Thursday, December 26, 2013

Kim Kardashian plans Christmas card with Kanye West

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Pope's Christmas wish: hope for a better world

<animal charity christmas cardsp>By FRANCES D'EMILIO
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis offered a Christmas wish Wednesday for a better world, praying for protection for Christians under attack, battered women and trafficked children, peace in the Middle East and Africa, and dignity for refugees fleeing misery and conflict around the globe.

Francis delivered the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" (Latin for "to the city and to the world") speech from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to 70,000 cheering tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square below. He said he was joining all those hoping "for a better world."

In his first Christmas message since being elected pontiff in March, he asked for all to share in the song of Christmas angels, "for every man or woman ... who hopes for a better world, who cares for others," humbly.

Among places ravaged by conflict, Francis singled out Syria, which saw its third Christmas during civil war; South Sudan; the Central African Republic; Nigeria; and Iraq.

In Iraq on Wednesday, militants targeted Christians in two attacks, including a bomb that exploded near a church during Christmas Mass in Baghdad. The separate bombings killed dozens of people.

The Vatican has been trying to raise concern in the world for persecution and attacks on Christians in parts of the Middle East and Africa.

"Lord of life, protect all who are persecuted in your name," Francis said.

The pope also prayed that God "bless the land where you chose to come into the world and grant a favorable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians."

Francis then explained his concept of peace.

"True peace is not a balancing of opposing forces. It's not a lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions," the pope said. "Peace calls for daily commitment," Francis said, reading the pages of his speech as they were ruffled by a chilly wind.

Francis also spoke about the lives of everyday people, especially those struggling for a better life.

Recalling the hundreds of migrants who have drowned this year while trying to reach European shores, including many close to the Italian island of Lampedusa, Francis prayed that refugees receive hope, consolation and assistance.

He added that "our thoughts turn to those children who are the most vulnerable victims of wars, but we think, too, of the elderly, of battered women" and others.

The 77-year-old pope kept to the simple style he has set for his papacy. Wearing a plain white cassock, Francis presented a sharp contrast in appearance when compared to the pope who stood on the same balcony on Christmas exactly a year ago. Then Benedict XVI, who was soon to stun the world by retiring last winter, read his Christmas speech while dressed in a crimson, ermine-trimmed cape. Benedict lives on the Vatican grounds, and Francis paid a holiday call on him earlier this week.

In the Mideast, pilgrims celebrated Christmas in the ancient Bethlehem church where tradition holds Jesus was born, as candles illuminated the sacred site and the joyous sound of prayer filled its overflowing halls.

This year's turnout was the largest in years in Bethlehem, and the celebrations have been marked by careful optimism amid ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Leaders expressed hope the coming year would finally bring the Palestinians an independent state of their own.

The top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, led a prayer for some 1,000 worshippers. "The whole world now is looking at Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus," Twal said in his annual address, adding that the message of Jesus was one of "love and reconciliation."

Bethlehem lies 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Jerusalem. Entry to the city is controlled by Israel, which occupied the West Bank in 1967.

Following a Palestinian uprising that began in 2000, the numbers of visitors to Bethlehem had plunged. But thanks to a period of relative calm, they have been steadily climbing in recent years.

Iskandar Salameh, an 18-year-old Palestinian, said the Christmas spirit was uniting those gathered Wednesday. "We all feel that Jesus is with us today," he said.

In Britain, the royal family turned out in force for a Christmas church service, but the newest family member, Prince George, son of Prince William and Kate, was nowhere in sight.

Cicely Howard said she asked about the baby when she greeted Kate outside the church. Howard told the British news agency Press Association that Kate described George as being "more interested in the wrapping paper than the presents."

___

Mohammed Daraghmeh contributed from Bethlehem, and Cassandra Vinograd from London.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Warren Family Mission needs donations of food items, toys, money

Staff report

WARREN

The Warren Family Mission, 361 Elm Road NE, is having several free events during the Christmas season for which it needs donations of food, toys and money.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to noon, Winter Fest for children 12 and under; activities and breakfast.

Dec. 21: Parents/caregivers of registered children pick up toys at the times assigned to them. Items needed are new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children, newborn to teenagers.

Dec. 23, noon to 4 p.m.: Community Christmas Meal. Items needed include ham, instant potatoes, airplane christmas cards pork stuffing, pineapple, salad, pork gravy, assorted cheeses, items for relish tray, items for punch, and rolls and butter.

Dec. 25, Christmas Day: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., brunch for people who don't have family. Items needed include breakfast meats, hams, eggs, pancake mix, bread, pastries, butter, milk and juices.

Donations, including money or gift cards, can be dropped off at 2671 Youngstown Road SE, Warren, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or at 361 Elm Road NE, Warren, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Monetary donations also can be made via the Warren Family Mission's website, www.warrenfamilymission.com, or by calling 330-394-5437.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nikon D5300 Review

<Nikon D5300 Couponsp>

Introduction

The Nikon D5300 is a new 24.2 megapixel DSLR camera with no optical low-pass filter that can record Full HD movies at 1080/50/60p with stereo sound and comes equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. A high-resolution 3.2-inch vari-angle LCD monitor makes it easier to compose your shots from difficult angles, while the extensive ISO range of 100-25600 should cope with virtually all lighting conditions. A 5fps burst shooting mode, EXPEED 4 image processor, 39-point autofocus system with nine cross-type sensors, 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor, High Dynamic Range mode, Active D-Lighting, and nine different special effects for stills and movies complete the Nikon D5300's headline specs. Available in three colours, black, grey and red, the Nikon D5300 costs £729.99 / $799.95 / €899 body only, or £829.99 / €1029 with the 18-55mm VR kit lens, and $1,399.95 with the AF-S NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens.

Ease of Use

The Nikon D5300 replaces the year-old D5200 as the new mid-range model in Nikon's extensive DSLR line-up, slotting in between the existing D3200 and D7000 models, not only in terms of feature set and functionality, but also in terms of size and weight. It isn't quite as compact and lightweight as the D3200, but neither is it as bulky and heavy as the D7000. In comparison to its predecessor, the D5300 is slightly smaller and lighter than the D5200. The right-hand grip is deep and therefore quite comfortable for photographers with large hands and/or longish fingers, and there's also a handy rubberised thumb rest on the back of the body.

The D5100's 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor has been superseded by a 24.2 megapixel sensor with no optical low-pass filter, which promises to deliver slightly finer details. The sensor can clean itself by way of high-frequency vibrations that will, at least in theory, shake off any non-adhesive dust particles that may have settled on the low-pass filter during a lens change. You can specify, via an option in the Setup menu, whether you want sensor cleaning to take place at shutdown, startup, both or neither, with the default being 'both'. The cleaning process pleasingly has no practical impact on startup times, which were near instant. The new image sensor is complemented by the more powerful EXPEED 4 processing engine and a larger buffer as well.

The D5300 is the first Nikon DSLR to offer both built-in wi-fi and GPS connectivity, instead of relying on optional accessories like all previous models. The wi-fi function essentially pairs the D5300 with an iOS or Android smartphone or other smart device, and allows you to eidt and share images directly to social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It also makes it possible to control the D5300 remotely via a smart device using the free Wireless Mobile Utility app, and set the focus point using the smart device's touchscreen. The built-in GPS/A-GPS receiver logs location information such as latitude, longitude, and altitude in the image's EXIF data, even when the camera is turned off, allowing you to retrace your steps even when you're not taking photos.

The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR kit lens that Nikon supplied feels fairly well-balanced on the Nikon D5300 and it fits into place with a reassuring mechanical click. It also adds the very important advantage of Vibration Reduction. Nikon bodies don't offer any form of in-camera image stabilisation, unlike similar models from Sony, Pentax and Olympus, so the affordable 18-55mm VR lens is a good starting point if you don't already have any Nikon lenses.

The shutter release action on the Nikon D5300 is surprisingly quiet, with a dampened mirror slap that makes this DSLR actually quieter than some rangefinder cameras. Furthermore, there is a Quiet Shutter Release mode, in which the mirror is raised fairly slowly to further reduce the sound it makes. This does, however, introduce some shutter lag, which usually isn't worth the few decibels of difference versus what is already an impressively quiet shutter.

FrontRear

The Nikon D5300 follows conventional DSLR design in having a shooting mode dial on the top of the camera, which allows you to select either one of the advanced modes like Manual, Aperture- or Shutter-priority, or a number of scene modes. The Exposure Compensation button is thoughtfully positioned next to the shutter release. Hold down this button with your right forefinger and spin the control wheel on the top-rear of the camera with your thumb to adjust its settings - simple and intuitive.

The Effects shooting mode, first introduced on the D5100, now provides 9 different filters that can be applied to both still images and movies. The Night Vision effect is particularly worth of mention, pushing the camera's sensitivity to a whopping ISO 102,400, although a monochrome rather than colour image is recorded. For stills, you can enter Live View mode to preview the effect or simply use the optical viewfinder. For movies, the recording is slowed down (dependent upon the chosen effect) as the camera uses a lot of processing power to apply the effect, leading to footage that can have a rather staccato feel. Note also that the camera sets virtually everything in the Effects mode - exposure, shutter speed, white balance, ISO, file type and quality - so its only creative in terms of the arty effect that's applied. Several of the same effects can be applied to an image or movie that you've taken, though, so you can have the best of both worlds (albeit without the luxury of a preview).

The second button sitting next to the shutter release is labeled 'info'. This button is arguably at the heart of the Nikon D5300's ease-of-use, as like its predecessor the camera lacks the monochromatic status LCD of the older D90, so Nikon had to provide a different way to check vital shooting information without having to look into the viewfinder. Enter the info button - pressing it displays virtually all of the camera's main settings on the large rear screen. Pressing the "i" button on the rear of the D5300 then allows you to interact with and set the onscreen options, with 14 available in total.

The rear articulated LCD screen is hinged at the side rather than the bottom. This fully articulated design is a much more flexible solution, allowing the screen to be folded out from the left side of the camera and folded inwards to protect it when not in use. The screen is slightly bigger than the D5200 at 3.2 inches and higher resolution too, with 1,037k dots, so there's nothing to complain about in this department. The screen also has an anti-glare coating, so that it's usable most of the time outdoors in strong daylight, although it still struggled a little with reflections.

The D5300's Live View is accessed in a different and arguably less intuitive way than on the D3200/D7100. Instead of a combined switch / button on the D3200/D7000, the D5300 has a fore-finger operated spring-loaded switch on top of the body that is pushed downwards and toggles between turning Live View on and off. Positioned next to the Shooting Mode dial, it allows you to enable Live View whilst holding the camera at arms length with one hand, or to turn it off as you hold the camera up to your eye. We'd prefer it to be on the rear of the camera and also to incorporate the Movie record button, in keeping with the D3200/D7100 models.

Press the Lv switch and the mirror flips up, the shutter opens and the rear screen displays the scene as seen through the lens. There is a red rectangle in the middle, which you can move practically anywhere in the frame. When in manual focus (MF) mode, you can magnify into this rectangle in a number of steps by repeatedly pressing the button marked with a loupe icon, but this magnification seems to be at least partially interpolated. This means that you cannot see detail down to the pixel level, unlike some competing cameras.

Fortunately, MF is not the only focusing option in Live View, at least as long as you are taking stills. Single-servo AF (AF-S) and Full-time-servo AF (AF-F) modes are also available and, while slow, they tend to be accurate. Both modes can also be used in connection with face detection. 'Face-priority AF' had no problem finding and keeping track of human faces as long as they were facing the camera, but acquiring focus was another story - very, very slow.

Live View must also be entered to shoot movies. After pressing the Lv button and optionally presetting the aperture and focus, you can start recording video by pressing the dedicated Movie Record button on top of the camera next to the shutter release. The camera records full high-definition, wide-screen video in 1920x1080 pixel resolution, at a frame rate of 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p, in AVI format using the motion JPEG codec. As with Live View, contrast-detect AF is possible whilst shooting movies, although as with still images there's an audible whine as the camera refocuses and it's still too slow to focus on any fast-moving subject, so much so that we suspect most serious users will use manual focusing instead. Although the D5300 can automatically focus during video recording, it's just not fast enough to warrant regular use.

You can set both the aperture and the shutter speed during movie recording, although the slowest shutter speed is limited to 1/30th second, plus exposure compensation and AE-Lock can also be set. Out of the box the D5300 can record stereo sound via its built-in microphone with three different levels of sensitivity on offer, and improved sound can also be recorded using an optional external microphone. The maximum size of a single video clip is 2 gigabytes which, given that movies occupy about 100 megabytes of storage space per minute, would theoretically translate into about 20 minutes of continuous recording.

The D5300 has a proper through-the-lens optical viewfinder with a slightly improved magnification of 0.82x, on par with most of its rivals. The Nikon D5300's 39 auto-focus points are permanently marked on the focusing screen, whereas the compositional grid lines can be called up via a menu option. Two warning signs - telling you that the battery is running low or you have forgotten to insert a memory card - may also appear in the form of overlaid icons when appropriate. Below the finder is a traditional monochromatic status bar showing practically all relevant shooting information (including the ISO sensitivity, if so specified in the menu).

As stated above, the Nikon D5300 has 39 auto-focus sensors, out of which 9 are cross type. The other thirty are of the line variety, consequently being only sensitive to either vertical or horizontal detail, but not both. In practice, this did not turn out to be a real problem, with the camera typically locking focus on the subject quickly and easily, no matter which AF point was selected. In the viewfinder, the active AF point appears in red, which is easy to see. Selecting the active AF point is done by way of the four-way pad - except if you choose Auto Area AF - again a simple and intuitive solution. In low light, the AF sensors are helped by an AF assist lamp located on the front plate of the camera.

The 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor used by the D5300 is again identical to the system used by the more expensive D7100 model. This provides precise data to the camera's Scene Recognition System, which optimises exposure, autofocus and white balance immediately before the shutter is released.

Memory Card SlotBattery Compartment

The Nikon D5300 only has one control wheel and there are no dedicated buttons for controlling ISO sensitivity, white balance, metering or AF mode. The Fn button can be reprogrammed to perform ISO selection or white balance adjustment (or one of a few other functions such as file quality specification), but the others still have to be set through the main info screen, called up by pressing the [ i ] button top-right of the rear display. With practice, performing adjustments via this screen becomes fairly quick and easy, but it's not as efficient as the older D90's dedicated controls.

Most of the camera's rear controls are scattered, seemingly almost randomly, to the right of the D5300's large folding screen. While we can understand the need to locate them to accomodate the 3 inch LCD, the positioning of the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons in particular isn't very intuitive, being operated with your right-hand thumb, and right next to the Delete button. As the D5300 isn't a very complex camera in terms of the number of external controls, it thankfully doesn't get too confusing, but is something to consider from an ergonomic point of view.

For the images that you've already already captured, the Nikon D5300 offers a broad range of retouching tools, including post-capture D-lighting (useful if you forgot to turn on Active D-lighting before capture), red-eye correction, trimming, monochrome conversion, different filter effects, colour adjustments, image resizing, image overlay, in-camera raw processing, quick auto retouching, straightening of crooked pictures, lens distortion correction, fisheye, colour outline, colour sketch, selective colour, miniature effect, and perspective control. Many of these functions make it unnecessary to buy specialised computer programs or plug-ins and spend hours in front of a computer to achieve a desired/popular effect.

The Nikon D5300 is powered by a proprietary EN-EL14a Lithium-ion battery, good for 600 shots, and records videos and image files on SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. As we noted in our D5200 review, we would really have liked to see Nikon add a second card slot for Compact Flash cards, so that owners of higher-specified Nikon DSLRs who buy a D5300 as a second body can use their existing memory cards. It also lacks the dual-SD slots of the D7100. As far as connectivity goes, there are USB/VideoOut and Mini HDMI ports as well as an accessory terminal for the connection of a wired remote or a GPS unit, all sheltered behind a door on the left side of the camera, when viewed from the back.

That concludes our look at the D5300's interface and feature-set. Now let's take a look at the D5300's image quality...

Entry Tags


Source: Photographyblog

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nikon D5300 Deals for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas 2013 - D5300 DSLR Cameras for the Holidays

Los Angeles, CA -- ( SBWIRE) -- 11/01/2013 -- Holidays are nearing, and lots of people are searching for good cameras to capture memories for the upcoming holiday celebrations. For Black Friday and Cyber Monday, lots of people will be out shopping in stores or browsing online to get good discounts for electronics. The Nikon Nikon D5300 Cyber Monday Deal is a part of Nikon's camera line built for advanced beginners. It has better features than its entry-level counterpart which is the D3200. Hottydeals now recommends the Nikon D5300 for the holidays.

People interested about Nikon D5300 deals can go to http://hottydeals.com/nikon-d5300-deals/.

Dennis, a spokesperson for Hottydeals.com, says, "There are a lot of DSLR cameras out there that are built for beginners. Although the Nikon D5300 is made for advanced users, it can also be easily used and learned."

The Nikon D5300 has been redesigned and the LCD has increased in size and width. It has a WiFi connection without the need for a dongle. It also has added extra effects and has a better magnification on it. The battery life has also been boosted to ensure that users can use their cameras anywhere in the world. It also features a GPS system.

The Nikon D5300 is for consumers who have some basic knowledge about photography and are ready to take it to the next level. However, this camera can still be good for beginners as it only takes some time and practice for them to learn. The camera can also record HD videos. It is a reliable device.

Dennis also says, "The camera is light, delivers sharp images, and is also quite comfortable on the hand. A lot of people will love owning this camera as it makes them feel like a professional, even in the amateur world. There may be a lot of options for other cameras, however, this is the one that works best in crowded areas."

People interested about Nikon D5300 deals can go to http://hottydeals.com/nikon-d5300-deals/.

About Hottydeals.com
Hottydeals recommends and features different products ranging from clothing to cameras. Information and details are available on the website to help people have an informed decision when looking for products for the holiday season.

Media Contact:
Dennis P.
dennis@hottydeals.com
(760) 623-0014


Source: Sbwire

Nikon D5300 hands-on review

Nikon Nikon D5300 Cyber Monday Deal at a glance:

  • 24.2-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor
  • 1.037-million-dot, 3.2in, 170° LCD screen
  • Expeed 4 image processor
  • 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Price £730 body only
  • See product shots of the Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300 - Introduction

While the serious enthusiast is unlikely to be swayed into buying a Nikon DSLR over a Canon model purely because the Nikon camera is newer, the reality is that at the non-premium end of the market this is how some people make their buying decisions. 'Newer' must mean 'better'.

This demand for the 'new' explains why we see such short product cycles in the camera market, and why manufacturers feel the need to introduce even small advances in technology or feature sets in cameras with completely new names - rather than a 'Mark II' type of naming format.

Those familiar with Nikon's range of DSLRs may not see the sense in the company's introduction of the new D5300, especially as Nikon will maintain the D5200 alongside this model in the range - new and old together. By doing so, though, Nikon expands the number of cameras it has on offer and the number of price points it can cover, while also being able to have a model that can carry a 'New' sticker, and which introduces new features to the price band in which it will sit.

That's not to say that the Nikon D5300 isn't different to the D5200, though, as a new processor, new body design and the integration of wireless communications do genuinely bring additional benefits to the photographer.

Nikon D5300 - Design and handling

Nikon is very pleased that it has achieved a new way of constructing camera bodies, which it describes as a 'monocoque'. Instead of there being a chassis, onto which the components and the body shell are attached, the D5300 is designed to have everything screwed to the insides of the body form itself: exoskeleton, rather then the usual endoskeleton.

Image: The top of the camera houses only a few control points, keeping the layout simple and unintimidating for newcomers. A stereo microphone lives in front of the hotshoe

The D5300's body shell is also made of a new material, although Nikon won't say what that new material is - just that it is new. The upshot is that the body is less heavy than it might have been, and is 25g lighter, including the battery, than the camera it doesn't replace, the D5200.

I'm not entirely sure that when I used the camera I could appreciate the exact weight loss that has occurred, but I was able to enjoy the fact that this is truly a lightweight DSLR, of the type that we might not mind carrying all day, over the shoulder, in a bag or in a large pocket. The body is very small too, although it is balanced with a reassuringly large grip for the right hand. It seems ironic that a small and light camera should need a large grip, but I found it allowed me to be aware I was carrying the camera, and should a larger lens be attached it will help to support the forward pull of such a weight distribution.

Image: The body styling will be familiar to those used to the Nikon 5000 series, as will the standard menu. The 3.2in flip-out screen has impressive visibility

The buttons are arranged much as one might expect, with all the principal controls falling easily to the finger or thumb. The rear 3.2in LCD is very nicely bright and clear, with its 1.037-million-dot resolution. Nikon has set the viewing panel into the glass screen, so there are no gaps or internal reflections, which produces good contrast and a clear view from a quoted angled of up to 170°. I am impressed.

In live view, the screen works well when the camera is held low or high, and I found the AF quick enough and seemingly accurate. The response of the shutter in live view also seems good.

Image: Nikon has retained its choice of layouts for the rear-screen display, with text-based and graphically expressed options to suit personal preferences

Nikon D5300 - Still to test

The principal changes in this model are of the sort that will only be proved in testing, but at this stage their potential is worth pointing out. Using the higher-capacity Expeed 4 processor, Nikon claims it has been able to reduce noise in its images through the use of more complicated calculations. A related benefit is that now noise levels are lower the company is comfortable offering a higher ISO setting - the Nikon D5300 allows ratings of up to ISO 25,600. More complex calculations also provide the potential for better white balance assessment in automatic modes via a more comprehensive assessment of the scene, and a better rendition of colour overall.

Lower noise should also lead to better resolution of detail from the 24.2-million-pixel sensor, as should Nikon's decision to do without the micro-blurring effects of a low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter. Leaving the low-pass filter off the sensor has become very fashionable, and I suspect it will be a great draw for many photographers. Moiré in images created by a sensor with 24 million pixels, even an APS-C-sized sensor, is still something that is quite likely to occur, but there is also plenty of software to correct it after the event.

The other thing to note is that this model sees the introduction of a new battery cell, which Nikon says increases capacity from 500 shots to 600 compared to the cell used in the D5200. It annoys me when companies change their battery forms, but on this occasion the new cell and that used in the D5200 are interchangeable.

Obviously, I couldn't test the battery life of the camera, but we should take the increase as good news. I will also have to wait to test the Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities of this new model, but neither can be held as negative points just for their inclusion. The Wi-Fi integration means users will be able to control the camera from an Android or iOS device, and will be able to wirelessly transfer images for viewing, editing and sending while on the go.

Image: The new battery, which is backwards compatible with the D5200, offers a longer life. There is no low-pass filter on the sensor, for extra resolution

Nikon D5300 - Conclusion

It would be easy to dismiss the Nikon D5300 for being too similar to the D5200, but that really isn't the point. There is not much wrong with the D5200, and the changes that this new model brings can only make it better. Perhaps Nikon could have called it the D5200 ll, but I'm not sure it matters one bit.

The Nikon D5300 will cost around £730 body only and be available from 14 November.


Source: Amateurphotographer

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nikon D5300 Digital SLR Wi-Fi Camera

Nikon D5300 Deals.jpg">

Nikon just introduced the D5300 DSLR camera, which offers an enhanced 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, EXPEED 4 image processing, Vari-angle LCD, GPS and the convenience of built-in Wi-Fi. The mid-range SLR is compact and lightweight (16.9 oz.), and can easily be packed for a day trip or a planned getaway. The small body of the D5300 affords the photographer the freedom to travel while still being easy to handle and comfortable to use.

The D5300 is Nikon's first D-SLR to feature built-in Wi-Fi, allowing the user to share high quality photos instantly. The Nikon D5300 sends images to the user's smart device, allowing them to share their D-SLR quality photos through e-mail and social media. The Nikon D5300 also includes built-in GPS, another first for Nikon D-SLRs. Now the user can geotag images and allow others to see where life has taken them.

The enhanced 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor delivers stunning images and HD videos with heightened clarity and detail due to the removal of the optical low pass filter (OLPF). Its 39-point high-density autofocus system with 9 cross-type sensors quickly locks onto your subject, and Nikon's unique 3D-tracking uses the 2,016-pixel RGB sensor to recognize and follow it across the frame.

Features:

  • Amazing Low Light Performance - For clean, sharp details even in the most challenging lighting conditions including night games and dimly lit restaurants, the Nikon D5300 covers a wide ISO range of 100-12,800 and is expandable to ISO 25,600.
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processing - Nikon's most recent image processing engine drives the rapid response and swift performance of the D5300, while maximizing energy efficiency, reducing image noise and delivering true-to-life colors.
  • Scene Recognition System - To further help users capture the image they intend, the Nikon D5300 features Nikon's Scene Recognition System and 2,016-pixel RGB metering system to analyze and recognize the scene. Utilizing these systems results in adjustments to exposure, AF and white balance to deliver the best photo possible, whether it's a landscape or portrait.
  • 39-Point AF System - Nikon's quick and precise 39-point AF system works with the Scene Recognition System to accurately acquire and track subjects throughout the frame, resulting in tack-sharp images. Kids too active to pose for a photo or pets chasing after a toy are easily captured in brilliant sharpness for memorable photos.
  • 5 Frames-Per-Second - While using the optical viewfinder or in Live View, capture great moments that would have otherwise been missed with the D5300′s 5 frames-per-second (fps) rate.
  • 3.2-inch Vari-Angle LCD monitor - Whether shooting above a crowd or getting low to capture the details of a flower, users can explore new shots from a dramatic point of view with the large 3.2-inch Vari-angle LCD monitor. This super sharp (1,037K-dot) screen allows photographers to easily make camera adjustments and read menus, while also allowing them to compose the photo they want clearly when shooting from high or low angles. The rotating LCD makes it easy to capture "selfies" at an arm's length away or frame creative perspectives when capturing still photos and HD video.
  • Full HD 1080p Video Capture - Create movies fit for the big screen with Full HD 1080p video capture at 60p with built-in stereo, wide ISO range for high quality videos in any light and improved full-time AF to keep the subject in focus.
  • NIKKOR Compatibility - The Nikon D5300 is compatible with Nikon's legendary NIKKOR lenses and powerful system accessories, further adding versatility and creativity.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D5300 kit with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be available in October 2013 for$1,399.95. Available colors include Black, Red and Gray.


Source: Ecoustics

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cosplayers go to heroic lengths for great costumes

<disney halloween pictures to colorimg src="http://cmsimg.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=DP&Date=20131013&Category=LIFE&ArtNo=310130041&Ref=AR&MaxW=115&Border=0">

Cosplayers go to heroic lengths for great costumes

When an off-the-rack costume just won't cut it, many hobbyists are making their own outfits and becoming their favorite characters in realistic detail. Cosplayers share the secrets of their hobby.

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Source: Pnj

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wallis's world: The Annenberg heir launches Beverly Hills performing arts center with glamorous gala

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October 18, 2013 | 4:55 pm

Posted by Danielle Berrin

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If Wallis Annenberg hadn't become famous for her philanthropy, she'd have become famous anyway for her parties.

The billionaire heiress to father Walter's publishing fortune - who at one point counted TV Guide and Seventeen magazine among his holdings - has none of her father's business ambition but soundly inherited his public beneficence. With an added flair for fashion, art and culture.

With the launch of the latest public work to bear their name - the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, soon to be known as simply, The Wallis - the Annenberg heiress has proven she isn't merely standing on the shoulder of a visionary giant, but has become one herself.

Two city blocks in Beverly Hills were closed last night to make way for a gaggle of glamorous guests out to celebrate the center's grand opening, including Eli Broad, Vanessa and Jacqui Getty, Gia Coppola, Ed Ruscha, Jodie Foster, Charlize Theron and rock-star couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale -- to name a few. "This," one prominent Jewish philanthropist and million-dollar donor gushed, "is an A-list party."

But the belle of the ball was really Wallis, who without much fanfare has expanded her father's emphasis on education and media to include the arts, environmental activism, social justice and animal welfare. And in recent years, she has quietly championed a number of public works in Los Angeles that have made it a more admirable city.

In addition to running the family foundation that built the Annenberg Schools for Communication at UPenn and USC, the Annenberg Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica and countless other communal initiatives, Wallis offered the lead gift to build a swanky, state of the art theater facility at the historic Beverly Hills Post Office, transforming the place that once processed Tennessee Williams's letters into a place that could also stage his plays.

The onetime brick building has been boldly restored in bronze and marble, as glamorous and gleaming as the thousand guests that poured out of luxury cars and into the grand Roman hall, where Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo set up a "pop up" shop where guests could buy architectonic stilettoes and golden clutches as costly as a piece of art.

"They're saying this line is Old Hollywood," one of the sales attendants told me, "but I think it's more Andy Warhol."

Old meets new might have been the theme of the evening, where the Post

Office built in 1933 under FDR now swarmed with stars and celebrities and

ladies tasked with policing party PR. Was that Demi Moore looking over-Ashton beatific in a beaded blue backless? And the young Camilla Belle in a peach chiffon princess dress cozying up to her ex- (Jonas Brother) Joe Jonas? And can you believe Slumdog sensations Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto still seem happily ever after? It's so un-Hollywood! Smile for the cameras, now.

Way back when, Humphrey Bogart mailed his letters here and Fred Astaire

danced in the lobby. On this night, live performers floated above the valet line on springy stilts, dancing in the wind to a show of light and sound. And in the backyard promenade terrace, separating the post office from the new theater (historic building rules prohibit any new construction from touching the old building, nor can the new addition be taller, which set the theater below street level) LA's high society sipped champagne and scotch to the strummings of a mariachi band while women dressed as Spanish-styled eye candy swished through the crowd in canary colored costumes and giant floral headdresses. So many warm bodies and only hors d'oeuvres sat cold; as "Girls" creator Lena Dunham recently tweeted in the words of her designer pal Zac Posen: "If you want to be left alone at a Hollywood party, just stand near the food."

After cocktails, guests were ushered in two shifts to accommodate the large crowd, to the adjacent Goldsmith Theater (named for Jewish Federation machers Elaine and Bram Goldsmith, who, along with Annenberg and the City of Beverly Hills, donated $5 million or more to the center) for an original performance recounting the history of the post office.

Told through the letters of its grand old patrons - Martha Graham to Aaron Copland, Groucho Marx to Woody Allen, Tennessee Williams to Texan stage producer Margo Jones (on the eve of opening her own regional theater), the 30-minute show featured surprise cameos from Kevin Spacey, Diane Lane and John Lithgow, and offered a sneak peak of what's to come, including Broadway musicals, contemporary dance, ballet and orchestral soloists.

But it was the street dancer Lil Buck, who stole the show, dancing to an Ave Maria violin solo the way Michael Jackson might have danced had he known ballet. Call it ballet-hop.

And that was only Act II.

"Are you as fond of being with 1,000 of your closest friends as I am?" one gentleman whispered to another as guests poured out of the theater and into the block-long tent erected on Crescent Drive where Wolfgang Puck served filet mignon and truffled risotto.

Wallis sat at the front, at table 43, with actors Charlize Theron and Tim Robbins and former studio chief Sherry Lansing. Next to her, she kept a vacant seat, where a rotating cast of characters came to charm and celebrate her throughout the evening.

Dinner was followed by a Ferragamo fashion show, featuring a flock of phlegmatic models so thin they looked pre-pubescent. Then, the young Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, who sounds like Pavarotti but looks like a Michelangelo performed a stunning set of opera ballads that made even the beautiful and talented seem a little dull by comparison.

Wallis promised world-class culture and even before the center's official opening in November, she delivered.

Goodbye Old-guard Annenberg. Hello, Wallis.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Men Impersonate Cops To Cut Line For GTAV, Immediately Increase Their Wanted Level รข€¹ Hardcore Gamer

Initially reported by Staten Island Live, three men are facing up to a year in jail after their insane scheme to get their hands on some copies of gta 4 cop costume V was foiled. The trio of criminal masterminds showed up to a GameStop in the Staten Island Mall during the midnight release of GTA V dressed as cops, and surprisingly things did not end well for them. One of the three was an actual auxiliary NYPD police officer and another had a fake badge on him. The third was the son of a retired NYPD cop and had his father's shield tattooed on his arm, which was apparently enough to fool everyone at the mall because they assumed nobody would be stupid enough to impersonate a cop to buy a game that was already legal to purchase anyway. They even showed up in a car that had the full lights and sirens package of normal police cars, and after moving their way to the front of the line they bought their games and left.

Their master plan is admittedly very complex, so lets try and break it down so it makes sense to everyone.

Step 1: Buy "exact replica of undercover police car" at a police auction.

Step 2: Impersonate police officers.

Step 3: Play GTA V.

I feel like I'm still missing a step here. Oh wait, here it is.

Step 2.5: Sustain massive head injury and leave it untreated.

Otherwise I don't see why steps 1 and 2 were even necessary to get to step 3. What was with the Ocean's 11 type scam to get a game that nearly everyone else was already getting? They didn't even steal it. They just cosplayed as cops to cut in line. How bad are the lines out in Staten Island that three different people got together and thought this was a good idea?

The craziest thing is that this idea almost worked. They did cut to the front of the line and were allowed to pay before the other customers. The staff even brought them coffee for providing extra security. Unfortunately, when they were leaving their master plan fell apart when they performed an illegal u-turn in front of a real undercover cop. That action put their wanted level at two stars and learning nothing from the game they bought, they reluctantly pulled over and are now all facing up to a year in jail for second degree criminal impersonation. It is a shame they didn't pull the same sort of stunt for Saints Row IV, as I would have loved to hear about the story where three men in hot dog costumes dubsteped their way into a GameStop and flew off with three copies.


Source: Hardcoregamer

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Prong PocketPlug Case Review: Charges iPhone 5s with Plug in Back

The Prong PocketPlug fits the new iPhone 5s iphone cases what animals hibernate and older iPhone 5, and puts the AC wall plug in the back of the case so users don't need to carry around a phone charger. People who own battery cases like the Mophie Juice Pack Plus will get the concept except for one thing: the case doesn't include a battery backup for the iPhone.

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 owners install the Prong PocketPlug ($69.95) on their phone by sliding the phone down into the case. It attaches to the Lightning connector on the phone which routes power from the prongs on back to the phone's connector. A second piece fits over the top part of the phone to protect it with a beefy black case. A white version will ship in November 2013. The textured outer shell gives some grip as the user holds the iPhone.

When the iPhone needs to charge, the user folds out the two AC wall outlet prongs and plugs the case directly into the outlet. This means users don't need to bring a charging cable. This might cause a problem since some people need to use their phone while its charging. The company put a micro-USB port on the bottom corner of the case so users can still hold their phone and use it while charging.

The bottom part of the case covers the stereo port and the speakers. Openings on the front of the PocketPlug lets the audio escape the case and even amplifies it a little. A hole give access to the stereo plug port, but it forces the user to plug their headphones into an extension adapter.

We loved the idea of the Prong PocketPlug, but found a few problems. First, the case adds bulk to the phone, which we expected. However, it doesn't add battery life. The extra size comes from the electronics needed to put the AC plug on the back. Since it's already bigger, why not make it just a little thicker or longer and add some a battery for extra power?

We'd rather carry a charger than use the Prong PocketPlug, so we can't recommend it. It works, so iPhone owners who hate carrying a charger will like the Prong PocketPlug.

Prong sells a model for the iPhone 4 and 4s ($59.95) as will sell one for the Samsung Galaxy S3 soon.


Source: Gottabemobile

How Microsoft Convinced Me to Buy an iPhone 5s

<5s iphone iphone 5s cases otterbox impactp>It wasn't all that long ago that I was a staunch Windows Phone user. After switching from a simple mobile phone, Windows Phone became my life companion, the operating system I turned to when I needed to get anything done - even with a Windows PC right in front of me. So how did Apple convince me to stand in line for an iPhone 5s on launch day? It didn't: Microsoft did.

What have you done for me lately?

Windows Phone isn't that long in the tooth. Having scrapped Windows Mobile, Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 to critical acclaim. Here, finally, was a fresh new concept of what a mobile interface could look like. Unfortunately, Windows Phone's design team seems to have sat on their hands for the next three years.

Windows Phone 8 is still flat, and Live Tiles are still the greatest form of notifications I've seen implemented into a smartphone operating system. However, watching a few videos of the way notifications work in iOS 7 convinced me that Live Tiles and one-time pop-ups should never act as a device's sole source of notifications.

These issues, and Microsoft's inability to get large comprehensive updates in the hands of users in timely fashion, left me with a sour taste in my mouth. There Apple was, shipping a new flat attractive interface, questionable icon philosophies aside, with an operating system that is fully featured. Meanwhile, I was still waiting for an update to enable the radio playback functionality that my Lumia 920 and HTC 8X shipped with a year ago. For the record, I've yet to receive that update, and Microsoft finalized it in early June, reportedly.

Microsoft Anywhere

For all the issues I have with Windows Phone at the moment, I both value and cherish many of the Microsoft's other core products like Xbox Music, SkyDrive, Office 2013 and Bing. Until fairly recently, you'd have had to own a Windows Phone to get such a potent mix of Microsoft products.

Luckily, Microsoft has been more than generous about providing iOS applications for nearly all of its services and products. My iPhone 5s has Xbox Music, Office 2013, Bing, Xbox SmartGlass, OneNote and SkyDrive installed, and you can bet I'm using them over Apple's equivalents.

Should I decide to switch back to Windows Phone, or even Android, I can take all of my information with me, and each application already works with the Windows 8.1-equipped Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface I already have.

Microsoft's other businesses have to embrace other mobile platforms, and it's good business to do so. However, that also means that Live Tiles, its unique interface and first-class SkyDrive syncing are the only thing separating Windows Phone from platforms with a lot more apps and accessories.

Great Devices Where?

I'm a staunch Nokia supporter and have been ever since I took my HTC 8X out of the box and realized how much of an also-ran the device was when compared to the Lumia 920. The company's phones are the real deal, the only thing standing in between Window's Phones complete annihilation at the hands of the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Nokia's devices are also completely not attractive in any way that I find relevant beyond color. At a time when the world has embraced colored metals and other high-end finishes, Nokia seems hell-bent on shipping heavy, polycarbonate designs. Don't get me wrong. I value, sturdiness. The Lumia 920 can take a beating. But, I don't think it's fair to place a Lumia 1020 or a Lumia 920 next to an iPhone 5s and ask people to choose.

Of course, the company seems to have rectified this issue with the Lumia 925, but that device made it to store shelves in early spring. The Lumia 925 could be replaced in Nokia's line up any day now, and it's not like its specifications placed it in flagship device territory anyway.

So there it is. I purchased an iPhone 5s because Microsoft made the choice easy. I'll likely return to Windows Phone at some point. I adore its interface, and I use more Microsoft products than one person should be allowed to. However, even for Microsoft fans, an iPhone 5s is just a better place for the moment.


Source: Gottabemobile

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Alloy, Break to form 'Defy Media'

<rearp>Alloy Digital and Break Media have reportedly reached a deal to form a new company together called Defy Media. The merger is the latest in a series of deals involving online video talent networks called multichannel networks, or MCNs.

The two companies will combine without any money changing hands and will split control over the new entity evenly, they told the New York Times. Break CEO Keith Richman will be Defy's president, while Alloy's CEO Matthew Diamond will be Defy's chief executive. Some staff cuts could follow the merger, reports indicate.

The deal may be further evidence that online video content creators need scale. Last month, Maker Studios agreed to buy Blip and earlier this year, Awesomeness TV sold itself to DreamWorks Animation.

"This is the beginning of the consolidation," Michael Kassan, MediaLink CEO, told the New York Times.

Commentary : What does the recent wave of media M&A mean for online video

Related articles:
Some YouTube channels start charging viewers
Comcast, Chernin Group, WPP fund Fullscreen
Premium online video content could siphon TV ad money, analysts say


Source: Fierceonlinevideo

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Apple posts tips and tricks guide for the iPhone 5s and 5c

5s iphone cases otterbox commuter jobs-tips-and-tricks-real.jpg">

Apple today posted new pages to its website highlighting a number iOS 7 tips and tricks for iPhone 5s, 5c, and 4s users. Truthfully, I'm surprised Apple hasn't done something like this before given that there's so much power in iOS that the general public is often unaware of.

While the tips listed by Apple may, on the whole, be familiar to anyone who keeps up with Apple-centric blogs, Apple's new webpages provide a nice resource for users new to iOS and even for seasoned users who haven't yet experienced the full power of iOS.

The new pages put up by Apple are even more timely given the recent release of iOS 7 which, as has been said time and time again, marks the biggest change to iOS since the 2007 release of the original iPhone.

The tips are broken up by categories which include Photography, Swipe Gestures, Maps, Siri, Safari and more. It's well worth checking out.

Speaking of tips, don't forget to check out our series of TUAW video tips for iOS 7.

via MacRumors


Source: Tuaw

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lunatik TAKTIK cases for iPhone 5s: Extreme peace of mind

Summary: Lunatik has issued updated versions of its ultra-protective, extreme lifestyle 5s iphone cases otterbox camo wedding dresses for the iPhone 5s.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I am a huge fan of protective cases for mobile devices. Recently, I looked at OtterBox's latest Defender case designs for the iPhone 5s and 5c.

While I still believe that OtterBox is one of the better cases on the market, recent design changes in the product to accommodate the Touch ID sensor in the new iPhone 5s may have reduced the effectiveness of some of its protection.

So if you really want to add a little bit more fudge factor to your active lifestyle and increase your peace of mind when carrying these expensive devices, there's another solution on the market: The Lunatik TAKTIK.

Lunatik has two cases on the market to address active as well as extreme lifestyles. The TAKTIK Strike, for both iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, is a multi-layered, machine screw-sealed and thick "sarcophagus" enclosure for your mobile device.

The bezels are made out of an impact-resistant polymer, which is surrounded by a silicone, 9mm-thick impact truss, accompanied by PVD-coated steel hardware with aluminum port covers. This is a case designed to take the rigors of daily use and abuse and then some.

What I most like about the case is the tight fit from screwing the enclosure shut, as well as the high elevation of the bezel from the screen area, which is critical for protecting the screen from damage if it happens to fall flat towards the display area. At $60 for both the white or black versions, I happen to think the price is right for what you are getting, which is a lot of peace of mind for an otherwise fragile and slippery device.

Unlike the OtterBox Defender, the TAKTIK Strike does not have a permanent screen protector, but I don't think this is a major deficiency in the product's design.

For those of you with "extreme" lifestyles, there is the TAKTIK Extreme for the iPhone 5s and 5, which adds a secondary layer of Corning Gorilla Glass. This doubles the price of the case ($124) and it also, in the case of the 5s, completely covers the Touch ID sensor, leaving it usable as a home button only and thus requiring the traditional pin-code screen unlock and password entry for App Store purchases.

However, my guess is that anyone wanting to use this case on a 5s probably doesn't care about this issue.

Have you pre-ordered your TAKTIK Strike or Extreme for your iPhone 5s? Talk back and let me know.
Source: Zdnet

Unofficial iPhone 5s tracker helps customers find gold

Summary: An inventory tracker was developed by an enterprising Apple developer looking for the fabled gold iPhone 5s iphone cases life leafproof xp.

Remember the rumor that Apple was going to update its Apple Store app to include real-time iPhone inventory status? Well, it never came to pass, at least the way I imagined.

In 2008 a developer built an iPhone 3G tracker by scraping the Apple Store's JSON data feed (Apple quickly pulled the feed). Then in 2009 Apple posted an official iPhone 3GS tracker that was updated hourly and linked to its sales system.

Unfortunately, it's 2013 and the current implementation is incredibly obtuse and difficult to use. There's no simple chart that simply shows where to find an iPhone 5s in stock. It's a huge step backwards from 2009.

To find an iPhone 5s near you, you need to go to Apple's buy page, click on the configuration you want, then click on the tiny blue "check availability" link in the right navigation bar. From there, you can enter your zip code to see availability at five stores at a time, for that configuration. If you want to check another color or configuration, you need to start over.

Enter iPhone-Check by Mordy Tikotzky (@Tikotzky), an Apple Developer from NJ.

Frustrated with not being able to find a gold iPhone 5c for his wife he build a slick iPhone tracker that scrapes store.apple.com for the most up to date iPhone 5s inventory information.

According to Tikotzky iPhone-Check started as a little project running on his local computer and then he decided to share it with the world. Tikotzky wrote it in an hour (using expressjs.com on top of nodejs.org) with the support of his employer (@homeandstone) who let him do it on their time. He spent another two hours tweaking it in the evening.

iPhone-Check must be scratching an itch. The site broke 100k unique visitors Wednesday and has topped 1 million page views since it was launched less than a week ago. It's a shame that Apple couldn't offer a proper iPhone tracker, because clearly there's demand.

Now where all these gold iPhones I keep hearing about?


Source: Zdnet

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review: Knott's Halloween Haunt focuses on quality over quantity

The reinvigorated 41-year-old beast known as Knott's Scary Farm has shaken off the shackles of entitlement and cobwebs of advancing age to reassert itself as a contender in the heavyweight battle for halloween skeleton props supremacy in Southern California.

PHOTOS: Halloween Haunt 2013 at Knott's Berry Farm

The granddaddy of all Halloween theme park events had gotten soft and lazy in recent years as cross-town rival Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood rose to prominence and threatened to steal its bloodied crown.

This year's emphatic rebuttal finds Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm improving by leaps and bounds with a conscious effort to reduce the emphasis on quantity in favor of a focus on quality.

Gone are the woeful paint-on-plywood mazes with monsters wearing store-bought rubber masks, replaced by new and returning mazes featuring improved set dressings, props and lighting with more monsters in full makeup.

What the Buena Park theme park needs to focus on next is talent. Far too many of the maze monsters during my opening weekend visit were passive, distant and lifeless. They need an injection of the type of energy demonstrated by the Haunt's scare zone monsters, who consistently stalked after their prey with relentless zeal.

Also lacking inside the mazes were repeatable scenes with living victims and choreographed scare sequences. Far too many of the rooms were filled with lifeless dummies and monsters aimlessly milling around. Now that the rooms look like movie sets, the "scareactors" need a script.

Here's my review of the Halloween Haunt 2013 mazes from best to worst:

1) Trapped: The New Experiment

The completely revamped reservation-only up-charge maze sold out every night last year and significantly raised the bar for quality at Knott's. This year, Haunt's maze makers have introduced a whole new set of doorless rooms you have to puzzle your way out of.

While I won't give anything away, I will say that this year's Trapped maze does appear to have multiple alternate routes.

Unfortunately the 2013 version of Trapped is only half as good as the 2012 original. That said, Trapped is still the head-and-shoulders best maze in the park. It's just that the new rooms aren't as creative, intense or difficult to escape from as last year.

2) Black Magic

The experience begins outside the maze with a spectacular digital paint job on the facade that intermittently builds brick by brick, catches on fire and flows with blood. It was the most impressive special effect of night and the exact level of detail Knott's should bring to all its mazes.

New this year are the Skeleton Key rooms, intimate explanations of the back stories for select mazes that are offered to visitors who opt to pay extra for the Fright Lane front-of-line upgrade.

Black Magic offered the best Skeleton Room of the night with a handful of visitors sitting around a séance table as the spirit of Harry Houdini is summoned. Without spoiling the surprise, the maze recounts a number of the famed magician's escapes that quite naturally go awry.

With straitjacketed magicians hanging upside down and madmen trapped in prison cells, the first few rooms of Black Magic should serve as a blueprint for the attention to detail that Knott's needs to bring to every maze going forward.

From the water tank escape to the knife-throwing gag to the manic room full of rabbits, Black Magic was a disturbing delight throughout.

My biggest jolt of the night: A sliding mirror that revealed a monster who leaped right at me. Knott's needs more of these effective types of repeatable scares.

3) Forevermore


Source: Latimes

Sunday, September 22, 2013

eiza-gonzalez-pics-liam-hemsworth-flirting-photos/#ref=/2013/09/21/eiza-gonzalez-plastic-surgery-pics-doctors-nose-job/pos=">

Though Liam Hemsworth's new flame has admitted to getting some work done on her nose, multiple doctors tell HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY that the extent of her plastic surgery goes way further than that.

Liam Hemsworth's new love interest Eiza Gonzalez has not been afraid to admit that her looks are not all-natural, but she may still be hiding some things. HollywoodLife.com has all the EXCLUSIVE details!

Eiza Gonzalez's Plastic Surgery: Way More Than Just A Nose Job?

Comparing pictures of Eiza at 16 and at 23 years old, it's clear that a lot of things have changed - and not just her nose, which Eiza admitted to getting augmented on the Spanish talk show in 2011. Though the facial differences may have been caused by simple maturing and weight loss, both Yael Halaas, MD and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and Dr. Marina Peredo of Spatique Medical Spa believe the changes may be artificial.

"Her jawline seems less square and wide," Dr. Halaas told HollywoodLife.com exclusively. "This can be achieved by using Botox in the muscle there." Dr. Peredo also questioned Eiza's jaw area:

It seems she may have had fillers injected into her cheeks as they are noticeably higher and more pronounced in the recent picture compared to the first one. Cheek augmentation also makes the whole face appear thinner and longer which is definitely apparent in the after photo.

Both doctors pointed to other features that seem to have been altered as well, like her eyebrows and even her lips. "Her upper lids seem more visible which can be achieved by upper lid blepharoplasty," Dr. Halaas said, while Dr. Peredo added, "Another area of question would be her lips. Her lips look a lot fuller now which could mean she may have gotten injections to plumpen them."

The consensus is definitely that Eiza has likely put a lot of work - and money - into the sexy face she has now.

Miley Cyrus Devastated By Liam Hemsworth Hooking Up With Eiza Gonzalez

Which in some sense has to make Miley Cyrus feel good. Seeing her ex jump straight from their breakup to kissing the sexy Mexican actress/singer hasn't been easy for her. "It's very hurtful that Liam's moved on and isn't even trying to hide it," a source close to Miley told HollywoodLife.com exclusively. "Miley's putting up a good front and trying to play it off like she doesn't care but she's really f'ed up over this."

Eiza's laundry list of possible plastic surgeries at the very least will give Miley something to help forget her Liam woes.

What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Has Eiza had more than a nose job? Let us know!

- Andrew Gruttadaro Follow @AndrewGrutt

More Eiza Gonzalez News:

  1. Eiza Gonzalez Says She & Liam Hemsworth Are 'In Love'
  2. Miley Cyrus Is Thrilled Eiza González Is Embarrassing Liam Hemsworth
  3. Liam Hemsworth: Eiza González Reminds Him Of 'Old Miley Cyrus'

Take Our Poll


Source: Hollywood Life

Jessica Sherman Photgraphy

This was a week marked by enthusiasm by our various critics: Bill Raden praised Sacred Fools' production of Edward Einhorn's 2010 adaptation of Philip K. Dick sci-fi book Do Androids Dream of Sleep?, which is this week's Pick. Pauline Adamek was smitten with Hayworth Theatre's production of the musical bare. Jenny Lower had very positive things to say about Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes, about the first internationally lauded African-American classical singer, being performed at Burbank's Colony Theatre. Deborah Klugman praised Joyce Carol Oates' Tone Clusters at Theatricum Botanicum. And Paul Birchall found the 2010 musical The Burnt Part Boys, now at Third Street Theater, to be captivating. For all the latest new theater reviews, and comprehensive theater listings, see below.

Annoyance with capricious authority has been around for a while -- at least since Prometheus Bound, a 5th century B.C. play that may or may not have been written by Aeschylus. There's some dispute about that. There's no dispute that Joel Agee wrote the translation currently at Getty Villa and presented by CalArts Center for New Performance. The same theme of authority on the rocks shows up in comedic form in Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! at Actors' Co-op in Hollywood. Both plays are reviewed in this week's theater feature.

Also of note: L.A. Stage Alliance's 2013 Ovation Awards nominees have been announced.

NEW REVIEWS, scheduled for publication September 19, 2013:

Eugene O'Neill's idyllic American comedy, about a young man, his young love, and his coming-of-age. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 13. Actors Co-op, 1760 N. Gower St., Los Angeles, 323-462-8460, www.actorsco-op.org. See theater feature.

GO: BARE A closeted gay couple in a Catholic boarding school struggle with their secret love affair. Peter (a superb Payson Lewis) wants to come out to his mom and the world, but Jason (an equally outstanding Jonah Platt) refuses, dreading the fallout. Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo's contemporary rock opera is uplifting despite its sorrowful elements, and the courage of the writers -- and the talented cast -- to plumb the complexities of adolescence, including bullying, cutting, teen pregnancy and burgeoning sexuality, grants us a fantastic musical journey. The writers also forge an intricate, effective parallel between our heroes' clandestine love affair and the star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet by having the school kids rehearse the play throughout. Lindsay Pearce as Ivy, the girl who comes between the guys, is a standout, her pure, strong voice conveying her vulnerability. The songs vary in style from rock anthems to wistful ballads, powerfully performed by a top-notch cast and band, including Alex Seller, who alternates effortlessly between shredding on electric guitar and plucking delicate melodies on acoustic guitar. A muddy sound mix sometimes obscures the incisive lyrics, but this is an affecting show that is not to be missed. Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 p.m.; Sun., 7:30 p.m.; through Sept. 22. (310) 213-6955, ¬ thehayworth.com. (Pauline Adamek)

Daniel Beaty's West Coast premiere revives the lost-to-history account of Roland Hayes, a son of former slaves and the first internationally lauded African-American classical singer. Raised in the South on hard work and spirituals, Hayes (Elijah Rock) overcomes early tragedy to perform in Chattanooga's black churches. When an instructor intervenes to provide professional training, Hayes confronts the objections of his sassily beatific mother, Angel Mo (Karan Kendrick), who believes her son is destined for life as a preacher. Condensing Hayes' life story inevitably leads to some whiplash plot twists and hurried catharsis, but Rock and Kendrick's chemistry under Saundra McClain's direction sustains and clarifies the play's themes. Accompanist Kevin Ashworth tackles a grab-bag of supporting roles, perhaps most jarringly as Hayes' father, when his pale skin imbues the endearment "boy" with inadvertent menace. But his presence offers a pleasing, if farcical, dimension. Shaun Motley's handsome, sweeping wooden set stands in for Georgia fields and concert halls alike. Most stirring is Rock's lustrous timbre as the mature Hayes: Harmonizing with Kendrick through earthy spirituals, he soars through von Gluck's "O Del Mio Dolce Ardor" before dipping into a soul-trembling version of "Were You There?" The superb music direction is by Rahn Coleman. Colony Theatre Company, 555 N. Third St., Burbank; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through Oct. 13. (818) 558-7000, colonytheatre.org. (Jenny Lower)

With a hardscrabble Appalachian setting and a score that engagingly echoes the melodies of Copland, Bernstein and Sondheim, this captivating 2010 musical (book by Mariana Elder, music by Chris Miller, and lyrics by Nathan Tysen) is both a sensitive meditation on grief and a heartfelt coming-of-age tale. Ten years after their dads perished in an accident at an isolated mine, a group of teenagers embark on a pilgrimage to visit the spot. Along the way, they are forced to confront their own mortality, their memories of their family and their goals for the future. Director Richard Israel's intimate and beautifully atmospheric production crackles with youthful energy, and, as the characters embark on their rural journey, the piece takes on the feel of a ghost story of loss and redemption. Under Gregory Nabours' crisp musical direction, the bluegrassy songs are executed with heart and gusto. The ensemble is populated by a cast of mostly young performers with unexpectedly subtle vocal chops and strong emotional range. A powerful turn is offered by Daniel David Stewart as Pete, the angry teen whose impulsive actions force his older brother (an equally powerful Aaron Scheff) to pursue him into the wild. Third Street Theatre, 8115 W. Third St., Beverly Grove; Fri.- Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through Oct. 20. (323) 655-9232, thirdstreettheatre.com. (Paul Birchall)

PICK OF THE WEEK: DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?

Jessica Sherman Photgraphy

Any adaptation of a novel is a compromise of approximation whose objective should be to faithfully capture the spirit and ideas of the prose in a dramatically compelling way. Which is why Philip K. Dick fans, who have repeatedly suffered the indignity of having their favorite sci-fi author plundered by dumbed-down Hollywood blockbusters, will cheer adapter Edward Einhorn's 2010, high-fidelity transliteration of Dick's wryly ironic, psychedelic, 1968 hall of mirrors. The time is a war-ravaged future in which the question of what it means to be human has been vastly complicated by a band of renegade androids passing themselves off as flesh-and-blood (it's the source material for Blade Runner). Freelance assassin Rick Deckard (Eric Curtis Johnson), a man who relies on a mood device to feel anything at all, is charged with weeding the imposters from the populace via administering "empathy tests" and summary execution. Suffice it to say that nothing is what it seems. Jaime Robledo's inventively cinematic staging (on DeAnne Millais' computer-detritus set) and an unusually fine ensemble (including Lynn Odell, Corey Klemow, Marz Richards and Rafael Goldstein) capture all the nuanced terms of Dick's allegory. But the real discovery of the evening is Kimberly Atkinson and her subtly delineated dual turn as the doppelgangers Rachael Rosen and Pris Stratton. Sacred Fools Theatre, 660 N. Heliotrope Drive, E. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., through Oct. 19. (310) 281-8337, sacredfools.org (Bill Raden)

THE DREAM OF THE BURNING BOY

It's to scenic designer Erin Walley's credit that she festoons the guidance counselor's office at the high school where David West Read's play is set with a poster that reads, "Face Your Problems, Don't Facebook Them!!" In the wake of the sudden death of popular student Dane (Matthias Chrans), the decoration's tone perfectly captures not only the characters' reaction to Dane's passing--slightly flip with an underlying sincerity--but also what each of them must ultimately do. This starts with Dane's English teacher Larry (Jeff Hayenga), who was the last to speak with him, and includes Dane's sister Rachel (a manically intense Jayne McLendon), his girlfriend Chelsea (Joslyn Kramer), his friend Kyle (Zach Palmer), and his mother Andrea (a scene-stealing Melissa Kite). As the characters come to terms with the tragedy, the hidden ways in which they are connected slowly come to light, nudged along by Steve (Tyler Ritter), the young guidance counselor who was Larry's student not so long ago. Director Edward Edwards deftly balances the comedy and tragedy in the piece, playing its emotional intensity palpably and engagingly.Hayenga and Ritter play well off each other with an odd-couple vibe,and Palmer's high school boyishness is eminently believable. But while cast and director give it their all, the script, despite clever jokes and a tonally spot-on rendition of the high school experience, feels thin, with a number of storylines and characters that could stand to be fleshed out and further explored. Malibu Playhouse, 29243 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through Oct. 13.(310) 589-1998, malibuplayhouse.org (Mayank Keshaviah)

THE END OF IT

Breaking up is hard to do, particularly if you're embedded in a 20-year marriage. That's the not terribly surprising message of Paul Coates' play, illustrated by three couples: one straight (Kelly Coffield Park and playwright Coates), one gay (David Youse and William Franklin Barker) and one lesbian (Ferrell Marshall and Wendy Radford). The three couples appear sometimes separately, sometimes simultaneously, suggesting that they are almost interchangeable as they deal with such issues as anger, grief, blame, resentment, loss of desire, fear of aging and abandonment. Coates' script is intelligent, perceptive and sometimes funny, but almost fatally restrained. Only Park is given the opportunity to tap into the raw emotions inherent in the situation. Director Nick DeGruccio marshals his fine actors through a nearly impeccable production, on François-Pierre Couture's blandly elegant set, but no amount of direction can provide the excitement the text fails to supply. End L.A. and Scott Disharoon at Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., Fairfax; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.; through Oct. 20. (323) 960-4418, plays411.com/theend. (Neal Weaver)

A new production of the classic Greek tragedy by the CalArts Center for New Performance. The set features the use of a twenty-three-foot, five-ton revolving metal wheel, to which the protagonist, Prometheus, is permanently bound. Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 28. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 310-440-7300, www.getty.edu. See theater feature.

As a storyteller, Joyce Carol Oates frequently traverses aberrant corridors of the human psyche. That's readily apparent in this 1990 (since updated to 2003) one-act, about a middle-aged couple, Frank and Emily Gulick (Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James), whose son has been accused of the brutal rape and murder of a 14-year-old neighbor. The couple's nightmare compounds a thousandfold as they are interviewed live on TV and interrogated about an event too horrendous for them to accept. They're bombarded with questions as they squirm, deny basic facts and search desperately within themselves for an alternative explanation for the obvious. Some of the queries mimic the sensationalized reporting of tabloid TV, while others are stultifyingly theoretical and pedantic and humiliatingly above their heads. Oates intended the piece as a cacophonous expression of a society out of sync with humanity rather than a realistic portrait of two tormented people, but the production's strength is in fact the wonderful craftsmanship of both performers (James is particularly spot-on), and the nuanced complexity of the emotions they depict. As the offstage inquisitor, Jeff Wiesen's voice sounded canned rather than live, perhaps an effort by director Mike Peebler to conform to Oates' original concept. Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Thurs., Sept. 19 & 26, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 4, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 12, 8 p.m. (310) 455-3723, theatricum.com/index.htm. (Deborah Klugman)

WHAT KIND OF GOD?

Ted Augustyn

A life spent immersed in Catholic school and culture erupts into crippling disillusionment for 17-year-old Aaron (Brett Donaldson) when he can no longer deny his homosexuality. Unable to cope, and wracked with doubts about the faith and his calling to the priesthood, he turns to his mentor, Father Bart (Robert Keasler), who reveals that he is gay. As it turns out, the loathsome Bishop Michael (playwright Steve Julian) has returned to the parish where ghosts of his past sexual predations lurk, and has picked Father Bart to chair a committee looking into sexual abuse. The resultant events inexorably expose secrets and unravel the lives of those involved. This could have been an engaging drama about a topical subject had Julian gone beyond the superficial. Offered instead is an unwieldy, melodramatic tale about homosexuality in the priesthood, teen sexuality, family bonds and the underbelly of church life and politics, which is neither surprising nor of much interest. Aaron's progressive, shrill meltdown approaches parody after a while, and cast performances are only satisfactory under Aaron Lyons' direction. Lillian Theatre, 1076 Lillian Way, Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through Oct. 20. (323) 960-7787, whatkindofgodtheplay.com. (Lovell Estell III)

ONGOING SHOWS REGION-WIDE

Adults, Keep Out: A Merry Musical for Adults Only: This musical comedy by Evelyn Rudie and Chris DeCarlo (with music by Matthew Wrather) comes with its own warning, right in the title -- and, unfortunately, discerning theatergoers would be well advised to heed the admonition. The show purports to take place in a land of make-believe, where several kids embark on a quest to an enchanted lake of wisdom. The issues here are not related to the execution -- DeCarlo's staging is lively and spirited, while the unusually likable ensemble of extremely fresh-faced and appealing young performers assay their parts with enthusiasm and genuine vocal talent. However, the play itself, a schematic and derivative fantasy tale couched in flatfooted dialogue and tinny musical numbers, is disappointing. The message of Rudie's play -- that young folks grow out of their childlike imaginative worlds -- is by no means dismissable, but the clunkiness of the writing never allows the piece to succeed as either a genuine children's myth or an ironic adult tale. (Paul Birchall). Saturdays, 7 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29. The Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica, 310-394-9779, www.santamonicaplayhouse.com.

Ah, Wilderness!: Eugene O'Neill's idyllic American comedy, about a young man, his young love, and his coming-of-age. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 13. Actors Co-op, 1760 N. Gower St., Los Angeles, 323-462-8460, www.actorsco-op.org.

Auto Parts: Writer-director Steve Sajich's play consists of four tenuously interrelated scenes, centering on the murder of a hooker. For reasons best known to Sajich, the four scenes are juggled in performance, with the audience deciding what their order will be. But this seems like a mere gimmick, designed to keep us from realizing just how thin and unsubstantial the play is. Two of the scenes, involving a randy, unfaithful husband (Frank Noon), his jealous and frustrated wife (Kate Kelly) and a prostitute (Angela Stern) carry the plot. The other two peripheral scenes concern a father-son team of thieves (John J. Malone and jack David Frank) who discover the murdered woman's body but can't report it lest it reveal their crime, and a couple of police detectives (Ben Sharples and Deanna Watkins) on a stakeout as part of the murder investigation. The actors acquit themselves well but can't overcome inept dramaturgy. (Neal Weaver). Fri., Sept. 20, 8 p.m. Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, 626-441-5977, www.fremontcentretheatre.com.

Awake and Sing: Clifford Odets' drama, set in 1930s Bronx, about the Berger family's first generation clashing with the younger generation's desire for independence and freedom. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Nov. 3. Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-700-4878, www.thegrouprep.com.

bare: A Los Angeles revival of Jon Hartmere's pop opera about a Catholic school relationship between two roommates, Jason and Peter. Fridays, Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 22. Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-213-6955, www.thehayworth.com.

GO: : Bob Baker's It's a Musical World!: Nearly three decades ago, this reviewer attended a production of The Nutcracker with his daughter, and was surprised how thoroughly enjoyable this "children's show" was. Similarly, while It's a Musical World reveals no surprises, the production at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is a kick from start to finish, and there's even free ice cream after the performance. It's essentially a musical variety show staged in a large carpeted room with chandeliers, immense red curtains and lots of space for the kiddies to take a front-row seat. The musical selections are culled from country, pop, classical, R&B, rock and familiar musicals, and there's even a marionette from Azusa who sings an enchanting aria. Here is a universe of puppets of all shapes, sizes and artful imaginings. The costuming is an eye-catching panorama of colors and styles, and the puppeteers dazzle with their skills. On display are a troupe of clowns, some ice skaters outfitted in turn-of-the-century garb, a garrulous Eskimo, a burlesque chorus, a disco duet featuring "Turn the Beat Around" and a grand American finale performed with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop. (Lovell Estell III). Saturdays, Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:30 a.m. Continues through Sept. 29, $15. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Los Angeles, 213-250-9995, www.bobbakermarionettes.com.

Live Arts Exchange (LAX): Local artists perform interdisciplinary dance, theater, art, and music pieces. Visit liveartsexchange.org for a complete schedule of events. Through Sept. 22; Through Oct. 6, liveartsexchange.org. Bootleg Theater, 2200 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-389-3856, www.bootlegtheater.org.

Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes: The story of Roland Hayes, the son of slaves, who grew up to be the first world-renowned African American classical singer. Written by Daniel Beaty. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 p.m. Continues through Oct. 13. Colony Theatre, 555 N. Third St., Burbank, 818-558-7000, www.colonytheatre.org.

Broadway Bound: Neil Simon's autobiographical Pulitzer Prize-winning play about Eugene and his older brother Stanley, who are trying to break into the world of show business as professional comedy writers while coping with their parents' divorce. Starting Sept. 21, Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 13. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, 562-944-9801, www.lamiradatheatre.com.

The Burnt Part Boys: A coming-of-age musical about a group of teenagers in a West Virginia coal mining town, featuring an Appalachian-inspired score. Book by Mariana Elder, music by Chris Miller, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, directed by Richard Israel. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 20. Third Street Theatre, 8115 W. Third St., Los Angeles, 323-655-9232.

GO: : Dancing on the Edge: Presented on Zombie Joe's Underground's tiny, bare stage, Dancing on the Edge borrows from the company's long-running spectacle of disgustingly funny horror tableaux, Urban Death, in that it consists of almost two dozen dancelets, all in under an hour. And though one ballerina gets shot in the stomach midleap, such glibness is tempered by a more mature investment in themes ranging from despondency -- "Hurt," choreographed by Carrie Nedrow and performed with spasmic rigor by JJ Dubon -- to jealousy to redemption. The recorded musical selections range from Nine Inch Nails to Debussy. The dancing styles are all over the map, from ballet to hip-hop, and the execution by the dancers is superb. (Steven Leigh Morris). Saturdays, 11 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 22, 7 p.m. Continues through Sept. 21. Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-202-4120, zombiejoes.homestead.com.

Death of a Salesman: Arthur Miller's 1949 play about father and salesman Willy Loman, and his struggle to hold on to the American dream. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714-708-5555, www.scr.org.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: An adaptation of Philip K. Dick's 1968 science-noir totem about the bounty hunter Rick Deckard and his task of hunting down rogue androids. Written by Edward Einhorn, directed by Jaime Robledo. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 19, bit.ly/ElectricSheepLATix. Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles, 310-281-8337, www.sacredfools.org.

The Dream of the Burning Boy: A mystery unfolds when Dane, a popular high school students, dies unexpectedly following a meeting with his English teacher. Written by David West Read. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Oct. 13. Malibu Playhouse, 29243 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 310-589-1998, www.malibuplayhouse.org.

The End Of It: A new play by Paul Coates, about three couples who simultaneously confront the possible dissolution of their twenty-year relationships. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Continues through Oct. 20. Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-852-1445, www.matrixtheatre.com.

Fool For Love: Sam Shepard's drama about Eddie, a rodeo stuntman, and May, his lost love, whom he has found living at a motel in the Mojave Desert. Directed by Gloria Gifford. Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29. T.U. Studios, 10943 Camarillo St., North Hollywood, 818-205-1680.

Frank and Ava: It's hard to imagine at this late date what new light a stage play could shed on the tumultuous, six-year, 1950s tabloid marriage of Hollywood icons Frank Sinatra (Rico Simonini) and Ava Gardner (Stefany Northcutt). And if playwright Willard Manus' two-character drama is any indication, the answer turns out to be very little. That's not to say that Manus' straightforward biographical survey isn't thorough in its chronicle of the pair's fierce ambitions, insecurities and appetites for both alcohol and marital infidelity, or what inevitably happens when that combustive combination is subjected to the unforgiving accelerant of wealth and celebrity. To that end, Simonini (who bears a passable physical resemblance to a 40-something Sinatra) and Northcutt capably trace the eventful outlines of the story, but neither Manus nor director Kelly Galindo's staging ultimately convinces in illuminating the mysterious charisma of the evidently rather venial couple or why we still care. (Bill Raden). Sundays, 5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29, hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1371. Three Clubs Cocktail Lounge, 1123 Vine St., Los Angeles, 323-462-6441, www.threeclubs.com.

Gallery Secrets: 4 Plays, 4 Exhibit Halls, 4 Time Periods: Four short plays by four Los Angeles playwrights, performed after hours at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County: 1913: A Vast Hoard, written by Tom Jacobson, performed in the Rotunda; 1929: Skins and Bones, written by Ruth McKee, performed in the African Mammal Hall; 1978: Under the Glass, written by Zakiyyah Alexander, performed in the Gem and Mineral Hall; 2013: Prom Season, written by Boni B. Alvarez, performed in the Dinosaur Hall. A production of Chalk Repertory Theatre in conjunction with the Natural History Museum of L.A. County's 100th Anniversary. Sat., Sept. 21, 7 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 27, 7 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 29, 7 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 5, 7 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 6, 7 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 11, 7 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 13, 7 p.m. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-763-3466, www.nhm.org.

Prometheus Bound: A new production of the classic Greek tragedy by The CalArts Center for New Performance. The set features the use of a twenty-three foot, five ton revolving metal wheel, to which the protagonist, Prometheus, is permanently bound. Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 28. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 310-440-7300, www.getty.edu.

Hamlet: An all-female production of Hamlet -- why?! The gender-bending (and multicultural) casting permits this motley cast of women to tackle the tragedy's meaty classic roles but adds nothing to the production. Rather, it distracts and detracts. Lisa Wolpe and Natsuko Ohama co-direct and star (as Hamlet and Polonius, respectively) in a lively rendition that gallops toward its (implied) bloody finale. Yet this tragedy could have used a firmer hand on the reins. Some perfs are good, others woeful. Emphatic gestures and shouted delivery, as well as the random sound design, rob the text of its subtleties, making this Hamlet for Dummies. Wolpe's interpretation of the gloomy Dane is bitter, sarcastic, playful and energetic as she roughs up both Ophelia and Gertrude in tempestuous scenes. Unfortunately, Wolpe also sometimes rushes her delivery of the scintillating text. Ophelia (Chastity Dotson) is excellent in her descent from confusion into insanity, while the majestic set of faux stone, with its trapdoor for the grave scene, is superb, including its upstairs realm for the lumbering, un-wraithlike ghost of Old King Hamlet (Elizabeth Swain). The swordplay is excellent; the rest is -- silence. (Pauline Adamek). Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 26, 8 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 2, 8 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 10, 8 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 16, 8 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 24, 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 27. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-477-2055, www.odysseytheatre.com.

Humor Abuse: Lorenzo Pisoni's tender homage to his circus ringleader father, the art and the discipline of comedy, and the magic of the circus. Starting Sept. 21, Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 1 & 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Continues through Nov. 3. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 213-628-2772.

In My Corner: The theme of fathers and sons occupies well-trodden ground in the theater, but Joe Orrach's exploration of his relationship with his Puerto Rican father is unique in its presentation. Having been a professional boxer and tap dancer, Mr. Orrach is hardly an average Joe, and he and co-writer Lizbeth Hasse infuse this solo show with elements of his former lives, cleverly employing choreography, a jump rope and a speed bag in the storytelling ... not to mention a live jazz trio. Headed by nimble pianist and musical director Matthew Clark, the musicians provide a rich rhythmic and melodic undercurrent to the show, with a sound that's at times reminiscent of another Bay Area jazz virtuoso, Vince Guaraldi. Director Jeremiah Chechik helps Orrach combine the storytelling with the physicality of the show (such as using the speed bag as a dance partner) and, with lighting designer Briana Pattillo, creates some solid visuals onstage (especially the boxing ring). However, this former pugilist doesn't land as many punches as he ought to; despite his fascinating source material, the show meanders between episodes, lacking a strong enough dramatic throughline to build emotional momentum. Also, other than his father's character, none of the rest of Orrach's family is as well developed in the piece. Still, with some reworking, Orrach and Hasse could potentially turn Joe's multifaceted life experience and talents into a knockout of a show. (Mayank Keshaviah). Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Nov. 3. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-477-2055, www.odysseytheatre.com.

Ise Lyfe: Pistols & Prayers: A spoken word hip-hop theater piece, written and performed by artist and educator Ise Lyfe of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. The production is a sociopolitical commentary, blended with a glimpse into Lyfe's coming of age as a man, artist, and advocate for social change. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Nov. 27. Greenway Court Theater, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, 323-655-7679, www.greenwayarts.org.

Just Imagine: Although the wow factor is missing, aficionados of John Lennon probably will appreciate this tribute to the iconic musician, which juxtaposes renditions of his most famous songs with a narrative of his life. Lennon impersonator and lead singer Tim Piper addresses the audience in a confiding manner as he relates events in Lennon's life -- his troubled boyhood in Liverpool culminating in the death of his mother, up through The Beatles, his marriage to Yoko Ono and his transformation into a family man and spokesman for the counterculture antiwar movement. There are no surprises in writer-director Steve Altman's script, and watching and listening to Piper, an American donning a Liverpool accent, failed to persuade me that I was hearing the real McCoy. That said, Piper's backup band, Working Class Hero, performs well and provides an opportunity for those who wish to reimagine the legend to do so. (Deborah Klugman). Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Dec. 29. Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-213-6955, www.thehayworth.com.

Kamikaze!: Zombie Joe directs Vanessa Cate in her one-woman theatrical odyssey, conquering her darkest fears, challenges, and limitations with her spirit of truth and triumph. Fridays, Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 30. Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-202-4120, zombiejoes.homestead.com.

Kin: A romantic comedy-drama, written by Bathsheba Doran and directed by Jules Aaron, about the relationship between a Columbia poetry professor and a personal trainer from Ireland. Starting Sept. 26, Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 27. Theatre 40 at the Reuben Cordova Theater, 241 Moreno, Beverly Hills, 310-364-0535, www.theatre40.org.

Klepto-MANIA: A Night of Time-Travel, Bullfighting, and Love: Opening this bill of one-acts is Samantha Macher's "Brechtian comedy," The Arctic Circle *and a Recipe for Swedish Pancakes. Unfortunately, it's a dreadfully unwieldy affair parceled out in 28- plus scenes that chronicle the amorous life and exploits of Elin (Katie Apicella). Narrated by Amy Scribner, it constantly shifts back and forth in time and place, which makes for a theatrical experience that quickly goes from annoying to mind numbing. There are way too many scenes that are nothing more than trifles, and McKerrin Kelly's direction is consistently labored. If there is any redemption, it's in the acting, which isn't bad. Robert Plowman's The Matador manages to be entertaining, in spite of hanging around too long. Directed by Todd Ristau, and spiced with an engaging pinch of camp, it tells the story of a much heralded matador (played with ticklish panache by Mark Ostrander) who gets more than he can handle when he encounters an unusual bull (choreographer Susanna Young) and an admiring female (Emma Sperka). Studio/Stage, 520 N. Western Ave., L.A., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; through Sept. 22. (Lovell Estell III). Tickets & info: www.kleptotheatreworkshop.com. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Continues through Sept. 22. Studio Stage, 520 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, 323-463-3900, www.studio-stage.com.

L.A. Theatre Works: Reasons To Be Pretty: Thomas Sadoski reprises his Tony-nominated role in Neil LaBute's drama about the modern obsession with physical beauty. The lives of two couples are disrupted when Greg's offhand remark that his girlfriend is not pretty gets back to her. Performed radio theater-style. Fri., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 21, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 22, 4 p.m. James Bridges Theater, 1409 Melnitz Hall, Westwood, 310-206-8365.

Lake Anne: A New York actress disrupts the peace among a former prima ballerina teetering on the edge, her damaged son, and a mother with her own agenda. Written by Marthe Rachel Gold, directed by John Frank Levey. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Nov. 9. NoHo Senior Arts Colony, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., Los Angeles.

The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later: A project that investigates how the town of Laramie, Wyoming has been affected by the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard and the media frenzy that followed. Written by Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber, and directed by Ken Sawyer. Presented by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Continues through Nov. 16. Davidson Valentini Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles, 323-860-7300, www.lagaycenter.org.

Light in the Darkness: Adapter and director Ramon Monxi Flores weaves Mayan mythology into this otherwise predictable message drama about a gangbanger and his uncertain journey toward redemption. Originating from a 1992 script by Victor Tamayo, which focused primarily on drug abuse, the familiar plot revolves around Carlos (Johnny Ortiz), a parentless youth living an empty, violent existence. Street life and drug dealing leave him little time for his girlfriend, Liz (Sara Aceves); that changes when she becomes pregnant and opts, to his dismay, for an abortion. Under Flores' direction, lighting (Sohail Najafi), sound (Andrew Graves) and set design (Marco Deleon) easily eclipse both the boilerplate dialogue and the nonprofessional performances. (Exceptions include Joshua Duron as a twitchy addict, Wali Habib as a shooting victim and Xolo Mariduena as Carlos' younger self.) The production's most striking element is Victor Yerba's fabulous Maya dancing; it, along with other production elements, ties the narrative to an ancient means of salvation. (Deborah Klugman). Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29. Casa 0101, 2102 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, 323-263-7684, www.casa0101.org.

Lily Ann's LOVE YOU!: Some shows somehow succeed in being fun or entertaining in spite of an overload of faults. Such is the case -- sort of -- with this cabaret- style musical comedy by Beyonde Productions, with book, music and lyrics by Lily Ann. Brimming with groan-inducing shtick, it takes place in a Hollywood nightclub owned by Nicolas Caged (Austin Springer), a red-bedizened Elvis impersonator, whose singing and cache of antics are bad in a laughable sort of way. The star of the evening is the ultra-sexy Mary Lynn (Yvette Nii), who does sing a bit better, and whose desperately stretched sequined dresses garner sympathy from the audience. Mary Lynn is being courted by the "other" Elvis impersonator, Charles Love (Jamie Lane) and country-boy hunk Toby Kiss (Jesse Welch, who actually can sing). In addition to a slew of mediocre songs and music, the evening includes a return-to-the-'60s dance routine, some nifty conga playing by Bob Hardly (Jah-Amen Mobley) and a cheeky murder mystery. (Lovell Estell III). Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 12. The Black Box Theater, 12420 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-979-7078.

Little Shop of Horrors: A comedy-horror rock opera based on the 1960 movie. Book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 19. Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Los Angeles, 310-645-5156, www.kentwoodplayers.org.

Lost Girls: Award-winning playwright John Pollono's new drama about a working class couple, struggling to redefine family. When their seventeen-year-old daughter goes missing during a winter blizzard, former high school lovers are forced to confront their tragic history. Saturdays, 5 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m.; Mondays, 8 p.m.; Mon., Oct. 28, 8 p.m.; Mon., Nov. 4, 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 14. Rogue Machine Theatre, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, 855-585-5185, www.roguemachinetheatre.com.

Marilyn ... MADNESS & Me: A tale of unrequited love, focused on the last month's of Marilyn Monroe's life as told in first-person by the man who lived it, and confirmed by excerpts from Marilyn's diary. Written by Frank V. Furino, from an original concept by Didier Bloch. Starting Sept. 26, Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Oct. 20. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-508-4200, www.elportaltheatre.com.

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare's classic summer tale about foolish humans, blind love, and the magic of the forest. Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 27, 8 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29. Studio Theatre at Cal Poly Pomona, 3801 W. Temple Ave., Building 25, Pomona, 909-869-3900.

The New Situation: In playwright-director Carlo Allen's comedy, when schoolteacher Francisco (Joshua M. Bott) gets pink-slipped, he and his agoraphobic sister, Antonia (Susan M. Flynn), are forced to take out a Craigslist ad looking for boarders. Fortunately, their new lodgers -- gay, middle-aged museum docent Constantine (Jordan Preston) and womanizing restaurant manager Rudy (author Allen) -- join the siblings to become a close-knit family unit. They all celebrate their friendship by going off to get colonoscopies. And that's the play. Allen is to be commended for crafting a comedy whose characters face issues of reaching middle age. Sadly, though, the play is a dramatically maladroit work -- and the halting line readings, unfocused blocking and weird pacing jags of Allen's staging benefit the piece little. Although Flynn's comic timing provides a few moments of artistic craftsmanship, the plodding writing and other cast members' onstage awkwardness doom the piece. (Paul Birchall). Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 27, 8 p.m. Continues through Sept. 28. Promenade Playhouse, 1404 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, 310-656-8070, www.promenadeplayhouse.com.

The Normal Heart: A revival of Larry Kramer's iconic American play about a nation in denial during the AIDS crisis. Starting Sept. 21, Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Thursdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 24. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, 323-663-1525, www.fountaintheatre.com.

Open House: An audacious real estate salesman needs to sell an overpriced house during an off season. Enter a seductive, mysterious woman new to California who senses that something wrong has happened in the house, in writer Shem Bitterman's third dramatic production at the Skylight Theater. See Stage feature: http://www.laweekly.com/2013-08-01/stage/shem-bitterman-open-house/full/. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Sept. 22. Skylight Theater, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, 323-666-2202.

Ordinary Days: A comedic musical by Adam Gwon, directed by Angel Creeks. Four young New Yorkers' lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29. Victory Theatre Center, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank, 818-841-4404, www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.

Oy!: The story of two German Jewish sisters, Selma and Jenny, who in 1995 return to their home in Paris after a trip to the German city of their youth and try to investigate the swirl of emotions, opinions and memories that surfaced during their trip. This play questions forgiveness, the work of memory, and the state of modern racism in the world. Written by Hélène Cixous, directed by Georges Bigot. Starting Sept. 21, Thursdays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 20. Actors' Gang at the Ivy Substation Theater, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City, 310-838-4264, www.theactorsgang.com.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre: William Shakespeare's adventurous tale of Pericles, King Antiochus, and Dionyza, the King's daughter. Directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott. See Stage feature: http://www.laweekly.com/2013-09-12/stage/miss-julie-dream-project-pericles/full/. Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 21, 2 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 22, 2 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 11, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 12, 2 & 8 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 30, 8 p.m.; Thu., Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 24, 2 & 7 p.m. Continues through Sept. 28. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, 626-356-3100, www.anoisewithin.org.

Pieces (of ass): A series of original "Pieces," delivered by a cast of twelve of the country's most dynamic and beautiful performers, exploring what defines an attractive woman, from the perks and privileges to the problems and pressures. Fri., Sept. 20, 11 p.m. Beacher's Madhouse at The Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-785-3036, www.thompsonhotels.com.

The Pokémusical: Winner of the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival's "Best Fringe Festival Musical Award," this original satire follows the first journey of Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu and the rest of the crew from the original games as they traverse Kanto, this time with added song and dance. Book and Lyrics by Alex Syiek. Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 11:59 p.m. Continues through Sept. 28. Elephant Stages, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles.

R II: A new production of Shakespeare's Richard II, conceived, adapted and directed by Jessica Kubzansky to be bare and raw, performed by only three actors. Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 2, 8 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 9, 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 13. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena, 626-683-6883, www.bostoncourt.com.

Rapture, Blister, Burn: The West Coast premiere of this new comedy, in which feminism's foibles are challenged among three generations of women. The ladies share their raucous and refreshing approaches to navigating work, love and family. Written by Gina Gionfriddo, directed by Peter DuBois. See Stage feature: http://www.laweekly.com/2013-08-29/stage/rapture-blister-burn-feminism/full/. Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m. Continues through Sept. 22. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, 310-208-5454, www.geffenplayhouse.com.

REDCAT's Radar L.A. Festival: An international festival of contemporary theater. REDCAT gathers the some of the most influential theater companies from around the globe to perform alongside innovative Los Angeles artists. Visionary works of theater from Latin America, the Pacific Rim, and Los Angeles in 18 productions performed in downtown's historic theaters and throughout the city. A professional symposium will highlight interdisciplinary approaches and new theatrical forms. REDCAT will be the late night festival hub with a line-up of DJs and informal performances. Visit redcat.org/festival/radar-la-festival-2013 for a complete schedule. Sept. 20-29, 8 p.m.; Oct. 1-6, www.redcat.org/festival/radar-la-festival-2013. REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 631 W. Second St., Los Angeles, 213-237-2800, www.redcat.org.

Robert E. Lee: Shades of Gray: A one-man dramatic portrait of one of U.S. history's most enigmatic figures. Written by and starring Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award-winner Tom Dugan. Sundays, 2 p.m.; Wednesdays, 2 & 7 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura, 805-667-2900.

Rockstar: A new musical featuring the music of the great pianist Franz Liszt and others, written and performed by Hershey Felder and directed by Trevor Hay. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 26, 2 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949-497-2787, www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

Rodney King: New light is shed on the man whose famous question "Can we all get along?" continues to resonate 21 years after it was first posed to a riot-torn Los Angeles in 1992. Created and performed by Roger Guenveur Smith. Sat., Sept. 21, 7 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 28, 7 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 29, 4 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 3, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 5, 7 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 6, 1 p.m. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213-628-2772, www.centertheatregroup.org.

The Royal Family: The work's the thing in George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's gentle 1927 spoof of the Barrymore dynasty, which forms the centerpiece of Theatricum Botanicum's 40th-anniversary season. The venerable, oak-nestled venue's own founding family fills in as the board-treading Cavendish clan. Artistic director Ellen Geer slings Downton Abbey-worthy zingers as dowager Fanny, while sister Melora Marshall and daughter Willow Geer carry the torch as the next generations of theatrical luminaries. All three women nail the benign entitlement and cozy security that comes from knowing you're an institution, but the dated material may be more thrilling for its cast than the audience. More compelling than the distant Barrymores is the play's exploration of pursuing the creative life at the cost of domestic and personal stability. Director Susan Angelo wisely avoids interfering with her cast's marvelous instincts, but a tighter rein would keep us from sharing Marshall's bewilderment when the madcap pace proves too frenetic. (Jenny Lower). Sat., Sept. 21, 4 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 28, 4 p.m. Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 310-455-3723, www.theatricum.com/index.html.

Sheet Cake Sliding: A black comedy about a self-made business executive who tries to mold his family to conform to his plans, only to find that his family is a creation as complex and dangerous as Frankenstein's monster. Written by Stacia Saint Owens, directed by Nicholas Newell. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Continues through Oct. 19. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-856-8611, www.theatreofnote.com.

Silent Witnesses: Written and performed by Stephanie Satie. Decades after World War II, a group of women who survived the Holocaust as children meet in a group moderated by a therapist and begin to tell their stories for the first time. Based on true events. Directed by Anita Khanzadian. Starting Sept. 22, Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 27. Whitefire Theater, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-990-2324, www.whitefiretheatre.com.

Smokey Joe's Cafe: This Tony Award-nominated and Grammy Award-winning tribute to legendary songwriters Leiber and Stoller is a song-and-dance celebration of thirty-nine of rock 'n' roll's greatest hits, from "Stand by Me" and "Fools Fall in Love," to "Jailhouse Rock," "Spanish Harlem," and "Yakety Yak." Book by Stephen Helper and Jack Viertel, music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Starting Sept. 24, Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m. Continues through Oct. 13. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626-356-PLAY, www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.

Something to Crow About: The Bob Baker Marionettes' musical "Day on the Farm." Saturdays, Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:30 a.m. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Los Angeles, 213-250-9995, www.bobbakermarionettes.com.

St. Jude: Written and performed by Luis Alfaro and directed by Robert Egan, Alfaro faces his father's stroke and a flood of family memories with poignant clarity and gentle humor. Fri., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 21, 4 p.m.; Tue., Sept. 24, 8 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 26, 9 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 29, 1 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 1, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 4, 9 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 5, 4 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 6, 7 p.m. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213-628-2772, www.centertheatregroup.org.

Stand-Off at Hwy #37: A staged reading of a new play by Vickie Ramirez, about political, environmental and spiritual convictions. Clashes erupt when plans to build a highway through a Native American reservation in upstate New York prompts protests and clashes between the protestors and law enforcement. Part of Native Voices' First Look Series: Plays In Progress. Thu., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, 323-667-2000, www.theautry.org.

Steel Magnolias: Robert Harling's classic southern comedy-drama about Truvy's beauty parlor and the women who regularly gather there. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 6. East West Players, 120 N. Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, 213-625-7000, www.eastwestplayers.org.

Surviving Grace: Benefiting USAgainstAlzheimer's: USAgainstAlzheimer's co-founder and comedy writer Trish Vradenburg has a star-studded cast perform a staged reading of her critically acclaimed play, Surviving Grace. Fantastic cast includes Carol Burnett, Elliott Gould, Marilu Henner, Lou Gossett, Jr., Loni Anderson, Brian McNamara and Helen Reddy. Wed., Sept. 25, 6:30 p.m., survivinggrace.org/show/la. Warner Bros. Studios, 3400 W. Riverside Dr, Burbank, 877-492-8687, vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com.

Tone Clusters: A drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joyce Carol Oates, about an ordinary husband and wife who find themselves trapped under nightmarish attention when their son is arrested as the alleged killer of a neighborhood girl. The playwright will be present on opening night for a panel discussion after the performance. Thu., Sept. 26, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 4, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 12, 8 p.m. Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 310-455-3723, www.theatricum.com/index.html.

Twilight Zone Unscripted: There is good reason for live improv's reputation as the high-wire balancing act of comedy. But even the Flying Wallendas can have an off night. And in the case of Impro Theatre's long-form send-up of Rod Serling's 1960s sci-fi anthology classic, "off" can prove very deadly indeed. Directed by Jo McGinley and Stephen Kearin, the Impro troupers (who on this evening included Lisa Fredrickson, Brian Michael Jones, Brian Lohmann, Nick Massouh, Michele Spears, Floyd VanBuskirk and director McGinley) ad-lib four half-hour episodes from audience suggestions, replete with spot-on riffs of the series' signature Serling monologues. MVPs VanBuskirk, Fredrickson and Lohman each managed to knock at least one of their teammates' uninspired curves high into the stands. In between, however, the proceedings were a pointed reminder of why the outer limits of an improvised sketch remains four minutes: In live comedy, laughless seconds can seem like dog years to an uncaptivated audience. (Bill Raden). Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29, falcontheatre.com/twilight_zone_unscripted.html. Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank, 818-955-8101, www.falcontheatre.com.

Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam: PlaywrightTrieu Tran recalls the harrowing journey he took from Vietnam to Canada to the United States, and his quest to find some place to belong. Written by Tran with Robert Egan and directed by Egan. Sat., Sept. 21, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 22, 8 p.m.; Wed., Sept. 25, 8 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 28, 4 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 29, 7 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 2, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 5, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 6, 4 p.m. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213-628-2772, www.centertheatregroup.org.

A View From the Bridge: Many consider Arthur Miller's dramas moral tragedies, but you also can think of them as mysteries, as their narratives contain events whose true meaning only becomes clear at the end. Longshoreman Eddie (Vince Melocchi) is a salt-of-the-earth type who thinks he's doing a good deed when he lets a pair of his wife's distant cousins, both illegal immigrants from the old country, move in with his family. He soon has reason to rue this decision, though, as his lovely niece, Catherine (Lisa Cirincione), falls in love with the more handsome of the two cousins, Rodolpho (Jeff Lorch) -- and Eddie is destroyed by his own inexplicably over-the-top jealousy. This is a mostly powerful, admirably straightforward production by co-directors Marilyn Fox and Dana Jackson, which stumbles slightly during the clumsy, frenetically staged final sequence. The production is anchored by Melocchi's nicely gruff Eddie, whose turn suggests a character swept along by passions he lacks the articulacy to express. (Paul Birchall). Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Sept. 22. Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice, 310-822-8392, www.pacificresidenttheatre.com.

WaveFest: A theater festival comprised of three "waves" of short plays over six weekends, centered on the theme "Go West." The plays will explore stories of the Westside and Southern California through the lens of history, neighborhood, culture, myths, and the entertainment industry. For a complete schedule and line up visit SantaMonicaRep.org. Sat., Sept. 21; Sun., Sept. 22; Sat., Sept. 28; Sun., Sept. 29; Fri., Oct. 4; Sun., Oct. 6; Sat., Oct. 12; Sun., Oct. 13, www.SantaMonicaRep.org. Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., Santa Monica, 310-399-1631, www.churchop.org.

The Weir: A spooky play of supernatural tales, expertly told by country folk in an Irish pub setting. Written by Conor McPherson. Fri., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 28, 8 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 2, 8 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 3, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 11, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 12, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 13, 2 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 17, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 18, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 19, 8 p.m. Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro, 310-512-6030, www.littlefishtheatre.org.

What Kind of God?: The world premiere of a new play by KPCC morning radio host Steve Julian, which explores the price paid by victims of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Oct. 20. Elephant Stages, Lillian Theatre, 1076 Lillian Way, Los Angeles.

The Wizard of Oz: Follow the yellow brick road to the Pantages for this fun, timeless classic. This new production includes all the original songs plus new music by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Fri., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 21, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 22, 1 & 6:30 p.m.; Tue., Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 28, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 29, 1 & 6:30 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 4, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 5, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 6, 1 & 6:30 p.m. Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 800-982-2787, www.hollywoodpantages.com.

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Source: Laweekly