life in MB

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After months of ultra-secret preparations and rehearsals, tonight the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles will host the debut of "Manhattan Beach Confidential: The Musical."

It's not the first time a blog has been set to music, but it is new for a music and dance show to be produced about a small, local real estate market.

Featuring a series of adapted and original songs, "MBCTM" incorporates several popular genres, including classic rock, opera, R&B and classic show tunes.

Perhaps the highlight of the show is its adaptation of "Tonight," from West Side Story. Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, about a budding love between two young people, have been amended to convey a couple's excitement over having their offer to buy a home accepted by a seller. After…

Consider the key. That small sliver of metal that stands between you and all of your possessions – and the great outside world.

When you put your house on the market, you need to trust that your key is going to be used wisely and carefully.

But you have to find a balance between openness (letting people in to see the house) and privacy (making sure the key isn’t abused or doesn’t fall into careless hands). In the real world, sometimes that balance gets upset.

Here are some wrinkles, little dramas and frustrations that we've seen and heard about recently out in the field – with lockboxes and beyond.

Lockbox won't open. South Bay-area lockboxes are high-tech now, using Bluetooth to connect to smartphone apps to open up a key box.

But what if it doesn't?…

It's another rite of passage for Manhattan Beach.

As our little town gains recognition for destination restaurants and luxury real estate, now folks are looking to MB for architectural inspiration.

Each year, Sunset magazine helps to develop an "idea house." This year, it's a big East MB project at 111 S. Meadows.

Starting this weekend, and running through Sept. 7, you can visit any Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Tickets are $18 each, and can be purchased online here or at the door during the open hours between 10AM-5PM.

They're calling this one the "ultimate modern beach home," playing up beach themes without "the typical Cape Cod motif of seashells or anchors," according to one designer. (Would it be rude to note that this "beach home" is east of…

It was just a normal mid-Summer day at the beach this week, when we happened upon something unusual.

Not one, but two volleyball practices on different stretches of beach. Small gangs of mere civilians honing their craft.

And then the reason struck: The 6-Man is coming. Heck, it's next week.

Below (or at this link) you can see our brief, fun video celebration of last year's 6-Man volleyball tourney.

Yes, with its new mid-week timing, the tourney was at a modest scale last year, but still good fun.

Enjoy the video! And make your plans for next week: Weds. July 30-Thurs. July 31, all day, on the beach. Call in sick. The players are.

Volleyball is just the kickoff to week's worth of events, including next Friday & Sat. night's Lifeguard Championships…