Make ’em laff, ladies, at Palm Springs International Comedy Festival

Film
We all need a laff. Pardon my French, but I laughed my a** off watching the exquisite comic timing of Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant in delivering the brilliant script of CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME. A very funny movie with a woman director — highly recommended. I am equally pleased to see Kathy ...

Gloria Cheng’s garlands for new music in Los Angeles

Music
Ed. note: The great and gracious pianist Gloria Cheng is a guest contributor to the blog, with an excerpt from an essay she herself penned recounting the scene for new music in Los Angeles. “Only in Los Angeles?” was originally published by NewMusicBox and is excerpted with kind permission. Writes Gloria Cheng: It could be ...

Susan Graham’s make-believe witchcraft

Music
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Ed. note: arts·meme is delighted to excerpt an interview with L.A. Opera guest singer Susan Graham. The interview, conducted by Gary Murphy, was first published by the Opera League of Los Angeles. After nearly 25 years performing on world stages, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham still finds the thrill of new challenges. Her opera repertoire spans four ...

Misty Copeland, de maximus, in ‘The Nutcracker’

Dance
In anticipation of Copeland’s appearance in the soon-opening Disney feature film “The Nutcracker and The Four Realms,” let’s take a gander at this state-of-the-art ballerina, filmed in 2014, in the grand pas of “The Nutcracker.” One hopes that in the movie, Disney has captured her courage, physical exuberance and athleticism, and her musicality. Video gets ...

On Robbins’s 100th, his biographers raise a glass

Dance · Language & ideas
I’ll leave the kudos for Jerome Robbins on this auspicious day — his 100th birthday — to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts now hosting an exhibit, Voice of My City: Jerome Robbins and New York; New York City Ballet with its planned Robbins repertory evening tonight (Afternoon of a Faun, Other ...

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 ...

Summer flower splendor in a vase by Cara Jean

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
Cara Jean’s mantra is  “Never Enough Flowers!….Ever!” That’s why along with her Baroque, filigreed cups, saucers, dishware, eggcups, she has created this romantic vase and crammed it with peonies. A former dancer, Cara Jean puts the movement into her dynamic, delicious porcelain ware. Cara Jean Clay | on sale on line

Isabel Emrich’s refracting beauty, in solo show 1

Visual arts
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Gallery openings can be uncomfortable affairs, with too many bodies jammed into small, unventilated spaces. Painter Isabel Emrich’s “Progressions” opening last weekend at Skidmore Contemporary Art at Bergamot Station was no exception, but the work itself provided a visual oasis from the oppressive heat and humidity. It’s her second one-woman show at Skidmore — always ...

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 ...