You’re much too much, and just too ‘very, very,’ Frankie

Language & ideas · Music
In this holiday season, we show how Frankie does lyricist Harold Arlen SO RIGHT. You’re just too marvelous, too marvelous for words Like “glorious”, “glamorous” and that old standby “amorous”. It’s all too wonderful, I’ll never find the words That say enough, tell enough, I mean they just aren’t swell enough. You’re much too much, ...

At Zardi’s in Hollywood … with Ella Fitzgerald 1

Music
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Ed. note: Universal Music continues to mine the Verve catalog for Ella Fitzgerald material. arts·meme jazz writer Kirk Silsbee excerpts his liner notes to ‘Ella at Zardi’s.’ ♣               ♣               ♣               ♣ In his enviable career as a jazz entrepreneur, Norman Granz (1918-2001) balanced far-reaching vision and a social change agenda with shrewd business acumen. His ...

‘Darkest Hour’: Churchill again smokes cigars on The Queen Mary

Film
In WWII’s most harrowing days, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made several cross-Atlantic forays to convene with allies on our side of the pond. From the proverbial bowels of the noble Queen Mary, which now rests in retirement in the Port of Long Beach, Churchill persisted in running his war strategy. A party celebrating Darkest Hour, ...

Queen Carmen reigns, at the Kennedy Center Honors

Dance · Fashion
arts·meme sends well wishes and sincere fashion envy to the great, the magnificent Empress of Modern Dance, our beloved Carmen de Lavallade who poses here in a sensational mauve gown designed by American designer B Michael A M E R I C A. Queen Carmen fits perfectly in that swank setting, doesn’t she? She has ...

REVIEW: The Suzanne Farrell Ballet’s farewell bid @ The Kennedy Center 1

Dance · Reviews
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Forever Balanchine: Farewell Performances The Suzanne Farrell Ballet Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C. December 7 – 9, 2017 The repertory for “Forever Balanchine” – the final, bittersweet four-performance season of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet – resonated deeply and on many levels. At the Saturday matinee (the same program as Thursday’s opening night, but with ...

Yes, ABT, we like sugar plums. But also ‘Nutcracker’ cookies!

Dance
Where cookies are concerned, we discreetly morph from ‘fussy critic’ to the more relaxed mode of ‘indiscriminate gobbler.’ Gosh, these ballet-themed cookies (photos mixed with those of our favorite ABT dancers) make our mouths water. They are the charming creation of Blackmarket Bakery whose award-winning chef Rachel Klemek celebrates American Ballet Theatre’s production of “The ...

Kirk Silsbee’s 2017 holiday-music picks

Music
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During the 1950s, the United States was rebuilding Western Europe and creating the highest standard of living ever enjoyed by the most people in world history. But by year’s end, most Americans just wanted to be with family and friends. It’s ironic how many contemporary holiday recordings still tap that era’s home-and-hearth heritage. The holiday ...

Creative women SoKo & Loie Fuller align in new film ‘La Danseuse’

Dance · Film
We are looking forward to meeting SoKo, the French singer/songwriter/video artist, in her film performance playing modern-dance pioneer Loie Fuller, in La Danseuse (The Dancer). The movie opens tomorrow, Friday, at Laemmle Theatres. Fuller (1862 – 1928), the great modern-dance pioneer, is now considered, in retrospect, to have been a prescient multi-media artist for her ...

Chuey House: artful home built for artists by an artist, Richard Neutra

Architecture & Design
Chuey House, at 2460 Sunset Drive in the Hollywood Hills, is on the market. At the same time the Los Angeles Conservancy has nominated the iconic house for designation as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). Neutra designed the glass-and-steel home in 1956 for Josephine Ain Chuey, a poet who’d been married to poet Gregory ...

Hollywood’s cross-genre master Michael Curtiz gets biography

Film · Language & ideas
Academy Award–winning director Michael Curtiz (1886–1962)—whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954)—was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his 27-year tenure at Warner Bros., Curtiz directed swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies, and film noir masterpieces. The ...