West Hollywood

Dick jokes and opera

Soho-House-Los-Angeles-Five-Senses-Tastings

Yes, you read right.

This is the title of the show I saw on Wednesday thanks to my dear friend, Diane, yoga teacher extraordinaire and also the Founder of Love Infinity for All, a jewelry company that raises awareness and funds for mental illness. 

We really didn't know what I was getting into when we rolled up to the Soho House in West Hollywood. For those of you who don't know, Soho House (which actually began in London in 1995 and has houses all over Europe and North America, oh, and Istanbul) is where you go when you need to convince the rich and famous how rich and famous you currently are OR how rich and famous you think you are OR how rich and famous you will or most definitely should be.

"High art meets low art" is how the show was presented to the packed room. Opera arias, performed by LA-based opera singer and entrepreneur Nicole Levitt, were interspersed with stand up comedians named... yeah, I'm sorry, I have absolutely no recollection of who they were but they were great, especially the irreverent Illinois-Irish guy in the middle.

What I loved most about the event was the complete unexpectedness of it. Stand up comedy and opera? Maybe someone has thought of it before but, no surprise here, I absolutely loved the concept of putting together two things that you'd think on the surface have nothing in common with one another. But it worked because the purposefulness behind each story was there, whether high art or low art.People in the audience may never have heard opera before, and they were inclined to appreciate it not only because they knew the woman singing but because her voice stood in clear, melodious, and purposeful juxtaposition to the dick jokes and other insults hurled by the comedians. 

There are most certainly still some kinks to be ironed out in terms of the flow and presentation, but I am thrilled to bits to hear that this will not be the last installment and that the future of the show is moving towards a more meaningful connection between the two art forms.

HollyTales was a huge success!

The moment we finished our first event with Mikey Consbruck and his team at V Wine Room in August, I knew I had to come back for more... and more was had! What an amazing night we had last night!

The bar could not have looked more beautiful in all its sparkle, and the atmosphere was cozy and perfect for our first Holiday event of 2016! We had a lively crowd who filled the bar with laughter and appreciation, and we couldn't be more grateful for the warm reception and words of thanks we received for our music tasting.

Mikey Consbruck, Owner of V Wine Room, Adam Monte of V Cheese Shoppe, and Catherine von Ruden of EOS Chocolates arethe most amazing partners, and we feel so grateful every time we get to work with them. Their creativity in pairing and dedication to perfection in taste pairing andelegance of presentation is unmatched. Here you see Mikey preparing some of the cheese and chocolate plates... and the final result below. Doesn't it look so delicious?

As usual the wines Mikey chose for us were above and beyond delicious, interesting, and rare and it was up to us then to rise to the challenge with the musical choices as well. Luckily with Jacquelyn, Trevor, and Andrés on stage, it was pretty easy to make anything sound amazing!

Of course we presented some holiday standards (Sleigh Ride, O Holy Night, and my new favorite, Christmas in LA by Lawrence Well and his Orchestra) but I also made sure to throw in some pieces that I know would be unfamiliar to our guests. Probably the most daring piece we played was the cello movement from Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the end of time.

This piece is not "easy" to digest, but it was precisely this dis-ease that I wanted to highlight. I have always found one of the most rewarding things is when a guest approaches me at the end of a night and repeats back to me exactly what I had hoped to achieve with a particular pairing. Often I find that s/he even further enlightens me on the pairing, and it was no exception in this case as a gentleman told me that he would never have listened to this piece voluntarily but that the way it was presented together with the wine, cheese, and chocolate made it not only palatable but extraordinarily rewarding and meaningful to him. Couldn't really hope for anything more, could you?

As always, I can't thank the artists enough for their time and dedication to this difficult program. They are all a delight to work with (Jacquelyn and Andrés have now played with us several times), and I can't wait to welcome them to another music tasting soon!