Dad, misplaced: Alfred Molina stars in ‘The Father’

Reviews · Theater
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Alfred Molina & Pia Shah in The Father at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo: Jenny Graham To witness the renowned actor of stage and screen, Albert Molina, persuasively morph from an engaging, witty patriarch to a disorganized forgetful dependent is both captivating and chilling.  Now at the Pasadena Playhouse the production of Florian Zeller’s “The Father,” in just an ...

Forward-looking, at Rogue Machine

Reviews · Theater
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anna khaja, taylor shurte, james liebman, jeff lorch On our planet’s frightening social and political seismographic scale, and by any theatrical measure, “Earthquakes in London” is definitely a shaker, especially if climate change and the human condition concern you. Now playing at the Electric Lodge in Venice, weekends through March 1, the ambitious, edgy Rogue ...

The Cirque*us is in town!

Reviews · Theater
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Wow, and wow again! The action-packed Cirque du Soleil production “Volta” just opened under its big top in the Dodger Stadium lot, and it’s worth a multitude of wows. There’s even an act where signs are held up, the word “Wow” on them, in case you miss your cue!  As with all Cirque productions (I’ve ...

The many moods of Engelbert

Music · Reviews
Our man in Las Vegas, Chris Nichols, reports back to artsmeme World Headquarters with this photo essay of a recent club performance by Engelbert Humperdinck (born Arnold George Dorsey, 2 May 1936).Nichols attended the 83-year-old crooner’s Dec 1, 2019 show at the Orleans Showroom in Vegas. Accompanying his photo essay, Nichols reduced the show to ...

Boy enslaved: ‘Buoyancy’ (2019)

Film · Reviews
A real stunner — and a stunning achievement for a first-time feature-film director named Rodd Rathjen — Buoyancy, the Australian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. At age 14, Charka (Sarm Heng) chomps at the bit to escape his daily labor in Cambodian rice paddies under his father’s tyrannical command. ...

Reviewing ‘The Report’: Adam Driver to next play Martha Graham? 2

Dance · Film · Reviews
The two faces of Martha We just endured the earnest-but-meh new movie, The Report (2019), written and directed by Scott Z. Burns with the backing of producer Steven Soderbergh. The film’s noble mission is to recount yet another norm broken in our once-shining nation: the Geneva Convention. A ‘backstage drama’ (an underground “scif” in CIA’s ...

Talking Ben Hecht

Film · Language & ideas · Reviews
One of the greatest American screenwriters, Ben Hecht was a renaissance man of dazzling sorts—reporter, novelist, playwright, crusader for the imperiled Jews of Hitler’s Europe, and propagandist for pre-1948 Palestine’s Jewish terrorist underground. He was also a balletomane and auteur (wrote, produced and directed) the ballet-noir, Specter of the Rose (1946). Whatever the outrage he ...

REVIEW: Twyla’s back and Herman’s got her, in ABT’s ‘A Gathering of Ghosts’

Dance · Reviews
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Aran Bell, Calvin Royal III and Catherine Hurlin in Twyla Tharp’s A Gathering of Ghosts. Photo: Rosalie O’Connor. Twyla Tharp is back working with American Ballet Theatre. So for at least one evening — Wednesday’s much-anticipated premiere of her new ballet at the David Koch Theater — all seemed right with the world. Her prior ...

REVIEW: BODYTRAFFIC’s Wallis residency opens strongly

Dance · Reviews
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BODYTRAFFIC performs (d)elusive minds by Fernando Hernando Magadan (l-r) Guzmán Rosado, Tina Finkelman Berkett. Photo by Don Lee. Some dance performances give us gorgeous bodies, abstract movement and music we can hum: an escape from politics, madness and murder. Others use dancers for polemics and not much else; these may be worthy, but hard to watch. On Friday, ...

REVIEW: A ‘Royal’ August at the Joyce Theater

Dance · Reviews
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Calvin Richardson, Joseph Sissens in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Within the Golden Hour” The Royal Ballet has come to town – or rather, a small but potent ensemble of eight Royal Ballet dancers, who have taken up residence at the intimate Joyce Theater for the first of four Joyce Ballet Festival programs. Curated by RB artistic director ...