What could be more wonderful than summertime family activities? How about helping some worthwhile causes while you’re having fun! Wow, that’s what the iconic light show Laserium is all about. The laser show that played for 28 years at the Griffith Park Observatory has found a new home at the refurbished Vine “Cyber” Theater in Hollywood. And it has found a new way to excite the senses. There are updated versions of the classic Laserium shows, featuring music from Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” songs of the Beatles and a Led Zeppelin show. There’s also interactive technology involved, explained Laserium’s founder Ivan Dryer, called the Lightdancer Experience that allows audience members to literally “step into the light.”
Plus there’s the “Giving in the Light” element to the show, which Marla Maples is promoting. In a hairdo styled in homage to her good friend Farrah Fawcett, Maples added glamour to the Hollywood and Vine grand opening last week. She called the Laserium experience “peaceful but electrifying at the same time.” Indeed it was, and Marla was equally excited to talk about helping charities with Laserium’s fundraising arm called “Giving in the Light.” She told me that they’ll be checking out nonprofit organizations, and the groups that are approved will get a code, “and when their supporters purchase tickets for the show online at Laserium.com, they enter the code and their charity gets twenty-five percent of the ticket price.” The very philanthropic lady explained, “Laserium is a show that keeps on giving.”
Spotlight on Universal’s “Black Lagoon”
During the debut of Universal Studio Hollywood’s latest theme park attraction, the “Creature from the Black Lagoon” arrived in a super-sized aquarium and then escaped from his armed guards, only to reappear on stage to grab the spotlight in the crowd-pleasing “raging rockin’ show.” It was a high energy musical production that focused on the strange romance of the beast and an adventurous beauty. The original damsel in distress from Universal’s classic 1954 horror film, Julie Adams joined the tall, dark and scaly star on stage after the show. Julie, 82, (billed as Julia Adams in the movie) looked lovely in the limelight once again, and was happy that the B-movie made more than 50 years ago was making a splash again. “I have all good memories from it. Many people have been entertained and moved by this movie,” she said hoping that a new generation will enjoy the story in the new musical form.
Regarding horror films nowadays, Julie thinks they are “much more gruesome, and I think that’s a shame. Our picture had a kind of poignancy to it because the Creature was not horrible. We invaded his territory, as my friend Ben Chapman, who played him, use to say. So there’s an empathy for the Creature.” The Universal Broadway-quality “Black Lagoon” show has given the Creature a sexy rock star quality. Does Julie approve? “Yes, I do,” she smiled demurely.
Speaking of movies, Universal CityWalk’s “Summer Block Party” is underway with free outdoor movies screening on Thursdays. CityWalk launched its summer marathon of music and movies with the blockbuster “Mamma Mia” screening on the giant outdoor screen at the plaza in front of the AMC Cinemas (the super-cool multiplex). Adding to the fun was an Abba sing-along and dance contest.
Now for the rest of the summer at CityWalk, there’s entertainment every night of the week. On Mondays KIIS FM is presenting the summer dance crew competition, with big bucks for the winners. On Tuesdays, it’s Swing Night, with professional dance instructors on hand conducting free lessons. Wednesdays, 98.7 FM RockStar presents L.A.’s best up and coming bands with City Rock Live! On Thursdays it’s the free outdoor movies at 7:30pm. On the weekend: Flashback Fridays with DJ Richard Blade. Saturdays will feature celebrity bands, and always a crowd pleaser is Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s “Miles Long” jazz ensemble, playing July 11. On Sundays Telemundo takes over. Free entertainment this summer. Who could ask for anything more?