February 24, 1990 |
Updating Moliere to 1890 Paris, the beginning of belle epoque , is a provocative idea. Turning a slight Moliere farce into a cabaret musical that Toulouse-Lautrec could paint is also a piquant idea. But all the cancans, feather boas, vocal quartets and bright scarfs in Paris can't salvage "Scapin's Scandals" at the Alhecama Theatre. The production by the Ensemble Theatre Company does enjoy an ensemble flair and flashes of skill. But director Robert G. Weiss' show is bloated.
April 7, 1994 |
A critic once said that Jerry Herman didn't write songs, he wrote anthems. It's a very good way of explaining the sense of energy in Herman's writing and its insistence on being entertaining. Although the production of "Jerry's Girls" at the Cabrillo Playhouse is often entertaining, the lack of energy in Dan Blackley's direction, and more especially in the plonky musical direction and accompaniment by Diane King Vann, takes a lot of sparkle out of the evening.
September 6, 2012 |
Comedian Beth Lapides is stretching herself these days - both literally and creatively. The longtime yogi and co-host of the weekly variety show at 1st and Hope, “ UnCabaret ,” will teach a class at Silverlake Yoga for the next seven weeks. “It's serious; you don't want students to feel they have to laugh,” Lapides says. “But I do bring my quirky comedy sensibility to it. I think sense of humor is our seventh sense - and hopefully you're more open to it after you leave.” Lapides, who used to write a monthly column for LA Yoga Magazine called “ My Other Car Is a Yoga Mat ,” has been a staple of the L.A. comedy scene for more than two decades.
November 27, 2001 |
Second- and third-generation show-business careers are not exactly front-page news in the glittering Southland entertainment world. Even in the relatively rarefied arena of film composing and songwriting, there are such notable examples as the remarkable Newman family and, a coast away, the offspring of Richard Rodgers. Add Babbie Green to the list. The gifted singer-songwriter, the daughter of composer Johnny Green ("Body and Soul," "Out of Nowhere," etc.
March 15, 1996 |
Wow. The ruin of Club Lingerie is something you have to see for yourself. That's the only way to grasp the fate that's befallen the late, great music club. The once-thriving hotbed of L.A.'s underground music scene has become a Korean discotheque of surreal proportions. Gone is its vintage mahogany bar. Gone is any inkling of its rockin' past, which included pivotal performances by the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Candlebox.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2000 |
Ventura County's unofficial Neil Simon festival continues with the current run of "God's Favorite" at the Ojai Center for the Arts. One of Simon's less well-received plays at its original 1974 run, it's a seriocomic retelling of the biblical book of Job, set in contemporary New York City. It wasn't an original idea: Poet and playwright Archibald MacLeish had done pretty much the same thing with "J.B.," with some success, in 1958.
October 23, 2003 |
There are moments in "Gunmetal Blues" when it seems like the coolest thing on ice -- flashes of inspiration that punch through tired musical theater conventions to a new level of immediacy, rich allusion and pure performative joy. So, this is what a jazz-cabaret-detective musical can be, we think as gumshoe Sam Galahad (Kevin Symons) wakes up hung over and sings, to a gutbucket blues backbeat, "Woke up this morning / With a freight train in my head."
March 20, 1997 |
There is a tradition in jazz for a kind of singing that is elegant, articulate and unassumingly candid. Ella Fitzgerald was one of its most avid practitioners, singing--in her "Songbook" collections--with disarmingly unadorned clarity and directness. Lee Wiley did it in the '30s and '40s, as did Irene Kral in the '70s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2000 |
Outside the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton, during intermission of "Always . . . Patsy Cline," a gentleman said to his friend, "She's singing a lot of songs I don't associate with Patsy Cline." His friend answered, "Well, when she was singing in a bar, she had to sing 20 or more songs. They were filler. She didn't have that many hits." He hit the nail of the head.