Bravo, Angie Dickinson!

Film
When Howard Hawks’ 1959 action romp, Rio Bravo, was released, it wasn’t really taken seriously. But the film is now regarded as an American classic. John Wayne led the cast, but the director also cast veterans Walter Brennan and Ward Bond, singer Dean Martin, pop singer Ricky Nelson, and Angie Dickinson in a vivid, star-making turn. ...

New Year’s Eve 2020 with the great Judy Garland

Music
Madam, you are simply the greatest. In fact, you are ‘swell.’ Judy did this witty marvelous number to a song by Irving Berlin, coupled with Fred Astaire, in EASTER PARADE (1948). But she immeasurably upped the performance ante in this absolutely fantastic television rendition. Here it is (we love it) in EASTER PARADE.

A minute + five years: ‘A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham’ to Long Beach 1

Dance
Drive (2017) It’s been a minute since Kyle Abraham’s velvety, street-smart choreography hit the dance-friendly stage of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. In 2015 at the Center, Abraham was one of four choreographers to partner ballet goddess Wendy Whelan in the much-heralded “Restless Creature.” That minute has now extended to five years. On January 25, ...

Agnes Varda smiles. So does Ava DuVernay. 2

Film
One of the most prodigious female artists of our lifetime, the fanciful, thought-provoking, highly humane and feminist filmmaker, Agnès Varda (1928 – 2019), received kudos, a showering of affection, and shared solace over her recent death Saturday at ARRAY360. The rich film festival, which took place at the superlative cinema-campus founded in Echo Park by ...

REVIEW: Twyla’s back and Herman’s got her, in ABT’s ‘A Gathering of Ghosts’

Dance · Reviews
by 
Aran Bell, Calvin Royal III and Catherine Hurlin in Twyla Tharp’s A Gathering of Ghosts. Photo: Rosalie O’Connor. Twyla Tharp is back working with American Ballet Theatre. So for at least one evening — Wednesday’s much-anticipated premiere of her new ballet at the David Koch Theater — all seemed right with the world. Her prior ...

Space is the place, Americans

Film
natalie in the sky with diamonds Is Donald Trump president of outer space? No? Well, then, I’d like to go there immediately. Thanks to Hollywood, we have a few options. I enjoyed the new Natalie Portman movie, Lucy in the Sky, about a female astronaut who in observing that “space is so big and we ...

Erin Trefry: art works ‘hard-wired’ with intimacy

Visual arts
In a Los Angeles gallery season just crammed with new shows, something caught my eye in the announcement of artist Erin Trefry‘s solo exhibition at Lowell Ryan Projects, If The Moon Turns Green. I felt drawn to the images of Trefry’s paintings; in particular, her assemblage and sculptures spoke to me, I realized, on a ...

Not a man’s dance-world, says ‘Femme Fetale,’ speaking in bodytalk

Dance
Of the three-woman dance crew, ‘Femme Fetale,’ comprised of a Korean, a Mexican and a French dancer, one of the ladies is named Marie Poppins. Femme Fetale dance crew

Sleepless nights? Let Gwen read you nursery rhymes.

Dance

University action fails to address racism of ‘The Birth of a Nation’

Film
Bette Davis and Lillian Gish in The Whales Of August (1987) Ed note: The following is an excerpt from a long interview with film marketing strategist/producer-director Mike Kaplan, a friend of artsmeme, concerning the removal of the name of Lillian and Dorothy Gish from a screening auditorium at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The ...