Review: Jean Genet’s ‘The Maids’ @ A Noise Within

Reviews · Theater
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Jean Genet had a remarkable career – a thief, a jailbird, an internationally celebrated playwright whose work often embodied his compatriot’s Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous line, “Hell is other people.” That was from Sartre’s play “No Exit,” and Genet’s play “The Maids” (1947) depicts a particularly suffocating hell. Two sisters, maids in a bourgeois French household ...

Review: Natalia Osipova rules the boy’s club of “Tour de Force III” 2

Dance · Reviews
The latest edition of packaged ballet entertainment wrangled by impresario Sergei Danilian, the force behind “Tour de Force III” presented Saturday night at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, brandished a sorry statistic. That each of the evening’s four repertory items was the creation of a male choreographer unfortunately goes without saying. The marginalization, no, ...

Review: Antiquity updated in SOLUNA Fest’s ‘Rules of the Game’

Architecture & Design · Dance · Fashion · Film · Music · Reviews · Visual arts
Vulnerable humans cower in the debris of a humongous classical bust crashed to earth. An unnatural occurrence … like an airplane felled. Symbols of ancient civilization  — either Greek, Roman, or a modern approximation of both — tumble down, explode into shards. Not to worry; it’s all fake. It’s video art. This stunning and impactful ...

Review: Memphis jookin phenom Lil Buck & pals wow @ Broad Stage

Dance · Music · Reviews
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Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade is only eight blocks from The Broad Stage, but it took Memphis jookin phenom Charles “Lil Buck” Riley thousands of miles and several years to get from one to the other.  Six years ago, he was busking for quarters on the Promenade, but when a video of him dancing to ...

Wyler’s ‘House Divided’ rises from the vaults @ MoMA

Film · Reviews
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A House Divided — it’s one of those handy generic titles that has lent itself to half a dozen movies and a whole lotta TV episodes over the years. Back in 1931, it was an especially apt name for an early talkie starring Walter Huston, neatly encapsulating the drama’s dark oedipal stew. It’s a work ...

Film maestro Claude Lelouch’s visual symphony, “Un + Une”

Film · Reviews
Director Claude Lelouch (far right) with his A-list cast of “Un + Une” — Jean Dujardin, Christophe Lambert, Elsa Zylberstein. The director of some fifty films brought his latest to COLCOA French film festival’s big screen last night. The film explores Lelouch’s central theme and his career concern: to plummet the love that exists between ...

French music hall revisited with “Monsieur Chocolat” @ COLCOA

Film · Reviews
“Monsieur Chocolat,” a biopic set in the fin-de-siècle world of French circus and music hall opened the 20th anniversary edition of COLCOA French Film Festival in Los Angeles last night, bringing exotica and rich visual zing to the big screen of the Director’s Guild of America. The film’s talented director Roschy Zem and its star, ...

Like butter … dancer Clarice Young 3

Dance · Reviews
A memorable performance tonight at the Broad Stage by Evidence: A Dance Company, the Brooklyn-based troupe overseen by uber talented choreographer Ronald K. Brown, whose dense dance vision overlays post-modern elements onto a rich African-based vocabulary, often working with jazz scores. Outstanding among the strong individuals to possess the stage was the radiant and beatific ...

REVIEW: ‘Remembering Water’ from String Theory

Dance · Music · Reviews
Everything about “Remembering Water,” a fully integrated dance-and-rock-music pageant presented by Los Angeles-based String Theory, and repeated next weekend at Santa Monica’s charming Miles Playhouse, is pure joy. Spooling through 13 staged songs for a nicely compact 65 minutes, the highly versatile and handsome troupe of eleven (seven musicians, four dancers) radiate a spontaneous pleasure ...

The Mikado gets a transfusion: Robert Allan Ackerman’s BLOOD 1

Reviews · Theater
David Bowie would be proud. Within opening minutes of Robert Allan Ackerman’s highly original work of musical theater — it is promoted as a political thriller, to which we say pish tosh — this alluring and initially repellent (he grows on you) figure of glam rock played by Takaaki Hirakawa commands center stage of the ...