Searching for Nina(s), with coffee & Al Hirschfeld

Theater · Visual arts
I don’t quite agree with the exhibition title that calls ‘looking for Ninas’ “a “national insanity.” Donald Trump has a lock on that. But apparently that was how the late great caricaturist/arts journalist Al Hirschfeld, whose charming shtick of inserting his daughter’s name into his cartoons in the Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure ...

Looks beautiful: Christian Petzold’s ‘Undine’ at German Currents Film Festival

Dance · Film
One of Germany’s most celebrated film auteurs, Christian Petzold, brings a Los Angeles premiere to the German Currents Film Festival which kicks off today. Petzold’s UNDINE is a retelling, updated, of the myth of a water-nymph who marries a mortal. The story is set in modern-day Berlin. Told through Petzold’s precise visual style, the film ...

Singalong Saturday: He’s gone where the goblins go

Film
As mayor of the Munchkin CityIn the County of the Land of OzI welcome you mostly regally(But we’ve got to verify if legally)To see … If she …Is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably DEADAs Coroner, I must aver, I’ve thoroughly examined herAnd she is not merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead.So this ...

Vera-Ellen’s teensy steak dinner recalled by dance coach

Dance · Film
chubby cheeks Turning the conversation to Vera-Ellen, I asked Joan Bayley who worked with the Hollywood dancer on White Christmas, if she was a nice girl. “Yes, she was,” replied Joan. “She was not an exciting personality, but she was friendly and sweet.” I expressed my opinion that Vera-Ellen’s dancing is not my favorite, as ...

Election Day 2020: ‘De-polarize for democracy,’ says dancer Dana Caspersen

Dance · Ideas & Opinion
It seems pretty obvious. We need to tamp down the political polarization in this country. But how do we do that? “They” won’t listen. Let’s put our bodies into it. Assuring us that “We Are Not Doomed,” conflict specialist Dana Caspersen, also a former dancer, has created a special “score,” or physical/mindful exercise, in honor ...

German ballet & film worlds connect in age of COVID

Dance · Film
Grand Pas de Deux from LE CORSAIRE: Iana Salenko, Daniil Simkin As we have said umpteen times — to the point of “We get it!” — doing the arts on line is not our first choice. We love going out, we miss it so much. Everyone does. But, wow, some creative things have been pouring ...

Errol Flynn could dance, insists Julie Newmar 2

Dance · Film
Julie on set in gold head-to-toe makeup applied by makeup man Antole Robbins, Flynn observing at rear c. 1952 Beyond his many physical gifts that made him the most derring-do of screen actors to famously do his own stuntwork, the long-legged Aussie-born movie star, Erroll Flynn (1909-1959) could also dance. Who knew? It was a ...

Debunked! Bunker Hill, unblemished, in new book

Reviews
By day, it wasn’t an ‘urban underbelly.’ It was Anytown USA, a hustle-bustle neighborhood of oversized Victorian homes with porticoes and porch swings; corner grocery stores, playgrounds and bus stops. It was the terminus of the charming funicular, Angel’s Flight, that shuttled workers to and from their downtown Los Angeles jobs. By day, the flattish ...

Kristina for king!

Ideas & Opinion · Theater
We already have a king. Some people feel we need a new one. Why not Kristina Wong? She’s nice. She’s funny. And she’s handy with a pandemic. When COVID-19 hit us with our proverbial pants down, she stepped into the breech, making face masks and using the radical route of the United States Postal Service ...

Ballet’s finest execs discuss challenges to female leadership in art form

Dance
The moderator convened this on-line discussion during “a pivotal moment in our history and so much challenge for ballet.” That’s according to Kathryn Roszak, Artistic Director of Danse Lumière and a former artist with San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet, in leading a pithy discussion that illuminates a trend we have lived through in ...