Clarion voice of songbird Judy Collins fills L.A. night sky 8

Music · Reviews
Yes, a songbird, thrush, warbler, coloratura, balladeer … she self-describes as a ‘troubadour.’ But who knew that folk-rock legend Judy Collins is also supremely entertaining, a raconteur spieling salty, even ribald stories all while innocently strumming her guitar? Tonight in a delicious free concert at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, Collins lulled her audience like a ...

Review: Under pink clouds, Music Center’s “Moves After Dark”

Dance · Reviews
Dance critic Gillian Anne Renault contributes this review to arts·meme: As grey clouds turned pink Monday evening and a cool breeze dimpled the Mark Taper Forum pool, a powerful alto voice quieted the crowd for Moves After Dark, The Music Center’s inaugural, site-specific, mainly outdoor dance concert. The ambitious evening, well executed, proved a worthy ...

Review: The History of Black Dance in America 4

Dance · Reviews
It’s a safe bet that many in the audience at Saturday’s vibrant “The History of Black Dance in America,” performed by Central Avenue Dance Ensemble at Cal State Dominguez Hills’s University Theater, while attending an event that celebrated African-American creativity, were nursing bruised feelings over the insane racist violence targeting black people that shamed our ...

Review: Lucinda Childs’ “Available Light” @ Disney Hall 6

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music · Reviews
It was the silver-mesh curtain draped across Disney Hall’s “McFries” pipe organ that gave the performance its first “wow” moment. Almost as though architect/set designer Frank Gehry tossed a throw-rug over a messy sofa to ‘red up for the guests. But Gehry’s living room is none other than L.A.’s stellar fantastic transformational concert hall named ...

Review: Los Angeles Ballet “Directors’ Choice” program

Dance · Reviews
The last time I saw Los Angeles Ballet was at the Ford Theatre in the early 1980s – that, of course, was the other Los Angeles Ballet, the one directed by John Clifford. Always on shaky ground, and much maligned by the Los Angeles Times, it later faced dwindling financial support and stiff competition from ...

“Big Shot” skewers THE GODFATHER @ Bootleg Theater

Reviews · Theater
“That’s my family; that’s not me.” So Michael Corleone assures his blue-blooded girlfriend, Kay, in one of his character’s persistent moments of self-denial. First expressed in Mario Puza’s pulpy popular novel, a mega best seller published in 1969, the line was famously recycled in (then) newbie director Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic movie in three installments, ...

Ravishing dance-film journey to Havana

Dance · Film · Reviews
“Dancing for My Havana,” an Italian/Cuban co-production written and directed by Claudio Del Punta, has garnered the Special Jury Prize of the Dance Camera West festival 2015. The film, a colorful wonderland set in Havana’s romantic urban ruins, tells a love story interpersed with sensational dance numbers that give a rare glimpse into unadulterated Cuban ...

Delon and Gabin crime story a highlight of COLCOA Classics

Film · Reviews
Brenda Blethyn’s performance as a devoted parole officer was the best thing about Two Men in Town, but it wasn’t enough to bring the drama fully to life. An adaptation of a 1973 French film that transplanted the action from Montpellier to the U.S.-Mexican border, the recent release also starred Forest Whitaker and Harvey Keitel. ...

A mid-century moment for LACMA

Reviews · Visual arts
Most everyone who has lived in Los Angeles any length of time has intersected with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Since its 1965 inception, LACMA has been inextricably woven into the city’s cultural history. Maybe you remember the imbroglio over Ed Kienholz’s 1966 “Backseat Dodge” tableau that had the city council up on ...

Lost and found: Houdini has ‘Game’

Film · Reviews
Among the many mysteries surrounding Harry Houdini is the question of whether he might have parlayed his charismatic stage persona into sound-era movie stardom. The peerless illusionist and escape artist died almost precisely a year before the release of the first feature-length talkie, The Jazz Singer. His filmography consists of five silent films, the second ...