Straight outta Ukraine: authentic klezmer music in documentary film

Music
Leopold Kozlowski, subject of ‘The Last Klezmer’ You want Ukraine? We’ll give you Ukraine! But the good stuff, music, not the gnarly political-football stuff. A documentary, The Last Klezmer, that celebrates the infectious Jewish soul music, written and directed by artsmeme friend Yale Strom, is having a 25th anniversary screening at Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts ...

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 ...

Time to reassess Lewitzky? 1

Dance
photo: frances chee That was my takeaway after viewing Luminario Ballet‘s wonderful performance, Sunday June 23 at the Skirball Cultural Center, of two absorbing works by choreographer Bella Lewitzky. Pictured are excerpts from “Inscape” (1976). The work is driven by its marvelous costumes — stretch “duotards” designed by Rudi Gernreich, who, prior to his vivacious ...

Choreographer Leonid Yakobson’s Soviet struggle detailed at USC Conney Conference

Dance · Language & ideas
Our good friend, the Stanford University-based dance historian Janice Ross, has written an important new biography about a seminal choreographer in the Soviet Union whose name does not have much recognition in the U.S. Few outside Russia know of Leonid Yakobson, a contemporary to George Balanchine and the leading modernist — and only Jewish — ...

How did ‘Cuddles’ do it? Revealed at Skirball Center’s “Light and Noir”

Film
As this TCM tribute sets forth, the Budapest-born, jowly S.Z. ‘Cuddles’ Sakall was adorable, hilarious and popular on the set. But did those qualities alone get the character actor prominent play in 46 Hollywood movies? One of many film people to flee Nazi-dominated Europe, arrive on American shores, and wend their way to southern California, ...

Four walls hold haunting memories in “An Apartment in Berlin”

Architecture & Design · Film
“An Apartment in Berlin” feels like just the right movie to see after our Sunday visit to the Skirball Center’s Light and Noir, a highly affecting exhibit which through multimedia recounts the lives of emigres and exiles who fled European anti-Semitism and wended their way to Los Angeles to contribute brilliantly in the film industry. ...

Shtetl soul to rock citywide Laemmle Theatre “Fiddler” screenings 1

Dance · Film
On view here Jerome Robbins’s great “bottle dance” rising in a cloud of soulful Jewish peasant-dust at the wedding ‘banquet’ of Tzeitel and Motel. Apropos this brilliant dance number — for this dance critic the indelible imprint of director Norman Jewison’s surprisingly powerful visual recreation of the Eastern European world of the ‘shtetl’ Jews — ...

Review: Ohad Naharin’s masterful “Sadeh21” @ CAP UCLA

Dance · Reviews
Days after watching Batsheva Dance Company bring choreographer Ohad Naharin’s splendid full-evening work, “Sadeh21,” to vivid life in its U.S. premiere at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, I am struck by the inadequacy of still photography in capturing the dance’s essence. The benign ring-around-the-rosy image, above, does not represent the multi-chaptered ...

Forget your tsuris! Attend Laemmle Theatres’ “Fiddler” sing-a-long. 1

Film
For an “alternative” Christmas Eve, not restricted to the Jewishly oriented but for shower-stall-soloists of every persuasion, we have a suggestion. Try Laemmle Theatres’ sixth annual “anything goes” (and we’re not talking Cole Porter) “Fiddler on the Roof Sing-a-Long.” Belt out your holiday spirit — or your holiday angst — with your fellow meshuggenahs while ...

Anti-Defamation League auction to combat hate with art

Language & ideas · Visual arts
More than forty Los Angeles artists have volunteered time and their best thinking to produce works of art inspired by the Anti-Defamation League’s centennial theme, Imagine a World Without Hate. The powerful art will be exhibited and auctioned at ArtWorks ADL:  Justice, Advocacy & Art on September 17. The ticketed event is open to those ...