Off-Ramp for November 21, 2009

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Off-Ramp Web Special: Foodies on Thanksgiving

UPDATE 11-20-2010: Thanksgiving comes every year, so we're serving the most delicious MEMORY leftovers, from Off-Ramp 2009. The great chefs of Los Angeles tell us what's on their Thanksgiving menu this year, plus Pigtails & Sauerkraut, a Wiley Family tradition.

Mary Poppins Opens at the Ahmanson

"Mary Poppins," the smash stage musical of the beloved musical film, opened at the Ahmanson this weekend, and Off-Ramp was there to talk with co-director and choreographer Matthew Bourne; song and dance man Gavin Lee, who plays "Bert;" and Carter Thomas, a Glendalian who is one of the "Michael Banks;" and we hear the original and new songwriters -- performing live and spontaneously at the after-party -- tell how they wrote "Jolly Holiday" and "Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious." The audio is a special web-only edition, only lightly edited for your enjoyment. Come inside to see Dick Van Dyke -- the original Bert -- take a bow and enjoy his ovation.
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How to fix high school drop out rates? Play video games!

Texting in school? Posting to Facebook for extra credit?

Executives can’t imagine meetings without a blackberry. Companies are embracing Facebook to market their goods. And still, computers are scarce in most schools and cell phones aren’t allowed.

This week CyberFrequencies talks to educator Robert Torres, who says that schools must be on the cutting edge of technology to engage students. Torres is chief research officer at Quest to Learn, a gaming middle-school opened in Manhattan this fall.

Go to to find out what's on Robert's browser!
We got a call this week from enviro-journalist Ilsa Setziol ... her neighbors in San Gabriel are at it again.
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Off-Ramp host John Rabe talks with Leonard Maltin about his favorite book -- Maltin's annual Movie Guide. The 2010 edition of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide is out now and if you'll come inside we'll show you how you can buy it and help KPCC. In the first piece of audio, above, Leonard tells all. In the second, he tells some. The first is for aficianados of the movie guide; the second is the broadcast version, for neophytes.
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"The Road," the post-apocalyptic movie based on the Cormac McCarthy book, is in wide release now. The movie premiered at The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre, and featured a Q+A with director John Hillcoat and Viggo Mortensen. They had high praise for the boy who plays "the boy," Kodi Smit-McPhee. Here's a short excerpt.
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MOCA Turns Thirty, Pulls Out All The Great Art

Off-Ramp host John Rabe with Sam Hall Kaplan and MOCA chief curator Paul Schimmel on MOCA's new exhibits at MOCA Grand and MOCA's Gefffen Contemporary, which pull some of the best art from the museum's permanent collection. Come inside for John's artsy-fartsy movie of the works at the Geffen Contemporary, and John's guerilla art installation there.
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The Books: Aquariums, Lost Bets, and Terrible Fathers

Don't let The Books' folksy name fool you: the two-piece band's use of layers on layers of unconventional "found sound" is way ahead of its time. Spoken word records, crowds cheering, people walking through's a mesmerizing mix. Off-Ramp contributor Kevin Ferguson spoke with the band as it geared up for its Monday gig at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (cellist Paul De Jong jokes that it will be the group's largest audience yet). Also, check out a video of one of guitarist Nick Zammuto's visually stunning sound art pieces...
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The Baader Meinhof Complex Returns

The Baader Meinhof Complex, nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, returns to the Egyptian Theater for a special limited engagement Nov. 27-29. John Rabe spoke with Stefan Aust, who wrote the screenplay and the definitive history of this West German guerilla group.
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