Una grandissima actrice: Sophia Loren honored at the Academy

Film
  It was a cultural mash-up, a love connection, and a be-in of epic proportion as Billy Crystal, at the request of honoree Sophia Loren, hosted a fabulous and hilarious tribute to the screen love goddess Wednesday night at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. They laughed, they cried, and then they cried ...

Movie musical talk with George Chakiris

Dance · Film
I had the wonderful good fortune to interview singer/dancer/actor George Chakiris at TCM Fest this weekend. The resulting Los Angeles Times piece here. A few leftover niblets to follow… His passion for musicals when growing up: I used to love every movie musical I saw. There was one that stood out, The Barclays of Broadway ...

Chatting with Chakiris today … 2

Dance · Film
I’m interviewing the great actor/dancer George Chakiris today. I only can use a sound bite from him and, believe me, it’s going to be devoted to his memories of working for Jack Cole! Read Chakiris’s stellar curriculum vitae … He was one of the dancers in Marilyn Monroe‘s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” number ...

My favorite brother of seven, Matt Mattox 3

Dance · Film
Last night at TCM Fest: my first big-screen viewing of Stanley Donen’s “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Especially fun since Jacques d’Amboise was just in Los Angeles on a book talk. He spoke quite a bit about making the film. Indeed d’Amboise’s name, well-known considering he’s “just” a dancer, buzzed around the TCM Fest screening ...

Last Remaining Seats: a quarter-century young 1

Architecture & Design · Film
Lots of anniversaries this season at the Last Remaining Seats, the annual fun-in-the-city summer program hosted by Los Angeles Conservancy.  The Wednesday-night classic-film series generates enthusiastic audiences mixing film buffs with fans of vintage L.A. architecture. The most significant birthday? The series itself is 25 years old! Linda Dishman, the Conservancy’s executive director, shares her ...

What a guy! Ehrich Weiss, a.k.a. Harry Houdini

Ideas & Opinion · Theater
The absolutely fabulous “Houdini: Art and Magic,” which opens tomorrow at the Skirball Center along with its equally wonderful companion show, “Masters of Illusion, Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age,” injects fun, mystery and gamesmanship into the ether — right when we need it most. Jewish guys dressed in turbans and tuxedos, waving wands, and ...

Marilyn Monroe gets her very own Russian ballet

Dance · Film
Of the many ballets included in the epic-length “Tour de Force II” program at Segerstrom Performing Arts Center in Orange County this Thursday night, one in particular caught our eye. It’s the West Coast premiere of one act from Boris Eifman‘s “Who’s Who” (2003), which was, according to the description, inspired by Some Like It ...

Melissa Hayden hops a train — just as she hopped into the arms of Jacques d’Amboise 2

Dance
A characteristic shot of the inimitable New York City Ballet ballerina Melissa Hayden (1923-2006), nee Mildred Herman, a nice Canadian Jewish girl (who knew?) who wanted to be a champion swimmer, or so we learned from Milly’s habitual partner, Jacques d’Amboise, at an ALOUD book talk last week. D’Amboise reveled in stories about the extroverted, ...

David Dorfman’s late-hour conversation with Sly Stone saves “Prophets of Funk” performance

Dance · Music
It was a harrowing few days for Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, CA, a sound man named Sam Crawford, eight members of David Dorfman Dance, and the choreographer himself, as the key underpinning of David Dorfman’s touring show “Prophets of Funk ” — the right to use a multi-song sound score by Sylvester ...

Sara Karloff, daughter of Frankenstein 32

Film
Boris Karloff’s only daughter doesn’t like frightening movies. “The Wizard of Oz” scared me when I was seven. Now I leave the room during “Murder, She Wrote,” said Sara Karloff, an elegant woman of a certain age, born when her father was 51. The dark-skinned beauty’s coal-black hair sports an amazing white streak, reminiscent of ...