Motown magic to Malibu: Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves @ Pepperdine 1

Music
It’s difficult to witness the decay of present-day Detroit and reckon that the city was a booming factory town in the 1960s. While Detroit’s auto manufacturers put America in the driver’s seat, Motown Records flooded dance floors and came as close to dominating Top 40 radio as any domestic record label in history. Berry Gordy, ...

Smart, independent, passionate: Jeanne Moreau’s film personae on view in Cinematheque series

Film
Well, I didn’t even know she died. I can be forgiven as my own mother died the prior day. I was preoccupied. Still this eternal artist was not meant to perish. The magisterial French actress, the queen of assertive intellect and a noble sensuality, film star Jeanne Moreau (Jan 23, 1928 – July 31, 2017) ...

Miss Carmen regrets … 2

Dance
“I am truly honored to receive the Kennedy Center Honors Award and look forward to attending the ceremony at the Kennedy Center. In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, ...

Anniversary Classics: From ‘Cape Fear’ to ‘Sudden Fear’

Film
From the people who just brought you ‘Cape Fear,’ a doubling down on the same theme: a 65th anniversary screening of ‘Sudden Fear.’ Those would be the folks at Anniversary Classics (produced and hosted by film critic Stephen Farber for Laemmle Theatres). This screening will prove that anything Donald Trump or Kim Un Jong can ...

Miss Ruth in the Valley 3

Dance
Above, Ruth St. Denis, featured in a newspaper feature story on elderly fitness, strikes a Denishawn pose for a photographer. Verso text: “Pictured are Frankie Van, owner of Frankie Van’s Health Club, 3717 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, along with famous modern dancer Ruth St. Denis. Ms. Denis once lived in the Valley and operated ...

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 ...

Who was Olga Spessivtseva?

Dance
Olga Spessivtseva (1895 – 1991) was the quintessence of a Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet romantic ballerina whom George Balanchine famously called “a beautiful diamond, cool, distant, and perfect.” The legendary Russian ballerina, who died in the United States, is the subject of choreographer Boris Eifman’s full-evening work, Red Giselle, coming soon to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. ...

Andrea Martin, beautiful & funny, in support of Armenian women in need 2

Reviews · Theater
We so enjoyed last night’s cabaret-style performance by actress Andrea Martin, accompanied by her versatile sidekick (every woman needs one) Seth Rudetsky. The evening-length fundraiser for the Armenian International Women’s Association took place at North Hollywood’s show-bizzy El Portal Theater. Paying respect to her Armenian family background, the multiple Emmy Award-winning and two-time Tony Award-winning ...

Ella at 100: virtuosity, joy and swing 4

Music
by 
arts·meme jazz critic Kirk Silsbee excerpts his liner notes to the new four-CD set, Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For a Centennial (Verve 2016-00957) At first blush, one hundred songs from any artist seem like overkill. In the case of Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996), whose recordings number in the thousands, one hundred is just about enough to ...

Kim Basinger, Guy Pearce pay tribute to ‘L.A. Confidential’ director Curtis Hanson

Film
”He was my friend. I loved the man,” said actress Kim Basinger of film director Curtis Hanson, who died tragically at a too-young age in September 2016. Basinger’s two films for Hanson included L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997) and 8 MILE (2002).  The super slender blonde, a down-home stunner, sparkled alongside co-star Guy Pearce in a joint ...