Back to Jefferson High School for Central Avenue jazz, with MUSE/ique

Music · Reviews
They got their high school diplomas and hit the ground running. By living adjacent to the rich cultural offerings of Central Avenue in South Los Angeles in its heyday, the kids of Jefferson High School discovered the arts in the classroom and in the neighborhood. They made careers, big ones. A recent thrilling Sunday-afternoon showcase ...

‘Hustling’ at the Guggenheim Museum 1

Dance · Reviews
Seems like an odd fit, right? Yes, it’s a fabulous idea to honor “The Hustle” in its 50th anniversary. The fast-paced, stepping social dance has a name entirely conducive to the city from which it emerged: New York, a place that is full of it, and by that we mean hustle. But to throw a ...

Movie mini-review, with a ‘Vengeance’

Film · Reviews
Ashton Kutcher, B.J. Novak in VENGEANCE photo: Patti Perret / Focus Features Brooklyn wokel meets Texas yokel in VENGEANCE, a cultural bake-off that hinges on the narrow premise of a savvy New Yorker getting pulled into the mysterious postmortem of Abilene Shaw (Lio Tipton), a young lady he claims he barely knew. (He only ‘serial-dated’ ...

Musical melange: ‘Moulin Rouge’ at Pantages

Reviews · Theater
It packs a wallop. But gosh, getting walloped this way is so much fun. I experienced a nearly constant state of joy witnessing the ballistic pageant of song, dance, and bombast better as Moulin Rouge: The Musical, now on at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Not since the ornate theater’s vaudeville days has its gilded ...

REVIEW: ‘La Binoche’ swaps partners, melts down, in ‘Both Sides of the Blade’

Film · Reviews
Why does a movie stick in your head and haunt you for days after viewing? That was my experience with director Claire Denis’ latest, BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE (2022), opening in theaters July 8 and streaming July 23. It surely has to do with the shattering intimacy of Juliette Binoche‘s beautifully modulated performance as ...

‘Apples’: clever Greek film probes universal pandemic experience

Film · Reviews
Who among us has not suffered mal-effects of isolation and removal from normal public existence in the aftermath of a two-year pandemic shutdown? Episodes of confusion, mixing the days of the week, forgetting appointments, losing and misplacing objects. These obfuscations are happening way too often as we reconstitute our lives prior to COVID-19. The profundity ...

REVIEW: Karole Armitage’s ‘A Pandemic Notebook’ at New York Live Arts

Dance · Reviews
by 
photo: julieta cervantes There they were, two luminaries of the 1980s NYC dance scene, facing us 40 years later, Karole Armitage and Jock Soto, in simple black and grey outfits. Armitage got everyone’s attention with Drastic Classicism (1981), a fierce, high-gloss, visually and sonically arresting work that shook up ballet conventions with outrageous costuming and ...

REVIEW: Back to New York City Ballet — with sets and intermissions!

Dance · Reviews
by 
isabella lafreniere, jovani furlan christopher wheeldon’s DGV: danse à grande vitesse Scenery! Intermissions! One takes these for granted – or used to. But experiencing them as part of New York City Ballet‘s opening night marked another step toward normalcy, after the company’s fall repertory season consisted of intermissionless programs featuring ballets that require no time-consuming ...

‘S.O.S.’ cries Diavolo’s timely ‘The Veterans Project’ 1

Dance · Reviews
photo: george simian When Jacques Heim, founder/choreographer/director of Diavolo Dance Theater and one of the most consistently engaging of Los Angeles creative talents, launched The Veterans Project in 2016, hearing of it, I thought of it as an ambitious and laudable community outreach program. Partnering with the “V.A.,” the Veterans Administration, Heim and his dancers ...

Review: ‘Ailey,’ the choreographer, the man, the figurehead, in PBS American Masters doc

Dance · Film · Reviews
by 
The opening moments of Ailey—Jamila Wignot’s deeply rewarding documentary about Alvin Ailey’s life, work and company—show the choreographer receiving a huge ovation as a Kennedy Center Honoree. Cicely Tyson speaks movingly about the depth of his achievements; his company performs a fervent finale from Revelations as he takes evident pride in watching them. Ailey, 57, ...