Doing the mashed potato with Dee Dee Sharp … and Steve

Featured · Music
When we last left our friend Steve Vilarino, he was 15 years old and doing the pony at “Hollywood A Go Go,” a teevee-studio teen dance-party broadcast, behind Marvin Gaye singing (er …lip syncing) “Can I Get A Witness.” Steve pops up again, this time doing the mashed potato, appropriately enough to “Mashed Potato Time” ...

Michael Jackson could only spin to the left, said Donald McKayle

Dance · Music · Theater
Chatting in 2011 with the great Tony Award-winning choreographer Donald McKayle (Raisin, Sophisticated Ladies, Dr. Jazz), who passed away just last week, McKayle let drop that he had worked with Michael Jackson on two occasions. And he remembered one funny detail. “He taught himself to dance,” said McKayle. “He could spin only to the left.” ...

Liberty Hill Foundation to honor L.A. arts angel Liz Levitt Hirsch

Featured · Music
“Attention must be paid!” says Jane Jelenko, philanthropist, activist, writer, longtime friend to Elizabeth Levitt Hirsh, and co-chairperson of the upcoming Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner, April 19, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Levitt Hirsch will be honored with a Founders Award. “I’ve known Liz for nearly thirty years. I’ve watched her arts activism from ...

A smoking dance number! ‘Two Cigarettes in the Dark’

Dance · Film · Music
It was so much fun to receive this dance number (above) from our friend the pianist/performer Peter Mintun, a very niche expert in old-tyme American popular music — the stuff of cafe society. The lead tap dancer (unidentified) and chorines deliver performances that can best be described as ‘smoking.’ “Two Cigarettes in the Dark,” by ...

Denkeschoen: Jeremy Denk in April concert @ the Wallis

Music
Pleased to see that Jeremy Denk, MacArthur ‘Genius’ and Avery Fisher Prize winner, will soon concertize in the intimate Bram Goldsmith Theater of The Wallis in Beverly Hills. A youthful and hugely versatile-and-robust piano stylist, Denk, whom Paul Crewes, artistic director of The Wallis, singles out as, “one of America’s foremost pianists,” will deliver a ...

Peter Sellars ‘Lagrime di San Pietro’ goes on the road

Music
It’s mournfully sad, very beautiful, music. But, for many, these are sad times. And we all need more beauty. That was my takeaway after a 75-minute submersion of ears and soul in the exquisite rapture of Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St. Peter), a stunning swathe of a capella choral music by Orlando di ...

Distinguished Israeli pianist to perform in Palos Verdes

Music
A free Sunday concert — donations welcomed — in a beautiful location comes from music producer Jim Eninger, who presents the Berlin-based Israeli pianist Einav Yarden April 8. Yarden has appeared as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Rundfunk Chor, Minnesota Symphony, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Bucharest Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Philharmonic of ...

An old-fashioned road show for New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players

Music · Theater
As the years tick by, I realize I am simply not seeing enough Gilbert and Sullivan. So I was delighted to note The Pirates of Penzance on the season of the Karen and Richard Carpenter Center, where the vast stadium seating makes it one of my favorite places to watch performances. Checking the schedule, I ...

Pianissimo to the max: Terry Riley, Gloria Cheng in concert

Music
What a pairing. Virtuoso contemporary pianist Gloria Cheng playing the works of pioneering minimalist composer Terry Riley — and then the duo playing together. At the cozy, comfortable and acoustically pristine Zipper Hall presented by our friends at Pianospheres. A rare experience. So, go. Program: RILEY: Two Pieces for Piano (1958/1959) RILEY: The Walrus in ...

Dylan Gutierrez brings his Romeo home to L.A. with The Joffrey Ballet

Dance · Music
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The Joffrey Ballet’s Dylan Gutierrez is an LA kid. Before he hit ten, he was on stage with Placido Domingo in LA Opera’s “Falstaff” and “Sampson and Delilah” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. He was a student at the Los Angeles Ballet Academy in Encino – run by his former-ballerina mother – and was once ...