‘Garden of Alla’s theatrical delights

Alla Nazimova, nee Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon, as Camille, and at the Garden of Alla in Los Angeles Joni Mitchell, a resident in nearby Laurel Canyon, said it best: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” She was referencing, in song, the demolition of a 2.5 acre property at the south-west corner of ...

Grotesqueries courtesy of Spanish performance artist Marta Carrasco

Dance · Theater
photo: david ruano An intriguing woman artist from Spain is being presented in multiple performances by the Latino Theater Company at the L.A. Theater Center downtown. It’s the dancer, choreographer and performance artist Marta Carrasco, in a show with an equally intriguing title, Perra de Nadie (“Nobody’s Bitch”). Well, that’s a nice girly name. [We ...

Jack Cole ‘discovered’ Steve Reeves

Film · Theater
As you see from the above “information sheet” for “Theatre World” magazine, Steve Reeves, the astonishingly buff muscle guy in his first creative foray worked for the choreographer Jack Cole in Kismet on Broadway. Reeves played the “Wazir” [chief of police]’s guard. Reeves (not to be confused with George Reeves, television’s “Superman”) was big on ...

To San Diego, for Fosse’s Dancin’!

Dance · Theater
bob fosse’s dancin’ in rehearsals. Photo by julieta dervantes It will be a reckoning. I have been researching Bob Fosse through his several biographies and of course, critically, through his movies. So, the advent of a major revival of Dancin‘ the original Broadway production created, directed, and choreographed by Fosse, this time directed and staged ...

George Chakiris: Riff before Bernardo

Dance · Film · Theater
George Chakiris as Riff in West Side Story, in 1959 It’s one of those fascinating show-biz factoids. For fourteen months, circa 1959, George Chakiris, a good friend of artsmeme, performed in the London company of West Side Story, at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End theater district. What is little known is that the ...

Where the Bronx meets Orange County: Chazz Palminteri’s one-man show

Film · Theater
In 1988, before it became a hit Broadway musical or a feature film co-starring Robert DeNiro, Chazz Palminteri wrote and performed in A Bronx Tale— bringing 18 characters to vivid life in a gripping tale of his rough childhood on the Bronx streets.  The powerful play depicts his bruising youthful experiences in great detail — ...

Cover girl. The great Chita Rivera.

Dance · Theater
Chita Rivera, DANCE Magazine Nov 1957 West Side Story opened on Broadway in September 1957. By November, DANCE Magazine had a new cover girl.

Chita & ‘chicas’: WSS’s original ‘America’ dance crew 1

Dance · Theater
Chita Rivera out front. Behind, L to R: Carmen Gutierrez, Lynn Ross, Liane Plane (unseen behind Chita), Frances Taylor “Chita was so incredible as Anita,” our friend George Chakiris told the audience when I interviewed him in 2015. He played “Riff” in the London production of West Side Story circa 1958/59. Doing that meant keeping ...

Ida Rubinstein, diva/dancer/actress of fascination, in new Holder play

Dance · Theater
A new show opens this week in London: It’s a theatrical presentation about “dance’s forgotten diva.” Which … I always thought … was me! But in the reality-based universe, our friend, Christian Holder, has another dance diva in mind. Holder, the great former star principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet and a Renaissance man, following ...

You go, Ruth & Ted! Denishawn revisited

Dance · Theater
It’s time to show some respect to Mom and Dad. In the lovable, but mildly dysfunctional family that is American modern dance, we kids all descend from the same parents. Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn were two brave souls who saw, then sought, a world beyond their respective birthplaces in rural New Jersey and ...