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Happenings—Aline Ohanesian To Launch Debut Novel, Set During Armenian Genocide, And Much More…

Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – 12:33 PM

Pictured: The L.A. Zoo is offering a chance to name its new baby kangaroo. See FAMILY FUN & OPPORTUNITIES.

Pictured: Caleb Slavens, Christopher Franciosa and Deidra Edwards in Theatre 40’s American Wee-Pie. Photo by Ed Krieger. See THEATRE


Aline Ohanesian To Launch New Novel Set During Armenian Genocide

Author Aline Ohanesian will sign copies of her debut novel, Orhan’s Inheritance at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 7 at Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont.

The novel moves between 1915 in the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, shedding light on a significant and devastating chapter of history that has been silenced for many years.

Ohanesian, a San Juan Capistrano resident, knows the history well: when she was a child, her Armenian great-grandmother told her of their family’s exile from Turkey during the Armenian genocide. Using her family history as a starting point, she has crafted a novel “full of love and heartbreak, war and recovery, crimes and their reparations.”

In the story, when Orhan’s brilliant and eccentric grandfather dies, Orhan learns he’s inherited the decades-old kilm rug business. But the will raises more questions than it answers: his grandfather Kemal has left the family estate—not to his son Mustafa or his grandson—but to a stranger, an aging woman in an Armenian retirement home in Los Angeles.

With only his grandfather’s ancient sketchbook and determined to right this injustice, Orhan flies to L.A. to get some answers. There, through many meetings, he uncovers the closely guarded story of Seda—”a story of passionate love, unspeakable horrors, incredible resilience, and a way of life that has vanished forever.”

Algonquin Books; hardcover; $29.95, 352 pages


Heal The Bay Earth Month Activities Highlight Volunteerism, Aquarium Visits

Heal the Bay, the environmental nonprofit, will host a series of public Earth Month activities throughout April to provide fun, family-friendly opportunities to improve Southern California neighborhoods, shorelines and local rivers and creeks.

• An Aquarium Orientation and Open House will be from 6-6:45 p.m., Thursday, April 9 at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, 1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica. The event will be a chance to meet aquarium staff members and learn about volunteer and internship opportunities.

To register, visit

Heal the Bay Volunteer Orientation will be from 7-9 p.m., Monday, April 13 at the organization’s main office, 1444 9th St.., Santa Monica. Attendees will learn abut the organization’s mission in science, education, community action and advocacy and ways to get involved throughout the year.

To register, visit

Earth Month Nothin’ But Sand Beach Cleanup and Free Aquarium Day, Saturday, April 18.

• Beach Cleanup will be from 10 a.m.-noon, at Santa Monica Beach at Ocean Park, 2600 Barnard Way. Volunteers must be 13 years old or accompanied by an adult. As part of Heal the Bay’s Zero Waste initiative, participants are asked to bring their own buckets, gloves and reusable water bottles.

• Free Aquarium Day will be from 11 a.m.5 p.m. at the aquarium where attendees will enjoy interactive activities and a brand-new, hands-on exhibit.

To register, visit

L.A. Zoo Offering Chance To Name Baby ‘Roo

Those who want a chance to name the Los Angeles’s Zoo’s baby kangaroo can now head over to the Zoo, snap a photo of the Western gray kangaroo baby, and enter the Zoo’s contest for “naming rights.”

This spring, L.A. Zoo guests have the chance to “Meet Our Babies,” including the soon-to-be-named baby kangaroo, as well as Rosie, the near-legendary baby hippo, a baby giraffe, five baby chimpanzees, two baby otters, a baby howler monkey, baby koala, baby pronghorn, baby sifaka, and even baby piranha. An Activity Guide with a special map is available at the Zoo’s entrance to help visitors locate all the young ones while learning more about these animals and the zoo’s breeding programs.

To enter the #NameOurRoo contest, visit Zoo between now and April 26, take a picture of the Western gray kangaroo baby or any part of the exhibit, post it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #NameOurRoo and your proposed name, or upload your photo and proposed name at (“Entry”). Then share your entry with friends via a special link provided and encourage them to vote for your proposed name.

The Grand Prize is a GoPro HERO4 Camera ($399 value) and a Family Deluxe Membership to the Zoo ($165 value), while two runners up each receive a Family Membership ($126 value).

More details and the official rules are available at .

As an added bonus this spring, through June 30, Zoo visitors receive a Shutterfly promo card good for a free, easy-to-make 8×10″ hard cover photo book to use to capture their adventures. The promo card, courtesy of Shutterfly, is available at the admissions window when purchasing tickets or at the membership entrance. Limit one per household.

Zoo admission is $19 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $16 for seniors (ages 62+), and $14 for children (ages 2 to 12). The Zoo and Botanical Gardens, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.. daily, is in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways, 5333 Zoo Dr. For more information, call 323-644-4200.


Theatre 40 Baking American Wee-Pie’s L.A. Debut

Theatre 40, is presenting the Los Angeles premiere of “a delicious new play,” American Wee-Pie, through April 13 at its Reuben Cordova Theatre on the BHHS campus, 241 S. Moreno Dr.

Playwright Lisa Dillman has received the Julie Harris- Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Award, the Sarrett National Playwriting Award, and the Sprenger-Lang New History Play Prize.

Contradicting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s notion that there are no second acts in American lives, American Wee-Pie follows Zed, a textbook editor who returns to his small hometown in the Midwest, following the death of his mother, there to grieve with his sister, Pam. It’s set during a recessionary moment in American history, but Zed doesn’t lose his job. He walks away from it.

Following his bliss, he becomes an apprentice to a master cupcake chef. Then, one inspired day, Zed invents a new delicacy: the wee-pie, a cupcake inside a pie crust. His new creation will prove a blessing to everyone around him.

American Wee-Pie debuted in Chicago in 2013.

Directed by Stewart J. Zully, the cast includes: Fred Dawson, Deidra Edwards, Christopher Franciosa, Steve Keyes, Elizabeth Lande, Jim Schendel and Caleb Slavens.

Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., and Monday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26; $13 for students. For reservations call 310-364-0535. For online ticketing, visit

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