“The Art of the Steal” @ LACMA

Film · Visual arts
The Barnes Foundation, established in 1921 by collector Dr. Albert C. Barnes, holds one of the world’s largest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, valued at 25 billion dollars. The documentary, “The Art of the Steal,” raises provocative questions about money, culture, and ethics as it chronicles the legal and political efforts used to break ...

Uncle Carl’s two-bit boxed lunch 1

Film
From the get-go — for Universal Pictures that would be 1909 — film industry pioneer “Uncle” Carl Laemmle, a keen entrepreneur, allowed visitors on film sets. In the early days of Los Angeles filmmaking, shooting took place in plein air. Indoor production came later. To accommodate curiosity seekers, Laemmle erected a special grandstand. From this ...

Leonard Bernstein meets Sharon Farber @ Pacific Serenades

Music
I’m looking forward to “Mixed Up World,” the aptly titled upcoming performance by Pacific Serenades. I wrote previously on arts•meme about the 24-year-old chamber music society’s premiere of a work by jazz pianist Billy Childs. Pacific Serenades’ mission is to present newly commissioned chamber works alongside standard repertoire in intimate concert settings. Here’s an impressive list ...

Zero’s Nero 1

Film · Theater
Just the idea of Zero Mostel makes me laugh. Watching him in movies, I’m gripped by fear that the camera will leave his face … and I’ll miss something funny. The rotund comic genius starred in the original Broadway production of Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ...

David Hallberg, ballet dancer

Dance
I would do a lot to have this gorgeous guy’s photo on arts•meme … even enjoy a guilty pleasure like “Kings of the Dance.” The six-foot-three, 27-year-old American Ballet Theatre principal dancer is beyond wunderkind — he’s exquisite. Orson Welles was a wunderkind; David Hallberg dropped down from heaven. Either that, or he grew up tap ...

Lawrence K. Ho’s dance photo

Dance · Visual arts
This superlative dance photograph, taken by Los Angeles Times photog, Lawrence K. Ho, was published in tandem with my review of the Beijing Dance Academy at the Ahmanson Theatre this weekend. Here are more of his photos in a slideshow. Researching Mr. Ho, I was impressed but not surprised to learn that he has won ...

Coffeehouse dances by Keith Glassman 3

Dance · Reviews
Keith Glassman is a gentle-spirited choreographer with a hard-core aversion to hyped performance energy. A veteran of the New York troupes of Kenneth Rinker and Bebe Miller of the 1980s, Glassman keeps it cool and low key. I find his witty body-puzzles and multicultural noodlings honest and engaging. Lately he’s been staging dance happenings in the cafes of Los ...

bobrauschenbergamerica at [inside] the ford

Reviews · Theater · Visual arts
"Art was not a part of our lives," states a figure representing the famous artist's mother in bobrauschenbergamerica, now on view at [Inside] the Ford, the friendly cavernous indoor space tucked below the Ford amphitheater on the Cahuenga Pass. It's the first-ever Los Angeles staging of the 2001 play written by Charles Mee. Describing her ...

Herb Alpert @ Disney Concert Hall

Music · Reviews
Herb ‘n Lani Bringing his cool and laid-back vibration to Disney Hall’s golden circle of sound Friday night was Herb Alpert — leading a five-piece combo in a freewheeling but tightly professional rendering of the American songbook. The ever-handsome, now grey-haired Los Angeles homeboy interspersed jazz standards — Fascinating Rhythm, Paper Moon, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Laura ...

C’era una volta il West (1968)

Film
Concerning Sergio Leone’s epic masterpiece, “Once Upon a Time in the West,” what can a mere mortal possibly say? The scope, ambition, and perfection of this movie are of such gigantic proportion that it quashes idle chatter. You simply have to see it. It’s my good fortune to live in Los Angeles where this film-of-all-films was properly ...