Lost and found: Houdini has ‘Game’

Film · Reviews
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Among the many mysteries surrounding Harry Houdini is the question of whether he might have parlayed his charismatic stage persona into sound-era movie stardom. The peerless illusionist and escape artist died almost precisely a year before the release of the first feature-length talkie, The Jazz Singer. His filmography consists of five silent films, the second ...

Let ’em dance: Bobby Fuller Four recalled

Music · Reviews
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The Hollywood Renaissance of the 1960s didn’t need the Bobby Fuller Four. That unique conflagration of bands, managers, impresarios, producers, studios, engineers, session players, record labels and executives, radio stations, deejays, and TV shows incubated the Byrds, Sonny & Cher, the Mamas and Papas, Love, the Mothers of Invention, Paul Revere & the Raiders, the ...

A triumph for ABT, Ratmansky’s “The Sleeping Beauty”

Dance · Fashion · Reviews
American Ballet Theatre celebrated its 75th anniversary last evening at Segerstrom Hall with its sublime new “The Sleeping Beauty” staged by Alexei Ratmansky using original choreography by Marius Petipa interpolated with contributions of his own. The sheer beauty of the production and the revelation of how fresh and compelling the Petipa language positions our national ...

Lovely ladies-in-motion from choreographer Kyle Abraham

Dance · Reviews
Both “The Watershed” and “When the Wolves Came in,” the paired set of dance programs by Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion presented at Royce Hall by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, drew inspiration from serious political and social issues — racial injustice and resulting liberation struggles in the Civil Rights movement and the fight ...

REVIEW: Ballerina Wendy Whelan, restless for a reason 2

Dance · Reviews
At left, an iconic photograph of George Balanchine partnering Suzanne Farrell in “Don Quixote” for New York City Ballet. Wendy Whelan/Restless Creature, which we enjoyed Saturday evening in Long Beach, brought to mind this historic pairing — a great choreographer dancing with his muse. The four-ballet program, premiered in 2013 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, ...

Jail bait from Hollywood choreographer Alex Romero

Dance · Film · Reviews
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A new book “The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock: Alex Romero, Hollywood Choreographer,” author, Mark Knowles, briefly reviewed: Alex Romero was one of the last of the Hollywood Studio staff choreographers who never received the attention or success he deserved. As if his life story is not remarkable enough, his talents were well known ...

REVIEW: Daddy Dearest: Chris Lemmon’s touching tribute to Jack

Film · Reviews · Theater
A charming and winsome theatrical evening with a couple of talented Hollywood men … In “Jack Lemmon Returns,” now on through month’s end at the Broad Stage’s intimate “Edye” theater, Chris Lemmon shares his family photo album sprung to life. It’s the actor/musician’s one-man show of memories and anecdotes about his father, the hugely accomplished ...

Review: L-E-V’s “House” of dance invention @ REDCAT

Dance · Reviews
Not since Dawn of the Dead did as stricken a posse of emaciated weirdos tromp before your eyes — all the better to experience, in real time, at REDCAT performance space. The stalwart black-box theater is rendered even darker by Avi Yona Bueno’s gorgeously murky lighting design for “House,” choreographer Sharon Eyal’s futuristic ballet for ...

Review: Ohad Naharin’s masterful “Sadeh21” @ CAP-UCLA

Dance · Reviews
Days after watching Batsheva Dance Company bring choreographer Ohad Naharin’s splendid full-evening work, “Sadeh21,” to vivid life in its U.S. premiere at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, I am struck by the inadequacy of still photography in capturing the dance’s essence. The benign ring-around-the-rosy image, above, does not represent the multi-chaptered ...

Fresh air on a very hot night: No)one. Art House @ Highways

Dance · Reviews
It was a sultry, sweltering, wonderful Saturday evening when a new dance posse, No)one. Art House, propelled ‘danse du moment‘ onto the stage of Highways  Performance Space in Santa Monica. The audience, half-shvitzing from the room temperature, also seemed half-stunned by how stimulating, immediate and excellent the experience. An amazing cluster of nine dancers arising ...