Dance double to Merle Oberon

Dance · Film
A revealing story captured in a comprehensive oral history conducted for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in 2003, with George and Ethel Martin, the two great Jack Cole dancers. Ethel kicks it off, with a small assist from her husband. Ethel: Jack [Cole] told me, ‘I know Kenny [Williams]’. He was ...

Postcards from the beyond

Film
Carrie Fisher is gone. Debbie Reynolds is gone. Mike Nichols is gone. But on Thursday February 2 those dearly departed will send us a postcard from the beyond. A nice ‘homage’ screening of Nichols’s “Postcards From the Edge” (1990) at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Carrie Fisher adapted her semi-autobiographical best-seller about an actress ...

Meg Stuart: female brutalism tinged by vulnerability

Dance
At left, a portrait of the expatriate choreographer Meg Stuart who is visiting Los Angeles this week. Her bravura solo, “Hunter” will be  performed at REDCAT this weekend. Many choreographers in Los Angeles will find Meg fascinating and real. I am personally very attracted by her distinctive brand of female brutalism — mixing raw emotion ...

Live it, with Elaine Stritch

Music
Merry Christmas, Elaine. We’re still here too.

Barbie art – fall sale

Fashion
arts•meme friend Judy Ragagli, the creator of this Barbie art, is running a fall sale, with discounts and free shipping of her oil paintings, in celebration of the autumn season. Barbie art fall sale | for special prices email JRagagli@mac.com

Anita Bryant tells it, once more, to Playboy magazine 1

Theater
Less than 10 years after the Stonewall Riots, Anita Bryant launched a successful campaign to repeal gay rights in Dade County, Florida. Bryant’s notorious campaign gave legitimacy to a new style of right-wing politics and helped launch the Moral Majority and similar right-wing movements that continue to the present day. Bryant’s rumblings had a major ...

Review: Natalia Osipova rules the boy’s club of “Tour de Force III” 2

Dance · Reviews
The latest edition of packaged ballet entertainment wrangled by impresario Sergei Danilian, the force behind “Tour de Force III” presented Saturday night at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, brandished a sorry statistic. That each of the evening’s four repertory items was the creation of a male choreographer unfortunately goes without saying. The marginalization, no, ...

Worldly woman shocks small-town America! Pola Negri, you go girl.

Film
“A Woman of the World” (1925) stars Pola Negri in a comedy about a sophisticated European countess (do they make ’em unsophisticated?) who encounters culture shock during her visit to small-town America. Her continental freedoms — she smokes in public, she wears flashy makeup — clash with local morals. A crusading District Attorney enters the ...

Gwen & Chita’s ‘Nowadays’ better than ours

Dance · Theater
In this yummilicious snippet from the Tony Award broadcast of 1984, Broadway goddesses Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon deliver a pastiche-pairing of numbers from Bob Fosse’s “Chicago.” Chita electrifies with her song-and-dance forcefulness in “All That Jazz.” But Verdon, joining for “Nowadays,” gives a lesson in subtle upstaging — no easy feat considering her dance ...

Jazz singer Jeri Southern, appreciated

Music
by 
There were other female jazz pianists who also sang in the 1950s, but none shared Jeri Southern’s formidable pianistic technique, vocal individuality, and unerring choice of good material. She sang the most bittersweet love songs in the most intimate manner. And few could inspire the nightclub reveries Southern conjured—of melancholy, infatuation, optimism, idolatry, disconsolation, and ...