Very happy to be hanging out with our LAVA (Los Angeles Visionaries Association) Salon pals again this weekend, it has been far too long.
This time we’re taking the show downtown and it should be a great afternoon w/ special guest Pepper Aarvold & Christina Rice!
Christina will be signing her brand new book, “Ann Dvorak-Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel”.
This Sunday , November 24th @ 12 pm @ Les Noces du Figaro-618 S. Broadway
Join LAVA for our revived free monthly Sunday Salon series. We return to South Broadway, to the mezzanine of Les Noces du Figaro, which was recently opened by the family behind Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz. This handsome space was formerly Schaber’s Cafeteria (Charles F. Plummer, 1928), and the mezzanine features wonderful views of the Los Angeles Theatre.
On the last Sunday of each month, LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a structured Salon featuring formal presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another. If you’re interested in joining LAVA as a creative contributor or an attendee, we recommend Salon attendance as an introduction to this growing community. We also recommend the eclairs.
The Salon will be broken into two distinct presentations each lasting about 45 minutes. You are encouraged to arrive early if you wish to order food and beverages from the counter downstairs, and bring your meal upstairs.
Backstage at the Follies: A talk by Pepper Aarvold
Pepper Aarvold says: “I grew up backstage of a burlesque theater from the tender age of four through my teens. I’ll tell you what it was like being the grand daughter of burlesque veterans Lillian Hunt and Leon DeVoe. Gramps was a straight man and Granny went from chorus line choreographer to a successful agent for strippers having ‘discovered’ Tempest Storm among others who were ‘graduates’ of her famous school for strippers which was conducted in the rehearsal hall at the Follies. From the orchestra pit to the wings where I often caught strippers’ costumes as they were ‘shed,’ I’ll provide a perspective most little girls never have the good fortune to experience.
And if asked, I can teach you a few classic moves…
Finding Ann Dvorak
When Christina Rice checked out a VHS copy of Three on a Match from her local library in 1995, she just expected to enjoy Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in a snappy 1932 pre-Code film. Instead, she was blindsided by the raw performance of the little-known Ann Dvorak. This encounter would ultimately shape the course of Rice’s adult life, culminating in the publication of the biography Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel from University Press of Kentucky (2013).
Join author and librarian Christina Rice as she discusses her 15-year quest to uncover the life and career of Ann Dvorak, an actress who was positioned to be one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, but instead countered the powerful studio system -– and suffered the consequences.
Possessing a unique beauty and refined acting skills, Ann Dvorak (1911–1979) found success in Hollywood at a time when many actors were still struggling to adapt to the era of talkies. Seemingly destined for A-list fame, critics touted her as “Hollywood’s New Cinderella” after film mogul Howard Hughes cast her as Cesca in the gangster film Scarface (1932). Dvorak’s journey to superstardom was derailed when she walked out on her contractual obligations to Warner Bros. for an extended honeymoon. Later, she initiated a legal dispute over her contract, an action that was unprecedented at a time when studios exercised complete control over actors’ careers.
As the first full-length biography of an often-overlooked actress, Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel explores the life and career of one of the first individuals who dared to challenge the studio system that ruled Tinseltown. The actress reached her pinnacle during the early 1930s, when the film industry was relatively uncensored and free to produce movies with more daring storylines. She played several female leads in films including The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932), Three on a Match (1932), and Heat Lightning (1934), but after her walk-out, Warner Bros retaliated by casting her in less significant roles.
Following the casting conflicts and illness, Dvorak filed a lawsuit against the Warner Bros. studio, setting a precedent for other stars who eventually rebelled against the established Hollywood system. In this insightful memoir, Christina Rice explores the spirited rebellion of a talented actress whose promising career fell victim to the studio empire.
Christina Rice is a librarian and photo archivist at the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. (www.anndvorak.com)
Rice is a superb writer with just the right touch—not too heavy, not too light. We really get to know Ann Dvorak. — Eve Golden, author of John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars
Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel is more than the biography of an overlooked movie star. Author Christina Rice has meticulously researched the life of Dvorak, whose strong, self-reliant characters made her an important presence in the pre-Code era. Written in a reader-friendly style, Ann Dvorak explores the highs and lows of the actress who dazzled viewers in the classics Scarface and Three on a Match. –Susan Doll, author of Florida on Film: The Essential Guide to Sunshine State Cinema
Ann Dvorak has always been an enigmatic figure, whether you’re looking at her electric vitality in the 1932 Scarface or her feline grace in 1947’s The Private Affairs of Bel Ami. Fifteen years separate these unique performances, and there’s no one like Ann Dvorak, yet the story of her career remains untold. In Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel, Christina Rice corrects this oversight. We learn about the ambitious young dancer, how her unusual looks and singular intensity pulled her into acting, and how her path to stardom ended in regretful obscurity. This is a compelling story, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes sad, but Christina Rice tells it honestly and objectively. Her dedicated research makes it possible to see both Ann Dvorak and her milieu with clarity. Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel is a sensitive biography of a real talent.–Mark A. Vieira, author of George Hurrell’s Hollywood
“A scrupulously researched, consistently insightful and thoroughly welcome biography. Fans and students of Hollywood’s fascinating pre-Code era will particularly appreciate a chance to learn more about one of its most sophisticated, intelligent, and hauntingly beautiful actresses.”–Margaret Talbot, author of The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century
The Salon will be followed by a free tour of South Broadway–The Flaneur & The City: Broadway on My Mind walking tour #5.
Les Noces du Figaro
618 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA, 90014
PHONE: (213) 915-8687