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October 3, 2013 | By Martin Tsai
Dominic Purcell of "Prison Break" stars in "Vikingdom" as Eirick, king of Jomsborg. Exiled since his death and miraculous resurrection, Eirick is on a quest to prevent Thor (Conan Stevens) from opening the gates of Valhalla and connecting the earth with heaven and hell. Yes, that would be the same Thor character assumed by Chris Hemsworth in various Hollywood Marvel tent poles. The god of thunder turns villainous here, but that doesn't mean "Vikingdom" is any less removed from Norse mythology than is Stan Lee's take.
October 3, 2013 | By David Pagel
In two solo shows over the last four years, Devin Troy Strother has shown himself to be a wickedly funny master of cut-and-paste collage as well as a sly spinner of side-splitting stories about such loaded subjects as blood, money and sex - otherwise known as race, class and gender. At Richard Heller Gallery, the young L.A. artist bumps up the scale of his hilarious paper dolls while losing none of the goofy intelligence that has become his trademark. Cartoons may not account for everything that exists, but they provide Strother with the perfect format for his potent art. Accessible, spunky and open to just about anything you bring to them, his comical cutouts play fast and loose with traditional distinctions between painting and sculpture all the better to get art and life, fantasy and reality, fact and fiction to intermingle freely.
September 25, 2013 | By Jasmine Elist
When comedian, writer and producer Dan Levy learned he would be a new father, he solicited parenting advice from an unsung group of experts: actual kids. In April, Levy collaborated with Jensen Karp, a producer and former rapper, to create "Baby Talk" - a monthly comedy show based around three to four comedians asking children between the ages of 5 and 10 questions like "What should I name my son?" (one child suggesting the name Ritzy Skittles) and "What should I do if my kid wakes up in the middle of the night and says he had a nightmare?"
September 20, 2013 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - For years, Vince Sicari kept a secret from his family, friends, colleagues and clients. By day, he practiced law. By night, he practiced laughs under his stage name, Vince August, building a reputation on the comedy club circuit. Over the years, he worked his way up to regular TV appearances, including Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" and ABC's "What Would You Do?" But Sicari this week became a victim of August's success when New Jersey's highest court ruled that he could either continue to serve in his part-time job as Municipal Court Judge Vincenzo A. Sicari or work as an on-stage comedian - but not both.
September 12, 2013 | By Annlee Ellingson
The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming! Directors Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah and a lineup of fellow Muslim American comedians hit the road in this documentary that follows their stand-up tour throughout the American Southeast and West. When they're not performing some actually pretty edgy material, they're setting up public stunts like "Ask a Muslim," "Name That Religion" and "Hug a Muslim. " Their goal is to introduce "Muzzies" - real American Muzzies, not just the scary, hateful, jihadist versions you see on TV - and help tone down some of the Islamophobic rhetoric they encounter every day. Along the way, "The Muslims Are Coming!"
September 4, 2013 | Catherine Saillant
Fernando Anglero is a fixture among the street people who live in downtown L.A.'s Arts district, known for his off-color, funny signs that one local loft-dweller says bring "fun energy" to the neighborhood. But the homeless man residents know only as Fernando stands out for another reason -- he's marketing himself as a street comic using social media. To promote his "cardboard comedy," Anglero has created a website with help from Arts district residents. He also has a Facebook page and a personal hashtag, #fernandolove, to make it easier to find him on Instagram and Twitter.
August 12, 2013 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Stan Lynde, creator of the syndicated western comic strip "Rick O'Shay," which ran for 20 years in major newspapers and reached about 15 million readers, died Tuesday of cancer in Helena, Mont. He was 81. Lynde was a Korean War veteran who had studied journalism at the University of Montana and briefly worked on his family's ranch in Colorado when he realized he wanted to try to make it as a cartoonist. After buying a one-way ticket to New York City in the 1950s, he worked his way up to commodities reporter at the Wall Street Journal while attending the School of Visual Arts at night.
August 11, 2013 | By Patrick Pacheco
NEW YORK - Michael Urie sits in a West Village restaurant making a few subtle gestures. A flutter of the hands and you imagine the fingernails. A squint of the eyes and the famously furrowed expression pops into view. A tilt of the head just so and there, like a line drawing from an artist's sketchpad, is Barbra Streisand. "I don't have to do an impression of her, thank God," says the 33-year-old actor. "I give you a taste, and you fill in the rest. It's like a magic act. " The conjuring is in the service of Jonathan Tolins' play "Buyer and Cellar," the off-Broadway comedy that has become the summer's sleeper hit, a fever dream in which Urie stars as Alex More, an unemployed Los Angeles actor who is thrust into a close relationship with the superstar when he is hired to watch over a mall of shops she has built in a cellar on her Malibu compound.
August 10, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Larry David, who is on a break from his series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" - permanent or not, he will let you know - returns to HBO on Saturday with a full-on movie-type movie, "Clear History," in which he plays not his usual fictionalized self but an entirely different character, albeit one composed of all the old familiar tics. The obsessions are here, as is the self-obsession. At the beginning of the film, set a decade before the main body of the action, he sports a full head of long hair and a long beard, which make him look, possibly not by coincidence, like "Curb" director and "Seinfeld" writer Larry Charles.
August 8, 2013 | By Porochista Khakpour
In Leonora Carrington's 1938 short-story masterpiece "The Debutante," a young woman wants to disobey her mother's orders to go to a debutante ball, so she asks a hyena she has befriended to go in her place. The hyena fits into her ball gown but there is then the issue of the hyena's face so - spoiler-to-end-all-spoilers alert - they decide the hyena will tear off the maid's face and use it as her own. Aimee Bender comes from a similar planet, black-lit brazen and unapologetically wackadoodle, sidesplitting and buck wild.
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