Faster than a speeding bullet … Liza Minnelli soon at Segerstrom

Music · Theater
That’s how she was marketed, in 1966, by The Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel — as the soaring star that she was. Liza Minnelli, born on March 12, 1946 to Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli, went on to a very public, very distinguished career as a singer/dancer/actress. We’ll catch up with Liza ...

Wild rhythms of Japan & India to tumble from Ford Amphitheatre stage

Dance · Music
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Ask the average American theater-goer or music listener to describe Japanese taiko drumming and you’ll probably hear a description something like this: solemn men in loin cloths and sweat bands who beat oversized drums in unison — loudly and interminably. Brian Yamami has spent his last 18 years trying to change that perception. He’s a ...

Live, again, on Hollywood Boulevard: Jackie Wilson

Film · Music
Kind of a stunning cultural moment to attend the first-ever Hologram-only theater right on the tourist strip of Hollywood Boulevard. A block from the Egyptian Theatre, it’s a wholesome entertainment addition to the ‘hood. Last week, we attended a debut screening of a hologram-homage to a great r&b/early-rock artist, Jackie Wilson.  Now, gosh. This strip ...

Herb & Lani Alpert’s generous mid-career funding of meritorious artists

Dance · Film · Music · Theater · Visual arts
Robert O’Hara, Courtney Bryan, Michael Rakowitz, Lani Hall Alpert, Herb Alpert, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Arthur Jafa, Photo credit: Francesco Da Vinci The Herb Alpert Foundation and California Institute of the Arts awarded the 24th annual Herb Alpert Award in the Arts to five exceptional mid–career artists at a lunch hosted by the Herb Alpert Foundation ...

Pianist Jose Menor’s radiant ‘Goyescas’ to shimmer at Spain-on-the-Pacific party

Music
A toast of sparkling cava will cap off a sensual event when Jacaranda hosts a Spanish-themed “Goyescas by the Sea” benefit concert Sunday, May 20. The youthful Barcelona-based superstar-pianist, Jose Menor, will grace the program, delivering the complete Goyescas by Enrique Granados, an hour-long solo piano suite inspired by that most Spanish of painters, Francisco ...

State of the art: Childish Gambino & dancers, choreographer Sherrie Silver 2

Dance · Music
“This is America” — twisted, sideways, partying. Ominous and sour-sounding. Soulful but fearful — as choreographed by Rwanda-born, U.K.-reared Sherrie Silver.

Terence Blanchard’s jazz message, in cabaret seating, at The Soraya

Music
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Trumpeter Terence Blanchard has been visiting this part of the country for years. Starting in the ’80s, he shared the valedictory frontline of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with alto saxophonist Donald Harrison. Leaving the venerable drummer (“Our father, who art Blakey” quipped trumpeter Valery Ponomarev), Blanchard and Harrison co-led a good mainstream jazz band. They ...

Doing the mashed potato with Dee Dee Sharp … and Steve

Music
When we last left our friend Steve Vilarino, he was 15 years old and doing the pony at “Hollywood A Go Go,” a teen dance-party broadcast, behind Marvin Gaye singing (er …lip syncing) “Can I Get A Witness.” Steve pops up again, this time doing the mashed potato, appropriately enough to “Mashed Potato Time” sung ...

Michael Jackson could only spin to the left, said Donald McKayle

Dance · Music · Theater
Chatting in 2011 with the great Tony Award-winning choreographer Donald McKayle (Raisin, Sophisticated Ladies, Dr. Jazz), who passed away just last week, McKayle let drop that he had worked with Michael Jackson on two occasions. And he remembered one funny detail. “He taught himself to dance,” said McKayle. “He could spin only to the left.” ...

Liberty Hill Foundation to honor L.A. arts angel Liz Levitt Hirsch

Music
“Attention must be paid!” says Jane Jelenko, philanthropist, activist, writer, longtime friend to Elizabeth Levitt Hirsh, and co-chairperson of the upcoming Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner, April 19, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Levitt Hirsch will be honored with a Founders Award. “I’ve known Liz for nearly thirty years. I’ve watched her arts activism from ...