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Summer Splash

Kids, Culture or Coolness?

The arts: Moses, Pittman and a lot of tapping toes.

May 19, 1996|Jan Breslauer | Jan Breslauer is a regular contributor to Calendar

Shakespeare may well have had an L.A. arts lover's itinerary in mind when he said "summer's lease hath all too short a date." There are, after all, so many options--in theater, music, dance and the visual arts--and so little time. Below, we've listed a few best bets, for Bardophiles and other like-minded souls.

This week: Talk about long shots. British director Stephen Daldry couldn't have picked a more unlikely candidate for hit-dom than the 1946 political thriller, "An Inspector Calls," but he turned it into a London and Broadway smash anyway. Why? Maybe it's the falling rain, the cinematic score, the mansion that unfolds and folds back up or all the other gonzo special effects in this staging originally devised by the Royal National Theatre. At the Ahmanson Theatre, through June 30. Information: (213) 365-3500.

May 26-June 1: Most people think of Ojai as a place where couples go to grab a spa-abetted bucolic getaway, but to others it's the woodsy home of one of the best weekends of al fresco classical music anywhere. The faithful will return, swallows-to-Capistrano-like, for the 50th edition of the Ojai Festival this year, featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic and composer-conductor Pierre Boulez, May 31 through June 2. Information: (805) 646-2094.

June 2-8: Moses. You know the name, even the biblical bona fides. But have you seen his paintings lately? If not, here's a chance to catch up on the work of a key American abstractionist in "Ed Moses: A Retrospective of the Paintings and Drawings, 1951-1996," continuing at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through Aug. 11. Information: (213) 626-6222.

June 9-15: Dancer-choreographer Loretta Livingston is a major mover and shaker. So expect her to stir your senses and tweak your tastes when she and her company, Loretta Livingston and Dancers, present "Tales From the Plate, Moving North." At the Japan America Theatre, on June 14. Information: (213) 680-3700.

June 16-22: Tap dance is the toast of Broadway these days, and for good reason. Filled with infectious rhythms and fancy footwork, it's the perfect visual complement for the free-flowing aural charms of jazz. And nobody cooks up this combo better than L.A.'s own Jazz Tap Ensemble, which will hoof it into the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, along with guest artists, for a "Jazz Tap Jam" on June 22. Information: (213) 466-1767.

June 23-29: If you've never thought of Los Angeles as a hotbed of visual art talent, think again. Or at least go check out painter Lari Pittman, when his mid-career survey arrives at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition, on view through Sept. 8, presents 35 major works by this influential artist, including some new pieces created just for this show. Information: (213) 857-6000.

And sure, it's an ongoing scandal that a city as big as Los Angeles doesn't have its own major league ballet troupe, but balletomanes still have to have their fix. Fortunately, the American Ballet Theatre is going to swing by its old stamping grounds, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, to help fill the gap. They'll perform a program of repertory works, including a new Twyla Tharp ballet, on June 26-27, and the full-length "Don Quixote" on June 28-30. Information: (213) 365-3500.

June 30-July 6: You can take a peek inside some wild and woolly worlds when "Kienholz: A Retrospective" opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art on June 30. There'll be more than 100 works, both large and small, by the late Ed and his wife, Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Through Nov. 3. Information: (213) 626-6222.

If platform shoes and polyester are all you know about '70s retro, it's time to take the faux fibre out of the closet and take the cultural plunge too. On July 6, Lukas Foss directs the Hollywood Bowl's 75th anniversary celebration with a six-hour marathon concert--just like the ones they used to put on back in the bell bottom days of yore. Information: (213) 850-2000.

July 7-13: It may be July, but "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" in the stunning (and, yes, British) revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel" that twirls into the Ahmanson, July 10 through Aug. 25. Information: (213) 365-3500.

July 14-20: There's something for every dance taste, from tap to folkloric, at the annual local talent smorgasbord known as Dance Kaleidoscope. This year, the festivities kick off with two programs, on July 19-20, at Cal State L.A.'s Luckman Theater. On the 21st, the fun waltzes over to the Strub theater at Loyola Marymount University. And the finale trips the light fantastic, with two shows on July 27 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Information: (213) 480-3232 (for July 19-20) or (213) 466-1767 (for July 21 and 27).

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