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Entertainment - Los Angeles Daily News

March 19,2017 21:24

TreePeople's Once Upon A Canyon Night is back for another season of arts, music and children's entertainment. And, best of all, it takes place among the ...and more »



When: 7:30 p.m. Sundays, 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays through Sept. 23.
Where: S. Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheatre at TreePeople’s Coldwater Canyon Park, 12601 Mulholland Drive, Beverly Hills.
Tickets: $15-$85.
Information: 818-753-4600, www.treepeople.org/canyonnights.

TreePeople’s Once Upon A Canyon Night is back for another season of arts, music and children’s entertainment. And, best of all, it takes place among the pastoral oaks and walnuts.
“In this wonderful, intimate setting, surrounded by trees and where the air cools down even in the summer, you can see a show in community with other people,” says Jim Hardie, the event organizer. “You can bring a picnic dinner and a bottle of wine, if you’re so inclined, while you experience a unique part of this city this way because it’s just fabulous.”
The 15th annual program, which kicks off Sunday at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium in TreePeople’s Coldwater Canyon Park and runs through Sept. 23, demonstrates the environmental advocacy organization’s work by putting people in the center of it.
While the natural backdrop is a big part of the experience, comedy, music, and theater keep the summer entertainment season lively.
The series kicks off with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band with guest vocalists Jenifer Lewis and Sheléa Frazier performing (among other tunes) Ella Fitzgerald’s signature songs. Other musical acts include Premiere A Cappella performing songs of female empowerment and Top Shelf Vocal singing off-the-beaten-path pop on Aug. 5, rock band Louden Swain on Aug. 20, and Billy Valentine’s classic soul on Sept. 9.
Included are stage readings of “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder on July 28 and 29, “Black Coffee” by Agatha Christie on Aug. 18 and 19, and “Airplane! The Reading” with Robert Forster on Sept. 22 and 23.
For laughs, the Improvised Shakespeare Company provides off-the-cuff comedy Aug. 5.
Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani, a self-described “germaphobe tree-hugger” is the big headliner on Aug. 26.
Along with friends, he brings his PG-13 stand-up act featuring his “left-leaning” position on social issues, politics, and his kids, ages 6 and 8.
“They like hearing about themselves,” he says. “Sometimes at the end of a show, they’ll come up and take a bow. They get a kick out that for now. But I think pretty soon they’re going to tell me I’m embarrassing them and that I should stop talking about them.”
He’ll also pull jokes from his new Netflix Original comedy special “Maz Jobrani: Immigrant,” which is set to debut Aug. 1.
“There’s a lot of Trump stuff, for sure,” Jobrani says. “Every time you try to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, he comes back and says something that upsets you over something else, whether it’s the travel ban or it’s the environment, or it’s the Iran nuclear deal. I keep saying he’s good for comedy but bad for the world.”
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The series also spotlights furry animals in Wildlife Learning Center’s “Exploring the Rainforest” joined by juggler and magician Michael Raynor on Aug. 12, while a mystery comic guest takes the stage Sept. 17.
All proceeds from ticket sales help to offset the cost of maintaining Coldwater Canyon Park, a favorite hiking spot TreePeople manages and funds through the generosity of its donors.
“We need all of Los Angeles to participate in the care of what we call the urban forest, especially as severe weather and climate is making it more unsafe,” says Andy Lipkis, TreePeople founder and president. “But you don’t engage people by scaring them only. We get everyone involved with fun because people need to be inspired. When you combine music and theater with nature, you get incredible synergy.”

Once Upon a Canyon,TreePeople,Entertainment

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