Arts, music and culture

News, observations and links on the arts, music, theater, dance, photography and local institutions
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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.

Hockney stops at LACMA for a new exhibition

hockney-arrives-lacma.jpg "82 Portraits and 1 Still-Life" opens at the museum this weekend. Some pics.

The power of 'pluribus' plays

cam-mini1.jpg "Cambodian Rock Band," "Allegiance," "The New Colossus," "A Raisin in the Sun," "Sell/Buy/Date" and more.

Joffrey does double duty downtown

joffrey-dp.jpg Donna Perlmutter: Also "Fantastic Woman" on screen, "Betroffenheit" at the Broad Stage and Beethoven with the LA Phil.

The best (and worst) of all possible Lennys

candide-dp.jpg Donna Perlmutter: We're in the throes of celebrating what would be the 100th birthday of America's most famous music man, Leonard Bernstein.

Keeping up with the Trumps in LA theater

HotHouse-JoshClarkMelanie-Lora.jpg Awakening of local theater for the new year, and Donald Trump's first anniversary, are not entirely unrelated.

Artist Ana Serrano creates an unusual garden in Pasadena

ana-serrano-iris-schneider.jpg Known for "Cartonlandia," Serrano's new room-sized piece recalls her family's traditions in LA and Mexico.

Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo

lastropicanas-carrillo.jpg Eduardo Carrillo a founding patriarch of the Chicano Art movement, as seen in an exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

The 2017 remodel of LA theater

sugar-pro4.jpg Looking back at a pivotal year, plus some recommendations to enjoy during the holiday season.

Downtown upended and Millepied finds a home at the Wallis

persona_17pr.jpg The LA Phil's Noon to Midnight festival brought a new crowd to classical music in LA. More from Donna Perlmutter.
detail_balance-ed-fuentes.jpg One venue for the muralist and educator is simply not enough, so here are some others.

'This Land' is whose land?

CUmana_JMcKay_NCalame_JTorres_IAlda_RAzurdia_LTomlinson-(1).jpg Neighborhoods change. Change often causes conflict. Conflict is usually an important ingredient of drama.

Carmen joins Pearl Fishers as LA's orchestras soar

mirga-laphil.jpg In case you thought that we, in headline-exploding Hollywood, suffer a paucity of music performances, think again.