LA Life: Sunflowers, Style, Sonnets, Tours, Puppets, Costumes and More

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Lorraine Devon Wilke’s Photo, “The Sunflowers”, reminds us that spring is here! The crème dele crème of LA Fashion, Felicia Arlin, returns with her special brand of style stories and the indomitable Lady Penelope shares what she is up to. You can get up close and personal with Oscar costumes with “The Art of Costume Design in Film”“The Native Plant Garden Tour”, the “Puppet Festival” and “Spring Topia” will delight. Check out “First Fridays, “Rooftop Movies” and the new exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum.  A jam packed 2 weeks, Tomatoes.

The Sunflowers: The Story Behind the Cover Photo

Every Spring, an old woman who lives in a beautiful Spanish mansion on the top of a bluff in Playa del Rey instructs her gardeners to plant fields of sunflowers in the gardens that skirt her property. All who know of this ritual wait patiently for the outcome, celebrating the season as “officially arrived” when those towering blooms with their cheerful, golden faces finally spring to glorious life.

Don’t you love Lorraine’s perspective in “The Sunflowers”?! Be sure to check out Lorraine Devon Wilke’s marvelous photos on her webpage.

LA Style Stories

In style story “Retro Chic”, Felicia Arlin, makes clear that she is a big believer that nothing is out of style because it all comes back around. Yes, indeed it does.  I agree.  “Do It Again” reminds us that we should love every garment we own and every new item you purchase. Curate and edit, curate and edit because more is just more. GET THE DETAILS.

Sonnets from Suburbia

Lady Penelope doth ghosts a friend. You sure don’t want to mess with Lady P, Ladies! And don’t forget to pick up Penny Peyser’s (Lady Penelope) brilliant newly released book, “Sonnets from Suburbia: More Candles Than Cake”. Read on.

Through May 6. FIDM Art of Costume Design

B0oy oh boy, an LA tradition and the only exhibition of its kind in the world is back! The 2023 “Art of Costume Design in Film” at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) is said to be their best exhibit yet.  5 of the films nominated for best costume for the Oscar plus the winner are on display. I can’t wait to visit this incredible exhibition and it’s FREE!

I would pay top dollar to see this display of the most impressive and dazzling costumes of 2023 films, so it is quite a gift that it doesn’t cost a dime.  As in 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. Costume design is an integral part of bringing a character to life and making the film memorable and magical. 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.

April 15 & 16. Native Plant Garden Tour

I am thrilled to be attending the “Theodore Payne Foundation’s 20th Annual Native Plant Garden Tour” again this year. It is simply spectacular and very inspiring. This year the event titled “Spring of Life” spotlights 37 visionary native gardens across the city.  Those gardens are a big wow and worth visiting at your leisure, Tomatoes.

Get your tickets ASAP, Tomatoes. These superb gardens 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 the Angelenos behind these gorgeous gardens help to protect and improve our special environment here in the City of Angels.

April 16. Skirball Puppet Festival

The Skirball “Puppet Festival” promises to be pure magic, Tomatoes! Celebrate the art of puppetry with a festive day of performances, art making, and new and classic tales told through marionettes, shadow, and full-body puppets. No matter what your age, excitement and wonder await as you weave between performances of the best of the best SoCal premiere puppetry acts.

Adding to the magic are two wildly fun puppet parties, where festivalgoers and puppeteers all meet up to enjoy live music together. While you’re there, design a puppet with imagination-sparking materials so your newly created pal can join the fun, too! I would love my own puppet! Soooooo fun!!!!

Through April 16. Spring Topia

What’s a Spring Topia? I’m glad you asked. It’s a family fun fest filled with 7 different unique and immersive lands, multiple rides, interactive games, shows, food & more! It’s all in an expansive family friendly 200,000 sq ft space.  Something fun for everyone including you lovely Tomatoes!

See an amazing light show, pet real puppies, visit a 3D circus, experience a Winter Wonderland, explore 2 giant spooky mazes, board a life size pirate ship and join in a silent disco. You’ll be in store for lots of surprises.  A perfect day for all ages.

April 7, May 5, June 2. First Fridays

The Natural History Museum (NHM) returns with the annual seasonal series “First Fridays.” Yay! This year the 2023 season “Fandoms and Fantasy: The Natural World vs Fantasy Worlds” focuses on how nature and science influence the creation of NHM’s favorite imagined worlds.  Heads Up! “First Fridays: Space, Time, and Beyond” is tonight!

The evening includes live music, DJ sets in the nature garden, pop-up experiences throughout the museum. Join guest, professor, author, graphic novelist, curator, Harvard Fellow, New York Times Bestseller, and all-around champion of Black culture, John Jennings along with moderator Dr. Yewande Pearse, neuroscientist, and science communicator with over 10 years of research to understanding rare genetic brain disorders, for a lively discussion. With dragons and witchcraft to superheroes and giant monsters it will be quite the celebration.

Through August 13. Auschwitz Exhibit

If you haven’t already booked your reservations  for “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago. Not Far Away” at The Reagan Library & Museum I urge you to do it ASAP because many weekends are sold out.  It is a limited engagement and the only time it will be on the West Coast. No book, podcast, or history lesson can prepare you for the impact and power this extraordinary collection of artifacts holds.

Almost every artifact and photograph in the exhibit comes from the museum at Auschwitz — visited each year by two million people from all over the world. The exhibition brings together more than 700 original objects of great historic and human value; objects which were direct witnesses of the horrors of Auschwitz and the Holocaust. These objects serve as the guiding thread of a rigorous and moving account on the history of the German Nazi camp Auschwitz and its dwellers, both victims and perpetrators. It marks the beginning of a journey into history that no one should ever forget – don’t miss it, Tomatoes!

April 14 – May 28. Rooftop Movies

The historic Hollywood venue, The Montalbán, presents its annual “Rooftop Movies” offering guests 20 nights of fantastic cinematic experiences under the stars. The first weekend kicks off with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, “Boyz in the Hood”, and “Rear Window”. And that is just the beginning of curated programming, Ladies!

There’s just something about watching film classics and fan favorites under a LA night sky, especially at this beautiful venue. There’s bound to be a film that speaks to you at the Rooftop Movies series.  Enjoy!



  • Debbie Zipp

    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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