January 7, 2011 |
To some, "dinner theater" conjures up fond recollections of pleasant nights out, an evening starting with a seared piece of meat for the entrée and Lerner and Loewe or Rodgers and Hammerstein for dessert. All for, as they say, an affordable price. What could be better? But ask a hard-core Broadway purist or most theater critics and you'll get a very different assessment. Theater historian Ken Bloom has a scathing view: "Most dinner theater has been theater at its lowest-common denominator.
November 26, 2010 |
Beth Lapides is following the signs. On the freeway. In the paper. She's interpreting street signs, "For Sale" signs, and "Open," "Closed" and "Be Back Soon" signs. Of course, the "50% Off" signs. And, most important, signs from the universe. They're telling her to evolve. That change is good. And to extend the run of her comedic one-woman show. So she has. Lapides' show, "100% Happy 88% of the Time," which plays Wednesday nights at the Improv Lab Theater in West Hollywood, quickly sold out its first six weeks.
July 28, 2010 |
"Magdi, Magdi," the kid yells, running in off the street. A bottle of water flies up to the loft and Magdi Ali catches it and shouts thanks. The child disappears through the sawdust and back into the sunlight. Ali scrapes his planer, pale curls weightless as snow tumble around his sandals, his glue pot simmers on a stove. He tightens strings of copper and silk until the pluck-pling of ancient music rises from his worn hands and drifts out the door. A single note. Then it vanishes.
July 15, 2010
EVENTS Celebrate Bastille Day with nearly 20,000 revelers at what is being dubbed the largest French celebration in the United States. The 23rd annual Santa Barbara French Festival promises fun for the whole family, including food, wine, wandering mimes and three stages of non-stop music, cabaret and dance performances. Oak Park, 300 W. Alamar, Santa Barbara. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat. and Sun. Free. (805) 564-7274. http://www.frenchfestival.com.
July 12, 2010
UCLA Live recently canceled its well-regarded international theater festival, but Calabasas would like to point out that UCLA didn't have a lock on that concept. The city near the southwestern San Fernando Valley is holding its second annual California International Theatre Festival from July 17 to 25. The visiting companies aren't of the same stature as those that UCLA attracted, but they are diverse. The Orto-Da Theatre Group of Israel will perform its work "Stones," Theatre Newfoundland Labrador of Canada presents "Tempting Providence" by Robert Chafe, and Conor Lovett of Gare St Lazare Players Ireland will perform an adaptation of the Samuel Beckett short story "The End."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 2010 |
"Stormy Weather" was Lena Horne's signature song as well as a chillingly apt metaphor for her career. Long celebrated for her striking beauty and silky voice, she overcame profound racism on her way to becoming one of the best-known African American performers in the country. At MGM, she had a seven-year contract in the 1940s when no other African American had such long-term deals. But her movie scenes were filmed so they could be easily excised for release in the Jim Crow South.
December 4, 2009
Harlow Gold Burlesque Where: Bordello, 901 E. 1st St., L.A. When: Sundays, doors 8 p.m., show 9 p.m. Price: $10, $15 and $25 Contact: (213) 687-3766; advance tickets at www.harlowgold.event brite.com; group reservations at www.bunnyhopprod @sbcglobal.net Devil's Playground Burlesque and Cabaret Where: Bordello, 901 E. 1st St., L.A. When: Dec. 12 and every second Saturday of the month Price: $13 Contact: www.courtneycruz.
November 1, 2009 |
By day, Dr. Rupa Marya tends to critical-care patients at UC San Francisco, where she teaches intern physicians about communicating with people facing life and death decisions. By night, she sheds her last name, picks up a guitar and leads Rupa & the April Fishes, a rollicking world cabaret combo that has won an international following thanks largely to her poetically charged songs in Spanish, French and English. The band celebrates the release of its newest album, "Este Mundo," at the Mint on Friday, headlining a triple bill with the Chicano rockers Ollin and the flamenco hip-hop project Granada Doaba.
October 25, 2009 |
A few weeks ago, on a fog-enshrouded night in Malibu, Richard Montoya stepped onstage in full mariachi regalia to welcome his audience to what he slyly called the "Getty Pancho Villa." The occasion was a performance of "Peace," Aristophanes' perpetually timely 2,400-year-old antiwar comedy, updated to take stock of the latest global quagmires and packed with references to Michael Jackson, Brentwood versus Boyle Heights sensibilities and other punchy anachronisms. The actors included avant-garde stalwart John Fleck and prolific TV and stage veteran Amy Hill.