January 20, 2022

Tales By The Sea Storytelling Concert, September 20


“Tales By The Sea” storytelling concert series for grown-ups, features the theme “Misunderstanding for the Autumn.”

The concerts, now held at the Malibu West Swimming Club, feature telling, music and visual artists.

“It’s an opportunity to experience and be inspired by a range of art—visual, musical, and spoken,” says poet Ann Buxie, host of the series.

Tracy Newman opens the show with music. She grew up in Los Angeles and in the early 70s joined an improv class taught by Gary Austin, which soon became The Groundlings. Tracy is a founding member, and besides performing, she taught and directed. It was at the Groundlings that Tracy met her future TV writing partner, Jonathan Stark. In 1997, Newman and Stark won an Emmy and Peabody Award for writing the groundbreaking “coming out” episode of “Ellen.” In 2001, they created the ABC comedy, "According to Jim," which ran for eight seasons. Tracy had been writing songs all along, many of which were featured in TV shows. Now she’s once again performing her music full-time. Her 2007 debut CD, “A Place in the Sun,” is still a favorite for long car rides across the nation. The title track on her new CD, “I Just See You,” highlights the beauty of a long-term relationship.(www.tracynewman.com)

Sam Davis and Riua Akinshegun display their painting before the concert.

Sam Davis, an artist, musician and athlete, is developmentally challenged. He is high functioning, funny, smart, gentle. He says about fifty words, but understands many more. He is probably best known for being “The” Uncle, the protector, comforter and entertainer of little ones. Sam has “Uncled” countless nieces and nephews and continues to uncle the very children of the nieces and nephews he assisted in raising.

Riua Akinshegun is a visual artist, writer and performance artist. Her artwork includes batiks, ceramic sculpture, African wrap dolls, and installations. “The Most Mutinous Leapt Overboard,” her interactive installation on the Middle Passage (trans-Atlantic slave trade), was included in African-American Artists in Los Angeles, A Survey Exhibition: Fade (1990-2003). Riua follows the advice of her creative muse: “Don’t worry about growing old, worry about staying new,” and at the age of 70 picked up a paintbrush. This is the first time exhibiting those explorations.


Jack Patterson grew up following the ponies because his father worked at Thoroughbred Racetracks. After Graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, DC., he moved to Arizona where he started a legal aid program at the Phoenix Indian Center and worked as an advocate for Indian organizations. As an actor, he has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and appeared on television on such shows as “NewsRadio,” “Ally McBeal,” “Profiler” and “First Monday.” He now works in post production providing Video Description for television networks, independent filmmakers and educational institutions.

Malibu’s own Susie Duff is a classically trained actor/director and a veteran of Broadway, feature film, radio and all things television. Susie is the producer/director of “Locked Up In Malibu,” an improv troupe that performs throughout Los Angeles and is comprised of 14-to18-year-old boy angels who live locked up in the LA County Juvenile Probation Camps.

Carlos Kotkin whose Mom is the only known documented case of a woman travelling from the United States to Mexico to have her baby. Born in Mexico City, Carlos moved to Southern California a few months later (with his parents' help). He learned how to tie his shoes at Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary School; kissed his first girl at Greenfield Junior High School; kissed his second girl at the University of Southern California, after which, he shortly dropped out. He worked in the hardware department of Sears for a time despite not knowing anything about tools. When customers asked questions, he would make up stories about why this hammer was better than that one and such. That got tiring so he ended that “career at Sears” years ago. He is now a Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian. (myspace.com/carloskotkin)

Barbara H. Clark tells original personal stories. They describe events from her early life in a small east coast town and later in Los Angeles. They include touching stories of her family heritage, warm profiles of memorable relatives and revealing encounters with coworkers. She currently conducts the “Tell Me A Story” storytelling workshop, teaching storytelling to seniors, and serves as Board Chair and Artistic Director at the Institute of Musical Arts in Los Angeles. She has a B.A. degree from Howard University and an M.L.S. degree from University of Southern California. She tells “Reunion.”

Doug Cox grew up in southern Illinois and left as soon as he could to attend the USC School of Cinema. For more than 12 years he wrote and performed at “The Groundlings,” LA’s premier improv troupe. He co-wrote four episodes of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” two of which received Emmy Award nominations. His play, White Squirrels, won several Drama-Logue awards. He has told true stories of his crazy adventures at The Last Book Store, the Groundlings, Taboo Tales and other venues.

Vicki Juditz and Ellen Switkes, share one moment. Juditz is best known for her one-woman show, “Teshuvah, Return,” about her journey to Judaism, for which she received an La Weekly nomination for Best Female Solo Performer and an Ovation Award nomination for Best Writing of a World Premiere. Other full-length pieces include “Life After Life” and “Where Do Babies Come From?”

She has performed her original stories at theaters and festivals across the country, including the National Storytelling Festival and The Aspen LAFF Festival. Locally, she tells stories at Speakeasy, Jewish Women's Theater, Tasty Words, I Love a Good Story, Expressing Motherhood, the LA Storytelling Festival, and recently won her first Moth StorySLAM. In a past life she sold everything from cat beverage to birth control pills in TV commercials and guest-starred on “Storytime,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Yes, Dear,” and “My Name Is Earl.”

Switkes was founder/producer of Cornucopia, a personal storytelling show that ran for three years in North Hollywood. She is a regular at Story Salon and for the past five years has volunteered with Koreh LA, the reading tutorial program of the Jewish Federation, working with children in LAUSD. Prior to entering the storytelling world, she worked on “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers.”

Stephen Tobolowsky is best known for playing Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, Sammy Jankis in Memento, Werner Brandes in Sneakers, Happy Chapman in Garfield, and Mr. Bates in Freaky Friday. He has appeared in more than 200 movies and television shows. He wrote and performed “Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party” that premiered at the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen, and wrote “True Stories” with David Byrne and Beth Henley. His first book of stories, “The Dangerous Animals Club,” was published by Simon and Schuster in September 2012. His second book, “My Adventures with God,” will be released in 2016, also by Simon and Schuster.

Mike Lambert, upon earning a B.A. in Theater at UCLA, moved from his native Los Angeles to New York City. During this time, he appeared in productions of Shenandoah, West Side Story, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, while also performing his solo cabaret act, So Tasty, Too<,i>, at The Duplex in Greenwich Village. A radical career detour led him to Zurich, Switzerland, where he studied at the Research Institute for Process-Oriented Psychology. When he returned to New York, he was hired as a stand-up comic at The Original Improvisation and worked for ten years as a freelance joke writer for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. Now back in Los Angeles, he has written and appeared in two one-man shows, Homo On The Range and Dear Mrs. Eddy – Letters from a Bad Christian Scientist.

The event takes place at Malibu West Swimming Club, 30756 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu 90265 on Sunday, September 20, doors open 4 p.m. Organic nibbles will be offered. Admission is free.

Please RSVP to ann: ann.buxie1@verizon.net; (310) 457-2385.