RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Murder at Greystone Mansion

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greystone mansion

Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills
Photo copyright 2011-2012. The Friends of Greystone. All rights reserved.

Traffic was unusually light for a Friday so I arrived almost 30 minutes early for the 4:00pm rendezvous at Greenblatt’s Deli on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, just east of Crescent Heights Boulevard. Six tour guides (including me) met for dinner before heading out for The Manor, a play at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, just a short drive down Sunset.

As I don’t eat meat or bread, you might think I would have a hard time ordering anything at a deli. But, no worries, I checked out the menu online several days before (as I do anytime I am headed out to a restaurant where I don’t already know the choices) and found some side orders that sounded wonderful.

When my dishes arrived at the table I should have taken photos of the food at that point, but I am really bad at doing that. So many great dishes, so many lost opportunities! I ordered the scalloped potatoes (misspelled on the menu, by the way!) made with blue, parmesan and cheddar cheese. I also ordered the green beans with almonds and the garlic broccoli. The potatoes were heaven. I would drive all the way back there tomorrow to have them for lunch. Oh my!

The beans were a tad overcooked. The broccoli was undercooked and difficult to cut with a knife. But I enjoyed the meal nonetheless.

One of the ladies in our group ordered a 6oz glass of wine for which she was charged over $11.00. She thought she had ordered a glass costing $5.95 but that was for the taste of 3oz. So, if you like wine with your meal, grill the waiter about what you are ordering so there are no surprises. In my world, I never pay $11 for a whole bottle!

After a slight mixup with Doheny Drive and Doheny Road, we arrived at Greystone Mansion in plenty of time for the play.

I have been to Greystone plenty of times. Several years ago the Culver City Art Group had a sketching day there. And before that I used to attend concerts. But I have never been inside before.

Greystone was built by the Doheny family in the late 1920s. Edward Laurence Doheny drilled for and was the first to discover oil in Los Angeles in 1892. His name is a familiar one in the LA area.

The play, Manor, is loosely based on tragic events that took place in Greystone Mansion in 1928.

I have a huge fascination with 1920s Los Angeles. I have often said that if I had to go back in time to live in a different era, I would pick LA in the twenties. It was the decade that the city first came to life. By then we had water, the movies, oil, a 1200-mile rail system… and, of course, prohibition with plenty of gambling and illegal booze flowing.

Downtown LA transformed from a barren plain into a booming city with beautiful Beaux Artes and Art Deco buildings on every block (which fortunately for us, survive to this day). It must have been a very exciting time.

So this play pressed those buttons for me.

I generally don’t like live theater that much (except for well-known, established musicals like Phantom of the Opera or Les Mis). If it’s drama I’d rather see a movie. But this play is different. The audience was no more than 90 people in total and as we moved around the rooms we broke up into three groups of about 30. So we were really up close and personal with the actors. You could see all the zits and wrinkles. I enjoyed that aspect. And all the actors were superb.

After the play we even got to shake hands with some of them.

If you are so inclined, you might want to check out this play, in its 10th “sell-out” year. Highly recommended by me!

Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

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