Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jill Krementz goes to Hollywood

Lily Vonnegut in front of The Hollywood Sign.
Three days in Hollywood

I flew out to Hollywood for a three-day weekend with my daughter Lily Vonnegut, who is currently appearing in the West Coast premiere of Slaughterhouse-Five based on the novel by my husband Kurt Vonnegut. Adapted by Eric Simonsen and directed by Tiger Reel, with an excellent cast of 12 actors, the play can be seen for three more performances (October 21-23) at the Studio-Stage Theatre.

During the days I had ample time to see five exhibitions at LACMA (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art) headed by Michael Govan, and to take a stroll around the adjacent Lake Pit (most people refer to this site as the La Brea Tar Pit).

Sightseeing with my daughter included drive-bys of famous buildings, a Saturday morning at The Grove's Farmer's Market, with pit stops at Barnes and Noble and The Buttercup Bakery. We had Sunday brunch at Le Petit Four, a popular, and excellent, restaurant. I enjoyed the whimsical guitars sprinkled all over the place as part of a public art project.

Halloween is a huge holiday out in LA with pumpkins and cobwebs in abundance. Dogs have their own bakeries and gyms. I saw a stretch hummer.

Monday morning, en route to the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, we took a quick detour so I could have a tourist moment photographing the famous Hollywood sign.
Lily outside the Studio Stage where Slaughterhouse-Five is being staged by Action! Theater Company.
Lily doing her hair before performance.
Owen Sholar, 12, is in the seventh grade. Mr. Sholar plays a young Billy Pilgrim among other roles.
Director, Tiger Reel and his wife, Amy Mucken. Mr. Reel is the director of the production, Ms. Mucken, the assistant director.
Raymond Donahey, who plays the role of Man who narrates the play. Lily Vonnegut and Don Schlossman. In this scene, Montana and Billy are on Tralfamadore, with their baby. Billy is reminiscing about the war.
Curtain call.
The Diehl family: Kay, Dylan, and Digby. Digby Diehl has recently published Patti LuPone: A Memoir, a book he co-authored with the legendary actress.

Dylan Diehl is an actor who has appeared in an episode of Law and Order.
Michelle Wolfson, Stage Manager, with Lily.
Lily with Emmy Rossum. Ms. Rossum starred in the film version of Phantom of the Opera and played Sean Penn's daughter in Mystic River. She is currently shooting a Showtime series called Shameless, in which she co-stars with William H. Macy. It will premiere on January 9th.
Following the performance on Saturday night there was a "talk-back" with Director Tiger Reel and Eric Simonson. Mr. Simonson did the adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five. Kurt and I saw the initial production in Chicago at Steppenwolf in the early 70s. The play was staged again in Manhattan at Theater 59E59. This is its third incarnation.

Mr. Simonson's play, Lombardi, is in previews at Manhattan's Circle in the Square Theater and opens on Thursday, October 14th.

The work, based on the best-selling biography When Pride Still Mattered, written by David Maraniss, is about the life and times of one of America's most inspirational and mercurial personalities, Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi (played by Dan Lauria).
Warren Davis (who plays Roland Weary) with Eric Simonson.
Brian Michalski and Emmy Rossum.
A Saturday morning visit to The Grove where you can find a wide assortment of treats and pleasures.
A Bakery for Dogs.
Treats by the pound.
Pumpkins everywhere.
Lots of hot sauce.
If you've ever wanted to milk a cow ...
A Petting Zoo with a llama, a donkey, and baby goats.
Barnes and Noble's main floor was mostly devoted to The Nook, dvds, and books about Hollywood and screenwriting.
Taschen Book Store. New Taschen book devoted to the late Dennis Hopper.
Statue of the Spirit of Los Angeles.
Two wall murals outside a newspaper store advertising The Los Angeles Times.
Five exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum as well as a few other installations outdoors and in.
Exterior of the Los Angeles County Museum.
Outside LOCMA, an installation of Urban Light by Chris Burden.
Auguste Rodin (France, 1840-1917)
Monument to Honoré de Balzac
first modeled 1897
There are many beautiful Rodin sculptures in an adjacent garden.
Outside LACMA, an Alexander Calder sculpture.
As you enter the Ahmanson Pavillion, there is the monumental and wonderful Tony Smith sculpture, Smoke.
Catherine Opie: Figure and Landscape. Manly Pursuits: The Sporting Images of Thomas Eakins.
Football landscape #17 by Catherine Opie.
American painter Thomas Eakins, a century ago, balanced idealism and realism in his depictions of male athletes.
Wrestlers, c. 1899.
Taking the Count, 1898

The colossal canvas of Taking the Count was the second largest of Eakin's career. It features an actual bout at the Philadelphia Arena on April 21, 1898, involving welterweights Charley McKeever and Jack Daly, with referee Henry Walter Schilchter (a close friend of Eakins). Rather than delineating a particular punch, Eakins shows a less dramatic but equally tense moment: Daly going down for a partial count. Such a depiction allowed Eakins to examine the boxer's physiques rather than focusing on violent gestures.
Taking a break before moving on to three more exhibits featuring fashion, fruit and sensual pleasures.
Entrance to Fashioning Fashion Exhibition. Boy's Frock
Probably England, c. 1855
Bustles from the late 1870s and 1880s.
Bust Improver (or "bosom friend")
England, c. 1900
England, c 1900
Leather and Metal
Pair of Fetish Boots
Belgium, c 1900
On to Fruity Pleasures ...
Claes Oldenburg
Apple Core-Spring, 1980
Diego Rivera
Fruits of the Tree of Life, 1932
Rosenthal Porzellan
Cherry Motif Mocha Cup and Saucer, 1903
Porcelain with transfer decoration
Roy Lichtenstein
Yellow Still Life, 1974
Lithograph and screenprint
Last stop: The Resnick Pavillion
Joseph Gott
Ino Teaching Bacchus to Dance
c. 1830s
John Gibson
The Tinted Venus, 1855-56
Marble, tinted and gilded
Dirk van der Aa
Sacrifice to Diana, c. 1790
Oil on canvas
After Charles Kandler
Made by Elkington and Company
Wine Cistern, c. 1880s
Attributed to Jan Pieter van Baurscheit
Bust of François Henri de Montmorency, Duc of Luxemburg, c. 1695
Jacob Jordaens
Head of a Young Woman
c. 1621-22
Oil on panel
Hendrick de Clerck
The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man
c. 1597-1610
Oil on panel
Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens
Putti with a Basket of Fruit, c. 1616
Oil on panel
Attributed to Giuseppe Torretto
Allegory with a Heart Pendant
c. 1720
Attributed to Giuseppe Torretto
Allegory with a Medallion
c. 1720
(Jehan de Boulogne)
Bull, 17th century
François Boucher
The Sleep of Venus, 1754
Oil on Canvas
Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Two Girls on a Bed Playing with Their Dogs, c. 1770
Oil on Canvas
After Bertel Thorvaldsen
Danish, 1770-1844
Venus with the Golden Apple
(Venus Vintrix), 1813-16
Later 19th century cast
Charles Cordier
African-Venus, 1851
Charles Cordier
Dawn (L'Aurore), 1878
Charles Cordier
Dusk (Le Crépuscule), 1889
Adolfo Wildt
Cristo del Sepolcro, c. 1919
Aristide Maillol
Torso of l'Action Enchaînée
Paul Manship
Briseis, 1916
Detail of floor lamp by Edgar-William Brandt.
View of Galleries.
Rancho La Brea Tar Pits
So sad ... Daddy elephant and baby watch mommy elephant sink into the tar pit.
These lovely ferns are everywhere in LA. Love them. LA is home to a multitude of cacti.
Closeup reveals carved initials and names.
Lily climbs a tree at Rancho La Brea. Lily in another tree (in Sagaponack) when she
was four.
On the streets of LA ...
A stretch Hummer.
A banner for the Los Angeles Symphony with a photograph of its dynamic young Latin American Music Director, Gustavo Dudamel.
Jim Henson's former studio with Kermit, tipping his hat. One of many gym sightings.
Only in LA.
Popular takeout joint.
Saks run through: Everywhere I looked in LA I saw women with Louis Vuitton bags over their shoulders.
Prada shoe with platform sole--all the rage. Ditto Christian Louboutin boots with trademark red soles.
The popular music lounge.
Lauren Evans
Good Vibrations

Gibson Guitar and the Sunset Strip present their rocking “GuitarTown” public art exhibit. The project features 26 ten-foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul Model Guitars. Local and nationally acclaimed visual artists created their one of a kind, works of art ranging from painting and mixed media to photography on these oversized sculptures. Each guitar showcases a musician, personality, artist or something unique to the Sunset Strip’s history and Gibson Guitar.

Strategically placed in front of landmarks, clubs, shops, restaurants and hotels, the beautiful guitars guide you on a creative tour of the legendary strip. As part of the Sunset Strip beautification project, these works of art are helping to unite the art, music and business community. These art guitars will be on public display for the next 6 months or so.
John Ottinger
The Mystic Knights of Oingo
Anne Daub
Good Time Tonight
Details from two of the guitars on display.
Lunch at Le Petit Four.
Dessert at Buttercake Bakery.
Halloween cupcakes.
Mini cupcakes.
So says Lily.
Capitol Records building. Variety headquarters.
Goodbye to Hollywood.
Pink clouds outside my window on Jet Blue flight back to New York City.
Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz; all rights reserved.