Backstage brawl for Michael Kidd & Dolores Gray’s mother

Dance · Theater
We’re always looking for good show-biz stories involving the estimable Dolores Gray. Jack Cole, who worked with Gray on several projects — Kismet, Designing Woman among them — had a few select words about Gray … and her mother. In this case, the story concerns Gray’s hiring for Destry Rides Again, the Broadway musical adaptation ...

Puppets to bow out after Bob Baker ‘Spooktacular’

Theater
The final show (and we hope and pray the spookiest) at the longtime home of Bob Baker Marionette Theater will enjoy a loooong run — scaring the heck out of a lot of Los Angeles kids throughout the season-‘o-ghoulishness. Soon thereafter, the puppet theater that has occupied its charming digs beneath the First Street Bridge ...

The valleys are alive with the sound of gibberish, courtesy of artist Paul McCarthy

Dance · Film · Language & ideas · Music · Theater
Maria, pictured above and played by Julie Andrews in the syrupy Hollywood movie-musical, The Sound of Music (1965), delivers her iconic hilltop anthem, but in a bizarro version created by visual artist Paul McCarthy, her scale runs do ti la so fa mi re do. McCarthy created cisuM fo dnuoS ehT / The Sound of ...

Excuse me, Mr. Lipschitz’s sculpture, could you kindly move over?

Architecture & Design · Dance · Theater
You walk your dog, right? And you lug your groceries from the market to the car. So why shouldn’t the Los Angeles Music Center, as part of its $40 million Plaza renovation project, take its Jacques Lipschitz “Peace on Earth” sculpture for a little stroll as well? It’s been sitting in the same spot since ...

Spend quality time with Bert & Ernie

Theater · Visual arts
In 2011, when our society was slightly more playful mood, a petition circulated to cajole the two besties, Bert & Ernie, from the closet, and marry ’em right on Sesame Street. Who knew that five years later we would elect an actual prime-time puppet to the presidency? But to take a break from all of ...

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 ...

Long Day’s Journey: a family feud, familiar fodder for Americans

Theater
Every family has its problems. Every problem spurs its drama. I anticipate my upcoming visit to The Wallis to see Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night as a microcosm, a kind of deep dive into a Petree dish — a ‘family drama’ the likes of which our nation is undergoing now. A highly controversial ...

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 ...

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.” ...

REVIEW: ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ @ A Noise Within

Reviews · Theater
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When A Raisin in the Sun was first performed on Broadway in 1959, it became a landmark. Playwright Lorraine Hansberry was the first African-American woman to author a Broadway play, and at 29, she became the youngest playwright to receive New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. While the setting of the piece ...