Joan's LA Weekend, Scares, Food, Redford's last film,( maybe) and a powerful one man show

Joan Alperin

Writer, Registered Critic

For the last five years, I have gone to the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and I am never disappointed. If being scared out of your mind is your thing, then don’t walk, run to the Queen Mary because I promise you will be screaming out loud from fright.

“There are over 200 heinous monsters that will jump out at you as you move through the six terrifying mazes on the boat. You never know when a creature will tap you on the shoulder as you get lost in the darkness.”

As I mentioned before I love to be scared and no Halloween event has ever scared me as much as Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. But don’t worry, if you need a break from all the creepy crawlers you can relax at one of the haunted bars or sit down in one of the secret rooms and listen to live entertainment. This event has been dubbed one of the ‘top 10 most haunted places on earth’ by Time Magazine and I totally agree. So thrill seekers to purchase tickets go to The show begins tomorrow, September 27th and I will be there. Dark Harbor runs through November 2nd. 2018.

Next to being terrified, I love to eat. My favorite thing is to go to a resturant and share different foods with my friends. That’s why I love Eataly LA in Century City and will be there on Saturday afternoon.

The first Eataly opened in Torino, Italy in 2007 and I had the pleasure of being there for the opening. It now has 39 stores around the globe including New York, Chicago, Boston and now Los Angeles… We are talking about 67,000 square feet of pasta, pizza, meats, cheeses, wine, cannoli, bread and olive oil. You can get food to go or dine there. But whatever you choose to do, I guarantee you will be returning to this glorious food establishment many times over.” according to

The Eataly is located at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd in Century City. It’s open daily from 8AM to 11pm on the second and third floor. Their website is

Saturday evening you can find me at the Zephyr Theatre located at 7456 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles to see a powerful one man show entitled ‘Underdog’.

According to the Theatre’s website the story “is based on true events in a London Jewish boy’s life. Bullied and humiliated at school, Steve Spiro realizes his strength to move forward, but that ultimately comes at a price. Told with humor and plenty of chutzpah Steve reveals how the struggles of our past can be a gift to the future and that, no matter what never give up.”

The play is profoundly engaging, funny and deeply poignant. Plus the best part, “all proceeds of ticket sales go directly to START Rescue and selected local animal rescue and anti-bullying organizations. Spiro is the President and co-founder of Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team which is focused on relocating dogs and cats from high kill shelters in California…” How could you not love this guy and how could you not purchase a ticket to this important play?

To purchase tickets: go to or or call 323-960-7788.

Finally Robert Redford’s new movie, ‘The Old Man & The Gun‘ opens on Friday, September 28th. Redford who says this may be his last acting performance plays “Forest Tucker, who at age 70 makes an audacious escape from San Quentin and goes on to commit an unprecedented string of heists that confound authorities and enchant the public.” The cast includes Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck and both are excellent. I saw this film the other day and highly recommend it.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, have a great one.

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.