5 Things to Gush About: July 15-21

Mid-summer lull, so time to enjoy the outdoors, catch up on a book, or check out a film fest in a nice air-conditioned theater.
Into the Woods

“Into the Woods” Hollywood Bowl: Okay, this is happening next week (July 26-28), but wanted to warn you in case you’re in the area as there are still tickets available. The Stephen Sondheim show is of course classic and this particular cast is stellar: Sutton Foster (“Younger”), Patina Miller (“Pippin”), Skylar Astin (“Pitch Perfect”), Gaten Matarazzo (“Stranger Things”), Cheyenne Jackson (“Xanadu”), Edward Hibbert (“Frasier”), and many more. In case you’ve only seen Sutton Foster on her hit TV show, here’s a clip from the Tony’s showing what she can really do:

“The Play That Goes Wrong”: We saw this show in London and thought it was a riot. So did J.J. Abrams of Star Wars fame so he came on as a producer and brought it to Broadway. Now it’s on tour and playing in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson but should be in your neck at some point. This is in the tradition of “Noises Off” where everything that could go wrong during a play does go wrong. In London during the holidays, the show morphs into “Peter Pan Goes Wrong”.

Outfest LA 2019: This massive, sprawling LGBT film festival starts on Thursday, July 18th. These films can often be difficult to see outside of film festivals, so you should check out the line-up for what looks good since you may never have a chance again.

David Sedaris Calypso: I’m only now halfway through this book even though I’ve had it in my Kindle for a year or so. I’ve been a fan since Naked and have seen him do a reading once up in Westchester County, New York where we were waiting in line to get an autograph when his sister, Amy Sedaris, came barrelling through, apparently so she wouldn’t get stopped and hassled. I’d seen her before at B.J.’s which is an East Coast version of Costco, I guess getting supplies for her all her crafts. Anyhoo, enjoying this book tremendously.

Here he is on Colbert promoting Calypso:

Live “Throwing Copper” 25th Anniversary: I was crazy for this group back in the day. Although an unfortunate name for a band since it’s difficult to search for them online and it’s difficult to explain to someone, a bit Who’s On First (“No, the group is called Live. It’s not a live album.”). Released in 1994 after every label was looking for the next Nirvana. This was their second album, the first not hinting at what they could and would accomplish. I listened to the album relentlessly, with “Selling the Drama”, “I Alone”, “Lightning Crashes” and many more highlights. They were never critics darlings yet had their revenge by selling eight million copies, astounding by today’s minuscule numbers where Madonna’s latest hit number one selling under 100,000 in its first week. With intense success came endless touring, exhaustion, pressure from the record company and the inevitable follow-up letdown. They just were never able to match this quality or success. Now comes a 25th Anniversary version, coinciding with Live getting back together with its original lead singer, Ed Kowalczyk, after a near 10-year estrangement. Here’s one of their big hits, “I Alone”.

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