ARTICLES: 2002 – 20062021-05-30T00:50:35+00:00

Small Hours: Enjoy his clubs while you can

Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2006

By James Verini

On a recent Saturday night, the parking lot outside of the West Hollywood nightclub Privilege was reminiscent of a movie theater before the release of a new “Star Wars” movie. The men and women lined up in their miniskirts and expertly torn jeans were better-looking, of course, and did not carry toy light sabers, […]

Small Hours: Ritzing Silver Lake

Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2006

By James Verini

DRIVE around Silver Lake and you quickly see why the neighborhood has become a geographic byword for hip. Old storefronts abut sleek new businesses, comfortably ramshackle bungalows sit next to million-dollar Modernist architectural gems. At night, you feel just safe enough to walk along Sunset or Silver Lake Boulevard from dinner at a new […]

Small Hours: Working the scene at Social

Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2006

By James Verini

We should all take pride in the knowledge that no city mingles vanity and charity with quite the originality Los Angeles does. This was on display Tuesday night in Hollywood, where “Trial and Error” and “Aeon Flux” star Charlize Theron hitched a mini-benefit for African children onto the opening of Hollywood’s newest monument to […]

Small Hours: Garcetti, walking the talk

Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2006

By James Verini

ARENA is a big, loud nightclub in Hollywood, not the kind of place you’d expect to find your city councilman, much less the president of the Los Angeles City Council. But there Eric Garcetti was on a recent evening, looking typically polished and ardent. He had just delivered a speech to a crowd of […]

Small Hours: You missed `Explained’ for a movie?

Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2006

By James Verini

Last Saturday, while you were busy doing something stupid, maybe knocking back that beer that put you over the edge — or was that you skulking guiltily into “Da Vinci Code” at the ArcLight, refusing to yell “thank you!” at that nice usher? — some of your fellow Angelenos were having a much smarter […]

Small Hours: A launch party, minus the party

LosAngeles Timex, May 28, 2006

By James Verini

NOTE to Hollywood studio publicity departments: The movie premiere party is an ailing beast. Please do something. We know those of you not comparing wax jobs in Cannes are busy handing out questionnaires to Janie in Peoria, but back here in L.A., things are grim.

The premiere party used to hold great sway in Los […]

Small Hours: What floor is the annual gala on?

Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2006

By James Verini

Los Angeles long ago shed its reputation for cultural callowness, but in case anyone needs reminding, the Museum of Contemporary Art likes to occasionally gather together the city’s grandest grandees and honor the pursuit of high things. Hence Friday night at — or, rather, below — MOCA.

For its annual gala, the museum erected […]

Small Hours: Little names that make the short list

Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2006

By James Verini

“A good name is better than precious ointment,” the Bible tells us. Last month, Hyde, a small lounge devoted to rock ‘n’ roll, opened on Sunset. Owned by club-Trump Sam Nazarian and his new business partner, promoter Brent Bolthouse, Hyde sports one of those strong but slightly silly one-word names that dominate L.A. nightlife […]

Small Hours: Yeah, they’re game, boy

Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2006

By James Verini

Is there any event as brazenly inattentive to the coolness of Los Angeles as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3) week? Like mayflies, armies of suited video game industry executives and programmers and all other manner of power-geek descend on L.A. to callous their thumbs testing newer and better ways of slaying aliens and […]

Small Hours: Come one, come all — but up to a point

Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2006

By James Verini

The defining question in Los Angeles nightlife these days: Is it better to be big and inclusive or small and exclusive? Sprawling and democratic or intimate and refined? Tonight, when the first stage of the 40,000-square-foot nightlife megaplex Social Hollywood opens on Sunset, the distinction may become moot. Jeffrey Chodorow and Peter Famulari, the […]

Small Hours: The doorman as therapist

Los Angeles Times, April 30, 2006

By James Verini

IN a business populated by whack-a-mole operators, Andrew Brin has stood steady as a totem at the thresholds of L.A.’s “It” clubs and parties (Guy’s, Spider Club, Monday nights at Les Deux, Tropicana Bar) for the better part of a decade now. He is the gentle Charon of the night, list in hand, chary […]

Small Hours: His look doesn’t matter; Everyone loves Raymond

Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2006

By James Verini

There are two types of people at a typical Raymond Pettibon opening. One type is drawn to the epigrams and discomfiting punch lines buried in Pettibon’s seemingly blithe drawings and paintings — serious folks who like to be seriously poked in the eye by art. Then there are the cheerier souls who come to […]

Small Hours: He’s not letting you in

Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2006

By James Verini

THE closing of Amanda Scheer Demme’s vanity cave Teddy’s last week elicited gasps of fear and bewilderment from the paparazzi and Demme’s 700 newest, closest friends, but for one place and its proprietor, the news was good. The toughest door in town now belongs to Holly’s, restaurateur and club owner Rick Calamaro’s Hollywood lounge.

Small Hours: Pouring in a purple haze

Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2006

By James Verini

If you’ve been out in L.A. lately, it’s not unlikely that you’ve seen this: a weird rectangular, purple-shaded bottle of vodka sitting on a reserved table or behind the bar, and on the bottle Jimi Hendrix’s face and his stringy Spider From Mars afro. And near the bottle a tall, very blond, very voluble […]

Small Hours: Bacchanalia gets branded

Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2006

By James Verini

ON a recent Friday at about 1 a.m., as I stood in a Hollywood Hills mansion rented out by Flaunt magazine, sipping a Patron cocktail near a mannequin outfitted in Hugo Boss, thinking about the untouched Jaguar sitting behind velvet ropes in the driveway, I asked myself whether that most venerable of Los Angeles […]

Small Hours: At after-parties, the design takes a backseat to celebrity

Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2006

By James Verini

Among all the Hollywood throwback gowns, the re-upped worship of tortured denim and the Bob Fosse-conjuring underwear, nobody seemed sure, yet again, whether L.A. Fashion Week should be about showcasing L.A.’s real indigenous self or playing into the tiresome images of tawdriness and self-stultification, or — what usually ends up happening — trying to […]

Small Hours: The C-list scrimmage

Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2006

By James Verini

IN Hollywood, those who want to be famous far outnumber those who actually are famous, a tragedy about which none of us need be reminded. Still, it’s a rewarding sight watching the under-celebrated strut and preen as though it’s all they can do to beat back public adulation and keep their own white-hot native […]

Always willing to go on location

Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2005

By James Verini

Among lovers of early American cinema, there is one indispensable question: Buster or Chaplin? That is, do you prefer the elaborate sight gags and implacable frown of Buster Keaton or the intimate bumbling and sentimentality of the Little Tramp, Charlie Chaplin? Silent film buffs tend to believe you can peer into someone’s soul based […]

No Thespians Need Apply

Los Angeles Times Magazine, April 10, 2005

By James Verini

Actors abound in Los Angeles, of course, but there are actors and then there are actors, and then there are improvisational actors like Nat Faxon, Jim Rash and Hugh Davidson, who jump around on a creaky stage, faking voices and limps and tearing off and throwing on preposterous costumes and wigs and handlebar […]

In the kingdom of the clown

Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2005

By James Verini

LAS VEGAS – Jerry Lewis, the comedian, misunderstood director, one-time movie star and crusader for ill children, first came to this city sometime in the late 1940s because he and his new partner, Dean Martin, were booked to perform at the Flamingo. He lost so much money gambling it took him 3 1/2 years […]

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