Our shared racist past surfaced in “Neighbors”

Reviews · Theater
People can be color-blind when it comes to race. In fact, skin color doesn’t even matter. Based on that idealistic credo — the legacy of the civil rights movement and ’60s egalitarianism — Richard and Jean Patterson, an interracial couple who are the subject of a brilliant new play, “Neighbors,” marry. He’s black, she’s white. ...

Classical theater, California-style

Reviews · Theater
Two wonderful recent theater outings in L.A., both highly recommended. There’s only one more weekend to skedaddle to the delightful 24th Street Theatre for final performances of “Anton’s Uncles,” which the effervescent creative team of Debbie Devine and Jay McAdams co-produced with Theatre Movement Bazaar‘s ex-Mummenshantz word-and-movement mavens, Tina Kronis and Richard Alger. I had ...

Merce’s marvelous Irish jig 3

Dance · Reviews
Co-published on Huffington Post arts page “It was unutterably moving to watch,” said long time company archivist David Vaughan of the historic reconstruction of “Roaratorio” (1983) that graced Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s fare-thee-well performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall this weekend. “We all feel Merce in the dance.” Indeed, watching company elder Robert Swinston, 60, ...

Lionel Popkin, elephantine

Dance · Reviews
We all know it's a jungle out there. Especially now, with oil gushing into the Louisiana Wetlands, we're sincerely grateful to choreographer Lionel Popkin for inverting the familiar man-destroys-nature theme. Popkin transforms a downtown Los Angeles performance space into an urban jungle of lush mystery in his marvelously inventive "There is an Elephant In This ...

The eyes have it …

Dance · Reviews
Indian dancers dance with their eyes. They train them too. That’s evident in this image of the great Indian classical dancer Uday Shankar (Ravi Shanker was his little brother and Jack Cole was his student). Modern-dance choreographer Yvonne Rainer wisely reminds us that the mind is a muscle. So, too, are the eyes. The pedagogy ...

Heidi Duckler’s sudsy classic

Dance · Reviews
The Echo Park lavanderia (“SpinCycle”) where choreographer Heidi Duckler is reprising her 1988 site-specific work “Laundromatinee” stands next door to a Los Angeles bagel factory. Yeasty baking odors waft into the laundromat where her whimsical dance unrolls. We’re in the inner city. That makes sense because Duckler, a long-time contributor to the local dance scene, ...

BODYTRAFFIC & Barak Marshall fete Israel’s 62nd 1

Dance · Music · Reviews
Haim Saban, the expatriate Israeli entrepreneur who made a bundle in the 1990s manufacturing Power Rangers, threw an amazing and generous party for L.A.’s Jewish community to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaoot, Israel Independence Day, at his newly refurbished Saban (formerly the Wilshire) Theater. Everything nifty about Israeli culture — its youth, high energy, optimism, talent to ...

John Jasperse tells his truth … at REDCAT

Dance · Reviews
New York choreographer John Jasperse’s engaging dance work with the coy name, “Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat-out Lies,” confirms the obvious. Which is … that of the many wonderful outposts for dance in Los Angeles, REDCAT is the most happening. Chances are high you’ll leave this venue satisfied, with a belly full of ...

Meredith Monk, liberator of singers

Dance · Music · Reviews
Multimedia artist Meredith Monk, labeled avant-garde for her reducing of dance, music, and drama to their most basic and powerful elements, gave the great voices of the Los Angeles Master Chorale a remarkable gift: their bodies. Halfway through “Songs of Ascension,” the final work of Sunday evening’s Monk tribute, the singers circulated the stage of Disney ...

Herr Haselböck’s precarious perch 1

Music · Reviews
Musica Angelica’s Palm Sunday performance of St. John Passion at Santa Monica’s First United Methodist Church had us afloat in the infinite beauty of Bach’s musical soundscape. But it also had us glued to our chairs as Martin Haselböck, the orchestra’s music director, balanced backwards on the edge of the stage conducting Bach’s massive score ...