Themed Dining DESIGN & concept CONSULTATIONS
648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014
On the top floor of the historic Clifton's Cafeteria an oasis awaits. A dimly lit tropical paradise flanked with carved driftwood, stone Moa idols and exotic artifacts reclaimed from the warm tropical waters of the South Pacific. This is Clifton's Pacific Seas Room. As the lead cocktail designer and one of the space's initial developers Ben focused on creating libations and flavor profiles that would spark the imagination as well as room concepts that kept with the theme of fantastic exotic ports, visions of tropical coves and misty mysteries set to the sounds of seductive distant drumming.
Working closely with owner Andrew Meieran (also owner of the historic Edison in LA), Ben's goal was to conceptualize a cocktail program to delight those who answer this call to adventure. Training his team on the cultural touchstones of the tiki movement and through my menu, celebrating the beloved time tested flavors of tiki masters of the past while offering new selections that explore emerging concepts in Tiki mixology.
16101 Ventura Blvd #255, Encino, CA 91436
The izakaya (居酒屋) (Japanese: [izakaja], ee-ZAH-yah) is the meeting house, the Japanese pub, the place for drinking, and in the spirit of the traditional Japanese izakaya, tucked away and hidden between the hustle and bustle of Encino’s Woodley Proper Saloon and the Scratch Bar tasting menu restaurant exists a new and very exclusive omakase speakeasy. A secret room accessed only by a guide who escorts you through the bowels of the adjoining restaurants, past the dish pits and freezers and through a thick wooden door where only a secret knock grants you access to an intimate 8 seat experience. Inside, the sounds of 1930’s Japan as historic Japanese jazz accompanies your dining experience. Award winning celebrity Chef Philip Franklin Lee (Food Network’s Chopped and Bravo’s Top Chef) takes you on a culinary adventure through 16 courses of exotic and innovative sushi.
For this unique dining adventure, Ben and Chef Philip Lee conceptualized a 1930’s prohibition izakaya complete with an authentic soundtrack and a meal pairing with prohibition style craft cocktails using all imported Japanese ingredients and spirits. With only three exclusive seatings per night and no reservations taken, Sushi|Bar is a highly curated experience and a show in and of itself.
The Astonishing Show Show!
The Astonishing Show Show!
An evening of magic, music, and puppetry on stage LIVE at El CID in Los Angeles.
Conceived by Ben and fellow Magic Castle magician Robert Ramirez, The Astonishing Show Show is a throwback vaudeville experience featuring incredible magic acts from some of the finest award-winning magicians in the country, as well as weird and wonderful performances from some of LA's best professional puppeteers. The Astonishing Show Show! boasts musical numbers, stage magic, and special guest stars from Broadway, film and television including magicians from America's Got Talent, Penn & Teller's Fool Us, as well as puppeteers and designers from Avenue Q and The Jim Henson Company. The Astonishing Show Show is a one of a kind showcase of the bizarre set every Tuesday night at the historic El Cid restaurant on Sunset Boulevard.
In collaboration with famed magician and New York Times Best Selling Author Jim Steinmeyer, the legendary magician who's career includes designing the epic Statue of Liberty vanish for David Copperfield as well as the stage magic for Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin on Broadway. Lessons in Dishonesty is a new interactive magic experience that questions the notion of "free will" in its entirety. Written by Steinmeyer and starring Ben as fictional Madison Avenue advertising wunderkind Jarvis Lorry, this TED Talk like one-man show boasts all new illusions and concepts specifically designed personally by Steinmeyer and his team. Lessons in Dishonesty is a mind bending new concept in magic specifically written for Ben to perform at LA's famed Magic Castle wherein Ben is also a magician member of the Academy of Magical Arts.
Ben directed magician Robert Ramirez and Naathan Phan in their two man magic show Themes on a Variation at the Genii Magic Convention in Orlando. This hilarious, fast-paced magic and music show has been wowing audiences at the Magic Castle and was performed at the most famous magic convention in the country!
Ben and magician Robert Ramirez co-wrote this stage Illusion for his recent appearance on Penn & Teller's Fool Us on the CW.
In 2011, Ben conceived of and developed The Stage Door Supper Club, a roundtable, music and story based exploration of artists involved in professional Broadway theatre and film. Recorded over dinner at a theatre district restaurant in New York City, SDSC gathered professional Broadway notables around a table to share their personal stories and experiences in show business. A forum discussion was led by Ben, inviting the artists to “break bread” with each other and share with the listeners tales from Broadway, onstage and off. These are the perspectives and stories that before now, were only shared amongst members of a tight knit Broadway community. With topics sometimes outrageous, sometimes poignant, SDSC delivered unequalled access to these tales from the mouths of the Broadway performers themselves.
In addition, infused throughout each episode’s discussion is the Broadway music that we know and love. The guests themselves served as the show’s DJ at times, informing the sound and tone of the discussion through music that was selected to further the conversation. When the author of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” shares a story of it’s creation, it’s followed by a song from the hit musical to deepen and enrich the listeners appreciation. Hearing Broadway show tunes with these added footnotes illustrated the passion involved in the creation of an artist’s work.
With a guest list that included such theatre notables as Josh Gad, Penn Jillette, Marc Kudisch, Debra Monk, Andrew Rannells, Alice Ripley, Roger Rees, John Weidman and even the cast of Sesame Street to name a few, The Stage Door Supper Club’s 24 episode run brought the blood, sweat, and tears of the Broadway experience in an unparalleled format to the SiriusXM listener.
The Stage Door Supper Club radio show aired on SiriusXM from August 2012 to January 2016. 24 hour long episodes were produced exclusively for SiriusXM Satellite Radio with each new episode premiering on the first Friday night of each month at 9pm ET, 6PT on SiriusXM’s “On Broadway” channel 72. The program re-aired throughout the week and was also available via the SiriusXM ON DEMAND feature available to SiriusXM subscribers through online access. The Stage Door Supper Club reached a national audience of over 21 million SiriusXM subscribers and subsequently developed a loyal listenership among the “On Broadway” station listeners.
Listen to an episode here:
Benjamin Schrader Acting Reel.
Benjamin Schrader. 2012 TONY awards. The Book of Mormon.
A Seattle native, Ben attended Cornish College of the Arts and began his professional career at The Village Theatre and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. In New York, Ben was part of the original 2007 workshopping team for Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Broadway mega-hit “The Book of Mormon” and went on to be a member of the original TONY winning Broadway cast receiving a Grammy nod for “The Book of Mormon” Grammy Award-winning cast album.
Other Broadway credits include “Avenue Q”, the 2009 revival of “Ragtime”, The 2004 Broadway revival of Deaf West’s “Big River” and was instrumental in the development of the character Gabe in the Pulitzer Prize winning musical “Next to Normal”. In 2013, Ben toured the country with the TONY Award-winning Broadway production of Disney's “Peter and the Starcatcher” directed by the legendary actor/director Roger Rees. In Los Angeles, Ben won the Stage Scene LA award for the role of Freddy in Musical Theatre West’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”.
Other recent highlights include the Walt Disney Academy Award-winning animated feature “Frozen” where Ben can be heard as Brother Troll, and on television in HBO’s “True Detective” and ABC’s “Revenge” among others.