LA LIFE INSIDER’S GUIDE: Costumes, Style, Gardens, Sonnets, Exhibits and More

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Gorgeous Matilija Poppies have returned along with other highly anticipated reopenings, such as annual “Native Plant Garden Tour,” “Odd Nights Market”. You can once again get up close and personal with Oscar costumes with “The Art of Costume Design in Film” and “Easy Mornings” is back at Grand Park. Our crème dele crème of LA Stylists, Felicia, returns with her special brand of style stories. Deli fans will love the new exhibit, “I’ll Have What She’s Having.” “Tea” is a timely revival at the Hero Theatre. And Lady Penelope is not a happy camper.

Till June 4. The Art of Costume Design in Film

Oh, boy oh boy an LA Tradition and the only exhibition of its kind in the world is back! This year’s “Art of Costume Design in Film” exhibit at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising features 70 costumes on loan representing 22 films — including the five that were nominated for the 2021 Academy Award for Best Costume Design! I can’t wait to visit the museum, Tomatoes!

And this incredible exhibition is…FREE! I would pay top dollar to see this display of the most impressive and dazzling costumes of 2021 films, so it is quite a gift that it is free.  As in the previous years, FIDM has outdone itself again. This is a great opportunity to see breathtaking artistry and craftsmanship by the best in movie costume design. And you don’t want to miss seeing Oscar Winner Jenny Beavan’s brilliant “Cruella” designs including the magnificent flaming red dress. Now that is a jaw-dropping dress. You gotta see this selection of Beavan’s Cruella designs for yourself.  Costume design is an integral part of bringing a character to life and making the film memorable and magical. This annual exhibition is the only one of its kind in the world. And FIDM Museum & Galleries has one of the nation’s finest costume collections with more than 15,000 objects, dating from the 18th century to the present. So, there is always lots more to enjoy at the FIDM Museum, Tomatoes.


LA Style Stories

Did you know wrap dresses are the most flattering? And there’s a very classy way to subtly camouflage your arms in a sleeveless dress? Well, there is! And our supercool and inspiring LA stylist, Felicia Arlin, will enlighten you with her “It’s a Wrap!” and “Abracadabra!” style stories. And she’s got a marvelous “How To” video to boot, Gals. It’s a must watch!

April 23 24. Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour


The Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour is back for in person tours after 2 years. Dang that is good news! I absolutely adore this 2-day self-guided tour with 30 + amazing native gardens being showcased.  Superb gardens that are teeming with sustainability, productivity, security, creativity, and an abundance of life. LA is indeed one of the most unique and biodiverse places on the planet and LA continues to find ways to protect and improve our special environment here. And the United Nations agrees. Get your tickets ASAP, Tomatoes!

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change did not have good news for the world this week but they did praise LA’s climate action plan.  Just another reason to love and feel proud of our city. We have to hope that other places in the world will follow our example.  This garden tour illuminates what how many Angelenos are helping to make the world a better place in their yards.  The 2022 lineup includes more than ten gardens brand new to the tour, returning favorites to, and an after-party at Los Angeles State Historic Park.  Brandy Williams and her incredible garden are an inspiration and a wonderful example of the ways that a lawn can be transformed into a habitat for pollinators, as well as a space to experiment and be creative.


You can visit this extraordinary garden along with many others in The Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour.  What an opportunity, Gals, and it only comes once a year.

Lady Penelope’s Sonnets of Suburbia

“Lady Penelope is Pissed!” is putting it mildly as she makes her chagrin at a Tweet crystal clear with her trademark wit and humor, Tomatoes. Read more here.

OPENS APRIL 14. “I’ll Have What She’s Having”

One famous line from the beloved film “When Harry Met Sally” inspired original Skirball exhibit “I’ll Have What She’s Having: The Jewish Deli”. Sound familiar?  It explores how Jewish immigrants imported and adapted traditions to create a uniquely American restaurant. The Jewish Deli is more than a place to enjoy a good meal and this exhibition tells that story, Tomatoes.

I have always loved my neighborhood Jewish Deli, The Country Deli, in Chatsworth since the 1970’s, though I’m not Jewish it was a hub for the entire community, and it was and is always packed. My family and I created so many delish memories there.   Tomatoes can get a taste of deli history through neon signs, menus, advertisements, uniforms, photographs, and clips of deli on the big and little screen. Plus, participate in fun photo ops and interactives to spark and share your own deli memories.

April 15. Odd Nights

After being closed for 2 years, “Odd Nights at the Autry” is returning to the Autry Museum for its 7th year with a whole new layout and more crafters! Now that’s exciting! Time to get your shopping shoes out, Ladies!

Odd Nights will feature 18 food trucks, 2 emerging bands, massive sized inflatables, a full bar, 80 of the coolest SoCal vendors for vintage items, crafts, home goods and, of course, there must be oddities. A selection of museum galleries will be open as well.  It’s all good and a fun way to shop!

April 21 – May 15 Tea

Hero Theatre presents a revival of “Tea,” Velina Hasu Houston’s powerful, lyrical exploration of the immigrant experience that has become a modern classic in its nearly four-decade history of production. This deeply moving, yet humorous and surprising play reveals a little-known chapter in American history, Tomatoes. And it’s all about women!

“Tea” tells the story of five Japanese immigrants in Fort Riley, Kansas during the late ’60s, The tale of five war brides who married American soldiers during the American occupation of Japan illuminates universal themes of loneliness, loss and the need for community. Despite their common situations, these women are not a close-knit group. Yet, when one commits suicide, the others come together to clean her house and perform a ceremonial tea service. The restless spirit of the dead woman watches over them, seeking peace in the next world as her guests remember and relive their experiences coming to a new country and struggling to fit in. What a marvelous story and just in time for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May.

Hero Theatre is a community-based company that uses art to model and bring about social and environmental justice. They invite audiences to envision and experience America as they do. Hero examines classical and contemporary works, ensuring that equity, diversity, and inclusion remain in the forefront.

April 16, 23 & 30. Easy Mornings

Grand Park’s “Easy Mornings” will make your Saturday morning … well … easier and joyful while inspiring children, adults, families and caregivers to think big.  Curated in partnership with Streetlet , Easy Mornings features a mini maker’s market showcasing Los Angeles-based small businesses and nonprofits with workshops, classes, and activities.  And what is really easy is that it is FREE!

From puppetry, storytelling, dance, music making, arts and crafts and live DJ entertainment with DJ Lawrence, Easy Mornings will explore all the ways everyone can express themselves.



  • 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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