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58 Eclectic tastes of the new season

September 11, 2005|Craig Fisher

IT'S tempting to think of fall's arts offerings as one of those sumptuous sideboards immortalized in 17th century Dutch still lifes. Just substitute a provocative exhibition for that glistening bunch of new grapes, a potential musical masterwork for that bowl of rosy apples, a likely dud play for that dead fowl lying to one side. In the same spirit, we've chosen to highlight the most notable of this season's visual, musical, theatrical and architectural presentations not by category or chronology but rather as a bounty of pleasing juxtapositions. After all, to the true arts and pop culture lover, nothing beats the sense of possibility that a new season brings, the prospect of a great museum show one day, a thrilling concert the next. So go ahead. Graze.


Villa rides again

J. Paul Getty never saw the faux-Roman residence at the edge of Malibu that he built in 1974 for his art collection. Almost nobody has seen it for the last eight years, since the new Getty Center opened in Brentwood and the Villa closed for renovations. But that will change in October as informal invitations to selected guests go out for previews of the greatly expanded facility. The Villa, set to open to the public in early 2006, will be the only museum of Greek and Roman antiquities in America -- related to the Getty Center the way the Cloisters in upper Manhattan, devoted to the art of medieval Europe, is to its parent, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday September 13, 2005 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 50 words Type of Material: Correction
Theater of the New Ear -- An item in the Fall Arts Preview in Sunday's Calendar section said that Theater of the New Ear at Royce Hall would include an as-yet-unnamed play Wednesday through Friday. In fact, the play had been selected. It is "Anomalisa," by the pseudonymous Francis Fregoli.

Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway.

Details at


Ciao hound

It's not over even after the fat man sings. At least not this one. At least not till now. Luciano Pavarotti's extended farewell tour reaches the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 24, and maybe this time he really means it. Expectations for Pavarotti these days don't run high, given that he long ago became a caricature of his charismatic former self. But bring your handkerchiefs anyway. He just might still be able to demonstrate why he once deserved being one of the most popular tenors of all time.

Hollywood Bowl, Sept. 24,


A pair of showplaces

What might be called the Renzo Piano era of American museum architecture continues with the November opening of the Italian architect's expansion of Richard Meier's 1983 High Museum in Atlanta. Piano, who has museum projects in the works in half a dozen other American cities, has added three buildings containing 177,000 square feet of space and linked to the all-white original by a series of glass bridges. Meier was frustrated not to have been asked to design the extension himself, but he'll have his own high-profile opening with the Oct. 15 unveiling of the San Jose City Hall, a $384-million project and the first architectural icon for what is now California's third-largest city.

High Museum of Art, Atlanta; City Hall, San Jose. Details at


Apple again in season

Even without the hubbub that surrounded the Internet leak of an early version of Fiona Apple's new album last winter, the collection would be one of the top attention-getters of the year. This mercurial singer-songwriter doesn't do things in a low-key way, and the provocative "Extraordinary Machine," produced by Dr. Dre protege Mike Elizondo, marks a notable evolution of her darkly witty cabaret-pop.

"Extraordinary Machine" (Epic Records), due in stores Oct. 4.


Rag, bone, hank of hair

Toiling in the space between art and life, as he puts it, Robert Rauschenberg has been in the art world's spotlight for decades. But many observers think he peaked with his late 1950s and '60s "combines" -- three-dimensional constructions made mostly of found materials. There's nothing, for example, quite like his "Monogram," a paint-daubed, stuffed angora goat with an automobile-tire necklace. It's just one of 65 pieces to be presented in "Robert Rauschenberg: Combines," an international traveling show organized by L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art (and set to appear there next summer) but opening in December at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Dec. 20-April 2,


Unsinkable Mali pop

The late-summer buzz-surge around husband-and-wife singing duo Amadou & Mariam could easily light up a small village. Amadou Bagayoko met his wife, Mariam Doumbia, at the Institute for the Young Blind in Bamako, Mali. They were married in 1980 and have been famous in West Africa for many years, dream-weaving their version of lambent Afro-pop, pulling in threads of American rock, blues and funk with spinning, kaleidoscopic results. But their latest album, "Dimanche a Bamako," produced by French-Spanish pop visionary Manu Chao for Nonesuch, is a carbonated, noisy, almost florid work that became a bona fide hit in Europe. If early press stateside is any indication, they may be soon be lighting up the sky here.

The Knitting Factory Hollywood, Monday.


Messiaen marathon

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