Air-con comes to Great White Way

Architecture & Design · Theater
Chill, audience!

It’s precious. Variety slanguage” uses the expression legit — in reference to legitimate (live) theater. The term seeks to differentiate serious theater (think Shakespeare, O’Neill) from vaudeville or burlesque, viz, “Choreographer Michael Kidd distinguished himself in legit before working in pictures.”

In this news item dated May 25, 1938, we learn that 14 Broadway houses are being equipped with air-conditioning, thus, in the hedder (er headline), these newly “iced” “legit” houses will experience an uptick (“heat”) of ticket sales at their box office (“b.o.”)

So good! Who wrote that headline?

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Channel your inner ‘Black Cat’ — at Long Beach Opera

Dance · Featured · Music

Alcoholism, horror and haunting — a day in the life under the Trump administration, right? No such thing! This is an added plus: You get to be traumatized by Trump by day and then, again, at the opera, in the evening.

Seriously, Long Beach Opera‘s upcoming production based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat — in conjunction with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra — sounds so intriguing. It’s being presented as a “multi-disciplinary, cinematic re-telling” of the Poe story in an “avant-garde, arresting, movement-infused version.”

It appears to be a boutique production: a single tenor sings Baroque cantata arias while two dancers parry before projections across three screens. So, dance, opera and film. It’s a European import so it must be good! Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra’s Martin Hasselböck, a friend of arts·meme, conducts. The music is a uniquely haunting mix of J.S. Bach and, during the many flashbacks, English art-rock composer David Sylvian

We’re going to the Sunday matinee. Less scary!

The Black Cat | Long Beach Opera | Jan 19/20

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‘Little Sparrow’ to Long Beach: ‘Piaf! The Show’

Karen Carpenter would approve. She would be thrilled to learn that the noble performing arts center named in her honor will be presenting a concert by The Little Sparrow. Well, almost! The Sparrow once removed. “Piaf! The Show,” a delicious way to pass a Sunday afternoon, popped out at me when I studied the season ...



“Mary Poppins, step in time!” cries Van Dyke to Breaux & Wood choreography 4

Dance · Featured · Film
Kick the knees up! Step in time Votes for women! Step in time It’s the master! Step in time Step in time. As we enter movie theaters in anticipation of the fun and joy director Rob Marshall and his choreography partner, John DeLuca, have in store for Mary Poppins Returns, let’s step in time … ...

‘Wall art’ a child can understand

Featured · Visual arts
“Enough with the memes,” griped Senator Charles Schumer to Donald Trump on Twitter. Luckily, Sen. Schumer did not tweet, “Enough with the arts memes.” That leaves us free and clear to share our collection of ‘wall art’ for the eggification, sorry! edification of America’s ‘Chief Egg-zecutive.’ Spanning the centuries, artists have illustrated the nursery rhyme ...

Fly high in 2019, with dance!

Dance · Featured
Did the holidays do you right? Kinda, sorta? Some of us still feel fatigued! Laden, draggy, down to earth. That is why we want, and need, peppy young people, for example dancers, in pursuit of a hot new trend — going airborne. Because space is the place ~! It may be the new dance frontier. ...

John Sebastian’s Greenwich Village memories to Malibu 3

John Sebastian’s songs for the Lovin’ Spoonful placed him firmly in the elite 1960s songwriting fraternity that helped turn rock from entertainment to an art form. Like Paul Simon, John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, Sebastian was one of the prime architects of folk-rock. That crop of folk ...

‘Ballets With a Twist’ leads the way in reaching new audiences

Dance · Fashion · Music
It doesn’t feel like they do it to fulfill a foundation, or government, ‘outreach’ grant — although they certainly deserve one. They seem to do it by instinct, by coupling brains, creativity and talent with a genuine desire to connect and entertain. That’s why I applaud boutique ballet company ‘Ballets With a Twist‘ for its ...

Marilyn could play comedy … or tragedy … according to her directors

Henry Hathaway, on MM and high drama: I think her whole life might have changed in Darryl Zanuck would have let her  … I wanted to do Of Human Bondage with Marilyn and Jimmy Dean way back then … because after I did that picture with her [Niagra] I found her marvelous to work with, ...

Do look now at Nicolas Roeg’s ‘Don’t Look Now’

A fitting tribute to British director Nicolas Roeg, the man who just fell from Earth passing away on November 23, 2018, at age 90 is a screening of his eerie, atmospheric thriller from 1973, ‘Don’t Look Now.’ The New Yorker recommends the film. But, in Los Angeles, we have a big-screen viewing of it, with ...