JOAN OF ART - A Great Place for Xmas Shopping, Comedy, Musical and An Important Powerful Film

Joan Alperin

Writer, Registered Critic

I know most of you are shopping for Xmas presents, going to holiday parties or planning them, but in between all that, you might want to take a break and let yourself be entertained.

The other day I went to a WGA screening of a beautiful, powerful, important film entitled THE HATE YOU GIVE. Even though it's been open for a few weeks I just had to share this with you.

'The Hate You Give' written by Audrey Wells based on Angie Thomas's novel and directed by George Tillman is the story of Starr (the exceptional Amandia Stenberg) a 16 year old black girl who lives in the fictional, mostly poor black neighborhood of Garden Heights but attends an affluent predominantly white private school, Williamson Prep.

After a gun goes off at a party Starr is driven home by her childhood best friend, Khalil (Algee Smith). On the way home they are stopped by a white police officer who mistakes Khalil's hair brush for a gun and shoots him dead.

Khalil's death becomes a major national news story which changes Starr's life as well as those closest to her in a very profound way.

The excellent cast also stars Regina Hall and Russell Hornsby as Starr's parents, Anthony Mackie as the local drug lord and Common as Starr's cop uncle.

This is one of the most important films of 2018 considering what is going on in our country today and one that regardless of race, everyone should see. It will stay with you long after the credits roll.


As you know one of my favorite things is to laugh and no one makes me laugh more than Miss Sandra Bernhard who will be performing at The Sorting Room at The Wallis in Beverly Hills.

Her show is entitled SANDEMONIUM. As it's described in the press notes "Have you been swept up in 'Sandemonium'? It's time for a psychic break. Sandra will bring you back from your bad trip. She will soothe your aura and calm your chakras. You will shut down your electronics, find your mantra, do a meditation and let it all go because Sandy and the Sandyland Squad Band will make it all better."

And having seen many of her shows, I am definitely a believer.

The show runs December 13th at 7pm, Friday the 14th at 7pm and 9pm, Saturday the 15th at 7pm and 9pm through the 15th. Tickets range from $19 to $22 and can be purchased at or by calling (310) 746-4000.

The Wallis is located at 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills CA 90210.

I will be at Sandra's show on Friday and then back again to the Wallis on Saturday evening to see...

LOVE ACTUALLY for those of you who remember was screenwriter's Richard Curtis' beloved holiday movie and now it has been turned into a multimedia musical celebration.

The world premiere production of LOVE, ACTUALLY LIVE, presented by special arrangement with Universal Pictures and Working Title Films, will transform the Wallis' Bram Goldsmith Theatre into a giant, immersive cinema for the modern day.

The production will include songs from the hit soundtrack that includes Christmas and pop hits by Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, the Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell and many more musical artists. The film's well known set list includes 'River', 'Songbird', 'All Alone On Christmas', 'Silent Night', 'Puppy Love', 'Wherever You Will Go', 'Bye Bye Baby' (Baby Goodbye), 'All you Need is Love', 'Both Sides Now' just to name a few.

The show will be performed live by an all star cast and a 15 piece orchestra.

To purchase tickets and for the full schedule go to or call (310) 746-4000. The Wallis is located at 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills CA.

LOVE, ACTUALLY LIVE plays through December 31st 2018. Because of theatrical haze effects and adult content as well as brief nudity it is recommended for ages 13 and up.

Weather you choose to shop, laugh, see a film, or go to a musical, have a great weekend.

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death.