Fran at the Ace: fresh, frank … fraught!

Fashion · Language & ideas
Of her many accolades and achievements, what we find most cool and enviable about essayist/raconteur Fran Lebowitz is Vanity Fair having named her as one of the most stylish women of the year. Obviously she looks good so she’ll fit right into Los Angeles, at her upcoming “Fran Lebowitz in Conversation” event presented by the Center ...

Makarova/Godunov triumph in Don Q. Watch and enjoy.

Dance
Both Russian-trained sensations. She of the Kirov, he of the Bolshoi. Both Soviet defectors. I never saw him dance in person. I saw her dance many times, with ABT. Note his one-armed lift (of her) at 0:53. Note her turns — every last one of them. Her turns breathe. See her (twice-executed) en dedans pirouette, ...

The art of the jazz song: Tadd Dameron for Sarah Vaughan 2

Music
by 
Ed. note: Guest writer Mark Miller deconstructs a jazz standard, “If You Could See Me Now,” for our appreciation. Music: Tadd Dameron Lyrics: Carl Sigman Jazz panist Tadd Dameron was known for his lyricism, an ironic attribute for an important bebop musician. Widely recognized as the bop era’s definitive arranger/composer, Dameron concocted this distinctive ballad ...

Marsha Hunt’s nobility, talent and patriotism on view in documentary

Film
In 1935, 17-year-old aspiring actress Marsha Hunt signed with Paramount Pictures and went on to a flourishing career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She made 54 films in 17 years, notably Pride and Prejudice (1940) and Raw Deal (1948). Then she was blacklisted. After that rude life-and-career interruption, she championed humanitarian causes as one of Hollywood’s first celebrity activists. A documentary, ...

REVIEW: Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein enchant at Segerstrom 4

Music · Reviews
I never saw Judy Garland in performance. I was fifteen in 1969 when she last played in Copenhagen. Now I wish I had gone. But Saturday night, I got a frisson of that Garland feeling, when in a first, I attended Liza Minnelli’s show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The legendary singer delivered a ...

Ain’t there anyone here for love? Ladies, let’s do this! 1

Dance · Film
Okay, Messrs Weinstein, Schneiderman, R. Kelly, Richard Meier, Charlie Rose and the rest of you sexual predator power-guys! Formidable glamazon Marilyn Monroe, in Jack Cole’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) wants to share her version of gender politics. A big boomerang of woman power heading your way, back at ...

Marilyn to have succeeded Bette in ‘Of Human Bondage’?

Film
“She said she’d settled the suit with Fox. They had fired her from Something’s Got to Give. She’d be restarting production in about a month. And she had signed with MGM to remake “Of Human Bondage” to be directed by Henry Hathaway.” The words above spoken by Jane Russell, relaying contents of conversation with her ...

Delicious, de-lovely, demonstrative Lena Horne, in centenary tribute 1

Dance · Music
Vocalist Candice Hoyes, draws from rare cinema, musical theater, jazz and soul music to debut a night of music inspired by the life of Lena Horne.  One of the most iconic jazz vocalists, Horne blazed a trail of remarkable song discography and bravery as one of the leading American civil rights activists across a sixty ...

Joan Crawford: an actress who paid her dues before #metoo

Film
A great double bill, this Friday night, as part of “Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film” series on now at UCLA Film & Television Archive, two powerful films directed by Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford. Mildred Pierce (1945) Joan Crawford’s career-renewing turn is the primary but far from the only attraction adorning one of Michael ...

Before Tonya Harding, there was Vera Hruba Ralston

Film
The Flame. 1947. USA. Directed by John H. Auer. Screenplay by Lawrence Kimble, based on the story by Robert T. Shannon. With John Carroll, Vera Ralston, Robert Paige, Broderick Crawford, Henry Travers, Hattie McDaniel. DCP. 97 min. John Carroll plots to relieve his brother (Robert Paige) of his inheritance, with the help of femme fatale ...