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 ...

Architects discuss the art (and politics) of performing arts centers

Architecture & Design · Language & ideas · Music · Theater
Performing arts centers define our cities and serve as architectural landmarks. These landmarks can rapidly transform the cultural and economic fabric of a city, bringing renewed prosperity as well as design inspiration. What is the essence of an iconic performing arts center? Enjoy a lively discussion combined with a memorable concert, and light refreshments. Moderator Thomas Small, ...

Costumes! Vivid colors bump up Cirque KURIOS charm

Dance · Theater · Visual arts
Stunning costumes, in gorgeous hues, contribute only one of many memorable production elements of Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities, written and directed by Michel Laprise. A terrific holiday outing for the family, the two-act show is now on view in the old-tyme Grand Chapiteau erected in the big old parking lot of ...

Chita Rivera tells it like it is prior to her PBS “Great Performances”

Dance · Theater
A very fun exercise on Thursday’s Facebook had Chita Rivera — Broadway doyenne, empress and icon, a queen of the art of song-and-dance — chattering on line in a PBS-hosted forum with (among others) Grover Dale of Answers4Dancers with whom she performed in the original production of West Side Story. Chita’s words strike me as ...

Chicago troupes bring “The Art of Falling” to Los Angeles

Dance · Theater
by 
It’s not immediately obvious why Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City improv troupe collaborated on “The Art of Falling,” coming to the Ahmanson Theatre next weekend, except that both companies are based in Chicago. So I asked Michael Solomon, Associate Vice President of Programming at The Music Center, if he knew why. “Both ...

A chat with The Broad Stage’s new director Wiley Hausam

Dance · Music · Theater
Prominent in the crowded field of Los Angeles performing-arts houses is The Broad Stage, where a lively smorgasbord of arts offerings forged a high-profile presence since its debut — in an enviable Santa Monica location — in 2008. Wiley Hausam, a newcomer to Los Angeles, will soon take up the mantle of artistic and executive ...

American theater classic, “Fences,” in affecting Long Beach production

Reviews · Theater
A neglectful husband, three times a father, a self-righteous best friend, a guilty brother, a hungry paramour, a proud homeowner … also a garbageman and a failed athlete who’s outrightly selfish, bitter and mean to his son. (We discover that ultimately he’s a noble human being.) That bundle of conflict describes all the ways in ...

Hold onto your hats ~ here comes VPAC’s new season!

Dance · Music · Theater
A new season at a performing arts center arrives as a list, perhaps just like any list. But if you pause to peruse the rich offerings on tap at Valley Performing Arts Center in the coming season, 2015-16, you’ll feel the fun. Arts energy that is fun, youthful, excellent and diverse will emanate from Cal ...

Bawdy, bodacious broads on parade

Film · Language & ideas · Theater
Author/radio host Sandra Tsing Loh presents her solo comedy act, The B**** is Back: An All-Too Intimate Conversation, inspired by her best-selling memoir The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones. For mature audiences. From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way ...

“Big Shot” skewers THE GODFATHER @ Bootleg Theater

Reviews · Theater
“That’s my family; that’s not me.” So Michael Corleone assures his blue-blooded girlfriend, Kay, in one of his character’s persistent moments of self-denial. First expressed in Mario Puza’s pulpy popular novel, a mega best seller published in 1969, the line was famously recycled in (then) newbie director Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic movie in three installments, ...