September 8, 2008 |
LA JOLLA -- The story of early rock 'n' roll is a truly American tale. The music probably wouldn't have been possible if not for the proximity of people from diverse backgrounds, overhearing each other and appropriating what they liked. Yet if America in the late 1940s and early '50s was beginning to come together in music, the country, in most other ways, remained deeply divided. "Memphis" -- a musical being given an exuberant, high-gloss staging at La Jolla Playhouse -- looks back on this time and finds a message at once chilling and full of hope.
November 9, 2003 |
"Little Shop of Horrors" (DRG Records) *** "Little Shop of Horrors," one of off-Broadway's most enduring musicals, finally opened on Broadway last month. Just as the new production is bigger in scale, so too is the new CD. While the recording from the 1982 original cast has 16 tracks, and the 1986 movie soundtrack album has a mere 13, this one has 22 from the show itself plus five demo tapes of songs that didn't make the final cut.
March 18, 2011
Actress Sandra Bullock sent a $1-million donation to the American Red Cross this week to help with earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan, the Red Cross said Thursday. It is the largest celebrity donation to the Red Cross to be announced since the disaster struck last Friday, although the charity may have gotten large contributions that were kept confidential at the donors' request. Dozens of celebrities used their social network accounts, including Twitter, to urge fans to support the Red Cross with small donations.
February 12, 2002 |
"I wish." These restless words are at the beginning and the end of "Into the Woods," the wise and witty musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Even after "Into the Woods" opened on Broadway in 1987, wishes kept cropping up in Lapine's mind, as the librettist and director thought about the show. His wishing led to an altered version of "Into the Woods," now at the Ahmanson Theatre, with changes in the staging and design and a few slightly modified lines.
October 19, 2007 |
One of the more predictable -- and dubious -- elements of the musical genre is the "I Want" song, when the protagonist gives us a soulful glimpse of his or her emotional engine. But what happens when a musical revolves around someone who has no clue what she wants? That's the premise of Michael John LaChiusa's "Little Fish," a jittery, engagingly off-kilter chamber piece, now receiving a jaunty West Coast premiere at the Blank Theatre Company's 2nd Stage.
August 31, 2008 |
"Jersey BOYS," the show, came off well for the La Jolla Playhouse. The rock 'n' roll bio-play about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons opened late in 2004 and soon after moved to Broadway, where it won a Tony Award for best musical and looks to keep playing to packed houses into the next decade. Now La Jolla has the not-quite-sequel: Jersey Boys, the partnership -- Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, a writer-composer team of 46-year-olds who, on the face of it, are one of the oddest theatrical couplings since Neil Simon thought up Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar.