LA LIFE Insiders Guide: Clean Communities, Hope, Dance, Shakespeare, Gardens and More

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LA LIFE Insiders Guide: Clean Communities, Hope, Dance, Shakespeare, Gardens and More

The week ahead is looking rosy, Ladies.  Volunteers Cleaning Communities, founded by a Tomato, is giving us cleaner streets and I’ll share how VCC is changing the world one community at a time. Need a more hopeful outlook, well, there’s “Box of Hope” waiting for you at The Wallis.  Zippity Do Dah! “Dance DTLA’ is back at Jerry Moss Plaza starting tonight.  Hear Ye, Lords and Ladies! Live Theatre and the “Free Shakespeare Festival “return to Griffith Park. And “Castle Garden”, at Descanso Gardens, is a new exhibit that is sure to please, Tomatoes. Check out this week’s inspiring podcast. And join us for LIVE Facebook celebration.

The Three Tomatoes Happy Hour Podcast

That’s the title of the most recent book co-authored by our guest Richard Leider about aging purposefully. He is founder of Inventure the Purpose Company, and his books have sold over a million copies. Tune in and learn to live a life of purpose. Listen in here or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Volunteers Cleaning Communities

It all started with Jill Mather, one awesome Tomato, making my town of Chatsworth a better place to live by ridding the neighborhood of trash left by those persistent litter bugs. Now Jill and her organization “Volunteers Cleaning Communities” (VCC) and its mission is being helped by a slew of dedicated volunteers to stop the spread of trash starting at home. The video says it all and Methinks you will be amazed, as well as, inspired, Tomatoes.


I am in total awe of the accomplishments of VCC founder, Jill Mather.  I did a “Shout Out” about VCC earlier in the year, but I feel it is deserves highlighting again as they have grown by leaps and bounds.  Just one Tomato started the effort to make the world a better, cleaner, more environmentally friendly and litter free place by just starting close to home.  And their message and mission are catching on in other communities.

My hubby, Mr. LA Tomato, has started with VCC’s “Adopt a Street” program.  I will hear him call from the front door “I’m off to clean up trash”.  I love hearing that. They have a vast variety of options how volunteers can help make VCC’s vision a reality and they will find a way for you to help that suits you best.  The news can make one feel hopeless sometimes, but, for me, just knowing so many feel the call to volunteer and make a difference, makes my heart sing, Tomatoes.

August 13 – Sept 10.  Dance DTLA

“Get Your Groove On”, “Get Down” and “Strut Your Stuff” at The Music Center’s “Dance DTLA,” Ladies.  You get the picture. It’s always good to shake your booty, and the return of dancing under the stars at Jerry Moss Plaza makes all that possible. It’s time to trip the light fantastic again with this free dance party for all Angeleno’s, Tomatoes.

Each Friday night features a different dance genre and beginner dance lessons led by top L.A. dance instructors alongside a live band or DJ.  You have Cumbia Night, Disco Night, Motown Night, Salsa Night and Bollywood Night coming up in August and September. All ages are welcome to join in and no dance experience is necessary. Remember, all women over 40 rock…literally. So, Rock On, Tomatoes.

August 19. Join us LIVE on Facebook


Join live on Facebook for a celebration of the publication of Searching for September, a gripping story of a woman caught up in an abusive relationship, written by Robin Lieberman. We’ll have an important conversation about some of the topics she explores in her novel. To watch live, go to on Aug. 19th at 8PM ET

Aug 19-21. Box of Hope

Versa Style Dance Company is hitting the outdoor stage with “Box of Hope” at The Wallis for 3 nights of Hip Hop Dance Theatre. I do love hip hop, but Box of Hope pushes the boundaries of traditional hip hop dance providing a unique experience for audiences, Tomatoes.

The Versa Style Dance Company’s work gives voice to and a platform for an urban demographic that has experienced years of economic and racial oppression. Through hip-hop the dance artists share the realities of their lives, experiences and struggles within the varied and infinitely complex political and personal landscapes of Los Angeles. The concert is made possible in part by the National Endowment of the Arts. That says a lot, Tomatoes.

Till September 5. Free Shakespeare Festival

Not only is there a FREE mainstage performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” under the stars, but there are also special events planned. So, pack a picnic and grab someone you love to hang with and head to Griffith Park for ISLA’s “Free Shakespeare Festival,” Tomatoes. 

It’s a little different this year, Gals.  Due to safety protocols and the site of the festival being smaller, seating capacity is extremely limited and so, you must make your free reservations to pick your special spot (a pod) ahead of time. Each pod accommodates 4 people.  There will also be Nature talks with Griffith Park Rangers, the return of La Victoria to the stage, Dress-up Nights, and virtual and in-person salons with the director along with a family education workshop that will be available online. What a wonderful way to spend a summer evening in the park, Tomatoes. 

Till Sept 12. Castle Garden

The Sturt Haaga Gallery is now open at Descanso Garden with the exhibit, “Castle Garden” that is all about plants and gardens.  What a perfect setting. And a guided tour  of this special exhibit is coming up August 22 and I’m sure it will fill up fast, Tomatoes.

Through contemporary artwork, videos and historic materials, the Castle Garden exhibit will explore how plants and gardens have played a vital role in communicating our identity and culture over the centuries.  Castle Garden studies issues surrounding Southern California landscaping including origin stories of pervasive non-native plants, socio-political conditions surrounding gardening traditions, how drought and climate change route us back to native gardens, and how changes in climate will dictate our future landscape.  And the Castle Garden Garden Tour will be led by curator and expert, Debra Scacco.  I do love guided tours, Tomatoes.

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  • The Three Tomatoes LA Life editor, Debbie Zipp is your friendly guide to the best of everything in LA with a tomato style perspective. Debbie is an actor, producer, and writer. She is best known for her recurring role as Donna on the CBS series "Murder She Wrote" starring Angela Lansbury. She has had many other TV and stage roles and has starred in over 300 national TV commercials. As head of In The Trenches Productions, Debbie produced, directed, acted in many short films for her company. Her book, The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known was recently published. Buy her book: The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known

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