Prop poster portrays choreographer’s bad-taste pinnacle

Dance · Film · Visual arts
This prop poster from The Producers (1968) is displayed outside the theater during the premiere of “Springtime for Hitler,” and is also visible at greater length in the “Playhouse Outtake” on the DVD. It is on auction December 10 at Bonhams as part of the TCM presents: 1939, Hollywood’s Greatest Year sale. “Springtime for Hitler” ...

Stunners star in Aspen Santa Fe ‘Nutcracker’ at The Soraya

Dance
Some go for sugar plums; others toy soldiers. Some like a candyland; others a carousel. It’s all part of the variegated fun that is The Nutcracker ballet, a solid version of which will spool in three shows this weekend at The Soraya. It is the nearly 25-year old rendering by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet that ...

Sin in style! High-fashion pre-Code double-bill at The Egyptian

Dance · Fashion · Film
Made between 1930, when the restrictive Production Code was adopted, and 1934, when it was in full effect, “pre-Code” films are beloved for their provocative content and risqué style. A Sunday double-bill screening program devoted to pre-Code films is hosted by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. The afternoon begins at one p.m. with ...

The many moods of Engelbert

Music · Reviews
Our man in Las Vegas, Chris Nichols, reports back to artsmeme World Headquarters with this photo essay of a recent club performance by Engelbert Humperdinck (born Arnold George Dorsey, 2 May 1936).Nichols attended the 83-year-old crooner’s Dec 1, 2019 show at the Orleans Showroom in Vegas. Accompanying his photo essay, Nichols reduced the show to ...

Thanksgiving with Lydia the Tattooed Lady 1

Film · Music
Our holiday pick: The Brothers Marx in their ode to the much-marked Lydia the Tattooed Lady. In Thanksgiving gratitude for Yip Harburg‘s brilliant lyric, “And a torso even moreso!” Kermit loves her too. Guitarist Gary Lucas plucks the polyphony – and poetry – in Groucho Marx’s torch song to the scribbled dame.

‘Disappearing guitars’ of Bill Frisell & Julian Lage @ CAP UCLA

Music
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Guitarist Bill Frisell has proven himself as one of the most interesting conceptualizers of the past twenty years or so in jazz. His albums are a continual source of delight and amazement, as he takes his audience down one musical rabbit hole or another. Whether he’s playing his own original scores to Buster Keaton’s silent ...

‘What?’ indeed! Lari Pittman’s brain-tingling artworks at the Hammer

Visual arts
“Birthplace, 1984” installation photo by Susie Goodman artsmeme is delighted to celebrate the dazzling retrospective of astonishing works by Los Angeles artist Lari Pittman now at the Hammer Museum by reprinting, with the author’s kind permission, two separate interviews, one with Pittman and a second with the exhibition’s curator Connie Butler. The author/interviewer is KUSC’s ...

Boy enslaved: ‘Buoyancy’ (2019)

Film · Reviews
A real stunner — and a stunning achievement for a first-time feature-film director named Rodd Rathjen — Buoyancy, the Australian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. At age 14, Charka (Sarm Heng) chomps at the bit to escape his daily labor in Cambodian rice paddies under his father’s tyrannical command. ...

A “Nutcracker” for our times from Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Dance
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Jenelle Figgens, Pete Leo Walker Ed note: This story by Gillian Renault was originally written for The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center and is reprinted on artsmeme with permission. The Soraya’s resident dance company, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, is capping off a quintet of annual appearances in Northridge this holiday season. Though best ...

Be with Merce — in books, films & classes

Dance · Film
498 Third Avenue, photo courtesy of James Klosty, “Merce Cunningham Redux“ Looking in the rear view mirror, it appears that no artist in our great century of American dance — the 20th — had a more revolutionary impact on the art form as did Merce Cunningham. His genius (it long endured; he lived and worked ...