What a week! Los Angeles blossoms in the fine arts

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music · Reviews · Visual arts
I’ve inhabited Los Angeles more or less, since 1989. The city’s rich art existence, long undetected, has kept me busy and happy here. There is little doubt, however, that something arts-phenomenal is happening right now in our city. It must be true; the New York Times is sputtering about it all the time. In fact, ...

American theater classic, “Fences,” in affecting Long Beach production

Reviews · Theater
A neglectful husband, three times a father, a self-righteous best friend, a guilty brother, a hungry paramour, a proud homeowner … also a garbageman and a failed athlete who’s outrightly selfish, bitter and mean to his son. (We discover that ultimately he’s a noble human being.) That bundle of conflict describes all the ways in ...

Recco’ed: choreographer Kyle Abraham & Co. to kick it at Royce Hall

A tremendous opportunity to experience the “post-modern gumbo,” the rich inner imaginings and outer cultural connections of choreographer Kyle Abraham whose work we have happily tracked for the past several years. Two separate dance pieces will be shared over two evenings this week’s end, at the regal Royce Hall, presented by the Center of the ...

The jazz strata of Ave Pildas 1

Music · Visual arts
If you receive photographer Ave Pildas’s weekly e-blasts, you know the prolific nature of his work. His street snaps can be quirky, straightforward, unpredictable, ironic, reverent, whimsical, iconic, or just plain fun. He has an eye for the beautiful and the surreal but the transmissions often time to current events or seasonal observances. They show ...

Marian the Librarian to tell all at CINECON 1

We just learned that the lovely Academy-Award winning actress Shirley Jones will be honored at the 49th annual Labor Day-weekend event, Cinecon Classic Film Festival. The five-day foray into classic film-mania — with an accent on rarely seen movies and silent film — that hook or by crook rolls out annually at summer’s end for ...

In Pittsburgh, with Andy Warhol

Visual arts
It was a great joy to exit my United Airlines flight last weekend — yes, the pleasure of getting off the damned airplane was augmented by an exhibition of Andy Warhol art work right there at Pittsburgh International Airport. Capturing my eye in particular was a display case of photos illustrating Warhol’s rather impressive transition ...

Gene from Pittsburgh 1

I’ve  been spending a lot of time with Gene Kelly for the past week. It’s a good feeling. We’re from the same home town. Kelly was a huge movie star. The only other dancer to reach that level was Fred — not from Pittsburgh. Read my story on The Huffington Post.

Bob Marley remembered 2

Film · Music
What I learned about reggae artist Bob Marley from “Marley,” an inspiring new documentary produced by his son: he was biracial (I did not know that) he was the soul of jamaica  he was gorgeous and nicely built he was all music, from childhood he was all artist, beatific in the final years of his ...

Ahmad Jamal, child pianist, photographed by “Teenie” Harris

Music · Visual arts
He’s propped up on a trumpet case! It’s the young Ahmad Jamal (born Frederick Russell ‘Fritz’ Jones), a Pittsburgh native whose photo by renegade photog, Charles “Teenie” Harris, is featured in an exhibit at the city’s Carnegie Museum of Art. Jamal’s is only one of 80,000 photographs Harris snapped of daily African-American life in the ...

Jack Cole danced in Pittsburgh 1

Dance · Music · Theater
Rummaging around the Internet, I found this priceless image of a program dating from the Nixon Theatre in my home town of Pittsburgh. [click image for detail] The Nixon Theatre was the top game in town — the place where circa 1971 I saw naked hippies writhe on stage in “Hair.” Not surprisingly, the hard-working ...