Since music makers moved in during the 1960s, Laurel Canyon has maintained a groovy vibe. And lately, the echoing sound of jam sessions is mingling with performative readings and laughter, since local resident Lizzie Zeigler started her Speakeasy storytelling series.
Held every three months, Speakeasy takes place in the grand living room of a 1925 Spanish-style home once owned by Gary Cooper. You enter through a small yard off “Little Laurel,” as locals call the neighborhood’s side street, and sit under soaring wooden beams strung with twinkling lights. It feels like a fun house party, not a stiff cultural event.
On the premiere evening, we were gripped by the narrators’ tales. The night’s theme was boundaries, and a creative-writing instructor described marrying an imprisoned murderer; a novelist recalled a vicious dog’s bite; and an 80-something lady who looks like our sweet Bubbie brought down the house with a yarn involving a gigolo at a Catskills resort.
Speakeasy is much more intimate than the popular Moth storytelling series, with only 75 tickets ($15 to $18) sold for each event, so reserve your spot early for the next one, being held August 17 at 7 p.m. Make a night of it by valet parking at Pace, grabbing an early bite and then enjoying the warm evening air on your short walk to Speakeasy.
Speakeasy, 1826 Laurel Canyon Blvd.; speakeasylosangeles.com