Washy-washy, Bob Baker-style

Theater
Well, Netflix sure is liking the shutdown of all our performing arts centers and movie theaters. But I’m not. Already immune to the cesspool of germs and inappropriate laughter that infects most audiences, I’m dismayed to see every dang show in town throw in the towel and cancel. Heartbreaking! That’s ‘cuz those theaters don’t have ...

Review: ‘West Side’ Video

Dance · Reviews · Theater
by 
Shereen Pimentel, Isaac Powell and cast. photo: Jan Versweyveld Broadway’s current revival of West Side Story—the groundbreaking 1957 musical by Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim whose dramatic power has long been associated with kinetic energy and eloquently focused movement opens simply. The Jets saunter to the front of the vast, bare ...

Raconteur remembered: Orson Bean

Film · Theater
In celebration of a life fully lived, memorial services will be held on March 14, 2020 for Orson Bean (1928 – 2020). A consummate raconteur, actor, voice artist, writer, and undisputed triple threat on stage, Orson Bean has been a familiar name to people across the country for decades.  On February 7, Mr. Bean was ...

Bird Lives — to 100 — at CAP UCLA

Music
Urban legend has it that the Kansas City native, alto saxophonist and legend, Charlie Parker, copped the nickname “Bird” (shortened from “Yardbird”) due to his hankering for southern fried chicken. We’ll buy that; and while that finger-licking dish comes from a bird that rambles close to the ground, the self-taught virtuoso of American jazz who ...

On Super Tuesday: ‘For the People’ movie marathon

Film · Ideas & Opinion
Heck, we go to the movies all year round. We go on Tuesday, bluesday; we go any day. But a special free-to-the-people invitation to activist/feminist/film director-producer Ava DuVernay‘s cool screening room and production digs in Echo Park gets our interest. Ms. DuVernay is offering, free to the public (ahem, after you vote, guys!), a “For ...

A ‘Romeo + Juliet’ for 2020 soon at The Soraya 2

Dance
As reviews and reactions to the just-opened Broadway production of West Side Story (based of course on the Romeo and Juliet myth) zing back and forth like gang warfare, a new Romeo + Juliet by Ballet BC, the nearly 35-year-old Vancouver-based contemporary ballet troupe, heads to The Soraya for two performances. The production is en ...

Review: ‘Mack & Mabel,’ reunited, at City Center

Reviews · Theater
by 
Many regular attendees of New York City Center Encores! have been waiting – possibly since the series’ 1994 inception – for Mack & Mabel, a 1974 Broadway flop (it closed after 66 performances) that boasts one of Jerry Herman‘s strongest, most compelling and beloved scores. The invaluable series’ primary mission is to bring back musicals ...

Review: Blue13 Dance Company hits home run at The Wallis 2

Dance · Reviews
Blue13 Dance Company “Diya aurToofan” photo credit: Kevin Parry for The Wallis Last night’s boffo showcase by the 15-year-old Blue13 Dance Company brought great pleasure, including a former secret now in plain sight thanks to presentation by The Wallis: the presence of a real choreographer in our midst. Achinta McDaniel, American-born of Indian descent, along ...

Going goth: ‘Frankenstein’ at The Wallis

Reviews · Theater
by 
Similar to the Gothic novel of the same title, which tells the horror story of the creation of a terrifying artificial man from parts of corpses, the stage play Frankenstein at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills takes fragments from the novel and author’s life to piece together a singular ...

Tanowitz observed: critic’s notes on ‘Four Quartets’ at CAP UCLA

Dance · Reviews
by 
An artsy crowd showed up at Royce Hall Sunday afternoon to see Four Quartets, no doubt because of the rapturous reviews it got in London and New York and because of its heady combination of the arts: literature (TS Eliot’s poem of the title read with earthy finesse by Kathleen Chalfant); modernist painter Brice Marden’s ...