Arts Briefs: Local teen singer Sydney Sierota signs with modeling agency; Alex Film Society screens classic movies


Sierota signs with Wilhelmina

At just 18, Sydney Sierota is already deep into the world of music and pop culture. With her band Echosmith, the Toluca Lake singer has scored platinum with the alternative-pop hit song “Cool Kids,” has hosted MTV’s “Artist to Watch” show, and has now been signed to the prestigious Wilhelmina Models agency.

The success she’s enjoyed in the band that Sierota shares with her three brothers — including a second Top-40 hit with “Bright” — has meant appearing often in various media outlets, from Rolling Stone to Teen Vogue. Joining the agency means Sierota will now be specifically active as a celebrity model, as she joins the likes of Nick Jonas and Iggy Azalea at Wilhemina.

Until then, the singer is busy with Echosmith, who are spending most of 2015 on a tour across the U.S. and Europe. In June, the band joined Taylor Swift onstage to perform “Cool Kids,” and soon returns to L.A. for a hometown show at the Greek Theatre Oct. 15 in support of headliner Twenty One Pilots.

After the tour, Echosmith will begin work on the band’s follow-up album to 2013’s “Talking Dreams.” As Sierota told us in an interview earlier this year, “You should evolve but I don’t think you should completely disregard all the things your fans love you for. We’ll take note of what works, and still create what we want to create.”

Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘Confidential’

The Alex Film Society continues its inventive series of classic movie screenings July 25 with a showing of 1958’s “High School Confidential,” including a performance by a live band, a tribute to 1950s rock ‘n’ roll.

The classic teen exploitation film — to be projected at the Alex Theatre in Glendale — is a black-and-white feature shot in Cinemascope with an unlikely cast that includes Mamie Van Doren, Russ Tamblyn, Jackie Coogan, Michael Landon, William Wellman Jr. and Jerry Lee Lewis. It is widely beloved as a campy, fun “bad” movie.

Music from the period by Lewis, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent will be performed by Steve Waddington and his Retro-Rockin’ All-Stars. General admission is $16; seniors and students $12. The Alex Theatre is at 216 N. Brand Blvd. For more information, visit

Five years of laughter

As Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant prepares to mark five years in beautiful downtown Burbank, the venue announced that its upcoming anniversary celebration will include free admission to five comedy shows in September.

Among the performers Sept. 18 to 20 will be comedian-actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, a hugely popular regular on the Fox TV series “24” with roles in such films as “Punch-Drunk Love” and “Legally Blonde.” She’ll be joined that week by host James P. Connolly, comics Roy Wood Jr., Amir K, at least one “surprise celebrity guest” and many others.

The free admission shows still require reservations and purchase of a two-item minimum per customer.

The Burbank venue has drawn some notable marquee names in recent days, including “Saturday Night Live” star alum Dana Carvey and Arsenio Hall, while filling the rest of the weekly roster with a wide range of comic talent. Next month, the club hosts the Burbank Comedy Festival, with Adam Carolla, Tom Green, Kel Mitchell, Rajskub and others scheduled to appear, as Flappers gets started on its next five years as a Burbank destination.

Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant is at 102 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. Information: (818) 845-9721,

Literate folk

Tracy Newman and Art Podell are a pair of distinctive and accomplished singer-songwriters set to appear July 29 at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. Newman began her career as an Emmy-winning writer for “Ellen” and “Cheers”, and now has three CDs to mark her shift into full-time music-making. Podell’s influential Grammy-winning work reaches back to the 1960s folk scene of Greenwich Village.

Tickets for their joint appearance are $20. The Coffee Gallery Backstage is located at 2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena. Reservations and more information: (626) 798-6236,

Going ‘Upstairs Downstairs’

The Gamble House mansion in Pasadena is opening up the popular tour of its servants quarters for a limited time this summer. The 90-minute “Upstairs Downstairs” visit is available July 30 through Aug. 16 and will draw a vivid comparison between the living spaces and the staff housing that served them.

The tour will include the Gamble House’s usual one-hour tour of the epic American Arts and Crafts-style home designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene in 1908. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978 and is now owned by the City of Pasadena and operated by USC.

Tickets to the expanded tour are $20. The Gamble House is at 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena. Information: (626) 793-3334,

Nearby laughs

A night of comedy hosted by Aubree Sweeney will spotlight several rising comics at the “Stand-Up-And-Be-Funny” event July 31 at Archway Studio/Theatre in North Hollywood. Other comics performing include Ayman Samman, Katie Robinson, Luz Pazos, Simon Gibson, Samantha Davidson and Adrienne Camille. Archway Studio/Theatre is located at 10509 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Tickets are $15. Information: (818) 980-7529,