Stylin’ songs straight-ahead: Catherine Russell @ Segerstrom 2

Music
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Songstress Catherine Russell It’s very common for today’s young jazz singers to want to sound like instruments, instrumentalists, and/or innovative vocalists. There are legions of developing singers who worship at the altars of Betty Carter, Sheila Jordan and Mark Murphy. But each of those trend-setters evolved into very personal stylists only after years of trial-and-error. ...

Sending in the clowns for classical ballet renewal 2

Dance · Featured · Reviews
James Whiteside (Harlequin), Thomas Forster (Pierrot)photo credit: Andrea Mohin / The New York Times The tears of a clown rained down all weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It was the West Coast premiere of American Ballet Theatre‘s triumphant reconstruction, Harlequinade —and it was a pip. The dashing Commedia del’arte clowns pictured above, diamond-suited Harlequin and ...

A thoughtful, joyous Kurt Elling Christmas at Segerstrom

Music
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Two years ago, jazz singer Kurt Elling released The Beautiful Day: Kurt Elling Sings Christmas. As he’s a vocalist who likes to have his way with a song to the point of redesigning it, that CD was a bit of a surprise. But for anyone familiar with Elling’s background, it made perfect sense. The son ...

Osipova in premiere as Isadora Duncan at Segerstrom

Dance
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How will the California-born Isadora Duncan be remembered 50 years from now? As the woman whose barefoot, Greek-vase inspired abandon birthed the modern dance movement? Or for her shocking, free-love lifestyle in Europe and Russia and early tragic death – decapitated by scarf while riding in a Bugatti sports car? To the uninitiated, and by ...

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 ...

Faster than a speeding bullet … Liza Minnelli soon at Segerstrom

Music · Theater
That’s how she was marketed, in 1966, by The Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel — as the soaring star that she was. Liza Minnelli, born on March 12, 1946 to Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli, went on to a very public, very distinguished career as a singer/dancer/actress. We’ll catch up with Liza ...

Yes, ABT, we like sugar plums. But also ‘Nutcracker’ cookies!

Dance
Where cookies are concerned, we discreetly morph from ‘fussy critic’ to the more relaxed mode of ‘indiscriminate gobbler.’ Gosh, these ballet-themed cookies (photos mixed with those of our favorite ABT dancers) make our mouths water. They are the charming creation of Blackmarket Bakery whose award-winning chef Rachel Klemek celebrates American Ballet Theatre’s production of “The ...

REVIEW: Kimin Kim brings action-hero explosiveness to Mariinsky Schéhérazade 1

Dance · Reviews
I admit that prior to Sunday night I had never seen a full-length, fully produced staging of Michel Fokine’s Schéhérazade — including lengthy orchestral prelude, sets, costumes, the works. The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra delivered their version this weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts as part of an all-Fokine program. At Sunday’s performance, the ...

Ballet magic. Misty Copeland, Roberto Bolle open for La Scala @ Segerstrom

Dance
Our friends at Segerstrom Center for the Arts have a rare selling-out situation in their beautiful Costa Mesa arts campus this weekend. Tonight, and continuing through the weekend, the La Scala Ballet opens a weekend run of “Giselle.” Dancing the leading roles of Giselle and Albrecht are the hot hot hot pairing of Misty Copeland ...

Populist Eifman Ballet en route to Southern California

Dance
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Choreographer Boris Eifman is the Donald Trump of the ballet world. His fans love him for his provocative, populist appeal while his critics find him unsophisticated and far from coherent. And then there’s the Russia thing. Eifman is Russian and his narrative ballets, while modernist in story line, have the old-school Bolshoi tendency to go ...