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January 31, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Theater Critic
Whoever is ultimately at fault in the conflict between actor Steven Berkoff and director William Friedkin that led to the postponement of the Geffen Playhouse's much anticipated production of “The Birthday Party,” there's no denying that the botched handling of the situation was a loss for the Geffen, the artistic company and Los Angeles theater. I was looking forward to reencountering this early Pinter classic more than almost any other production this season. The last revival I saw was ages ago off-Broadway, the Classic Stage Company's astringent 1989 production with Jean Stapleton and David Strathairn.
January 30, 2014 | By David Ng
The upcoming revival of Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party" at the Geffen Playhouse has been abruptly called off only two weeks before its official opening. Leaders at the Geffen said that the production, which was to have been directed by William Friedkin, has been postponed to an unspecified future date. "The Birthday Party" was to have starred Tim Roth in the lead role of a piano player living in a seaside boarding house. The production was scheduled to open Feb. 12, with preview performances beginning on Feb. 4, and run through March 16.  The Geffen declined to elaborate on the postponement, but Friedkin said in an interview that it was due to the departure of actor Steven Berkoff and the inability to find a suitable replacement in the available time.
January 16, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Dian Fossey, a naturalist who chronicled her life among the gorillas of Rwanda in the book "Gorillas in the Mist," was honored Thursday with a Google Doodle.  Her work with what she called "the greatest of the great apes" helped to recast the 400-pound gorillas as gentle giants desperately in need of protection from poachers.  In the doodle you'll notice a close up of a gorilla's nose. Fossey used gorilla's individual "noseprints" to help identify them.  PHOTOS: Fascinating animal discoveries of 2013 Fossey was 6 feet tall, a San Francisco native and a chain smoker.
January 15, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
¡Feliz cumpleaños, Susan Sontag! The great critic, novelist and iconoclast was born Jan. 16, 1933. Today would've been her 81st birthday. Many readers associate Sontag with New York: She was born in the Big Apple and first made her name there as a critic in her late 20s. But we Angelenos know that Sontag, the author of 17 books that have been translated into 32 languages, is also one of our own. Long before she wrote her hugely influential "On...
January 13, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Happy birthday, A.A. Milne! The author of "Winnie-the-Pooh" was born 132 years ago today. Milne brought us Pooh, that silly old bear, and his child companion, Christopher Robin, along with children's rhymes, and plays, essays and fiction for grown-ups. Alan Alexander Milne was brought up in England and, as a boy, took classes from a young teacher who was a mentor to him -- the writer H.G. Wells. Milne went to Cambridge, married his wife Daphne, and in 1920 the two of them had a son: Christopher Robin.
January 9, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
The place to be tonight, Jan. 9, for hot country guitar picking -- and singing -- is the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills , where British guitar ace Albert Lee is celebrating his 70th birthday with help from a lot of his friends. As one of the most expressive and technically dazzling players of the last 40 years, Lee has collaborated with plenty of country's elite musicians, and for his birthday show the onstage guest list is scheduled to include Emmylou Harris (whose celebrated Hot Band once featured Lee)
January 8, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Dennis Rodman helped Kim Jong Un mark his 31st birthday Wednesday with sport and song, serenading the North Korean dictator with a warbly rendition of “Happy Birthday” in a Pyongyang gymnasium and then leading fellow ex-NBA players in a game against a local squad. Spectators were not allowed to bring cameras into the modestly appointed arena, but video posted later online showed Rodman in sunglasses leading the crowd - many of them in sport coats and dress shirts - in a singing tribute to “The Marshal.” Then the Americans, in blue and white uniforms, faced off against the North Koreans, or the “Torch Team,” in red. Simon Cockerell, a tour guide with Beijing-based Koryo tours who is traveling with Rodman's group, described the event as a “bizarre and unusual occasion.” In a video dispatch from Pyongyang posted to Koryo's Facebook page, he said the teams played two 10-minute halves, with the North Koreans prevailing at the final buzzer (by a score of 47-39, according to Associated Press)
January 1, 2014 | By Jay Jones
The 70 th anniversary of the launch of USS Missouri will be celebrated Feb. 1 at Pearl Harbor, where the famed battleship is berthed as a museum. The ship was christened Jan. 29, 1944, as World War II raged in the Pacific. On the Missouri's deck on Sept. 2, 1945, as it was anchored in Tokyo Bay, the Japanese signed the documents of surrender that ended the war. Actors portraying wartime heroes, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Chester Nimitz, both of whom signed the historic documents for the United States, will participate in “living history” activities at the Oahu landmark.
December 26, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- China marked the 120th anniversary of Mao Tse-tung's birth Thursday, feting the communist revolutionary with concerts of patriotic songs, visits to his mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, broadcasts of TV docudramas and exhibits of calligraphy and photography. President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and other senior leaders paid respects at Mao's mausoleum, where his body first went on view in 1977, a year after his death. Xi, who has been championing an anti-corruption campaign, said that this year's Mao commemorations should be “solemn, austere and practical,” but some of the commemorations have been extravagant.
December 19, 2013 | By Jung-yoon Choi
SEOUL -- Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday to help train the country's national basketball team and prepare an exhibition game celebrating leader Kim Jong Un's birthday. Rodman's trip, his third this year to the reclusive nation, comes just a week after North Korea announced the execution of Kim's uncle by marriage, Jang Song Taek. The dramatic purge of a man believed to have been a mentor to the young Kim and his second-in-command raised questions about the stability of the North Korean regime.
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