Category Archives: Hollywood Salon

Hollywood Salon: Always the Second Monday of the month at the historic Culver Hotel, Culver City, Los Angeles. The Hollywood Salon is an educational program of events featuring guest lecturers working in film, television, entertainment and the arts, sponsored by the Nebraska Coast Connection.

June 11th Salon with Director Charles Hood

Please note the Culver Hotel will host us in the first floor dining room this month, not our normal room upstairs. Follow the signs at the hotel on Monday.

Our Salon this month hosts an up-and-coming director who discovered the NCC years ago when he first arrived in Hollywood from Omaha. He returns to the Salon with a career in film and television well underway.

Charles Hood is one of the latest and greatest Omaha directors to make his mark in Hollywood. After graduating from USC’s film school in 2005, Charles wrote and directed his first feature film, FREEZER BURN.  The sci-fi comedy/drama screened at twelve festivals, winning awards including “Best Feature” at the Flint Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution by Vanguard Cinema.

Shortly thereafter, Charles shifted his focus to directing and co-writing two comedic shorts, Allison and First Kiss, the latter of which was awarded “Best Short Film” at the Omaha Film Festival and the Audience Award at the TriMedia Film Festival.

In 2015, Charles directed and co-wrote his second feature, NIGHT OWLS, which had its world premiere at SXSW. The film played over 15 festivals, winning “Best Feature” at Skyway Film Festival, Indy Film Fest, Destiny City Film Festival, and Napa Valley Film Festival, in addition to “Best of Fest” at Hill Country Film Festival. MGM (through their Orion Pictures label) and FilmBuff released the film theatrically in ten cities and on VOD in December of 2015.

For the last couple of years, Charles has been directing shows for Verizon’s streaming service Go90. He directed the pilot and an additional ten episodes of a half hour comedy/drama called Play By Play. Most recently, he directed the first five episodes of a mystery/thriller titled In The Vault and is about to direct more episodes for season two.

Come meet Charles at the June Salon on Monday and learn his secrets of breaking into the competitive world of directing. 


AN INVITE FROM DIRECTOR DAN MIRVISH…

I would be honored to see you at my theatrical opening of my new film BERNARD AND HUEY starting this Friday June 8th at the Laemmle Monica! This film would not have been possible without NCC — I literally met one of my biggest investors at an NCC Salon!  But also, many of you came on board as Kickstarter backers and helped in other ways. The film also stars Nebraska natives Chris Dukes and Samantha Buchanan along with Jim Rash (whom you may remember from when he shared an Oscar win with Alexander Payne for the screenplay to THE DESCENDANTS). Chris and Jim will be there on Friday!  And of course, I produced the film with my long-time Omaha-based producing partner Dana Altman, and a great many of our investors and backers are still back in Nebraska.

Bottom line: You can take the filmmaker out of Nebraska, but you can’t take the Nebraska out of the film!  After playing at over 25 festivals in five continents (including the Omaha Film Festival), I’m very happy that the film will be distributed in theaters coast-to-coast (and also on iTunes and other Video on Demand) starting this week!  Hope to see you all at the Laemmle Monica on Friday!

BERNARD AND HUEY is a timely story of two men behaving badly, and the smart women who rein them in. Roguish Huey and nebbish Bernard are unlikely college friends in late 1980’s New York. Decades later, a bedraggled Huey gets his mojo back with the women in Bernard’s life, while Bernard awkwardly falls in love with Huey’s 25-year-old cartoonist daughter, and it becomes clear how much growing up the two men still need to do.


AN INVITE FROM DIRECTOR KEVIN MCMAHON…

After 10 years the film that we all put so much work into is finally finished and will be screening for a full week in the state of the art Arena Cinelounge Theater. MILITARY HUSBAND stars many NCCers, including Tim Schukar, Holly Lewis, Suanne Hastings and many others. Help us celebrate the completion of this beautiful film and celebrate the fact that we will be qualified to submit the film to the Academy for Oscar consideration. The film will premiere on June 22 and run every day until June 28 at Hollywood’s Arena Cinelounge Theater at 6464 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

The film features the work of many Nebraskans both behind and in front of the camera and could not have been possible without the NCC. I’ll be at the Salon Monday to show everyone the trailer for the film, and we hope you can make it to see the entire film on the big screen in a couple weeks!

MILITARY HUSBAND is the story of a man who fails to cope when his former ROTC wife is reactivated and sent to the war in Iraq.  Seeing his plight, his neighbor and “military wife” invites him to the support group where the other wives stage an intervention designed to help him learn to cope for his wife’s sake.  After learning the tools he needs to get through the day tragedy strikes in Iraq and he is unsure if he will ever see the woman he loves again.


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May 14th Salon with Comedians, Cake and Commercials

A Comedy Panel with CHRISTINA MARIE LEONARD, JOHNNY BEEHNER, TODD MUNSON, BRENT POPE and RYAN TWEEDY…PLUS birthday cake and spec commercials, check it out!

At the Salon this month, get ready to LAUGH! We’ve got a bevy of talented comedians, all from Nebraska, coming to enlighten and entertain us. Have you ever wondered how stand-up comedians make it look so easy? What is it about Nebraska that has spawned so many great comedians? How does one get a break starting out in comedy?

On Monday at the May Salon, come get the answers of all these questions and more at a comedy panel hosted by NCC’s own Christina Marie Leonard. We’ll have five comedians from both the world of stand up and improv comedy, all of whom once hailed from Nebraska.

Christina Marie Leonard is from Omaha and got her BA in Theater at the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film at UNL. She has acted in over 40 feature films, and has performed and emceed stand up comedy at The Comedy Store, The Hollywood Improv, The Ice House, and Flappers. She also hosts our Salon most months, and has put together this great panel.

Johnny Beehner appeared on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN just months before Dave’s retirement. Growing up the middle child in a family of seven kids, as well as becoming a new father married to the girl of his dreams has given Johnny plenty to talk about. Often relatable, often absurd, Johnny’s material is always accompanied by his likable style onstage.

Todd Munson was born and raised in Grand Island. After graduating from UNL on the five year plan (but only two plasma donations) with a degree in broadcasting, he moved to LA. Thanks to the NCC, he quickly made friends here and set about to launch a career in comedy and writing. It was a long slog through Hollywood but Todd emerged out the other side as a working writer, stand up comic, and longtime red carpet correspondent.

Brent Pope is an actor, writer, and comedian. Notable credits include roles on ROSEANNE (ABC), SILICON VALLEY (HBO), SPEECHLESS (ABC), BETTER THINGS (FX), and CASUAL (Hulu). He wrote and starred in two comedic web-series, Common Beauties and Table for Two. Brent also co-hosts the Ray’s n’ Brent Podcast.

Ryan Tweedy is an actor, improviser, sketch comedian and filmmaker. You can catch him in the sketch group “The Babes” at iOWest the 2nd Monday of every month. He is also the founder of the Big Red Cobcast and directed the Husker Football documentary THROUGH THESE GATES.

 

Get ready to learn all about these comedians and their journeys from the Great Plains to the heart and stages of Hollywood. It is sure to be a fun night with some guaranteed laughs!


A VERY SPECIAL BIRTHDAY….
ALSO at the Salon on May 14th, it’s our Super Volunteer Greg Hadwick’s very own birthday. And he’s choosing to share it with all his NCC friends. Come help us celebrate Greg and his many contributions to the NCC over the last eleven+ years. Yes, there will be cake!


WANT TO WORK ON THE NCC SPEC COMMERCIAL?
The Nebraska Coast is 25 years old this year. And to celebrate, we’re planning to make a series of three commercials for the NCC by the NCC. To showcase all the talent in our group, we are calling on you! We’ll shoot this summer in one day at a location to be determined. Once the commercials are completed, we’ll promote them on social media both back home and throughout Hollywood–and hopefully it’ll be a catalyst for more collaborations in the future. The project is being directed by Jeremy Lerman and produced by Todd Nelson & Ehren Parks.

Please submit resumes (and reels, if appropriate) for:  Director of Photography, Production Designer, Editor, Casting Director, UPM/Line Producer

Please submit to nebraskacoast@gmail.com with your name and department in the subject line. If you’re not a department head yet, but would like to apprentice/shadow, please let us know in your subject line what position(s)/department(s) you would like to be considered for. We are not yet casting, but will let actors know when we are ready for headshots. Thank you!


It’s going to be an action-packed laughfest on May 14th. Hope to see you Monday at the Culver!

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Salon with Actor & Artist Christopher Darga

Safe to say, you have never met a talent quite like Chris Darga. Actor, Fine Artist, Sculptor Extraordinaire. He’ll be making a return to the Salon after more than 20 years, and boy does he have some stories for us.

Christopher Darga is a face you have seen countless times over the last 20 years. On television in HERE & NOW, SHAMELESS, THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY, DEADWOOD, CHEERS and SEINFELD. This guy works so much his IMDb page goes on for-frickin-ever. (Frankly, it would be far easier to list the handful of shows he has NOT appeared on!) He’s also in a ton of features like CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE and BRUCE ALMIGHTY and DUDE WHERE’S MY CAR? and HUDSUCKER PROXY.

 

You get the idea. He’s a working actor. Rare breed, making a living doing what he loves.

But that’s not all. For the last dozen years or so, Chris also has made a name for himself as a fine artist and sculptor.

Portraits in oil and bronze are his specialties, but after JURASSIC PARK he began exploring paleo and now his model dinosaurs grace museums around the world.

Here’s just a sampling of his art, in oil, in bronze, in resin and other media:


Chris grew up in Detroit, where he caught the acting bug and never looked back. He got his Masters in Theatre Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the mid-1980, where he honed his craft on the boards of Howell Theatre and taught acting classes. While at UNL he played Hamlet and Dracula (NCC’s own Todd Nelson played Van Helsing and got to stab him through the heart with a wooden stake nightly!), along with leading roles in American Buffalo and many other plays. A move to Hollywood followed soon after, and film and television has never been without his talents ever since. Painting and sculpture became a way to stay busy between roles, and well, the rest is (art) history.

Chris was a guest at one of the first Salons ever, and now he will be returning in our 25th Anniversary year. Monday will be a real treat that you won’t want to miss, whether you love his acting work or his art. Come and be inspired. Hope to see you tomorrow at the Culver!

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Monday’s NCC Salon with Actor & Artist Christopher Darga

Safe to say, you have never met a talent quite like Chris Darga. Actor, Fine Artist, Sculptor Extraordinaire. He’ll be making a return to the Salon after more than 20 years, and boy does he have some stories for us.

Christopher Darga is a face you have seen countless times over the last 20 years. On television in HERE & NOW, SHAMELESS, THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY, DEADWOOD, CHEERS and SEINFELD. This guy works so much his IMDb page goes on for-frickin-ever. (Frankly, it would be far easier to list the handful of shows he has NOT appeared on!) He’s also in a ton of features like CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE and BRUCE ALMIGHTY and DUDE WHERE’S MY CAR? and HUDSUCKER PROXY.

 

You get the idea. He’s a working actor. Rare breed, making a living doing what he loves.

But that’s not all. For the last dozen years or so, Chris also has made a name for himself as a fine artist and sculptor. Portraits in oil and bronze are his specialties, but after JURASSIC PARK he began exploring paleo and now his model dinosaurs grace museums around the world.

Here’s just a sampling of his art, in oil, in bronze, in resin and other media:

 

Chris grew up in Detroit, where he caught the acting bug and never looked back. He got his Masters in Theatre Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the mid-1980, where he honed his craft on the boards of Howell Theatre and taught acting classes. While at UNL he played Hamlet and Dracula (NCC’s own Todd Nelson played Van Helsing and got to stab him through the heart with a wooden stake nightly!), along with leading roles in American Buffalo and many other plays. A move to Hollywood followed soon after, and film and television has never been without his talents ever since. Painting and sculpture became a way to stay busy between roles, and well, the rest is (art) history.

Chris was a guest at one of the first Salons ever, and now he will be returning in our 25th Anniversary year. Monday will be a real treat that you won’t want to miss, whether you love his acting work or his art. Come and be inspired. Hope to see you Monday at the Culver!

Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.

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Monday’s Salon with Visual Effects Supervisor Jamie Price

Continuing our DOWNSIZING series at the Salon on March 12th, we’ll be hosting one of the stars of the film. No, not Matt Damon or Christoph Waltz, but the man who made those actors only five inches tall! This Salon, we’ll all get a tutoring in the latest film visual effects by the Visual Effects Supervisor of DOWNSIZING.

Jamie Price has worked in visual effects for over 27 years, but DOWNSIZING was the first time he worked with Director Alexander Payne. Alexander has never used VFX as extensively in any of his previous films, and with this one he challenged Jamie to make him feel like he was making an ordinary movie, and not be hampered by the technology. By all accounts, Jamie succeeded spectacularly, and at the March Salon you’ll learn the secrets he employed to make that happen.

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Shrinking actors, sets and props down to small size is a film technique that has been used since the early days of movies, and 80-year old camera tricks were matched with today’s advanced techniques to great effect on DOWNSIZING. Jamie will show us just how he could fool filmgoers into thinking people could be shrunk, while allowing Alexander to make a movie with the attention to actor performances and realism that have become hallmarks of all of Payne’s films.

Beginning with HOOK and WATERWORLD, Jamie worked as VFX Supervisor on many of the biggest effects films ever, including ROBOCOP, PACIFIC RIM, AUSTRALIA, LORD OF THE RINGS, BICENTENNIAL MAN, AIR FORCE ONE and many more.

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Don’t miss this chance to peek behind the curtain of one of the year’s biggest visual effects films that didn’t feel like a visual effects film. Jamie has a lot to teach us, and after this Salon you’ll never look at effects the same way again. See you Monday at the Culver!

Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.


Nebraska Coast Connection presents
The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

 Salons are always
on the 2nd Monday of every month
7:30pm to 10:30pm
The Culver Hotel, Culver City, California.

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Monday’s NCC Salon with longtime Editor and new Director Kevin Tent!

Oscar-nominated Kevin Tent has been a film editor in Hollywood for nearly 25 years, best known for his long time collaboration with Director Alexander Payne. Last year, CRASH PAD became Kevin’s directorial debut. Kevin has been a guest at the NCC Salon many times, but returns on February 12th to share not only DOWNSIZING but stories of his new career as a director.

Kevin recently made his directorial debut with an Original Black List selected screenplay CRASH PAD written by Jeremy Catalino. In this film, starring Christina Applegate and Thomas Haden Church, the heartbroken ex-lover and neglectful husband of a beautiful woman move in together in order to enact revenge. See the trailer here.

As editor, Kevin has teamed with Director Alexander Payne for over twenty years, editing every one of Payne’s films from CITIZEN RUTH and ELECTION to SIDEWAYS and DOWNSIZING. Most of these collaborations earned him A.C.E. Eddie nominations, with a win and Academy Award nomination for DESCENDANTS.
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Kevin’s first break after LA City College film school was recutting a movie for legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman. Some of Kevin’s other credits include BLOW, Ted Demme’s drug epic staring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, James Mangold’s GIRL INTERRUPTED staring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, DISCONNECT and PARCHED. He has also worked on numerous projects with director Barry Sonnenfeld and on projects with directors Garry Marshall, Nancy Meyers and Martin Scorsese.

Don’t miss this chance to meet this terrific Hollywood professional, longtime editor and now director. Our Salon on Monday, February 12th will be a great one!

Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.


Nebraska Coast Connection presents
The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

 Salons are always
on the 2nd Monday of every month
7:30pm to 10:30pm
The Culver Hotel, Culver City, California.

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The 1st Salon of 2018 on Monday is our 3-Minute Festival!

HAPPY NEW YEAR from all your Coast Connection friends!

Monday, January 8th will be the first Salon of 2018.  And it’s the one where YOU get to show us what you got…Yep, it’s the return of SALONFEST: THE THREE MINUTE FILM FESTIVAL, our ever-popular NCC mini-film festival! This is where we will show three minutes of anything you want to showcase. Up on the Big Screen.

There’s a ton of talented folks in the NCC, and many of you have created some amazing work in the past year. This is our chance to see what you’ve been up to. Cue up your latest short, or your reel, or anything you helped to create, and we’ll show three minutes of it at the January Salon. You’ll get a minute to tell us about it, before or after. (Got something longer? Barter with others to share your time…)  For format, we can screen from DVDs, thumbdrives or internet streams.

It will be an eclectic and fast-paced evening…no telling what surprises we will be seeing. Webisodes. New acting reels. Kickstarter promos. All kinds of latest masterpieces. Whatever you want to share with the group — this is your chance to show off.

Come to share or come to see what your friends have been creating. It’s a great way to get to know all the talent in this group, and to participate by showing us what you got, in a safe and friendly environment. SALONFEST is always one of the most fun Salons of the year.

See you Monday, January 8th, 2018!  Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.

Nebraska Coast Connection presents
The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

 Salons are always
on the 2nd Monday of every month
7:30pm to 10:30pm
The Culver Hotel, Culver City, California

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NCC’s DOWNSIZING Screening with Alexander Payne Q&A and our 25th Anniversary Holiday Reception at Paramount Studios

The NCC is turning 25. To celebrate, for the December Salon Paramount Pictures invites you to a screening of DOWNSIZING with Director Alexander Payne.

We’ve been hosting many of the team behind Downsizing at recent Salons, and we’ll have more coming in 2018, but at the December 11th Salon — along with a special screening of the film — we will welcome back our old friend and Nebraska favorite son, Director Alexander Payne.

This is the biggest film of his career to date, and the first to use a multitude of visual effects. Come see what they raved about at festivals from Venice to Toronto — and what the country will get to see at Christmastime and right through Oscar season.


Written by Alexander Payne and his longtime
writing partner Jim Taylor, the film stars Matt Damon,
Christoph WaltzHong Chau, and Kristen Wiig.
<watch the trailer here

 

Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small.  People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life changing adventures.


Come see the film, join the Q&A with Alexander, and toast your Coast Connection friends at holiday time. We can’t wait to see you on Monday night December 11th at Paramount Studios!

Nebraska Coast Connection presents The Hollywood Salon…
 Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

THIS MONTH ONLY at Paramount Studios:


Paramount Theater

Paramount Studios
5555 Melrose Avenue

Hollywood, CA 90038
(enter Melrose Gate)

 

This invitation is non-transferable — ID required to enter studio

This event is free, but RSVPS REQUIRED by Mon 12/11 at noon. Seating is limited, so please let us know if your plans change. For Paramount Security, all guests must provide full name.

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Monday’s Nov 13th NCC Salon welcomes back Paramount VP Jim White

Jim White grew up in Carter Lake, Iowa, just across the way from Omaha. After studying at Bellevue University and University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, he has built a career focused on human resources and organizational development for the entertainment industry. His career path took him to live & work in 22 countries, and companies like Blockbuster, Universal Music Group, Video game company Activision Blizzard, and music tech company Napster.
 
For over ten years, he has been Vice President of Human Resources at Paramount Pictures. There have been lots of changes at Paramount recently, and Jim will give us an update on all the latest happenings, including the eagerly-awaited Alexander Payne film, DOWNSIZING, coming from Paramount in December.
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Jim has a long-time commitment to community involvement and philanthropic development. He’s on the board of
Beyond Shelter, a non-profit that combats poverty and homelessness.
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He’ll also be filling us in on his work for United Way’s HOMEWALK, a fundraising walk to support efforts to end homelessness, coming up in downtown LA on Saturday, November 18th.
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Jim is the author of the book, The World Is a Safe Place, another part of his making a difference in the world.
  
Hope to see you at the November Hollywood Salon Monday night, November 13th at the Culver Hotel!
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Nebraska Coast Connection
presents The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

Salons are always on the Second Monday of every month.  7:30 to 10:30.
The Culver Hotel, Culver City, California.

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Oct 9th Salon: Filmmaker ANNA MUSSO screening her new short film

Alexander Payne’s new film DOWNSIZING just premiered at the prestigious Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals to great reviews. Over the coming months, the Hollywood Salon will be hosting members of the team who made the film.

ANNA MUSSO
is the longtime assistant to our old director friend Alexander Payne, working with him on many of his projects including THE DESCENDANTS and NEBRASKA. She was also very involved from start to finish on Payne’s new film, DOWNSIZING. She was even able to attend the film’s recent premieres at Venice and Telluride.
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In addition to sharing stories about this new film, she will also be sharing her own film with us. At her last Salon appearance a couple years ago, Anna told us about a new short film she wrote and directed called RUN FAST. The film has been screened to great acclaim in festivals around the world, and now she will be bringing it for us to see at the October Salon.
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RUN FAST stars Robert Forster and Yetide Badaki. Coached by an aging former runner, a Kenyan competes in the Los Angeles Marathon, where losing will cost her more than just the race.


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A native of Chicago, Anna earned a BFA in Film Directing from New York’s School of Visual Arts. In New York she was a member of The National Board of Review and a videographer for The Actors Studio. L TRAIN, her first solo directorial work premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was the recipient of the Women In Film Award. L TRAIN went on to screen in festivals around the world and was awarded The Chicago International Film Festival’s Chicago Award and The Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Oscar qualifying Bruce Corwin Award.
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Come Monday night, October 9th, to learn another piece of the DOWNSIZING story, and to see a new short film by a talented woman filmmaker. Hope to see you there!
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Nebraska Coast Connection
presents The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

Salons are always on the Second Monday of every month.
7:30 to 10:30.

The Culver Hotel, Culver City, California.

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