Arts, music and culture

News, observations and links on the arts, music, theater, dance, photography and local institutions
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CTG grapples with branding, the British and a baby

luna-gale-ctg.jpg More than once, I've asked publicly how Center Theatre Group can possibly justify branding itself as 'LA's Theatre Company.' So I was fascinated when Diane Rodriguez, one of CTG's three associate artistic directors, raised the subject in an interview. Plus: Current stage reviews.
joy-womack-v-iris.jpg Two of the Sugar Plum Fairies in Westside Ballet's production of The Nutcracker have traveled very different paths to the iconic role.

Need a harpsichord? Visit Curtis Berak's basement

lao-berak-rucker.jpg Deep in the bottom of a dreary building in L.A.'s industrial district, Berak has created a haven for harpsichords and other early keyboard instruments he made, rescued or restored for both his own pleasure and use by the region's major ensembles.

LA Weekly discontinues theater awards after 35 years

lost-moon-radio-tim-norris.jpg The Weekly says "our focus for 2015 is utilizing our time and resources towards building, promoting, and evolving events that can bring us profitability for the new year. Unfortunately, this event does not help us towards meeting those directives."
watkinsplaza-getty.jpg Tyler Green, the arts critic and reporter who writes Modern Art Notes, has signed a deal to write a biography about Watkins for UC Press.

LA needs a Department of Interstitial Spaces

AnotherCityThumb2.jpg Jeremy Rosenberg's new book "Under Spring" chronicles the extraordinary transformation of a very ordinary space under the North Spring Street Bridge. Revealing the possibilities alive in the past, it should attune us to the potential of 12,309 public places like "Under Spring" around LA--and the possibilities for activating "interstitial spaces" throughout the city.

Baryshnikov springs onstage and 'The Old Woman' rejoices

thisoldwoman-blue.jpg After roughly 15 years of wandering in the theatrical desert, Mikhail Baryshnikov has finally found the most deserving spotlight of his post-dancing career.

Bruce Davidson and Paul Caponigro photos at the Huntington

brighton-bruce-davidson.jpg A new photography exhibit at the Huntington Library features a pair of octogenarian masters of the medium.

Mancini and Mercer 1961 demo of 'Moon River' (video)

moon-river-grab.jpg In 1961, Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer collaborated on a song for the upcoming film "Breakfast at Tiffany's." This is their demo recording.

Making choices along the sexual spectrum in three plays

stopkiss-ds.jpg From a theatergoer's point of view, "choices" are almost always more dramatically engaging than unchosen "orientations."

This costume exhibit could be more wearable

Hollywood-Costumes-mayco-iris.jpg There is a lot to learn at the academy's costume exhibit in the old May Company on Wilshire, but after an hour I found myself seeking solace. There must be a way to create a more conducive environment.
jimmy-ruffin-motown.jpg Look inside and turn up the sound: As I walk this land of broken dreams... I have visions of many things.

Charles Champlin: LA arts and film journalist was 88

charles-champlin-thr.jpg Charles Champlin wore a lot of hats on the Los Angeles arts and entertainment journalism scene: LA Times arts editor, film critic, book critic, columnist, author, host of TV programs and more.

When AM radio was the place to discover rock and roll

harvey-kubernik-kcrw.jpg Nice Lisa Napoli interview on KCRW with Harvey Kubernik, the author of "Turn Up the Radio: Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956-1972."

From the Gary Leonard archive: Richard Duardo

LAO_Durado.jpg I'm reposting this Gary Leonard photo from 2011 of the artist Richard Duardo, who died Tuesday.

Richard Duardo, LA master printmaker and artist, has died

richard-duardo-fb.jpg Tributes to the Los Angeles printmaker and artist Richard Duardo are filling my social feeds. Duardo has been referred to as the "Warhol of the West" for his prints of pop-culture icons.

My week of culture in LA

Thumbnail image for pacino-aarp-iris.jpg The AFI Film Festival, AARP's Films for Grownups and Elevator Repair Service at the Redcat — it was a good week.
balen-baby-doll.jpg I have to thank LACMA Costume and Textiles curator Kaye Spilker for pointing me toward what turned out to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of my recent trip to the French and Spanish Basque country.
zealotmini3.jpg Shirley checks in on 'Zealot' at SCR, 'Pippin' at the Pantages, 'Big Fish' in Long Beach and 'Spring Awakening' from Deaf West Theatre.

For Harry Shearer, Nixon is still the one

harry-shearer-nixon.jpg I spent an enjoyable evening in Nixon's Oval office recently along with other Nixonphiles and -phobes like political writer Richard Reeves and KCRW's Warren Olney.

LA Opera's doubleheader, plus Dance Project and more

Quintett_Forsythe_REichenbaum.jpg Critic Donna Perlmutter attends "Bluebeard's Castle" and "Dido and Aeneas" at the Music Center and LA Dance Project works at the Ace Hotel.

Getty tries to make some art news today too

manet-spring-getty.jpg On the same day that LACMA introduces donor Jerrold Perenchio, the Getty announces it acquired a Manet painting at a record price.

LACMA to announce its largest donation ever*

Thumbnail image for lacma-over-wilshire-zumthor.jpg The museum has summoned the media on Thursday morning to announce what the release calls the largest gift of art in the museum's history. The donor is Jerrold Perenchio.

Robert Hilburn to write biography of Paul Simon

hilburn-richards.jpg Hilburn profiled Simon for the LA Times during a 1987 stop in Zimbabwe on Simon's tour for "Graceland." Simon & Schuster acquired the book at auction.

Millard Sheets mural moving to the Huntington

LAO-SHEETSMURALBEFORE-USETHIS.jpg The 1934 California landscape began life in the dining room of a Hollywood Hills home.
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
Curator's guide to Huntington
Learn about the redone gallery of American art. Native Intelligence
Voices of LA
voices-of-la-iris.jpgKamau Daáood recites poetry backed by a klezmer jazz ensemble at Breed Street Shul. Iris Schneider
Fans at KCON
kpop-emoting.jpg Fans swoon at LA's big Korean music festival. More photos by Iris Schneider
Kimono exhibit at LACMA
kimono-panel.jpg "Kimono for a Modern Age" presents more than 30 of the traditional garments. Curator Sharon S. Takeda walks us through.
New girl in town
janie-taylor-sitting-iris.jpgJanie Taylor retired as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet this year and moved to Los Angeles. Native Intelligence
Operas in LA and Ojai (sort of)
ballet-Preljocaj-blue.jpgDonna Perlmutter sees Angelin Preljocaj's latest at the Music Center and more. Native Intelligence
Oral history of The Palomino
willie-nelson-palomino-lamag.jpgWillie Nelson and everybody else played at the Lankershim Blvd. club. Story
Opera showdown
cosi-dp.jpgDonna Perlmutter wonders why men are so afraid of women, at least in the opera. Her report from LA's stages. Native Intelligence
Design inspiration

three-designers.jpg

A day at the Los Angeles County Art Museum for three LA designers. Native Intelligence

Bowl butts get cedar seats
hwd-bowl-benches-zevweb.jpgNew benches go in at Hollywood Bowl. Read
'Cry, Trojans'
wooster1-iris.jpgScott Shepherd and Kate Valk as lovers Troilus and Cressida. Iris Schneider
Misty Copeland has her say
misty-copeland-gene-schiavone.jpgMisty Copeland rose from a vagabond life in San Pedro to become the first black female soloist with the American Ballet Theater in 20 years. She talks with Judy Graeme. Native Intelligence
'Tartuffe' and 'Music Man'
tartuffe-shirley.jpgClassic con artistry in 'Tartuffe' and 'Music Man,' plus plays for the Passover season. Don Shirley
'Billy Budd' and more
Gustavo-Dudamel-dp-story.jpgA bedazzling "Billy Budd" and Dudamel does Tchaikovsky, by Donna Perlmutter. Native Intelligence
Vivian Maier
vivian-maier-mouse-ears.jpg"Finding Vivian Maier," a nicely done documentary on the late, reclusive Chicago nanny whose street photos have become a sensation, screens in Los Angeles in March.
Bunker Hill
broad-plaza-rendering.jpgBroad Museum opening delayed until 2015. Read
Exene sells her stuff
exene-rickenbacker.jpgExene Cervenka is done with Orange County. And her 1955 Rickenbacker Combo 600. Read
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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
Rubén Ortiz Torres
Try Harder
Violinist.com
Zero Degrees Art

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