Adam Gropman

Credit: Dandy Lions Photography/Courtesy Big Fire Comedy Festival

This Weekend's Big Fire Comedy Festival Promises Laughs in the Great Wide Open

In a world of comedic get-togethers, conventions and hoe-downs, the Big Fire Comedy Festival, happening this weekend a couple hours north of L.A., stands out. For starters, it’s outdoors, on a pristine patch of high-desert property, with the producers strongly encouraging attendees to camp overnight. The aim is forming a spontaneous arts village of sorts, a biosphere in which to create and appreciate performance, as well as just “be.”...
Westside Comedy; Credit: Courtesy Westside Comedy

L.A.'s Improv Theaters Provide Comedy Homes for Those Displaced by iOWest Closing

iOWest, which had a generous, custom-outfitted space on Hollywood Boulevard with three theater stages, classrooms and a front bar/lounge, closed suddenly in late February. Since then, the response from a handful of other improv theaters/schools, to make sure that displaced students and teachers felt welcome and immediately integrated, has been heartening — particularly in an industry known to be competitive, at times even somewhat hostile....
Credit: a href="https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/the-lahmajune-factory-glendale-2?select=YxqqHwf8fjmGCTUwC72kHA">Lynn R./Yelp

Best Savory Armenian Treats

Please don't call lahmajune "Armenian pizza." Pizza is a fantastic food, but calling every savory snack on a flat, dough base an "[insert ethnicity] pizza" is lazy and inaccurate. Lahmajune feature a subtly piquant, herby orange-red sauce, slathered modestly on an impossibly thin and toothsome round piece of dough that......
Credit: Adam Gropman

Best Good-Vibed Stand-Up Comedy Open Mic in a Wine Cellar

For L.A. stand-up comics, the Open Mic Ordinaire can be a happy revelation. When you arrive to a small rectangular room jammed with wines in a hip strip mall, you wouldn't be mistaken for thinking it's a wrong address. In the back of the store is a semi-hidden staircase. Descend......
Credit: Adam Gropman

Best Body-Positive Gym

There are plenty of L.A. gyms where ripped folks can bro it hard (and whatever the female equivalent is) as they prepare for competitive beach volleyball and topless commercial auditions. By contrast, Everybody is a supremely welcoming gym, for any and all wishing to improve their bodily condition. Founded by......
Credit: Ted Soqui

Best Place for Female Comedians to Cut Their Teeth

Considering the amount of bro energy that can course through the average comedy club, it's no wonder female comedians — especially newer ones — would be on the lookout for a more welcoming space. For plenty of women pursuing their stand-up dreams, Tao Comedy Studio has become a place to......
Credit: Pablo Aquilar

Best Latino-Themed Sociopolitical Radio Talkfest

In an age of casually informative, independent-minded, highly entertaining podcasts, it's great to hear such an edifying show on good ol' terrestrial radio. While L.A.'s 90.7 KPFK, part of the Pacifica Radio Network, is not generally known for humor or colorfully exuberant personalities, there are a few exceptions, and the......
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