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Hello Dear Readers! We're counting down the hours for those walls around Cars Land to come down, but that’s not the only thing in town. Looking for summer fun? I’ve got some ideas for you. Here’s what we’ll be discussing today:

• Cleopatra • Film Fest • Addams Family
• The Sixth Key • June at The Walt Disney Family Museum

When I was a kid I loved going to LA’s Natural History Museum to see the “bones and the mummies.” I still like to do that. The California Science Center has just opened a show that fills that bill nicely, Cleopatra The Exhibition. This dramatically staged 13,000-square-foot exhibit features the largest collection of Cleopatra-era artifacts from Egypt ever assembled in the U.S. It’s brought to you from the producers of the King Tut exhibition and will be at the museum through December 31st, 2012:

The timeless legend of Cleopatra has captivated the world for centuries. She has been immortalized by Renaissance artists, had numerous plays and books written about her and in modern times has been glamorized on the silver screen. Yet we only know a fragment of her real story. Cleopatra VII became the queen of Egypt in 51 B.C. At the tender age of seventeen she was thrust into power over a country on the verge of crumbling under the mighty Roman Empire. She charmed and seduced two of ancient Rome’s most powerful leaders, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and bore children with both of them. Then, barely two decades after coming to power she took her own life. Still, the full story of Cleopatra’s enigmatic life has yet to be understood. Who was Cleopatra? What, and whom, did she hold dear? Was she truly an exotic beauty? In Cleopatra: The Exhibition, we are now one step closer to unraveling her story.

The California Science Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The museum is located south of downtown Los Angeles in historic Exposition Park, just two blocks west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at the Exposition Boulevard exit. Parking for cars is $10.00 and entry fees for Cleopatra vary. To purchase tickets, or for more information on Cleopatra, visit this link.

The L.A. Film Festival is opening on June 14th and runs through the 24th in downtown Los Angeles. Of particular interest to Disney fans is Disney/Pixar’s newest film, Brave, which will premiere at the festival: The L.A. Times blog, 24 Frames, has a few details:

Pixar's "Brave" will have its world premiere June 18 at the newly renamed Dolby Theatre in Hollywood as part of the L.A. Film Festival. It will be the first premiere at the 3,400-seat venue that hosts the Academy Awards since Dolby signed a 20-year deal taking over the naming rights from Kodak this spring.

To read more about this event, visit this link. For more on LA Film festival itself visit this link.If you can’t make it to the Festival to see Brave, the film opens at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on June 22nd and runs through August 12th. Adult General Admission is $16.00, Child General Admission (ages 3-11)/Senior (60+) is $13.00 and VIP Admission (includes popcorn, soft drink, reserved seat and no waiting in line) is $26.00. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit this link.

A show I’ve wanted to see ever since it began its out of town run in Chicago before heading to Broadway is now in Los Angeles for a limited run. Get your tickets fast for The Addams Family, it’s here only through June 17th:

The stars of the National Tour of The Addams Family, Douglas Sills as "Gomez" and Sara Gettelfinger as "Morticia," bring the weird and wonderful family to devilishly delightful life. This magnificently macabre new musical comedy is created by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, Drama Desk-winning composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and Olivier Award-winning director / designers Phelim McDermott & Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter) with production supervision by four-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Zaks.

The Addams Family features an original story in which Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family — A man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

(They did say Addams: not Munsters, right?) The show runs 2 Hours and 30 Minutes (including a 15-minute intermission). and is recommended for Ages 7 and up; no one under 5 will be admitted to the theatre. For prices, tickets or more info, visit this link.

When summer hits you can often find me lounging pool-side with a good book. I’m compiling my list of summer reads and this book is at the top of the list, The Sixth Key: From The Secret Files Of The Magic Castle:

Can you keep a secret? Then maybe you can work at the world's most private club. Hidden in the file cabinets are the secrets and mysteries from a thousand magicians. Join Josie Turner as she discovers that her summer job is anything but ordinary. "The Sixth Key" is a secret journey into the hidden world of magicians. While working at The Magic Castle, a real club for magicians, Josie discovers a mystery over a century old. Buried within the hidden catacombs of the old mansion she follows a trail of tantalizing files that tell the story of young Jack Ransom, the dark magician Mr. Ree and their quest to find 7 lost keys. Each folder takes her closer to the truth... Filled with fascinating characters, exotic locales and exciting action, "The Sixth Key" is an adventure you won't forget.

Author Jeff Tucker has worked on his first novel, The Sixth Key: From The Secret Files Of The Magic Castle, for the past seven years. But when he’s not writing, he’s at Knott’s Berry Farm where he writes and directs shows, notably, the Halloween Haunt’s Hanging and the Doctor Cleaver Show in the Birdcage.

Jeff will be appearing later this month at a local book store — Book Carnival in Tustin to sign copies of his new book. Support a new author and a small book store! Mark your calendars to stop by, say hi to Jeff and purchase your copy of the Sixth Key. The signing will take place at 2:00 PM on Saturday June, 23rd at Book Carnival — 348 S. Tustin Ave. In Orange, CA — Regular hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 12:00 noon to 5:00 PM. Call 714-538-3210 or (800) 963-9266-toll free.

For more information, visit this link. Now if for some reason you can’t make it to the book signing, The Sixth Key is also available from Amazon at this link:

We’ll wrap it up today with what’s happing in June up at the Walt Disney Family Museum:

• Celebrate the start of summer by going on a trip via the film of the month – Walt Disney’s Bon Voyage! Based on the book by Marrijane and Joseph Hayes, Bon Voyage! stars Disney Legend and film celebrity Fred MacMurray, who had leading roles in seven Disney features. This summer marks the 50th anniversary since the film’s original theatrical release in 1962, and will be screened daily at 1 and 4 p.m. in The Walt Disney Family Museum’s state-of-the-art digital theater throughout the month of June. Films are free with Museum admission or $7 general; $5 under 17, without Museum admission.

• Heinrich Kley: From Fantasy to Fantasia continues in the Theater Gallery: The Walt Disney Family Museum is also pleased to present the special exhibition Heinrich Kley: From Fantasy to Fantasia featuring drawings by Heinrich Kley—Walt Disney’s most admired European illustrator—paired with art from Disney’s famed animated film Fantasia (1940). On view through September 17, 2012, this exhibition features 29 drawings by Kley alongside more than 25 sketches, concept art, and maquettes from the Walt Disney classic film. Also on view are four of Kley’s sketchbooks which feature some 50 pages of intricate drawings. The Kley artworks are from Walt Disney’s personal collection and are on view for the first time as a collection in the United States. Free with Museum admission.

Special Programs at the Museum:

• The Bridge on the Big Screen: Movies Starring the Golden Gate Bridge — Vertigo + Discussion on Saturday, June 16th at 6:00 PM in the Theater. Free on a first come first served basis starting at 10:00 AM on the day of the screening: Come see Vertigo (1958), the classic Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller! Film critic Jan Wahl will present interesting and little known facts about the making of the film, and discuss what role the Golden Gate Bridge plays in one of the greatest films ever made. This film screening is part of The Bridge on the Big Screen: Movies Starring the Golden Gate Bridge series presented by the Walt Disney Family Museum and The Presidio Trust in honor of the Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary.

• Selling Walt: The Business (and Fun) of Movie Promotion - Saturday, June 23rd at 3:00 PM in the Theater - $10 general; $7 under 17: Join author (The Disney Treasures, The Mickey Mouse Treasures)—and past manager of the Walt Disney Archives—Robert Tieman as he delves into the little-known, almost-forgotten world of the Advance Promotion Campaign. Once the standard practice in Hollywood motion picture studios, the job was to get the word out on each new movie, introduce the stories and characters to the public, and build excitement in advance of a film’s opening at the local theater; in other words: sell the movie. Illustrated with rare ad materials and photos, this program offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Walt’s public image—and his Studio’s standing in popular culture.

• Look Closer: Walt and the 1964 New York World’s Fair on Friday, June 22; Saturday, June 23rd; and Sunday, June 24th at 11:00 AM, 1:00 and 3:00 PM in Gallery 9 — Free with Museum admission: Learn how Walt stretched his Imagineers to create four innovative attractions that amazed the world!

Classes + Activities at the Museum:

• Disney Discoveries! On Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, June 10th from 1:00 — 3:00 PM (drop-in program) at the Learning Center Art Studio — Free with Museum admission: Bonjour! Let your fingers be the paint brush as you create your very own “pointillism” masterpiece like the great French painters.

 • Step into a Cartoon on Saturday, June 16th from 1:00 PM — 3:00 PM (drop-in program) at the Learning Center Art Studio: Have you ever wanted to play with animated characters such as Alice in the Alice Comedies, or dance with singing penguins like Bert and Mary in Mary Poppins? This is your chance to star in an animated cartoon using green screen technology just like these beloved characters!

• Teen Animation Workshop 2.0 on Saturday, June 23rd from 10:00 AM — 2:00 PM in the Learning Center. $18 Museum members, $20 general — Space is limited. Registration and additional fee required Contact: [email protected]: Learn an intermediate approach to hand-drawn animation. You will receive critical feedback on your animation scene focusing on timing, secondary motion, and follow-through. 

Tickets for all films and programs are available at The Walt Disney Family Museum Reception Desk or online at www.waltdisney.org The museum is open 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Wednesdays through Monday; closed on Tuesdays and the following public holidays: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors and students, and $12 children ages 6 to 17; Admission is free for members. The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at 104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 415-345-6800

And that’s a wrap! Thanks for stopping by.  I need to get busy planning my strategy for seeing Cars Land on June 15th so I’ll leave you and say good-bye till next week. In the mean time, if you want to know what I’m up to, you need to follow Pressing Matters on Twitter. You never know what you’ll find there — food, museums, shopping, books, Disneyland! Follow along as I search for the all the latest Pressing Matters & tweet about what I find:


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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Sue Kruse and Al Lutz did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in this article. They pay for their own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

© 2012 Sue Kruse