Get serious, Los Angeles!

Music · Visual arts
Richard Valitutto, Pianospheres Jan 14photo: Jonathan Nesteruk It’s January. So, no excuses. Clear the eggnog out of your noggin — and get ready for some serious art. In Los Angeles, it’s all around us. Artists and their presenters are hitting the new decade afresh, and with force. It does not get headier than the L.A. ...

Merle Oberon’s terpsichorean trepidation 4

Dance · Film
For those who recently watched THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1934) on Turner Classic Movies, a special Jack Cole connection has come to mind from 86 years ago. (Making Jack Cole connections is the name of our game.) Our story involves the film’s glamorous stars, Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. The duo, co-stars of “Pimpernel” (I just ...

And then … ‘And Then We Danced’ at Scandinavian Film Festival

Dance · Film
A coming-of-age tale straight out of Tbilisi, the film follows Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani), a competitive dancer who is thrown off balance by the arrival of Irakli (Bachi Valisvili), a fellow male dancer with a rebellious streak. “And Then …,” directed by Levan Akin, was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2019 Cannes Film ...

New Year’s Eve 2020 with the great Judy Garland

Music
Madam, you are simply the greatest. In fact, you are ‘swell.’ Judy did this witty marvelous number to a song by Irving Berlin, coupled with Fred Astaire, in EASTER PARADE (1948). But she immeasurably upped the performance ante in this absolutely fantastic television rendition. Here it is (we love it) in EASTER PARADE.

Best movie of decade: “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” 1

Film
Our vote is perhaps suspect given a window of ten years — and the selected film dating allll the way back to 2018. Nevertheless, I just love this movie, and don’t feel enough has been made of it. It holds up well at second viewing (I just did that) and recommend it as such. In ...

Yo-ho-ho-liday recordings 2019!

Music
by 
Antonio “Tony” Covay, as “Singing Black Santa,” last week outside the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. (Amanda Voisard for The Washington Post) Holiday-themed recordings haven’t made much noise in recording industry cash registers for a long time. Yet Mariah Carey’s 1994 song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” is number one on the ...

Justice & joy united by Contra-Tiempo 1

Dance
by 
ed. note: this story was originally published on artsmeme Oct 21, 2018 Contra-Tiempo’s new work joyUS justUS is exuberant, activist dance-theater. Say the title out loud and you hear “joyous justice.” Dig deeper, and you discover it takes a stand on topics that are on the boil in America today: immigration, resistance, the power of ...

Death of a dancer: Elyse Borne

Dance
Elyse Borne, after a long battle with cancer, passed away December 16, 2019. After her career as a soloist with New York City Ballet, Ms. Borne further distinguished herself as one of the world’s foremost George Balanchine repetiteurs, and over a period of 20 years from 1996-2016 she staged, with permission of the George Balanchine ...

A minute + five years: ‘A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham’ to Long Beach 1

Dance
Drive (2017) It’s been a minute since Kyle Abraham’s velvety, street-smart choreography hit the dance-friendly stage of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. In 2015 at the Center, Abraham was one of four choreographers to partner ballet goddess Wendy Whelan in the much-heralded “Restless Creature.” That minute has now extended to five years. On January 25, ...

Hollywood New Year’s babies to convene @ The Barn

Film
Cora Sue Collins, with Freddie Bartholomew, Mickey Rooney and Jackie Cooper in the 1930s. A bunch of New Year’s babies will start our Super-Dooper Double-Double-Digit calendar year (hey! remember 1919?) at the Hollywood Heritage Museum with a very cool program, the latest “Evening at the Barn.” It’s Cora Sue Collins Hollywood Reunion Party! hosted by ...