REVIEW: Ballerina Wendy Whelan, restless for a reason 2

Dance · Reviews
At left, an iconic photograph of George Balanchine partnering Suzanne Farrell in “Don Quixote” for New York City Ballet. Wendy Whelan/Restless Creature, which we enjoyed Saturday evening in Long Beach, brought to mind this historic pairing — a great choreographer dancing with his muse. The four-ballet program, premiered in 2013 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, ...

Mae I entertain you, asks Ms. West

Film
Actress, singer, comedienne, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol — no, we’re not describing  arts∙meme. Rather, it’s the inimitable movie star Mae West. Movieland’s most provocative purveyor of dirty double-entendres did her job while strapped into an hour-glass figure. West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the New York stage before moving to ...

Glorya Kaufman joins Bernardo for the dance at the gym

Dance · Film
It was mambo-mania Saturday night at the elegant Dorothy Chandler Pavilion when Los Angeles dance “angel,” Glorya Kaufman, posed with pleasure with George Chakiris, the Academy Award-winning star of “West Side Story.” Chakiris engaged in newsy dance conversation prior to a screening of the movie-musical masterpiece before a  very full house of big-screen movie fans. ...

Tuesday is Wendy-day

Dance
It’s always nice to have a special visitor from New York, in this case our good friend, the longtime editor of “Dance” Magazine, Wendy Perron. Next Tuesday evening, Wendy will join forces with a stellar line up of dance thinkers and dance talkers: the great dancer/dance maker Simone Forti and choreographer/educator Victoria Marks. It all ...

“You’re no spring chicken,” Bette Davis told Gena Rowlands in 1979 3

Film
So incredible, Wednesday evening, to see the great Gena Rowlands in person, interviewed by film critic Steven Farber after a screening of her historic tour de force performance in “A Woman Under the Influence.” As part of a long conversation, Rowlands spoke with great warmth about her memories of Bette Davis, with whom she co-starred ...

An influential woman still and always: Gena Rowlands

Film
Looking forward to attending a special screening, next Wednesday evening, of A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (1974), a landmark film directed by John Cassavetes and featuring a groundbreaking and courageous performance by actress Gena Rowlands. The film was one of the first preserved by the National Film Registry because of its cultural significance. Rowlands will ...

arts·meme turns six 1

Language & ideas
A sparkling ‘Shirley Temple’ for arts·meme, the Los Angeles arts blog that came into existence on May 24, 2008. The young lady, having formally entered café society, here hoists a cocktail in commemoration of her sixth birthday. Happy birthday, arts·meme! Kudos and hugs around to arts·meme technology guru, Beijing-based Mark Levine; Heap Big Technology Friend ...

Four actors and “The Heiress”

Film
by 
Because so much of the programming for TCM Classic Film Festival 2014 focuses on Classical Hollywood, any given day of viewing during the four-day event (suitably enough, located on Hollywood Blvd., with the Chinese Theatre complex as epicenter) is an immersion in acting. Champions of auteurism argue that the story of Hollywood studio movies from ...

George & Shirley now … and then

Film
A pair of good-looking legendary actors trod the red carpet at TCM Classic Film Festival 2014.’s gala opening Thursday night. The occasion was a warm tribute for actress/singer Shirley Jones, honored at a screening of her debut movie, OKLAHOMA! (1955), recently restored. TCM host Robert Osborne interviewed the always-charming Jones before an invitation-only audience. Jones ...

Our critic’s game plan for TCM Fest 2014

Film
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Ramping up for the opening night of TCM Fest, we heard from our intrepid film critic Robert Koehler, who plans his festival as follows: I’m putting an emphasis on the world premiere restorations.The festival happens to slotting a few of these directly opposite each other on Saturday, when the vast majority of them are screening. ...