Arts, music and culture

News, observations and links on the arts, music, theater, dance, photography and local institutions
Gustavo DudamelGetty viewGo-GosSwan Lake

Grounded at CTG but making a 'Great Leap' in Pasadena

2019_Great_Leap_0079-1.jpg Anyone who cares about LA theater should have read Charles McNulty's recent essay. But perhaps you missed a couple of subsequent developments.

Lost lives, living music and La Bohème

la-boheme-dp.jpg Jessye Norman, Martin Bernheimer, Plácido Domingo and more.

Beyond the bedroom scenes

mariachi-pro9.jpg You've heard of the old gimmick of beginning an ad (or an article) with the word "SEX" followed by the words "Now that I've got your attention..."

Four great American adventures, on stage

Boats-B.jpg I've recently seen four productions around LA that succeed as great American adventure stories.

Triple header: Royal Ballet with LA Phil and Thomas Adès

inferno-dp.jpg Donna Perlmutter: It was balletic and beyond. Bodies speaking with eloquence. All of it gorgeous.

Seeing 'Indecent', 'Happy Days' and 'Dana H.'

indecent.jpg Women's voices dominate Center Theatre Group's June offerings -- but with a twist.

The stars come out: Nureyev and Domingo, and Kopatchinskaja

Kopatchinskaja.jpg A ballet movie, an opera and lots more going on around town.
falsettos-handout.jpg The LAT's home-turf focus hasn't filtered down to its coverage of the topic that professionally interests me the most -- Southern California's vast and lively theater scene.

How to escape social grit and grime: hear the music, see the dance

venezuela-ascaf.jpg Our world can seem more simplistic and superficial, but not if you seek refuge in the right places.

Why aren't LA's blocks in CTG's 'Block Party'?

america-adjacent-5.jpg I'd like to propose a challenge to Center Theatre Group as it begins to consider which productions might make up the 2020 Block Party.

New at LACMA: Charles White and Central Asian Ikats

ian-white-at-lacma.jpg Two exhibits featuring art from separate but equally captivating worlds have taken up residence until summer.

Cinderella goes to war, Benjamin Britten shares the blitz

07_MATTHEW_BOURNE_S_CINDERELLA._Ashley_Shaw_Cinderella_and_Andrew_Monaghan_Harry_.jpg Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella' is the choreographer's show-dance extravaganza that everyone must see.

Pianists in 'Ragtime' and 'Green Book' make history

greenbook-4.jpg "Ragtime" at the Pasadena Playhouse is, among other distinctions, a great way to observe Black History Month.

Molly Barnes

LAO__MollyBarnes.jpg Gary caught up with the curator at the West Los Angeles College Gallery.

Kosher Nostra reunites: Music makers in all their unfaded glory

zubin-mehta-wilfried-hosl.jpg As a finale to the packed LA Philharmonic centennial, Zubin Mehta and other celebrated virtuosos of an earlier era came to Disney Hall.

Red Hot Chili Peppers and Santa

LAO__ChilliPeppers&Santa-2.jpg Gary and the band outside his studio in DTLA

Don Shirley's theatrical highlights of 2018

Crucible-girls-ian-flanders.jpg Here are some of my personal favorites from 2018. But first my usual caveat. I've seen 155 productions in greater LA, fewer than half of those that were available.

Gandhi and Glass, Shakespeare and Prokofiev brought to life

1-Bulle_Sargsyan_Alejandro_Cerrudo-ModernMoves.jpg Observing and enjoying some downtown shows.

Photos: Joni Mitchell tribute concert downtown

joni-mitchell-on-stage-iris-schneider.jpg The big finale featured Mitchell herself coming out on stage and receiving a birthday cake.

Down the digital rabbit hole in two CTG productions

Dear_Evan_Hansen._Photo_by_Matthew_Murphy._2018.jpg 'Dear Evan Hansen' and 'Quack' show the power - and the problems -- of viral social media in two otherwise very different productions.

Sounds of silence

orbit2 - Copy.jpg The art of NASA is music to our ears.
WDCH-Refik-by-DD-9986.jpg Verdi's words remain relevant in these political times. Plus: Refik Anadol's electronic kaleidoscope of Philharmonic moments.

Dos teatros and a resounding Echo

gloria-38.jpg Don Shirley recommends "Native Gardens" in Pasadena, "The Cake" in Westwood Village and "Gloria" in Atwater Village.

The Theatricum and other summer hotspots

Coriolanus_0165.jpg It's the season for outdoor productions that are worth the effort to go see.

Hollywood Bowl's summer scene and dance downtown

dancer.jpg Intimate big-screen close-ups and high-tech sonics at the Bowl, courtesy of the LA Philharmonic. Or the old-time glory of glittering Russian ballet downtown at the Chandler Pavilion.

LA stories: 'Soft Power,' Bimini Baths

mexican-day-3.jpg For two weeks in May, two of CTG's three main stages were occupied by plays mostly set in or around the Los Angeles area.

A "Rigoletto" to revel in, plus Dudamel and Uchida

matthew-aucoin.jpg Just how many hats can an unencumbered contender wear? Ask Matthew Aucoin, for his answer.

From stage to screen with 'Baby' and 'Rock'

THE-BABY-DANCE---MIXED---4.jpg As a theater critic in a city famous for making movies, I sometimes meet new acquaintances who assume that I see a lot of movies and TV. Sorry, but no. Usually.

Mahler's celebrants raise high the roof beam

LADP_Yag_3_Erin-Baiano.jpg Performances from Tilson Thomas, Dudamel, LA Dance Project and more.
David Hockney at LACMA
hockney-arrives-lacma.jpgThe artist arrives to open his latest exhibit.
The power of 'pluribus' plays
Allegiance-9-(1).jpgDon Shirley on theater in LA
Visiting her old ballet costumes
melissa-barak-cost-iris.jpg Melissa Barak at LACMA Chagall exhibit with the artist's memorable designs.
Wilshire Grand Center lobby
wilshire-grand-lobby-wall.jpg Visitors check out the wall-mounted sculpture by artist Do Ho Suh.
Art Friday
del-toro-lacma-friday.jpgThe day after Thanksgiving was jumping at LACMA.
Neon treasures of LA
mna-derb.jpgThe Museum of Neon Art is thriving in Glendale and that's OK.
Mellow DTLA Sunday
hauser-wirth-courtyard.jpgLate afternoon in the courtyard at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel.
Rain Room
rain-room-iris.jpgMuch-anticipated installation at LACMA requires timed tickets. A peek inside.
Chuck Berry and the Stones
rollingstones-hagg.jpgOne rocking Saturday night in the KHJ-TV studios in 1965. Video and backstory
Neutra and Schindler
neutra-schindler-ucsb.jpgPlay imagines what happened after the estranged architects were reunited in a 1953 hospital room. Karen Wada
'Good morning, people!'
grace-slick-woodstock-dark.jpgGrace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock. Turn it up.
For your consideration
bessie-still.jpgTwo costume designers who should have received Emmy nominations in our blogger's judgment.
Music at Doheny Mansion
dacamera-doheny-iris.jpgIris Schneider takes in some chamber music with the Da Camera Society. More
A tale of two Sugar Plum Fairies
joy-womack-iris.jpgJoy Womack comes to the Santa Monica Nutcracker from Moscow, Lyrica Blankfein from NYC. More
Baryshnikov springs onstage
thisoldwoman-mischa.jpgAfter roughly 15 years of wandering in the theatrical desert, Mikhail Baryshnikov has finally found the most deserving spotlight of his post-dancing career. Donna Perlmutter
Harry Shearer and Nixon
harry-shearer-nixon.jpgFor Harry Shearer, Richard Nixon is still the one.
Millard Sheets mural
millard-sheets-mural-crop.jpgArtist's work goes from home to the Huntington.
Made in America scene
jay-beyonce-garcetti-aoki.jpgMayor Garcetti with Jay-Z, Beyonce and Steve Aoki at the music festival in Grand Park. Photo on Aoki's Instagram feed.
Dancers audition
barak-audition.jpgTryouts for LA's Barak Ballet. Photo by Judy Graeme
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Selected arts and culture links
Cultural institutions
American Youth
  Symphony

Art Center
Autry National Center
Broad Arts Foundation
CalArts
California African
  American Museum

California Philharmonic
California String
  Quartet

Center for Land Use
  Interpretation

Center Theatre Group
Cerritos Center for
  Performing Arts

Collage Dance Theatre
Craft and Folk Art Museum
Ford Theatres
Fowler Museum
Griffith Observatory
Hollywood Bowl
Huntington Library
Getty Center
GRAMMY Museum
Italian Cultural Inst.
Japanese American
  National Museum

LACMA
Long Beach MOA
L.A. Ballet
L.A. Chamber Orchestra
L.A. Children's Chorus
L.A. Master Chorale
L.A. Opera
L.A. Philharmonic
Municipal Art Gallery
MOCA
Mus. of Jurassic Technology
Museum of Latin
  American Art

Music Center
Natural History Museum
Norton Simon Museum
OC Perf. Arts Center
Otis College
Pacific-Asia Museum
Pasadena Museum of
  Calif. Art

REDCAT
Santa Monica MOA
Santa Monica Symphony
Skirball Cultural Center
UCLA Hammer Mus.
UCLA Live
USC Fisher Mus.
USC Thornton School
Watts Towers Center
Weisman Museum
West Coast Jewish
  Theatre

Zipper Concert Hall
Calendars and events
ArtSlant LA
Culture Mob
Experience L.A.
Flavorpill L.A.
L.A. Art Openings
LA Brain Terrain
Out West Arts
UCLA Happenings
USC Arts and Events
Media and blogs
Richard Ankrom
Arts for L.A.
Arts Journal
ArtsMeme
Artworkslive
Marshall Astor
Blur + Sharpen
Michael Buitron
Gregg Chadwick
City of the Angels
Coagula
Concerning Art
Erin Cosgrove
CultureGrrl
Culture Monster
Curatorialist
Da Camera Society
Diavolo
Downtown Art Walk
Gustavo Dudamel
Ensemble Green
Carol Es
Fine Arts L.A.
Frenchy but Chic
Dennis Hollingsworth
I call it Oranges
International Review
  of Music

Jacaranda
KUSC blog
L.A. Art Girls
LACMA on Fire
LACMA Unframed
LA Contemporary
  Dance

L.A. in Bloom
LA Mano Press
L.A. Modern Auctions
LA Stage
LA Stage Alliance
Machine Project
Man One World
Mayer Rus
Modern Art Notes
Monday Evening
   Concerts

NoHo Arts District
Robert Olsen
Positive Ape Index
Recycle LACMA
Rembrandt in SoCal
Ruskin Art Club
Sundays Live
  at LACMA

The Judson Studios
THE Magazine
The O.C. Art Blog
Rubn Ortiz Torres
Try Harder
Violinist.com
Zero Degrees Art

Additions, deletions, corrections or suggestions? Email the editor, please.