Tango Revolution: Quinteto Astor Piazzolla at The Soraya

Music
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Ed note: This story by Kirk Silsbee was originally written for The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center and is reprinted on artsmeme with permission. When Astor Piazzolla, Argentina’s paramount composer and bandoneon player, introduced his revolutionary quintet of the 1960s, tango adherents didn’t embrace his innovation. Fistfights, even death threats, were not uncommon. ...

‘Judy was not nasal,’ says vocal coach Bob Garrett

Film · Music
Does Zellweger, at right, convey Garland’s physical stance to your eye? Garland kept her body taut to channel her breath. Also, note the shape of Renee’s mouth. Drop that jaw, sister! Viewing the big new biopic, JUDY, which opens tomorrow in cinemas, I did not feel that Renee Zellweger caught the great Garland’s essence particularly ...

As the clock ticks, time well spent on ‘The Day’

Dance · Music
Who can resist the alluring image, above, from a new theatrical production, THE DAY, presented at CAP UCLA and featuring two strong women of the performing arts, former New York City Ballet dancer Wendy Whelan (she is now associate director of the company) and cellist Maya Beiser, described as “a force of nature” by The ...

Donald Trump’s ‘perfect call’ taps Mario Puzo playbook

Film · Language & ideas
From the Zelensky call transcript: July 2019 telcon Donald Trump to President Zelensky of Ukraine

Bienvenue, COLCOA 2019!

Film
Les Miserables (2019) director Ladj Ly Our yearly reminder that life is worth living — because the French are still making movies — arrives Monday, Sept 23, 2019. That’s when the 22nd annual COLCOA French Film Festival pops the cork not on Prosecco, not on Cava nor sparkling wine, but real Champagne. It happens at ...

Complexions brings dances for ‘now’ to Long Beach

Dance · Language & ideas
Complexions Contemporary Ballet performing WOKE.  photo: Nina Wurtzel Complexions Contemporary Ballet continues to prod, provoke, and entertain. When choreographer Dwight Rhoden and dance-superstar Desmond Richardson co-founded their rainbow coalition of a ballet troupe in 1994, it took hold. Spurred by their mentor Alvin Ailey, the two men staked their claim on the power of dance ...

Erin Trefry: art works ‘hard-wired’ with intimacy

Visual arts
In a Los Angeles gallery season just crammed with new shows, something caught my eye in the announcement of artist Erin Trefry‘s solo exhibition at Lowell Ryan Projects, If The Moon Turns Green. I felt drawn to the images of Trefry’s paintings; in particular, her assemblage and sculptures spoke to me, I realized, on a ...

Olé, Olga Pericet!

Dance
Ed. note: This story by artsmeme’s Debra Levine was written for The Ford Theatres and originally published as “A Flamenco Dynamite.”  Flamenco is bursting with vitality—a new generation has contemporized the centuries-old form. So it’s fitting that the “new world” setting of the Ford Amphitheatre should welcome to its midst a foremost practitioner of “nuevo ...

Looks interesting: John Kelly’s latest

Dance · Theater
Photo credit: Josef Astor Adapting a text from his subject’s diaries, novels, and letters, performance artist John Kelly has fashioned a dance-theater piece based on the fantastical life of Samuel Steward (1909-1993), a gay novelist, tattoo artist, author of erotic fiction, and, according to Kelly, unabashed sexual adventurer. Underneath the Skin, commissioned by the NYU ...

Diva in concert: Darlene Love at Pepperdine

Music
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A recent hot theater ticket in San Diego was the trial run of the historic rock musical, “House of Dreams,” that told the story of Hollywood’s fabled Gold Star Studio. Over a hundred hit songs were recorded there in the 1960s — from “Rockin’ Robin” to “Good Vibrations” to “Cherry Bomb.” Owner/engineer and sound innovator ...