Arts, music and culture

News, observations and links on the arts, music, theater, dance, photography and local institutions
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Deborah Strang on her 'lovely, crazy' life in the theater

lao-newchairsusethis.jpg The veteran A Noise Within actor talks with LA Observed about the joys and perils of performing in two plays at once, her favorite leading men and what happens when you start a show while sitting on a toilet.

Encountering Encuentro

enriques-journey-ds.jpg I can't report that everything on the Encuentro stages is wonderful, but from now through November 10 there is certainly a lot more to choose from than there has been at LATC in recent years. Isn't it about time that LA got a concentrated dose of Latino theater?

Australians bring a feather-free 'Swan Lake,' plus Mahler's Fifth

swan-lake-dp.jpg The Australian Ballet provided plenty of entertainment, but the "white" scenes were not so white. Our critic, however, was "gobsmacked" by the LA Phil's Mahler.

A mariachi funeral for Nati Cano (video)

nati-cano-funeral-hernandez.jpg Mariachi Los Camperos members perform a final tribute to the troupe's founder and leader.
hunter-ds.jpg Five current SoCal productions in which the writers freshened material with surprising what-if twists, while not falling into unconvincing fantasylands.

Nati Cano, mariachi legend of LA was 81

nati-cano.jpg Natividad Cano, the founder of Los Camperos de Nati Cano — probably the most famous mariachi band to be based in Los Angeles — died Friday at age 81.

Imagine there's no 99-seat plan (apologies to John Lennon)

tempestpro6.jpg The minimum wage discussion has spread into the realm of Los Angeles theater, where many actors and actors are paid far less than even the current minimum. Questions are being raised about the future of the 99-Seat Theater Plan, formerly known as Equity Waiver.

A telling "Traviata" opens LA Opera season

traviata-mathews.jpg Verdi's "La Traviata" can withstand almost anything. It's nearly indestructible, and sometimes irresistible.

Video: Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton lip synch with Jimmy Fallon

shelton-stefani-fallon.jpg Assuming you like Stefani, Shelton or Fallon. You don't even have to like all three.

Where's the LA in CTG? Not in the new season

Paul_Oakley_Stovall-ctg.jpg CTG's website vowed to produce programming that "reflects and informs our own community" through "stories inspired on our own streets." But that language was removed two years ago.

Gerald Wilson, multi-faceted jazz great was 96

gerald-wilson-album.jpg Wilson, the jazz musician and arranger whose career spanned from 1930s swing to the present, died at home in Los Angeles today at age 96. He had come down with pneumonia two weeks ago.

'La Bamba' ties together the world (video)

la-bamba-video-grab.jpg David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, La Marisoul and artists in Mexico, Argentina, Mali and Congo strum and sing through "La Bamba."

John Lennon for Tower Records on the strip (video)

tower-records-circa-1988.jpg Lennon taped a promotional spot for the Tower Records store on Sunset Strip in 1974, reportedly while in studio at KHJ radio.

Grammy Museum to honor 'Star-Spangled Banner' (video)

grammy-museum-sign.jpg "Oh Say Can You Sing: ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in Popular Music" opens September 12. Yes, Hendrix at Woodstock is featured. Plus: A bonus 'O Canada.'

Arts window: Dance audition

barak-audition.jpg Melissa Barak concentrates during an audition Sunday for the Barak Ballet, at the Westside School of Ballet.

Have you driven the Ford lately?

ford-theatre-daylight.jpg Plans for the Ford Theatre in Cahuenga Pass could turn into "the most important new theater/dance-specific venue in LA since the construction of LATC three decades ago."

Deborah Sussman, Los Angeles area designer was 83

olympics-sussman.jpg Sussman began her career as an office designer for Charles and Ray Eames. She created a distinctive graphic look for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Curator's guide: The Huntington expands on American art

Thumbnail image for lao-smith-august.jpg Jessica Todd Smith talks with Karen Wada about what you should know and see while visiting the newly expanded American art galleries at the Huntington.

At KCON, it's all about the K-pop

kpop-crowd.jpg Fans ignored the heat to watch their favorite Korean pop stars chat and mingle at KCON, billed as the largest North American event dedicated to "all things hallyu."

If you're working Paul McCartney, plan to go vegan

beatles-stadium-1966.jpg IATSE workers are first told "NO ONE is to bring meat of any kind" to Sunday's McCartney show at Dodger Stadium. The tone has softened a bit, but because McCartney is vegan the menu will be too.

Hamlet in Encino

hamlet-in-encino.jpg Los Encinos State Historic Park, as I've said before, is my favorite history-drenched enclave of Los Angeles. So why not Hamlet on the grass?

Dudamel does melodrama, National Ballet of Canada does downtown

Dudamel-bowl-dp.jpg It's time to add Gustavo Dudamel to the opera conductor pantheon, writes Donna Perlmutter after catching a performance at the Hollywood Bowl.

A classic LA summer - from Shakespeare to Queen

TWELFTH-NIGHT-ds.jpg The outdoors venues in Los Angeles this summer constitute one of America's largest Shakespearean hotspots. Let Don Shirley be your guide.

Kimono exhibit at LACMA

kimono-undulate.jpg "Kimono for a Modern Age" at LACMA presents more than 30 of the traditional Japanese garments. Curator Sharon S. Takeda walks us through.

The Fringe binge continues

latest dance craze.jpg After five years of Hollywood Fringe, Shirley doesn't care how many newcomers it attracts to LA. He likes the Fringe for the structure it provides established LA artists to develop their work.
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
Ry Cooder at The Echo
ry-cooder-echo-iris.jpgIris Schneider spotted Ry Cooder at The Echo, backing up daughter-in-law Juliette Commagere on the slide guitar. Native Intelligence
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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.