Lunch – July 20, 2022 – Chef Tony Dim Sum – Pasadena – CA.

This is by far the best Dim Sum I have ever had. Everything is made-to-order, so all of the ingredients are super fresh. Each menu item is different and a work of art.  This is Dim Sum at it’s best.

My server Zoey was just the perfect addition to my glorious lunch. She guided me along the way and brought me some surprises, that I did not order, but loved just the same. Whatever you try here, you too will be greatly astonished.

About Chef Tony:

Chef Tony began his cooking career at age 15, apprenticing with some of the greatest chefs in Guangdong Province, China (formerly Canton Province). He later moved to Hong Kong where he further developed his culinary techniques, including training under “Abalone King,” Yeung Koon-yat. In 1992, Tony opened his first concept in Zhongshan City, part of southern China, called Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant. Then in 1996, he immigrated to Canada to open Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant in Richmond, BC. In 1998, his traditional Dim Sum and artistic Cantonese cuisine were raved by immigrants and locals alike. It was such a huge success that he expanded his business southward, opening Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant in the Los Angeles area (Rosemead). He was an apprentice to Yeung Koon-Yat, a culinary master in Hong Kong who had served world leaders including Deng Xiaoping and Jacques Chirac. It ranked #1 in the Top Ten Best Chinese Restaurant in Los Angeles in 2011 and 2012 (Los Angeles Magazine). His Rosemead-based Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant had even drawn accolades from the famed Los Angeles Times late, great food critic Jonathan Gold. In 2013, Chef Tony established Yi Dong Seafood Restaurant, also known as Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant in Richmond, British Columbia. It has an area of 6,700 square feet, delivering a high-end Chinese fusion dining experience to a diverse clientele. The Restaurant won many awards over its three years of operation, including Gold Award for Best Dim Sum 2015 and Silver Award for Best Chinese Upscale 2015 by Vancouver Magazine (26th Annual Restaurant Awards). The Restaurant has also won Critics’ Choice of Chinese Restaurant Awards for three consecutive years (2014-2016) and Top 10 new Vancouver restaurants of 2014 by the Globe and Mail.

Tony had also launched his ever-popular Chef Tony Dim Sum Restaurant in the busy Metrotown Mall in Burnaby.  In 2021, another Chef Tony Dim Sum Restaurant had its grand opening on Baldwin Avenue, in the upscale community of Arcadia. Chef Tony Dim Sum Pasadena is Tony’s new venture in Southern California. It is situated at the corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks in Historic Old Pasadena, originally built in 1929, featuring lavish art deco style.

The term “Dim Sum” literally means “touch your heart” in Chinese.

Tony says, “I wish to bring to America the art of making and savoring Chinese food.”

Here’s What I Tried:


Plantation Breeze with Plantation Rum, fresh pineapple juice, topped with cranberry juice. A nice tropical drink with lovely color, this will blow your hair back.

Blue Goose, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice, lime, and Grey Goose Vodka. Fragrant fruit flavors drive this special cocktail all the way to my taste buds and inner senses. It’s a winner.


HOUSE SPECIAL LOBSTER SALAD, what a beautiful presentation.  There is lobster art on the side of the plate made out of hoisin sauce. This salad is otherworldly.

DEEP FRIED CRISPY KING PRAWN, beautiful huge prawns, just a perfect starter.

DEEP FRIED JAPANESE OCTOPUS, tender and crisp, another lovely starter.

CUCUMBER SALAD WITH GARLIC AND VINEGAR, this is a palate cleanser and gets you ready for the amazing Dim Sum.

Dim Sum Steamed:

SQUID INK SHRIMP DUMPLING WITH GOLD LEAF, so beautiful to look at and is just filled with luscious flavors.

SHRIMP AND PORK DUMPLING WITH BLACK TRUFFLE, I just loved the combination of pork and shrimp in this great dim sum.

SCALLOP AND SHRIMP DUMPLING WITH FISH ROE, I always love scallops any way I can get them. This is another beautifully presented dish.

Dim Sum  – Baked and Fried:

DEEP FRIED TOFU WITH THAI SAUCE, this is very fluffy tofu dim sum and the sauce is just amazing.

DEEP FRIED SHRIMP SPRING ROLL, a very simple dish, hit the spot.


ROAST DUCK AND MINCED DUCK LETTUCE WRAP (PREPARED TWO WAYS.) What a marvelous dish, so fragrant and fantastic. The sliced pieces are served on top of a great Chinese bun, like a pancake, and the chopped-up with dark meat is served with lettuce leaves, but with much more flavor to make a very fun wrap.


FRIED CRISPY NOODLE WITH ASSORTED SEAFOOD, with fish, scallops and shrimp. The noodles are crisp and there is a bit of light sauce, this is a dish I will crave.


SOUPY RICE WITH SEAFOOD, it’s part soup, part rice, but very yummy.


SAUTEED STRING BEAN WITH MINCED PORK, this is a very flavorful vegetable, I loved it.


Coconut Pudding, they are shaped like bunnies, and is so pleasing to the eye.

Steamed Sponge Cake, this is served in a Dim Sum steamer and it has great consistence, it dances all the way to the table.

The interior is very Art Deco, with a colored ceiling, and carved wood birds. You know it is upscale with the crisp, beautiful white tablecloths. The floors are black and white tile, with long wood banquets along one wall. They have lots of fresh orchids, but the focal point is their gorgeous large crystal chandeliers.

This is my new go to Dim Sum restaurant. They pay so much attention to detail, and it really is remarkable. Make Chef Tony’s Dim Sum your Sunday brunch destination location, it’s just that good!

Chef Tony Dim Sum

Hours Monday – Sunday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

2 E. Colorado Blvd.

Pasadena, CA. 91105


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July 13, 2022, Hollywood, CA. ———-Superstar Set Designer/Art Director, Gabriella Douglas has so many new credits she can’t even keep up.  From Star Trek to Mrs. America, she is a highly sought after Set Designer in Canada, Hollywood and beyond. Her talents have led her on a whirlwind journey of everlasting historic accolades and awards.

Gabriella Douglas is highly educated, with a Masters Degree in Architecture from the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. During both her Master Degree and her Bachelor of Architectural Studies, she majored in Design. During a semester abroad, Gabriella earned a diploma of Civil Engineering and Architecture from the University of Leeds in England, United Kingdom. Her evolving creativity goes beyond what is asked of her by her colleagues, supervisors, and projects. An overachiever, Gabriella Douglas first job right out of school was a feature film in Montreal called Chaos Walking (Lionsgate), based on the best-selling novel by the same name, directed by Doug Liman and starring Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, and Mads Mikkelson. Fluently trilingual in English, French and Spanish, Douglas quickly became an asset to the production, and often had to act as translator between other designers and the construction department.

Since entering the film & television industry in 2017 as a designer, Gabriella has had the privilege to work for FX, Disney, Lionsgate, Apple TV+, and others.  Gabriella is currently working on Chucky Season 2, set to air fall 2022.  Gabriella Douglas film credits include: Chucky Season 2, SEE Season 2, Rock-a-Bye, SEE Season 3, Mrs. America (which was Emmy nominated for Outstanding Limited Series, and Outstanding Directorial Achievement from the Director’s Guild of Canada). Star Trek Discovery Season 2, Chaos Walking, Sweet Smell of Success, Tall Boyz, Star Trek: Short Treks Season 2, The Truth About Unicorns, The Dinner Party, and The Witchfinder. 

Gabriella Douglas takes a well thought out concept through to the vision and transports audiences into an authentic entertainment experience. Gabriella believes that a film’s setting not only functions as a backdrop for the film or a container for the action taking place, but it goes further to reflect the themes and mood, style, and emotions of a film, as well as indicating the historical or geographic context of the production. A set properly conceived and executed expresses the core meaning of the production. Douglas says, “A movie is like an iceberg, all the audience sees is what’s above water but three quarters of the iceberg is below water and that’s all the inspiration, preparation, and perspiration that goes into making a film. I get tremendous intrinsic satisfaction in using my creative and architectural skills each day I’m on set”.

Gabriella Douglas passed her membership take home exam, from the existing script, “Sweet Smell of Success” back in November 2021, for the scenic Design Category of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, IATSE, and is excited to be a proud member now. She is also a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC). Gabriella says, “Toronto has been a blessing in disguise for me and my career, I just adore my community of like minded film makers. Toronto offers amazing tax incentives for production companies, I have been honing my craft there, but am super excited about my upcoming projects in New York City, and Hollywood.” 

Gabriella Douglas is a rare artist, who really cares about all of those in and around her career. Part of her magic is recreating authentic looking periods in history, and projecting what the future might look like in a post-apocalyptic world. She gives all of her endeavors a highly skilled hand as well as her real life experiences. Gabriella brings her strength, and resources, which will benefit any production, and has proven this time and time again. 

Schedule your interview with Gabriella Douglas now!

Gabriella Douglas Q & A

What are your first memories of movies that you loved? 

GD: Like many kids born in the early 90s, I was raised on the Disney Black Diamond series (The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, etc.), but the first movie I remember that truly made me marvel at the power of cinemas was Jurassic Park. No one could convince me that the dinosaurs weren’t real after I saw that movie. 

Why did you want to become a set designer?

GD: A few weeks after successfully defending my Master of Architecture thesis, my thesis advisor held one-on-one closing interviews. It was in this interview that I declared that I no longer wanted to practice Architecture at the conventional firms. I had fallen out of love with the industry, but not of design. We talked about lateral moves that I could make that would still require a Master Architect degree and he mentioned Production Design in Film and Television. I had never heard of the career before, and was amazed when it was described to me. I grew up fascinated by film and would seek out all the behind the scenes footage from my favorite movies. My thesis advisor connected me with some alumni who had made the jump to the film industry, and I eventually got hired on my first film in Montreal. Five years later, I’m still grateful for that faithful interview with my thesis advisor. 

If you were not a set designer what business would you be in?

GD: Definitely still within the field of design, probably furniture design, or graphics. 

What is it that you love about your job?

GD: The creative minds that I get to work with. People who don’t work in film have trouble appreciating how many people are involved in every decision on screen. On larger scale productions, there can be literally hundreds of people working on a set from concept design, to architectural drawings, to construction, to scenic, to set decorating, to lighting, to camera, to post and everything in between. It truly takes a team of people working together. 

How did your family inspire your career?

GD: My bi-racial parents encouraged my sisters and I to develop interests in different cultures and travel. Through family trips in North and South America, I grew to admire different styles of architecture, foreign cultures and languages.

What is your favorite movie?

GD: Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice, Sister Act and Jurassic Park.

Who are your favorite actors?

GD: Robin Williams, Jack Black, and Denzel Washington. 

Who are your favorite actresses?

GD: Meryl Streep, Cynthia Erivo, and Cate Blanchett 

What is your favorite type of film drama?

GD: Historical Fiction. 

What advice would you give someone just starting out in the business?

GD: Never lie about your skill set, it always comes out in the wash.

Who are your favorite directors?

GD: David O’Russell and Emerald Fennell.

Was there something pivotal in your life that changed the trajectory of your career?

GD: After my first film in Montreal, the production designer pulled me aside and asked me if I wanted to stick with this career. I said yes, and he said, “Then you should leave Montreal.” Though I am fluent in French, I am not French and therefore – according to him – would be overlooked for jobs. “If you’re starting your career somewhere, better to do it without any barriers.”

How does Toronto film making differ from anywhere else?

GD: I’ve spent the majority of my career working in Toronto so it’s not too fair to compare it to other cities, but I have found that there is pride in Toronto Film. When one production does well (i.e. The Shape of Water won Best Production Designer at the Academy awards in 2018) it feels like a win for the entire city.

What is a typical working day for you?

GD: We work 12 – hour days in the Art Department: 8am to 8pm. It can be exhausting and stressful, but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

How do you see your career going in the next 5 years?

GD: In five years I hope to be working in New York City, still in the film and television industry, but as an Art Director. I have every intention to climb the ladder and become the Production Designer one day. 

What’s the funniest thing that happened to you on set?

GD: When I worked on CBS Star Trek: Discovery, actress Michelle Yeoh stepped on my open toes in 6-inch heels. She immediately apologized and we laughed about it weeks later at the wrap party.

What is the most joyous time you have had on set so far in your career?

GD: Every show I’ve worked on has had its joyous moments, but my two years on Season 2 and Season 3 of Apple TV+ See stands out. It was an exciting creative opportunity to world-build for that show alongside some of the best designers in the entire city. The art department grew to become very close during our time together, and still keep in touch regularly. 

How do you see film in the next 5 years?

GD: Through VR glasses. 

How does interior design affect filmmaking?

GD: Interior design – or set decorating – brings the human scale to a set. Furniture, artwork and textiles add an additional dimension to a set, offering the audience another lens through which to perceive the production.

What design trends do you see happening in film right now?

GD: In order to present your design work as photo realistically as possible, designers are developing their rendering skills more than ever before. Softwares light TwinMotion and VRay allow designers to render their digital models to incredible likeness.

What’s your favorite color palate?

GD: Films that wowed me with its beautiful color pallet and phenomenal production design were the John Wick films, particularly the 2nd and 3rd films. The world building is exceptional.

How does CGI affect what you do as a set designer?

GD: If a production incorporates a lot of CGI – that means that the initial production design involved a lot of green screen. This can be frustrating for designers as it takes the actual designing away from us and gives it to the post production crew. Productions that I’ve been fortunate enough to work on have preferred to build as realistic as possible. 

What types of greens screen films have you been involved with?

GD: My first production, Chaos Walking, was a sci-fi film that incorporated green screen usage on several sets. After Chaos Walking I moved to Toronto where I worked on CBS Star Trek Discovery Season 2. Star Trek is notorious for heavy usage of green screens, and it was there that I grew to appreciate fully realized sets. 

Do you like film or limited series or episodic the most?

GD: I enjoy working in film and television equally. I’ve treated every production the exact same in my career because they are all different ways of telling a story. I was lucky enough to work on the FX limited series Mrs. America, where the production designer referred to the show as an eight – hour film. Even when I was in Architecture School, we were always taught to design a shed with as much attention to detail and sophistication as you would a skyscraper. 

Who have been the best actors to work with?

GD: On Lionsgate’s – Chaos Walking I was able to work with Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, and both came to the film with enthusiasm and excitement that rubbed off on the whole crew. On Apple TV+ See, Jason Momoa was very involved in the creative process and was always visiting the art department to see the latest set designs. 

How do you find your work?

GD: If you’re a member of your local union, then you’ll have access to the union database containing all members’ contact information and availability dates. The “hot list” is a document sent out weekly that informs union members of what productions are looking to hire and who to contact if you’re interested. 

That being said, networks in film are built by word of mouth. It’s a small community where some people have worked for decades together, so reputations are crucial for longevity.  

Talk about your work ethic.

GD: I grew up playing competitive ice hockey back where I grew up in Ottawa, and at the age of 15 I broke the season scoring record and I was provincially ranked in my age category. I used that competitive edge I developed to get into the best architecture school in the country, Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism. The acceptance rate of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies was less than 5%, and I was one of the fortunate few. Architecture school, both during my Undergrad and my Masters, challenged my classmates and I in every capacity imaginable. Our confidence, mental strength, stamina, time management, communication skills, hand crafting, artistry, ability to withstand criticism and much more was tested in an exceptionally competitive environment. This process has taught me to trust the process, and to welcome failure when trying something for the first time. Every skill I’ve mastered evolved from no experience at all. I advance my arsenal as a designer to stay competitive in the field, both during and between productions by learning new software programs online (i.e VectorWorks, Rhino, TwinMotion, etc.). Keeping that in mind, I make sure to take time off between shows to travel and reconnect with people in my personal life. 

How did you get your start?

GD: In order to become a member of the art department in film and television, an application must be submitted to the union (Director’s Guild of Canada), which is only open once a year, and must include a portfolio of the applicant’s work. Interviews are then conducted between the applicant and the board of submissions. Once the student has been accepted, they are enrolled in a 2 – week training program to learn about the fundamentals of the art department. This is called the GAP program. Should they be fortunate to get hired after the training program, they are given the role of Trainee. 

I, however, did not go through any of that. Days after defending my thesis (18 to be exact), I reached out to someone in the film industry with interest in eventually working in the field and they offered me a job right away. The industry was so busy at the time that I was expedited past union regulations and never did the training program. I am a full member of the union, but I bypassed the application, interview and training processes.

I don’t believe I would have bypassed the aforementioned process had I not had my Masters in Architecture and Bachelors in Architecture.  It is also important to note that individuals coming from the GAP program need to obtain a certain number of days experience on 3 or more shows before getting upgraded to set designer. I was a set designer on my first job in the industry. 

I can’t speak for all of the US film cities, but I have done research on New York and I know a large number of people in the industry come from a Theater background. Those with architecture backgrounds tend to be in much higher demand due to their skills in design and practical construction. So yes, people like me are hard to find. 

Do you have a mentor in the business?

GD: Many, on Chaos Walking I worked with Caroline De Bellefeuille and learned how to maintain healthy communication between all the disciplines in the film industry. On Star Trek: Discovery, I learned from our Production Designer Tamara Deverell and fellow set designers Emilie Poulin, Tijana Petrovic, and Esther Kao, who taught me how to manage a sustainable balance between personal and professional life.  On Mrs. America I learned from our Production Designer Mara LePere-Schloop, how to bring out the best in your art department and to encourage pride in every task you’re handed. On See, I followed the leadership of people like Caroline Hanania, Dean O’Dell, Brent McGillivray and Danielle VanHelden, to realize our ambitious design dreams come to life. 

What kind of skill set does it take to be a set designer?

GD: I always tell people trying to get into the industry to prioritize their time studying the fundamentals of design over honing their digital programming skills. Yes, programs should be treated as the vehicles for creativity and architecture, but a thorough knowledge of shape, scale, light, proportion, color, texture, materiality, art history, design history and physics makes the designer. 

What influence did your parents have on you?

GD: My parents have been my biggest influence, but my mother’s personal journey has become stuff of heroes. With my two sisters under the age of two, my mother immigrated from Venezuela to Canada in 1987, without any knowledge of English or Canadian culture. Through hard times and many personal struggles, my mother graduated with her Master in Education from The University of Ottawa summa cum laude, raised three children and has since evolved into the most sought after Learning Specialist for students with permanent learning disabilities in the province. My mother is responsible for my personal drive and ambition. 

What influence did your siblings have on you?

GD: Being the youngest of three, I have benefited from learning from my older sisters. Growing up, they protected me and encouraged me in all of my endeavors. We’re all much older now, but I still feel the support and faith my sisters have in me. 

What types of schooling did you complete?

GD: In 2017 I earned her Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree from the renowned Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. During both my Master and my Bachelor of Architectural Studies (B.AS), I majored in Design. During a semester abroad, I also earned a diploma of Civil Engineering and Architecture from the University of Leeds in England, United Kingdom.

 Why did you want to move to the US?

GD: Ever since my first visit to NYC I knew that I could see myself living in this city. I love the energy, the eclectic cultures, the food, the arts, the pop-ups and so much more. It helps to know that there are many film productions that want to hire me.

What cities have you traveled to?

GD: My parents packed my sisters and I in a van one summer and drove from our house in Ottawa to Vancouver, and then next summer we drove from Ottawa to New Brunswick, so I’ve literally been coast to coast in Canada. 

As for the US cities I’ve been to: Chicago, NY, Boston, Miami, Orlando, Syracuse, Portland.

And the countries I’ve visited on my travels are: The Bahamas, Cuba, Curacao, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Ireland, England, Scotland, NRI, Wales, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, The Vatican, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Czechia, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and Figi. My travel photos can be seen on my website here:

How do you see your career changing in the next 5 years?

GD: I see my role expanding to Art Director with the promise of moving to Production Designer. 

Define your style?

GD: It’s hard to have a style when you’re a designer working for a Production designer, because you’re the vessel for the Production Designer’s vision. That being said, I have enjoyed working with John Dondertman on NBC’s Chucky Season 2 and learning his creative process and realizing his vision. 

Who would you say influenced you the most in your career trajectory?

GD: There is a community of women in the Toronto set designers scene that have formed a transparent, safe and supportive environment. I have half a dozen friends in the industry who offer wonderful guidance. We are proud to champion one another.  

Do you have any tricks of the trade?

GD: Don’t be late, always have a good attitude, know your job description and never lie. 

What are your assets?

GD: My leadership, critical thinking, design intuition, interpersonal skills, competitive nature, communication skills and my drive. 

How do you find your stamina?

GD: I don’t drink caffeine so sleep is vital. I practice yoga every morning and do something cardio related in the evening when I return from work. My building has a great pool, cardio and weight room that I frequent. Sitting all day is awful for your body so I use a standing desk for about half of my day. 

What are your health regimes?

GD: When I’m working on a production, I opt out of the catering and bring my own meals. I’m not a diet person, but I subscribe to the Keto lifestyle that excludes the consumption of sugar and carbs. That being said, popcorn and hot chocolate are the vices that I succumb to regularly. But I make all my meals on Sunday with healthy ingredients and suitable portion sizes. 

What are your favorite scenes from a movie?

GD: I love rallying speeches. Remember The Titans, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, and The Count of Monte Cristo

How do you do your research?

GD: I keep an extensive library in my apartment of art history textbooks, design anthologies and publications relating to the film and television industry. But like all millenials, the internet is my best friend. 

How are the unions in your business?

GD: I am both a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC) here in Toronto and IATSE 829 in New York City. I bypassed the required trainee experience while in the DGC because of my architectural background, but applying to IATSE 829 demanded interviews, massive portfolios and take-home exams that rivaled the application process to the M.Arch program. I was accepted into 829 at the first wave and was later told in the zoom interview that my application was the strongest they’d seen in years. 

How do you prep for a shoot?

GD: I am hired by either the Production designer or the Art Director as many weeks before we hit camera and they can spare. No matter if it’s 8 weeks or 2, there is always stress and pressure at the beginning of the show to develop and produce amort sets (sets that will be static in the studio and reoccur during the course of the season). There is usually a day before your official start date where you can read the scripts and acclimate yourself to the vibe of the show. Like most industries, it takes time to develop relationships and constructive communication between members of the art department. 

How many people are on your team?

GD: Presently I am working under John Dondertman and Danny Haeberlin on Chucky Season 2, and I’m one of two senior set designers on the show. We have 4 juniors below us, two graphic designers and one trainee, making up a small art department. This opportunity has given me full reins on more than 70% of the sets that have been designed on the show. 

Are you a good role model to others on your team?

GD: I was the assistant captain and eventual captain of my U-18 girls team for the final 3 years of my ice hockey career. Even at such a young age, I knew that the attention had the momentum to turn into an ego, so I focused my young development on my ability to listen and respond as a good teammate. In those final years of my playing career in Canada, our team won 2 provincial championships and 3 scoring titles. 

That leadership has stayed with me through my film and television career in that I study the work of people more talented than myself and constantly try to evolve my listening skills. I regularly receive calls from hiring art directors asking to give recommendations for junior designers who have worked under me. 

My goal is to not only be the most capable production designer in New York and or Hollywood, but to be the most sought after employer to work under. Even at crunch time, I always give instructions calmly and concisely to my coworkers because I believe leaders don’t project their stress onto their teammates. I have an open door policy and I’m not afraid to stand up for myself or admit when I’ve done wrong. Every position in our industry is a learning position, so professional evolution is never ending. 

Are you a good boss?

GD: I believe I am a good boss. I have a strong reputation in the industry here in Toronto and have been offered repeat work by multiple production designers and art directors I’ve had the privilege of working with years prior. Case and point, I’ve worked with 2020 Academy Award Nominated Production Designer Tamara Deverell twice so far in my career. 

What types of meetings do you take with production before you start a project?

GD: As a set designer, there aren’t many meetings that take place before I start officially working on a show. If I haven’t worked with the Production Designer or Art Director before, there would be an interview of some sorts over the phone. But as I’ve mentioned before, the industry is reputation based and word of mouth, so people are already pretty familiar with your work before you start. 

Are you very hands on?

GD: I try not to interfere with the process between the production designer and other set designers. Should a junior designer need guidance, however, I am always available for constructive criticism and encouragement. 

Are you involved with a project from the very start?

GD: The art director or production designer will try to involve me as soon as they get their staffing budget. Being a senior set designer means I develop and create all the construction drawings for the sets on the production, so the sooner I’m hired, the better for everyone involved in the building, scenic application and set decorating process. 

Are you able to give your opinion to the director at the start of a project?

GD: It depends on the relationship with the director. Some are collaborative and some prefer everyone to stick to their specialty. 

How are your scenic designers?

GD: The scenic teams in Toronto are first class. Construction builds our designs in the physical world, but the scenic team breathes life into the finishes of a space. Making foam look like stone, aging, quality of finish, color balance and accents pieces are some of the few ways that the scenic teams bring depth to a set. 

How are your carpenters?

GD: I feel the same way about our scenic teams as I do our carpenters in Toronto and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Through their massive teams of skilled laborers, they achieve ridiculous deadlines in record times. Their ability to interpret our designs and bring them to the real world is a phenomenal and extremely valuable skill.

How is the prop house that you deal with?

GD: When working on Star Trek DiscoveryI collaborated with the props department on things like phasers and communication devices. Boasting of some of the most iconic props in the film and television industry, I found the props team to take founded pride in their designs. 

How are the rental houses that you deal with?

GD: I have had the pleasure to work in both Cinespace Studios and Pinewood Studios here in Toronto. Both are first class studios with ample space and responsive maintenance teams. 

What has been your favorite project that you have worked on?

GD: I have loved each production in my resume for different reasons. Chaos Walking was my first production and I learned so much about film having graduated on M.Arch a week before starting. Star Trek Discovery was an iconic production that pushed the boundaries of sci-fi and design. Mrs. America was the strongest written limited series I’ve ever seen, and I was proud to be a part of such a fantastic ensemble. See was a total joy to work on because of the crew and the ambitious designs that we were able to execute. TallBoyz was a labor of love for all things Canadian, and as a proud Canadian it was an honor to contribute to the show. And lastly, Chucky has been iconic in pop culture and a benchmark production for me professionally. 

Are you proud of your work?

GD: I am very proud of my work. I love what I do and I am lucky that it loves me back. I take pride in how much I’ve grown as a designer and leader from my first days on Chaos Walking, and I’m so excited for my journey ahead.





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Moulin Rouge The Musical – July 7, 2022 – Pantages Theater – Hollywood, CA.

I am one lucky lady, because of my website I get invited to so many wonderful events, some more memorable then others, But Moulin Rouge The Musical was by far the most entertaining show I have ever seen, and that is a really big deal. It just has so many fantastical nuances, from the dancing, to the updated popular songs, to the actors; everything about Moulin Rouge is a feast for your eyes and ears, and everything in between. Part of the Broadway in Hollywood season, Moulin Rouge, delivers and delights. The audience’s reaction was something to behold.

Pop the champagne, MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is the winner of 10 Tony Awards® — including Best Musical!! Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur, and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Welcome to MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL! Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Directed by Tony Award® winner Alex Timbers, MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is a theatrical celebration of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and — above all — Love. With a book by Tony Award® winner John Logan; music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements by Tony Award® winner Justin Levine; and choreography by Tony Award® winner Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge! is more than a musical — it is a state of mind.



Arabia………………………………………………………………………………………………………NICCI CLASPELL

Harold Zidler…………………………………………………………………………………………….AUSTIN DURANT

The Duke of Monroth ………………………………………………………………………………..DAVID HARRIS

Nini ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….LIBBY LLOYD Santiago……………………………………………………………………………………………………GABE MARTÍNEZ

La Chocolat………………………………………………………………………………………………..HARPER MILES

Baby Doll………………………………………………………………………………………………..ANDRÉS QUINTERO Satine…………………………………………………………………………………………………….COURTNEY REED Christian………………………………………………………………………………………………….CONOR RYAN

Toulouse-Lautrec ……………………………………………………………………………………..ANDRÉ WARD


Moulin Rouge – A Brief History:

The Moulin Rouge club you will see in the theatre tonight is a work of theatrical imagination in the spirit of the Moulin Rouge of Paris. Here’s a brief history of that emblematic venue. ▪ October 6, 1889: The Moulin Rouge opens at the foot of the Montmartre hill. The aim of its founders, Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, is to allow the very rich to come and slum it in a fashionable district, where people live differently from other parts of Paris. The place attracts men and women, the middle classes and rich foreigners passing through Paris, as well as artists and ordinary folk. The French cancan, a new dance inspired by the quadrille, enchanted the spectators. Nicknamed “The First Palace of Women” by Oller and Zidler, the cabaret quickly becomes a great success. ▪ The first revue, Circassiens et Circassiennes, is launched in April 1890. ToulouseLautrec creates the posters for the Moulin Rouge from 1891, the first being La Goulue. ▪ July 29, 1907: First appearance of Mistinguett at the Moulin Rouge in the Revue de la Femme. ▪ After the First World War, Francis Salabert takes charge of the Moulin Rouge. ▪ July 29, 1907: First appearance of Mistinguett at the Moulin Rouge in the Revue de la Femme. ▪ After the First World War, Francis Salabert takes charge of the Moulin Rouge. The venue experiences a new popularity thanks to Jacques-Charles and Mistinguett. As the artistic director of the Moulin Rouge, Mistinguett sets a new standard for spectacular revue shows that will inspire Las Vegas venues for nearly a century. American revues, including the Hoffmann Girls, are put on for the first time in Paris. ▪ In the 1930s, the ballroom is transformed into the most ultra-modern nightclub of the time. The Moulin Rouge welcomes the Cotton Club in 1937. ▪ June 22, 1951: Georges France, called Jo France, acquires the Moulin Rouge and starts major renovation work. The birthplace of the French cancan now hosts major international artists. ▪ 1955: Jo France transfers the Moulin Rouge to the brothers Joseph and Louis Clérico. The famous French cancan is still performed, soon choreographed by Ruggero Angeletti and danced by the Doriss Girls. ▪ 1962: Jacki Clérico, son of Joseph Clérico, takes charge of the Moulin Rouge. It is the start of a new era: enlargement of the auditorium, installation of a giant aquarium and the first aquatic ballet. Frou Frou of 1963 and its ensuing success marked the beginning of the series of shows beginning with an “F,” their lucky letter, including ten shows up to the latest revue. ▪ In 2019, the Moulin Rouge and its 60 artists celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Féerie revue show: two hours of amazement featuring cabaret and music hall styles, dance scenes and surprise acts, without forgetting the Moulin Rouge’s most emblematic dance, the French cancan. ▪ October 2019: The Moulin Rouge, famous around the world, celebrates its 130th anniversary. The authentic Moulin Rouge of Paris invites you to enter its dazzling and spectacular world. Visit us at the home and birthplace of the Parisian way of celebrating since 1889!

This show is not just a musical; it truly is a spectacle in the best way. For anyone that loves live theater, Broadway in Hollywood, Moulin Rouge is a must.

The sets, the costumes, the music, it is all so exciting and will keep you very entertained, a show like this should not be written about, just experienced live and in full glorious color!!

Runtime: 2 hours and 45 minutes including intermission

Tickets: or

The Hollywood Pantages Theater

6233 Hollywood Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 468-1700

Hollywood Pantages Theatre

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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Palmina By Puglia Italian Restaurant – Dinner – July 3, 2022 – Palm Springs, CA.

When I ate at their sister restaurant, Puglia in Lake Arrowhead I was very impressed and loved their menu, hospitality and everything that they stood for. At their new incarnation I felt even more joyous and happy, pretty much a real party in your mouth from start to finish.

Owners Chef Antonello Zito. And Patrick Abbate knew what their mission was very early on. When they met they decided right then that they had to form a partnership on a new restaurant endeavor, the rest is history, and both establishments have gone on to be very successful.

Co – Owner Patrick Abbate says – “It’s a dream that has been cooking for years, for a very long time, my staff and I have been working day and night to bring traditional Italian food. Our first location is in Lake Arrowhead CA., we have been through many challenges and we persevere. We are now ready for our second location Palm Spring and we are here to stay. Pasta runs in our family, and Al dente makes you smile,” Patrick Abbate has many talents, he is also a very prolific musician, his guitar riffs have become very famous, having been a member of the 1970’s rock band – Black Sheep. He even has a guitar brand where the guitars are made in Modena Italy. He started playing guitar when he was 11. Became a professional player early in his teenage years studying Classic, Electric and Acoustic guitar. He plays pretty much every style. Patrick studied experimental composition at the Conservatory of Cagliari and he played with several bands throughout the years. Often known for his shredding ability, he considers himself more than just a guitar virtuoso. Patrick is a very busy guy; his wife and kids are back in Italy so he travels every 18 days to see them. When I met him he had just gotten off the plane the day before.

Here’s What I tried:


Spring plate, with artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, grilled eggplant and bell peppers with potatoes, onion, tomatoes and carrots, red peppers, green beans marinated in herbs oil and white vinegar. What a nice fresh way to start my dining experience. It is large so share with your dining companions.


Spaghetti Bolognese, their homemade Bolognese sauce with grass-fed ground beef and ground pork in tomato sauce with Italian herbs and spices, onion carrots, and celery over rigatoni pasta. I asked for whatever their homemade pasta was and they gave me this, it was so wonderful

Lobster Ravioli, very large, very tasty ravioli, with the perfect sauce and wonderful lobster filling.

Gnocchi pesto with Black Truffle Gnocchi, Fresh Potatoes Gnocchi infused with black truffle, tossed in extra virgin olive oil with roasted garlic Italian parsley and chili flakes. There is lots of fresh garlic in the sauce that coupled with the black truffle makes for one very elegant dish. Make sure you give your date a taste so you can both enjoy the lingering garlic aromas.


Branzino (sea bass), Delicate spigola frozen on the boat, stuffed with olives, lemons and tomatoes, baked in white wine and extra virgin olive oil. Served full and fillet on the table! The tableside show is quite fun, deboning the fish and then pouring their lovely sauce on top of it, so delicious.


Palmina Pizza with Pesto base, mozzarella cheese, bresaola, cherry tomatoes, and creamy burrata cheese. This pizza is as beautiful as it is tasty, what an amazing pizza. They have a pizza oven from Italy that produces some delicious super authentic pizza.


Tiramisu, they do a flambé tableside for a real show, so much fun.

Panecotta, creamy rich, just the best way to end my amazing dinner.

Wines I Tried:

Ele Primotivo Puglia, Primotivo Polvanera, Nero di Troia, Aldegheri Le Pietre Santambrogio – Each wine was individual as it gets, but all were just perfect with this glorious food.

Many customers at their Lake Arrowhead location were from the Palm Springs area, so it made sense to open up a restaurant in Palm Springs. The mural on the wall at the restaurant is a work in progress, but it depicts the unique architecture that Puglia has to offer.

I just love the hometown atmosphere of this remarkable restaurant, really when you’re here you are family.

Palmina By Puglia Italian Restaurant  

2500 North Palm Canyon Dr.

Palm Spring CA. 92262 (760) 898-9255

Restaurant Hours 

Monday                                 5:30pm – 9:00pm 

Tuesday                                 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Wednesday                                    CLOSED
Thursday                               5:30pm – 9:00pm
Friday                                     5:30pm – 9:30pm 
Saturday                                5:30pm – 9:30pm
Sunday                                   5:30pm – 9:00pm

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July 2, 2022 – Yucaipa Performing Arts Center – YPAC – Queen Nation – Yucaipa, CA

This is a state of the art venue, fully equipped with great sound and lighting, and the backdrop is gorgeous mountain views, really the ideal place to see a live concert.

Queen Nation is a fun romp through all of Queens hits, the entire band was truly phenomenal, and the audience ate it up.

Queen Nation, is an amazingly accurate tribute to a throwback 70s-80s Queen concert, The show was formed in 2004 by LA based music agency DMHE. Queen Nation is the West Coast’s longest running most authentic fully costumed re- creation of a Vintage Queen concert. The show consists of four musicians who all sing and perform in character and in period costumes while playing live note-for-note renditions of Classic Queen songs.  Featured front man Vocalist Gregory Finsley who is an amazing singer with an uncanny tone that matches the late great Freddie Mercury to a tee. Gregory also is an excellent concert trained pianist which  allows him to accurately  re- create what  Freddie Mercury  magically did live on stage in Queen’s original four piece lineup. Queen Nation has been crowned by their loyal legions of fans as  “The Peoples Choice Tribute To Queen Champions ” and rightly so because arguably they are one of the hardest working tribute bands in the US .  They did 150 shows across the US in 2019 alone. They have also been blessed by being recently inducted into the California Music Hall Of Fames 2020 inaugural class, and voted The Best Live! Band at the 2020 VCMA’s .

​​Queen Nation consists of: Gregory Finsley on vocals & keyboards as Freddie Mercury, Mike McManus on guitar as Brian May, Pete Burke on drums as Roger Taylor and Parker Combs on bass as John Deacon. The mission of the show is to carry on the musical torch and pay homage to the golden age of vintage Queen concerts.

Queen Nation’s live 90-minute production of Queen’s greatest hits preserves the image, sound, and stage persona of vintage Queen. Audiences are amazed at the accuracy of Queen Nation’s live retrospective journey through such Queen songs as We Will Rock You – Bohemian Rhapsody – We Are The Champions – Crazy Little Thing Called Love – You’re My Best Friend – Another One Bites The Dust – Under Pressure and many more. They have performed in front of thousands of people at casinos, fairs, festivals and private affairs.

The Yucaipa Performing Arts Center (YPAC) opened in spring of 2019 and is a 16,200 sq. ft. facility with a 10,500 sq. ft. multi-purpose theater, which has retractable, seating for up to 291. The versatile space allows for audiences of up to 500 standing as well as configurations for receptions and meetings. In addition, there is an indoor/outdoor stage with an adjoining 14,000 sq. ft. open-air plaza for audiences. The YPAC is intended to provide space for all types of performing arts including concerts, dance, theatre, galas, and major events. Throughout the year the City also hosts a number of festivals, which include live performances, in the Historic Uptown district where YPAC is located.

At the heart of Yucaipa’s past and future is the Historic Uptown District, centered on the intersection of Yucaipa Boulevard and California Street. This district encompasses the site of Yucaipa’s historic downtown, which dates back to the early 1900s. Today, this District is the venue for numerous annual events, including the Yucaipa Music and Arts Festival, Autumnfest, and Winterfest.

Look on their calendar for upcoming events, it is worth a trip to this lovely mountain town to check out what YPAC has to offer.

Yucaipa Performing Arts Center
12062 California Street
Yucaipa, CA 92399

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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Lunch, June 26, 20220 – Batter Rebellion – Redlands, CA.

Redlands is such a great find in the San Bernardino area. It has a small town feel, with a great shopping area, surrounded by the gorgeous mountain landscape, called The Inland Empire. Batter Rebellion has a hipster vibe with a great break on traditional chicken and waffle establishments. Pretty much owner Steven Kramer said that their take is to use popular trending menu items and change their ingredients and presentation to make them edgier.

Steven Kramer saw many of this type of restaurants in Portland Oregon, the chicken and waffles fad has been played out and he wanted to turn it on its head. So he changed the actual recipes to make the whole movement more fun. His fare is not Southern influenced; it is full blown California inventive cuisine.

Here’s What I Tried:


Forbidden Fruit, Diplomatic Rum, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Lemon Juice, Orgeat, Passion Fruit Liqueur topped with Dark Spiced Rum. Garnished with Umbrella & Pineapple Wedge. So delicious, makes you feel like you’re on a tropical island.

Holywater, with Strawberry Sencha Green Tea Syrup, Honey Syrup, Lemon Juice. Choose your alcohol of choice. This is a tangier drink, so if you like something that is nit sweet then this one is for you!


Upstream Poke, Poke Nachos – Ahi Poke, Edamame Puree, Sauteed Edamame, Pico De Gallo, Avocado, House Pickled Jalapeños and Fresnos, Siracha Aioli, Scallions, Sesame Seeds, Soy and Sesame Vinaigrette. Such an inventive take on both poke and nachos, the marriage of both of them makes for very amazing experience.

Obscene Poutine, Canadian Classic Poutine – Braised Beef Short Rib, Fries, Demi Glaze, Fried Cheese Curds, White Cheddar Mornay Sauce, Crispy Shallots, Rebel Sauce, Pickled Jalapeños and Fresnos, Minced Parsley, egg! I have never had poutine like this. Its got so many fantastic ingredients that all work so great together. This is a must try.


Blacksheep Burger, Bacon Jam Burger – 6 oz. Angus Beef Patty, Monterey Cheese, Bacon Jam, Rebel Sauce, Homemade Onion Ring, Charcoal Infused Bun, Served with Fries. It’s the sweet sauce that puts this one over the top. I just could not get enough! Steven gets his bread from LA Artisan Bakery in Los Angeles; it really completes this astounding dish.

Fowl Mouth, with Southern Style Chicken & Waffles: Brined and Fried Chicken Thigh, Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread Waffle, Roasted Corn Aioli, Spicy Maple Bourbon Syrup. I love the idea of mixing cornbread with waffles, and its works so great. My favorite food item here for sure.


Floor is Lava, with Chocolate Molten Lava Cake with a Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. If you have room this one it will make you extremely happy that you are alive!!!

Batter Rebellion was so excited to be just awarded best brunch in Redlands in 2022.

Steven’s brother owns Copehouse and The District in Redlands. Him and his brother are very close and used to be business partners; they are 18 months apart in age.

Batter Rebellion has been open for 2 years, during the pandemic they had to shut down twice in 2020. They rented more space, a common entranceway to put tables out there for outside dining during the pandemic. Steven had to cut 70 percent of his staff during these closures. Business is thriving now, due to locals and people that just love their delicious food.

Steven did the great mural on the wall, he is also a graphic designer, and he also has a degree in clinical psychology. His wife and partner – Jennifer was a massage therapist; she is so great with people and was delighted to start her endeavor with her husband.

When they decided to go into business they listened closely to their families advise; “A job that needs to be done, just buckle up and do it, enjoy the ride or bail.” Steven and Jennifer love theirs families strong will and determination, its what gives them their successful outlook.

There are lots of fun events at Batter Rebellion; they have Thursday trivia night and Karaoke on Saturday nights. They play 80’s rebellion type of music. Their customers are young, fun, creative types, as well as locals, people on dates, and families.

My server Marisa Franco, was their second employee, she was there from the start. During the Covid shutdown, she waited for the restaurant to re-open, didn’t take unemployment and was a true faithful employee.

This is a very fun, inventive new kind of dining experience. Their staff is super sweet and attentive, you can tell they all love their jobs. Truly a refection of their owner’s attitude.

Redlands is like downtown Santa Barbara’s State Street, lots of unique store and restaurants. Its just a no brainer when your in the area get down to this part of town, and try Batter Rebellion, you too will be so glad you did!

Batter Rebellion



TUES-WED: 11:30AM – 9:00PM

THURSDAY: 11:30AM – 10:0OPM

FRIDAY: 10:00AM – 12:00AM

SATURDAY: 10:00AM – 12:00AM

SUNDAY: 10:00AM – 9:00PM
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June 17, 2022 Pretty Woman: The Musical, The Dolby Theater – Hollywood, CA.

This show is inventive, fresh and follows the film but with lots more fun and enthusiasm. Based on one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, is now on tour! Starring Broadway superstar and Tony Award®-nominee Adam Pascal as Edward Lewis and rising star Olivia Valli as the charming and charismatic Vivian Ward. It springs to life with a powerhouse creative team led by two-time Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde). Brought to the stage by lead producer Paula Wagner. Features an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance (“Summer of ’69”, “Heaven”), and a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J. F. Lawton. 

Featured in the musical is Roy Orbison and Bill Dee’s international smash hit song “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Produced by New Regency Productions, Pretty Woman the film was an international smash hit when it was released in 1990. Now, 30 years later, it delivers on all the iconic moments you remember. Get ready to experience this dazzling theatrical take on a love story for the ages.

The Cast:



Gavin Kalin Productions, deRoy Kierstead, John Gore Organization. EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS – Wendy Orshan AND Jeffrey M. Wilson, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR – DB Bonds, TECHNICAL SUPERVISOR – Full Stage Productions, PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR – Thomas Recktenwald, PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER – RL Campbell, COMPANY MANAGER – Michael Anthony Gremo, MUSIC SUPERVISION, ARRANGEMENTS AND ORCHESTRATIONS BY Will Van Dyke. DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY Jerry Mitchell.  Original cast recording available on Atlantic Records. BOOK BY Garry Marshall & J. F. Lawton MUSIC AND LYRICS BY Bryan Adams & Ji

About the The Dolby Theater:

One of the world’s premier entertainment venues, Dolby Theatre is home to Hollywood’s biggest night, the Oscars® and has hosted a myriad of prestigious artists, concerts and events including AFI Tributes to George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks, Tyler Perry theatrical plays, Los Angeles Ballet, Celine Dion, Prince, CNN Heroes, Cirque du Soleil IRIS, Andrea Bocelli, America’s Got Talent, American Idol, PaleyFest Television Festival, and World Premieres for Black Panther, Mary Poppins Returns, and Star Wars–The Force Awakens.

The Dolby Theatre experience begins on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame and leads to Awards Walk which features Best Picture Oscar® plaques for every film to win the honor. The Theatre was designed by the legendary David Rockwell and the lobbies feature sweeping stairways, cherrywood balustrades, and are crowned with a beautifully lit silver dome. These well-appointed lobbies also feature one-of-a-kind photography from the golden age of Hollywood to today’s iconic stars, all mounted on classic silver screens. Onsite food and beverage are provided by the renowned Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events.

Dolby Theatre is located within Hollywood & Highland, and features unique dining and shopping, nightclubs, a six-screen cinema-plex, and convenient parking with 3,000 spaces. Located adjacent to the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre and Loews Hollywood Hotel, the Theatre is in the heart of Hollywood.

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL  – “If you love the movie, you’ll love the musical!”  – BuzzFeed News.

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL – Is “Big romance and big fun!”

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL – “Irresistible! A romantic fantasy. A contemporary fairy tale,” – The Hollywood Reporter. 

This is Broadway at its finest; it delivers on all fronts. With it’s great story, great cast, and wonderful music, just the real deal. It runs from June 15 to July 3, 2022, get your tickets now, you don’t want to miss out!!

The Dolby Theater

6801 Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood, CA 90028

* Note Some Content Was Taken Off Of Their Website.

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Hotel Ziggy Stay – June 14 & June 15, 2022 – West Hollywood, CA.

Whether it’s named after Ziggy Marley or Ziggy Stardust, Hotel Ziggy will take you back to your Rock and Roll roots. It is a fun lively new experience on the world famous Sunset Strip.

Hotel Ziggy is crusading to keep the spirit of the Sunset Strip, an epicenter of music culture, alive and rooted in counterculture and originality. It really checked all of my staycation boxes. Hotel Ziggy is a gathering place for the creative types of LA, as well as a home base for visitors who want to be immersed in the Strip’s rebellious roots, while having a little too much fun at their relaxing, alluring saltwater pool. It’s both a boutique hotel and a neighborhood hangout for locals. The pool offers live DJ sets, lounge chairs, bar service, and swim up guest rooms that serve as your private poolside cabana.

Backbeat is their own live music venue in the lobby. There’s a revolution going down at Hotel Ziggy, hipsters, musicians alike are all flocking to their Sunday night jam.  A weekly lineup of local bands, DJs, and events adds to this festive new spot in West Hollywood.

B-Side Restaurant – Here’s What I Tried:

American Breakfast, with 2 eggs, hash browns, chicken apple sausage, house made biscuit. Their house made biscuit will knock your socks off, a truly memorable breakfast.

Egg Sandwich, toasted English muffin, fried egg, American cheese, sausage patty. It is a bit spicy, but a very meaty hearty sandwich. This breakfast is a great way to start your day off.

Thai style Ribs. This was my favorite dish at the Ziggy Hotel, tender, flavorful, perfection.

Truffle Fries, wow, wow, wow, is all I can say.

Caesar Salad with Chicken, the greens are perfect and the chicken breast adds the just the right amount of protein.

Smash Burger with house ground prime chuck, fiscalini farm house cheddar, pan-roasted onions, lacto-fermented dill pickles, Calabria Chile aioli, and arugula. This burger is out of this world, made very simply but hit all of the right notes.

Arugula Salad, with Parmesan reggiano, toasted pine nuts, shaved fennel, and lemon anchovy vinaigrette. A version of this salad came with my Egg Sandwich and was very delicious.

Meat Balls, you get 3 huge meatballs; bathed in a lovely marinara sauce, just what the doctor ordered.

Free Bird Cocktail, with Vodka, ginger simple syrup, lemon, raspberries, and honey. This cocktail is fun and fresh, it will go down super easy.

There are wonderful elements of the 60’s and 70’s everywhere. The pool boasts a large mural looking very much like Peter Max did it himself. When you first walk in, the chandeliers are all vintage insides of speakers. The photos and art work all over shows that this epic period resonates on. Having been a teenager during this period I can remember lots of the great recording artists and the impression they made on me. All and all it’s a fine trip down memory lane that brings you back like it was yesterday.

My room was just the best. It had just been remodeled and reopened. I was told that I had the premiere room in the hotel. It is a suite with lots of great extras.  Headphone to record podcasts, a turntable, and large bed, with a view of The Strip.  The staff treated me like a queen, with all of the accoutrements. It was my home away from home for my 2 nights. It is so centrally located, you really can do and see so much while enjoying this reinvented hotel.

Hotel Ziggy

8462 West Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, California 90069

(323) 654-4600

* Note Some Content Was Taken Off Of Their Website.

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June 9, 2022 – Stomp – Pantages Theater – Hollywood, CA.

This show is a real spectacle, but in the most simplistic way. You too will be clapping, tapping and snapping your finger to this percussion filled night of excellence. Matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and more fill the stage with energizing beats at STOMP, the inventive and invigorating stage show that’s dance music and theatrical performance, blended together in one electrifying rhythm.

Info About Stomp:

‘One of the most successful off-Broadway productions, Stomp is an energetic mélange of acrobatic body movements, pantomime and rhythms created from everyday objects. A Drama Desk Award winner, Stomp has enthralled critics as well as fans in the U.S., ever since it debuted at Orpheum Theater in 1994. The eclectic theatrical show has embarked on several successful tours since, including a full-fledged tour of North America.’

Stomp Los Angeles History’

‘Percussionist Luke Cresswell and director Steve McNicholas created Stomp in 1991. The show had eight performers, which included acrobats, mime artists and percussionists who used everyday objects, such as dustbins, brooms and buckets to create rhythms. The show debuted at Bloomsbury Theatre in London and got rave reviews. It wasn’t until 1994 that the original cast and crew of Stomp made their way to the U.S., performing in New York City. Eventually, an American cast was finalized for the show the same year.’

Stomp Los Angeles Milestones’

‘Since making its U.S. debut at the Orpheum Theater in 1994, Stomp has delivered more than 5,000 sold-out performances in New York alone. The creators of the show have been roped in for several TV, film and theater projects, such as Pandemonium: The Lost and Found Orchestra. The show was an orchestral version of the concept behind Stomp and was showcased at Sydney Opera House in 2007.

An extended cast of Stomp was put together in 2007 for Stomp Out Loud, which was showcased in Las Vegas at a brand new theater, specially constructed for the show.

A short documentary, entitled Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey, was released in 2002, which got favorable reviews from critics and fans, alike.’

Stomp Los Angeles Cast’

Stomp’s Los Angeles production has an eclectic range of performers, including award-winning tap dancer Simeon Weedall, So You Think You Can Dance star Alexis Juliano and composer Marivaldo Santos, who has worked with such artists as Sting and Wyclef Jean.’

Stomp Los Angeles Live Experience’

‘Despite being around for more than two decades, Stomp continues to fill theaters at big as well as small venues. Stomp Los Angeles tickets are usually sold out really fast, which is why fans should grab them as soon as possible. It is a 90-minute, wordless show, which relies on percussive and acrobatic skills of performers to keep things interesting. Unlike almost all other theatrical shows, Stomp does not rely on narrative. Instead, it relies on novelty, whose highlight is the unassuming objects that are used to create sound textures and rhythms, alive. For instance, fans can expect to see something as unexpected as Zippo lighters and matchboxes as part of the live percussion ensemble.’

Current Los Angeles Cast:

Jordan Brooks, Joshua Cruz, Declan Hayden, Madeline Jafari, Zahna Johnson, Jasmine Joyner, Riley Korrell, Cary Lamb Jr., Max Meyer, Artis Olds, Sean Perham, and Cade Slattery.

What more is there to say, a real phenomenon, go see it!

Pantages Theater
6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 468-1700

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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May 20, 2022, King Lear, Wallis Annenberg Theater, Beverly Hills, CA.

There is so much about this performance that you have to imagine. The story and the text is all there, but this special rendition of King Lear brings 2022 technology into Shakespeare space. Who knew that you could do selfies and videos taken off of cell phones as part of this very inventive production. Then there is the acting, really master class for acting students and anyone interested in the thespian universe.  What more is there to say, just go and see it you too will be just amazed at how far these wonderful inventive producers and directors can take this normally depressing story.

And did I mention the acting, especially Joe Morton, wow – the second act he blows the roof off of the joint, he is just that great. Joe does a great job as bringing his comic spryness, playing him not as a doddering old man but as a vivacious, engaging jokester who expects to be treated as the life of the party. He is a force to be reckoned with, he just finished his award-winning, sold-out performance as Dick Gregory in Turn Me Loose, and Joe Morton (ABC’s “Scandal,” the legendary Brother from Another Planet, Netflix’s “The Politician”).

This radical reinvention of Shakespeare’s greatest play explores questions of truth, love and power, and offers a glimpse of redemption. A typical story in our modern day and age, his cruel daughters turn on him after obtaining their inheritance, he becomes vindictive, then turns into a spiteful entitled abstinent shadow of a man. But he was so convincing for me, I just relished in every movement, every word, especially when he engaged with the audience, what a performance. I also really loved River Gallo’s performance, a nonbinary actor who uses the pronouns they/them, plays both Cordelia and the Fool.

King Lear

By William Shakespeare

Starring Joe Morton

Directed by John Gould Rubin

Cast Featuring:

Joe Morton as King Lear
Brie Eley as Regan
River Gallo as Cordelia / Fool
Mark Harelik as Gloucester
Rafael Jordan as Edmund
Zachary Solomon as Edgar / France
Emily Swallow as Goneril
Stanley Andrew Jackson III – understudy for Edgar/France and Edmund
Miguel Perez – understudy for Lear & Gloucester
Danielle Thorpe – understudy for Goneril, Regan & Cordelia/Fool

Composition/Sound Design by Danny Erdberg and Ursala Kwong-Brown reinforce and masterfully transition the emotional impact of the scenes.  The contemporary costume design by Deborah Hartwell reminds us of where and when we are, and the video projection by Keith Skretch makes this a unique and compelling production to experience. There are scenes of devastating floods and fires flash onto two rectangular video panels that face each other from opposite sides of the stage. The production transports us to a modern age in which texting and video calling are standard forms of communication, but there’s something superficial in the appeal to relevance.

The story line shows the violent power struggles within a dysfunctional extended family. Lear demands the love of his three daughters as he decides how to divide his kingdom amongst them and Lear’s loyal courtier Gloucester grapples with his two feuding sons. Rafael Jordan as the scheming Edmund, commands the stage offering powerful soliloquies and Zachary Solomon as Edgar. Brie Eley is flirtatious yet ruthless as the jealous Regan and Emily Swallow portrays an aggressive and treacherous Goneril as she takes on Lear’s emotional and physical abuse. Mark Harelik rounds out the cast as the embodiment of the white-bearded loving, superstitious and clueless, Glouester.

There are also bleachers constructed towards the back of the stage, where audience members can choose to sit, and the stage is set with banquet tables. Christopher Barreca’s scenic design, sharpened into focus by Stephen Strawbridge’s lighting, is organized around a set of banquet tables that, by the end, are flipped over, with their contents strewn across the floor. The whole production is very simple, but in the best way. By the final act, Keith Skretch’s projections are flashing imagery directly onto the audience, a section of which is seated behind the set. Pillars of video screens on either side of the stage project images of storms, forest fires, tidal ways, and desolate landscapes. One of the standout feature’s is the productions innovative use of cell phones to capture live video close-ups of each other as well as to project revealing text messages between characters.

About The Wallis:

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a dynamic cultural hub and community resource where local, national and international artists share their artistry with ever-expanding audiences. The campus, located in the heart of Beverly Hills, CA, is committed to robust and distinctive presentations and education programs curated with both creativity and social impact in mind.

Distinguished by its eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its location in the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis has produced and presented more than 275 dance, theater, opera, classical music, cinema and family programs since its doors opened in October 2013. Hailed as “au courant” (LaLa Magazine), The Wallis was lauded by Culture Vulture, which proclaims, “If you love expecting the unexpected in the performing arts, you have to love The Wallis.” Its programming has been nominated for 48 Ovation Awards and seven L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Awards. The campus itself, a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot facility, celebrating the classic and the modern, has garnered six architectural awards.

Designed by acclaimed architect Zoltan E. Pali, the restored building features the original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places), which serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and includes the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater; the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater; an inviting open-air plaza for family, community and other performances; and GRoW @ The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education, where learning opportunities for all ages and backgrounds abound. Together, these elements embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.- area visitors and residents alike.

I know some of the reviews have not been too noteworthy, but my own experience was that this is a production not to be missed. It is just so creative and fresh that anyone would say, you really need to witness this new production of King Lear!!!

King Lear’s running time is 3 hours including a 15-minute intermission.  King Lear runs through June 5 at The Wallis in Beverly Hills.

The Wallis

9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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