Malibu Faces: Artist Series

“Eric Minh  Swenson and Harry Gesner”

414434_10150755858793785_439172810_o                          10628254_10152345676243785_1972957237279706374_nMy interview with Eric Minh Swenson

Recently I took a field trip to the  studio of Malibu artist Gay Summer Rick (next week’s blog subject).  There I met documentary filmmaker and photographer Eric Minh Swenson for the first time .  Interviewing Eric is an experience in a gorilla zen type of way!

Harry Gesner is a renown architect , innovator and environmentalist.  i have met Harry several times since Trancas , a Great White Pyreness was under my watch when he ran like the wind over to Harry’s to court his black Labrador. Years later I had the opportunity twice to sell a home  designed by Harry. The round house was unique and built around the beautiful views of the ocean and Encinal Bluffs. When my clients had to move, they  worried they would never be happy living in a rectangle again!

Eric has done a fabulous mini-documentary on Harry Gesner  “Architect, Environmentalist, Visionary:

This lovely tribute to Harry is a joy to watch.  The documentary is part of a series “While they Work; Artist sharing their process”.  Among the  other artists featured are Gay Summer Rick ,Mary Wright, Robert Standish, Chris Burden (Urban Lights ).



Artist Gay Summer Rick in her Malibu Studio          Next week “Urban Coast”                                                                                                                                                                                



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Malibu Faces: Gene Franklin Smith

Artistic Director bids “Adieu” to the Malibu Playhouse

index     Gene Franklin Smith, the multi-talented Artistic Director of the Malibu Playhouse  for the past 18 months, has resigned his position.  This is very sad news for many of his who enjoyed the 2013-2014 season of classy, entertaining theater.   Below , Gene’s own words to me on April 25th, 2014:

Thanks so much for your help in spreading the good word!
When I first put the 2013-14 season together, I wanted to present new and interesting theater that hadn’t been in Malibu or Los Angeles. The plays were selected to be both thought-provoking and entertaining. Our West Coast premiere of “The Dream of the Burning Boy” garnered nine outstanding reviews, including from the Los Angeles Times, which had ceased reviewing plays at Malibu Stage Company altogether, and put Malibu Playhouse “on the map”. “Belfry” was also a West Coast premiere from one of the foremost Irish playwrights in the world, and it was sweet, sad and funny. “The Vortex” is one of Noel Coward’s rarely produced plays, and I updated it to the 1960s to give it a looser, less stuffy, feel, adding music and a bit of go-go dancing.
Our last play is a world premiere, “Flim-Flam,” which I wrote. (It opens June 20 and plays til August 3.) It’s directed by Thomas James O’Leary, a Broadway actor (he played 1000 performances as the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera). The play is about Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle’s investigation to find a genuine psychic medium, and when they do, Houdini must question his beliefs about life-after-death. “Flim-Flam” features several of Houdini’s illusions and escapes, seances and a vaudeville act.Flim Flam Poster Flyer 8.5x11 v02The season was truly fabulous and Gene’s own production “Flim Flam” was one of the best plays of the season. I have been a season ticket holder for many years and Gene deserves a standing ovation for his work not only on the stage but also behind the scenes. Malibu Playhouse got a fabulous make over this season including renovated lobby, stage and dressing rooms, along with new lighting and sound booth.  Gene we will miss you. Bravo and a standing ovation from your many fans in Malibu!



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Malibu/ Ventura County’s Hidden Treasure

“The rural serenity of Marisol’s ocean view estates”

Western Malibu for me really begins at the intersection of Trancas Canyon and Broad Beach Road. The bluffs to the west add drama to the coastline and the large clifftop estates with rolling lawns and ocean views extend into Ventura County. This more rural and tranquil part of town has some great amenities of civilization such as The Trancas Country Mart, featuring Vintage Market, Mangia Italian Restaurant , the ever ubiquitous Starbuck’s and a surf shop. The beaches are beautiful , the air clean and the atmosphere lay back.


Marisol , a new luxury estate development, is the latest gem in this idyllic setting of Malibu, Ventura County. This private , community is composed of 80 lush acres with a total of 17 estate properties. There are still some awesome lots available for sale where one may build their dream vacation destination home.

This elegant estate home is currently on the market for $15,900,000.  Recently ground broke on another grand estate.  If you are looking for a private beach retreat or a full time dwelling Marisol may be your destination location.

Contact me at if you would like a tour of Marisol. It is a pleasure to show these beautiful homes and lots.

CalBRE #01118257  Sotheby’s International Realty  Malibu











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Malibu Playhouse Presents : “Flim Flam”

“Dinner and a Play”

Flim Flam at Malibu Playhouse

What: A Play.  World Premiere of Flim Flam: Houdini and the Hereafter written by Gene Franklin Smith and directed by Thomas James O’Leary.  Featuring Gigi Bermingham, Melissa Kite, Sabra Malkinson, Cameron Mitchell Jr, Peter Van Norden and Rick D. Wasserman.  Produced by Julia Holland and Andi Howard.

Based on actual events, in Flim Flam during the summer of 1922, Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle team to investigate psychic mediums for the Scientific American committee.  Their friendship is challenged when Conan Doyle champions a beautiful and seductive psychic as authentic. Houdini is determined to prove that she is a phony, until she appears to make contact with Houdini’s beloved dead mother, and he must confront his own beliefs about life-after-death.

As a supporter of the local theater for several years, I highly recommend the experience.  This is the last play in the current season.  I hope if you enjoy “Flim Flam” you will buy a season ticket for the 2014-2015 season.

Gravina Malibu offers a 10% discount to theater going diners before or after the performance.  Reservations Recommended 310-457-0711



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Sotheby’s International Realty Malibu

“Malibu Mountain Estates”

Malibu is known for its beautiful beaches and ocean views but we are also surrounded by the magnificence of the Santa Monica Mountains . Many properties have views of both ocean and mountains, some are nestled in the mountains and foothills surrounded by green vistas. Sotheby’s  International Realty’s Malibu office presents the finest estate properties  from the mountains to the sea:

Rocky Oaks Estates .

Rare & unique opportunity to own 37 acres of stunning mountain terrain, meticulously hand crafted into a superb award winning vineyard, The home is constructed from rough hewn  Santa Barbara and local stone , has 5 en suite bedrooms and grand entertaining areas. Views of the Mountains., oceans and beyond from the beautiful roof top deck. Property also has a helipad.  $36,000,000

Mendenhall Estate

Unprecedented nearly all usable 16 acres, close to civilization and the beach. The 16 lushly landscaped acres are zoned for horses and have room for a helipad. The approx. 12,000 sq. foot Tuscan style villa has 8 en suite bedrooms, total of 11bathrooms. There is a 65′ saline pool, N/S lighted sunken tennis court and vast outdoor entertaining areas. Well water used for landscape, solar electric, organic orchard and gardens. security system.  $15,999,000

The Glass House

Perched on the top of a mountain overlooking Leo Carrillo State Park  with sweeping ocean and canyon views. The property is on 32 private acres with two security gates, a detached guest house, parking for up to 20 +/- cars, surrounded by State-park land. Saltwater pool overlooking magical sunrises and sunsets.  $14,900,000

Gracee Arthur / Estate Agent   Sotheby’s International Realty

CalBRE # 01118257  310-804-0708






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