5 Los Angeles Faves, With Girls5eva Director-Producer Kimmy Gatewood

The Los Angeles-based director/producer recommends five places to check out if you're headed to the City of Angels.
Kimmy Gatewood - credit: © Mandee Johnson Photography | @mandeephoto
Kimmy Gatewood - credit: © Mandee Johnson Photography | @mandeephoto /

Are you in tour mode? Well, so is the fictional girl group Girls5eva, the focus of the appropriately named series Girls5eva, which is debuting its third season on Netflix in one month’s time.

When last we left the four members of the former one-hit wonder (played by Paula Pell, Busy Phillips, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Sara Bareilles), against all odds they had managed to score a national tour in support of their brand-new album. And while the new season of the series may not be sending them to prime locales, the Girls5eva tour makes the perfect excuse to check in on some favorite places to visit in Los Angeles from a director/producer who always seems to be in tour mode: Kimmy Gatewood.

Born in Maryland, Gatewood grew to fame in New York as one-third of the popular comedy throwback act The Apple Sisters, which itself has gone on tour all over the country (and beyond). From there, she starred in Netflix’s GLOW as Stacey Beswick (one-half of The Beatdown Biddies) and became a prolific director including episodes of The Muppets Mayhem, Survival of the Thickest, the Netflix movie Good on Paper, CBS’s Ghosts, and previously four episodes of Girls5eva when it was streaming on Peacock.

Now, the show has moved to Netflix, and for the upcoming season, Gatewood is both the director of all six episodes and a producer of the Meredith Scardino-created series, which was filmed mostly in Gatewood’s former home of New York City.

Her current home, though, at least when she’s not jetting around acting, directing, and writing, is LA. With that in mind, during one of her brief rest stops before press officially kicks off for Girls5eva, we checked in with Gatewood over email to get five recommendations of her favorite, can’t-miss places to check out if you’re heading to the City of Angels.

Girls5eva Season 3 premieres March 14, 2024, on Netflix.

1. Vidiots 

“My favorite place to see a movie. It’s a community of movie lovers with two screens that show art house and vintage favorites, and a video rental store where you can actually interact with your media - no doom scrolling here baby! The people make this place so special - you don’t want to miss Maggie’s fantastic and funny movie introductions.”

The eclectic non-profit is located at 4884 Eagle Rock Boulevard, and features a video store with an extensive catalog that includes everything from And God Created Woman to Zzyzx. And upcoming screenings include everything from the buzzy All of Us Strangers, to Paddington 2 and Action Jackson. There’s also plenty of parking in the area, though they encourage ride-shares because of their also extensive beer and wine bar.

Find Out More: Vidiots website

2. Figueroa Street in Highland Park

“This street is the jam. You can see an $8 movie, have amazing tacos and then see incredible live bands. It has my favorite places to eat, drink & play - Homestate, Hippo, Highland Park Wine, Triple Beam, Highland Park Theatre, Checker Hall and Civil Coffee to name a few. Plus there’s parking behind the shops which is worth its weight in gold in LA!”

The Northeast LA located area used to be an arty enclave, then a business district, and now the trendy area Gatewood breaks down above. While there, check out all of the above, but also make time for the stunningly decorated Highland Park Bowl, where you can bowl in style - or just sit and watch.

Find Out More: Highland Park Bowl

3. The Varnish 

“I’m completely biased because I used to work here, but these are hands down the best cocktails in Los Angeles. It’s also the bar that started the cocktail scene in Los Angeles. I just so happened to teach Ryan Gosling how to make an Old Fashioned there, so it’s basically a historic landmark.”

Opened in 2009, as Gatewood notes this speakeasy is a crucial part of cocktail history in LA, even if others have taken up the torch since. It’s located at 118 E. 6th Street, and is open Sunday through Tuesday from 7pm to 2am. You might need all of that time to browse and try their delicious looking cocktails. Tell them Ryan Gosling sent you.

Find Out More: Varnish Bar website

4. Dynasty Typewriter

“An absolutely gorgeous space with tons of vintage quirk, this fabulous comedy venue inhabits the old Hayworth Theatre.  I did a screening of my movie Good on Paper here (streaming on Netflix). I’m also directing a one woman show by Jackie Johnson called “How to Get a Second Husband” that will be there April 1st. Come say hi!”

With shows nearly every night of the week, there’s always something to check out at this venue, which is located at 2511 Wilshire Blvd. But with top-name acts like Adam Sandler, Tig Notaro, Fortune Feimster, Mae Martin and more performing here, you might want to snag tickets early, before they sell out.

Find Out More: Dynasty Typewriter website

5. Lyric Hyperion Theatre

“The comedy scene in LA is evolving post pandemic and I’m loving all the new venues popping up. New owners recently took over The Lyric and have attracted some fantastic talent and extremely fun shows.”

Located at 2106 Hyperion Avenue, the theater has a lovely looking cafe that opens at 9am, and then shifts right into comedy in the nighttime. A cursory glance at the schedule turns up great shows like The Retreat, co-hosted by Gatewood’s also hilarious and talented comedy partner Rebekka Johnson, and the hit storytelling show (and podcast) Risk!, hosted by The State’s Kevin Allison.

Find Out More: Lyric Hyperion website

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