Our pick for Black History month: Lena Horne tributes

Film · Music
Author James Gavin, who penned “Stormy Weather: The Life Of Lena Horne” will explore the life and career of a legendary superstar as part of Black History month February 13. The fun and informative event will take place at The Barn, with all the barn animals. And that proudly includes ME. Lena Horne was one ...

Gregory Hines forever

Dance · Film
The United States Postal Service, a valued part of our Federal government, has honored a great American dancer by issuing its 42nd stamp in the Black Heritage series featuring an image of Gregory Hines (1946–2003). Hines was a monster-contributor to the dance field. Nominated for Tony Awards in the 1970s for three Broadway musicals — ...

‘Dolly’ll never go away again’ — for three weeks — at the Pantages

Theater
HELLO, DOLLY! cast. photo: Julia Cervantes All of this ebullience is on tap at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre where the cast pictured above, darling, and certainly relieved after a smooth opening night, gathered for a photo. The “kids” surround their “Dolly,” the Tony Award-winning actress Betty Buckley, in the Los Angeles premiere engagement of the ...

Standout artist round-robin

Film · Music

‘Sans toi,’ Michel Legrand

Music
With choking sadness after a brutal week of perhaps too much Americana we learn of the death of singer/composer Michael Legrand (1932 – 2019) whose sweet-yet-dolorous songs we have found so enchanting. We floated on his ethereal music in the operatic movie-musicals Les parapluies de Cherbourg and Les demoiselles de Rochefort. And then his great, ...

Beautiful unburdening: Rosanne Cash at the Soraya

Music
In promoting her new album, She Remembers Everything, country singer Rosanne Cash features photos of fellow female songbirds, among them Janis Joplin, accompanied by a plaintive lyric, “Who know who she used to be before it all went dark?” That’s a gripping start — as if she needed one, she doesn’t, following her triple Grammy-winning ...

To be young, gifted & Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul in ‘Amazing Grace’

Film · Music
“Amazing Grace,” with two-million vinyl discs exiting record stores, was the top-selling gospel record of all time and Aretha Franklin‘s top-selling album. Released in June 1972, the album coincided with the very same month I graduated from an all-white high school in suburban Pittsburgh. Right around that time, on Sunday afternoons, I used my new ...

Strolling through American teen-dance history 1

Dance
Dancing to a hit song of late 1957, “The Stroll” by The Diamonds, these kids clearly did not get the memo that being a teen in in the ’50s was a boss thing to be. Their charming shyness — and, ahem, terrible dancing — is precious. And it’s the polar opposite of today’s Tweeting, Instagraming, ...

Sending in the clowns for classical ballet renewal 2

Dance · Featured · Reviews
James Whiteside (Harlequin), Thomas Forster (Pierrot)photo credit: Andrea Mohin / The New York Times The tears of a clown rained down all weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It was the West Coast premiere of American Ballet Theatre‘s triumphant reconstruction, Harlequinade —and it was a pip. The dashing Commedia del’arte clowns pictured above, diamond-suited Harlequin and ...

Millepied’s disjunctive ‘I fall…’ exposes choreographer’s weakness

Dance · Featured · Reviews
L.A. Dance Project, disjunctive, disconnected, photo by l.a. dance project A harrowing drive across dark, slick, and unmarked Washington Boulevard in pelting rain went unrewarded by enduring Benjamin Millepied’s “I Fall, I Flow, I Melt,” a 75-minute, intermission-less dance performance by L.A. Dance Project performed, in the round, at the company’s headquarters named for its ...