Brazil). Additionally, BLUE MAN GROUP has served as the face of branding campaigns for Intel and TIM/Brasil.

Continuously identifying and developing new ways to impact the entertainment industry, BLUE MAN GROUP has contributed to various film and TV scores, and released multiple albums including the Grammy-Nominated Audio. The rock concert parody, “Megastar World Tour” played arenas across the globe. The book, Blue Man World, is a visually stunning anthropological exploration of the curious bald and blue character.

The BLUE MAN GROUP North American tour is presented in L-ISA Hyperreal Sound by L-Acoustics, the world leader in premium professional sound systems for live events. L-ISA is a ground-breaking audio technology which goes beyond traditional systems to offer extremely realistic, ultra-high definition sound. This result is a deeper sense of involvement in the spectacular antics, music and mayhem that is BLUE MAN GROUP.

BLUE MAN GROUP is owned and operated by Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. The North American tour is produced and promoted by Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group in partnership with NETworks Presentations.

Tickets –          Start at $26

In Person –      The Box Office
                          600 Town Center Drive
                          Costa Mesa, CA 92626
                          Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily

Online –            SCFTA.org

Phone –            (714) 556-2787
                          Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily

Group Sales –  (714) 755-0236
                           Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday

Fans can keep up with the Blue Man Group Tour through:

Twitter:https://twitter.com/bluemangroup
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/bluemangroup
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/bluemangroup/
YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/bluemangroup

Credit: Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

Grand Park’s Winter Glow Returns December 6-25, 2019

Grand Park’s Winter Glow 2018 photo by Javier Guillen for Grand Park/The Music Center

 Grand Park’s Winter Glow returns for the park’s second annual nighttime art display, offering an immersive experience that will span two county locations this holiday season as the free event expands across Grand Avenue to include the newly renovated Music Center Plaza. With double the amount of lighting experiences from the inaugural event in 2018, Grand Park’s Winter Glow will feature installations by L.A.-based artists from across the county, including multimedia artists Cassandra CarilloCarlos G. Rodas and Aphidoidea, among others. Each artist will design and install magical light attractions for the public to enjoy as they stroll through Grand Park and The Music Center Plaza. Familiar pathways and historic fountains will be transformed into exciting new discoveries with the latest in light and projection technology. Some of the curated large-scale installations will be hands-on and interactive as additional complementary light displays make Hope Street to Hill Street “glow” in the winter sky. Grand Park’s Winter Glow opens a trialogue—a conversation between art, people and space that offers a non-traditional approach to public art exhibition and the park-goer experience.

Additionally, a community partnership with Kayamanan Ng Lahi will feature the work of L.A.-based artists Alfie Ebojo (aka alfienumeric) and Lakandiwa de Leon (of Kidlat Woodworks) who will design a five-foot “parol,” based on a star-shaped lantern that embellishes homes during Christmas in the Philippines and signifies cultural meaning and identity for Los Angeles’ large Filipino community. Grand Park will display the Christmas lantern and promote Filipino cultural and artistic practices by hosting a free parol-making workshop on Saturday, December 7, 2019, where community members can learn and create their own parol to take with them. Throughout Grand Park’s Winter Glow, guests will also enjoy listening to a special soundscape of playlists curated by L.A.-based artists and partners, including Silver Lake-based Indie label Dangerbird Records and filmmaker/arts organizer Joel Quizon, among others.

The only free exhibit of its kind in the area is open to the public from December 6–25, 2019, offering park-goers the opportunity to gather and celebrate the wonder and magic of art as it illuminates Downtown L.A.

EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS: 
Coralation

Artist: Aphidoidea

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Park-goers will take a trip under the sea into this interactive light-filled 15-foot dome. Inspired by the incandescent relationship between a clownfish and a sea anemone, guests can manipulate the touch sensors of Coralation to create their own personalized glow. 

Sea Creatures

Artist: Aphidoidea

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Sea Creatures emulates the microscopic plankton organisms that are the first step in the food chain in our ecosystem. Composed of 18 hanging sculptures clustered in close proximity, this experience invites park-goers to walk among the sculptures and see what it might be like to encounter these typically invisible creatures.

H+ Creative represented artists Introspections
Artist: H+ Creative represented artists

Location: Grand Park Fountain Overlook

The familiar concrete walls and steps into Grand Park will be transformed by the unique digital art projections of H+ Creative. Park guests will experience the animated work of H+ Creative artists from across the globe and feel how they connect to the lights of Grand Park’s Winter Glow. They will encounter both the conceptual interconnectivity amongst us and spatial connections throughout Los Angeles in this dazzling display of digitally animated work.

Fascination 2.0

Artist: Cassandra Carrillo and Carlos G. Rodas

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Constructed from metal with animated lighting, this 20-foot tall dome structure is a monumental geometric cranium that activates the realms of imagination. As attendees gaze inside Fascination 2.0, they will be captivated by mesmerizing lights and hypnotic illusions of shapes within and around the structure.

SEEN & UNSEEN

Artist: Ambar Navarro:

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Celebrate the Grand Park’s Winter Glow experience with a dazzling array of colorful black lights that evoke a collective image of downtown Los Angeles. Using photographs of historic buildings mixed with icons from popular spots, SEEN & UNSEEN creates a unique interpretation of the Los Angeles experience capturing details that the normal eye may not see, bringing downtown together with color and light.

Kaduduwa: Spirt and Body as One (Parol)

Artist: Alfie Ebojo aka alfienumeric and Lakandiwa de Leon of Kidlat Woodworks

Location: Grand Park Olive Court

A widely popular symbol that is loved in the Philippines during the holiday season, park-goers will experience a modern day parol. Merging their ancestral home of the Philippines with their contemporary California culture, Ebojo and de Leon will create a five-foot parol made of paper and bamboo. This artist duo derives their inspiration from the traditional and connect it to their hopes to invoke unity, goodwill and love in the diverse county of Los Angeles.

Piñata

Artist: Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia

Location: The Music Center Plaza

With piñatas having international roots in Mesoamerica as well as in China during the time of Marco Polo, today, these cultural icons are popularly used in Christmas celebrations in Mexico and throughout the Mexican diaspora. Segovia’s Piñata, a 5-foot illuminated sculpture made of painted fiberglass, is inspired by and placed in honor of the multicultural community of Los Angeles.

Exhibits designed and produced by the Grand Park team:
 

General Site Lighting

Location: Grand Park and The Music Center Plaza

More than doubling the amount of lighting experiences from 2018, Grand Park’s Winter Glow will splash color and breakup patterns across pathways, trees and surfaces throughout the event space from Hope to Hill Streets.

Grand Park + German Light Products Present Lighting Spectacular

Location: Grand Park’s Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain

Sponsored by German Light Products, this Grand Park presentation will showcase the newest lighting technology on the park’s fountain overlook. Park-goers will enjoy a colorful, fountain lightshow every 15 minutes for a unique and mesmerizing display of light, water and music. 

Winter’s Nebula

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn Stage

Attendees will be surrounded by an immersive dark room projection experience on Grand Park’s performance stage as they step into a space beyond to experience the video and projections emanating around them. Winter’s Nebula uses flowing images to engulf and transport guests into a dream-like world as they become part of the art. 

Hexagon Invert

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Multiple 12-foot light strands connect in a dazzling display on Grand Park’s Performance Lawn, creating a visually striking three-dimensional array of lights that arch up in multiple directions to surround guests in a multi-color glow. Park-goers are encouraged to lay down underneath or sit inside this inverted cupola and connect to the shine of this light-filled splendor.

Glowing Geometric Garden

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Life-size geometric sculptures will create a connected pathway of light, concept and design as park-goers stroll through a light-inspired garden composed of bulbs and LED tubes.

Light Connection Tunnel

Location: Grand Park Olive Court

Playing on the length and open space of Grand Park’s Olive Court, guests will take a journey through a series of illuminated and glittering arches. With an accompanying soundscape, park-goers will encounter a sense of motion as they weave in and out of this walk-through experience.

Grand Park in Lights

Location: Grand Park Splash Pad

Grand Park will have its name in lights across a gigantic 8-foot x 16-foot wall adorned with marquee style light bulbs on a chase sequence, inviting guests to snap their official Winter Glow selfie.

Illuminated Tree Forest

Location: The Music Center Plaza

Found on The Music Center Plaza, guests can wander through a forest of inflated cone “trees” brightly lit in a rainbow of colors. This glow experience is designed in part by artist Doron Gazit of AirDD.

Additional exhibits during Winter Glow:
 

L.A. County Holiday Tree

Location: The Music Center Plaza

Greeting visitors on The Music Center Plaza, the County’s official Christmas tree will be adorned with 3,000 traditional holiday lights, festival bows and 600 colorful metallic ornaments.

Grand Park Tree

Location: Grand Park Fountain Overlook

Grand Park’s Christmas tree is comprised of more than 100 exquisitely lit white and pink “ornaments” made of mesh balls that range in size from 18 inches to 5 feet. At 45-feet high, the tree inspires cheer and wonder.


Menorahs

Location: The Music Center Plaza and Grand Park (near Broadway Street)

To honor the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, a menorah in Grand Park and also on The Music Center Plaza will be lit for the eight nights of this traditional festival of lights. Representing the resilience of communities around the world and the power of light and hope, the lighting of the candles starts on December 22 and ends on December 30.

TICKETS: FREE

MORE INFO: Visit https://grandparkla.org/event/grand-parks-winter-glow-2019/ for more information.

PROHIBITED ITEMS: No outside alcohol is permitted in the park or on The Music Center Plaza. For a full list of prohibited items, visit Grand Park or The Music Center.

Credit: Grand Park.

TGA Premier Sports Makes Golf Accessible for Kids

You might find Kevin Oliver’s after-school TGA Premier Golf of Long Beach (CA) class decidedly louder than other golf programs you may have seen. However, compared to the unfettered chaos of kids at play in the adjacent open field — a never-ending game of tag (that, at times, resembles rugby), a toddler toppling unexpectedly over the top of a soccer ball the size of her entire torso and rowdy footballers trying to make their spirals sing through the wind in the key of Philip Rivers or Jared Goff— the golf class looks as mellow as a yoga retreat in a Tibetan monastery.

From a distance, Oliver and his 18 elementary-school-aged pupils, in their warm-up-stretch poses, almost appear to be moving in slow motion in the sectioned-off space Oliver has reserved (and organized into stations) for this weekly hour-long session.

“During our stretches, it’s a great time to get everyone focused and ping them with some questions that jog their memories on what we worked on in our last class,” Oliver, TGA Premier Sports of Long Beach owner, says. “It’s also the best time to review the academic lessons (TGA classes cleverly incorporate science, technology, reading and math (STEAM) into the PhD-designed class curriculum) so I’ll ask, ‘Who remembers what we learned about the effects of gravity… or spin?’ It always helps to engage their brains early, before we start hitting shots.”

TGA’s innovative before- and after-school enrichment programs and local sports camps bring developmental golf, tennis and an array of team sports directly to the students, saving parents travel and time while engaging kids in healthy new activities. Oliver’s Long Beach franchise is one of 77 TGA Premier Sports chapters nationwide. TGA (an acronym for Teach, Grow, Achieve) is on pace to enroll its one millionth student in 2020 since launching in 2003.

10-year-old Emily’s eyes follow “Coach Kevin” almost constantly during the hour. She’s quiet but attentive and serious about improving her golf skills. She raises her hand frequently as Oliver and Coach Eric engage the group. When the class breaks into stations, Emily’s face reveals how well she executes each chip. In the end, more balls landed inside the hula hoop target than not, so more smiles than frowns.

Station-based lessons keep every participant busy throughout the hour and reveal the crafted genius of the TGA lesson plan, which uses a handbook that is a lively mix of introductory golf with academic fundamentals that relate to the sport. By catering to new golfers ages five to 12 (70 percent of TGA participants and families have never played golf) and making golf available to the masses, TGA is activating a new generation of lifelong golfers. Scotty, age 6, brings big energy, big laughter and an already-obvious natural athleticism to the class. At the 15-minute mark, he’s already asked about “hitting drivers” three times. Tonight, he’ll have to wait until his third rotation before he and his group “let the Big Dog eat.” Chipping and putting sessions fly by, though, and soon Scotty is making exuberant three-quarter swings into a net with park- and backyard-safe plastic TGA limited flight golf balls. Oliver explains that TGA students learn a small (repeatable) “Tick-Tock” swing first before graduating to half- then three-quarter and full swings (toward colorful targets) so they develop distance control and pick up golf’s often-daunting movements in achievable steps.

TGA Premier Golf creates a simple player pathway for students and their families to build on their new-found golf passion and advance further in the sport. TGA programs are leading juniors to participating in other national golf programs like PGA Junior League and Drive, Chip & Putt, as well as playing on high school and college teams. With registration fees significantly less than $200, TGA’s six- or eight-week enrichment programs are also extremely affordable for families interested in starting their kids in golf.

“Our goal is to be the first step for juniors entering golf’s player pathway while specializing in introductory and recreational programs,’” says TGA Premier Sports CEO and founder Joshua Jacobs. “TGA gives kids and families a solid foundation to learn the sport in schools and community centers while providing a seamless transition to the golf course.”

TGA provides all of the equipment for kids at no cost in the program, including its own line of custom golf equipment to provide all players an affordable option to get into the sport. The program can also be utilized anywhere on school campuses regardless of weather, including gymnasiums, hallways, cafeterias, fields and blacktops.

“It’s incredible how fast an hour goes by but you can see a real sense of joy and accomplishment on the kids’ faces by the end of each class,” Oliver says. “The more they get into the groove of hitting shots into the targets or sinking putts, you hear a lot of eruptions of excitement.”

Right on cue, Emily, now brimming with confidence, recruits fellow fifth grader Juliana to take on classmates Colin and Liam in a putting challenge. They agree on a points system and promise no mercy. The quartet is fully engrossed in the competition and aware the younger kids are watching, but there’s still plenty of laughter and celebration when the putts fall their way.

TGA has progressive levels for participants to graduate to and, with the company’s new partnership with Youth on Course, a nationwide non-profit organization that secures subsidized golf fees for juniors, more TGA kids can (affordably) hit the links with confidence.

“Youth on Course is the perfect partner to further develop an effective Player Pathway. Our partnership enables our young golfers and their families to continue playing and developing into lifelong golfers,” Jacobs says.

Through an innovative franchise business model, TGA Premier Sports empowers passionate entrepreneurs, like Oliver, to impact the lives of youth and families by bringing youth sports enrichment programs and a “Changing Lives Through Sports” mantra into their communities. 

“TGA really makes an impact on kids and their families,” says Oliver. “Our kids get such a rewarding experience, meeting new friends, learning from successes and failures and seeing how far they can push themselves. I ran into the mom of one of my students the other night at a soccer practice and she came right up to me and told me ‘Grant LOVES golf now! He wants to take on-course lessons from a local pro and keep playing.’ That’s fulfilling our mission.”

For more information about Kevin Oliver’s Long Beach TGA chapter, visit http://playtga.com/longbeach/.

For more information on TGA Premier Sports, visit www.playtga.com or follow @TGA_Sports on Twitter.

Credit: TGA Premier Sports.

Experience True Holiday Magic at Queen Mary Christmas Nov. 29 – Jan. 1st

(Image Courtesy of the Queen Mary | Credit: Mathew Martinez)

The Queen Mary invites one and all to experience the spirit of the holiday season at Queen Mary Christmas, sailing into Long Beach November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020, on select dates. Queen Mary Christmas will offer 25 days of holiday cheer with on-and-off ship activations, pairing an outdoor wonderland of fun with hints of maritime magic with strolling entertainment, libations, treats, gingerbread and stocking decorating, Santa meet and greets, ice skating on the True North Ice Rink, and much more. 

Take in the vintage yuletide atmosphere by strolling down the sparkling tree-lined Promenade Deck, to find Ol’ Saint Nick. When Santa is away from his North Pole workshop, his Captain’s Quarters in the Shipyard are his home away from home. Join Santa here for a meet and greet, help him chart the course to the North Pole, and pose for a souvenir photo with the jolly fellow. Head to the Main Hall to hear the tales of Christmas like never before during Storytime with Mrs. C and sip on hot chocolate topped off with fixings at the hot chocolate bar.

The Christmas Village, located inside the Exhibition Hall, boasts a festive workshop where all elves in attendance can decorate stockings, trim gingerbread houses, enjoy live entertainment and create jolly arts and crafts. From the Christmas Village, wander through a winter pathway of ‘Instagrammable’ backdrops and photo moments to the 4D Theatre for an intimate screening of The Polar Express, that will take viewers on a 4D sensory adventure complete with snow flurries and the smell of hot cocoa.

As the sound of strolling carolers fills the air, head to the outdoor wonderland of the North Pole Village to take a ride on the trackless train and experience festive entertainment fit for the entire family. Children can enjoy rides on the light up Grand Carousel and World’s Largest Giant Rocking Horse while parents relax with craft beers and specialty cocktails, complete with performances by Tappin’ Toy Soldiers, the Beefeater Brigade, Dancing Bellhops and more on the outdoor Main Stage.

Create a lasting tradition and carve out holiday memories on the all-new 6,000 square foot True North Ice Rink featuring a glittering 26-ft star topped Christmas tree in front of the Queen Mary’s famous smokestacks. Cozy up off the ice at rink-side concessions offering an array of seasonal treats, refreshments and entertainment that will have holiday revelers never wanting to leave. 

Queen Mary Christmas takes place November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020. Tickets start at $29 for adults and $22 for children and includes Queen Mary Christmas event entry and ship access, meet and greets with Santa Claus, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, special screening of The Polar Express in the 4D Theater, and rides on the Grand Carousel, QM Express Train, and giant rocking horse. VIP tickets start at $65 for adults and $59 for children and includes skate rentals and ice skating session at the True North Ice Rink plus participation in all Queen Mary Christmas activities: gingerbread house making in the Gingerbread Village, stocking decorating with Santa’s helpers, screening of The Polar Express in the 4D Theater, meet and greets with Santa, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, and rides on the Grand Carousel, QM Express Train, and giant rocking horse. Cabanas are available for purchase. For a full entertainment schedule of tours, activations, experiences, hours of operation and to purchase tickets, visit queenmary.com.

Credit: The Queen Mary.

Dana Point Harbor Presents “Tiki Holiday” at the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights

Dana Point Harbor is pleased to welcome a “Tiki Holiday” to the harbor as the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights returns on December 6, 7, 13 and 14. Families are invited to enjoy festive tiki-themed activities and live entertainment, restaurant offerings, visits with Santa, and the famous parade of local boats adorned with dazzling holiday lights. Each event date will kick off with entertainment along the harbor beginning at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Boat Parade of Lights at 7:30 p.m.

“The boat parade truly captures the essence of Dana Point,” said Bryon Ward of Dana Point Harbor Partners and President of Burnham Ward Properties. “Dana Point Harbor Partners is excited to continue this highly anticipated holiday tradition celebrating community, culture and the legacy of the harbor.”

Each evening of the event, Dana Point Harbor will present a lineup of tiki-themed entertainment including hula dancers, face painters, seasonal carolers, a Volkswagen photo booth bus, and a photo opportunity with Mr. Claus himself.

Dana Point Harbor Partners are working together on all aspects of the boat parade and landside activities to bring the community another successful holiday celebration at the harbor. This festive fun-filled event would not be possible without the dedication of the boating participants. To sign up to be a part of the Dana Point Harbor boat parade tradition fill out an application online or visit The Marina at Dana Point Office. This year’s tiki-tastic line up of award categories includes best overall, theme, most original, lights/music, Mayor’s cup, Supervisor’s cup and more. New this year, a $1,000 donation will be awarded to the charity or youth sailing program of the yacht club with the most entries in the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights between Dana West Yacht Club and Dana Point Yacht Club. All award winners will receive cash prizes, with a total distribution of over $10,000 courtesy of Dana Point Harbor Partners.

To view the parade on the water, book your space aboard a Dana Wharf or Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari vessel. The Marina at Dana Point will also have guest slips available for visiting boaters. For information on their guest slips contact The Marina at Dana Point Office.

The harbor will light up with mesmerizing lights again this year from Friday November 22, to Thursday, January 2. The crowd favorite “Merry Kiss Me” arch will be back with an Instagram competition through @DanaPoint_Harbor. Additional festivities throughout the holidays include Dana Wharf Sportfishing’s Boat Rides with Santa on Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 10 a.m. – 2. p.m. Take photos with Santa and his holiday helpers on this adventure at sea and a $5 donation will benefit the El Camino Real Junior Woman’s Club.

The Pet Project Foundation will host the 8th Annual Santa Paws event on Saturday, December 7 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Pet photos with Santa will be offered for a small donation. All proceeds support the Pet Project Foundation.

A free trolley will run on each night of the Boat Parade from 4:30 – 10:30 p.m. with drop off and pick up locations along Dana Point Harbor Drive. Sail through “Tiki Holiday” paradise during the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights at Dana Point Harbor. For more information visit DanaPointHarbor.com.

Credit: Dana Point Harbor.

Downtown Santa Monica Transforms into a Winter Wonderland with Ice at Santa Monica and Winterlit Signature Events

Photo provided courtesy of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc

Experience Downtown Santa Monica as a winter wonderland like never before as Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) welcomes the 2019 winter season with a full calendar of family-friendly events and activities for the community to enjoy.

Celebrate the holiday spirit with family and friends all winter long with festive attractions, special appearances by Santa Claus and more. Opening November 1, skate into the holidays with Ice at Santa Monica, presented by Plaza at Santa Monica, complete with an 8,000-square-foot real ice skating rink. Stroll down Third Street Promenade under the glow of thousands of colorful, festive lights and décor and enjoy Winterlit signature events including the official City of Santa Monica Tree Lighting Ceremony, and nightly menorah lightings to welcome the holidays with your loved ones.

  • Ice at Santa Monica:
    Every holiday season Downtown Santa Monica brings a little ice to the beachside community, transforming the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue into the winter wonderland known as Ice at Santa Monica, an 8,000-square-foot ice-skating rink. Skate rental and all-day admission $15, locker rentals $5.
    Opens November 1, 2019 to January 20, 2020
    Monday – Thursday, 2 pm – 10 pm
    Friday, 2 pm – Midnight
    Saturday 10 am – Midnight
    Sunday 10 am – 10 pm



  • Official City of Santa Monica Tree Lighting with Santa Claus:
    Join City of Santa Monica officials for a special tree lighting ceremony on Third Street Promenade and visit with Santa Claus. Free and open to the public.
    December 5, 6 pm – 9 pm

  • Menorah Lightings:
    Join local synagogues and community groups as their members celebrate the Festival Lights this Hanukah season.
    Lightings begin at Sundown
    December 22 – December 30

WHERE
Winterlit Signature Events on the Third Street Promenade.
Ice will be located on the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue at 1324 Fifth St. in Downtown Santa Monica.
PARKING
Parking is widely available in the downtown structures including the Santa Monica Public Library or Parking Structures 9 and 10 just north of Wilshire Boulevard. Biking, walking and public transit are encouraged.
MORE INFORMATION
More details and Winterlit Signature Events to be announced. For more information, visit  www.downtownsm.com/ or follow us on social media on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Credit: Downtown Santa Monica.

Dark Waters * Compelling Look at One Man’s Fight Against the Corrupt Practices of a Multi-Billion Dollar Company

From Participant (Spotlight, Green Book), DARK WATERS tells the shocking and heroic story of an attorney (Mark Ruffalo) who risks his career and family to uncover a dark secret hidden by one of the world’s largest corporations and to bring justice to a community dangerously exposed for decades to deadly chemicals. Corporate environmental defense attorney Rob Bilott (Academy Award®-nominee Mark Ruffalo) has just made partner at his prestigious Cincinnati law firm in large part due to his work defending Big Chem companies. He finds himself conflicted after he’s contacted by two West Virginia farmers who believe that the local DuPont plant is dumping toxic waste in the area landfill that is destroying their fields and killing their cattle. Hoping to learn the truth about just what is happening, Bilott, with help from his supervising partner in the firm, Tom Terp (Academy Award®-winner Tim Robbins), files a complaint that marks the beginning of an epic 15-year fight—one that will not only test his relationship with his wife, Sarah (Academy Award®-winner Anne Hathaway) but also his reputation, his health and his livelihood. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “Dark Waters is a compelling look at one man’s fight against the corrupt practices of a multi-billion dollar company.” See his full review below.

Dark Waters

Benjamin Price, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Dark Waters is a compelling look at one man’s fight against the corrupt practices of a multi-billion dollar company.

Based on a true story, Dark Waters follows Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo), a corporate lawyer who gets a call from a family friend named Wilbur (Bill Camp) about a disturbance on his farm in West Virginia. Over 100 of Wilbur’s cows have died and he suspects it has something to do with the creek running through his property. Wilbur’s hunch becomes a frightening truth as Rob investigates decades’ worth of wrong-doing by the DuPont chemical company.

Mark Ruffalo portrayal of Rob Bilott is excellent. He plays the legal scenes with conviction, but he feels more like a vessel to receive information than a fully- formed character. We see plenty of Bilott’s moral standards, but we rarely get a sense of what drives him to do the work he does or who he is emotionally. It makes it harder to fully connect with and invest in his character. A performance worth noting with much less screen time is Bill Pullman as lawyer Harry Dietzler. Pullman gives Dark Waters a boost of energy. He’s not comedic relief, but he’s certainly a breath of fresh air.

Todd Haynes’s direction is both impressive and overbearing. Haynes has a flair for stylistic flourishes in his other films and here the moody, muted lighting that clouds much of the film creates a feeling of anxiety that makes every step of Rob’s journey and what he discovers uncomfortable in a way that’s very effective. By the same token, the color scheme is dark and dreary throughout and the film ends up with a dull sheen and a tone that feels at times heavy-handed.

An aspect of the filmmaking I love is the use of tracking shots to show not only the lives that DuPont destroyed, but the communities too. Dark Waters is unflinching when it comes to depicting the consequences of DuPont’s malpractice. It tells and more specifically, shows it, in a way that rightfully stirs up an audience reaction of anger and injustice.

I recommend Dark Waters for ages12 to 18 for some shocking images and brief language. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. If you’re looking for a good or feel-good time at the cinema for the holidays, this isn’t it, but Dark Waters is definitely an informative and important film. Dark Waters opens in theaters November 27, 2019.