Streaming: Broadway at Home

A night at the theatre (at home) has never been more convenient! Hamilton recently released on Disney+, and it has been all of the buzz across all generations as of late. We have compiled a list of some of our favorite Broadway Shows to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Hamilton 

Available on Disney+.

Filmed on the stage of the Richard Rodgers Theatre in June 2016, the live capture of the Pulizter- and Tony-winning musical was slated for an October 2021 theatrical release—until COVID-19 preempted that plan, resulting in the movie dropping on Disney+ July 3. After five years of buzz, the streamed version—featuring creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony winners Leslie Odom Jr. and Renée Elise Goldsberry, and most of the original cast—lived up to fans’ expectations, and created another wave of Hamilton frenzy.

 

Rent 

Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play.

Jonathan Larson’s Rent updates the story of Puccini’s La Boheme, setting it in New York City’s East Village. As most theatre fans know, it made a splash on Broadway, and the level of devotion its biggest fans carried had never really been seen before. It was the first major Broadway show to offer rush tickets, and fans would camp out overnight to get inexpensive front row tickets. The production won four 1996 Tony Awards including Best Musical, along with the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It enjoyed a run of 12 years and over 5,000 performances.

Cats 

Available on BroadwayHD, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Google Play.

Once Broadway’s longest-running musical, everybody has an opinion on this Andrew Lloyd Webber show, but what can’t be denied is that Cats is like almost no other musical to ever play the Main Stem. Based on a book of poetry by T.S. Eliot, Cats is about… well, cats! The production features an iconic costume and set design by John Napier, legendary makeup design by Candace Carell, fabulous choreography by Gillian Lynne, and of course the anthem “Memory,” one of the more successful songs to come from a musical in the last 40 years.

Kiss Me Kate

Available on Amazon Prime, BroadwayHD and Google Play, and on DVD from Amazon.

With a classic Cole Porter score that includes such tunes as “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “So in Love,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Always True to You in My Fashion,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” Kiss Me, Kate became an almost instant classic when it debuted on Broadway in 1948. The 1999 Broadway production won the Tony Award for Best Revival, directed by Michael Blakemore, choreographed by Kathleen Marshall and Rob Ashford, and starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie. The 2019 revival starred Will Chase and Kelli O’Hara.

Into the Woods

Available on YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and DVD on Amazon.

Before it was a hit movie starring Meryl Streep and James Corden, Into the Woods was one of Sondheim’s most successful Broadway shows. It’s still one of the most produced works at schools and regional theatres across the country. This mash-up of fairytales that dares to go beyond “happily ever after” is one of Sondheim’s most accessible works, and has certainly been the Sondheim entry point for more than a few theatre fans, largely due to the video of the original Broadway production with the original Broadway cast, including Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleason in her Tony-winning performance.

Valley Eats: Al Fresco Dining

In the wake of recent news, restaurants in numerous counties in California are shutting down their indoor dining operations. Restaurants are exclusively open to take out and outdoor dining. We have rounded up a list of restaurants that are open for business for a fun al fresco dining experience. Please make sure that upon arrival, you assess the restaurant’s compliance with the guidelines to align with your comfortability. Happy eating! 

Kings Fish House – Calabasas 

With seafood, there’s so much to be passionate about- the freshness, the flavor, the variety, and the surprise. To create the ultimate seafood experience, the creators of Kings Fish House traveled down the highways and byways. The pleasure of preparing and sharing seafood was simple and genuine to these chefs and they are very clear about that in the dining experience they offer. 

Vino Wine & Tapas Room – Encino 

Vino Wine and Tapas Room Restaurant, a European-style wine tasting restaurant in the heart of San Fernando Valley, California (Encino, Ventura Blvd), offers a delicious alternative to the same old dining experience and more than 100 wines into the establishment, which diners can pair with myriad cheeses and tapas.

Hom Italian Eatery – Woodland Hills 

H.O.M. has a double meaning. Everything is homemade. From the regional kinds of pasta to the dough for the pizza. Their intention is to make you feel right at home, hence the name. They are the same family that introduced Da Pasquale and House of Meatballs and are now introducing an upscale casual Italian Eatery nestled in the heart of Woodland Hills.

The Tipsy Cow – Sherman Oaks

Tipsy Cow is a contemporary American restaurant and bar. The restaurant is self-described as being an “eclectic urban eating house” with a deep and interesting beer list as well as a large selection of craft cocktails utilizing all manner of spirits. While the majority of the menu there is made up of fresh Californian cuisine like tarragon deviled eggs, short rib poutine, and blue crab dip, the menu’s centerpiece is definitely the burgers.

The Sunset – Malibu 

The Sunset Restaurant is located on a beautiful stretch of Zuma Beach in Malibu, California. As you drive up to the secluded restaurant location, the first thing you notice is the breathtaking ocean views and magnificent Pacific horizons. Situated a few steps from the waves, and the passerby whales, The Sunset offers a unique setting unmatched in Southern California.

LA Eats: Al Fresco Dining 

In the wake of recent news, restaurants in numerous counties in California are shutting down their indoor dining operations. Restaurants are exclusively open to take out and outdoor dining. We have rounded up a list of restaurants that are open for business for a fun al fresco dining experience. Please make sure that upon arrival, you assess the restaurant’s compliance with the guidelines to align with your comfortability. Happy eating! 

Cecconis – West Hollywood 

Cecconi’s serves hand-made pasta, seafood and dishes from Italy using the finest ingredients. Cecconi’s is a modern-day classic Italian restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Polo Lounge @ Beverly Hills Hotel – Beverly Hills 

The Polo Lounge has been the favorite breakfast spot and watering hole for generations of stars and Hollywood deal-makers. Guests enjoy indoor and outdoor seating for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and late-night suppers. Lunch and dinner are served with piano accompaniment. The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel is a classic in Los Angeles and a must for meetings, lunch, or dinner.

 

Perch – DTLA 

Perched on a rooftop, this downtown restaurant, and bar located in the financial district serving delicious food, handcrafted drinks, and amazing views of Los Angeles. 

 

The Sunset – Malibu 

The Sunset Restaurant is located on a beautiful stretch of Zuma Beach in Malibu, California. As you drive up to the secluded restaurant location, the first thing you notice is the breathtaking ocean views and magnificent Pacific horizons. Situated a few steps from the waves, and the passerby whales, The Sunset offers a unique setting unmatched in Southern California.

 

Pizzeria Mozza – Hollywood 

Pizzeria Mozza is a bustling, urban burst of flavor and color. Pizzeria Mozza is a perfect atmosphere – whether it be a business lunch or late-night snack. The wine bar provides a vibrant venue for sampling wines from a list with a selection of Italian wines, but don’t forget about the ample offering of antipasti, salumi, and pizza.

Home Tips: Enhancing Curb Appeal 

Enhance your homes curb appeal! You don’t get a second chance at a first impression.  

Enhancing your home’s curb appeal will not only increase the value, but it will also add to your enjoyment, and increase the appearance of the neighborhood. Below are some simple tips that will go a long way. 

 

Landscape

Add some flowers, greenery, and water regularly to maintain a beautiful lawn. There are also some great artificial turf options. Trim back and sculpt anything overgrown. Nothing adds to curb appeal like a well-manicured yard!

 

Paint

Whether the whole house needs sprucing up or just some touch-up, paint is an easy way to make your house pop! It also protects your home from rot and termites. 

 

Reimagine Your Front Door 

There are so many ways to make your front door pop. Start with paint. Take a chance in a bold color that enhances the other colors of your home, you will be glad you did. Change your door hardware, and add a door knocker. 

 

Lighting

Upgrade your exterior lighting. This is something that often goes overlooked, and for a low cost will make a big difference. Landscape lighting is also a must if you want to show off the landscape improvements you made as described above. 

 

Consider Upgrading Your Mailbox

It sounds so simple, but your mailbox can make a big difference. When was the last time it was changed? There are some decorative alternatives that can really add to the first impression of your home. 

 

Your House Numbers

New house numbers are a simple inexpensive upgrade. New house numbers will make a surprisingly nice upgrade, especially with the right style for your home. 

 

Your Garage Door 

Painting your garage door is also a must. There are lots of hardware options available that can transform the look of that large plain garage door. 

 

Outdoor Furniture 

If your home will accommodate some outdoor seating or even an outdoor swing, this will make your home look more inviting. The right outdoor furniture can add a lot of character. 

 

Economic update for the week ending July 4, 2020

Employers added 4.8 million jobs in June – The Department of Labor and Statistics reported that 4.8 million new jobs were added in June. That eclipsed analysts’ expectations of 2.9 million new jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 11.1% from 13.3% in May. It was 14.7% in April, the highest reading since the Great Depression, so the last two months have shown a very positive trend.

Stocks rose sharply on jobs data – Despite a sharp uptick in Coronavirus cases, and a pausing and scaling back of the reopening of the economy, major stock market indexes rallied all week. This was due to positive payroll data and the June jobs report which confirmed that over 4.5 million workers returned to work in June. The Dow had its best second quarter since 1987 gaining 17.8%, as investors believe the recovery will be quicker than previously expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,827.36, up 3.2% from 25,015.55 last week. It’s down 9.5% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,130.01, up 4% from 3,009.05 last week. It’s down 3.1% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 10,207.63, up 4.6% from 9,757.22 last week. It’s up 13.8% year to date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 0.68%, up slightly from 0.64% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.43%, up slightly from 1.37% last week.

Mortgage rates – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on July 2, 2020, reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.07%, down from 3.13% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.56%, down slightly from 2.59% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.00%, down from 3.08% last week.

Wishing you a happy, healthy 4th of July!

Economic update for the month ending June 30, 2020

Economic update for the month ending June 30, 2020
Stock markets – June featured major weekly shifts in stock markets. Fueled with a better than expected May jobs report, and the largest monthly gain in retail sales ever, stocks soared at the beginning of the month. By the third week of June, the country began to see a spike in coronavirus cases, which caused many states to pause the speed of the re-opening of their economy, and some states even scaled back and closed some sectors that had recently reopened. Investors sold off stocks and stock markets lost most of their gains from earlier in the month, but still closed higher. The Nasdaq closed the month at a record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,812.88, up 1.7% from 25,383.11 last month. It’s down 10% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the month at 3,100.29, up 1.8% from 3,044.31 last month. It’s down 3.8% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 10,058.87, up 6.0% from 9,489.87 last month. It’s up 12.2% year to date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the month yielding 0.66%, almost unchanged from 0.65% last month. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the month at 1.41%, unchanged from 1.41% last month.

Mortgage rates dropped again this week – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on June 25, 2020, reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.13% down slightly from 3.15% last month. The 15-year fixed was 2.59%, down from 2.63% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.08% down from 3.13% last month.

Employers added 2.5 million jobs in May – The Department of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 2.5 million net jobs in May. That marked an all-time record for jobs added in one month. The unemployment rate in May was 13.3%. While that marked an improvement from April’s 14.7% unemployment rate, it’s still much higher than at the peak of the Great Recession. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to be 20%, so this beat all expectations and stocks surged. It should be noted that the unemployment rate was 3.5% three months ago! Most of the job gains came from re-hiring of employees that had been laid off by companies forced to close and have now begun to reopen. While some experts questioned the methods of how the numbers were calculated, they all agreed that employers are hiring back workers faster than expected. The June figures will be released Friday and will appear on Saturday’s report.

Home sales figures are released in the third week of the month for the previous month. These are May’s home sales data.

California existing home sales – The California Association of Realtors announced that existing home sales totaled 238,740 on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis. As expected that was down 41.4% of the number of homes sold last May. May sales consist mostly of homes that went under contract and in escrow in March and April when it was not permitted to even show home in some cities. Fortunately, since May pending sales, homes that went under contract, have increased. The median price paid for a home in California decreased by 3.7% year over year from last May. That marked the first year over year decrease in almost a decade. Experts were not surprised by this, as many of these sales represented people that either bought homes virtually, or viewed homes in person against city ordinances. Fortunately, those ordinances changed in the third week of April, and in person, showings became permissible with safety restrictions statewide. Once that happened pending sales increased sharply. On a regional basis Los Angeles County saw a 1.4% increase in the median price, Ventura County saw a 3.1% increase, and Orange County saw a 1.2% drop in the median price from last May’s level. We are expecting the median price increases to be higher next month judging by the pending sales.

California Pending Home Sales – Leslie Appleton Young the chief economist and VP of The California Association of Realtors announced that pending sales increased 67% in May from April’s pending sales figures. Pending sales are new contracts signed and reported to MLS systems. They take on average 30-60 days to close. May’s existing-home sales marked a historic low number, down over 41% of the number of homes sold last May. Fortunately, judging by the number of pending sales, June and July’s existing sales numbers will be significantly higher, and much closer to last year’s figures.

Valley Eats: Al Fresco Dining 

In the wake of recent news, restaurants in numerous counties in California are shutting down their indoor dining operations. Restaurants are exclusively open for take-out and outdoor dining. We have rounded up a list of restaurants that are open for business for a fun al fresco dining experience. Please make sure that upon arrival, you assess the restaurant’s compliance with the guidelines to align with your comfortability. Happy eating! 

Saddle Peak Lodge – Calabasas

For a white tablecloth experience, it’s hard to beat the patio at Saddle Peak Lodge, nestled away in the hills of the Santa Monica Mountains. We recommend starting with their Pink Lady Apple Salad, Salmon dish, and any of their side dishes. 

 

Idle Hour – Studio City 

The 2015 revamp of this legendary North Hollywood spot provided Valley denizens with an idyllic place to sip cocktails while nibbling on bar-friendly bites. Now diners can once again grab a socially-distanced seat outside under the watchful eye of a replica of the Bulldog Cafe.

 

Malibu Wines & Beer Garden – West Hills 

The setup at Malibu Wine’s tasting room in West Hills works well for distanced dining, though only on weekends for now. There’s food truck pizza (surprisingly delicious), lots of shade, and bottles galore for enjoying at each well-spaced table. Make a reservation online, now! 

 

Little Bear Restaurant – Glendale/Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock’s Little Beast is back, offering its broad front porch and big back patio to diners that request the open-air experience. Bring the family, and enjoy an al fresco dinner! 

 

Nobu – Malibu 

Celebrities have been flocking to the recently-reopened Nobu Malibu, and for good reason. The water, the salty air, the impeccable seafood — it all adds up to a refreshing meal outdoors. We recommend every single thing on the menu, not kidding. Fresh and delicious food with an amazing oceanfront view. 

 

LA Eats: Al Fresco Dining 

In the wake of recent news, restaurants in numerous counties in California are shutting down their indoor dining operations. Restaurants are exclusively open for take-out and outdoor dining. We have rounded up a list of restaurants that are open for business for a fun al fresco dining experience. Please make sure that upon arrival, you assess the restaurant’s compliance with the guidelines to align with your comfortability. Happy eating! 

Gracias Madre – West Hollywood

Gracias Madre is the sister restaurant of Cafe Gratitude. With a Mexican fusion of vegan cuisine, this place never disappoints. You do not even realize you are eating vegan food– it is that good. We highly recommend the chips and guacamole, sweet potato flautas, and the cauliflower with cashew nacho cheese. Their outdoor dining experience whisks you away from Los Angeles thoughtfully decorated  

 

A.O.C – Beverly Hills 

AOC has one of the most charming patios in the city, a breezy area that feels like an Italian villa far removed from Los Angeles. Suzanne Goin is preparing market-fresh cuisine like wood-fired clams, while sommelier Caroline Styne pairs them with beautifully curated wines. 

 

Dama – DTLA 

Downtown restaurant and bar Dama is about as open-air as it gets, with ample patio space and breezes that pull through from every open-angle. It helps, too, that the cocktails are first class and the chef is Antonia Lofaso. This restaurant feels like you are in Latin America– we recommend the steak to share, el lote, and any of the desserts! 

 

Nobu – Malibu 

Celebrities have been flocking to the recently-reopened Nobu Malibu, and for good reason. The water, the salty air, the impeccable seafood — it all adds up to a refreshing meal outdoors. We recommend every single thing on the menu, not kidding. Fresh and delicious food with an amazing oceanfront view. 

 

Momed – Atwater Village 

There’s plenty of patio space available at hidden Atwater Village gem Momed, so don’t worry about others not social distancing while enjoying the broad Mediterranean menu. Check out this hidden gem before it gets even more popular!

Streaming: Fourth of July Fireworks

Every year, we feature the best places to watch fireworks in our area for the Fourth of July. Firework shows that normally would be open are closed and canceled due to increased cases of COVID-19. This year, stay safe and enjoy fireworks in the safety (and comfort) of your home on TV!

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

A Capitol Fourth | PBS 

WHEN: July 4th @ 5PM PST

HOW TO WATCH: A Capitol Fourth is broadcast on PBS and can also be heard on NPR member stations nationwide and via the American Forces Network to U.S. troops serving around the world. This 40th annual event features a star-studded concert event and fireworks that go off above the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event is covered from 20 cameras positioned around D.C., ensuring viewers are front and center for the greatest display of fireworks in the nation. 

Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks | NBC

WHEN: July 4th @ 5PM PST 

HOW TO WATCH: This event is broadcast live on NBC. For those who don’t have a television or cable subscription, NBC can be streamed online. This year’s event is slated to look a little different. Rather than a single 25-minute show on Independence Day, Macy’s will instead hold several unannounced, smaller fireworks displays across New York City’s five boroughs. The smaller displays, held June 29-July 4, are meant to reduce crowds and encourage social distancing. The mini displays will build-up to this televised finale July 4 featuring the Empire State Building.

Boston Fireworks, Fourth of July Fireworks & Pops | Bloomberg TV 

WHEN: July 4th @ 5PM PST 

HOW TO WATCH: The event will be broadcast on Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Radio. This July 4, the Boston Pops will present “A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes” to pay tribute to COVID-19 front-line workers and honor those who have lost their lives during the current health crisis. The event can only be watched on television, radio, or and digital media; no live performance will take place. The event will feature newly created content from the Boston Pops and guest artists, as well as traditional Fourth of July favorites and other highlights from recent broadcasts of The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular.

Rancho Cucamonga Chaffey College | Facebook Live 

WHEN: July 4th @ 9PM PST

HOW TO WATCH: The event will physically take place in the Rancho community– There are actually no spectators allowed on campus. If you are physically close, look at the sky towards Chaffey College, or you can stream it on their Facebook Live at @CityofRanchoCucamonga if you are not in an area with a clear view of the show.

Tustin Fourth of July Fireworks | Tustin4thofJuly.com

WHEN: July 4th @ 9PM PST

HOW TO WATCH: The event will physically take place at Tustin High School. However, it is encouraged to watch from your homes if you are close, or online at their website Tustin4thofJuly.com. 

 

Summer Vacation by Car: Orange County

Pack up the family and drive south an hour to Newport Beach, two hours to Dana Point, or any Orange County city in between. We have compiled a list of resorts overlooking the Southern California coast and some of the best restaurants in Orange County that your family is sure to enjoy. Check them out below!  

RESORTS

LAGUNA BEACH 

Laguna is a small coastal city in Orange County. It’s famous for its art galleries, oceanside coves and beaches, state parks, and pristine ocean views.     

Montage Laguna Beach

The Montage Laguna Beach spans 30 acres on a bluff overseeing the Pacific Ocean. It’s location, views, and stunning Craftsman-style architecture make it one of the world’s most beautiful hotels. Along with a fantastic beachfront, and miles of trails, there are two pools, a 20,000 square feet spa and three restaurants. 

Surf and Sand Resort 

Located directly on 500 feet of beachfront this award-winning resort features 164 guest rooms and 13 suites. There is also a complete spa, exquisite coastal dining, event center, and more sitting right on the beach.  It’s just steps from the quaint town of Laguna Beach. Guests rave about the service. You’re sure to be pampered here! 

NEWPORT BEACH

Newport is known for its large harbor, the Balboa Peninsula, the Balboa Fun Zone Amusement Park, pristine beaches, Fashion Island shopping mall, and more.

Resort at Pelican Hill

This Italian Revival-style resort hotel is perched on 504 acres overlooking the  Newport Beach coast. This luxury resort features spacious bungalows, guest rooms, and villas. It’s 136-foot diameter circular Coliseum Pool is entirely surfaced with hand-cut glass mosaic tiles.  There are two 18 hole Tom Fazio-designed golf courses and a five-star spa. 

Lido House Hotel 

The authentic beach house experience gets reimagined at Lido House, Autograph Collection, a luxury hotel nestled on Lido Isle in Newport Beach. Situated near Lido Marina Village and Balboa Peninsula, the hotel is perfectly positioned on the water to discover Newport Beach’s vibrant atmosphere, bustling marina, and white-sand beaches.     

DANA POINT

Dana Point is a quaint coastal town. It features a marina with great restaurants and shops, golf courses, trails, parks, beautiful coastlines, and world-class resorts. 

Monarch Beach Resort

The Monarch Beach Resort In Dana Point features 400 guest rooms with private balconies or patios overlooking a beautiful pool, golf courses, parks, and the Pacific Ocean. There is a full-service spa where you can enjoy a massage, body treatment, or facial after a day at the beach, in the pool or a round of golf. This five-star resort boasts six restaurants and a coffee shop/cafe.     

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

The Ritz Carlton sits on a bluff just above the Pacific Ocean in Dana Point. This beachfront resort allows guests to walk down and enjoy the beach, escape to one of the many private parks like sitting areas, swim in the pools, enjoy oceanfront fine dining, go to the spa, hike, golf, and more! 

RESTAURANTS

Nick’s Laguna Beach

440 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Known for the fresh seafood, juicy steaks, and melt-in-your-mouth butter cake, Nick’s is a spot where both locals and tourists collide. It’s that good. 

 

The Dock

2816 LaFayette Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92663 

The Dock is a quaint waterfront restaurant. The infused Continental Menu is creative, and approachable with a harmony of well-balanced flavors and seasonal ingredients. We recommend their fresh fish, pork chop, and all of the sides. 

 

Andrea at Pelican Hill 

22701 S Pelican Hill Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657

When you think of upscale Italian fare, you think of Andrea at Pelican Hill. Homemade pasta, an extravagant wine list, fresh caviar, and some of the best barrel-aged risotto presented to you in a cheese barrel at the table.