Saturday, March 26, 2011


It’s been an incredibly busy two months, in both work and play, hence the recent dearth of blog postings. I won’t bore you with the work stuff, but here’s a sampling of some of the fun things we’ve been doing:

Lots of Theater

In early February, Tim and I went to a reading of a two-person work-in-progress play called The Opponent, featuring TV stars Dulé Hill and Donal Logue as a pair of washed-up pugilists. Extremely intimate venue—one of the rehearsal rooms at Culver City’s Kirk Douglas Theater—and interesting performances. Not a bad way to spend part of a gloomy Sunday afternoon.

Two days later, Karen and I saw Sting and his wife Trudie Styler perform in a benefit reading of Twin Spirits, a short play chronicling the highly romantic (and ultimately tragic) love story of German composers Robert and Clara Schumann. John Lithgow narrated while violinist Joshua Bell and others played music from both composers. Judging by the ovation he got before the play even started, Sting was the evening’s big draw. But it was truly Trudie’s night as she gave an emotionally moving performance as Clara who, as a teenager, falls in love with the older Robert and remains faithful to him long after his untimely death. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Karen and I also saw Jane Fonda play a Beethoven scholar dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease in the Tony-winning drama 33 Variations. The entire cast was terrific, but it was Fonda whom everyone was buzzing about as we left the theater. Her performance was great, plus she looked absolutely fabulous.

Paley Festival

A big part of March is always spent at the Paley Fest, the Paley Center for Media’s star-studded annual celebration of television. Although the two-week festival used to honor the TV shows of our youth, in recent years it’s become mainly a showcase for the most popular programs of the moment. We attended four events this year: Parks and Recreation, Glee, Raising Hope, and a reunion of Judd Apatow’s Undeclared and Freaks & Geeks, two cult favorites that aired in 2001 and 1999.

Parks and Rec was, of course, very funny, with nearly all the cast present. (Though Rob Lowe was absent, everyone insisted he’s staying on the show.) The actors obviously all have great affection for each other and acknowledged that Amy Poehler is their leader.

Glee was the same: lots of cast love and joy about being on such a mega-hit program. I was disappointed that Lea Michele was back-east filming a movie, but almost everyone else was there. Jane Lynch is very attractive in person.

Disappointed, too, that Cloris Leachman didn’t attend the Raising Hope panel, but enjoyed the rest of the cast. We did get to sneak-preview the final episode of the season: a flashback to before Hope was born—very funny!

And speaking of funny, the Apatow reunion was, of course, crazy and profane. Neither Charlie Hunnam, who now stars on Sons of Anarchy, or Oscar-nominated James Franco were there, but they both sent cute videos, which the audience loved. Lots of affectionately funny stories about Franco, in particular. It was wonderful seeing the “freaky” and “geeky” kids (Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jason Segel, Busy Philips, Linda Cardellini, et al.) now all grown-up . . . and, for the most part, extremely rich and famous.


As an early birthday present, I treated Karen to a Moroccan cooking class at the Beverly Hills Williams-Sonoma a couple of weeks ago. We learned how to make a savory chicken stew (which I made this week at home—yum!), couscous with almonds and apricots, carrot and parsnip salad, and orange-cardmom ice cream. The point of the class, of course, was to get us to buy Williams-Sonoma products; but the food was just amazing, so we easily ignored the sales pitch and concentrated on the meal. I highly recommend trying other cooking events there—some of which are even free!

And, of course, Disneyland

Tim has a ton of vacation time to burn-off at work, so we went to Disneyland one rainy Friday morning, just because we hadn’t been there in a while. The crowds were light and we were in-and-out all within four hours. My kind of TGIF!