By Steve Harvey
Pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix calls our fair city “Long Beachland,” as though it were a section of Disneyland.
And why not? I can see the Traffic Circle as the equivalent of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the Gaytonia Hotel as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the Queen Mary as the Haunted Mansion.
And the Blue Line, of course, could be the Monorail (if you disregard a few things, like the illegal vendors, panhandlers, religious fanatics and free riders).
Phoenix, author of “Southern California and the ’50s,” grew up in the IE (as TV weatherfolks now call the Inland Empire). But he has fond memories of Long Beach dating back to visits he made to relatives here (one kin owned Redondo Paints, now the site of the Silver Fox nightclub). So, knowing of Phoenix’ interest in Long Beach, I attended a sold-out show he gave the other day at the Art Theater on Retro Row.
Read more: ONLY IN LB: Recognizing Amusement Park Elements Of Long Beach
GET TIX NOW: SOLVANG, CA
Bottle Signing At Sort This Out Cellars In Solvang, CA
GET TIX NOW: PALMDALE, CA
Live Comedy Performance Celebrating Mid-Century Life & Style
38334 10th St E
Palmdale, CA 93550
Prepare for your national pride to swell when Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, super charges the classic living room slide show into a laugh-out-loud, celebration of mid-century futurism ala vintage Kodachome slides and retro road trip adventure discoveries.
With keen expertise, unbridled enthusiasm and sharp eye for oddball detail, Charles launches us into the super spellbinding stratosphere of out-of-this world suburban style, extreme architecture, car culture, tourist traps, theme parks, and space age other relics – then and now.
Sit back and enjoy the fabulous flight as we time travel to Charles’ fun-filled, action packed, crazy kaleidoscope of peppy pop culture – all in glorious Kodachrome COLOR … Your imagination will be inspired and your spirit will soar !!! …
Festive dress is encouraged … but not expected!
GET TIX NOW: BELLFLOWER, CA
Live Comedy Performance Celebrating Classic And Kitschy Local Life And Style
16600 Civic Center Drive
Bellflower, CA 90706
Be prepared for your Southern California pride to SWELL when Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix super charges the classic living room slide show into laugh-out-loud extravaganza of mid-century Southern California landmarks legends, and lore celebrating Bellflower’s 60th birthday.
In addition to his “best of guide” to Bellflower area attractions Charles shows and tells the stories and glories of SoCal’s space age suburbia, classic car culture, plus the first fast food, shopping centers, drive-ins, the early days of Knott’s, Marineland, and Disneyland and much more.
Don’t miss this fun-filled, action packed, tribute all in glorious COLOR! Your imagination will be inspired and your spirit will soar !!! …
MEET & GREET Charles after the show. Cake will be served!
Festive dress is encouraged but not expected!
GET TIX NOW: SAN DIEGO, CA
Live Comedy Slide Show Performance Celebrating Classic & Kitschy American Life & Style!
The Crowne Plaza Hotel
2270 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108
Be prepared for your national pride to swell when the Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, supercharges the classic living room slide show into a laugh-out-loud celebration of spectacular mid-century car culture, space age style, and much, much more.
Don’t miss this fun-filled, action packed, extravaganza of great American pop culture all in glorious COLOR !!!
Note: this event is under the umbrella of Tiki Oasis event … and requires both an admission ticket to Tiki Oasis … and an addition ticket to the slide show
GET TIX NOW: NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, ENGLAND
Two Live Comedy Slide Show Performances Celebrating Classic & Kitschy American Life & Style!
Ambassador of Americana super charges the classic living room slide show into laugh-out-loud celebration of 1950s & 60s Americana.
With his unbridled enthusiasm, keen expertise and eagle eye for oddball detail, Charles presents two shows filled with legendary car culture, space age suburbia, drive-ins, iconic theme parks, fun fashions, parties, parades, and much, much more … all in glorious Kodachrome COLOR! … your imagination will be inspired and your space age spirit will soar!
GET TIX NOW: CHANDLER, AZ
Live Comedy Performance Celebrating The Magic Kingdom
Chandler Center for the Performing Arts
250 North Arizona Avenue
Join Ambassador of Americana Charles Phoenix for a live comedy performance celebrating the original Magic Kingdom in the 1950s and 60s. With his spectacular collection of “found” mid-century era Kodachrome slides, unbridled enthusiasm, and keen eye for detail, Charles takes you to the quintessential theme park when it was new.
Experience the early days of Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland. See long-gone attractions, including the Phantom Boats, Flying Saucers, Indian Village, Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches, PeopleMover, Carousel of Progress, and more.
See the original Tomorrowland when it was promoted as “The World of 1986,” and as well as the new Tomorrowland in 1967. Charles also shares the flaming backstory of the Monorail, reveals there was more than one TWA Rocket to the Moon, and takes you inside Monsanto’s legendary House of the Future.
In addition to all the Disneyland delights, tour Freedomland USA— New York City’s ill-fated Disneyland-wannabe theme park, plus over-the-top Disneyland area themed-motels, and more.
Your imagination will be inspired and your spirit will soar!
Festive dress is encouraged … but not expected!
By Steve Harvey
Charles cooks up Halloween in the kitchen with Queen Latifah !!!
Charles Phoenix brings his love of kitsch to cooking
For Charles Phoenix, imagination is the magic ingredient. Hence dishes such as the Astro Weenie Party Tree or Bambrosinana.
By Noelle Carter
August 10, 2013
“The colors need to be bright, like saturated neon,” Charles Phoenix says, describing his Seven Layer Soda Pop Rocks cake. “You can’t have too much food coloring. Think Day-Glo!”
Phoenix is visualizing the elements of an ideal summer party. His ideal summer party. “A pool would be nice, because pool parties are classic summer. And there would be those motorized pool toys with remote controls for the gearheads, so they can fight in the water.” A little something for everyone.
“But I think they should be unicorns. Imagine remote-control unicorns fighting in a pool.”
Phoenix is an entertainer who is all about Americana, exploring and celebrating our kitschy pop culture past and present through his books and tours, historic slide shows and unique culinary creations. “I was born on a used-car lot,” he explains, smiling (his father was a used-car salesman), and he calls himself a child of Disneyland. “I’m very theme-oriented.”
Don’t have unicorns for your summer party? No problem. Focus on the spread.
Read the entire article here
Charles Phoenix is a performer, humorist, chef and author who explores America's classic and kitschy pop culture -- past and present -- and predicts retro-inspired, future trends.CLICK FOR MORE!
L.A.’s KCET TV invited me pick my fave restaurant in Los Angeles, have lunch there and share the experience with you. YAY!
Without skipping a beat I chose Pann’s, the greatest Googie style coffee shop on Earth. This was the perfect opportunity for me to share this amazing L.A. landmark and introduce you to a local hero of mine, the original owner, Rena Poulis, age 94. Dressed to the nines, she greets guests there every day just as she has since she and her husband opened the doors in 1958. Rena and son Jim who now runs the place (and beautifully I might add) are the queen and crowned price of coffee shops.
They both deserve a big giant lifetime award for all their years of great service and an even bigger historic preservation award for maintaining the spectacular original Googie décor of their legendary restaurant.
Thank you, KCET for this opportunity and lunch! That fried chicken is the best in town!
Have you dined in a lipstick red vinyl semi-circle booth lately?
Here’s to the KCET, Pann’s, Queen Rena, Prince Jim and YOU!
October 18, 2011