In Yiddish: ‘Vash di hent!’ Wash your hands.

Music
photo courtesy yale strom That’s the sage advice of our meshugenah but so-talented friend Yale Strom, who is hosting a special Facebook live offering this coming Wednesday on Radio Free Covid-19. The program, The Tshudne Shtunde (Bizarre Hour) features music from Strom’s ethnographic trips in Eastern Europe collecting klezmer and Yiddish songs from 1981-through today. ...

Enter early Los Angeles ballet instructors Kosloff & Rasch

Dance
ed. note: artsmeme is pleased to publish a two-part excerpt, from a new book, Ballet Class:  An American History by Melissa R. Klapper (Oxford University Press, March 2020). Our Los Angeles-based blog requested writing from Ms. Klapper that focuses on the early history of ballet training in our city. Part two below!   Jean Westheimer, ...

European exiles & emigres instruct kids of early Los Angeles in ballet 2

Dance
ed. note: artsmeme is pleased to publish a two-part excerpt from a new book, Ballet Class:  An American History by Melissa R. Klapper (Oxford University Press, March 2020). Our Los Angeles-based blog requested writing from Ms. Klapper that focuses on the early history of ballet training in our city. Part one below!   With no ...

Exit the jazz giant: McCoy Tyner

Music
Meandering, plucking-and-picking, pouring forth, cascading. In the video, pianist McCoy Tyner (1938-2020) both reveres and rips into “My One and Only Love.” It’s a ditty with underpinnings so thin it’s just humbling the mighty mountain of sound Tyner constructs of it. Personnel include McCoy Tyner (piano), Azar Lawrence (saxophones), Juini Booth (contrabass), E. W. Wainwright, ...

Washy-washy, Bob Baker-style

Theater
Well, Netflix sure is liking the shutdown of all our performing arts centers and movie theaters. But I’m not. Already immune to the cesspool of germs and inappropriate laughter that infects most audiences, I’m dismayed to see every dang show in town throw in the towel and cancel. Heartbreaking! That’s ‘cuz those theaters don’t have ...

Review: ‘West Side’ Video

Dance · Reviews · Theater
by 
Shereen Pimentel, Isaac Powell and cast. photo: Jan Versweyveld Broadway’s current revival of West Side Story—the groundbreaking 1957 musical by Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim whose dramatic power has long been associated with kinetic energy and eloquently focused movement opens simply. The Jets saunter to the front of the vast, bare ...

Raconteur remembered: Orson Bean

Film · Theater
In celebration of a life fully lived, memorial services will be held on March 14, 2020 for Orson Bean (1928 – 2020). A consummate raconteur, actor, voice artist, writer, and undisputed triple threat on stage, Orson Bean has been a familiar name to people across the country for decades.  On February 7, Mr. Bean was ...

Bird Lives — to 100 — at CAP UCLA

Music
Urban legend has it that the Kansas City native, alto saxophonist and legend, Charlie Parker, copped the nickname “Bird” (shortened from “Yardbird”) due to his hankering for southern fried chicken. We’ll buy that; and while that finger-licking dish comes from a bird that rambles close to the ground, the self-taught virtuoso of American jazz who ...

On Super Tuesday: ‘For the People’ movie marathon

Film · Ideas & Opinion
Heck, we go to the movies all year round. We go on Tuesday, bluesday; we go any day. But a special free-to-the-people invitation to activist/feminist/film director-producer Ava DuVernay‘s cool screening room and production digs in Echo Park gets our interest. Ms. DuVernay is offering, free to the public (ahem, after you vote, guys!), a “For ...

A ‘Romeo + Juliet’ for 2020 soon at The Soraya 2

Dance
As reviews and reactions to the just-opened Broadway production of West Side Story (based of course on the Romeo and Juliet myth) zing back and forth like gang warfare, a new Romeo + Juliet by Ballet BC, the nearly 35-year-old Vancouver-based contemporary ballet troupe, heads to The Soraya for two performances. The production is en ...