The Hollywood Scene’s Summer Happenings


Sunny Thompson in “Marilyn: Forever Blonde!” at the El Por-tal Theatre.

All the talent at Universal Studios Hollywood isn’t just going to be seen in the movies or on TV screens. There’s also a lot of talent headed to Universal CityWalk’s 5 Towers state-of-the-art concert venue, which just celebrated its one year anniversary with a concert by the chart-topping Tyrese. Throughout the summer, 5 Towers will feature the free Music Spotlight Series, an outdoor concert program that will showcase the music of the entertainment industry’s emerging and established talent.

For the Spotlight Series there’s an eclectic array of chart-topping recording artists, the hottest club DJs, and energetic dance crews. The series features Spotlight Fridays, Spin Saturdays, and Retro Cover Bands and Latin Sundays. It’s all part of the unique platform showcasingLos Angeles’ diverse music scene.

For Hollywoodhistory buffs, the historic El Portal Theatre in the NoHo arts district is the perfect place for presenting Marilyn: Forever Blonde! August 2 to 5. It is a show about Marilyn Monroe, starring Sunny Thompson who is transformed into the silver screen legend. The one-woman show tells the star’s story from the viewpoint of Marilyn at age 36, looking back on her career, life, and loves. The production marks the 50th anniversary of her untimely death in 1962, and it honors the memory of the screen legend.

The one-woman show has been meticulously researched, using actual quotes, giving the audience Marilyn’s story in her own words. It also features the songs she sang in her movies.

It’s interesting to note that the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood sits next door to the elementary school that Monroeattended in the 1930s. So in remembrance of little Norma Jean, the venue will dedicate the Forum Theatre to Marilyn and will re-christen it “The Monroe Forum” during the run of Marilyn: Forever Blonde! A ribbon cutting and renaming ceremony with Sunny Thompson is scheduled for 6 p.m., Saturday, August 4, in the lobby of the El Portal.

Did you know that the Academyof Motion Picture Artsand Sciences is hosting a new outdoor summer screening series featuring classic movies and family fare? “Oscars Outdoors” runs Friday and Saturday nights through August 18. The screenings are at the Academy Hollywood located at 1341 Vine St., entering from Homewood Avenue. Parking is free, general admission is $5, students $3, seating is unreserved, and it’s suggested that you bring a blanket or low chair. A special 50th anniversary screening of Lawrence of Arabia is set for Thursday, July 19, Pillow Talk on July 20, and The Karate Kid on July 21. Call (310) 247-3600 for more details.

This summer, when out-of-town guests want an authentic Hollywoodexperience, take them and the rest of your family to the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The most famous movie palace in the world just turned 85-years-old, and it is offering movies for 25 cents a ticket for families on Saturday mornings during July and August at its Chinese 6 theatres at Hollywood and Highland Boulevard. Turning back the clock, the theatre is featuring a classic family film at 10 a.m. each Saturday as part of its “25 cent family flicks.” It’s an unbelievable great deal. Puss in Boots is showing at 10 a.m. on July 21, Kung Fu Panda on July 28, How to Train Your Dragon on August 4, and more to come.

Afterwards check out the hand and foot prints in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. I’m sure a few new ones have been added since your last visit. Along with tourists gawking at the Stars on the Walk of Fame, it’s a grandHollywoodtradition.

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