Strong female film characters on parade @ COL*COA

Film · Reviews
French actress Jeanne Moreau, platinum blonde and wrapped in a feather boa, poses in vast ennui in BAY OF ANGELS (1963) written and directed by Jacques Demy. Moreau plays a bored upper class housewife on an existential bender in the south of France. She gloms onto a young drifter, Jean, first by his pocketbook and ...

Review: Kenny Barron hits the hoops for Da Camera Society concert

Architecture & Design · Music · Reviews
It was a jazz concert in an unlikely locale. Pianist Kenny Barron, whose teammates have included Roy Haynes, Lee Morgan, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, and Yusef Lateef, unleashed a magical solo piano recital in a boy’s gym. It was the refurbished indoor basketball court of the 28th Street YMCA Building — a glorious ...

Review: Quirky master-photog Bert Stern captured in doc 1

Film · Reviews · Visual arts
It doesn’t matter that “Bert Stern: Original Madman” falls short in depicting the hectic life and work of the go-go photographer of the sixties. The documentary, a first major effort by Shannah Laumeister, is unevenly told, biased toward the actress-turned-director’s own personal relationship with Stern, and values cheap story elements over artful ones. Yet the ...

Book review: ‘Hermes Pan, The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire’ 3

Dance · Film · Reviews
A book review first published by Dance Magazine [December 2012] Growing up in Memphis as the son of Greek immigrants, Hermes Pan (1909–1990) copped dance steps from the family’s African-American household help. Fast-forward to the Depression, when the self-taught Hollywood choreographer’s black-and-white dance fantasies for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers offered Americans escape. The versatile ...

Review: The Joffrey Ballet’s “The Rite of Spring” at the Music Center 5

Dance · Reviews
We did not hoot, we did not holler, but we let rip with a bracing “bravo!” for Vaslav Nijinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” (Le Sacre du Printemps) at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Friday night. First, because the Joffrey Ballet’s 100th anniversary reconstruction of the historic Ballets Russes production was great. But mainly because … to ...

Doug Varone & Dancers flash fun, finesse in O.C.

Dance · Reviews
All hail modern dance. Not “contemporary” dance, not “contemporary modern,” but old-school barefoot modern dance, a movement language spoken, traditionally, without the aid of shoes, that is, toes gripping the ground. A conversation, via a trained and fluid body, between music (sometimes text, sometimes silence), fellow dancers, and an audience. Doug Varone, veteran choreographer and artistic ...

Eötvös’s noir quartet, “Korrespondenz” (1993), by Calder Quartet @ Jacaranda

Music · Reviews
What a strange and intricate moment when composer Peter Eötvös’s Korrespondenz, Scenes for String Quartet opened Jacaranda’s “Fierce Beauty” program Saturday night in Santa Monica. The Calder Quartet played the 1993 work with Eötvös in the room, making the occasion extra special. The global music luminary is visiting Los Angeles from Hungary for a week of ...

Esa-Pekka, Especially-Pleasurable, at HEAR NOW benefit 3

Music · Reviews
Posing with The Lyris Quartet (Alyssa Park, Shalini Yijayan, violins, Timothy Loo, cello, Luke Maurer, viola) is our marvelous and much-missed Los Angeles Philharmonic Conductor-Laureate, Esa-Pekka Salonen, on a return visit to our town. Salonen’s now London-based where he’s principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra. His presence at a house party in Culver City proved ...

Review: No chopped liver, but still great: GATZ @ REDCAT 2

Reviews · Theater
When I was a kid, my yiddishe grandmother would pack us sandwiches for Saturday movie matinee (she called it “the show”). My cousins and I would line up at the box office of Pittsburgh’s Manor Theater, clutching in our little hands a few bucks and our greasy brown-paper bag lunches. The theater concession’s stellar offerings ...

Review: Streisand, refridgerated

Music · Reviews
Warming the nippy November night with her presence, Barbra Streisand captivated the Hollywood Bowl — an outdoor amphitheater, a house of 18,000 seats — in a wonderful concert. She looked gorgeous and her voice was gorgeous, often silken and surprising. A powerful, beautiful woman dressed sharp in a black sequined pant-ensemble, Streisand commanded the Bowl’s ...