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Trophy Wife : Johnny A's Blog

Turkey Talk III

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We’re doing the Trader Joe’s pre-brined turkey for Thanksgiving again this year. Excellent bird. Still available at Trader Joe’s. But if you’re looking for something else—say, something that requires some elbow grease and will impress your dinner guests—why not do the “dry brined” salted turkey? I’ve had great birds with the Russ Parsons/Judy Rodgers recipe from the LA Times. And if you want to brine a turkey yourself, do the Alton Brown recipe.

Beyond the bird, may I suggest you make the best stuffing there is? It’s Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Andouille Sausage stuffing. Wonderful. It became a regular part of our Thanksgiving when we made turduckens in the early Aughts. It was one of three different stuffings in the Chef Paul turducken recipe at that time.

For drink, I’m going with apple cider and the Anchor Steam holiday brew (I found it at Whole Foods this weekend). Professor Bainbridge at UCLA has a nice guide to wine options for Thanksgiving.

As with any Thanksgiving advice, your Miles Standish May Vary.

Turkey Talk II
Turkey Talk

The Farmer and the Film School Should Be Friends

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If only we had Rodgers and Hammerstein to solve this dispute with a song…

There’s some trouble brewing down on Ivar Street, the street just to the east of the IO West theater. The Hollywood Farmers Market closes Ivar (and Selma) every Sunday morning. They’ve been doing it for 20 years now. The Los Angeles Film School is located at Ivar and Sunset and they want to keep Ivar open to make their parking garage more accessible on Sunday mornings.

That, as they might say in the Farmer’s Market word, presents a bit of an artisanal pickle.

I’m usually against street closures. And I’m all for film schools. Some of my favorite acting experiences have been on student films. But the Hollywood Farmers Market is an institution. It brought fresh produce to Hollywood back when Hollywood didn’t have much going for it and Selma was more accurately called Smellma. And it is huge (as evidenced by this whimsical proposal for a ticketing system to keep the crowd a manageable size). Vendors, baby strollers, and improvisers grabbing a crepe before rehearsal at IO West take up every inch of the current layout.

Can the Farmers Market figure out another configuration in Hollywood that can accommodate all of its current vendors? Or can the LA Film School do us a solid and let the closure of Ivar continue? Where do you stand? If you want to speak your mind, contact Councilman Garcetti ‘s office.

This Week, We Rest. Next Week, We... Improvise

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Harold Competition bracketsDespite what you hear from your iPhone calendar or that weekly ache in your trick knee, Trophy Wife will not be performing this Wednesday. Instead, the 9 o’clock hour on May 5 will feature DHT and Cakewalk battling it out in Round One of the 2010 Harold Tournament.

The Harold Tournament is why your mother told you not to get into improv. It’s a grueling five week Iditarod of mildly implausible situations, poignantly feckless characters, and deftly handled drolleries. Trophy Wife enters the tournament next week, 9 o’clock on May 12.

So enjoy watching DHT and Cakewalk further the cause of improv through competition this week. And then come on down to the IO West next week to cheer us on (and don’t forget to bring your novelty “Trophy Wife’s #1” foam fingers).

PIF: America's Favorite Improv Fest

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If you’re in Phoenix today, get on down to the Herberger Theater to see the final night of the Phoenix Improv Festival. PIF is a great improv fest and the Herberger Theater is an amazing facility. If you go tonight, you’ll be treated to LA’s Kind Strangers, Hawkins and Stroth, and Utah’s JoKyR and Jesster.

Trophy Wife had the honor and pleasure of performing at PIF in years past. It was, indeed, a wicked good time. Thank you, Phoenix!

Del Close Awards 2009

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The IO West Theater held its annual Del Close Awards this past Friday. It’s a night where the self-congratulation is limited only by our imaginations, our fading senses of dignity, and—for the younger crowd—the fact that the bar closes at 2 am.

The Del Close Awards honor Del Close, one of the founders not only of the IO Theater and but also of long-form improv as we know it today. Award categories ranged from the sensible (Best Scripted Show, Best Coach/Director, Best Bartender) to the silly (Best Randomly Selected Student).

Kevin McShane created the look of the Del Close Awards and runs its excellent website —photos and videos are there for your viewing pleasure.

Jill Alexander was nominated for Best Portrayal of an Object. In her case, the object was a doughnut mascot that danced at a street corner to bring in customers to its doughnut shop. And it proved to be the Dancing Doughnut That Could, because Jill won. When her name was called, she took to the stage and recreated that dance routine right there for the live audience. Up to that point, we had seen smarty-pants irony, we had seen honest humility and gratitude, but we hadn’t seen Midwestern dance-team spirit until Jill took the stage.

Trophy Wife was nominated for Best Harold Team this year. But alas, it wasn’t to be. The USS Rock n Roll took home the well-deserved honors.

Trophy Wife emeritus Eric Hunicutt received a James Grace award for contributions to the IO West (he just completed a four-year tour of duty as Director of the Training Center). And our former coach Irene White also received a James Grace award. Irene was one of the founders of the IO West’s Del Close Awards. Her acceptance speech elicited tears, laughter, applause, and a few cat calls.

After the awards ceremony, the theater took advantage of the prom-like conditions (gowns, tuxedos, and the feeling that if Nick Armstrong is sexy, so aren’t we!) and had a dance party.

Keep your eyes out for award-worthy performances—IO West shows from now through July will be eligible for Del Close 2010 nominations.

May Madness

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If competitive improv is your game, have we got a hot offer for you: Tuesday night at 8, Trophy Wife goes up against Steve Holt in the first round of the IO West’s annual Harold competition.

Each group will put on a show full of sympathetic characters, memorable lines, and eureka moments. Then you—our audience, our friends, our critics, our muses—will be asked to vote on which group had the better show. The winner goes on to the next round. We all go home thoroughly entertained.

So don’t miss out—get over to the IO West tomorrow night and let’s do this!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

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All of Trophy Wife (from the red-haired lady who isn’t really Irish… to the fellow with the Anglo surname who is Irish… to the guy with the Jewish surname who is wicked Irish… to the gal with the Irish surname who’s Jewish… ) wishes all of you a Happy and Multi-Cultural Saint Patrick’s Day.

And, while you’re at it, have a happy Evacuation Day!

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