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 ...

A singer’s love of language: Luciana Souza comes to Royce Hall

Music
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It’s been a recurring pleasure to chart the creative arc of Brazilian singer and songwriter Luciana Souza through her SoCal appearances over the years. We remember Jazz Bakery evenings where she held the room spellbound with a tempered vocal delivery on jazz-rooted arrangements and musical interaction. Souza’s clear soprano uses volume judiciously: she can send ...

O, Jackie! Mrs. K-O goes to the ballet

Dance · Visual arts
It is the stuff paparazzi’s dreams are made of: Jackie O, balletomane. Here we see Mrs. Bouvier-Kennedy-Onassis, posing, giggling, and shmoozing, on sidewalks, at banquets, and backstage with Rudik and Misha. Jerry Robbins is in there too. They are but a few of samples of the 50 works of the super “Rudolph Nureyev – Mikhail ...

You ‘Bette’r believe it! Ms. Davis @ Larry Edmunds Bookshop

Film
We received this missive this morning from Jeff Mantor, who runs the Hollywood history hot spot at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard, aka Larry Edmunds Bookshop. Writes Jeff: On February 15, 1988 the legend, the one & only Bette Davis did a book signing at B. Dalton on Hollywood Blvd. For you book historians, this site was ...

Backstage brawl for Michael Kidd & Dolores Gray’s mother

Dance · Theater
We’re always looking for good show-biz stories involving the estimable Dolores Gray. Jack Cole, who worked with Gray on several projects — Kismet, Designing Woman among them — had a few select words about Gray … and her mother. In this case, the story concerns Gray’s hiring for Destry Rides Again, the Broadway musical adaptation ...

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. She obviously presents well, so she’ll fit right into Los Angeles at her upcoming “Fran Lebowitz in Conversation” event presented by the Center ...

Makarova/Godunov triumph in molasses-tempoed Don Q pas de deux

Dance
Both are Russian-born-and-trained sensations: she of the Kirov, he of the Bolshoi. Both were Soviet defectors. I never saw him dance in person, but he fascinates me. I saw her dance many times, with American Ballet Theatre. I worship her. Note his one-armed lift (of her) at 0:53. Note her turns — every one of ...

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

Music
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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 ...