Dame Helen rules, in new HBO drama “Catherine the Great”

Film
The face that launched a thousand ships. Good old Helen! Wait, wait … that was Helen of Troy. Our Helen, Dame Helen Mirren, equally regal as squired by her husband, the director Taylor Hackford, looked simply spectacular in an ensemble custom-designed by Badgely Mischka for a launch party for her new miniseries, “Catherine the Great.” ...

‘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 ...

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 ...

Not a man’s dance-world, says ‘Femme Fetale,’ speaking in bodytalk

Dance
Of the three-woman dance crew, ‘Femme Fetale,’ comprised of a Korean, a Mexican and a French dancer, one of the ladies is named Marie Poppins. Femme Fetale dance crew

Can it possibly be fifty years since ‘Goodbye, Columbus’?

Film
One of the landmark comedies of the 1960s and perhaps the best screen rendition of the work of Philip Roth was the adaptation of the author’s National Book Award-winning novella, Goodbye, Columbus. The movie launched the careers of its two stars, Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw, who will both join Laemmle Anniversary Classics host Stephan ...

Judy Garland plays The Barn

Film · Music
She pulverized the Palace, and made carnage of Carnegie Hall. She slayed in Las Vegas. But you ain’t seen nothing yet … till you see Judy Garland play the Barn. That is happening Wednesday June 12. And we’re going! Garland, known to be a droll wit, made numerous appearances on television in the ’60s that ...

Our day with Doris: June 5 at Laemmle Anniversary Classics

Film
Doris Day (1922 – 2019) From our friends at Laemmle Theatres Anniversary Classics, a tribute to America’s most spirited sweetheart, Doris Day, who died on May 13 at the age of 97. A double feature of two of her very best musical films—the Western romp ‘Calamity Jane’ and the dramatic story of 1920s torch singer ...

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 ...

‘Little Sparrow’ to Long Beach: ‘Piaf! The Show’

Featured · Music
Karen Carpenter would approve. She would be thrilled to learn that the noble performing arts center named in her honor will be presenting a concert by The Little Sparrow. Well, almost! The Sparrow once removed. “Piaf! The Show,” a delicious way to pass a Sunday afternoon, popped out at me when I studied the season ...