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

Dance · Music
Alcoholism, horror and haunting — a day in the life under the Trump administration, right? No such thing! Now you can 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 ...

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

Featured · Music
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 ...

John Sebastian’s Greenwich Village memories to Malibu 4

Music
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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 ...

A thoughtful, joyous Kurt Elling Christmas at Segerstrom

Music
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Two years ago, jazz singer Kurt Elling released The Beautiful Day: Kurt Elling Sings Christmas. As he’s a vocalist who likes to have his way with a song to the point of redesigning it, that CD was a bit of a surprise. But for anyone familiar with Elling’s background, it made perfect sense. The son ...

‘When I say freedom, you say jazz’: JazzAntiqua @ 25

Dance · Music · Reviews
Folk flooding toward the theater half an hour before showtime gave the first indication that something special was on tap at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center on Saturday night. In Los Angeles, traffic-frazzled late arrivals are the norm. The faithful flocked to a special, nearly familial, celebration: JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble‘s big 25th ...

A cantor’s son travels over the rainbow … Harold Arlen

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ed. note: arts·meme reprints with permission Kirk Silsbee’s profile of Harold Arlen originally published by the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Arts. ♠           ♠           ♠           ♠ Search any photographic archive for images of composer Harold Arlen (1905-1986), and it’s the rare picture that he’s not seen in a jacket and tie, his pocket filled with a ...

A singer’s love of language: Luciana Souza comes to Royce Hall

Music
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It’s been a recurring pleasure to chart the creative arc of Brazilian singer and songwriter Luciana Souza through her SoCal appearances over the years. We remember Jazz Bakery evenings where she held the room spellbound with a tempered vocal delivery on jazz-rooted arrangements and musical interaction. Souza’s clear soprano uses volume judiciously: she can send ...

Mazowsze, the Polish folkloric dance troupe inspiring ‘Cold War’

Dance · Film · Music
Director Pawel Pawlikowski‘s visually beautiful and emotionally gripping Cold War, which opens December 21, rises from the ruins of post-war Poland where is set a seemingly impossible love story. Cold War earned Pawel Pawlikowski the Best Director award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. In the film produced by Amazon Studios, two fictional lovers meet ...

Gloria Cheng’s garlands for new music in Los Angeles

Music
Ed. note: The great and gracious pianist Gloria Cheng is a guest contributor to the blog, with an excerpt from an essay she herself penned recounting the scene for new music in Los Angeles. “Only in Los Angeles?” was originally published by NewMusicBox and is excerpted with kind permission. Writes Gloria Cheng: It could be ...