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.” ...

REVIEW: ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ @ A Noise Within

Reviews · Theater
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When A Raisin in the Sun was first performed on Broadway in 1959, it became a landmark. Playwright Lorraine Hansberry was the first African-American woman to author a Broadway play, and at 29, she became the youngest playwright to receive New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. While the setting of the piece ...

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 ...

Oguri tops list of Los Angeles-based USA Fellows

Dance · Music · Theater · Visual arts
Chicago-based United States Artists (USA) has selected its annual fellowship class of 45 artists and collaboratives, across disciplines and selected from all corners of the United States, who each receive an unrestricted $50,000 awards. A native of Japan, Oguri became inspired to dance after meeting Butoh founder Hijikata Tatsumi in 1983. He started performing in ...

Clown Tomas Kubinek, professional lunatic, walks the walk

Theater
Tomas Kubinek, who smartly selected an always in-demand profession, that of a clown, is described as a comic genius, virtuoso vaudevillian, and all-round charmer who gives audiences a joyous experience. Kubínek, born in Prague, was smuggled out of the country at age 3 by his parents to escape the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. After ...

Love without the germs … from director Garry Marshall

Film · Theater
This passionate-but-sanitary movie kiss comes courtesy of “Young Doctors in Love” (1982), the opener of a film series replete with many titles in the comedy genre, all directed by Garry Marshall. It takes place at the Burbank theater that bears the director’s name.  “Movies at the Marshall” will screen all 18 films directed the Bronx-born ...

To be greedy or not to be greedy, that is The Actor’s Gang question

Theater
In the photo, CBS Radio quiz show ‘Strike It Rich’ Program host, Todd Russell looks on as contest winner Joseph Snyder hands out dollar bills to men on a breadline in front of the Franciscan Monastery in New York City. Snyder, a winner of $230, reflected on his own breadline times. Dated: January 19, 1948 ...

Get to know European dance, courtesy of the EU Delegation to the U.S.

Dance · Theater
A fascinating trio of works of avant-garde German choreography and performance is being presented around town, soon, sponsored by the Getting To Know Europe program, awarded by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and hosted by the Goethe Institut of Los Angeles, and its savvy director Fareed Majari. This virtual mini festival ...

Patricia Morison remembers … Martha Graham, Kiss Me Kate, more 5

Dance · Film · Theater
We so enjoyed a charming conversation with Broadway and Hollywood doyenne Patricia Morison at her Los Angeles home July 6, 2017. The originator of the role of “Kate” in Kiss Me Kate, still vivacious and chatty at age 102, shared happy  memories of her career. She took special care to describe the role that dance ...

arts·meme goes to ‘The Circus’ 1

Reviews · Theater
It’s the eternal cliche … .”fun for kids of all ages.” But hey, half the experience comes from watching a show with little ones. And they are a great audience. Legendary puppeteer Bob Baker‘s “The Circus,” a classic marionette revue now on at Bob Baker Marionette Theater, has been specially restaged for summer viewing — ...