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December 25, 2004
I was surprised and disappointed to read Kenneth Turan's review of Cate Blanchett's performance as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator" ["A Wing and a Player," Dec. 17]. As the godchild and namesake of Katharine Hepburn, I was extremely impressed with Blanchett's portrayal. She truly captured the essence of my godmother. Katharine Kramer Valley Village
April 6, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Peter Matthiessen, who died Saturday at age 86 of complications from leukemia, was complex, even contradictory, in the most compelling sense. Born into privilege, he attended Hotchkiss boarding school and Yale and founded the Paris Review in 1953 with George Plimpton and Harold L. Humes. Yet he later became a Zen monk, and in his own fashion was something of an ascetic. He was perhaps best known as a writer of nonfiction, particularly “The Snow Leopard,” the 1978 account of his trip to the Himalayas with naturalist George Schaller that won not one but two National Book Awards.
February 13, 2003
Re "Escaping to the races" (Feb 6): Thanks for capturing the essence of a day of racing. Jay Privman Daily Racing Form Carlsbad
February 28, 2014 | By Ellen Olivier
The event: The Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, presented by the Lincoln Motor Co. The honorees were Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Academy Award-nominated actress Lupita Nyong'o of “12 Years a Slave”; Sundance Film Festival winner Ava DuVernay for directing “Middle of Nowhere”; and Stefani Saintonge, winner of the magazine's short film competition.    Given that 2014 marks the 50 th anniversary of the landmark civil rights act of 1964, the Feb. 27 affair at the Beverly Hills Hotel also recognized prominent figures involved in the civil rights movement: actors Diahann Carroll of “Julia,” Nichelle Nichols of “Star Trek,” Clarence Williams III of “The Mod Squad,” and Denise Nicholas of “Room 222”; sports legend Jim Brown; and author/poet Maya Angelou.
October 28, 1986
All Philip E. Johnson's long letter needed was a point. It would then be a more honest representation of the essence of the whole campaign against Rose Bird. KATHERINE M. LAMBERT Torrance
May 6, 2007
Photographer Luis Sinco beautifully captured the wild, remote essence of U.S. 395's "miracle miles" [April 22]. JEAN RIGGS TANNER Marina del Rey
November 21, 2004
I found Mary McNamara's "A V. [Very] Lucky Voyeur" [Nov. 7] a delight to read, especially her use of "briefing speak." Communicating a message in 25 words or less on a briefing chart reduces your text to just the essence. Her article focused on the essence. Including her experience instead of just the interviewee quotes was the icing on the cake. Greg Ray La Habra
June 29, 1997
In "Death From the Sky" (June 5), John Balzar produced a fine article on mountain climbing. But near the end, he made a statement that raised my ire: "Risk has always been the essence of climbing." I've been climbing for more than 40 years. I'm a member of the American Alpine Club, a Sierra Club trip leader and was president of the Bruin Mountaineers when I was at UCLA in the mid- to late '50s. Risk has never been the essence of climbing for me or anyone I have known. Risk is an element of climbing.
September 28, 1991
Re: "Original Programs Stick to the Obvious" (Randy Lewis, Sept. 20): To look at a portrait of Lincoln and see only the wart alongside Lincoln's nose is to miss the essence of the man; to review "Architects of Change" on KOCE Channel 50 and see only the absence of warts is to miss the essence of the program. The producer's challenge was to capture the essence and the excitement of each "architect's" dream; your challenge seems to be to identify and describe only their warts.
October 17, 2007
I am a lover of harissa too ["The Saucier," Sept. 26]. You really understood the flavor and the essence of this wonderful condiment. Thank you for informing the American public about Tunisian culture. Laure Bjawi-Levine Santa Clara
February 4, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
It might seem odd that South Coast Repertory is presenting a revival of "The Light in the Piazza. " Renowned for developing new American plays, SCR isn't known for producing musicals. What's more, the show hasn't been away all that long. Bartlett Sher's original Broadway production had a spectacular run at the Ahmanson Theatre in 2006. But this more contained SCR production provides a unique perspective on "The Light in the Piazza," written by Craig Lucas (book) and Adam Guettel (music and lyrics)
December 3, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Prince is headed to New Orleans to headline the 2014 Essence Music Festival, the annual three-day festival held over Independence Day weekend, Essence announced Tuesday . Next year's installment will mark the 20-year anniversary of the festival, which is billed as one of the largest gatherings of black artists in the country. Prince previously performed at Essence in 2004 to mark the festival's 10th year. The 2014 festival is set for July 4-6 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
October 11, 2013 | By Nika Soon-Shiong
According to scent stylist Ashley Kessler, the ancient Egyptians believed smell contained the "essence of a soul. " Which makes me wonder: Why are perfumes today mass-produced, commercially marketed and packaged in uniform, glittery bottles? Entrepreneur Nicole Winnaman and celebrity perfumer Sarah Horowitz have answered the question with Original Scent, one of several local businesses that specialize in custom fragrance. I recently visited Original Scent, located at Winnaman's Pasadena lifestyle store Nikki West , to meet with Kessler, a senior scent stylist.
October 6, 2013 | By Ryan Ritchie
Although writer John Steinbeck died 45 years ago, we continue to visit Salinas, Calif. - his birthplace - and surrounding Monterey County in search of the characters and settings found in his classics "The Pastures of Heaven," "East of Eden," "Cannery Row" and "Tortilla Flat. " Although we can't find Doc, Junius Maltby or Lee Chong's grocery store, the essence of the Salinas Valley lingers in the blend of cultures, overcast skies, farming communities and locals who combine a passion for their work with a penchant for libations.
May 28, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
"James Turrell: A Retrospective" is a bit like a dinner party at which the guest of honor is absent. Family members and friends are there, plus lots of conversation about the one who's missing. But the primary impetus for the get-together couldn't make it. The missing guest, of course, is Roden Crater - the much written-about volcano in the Northern Arizona desert that the artist has been converting into an elaborate, celestial observatory since he located the dramatic site more than 40 years ago. The exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art includes extensive documentation of the ongoing project, in the form of models, drawings, plans, photographs and video.
May 13, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Opera was born to be mad. The first great opera concerned the demented Roman emperor Nero. In the nearly three centuries since Monteverdi's "The Coronation of Poppea," mad scene has succeeded mad scene on the lyric stage. They still do, as Long Beach Opera demonstrated Saturday night at Bixby Knolls Expo Art Center with a seemingly crazy double bill of two recent American operas - Michael Gordon's "Van Gogh" and Stewart Copeland's "Tell-Tale Heart. " Each opera is, in essence, an excitable - and exciting - extended mad scene.
March 14, 1985 | DANIEL P. PUZO, Times Staff Writer
The approach of spring has unleashed a torrent of new food products that are now competing for the attention of supermarket executives and the public. The common thread of these newly released items seems to be an appeal to the upscale consumer or those who fashion themselves as such. The activity indicates that the record pace established in 1984 for new products is not likely to slacken.
May 18, 1986 | Richard Eder
Every nation that I can think of, except one, has defined itself by virtue of existing. Israel is the exception; it exists by virtue of defining itself. The distinctive national characters of Britain, France, Russia, China and so on have formed out of particular amalgams of geography and history. Their respective ideas of themselves were formulated as they went along.
May 5, 2013 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
In the late 1970s, long before he penned "The Satanic Verses," before he sparked a global uproar between Islamic fundamentalists and free-speech advocates and became a marked man, before he turned into a celebrity man of letters who dates models and starlets, Salman Rushdie was just the failed author of a sci-fi fantasy. An obscure Indian expat living in England, he had only that first novel, "Grimus," under his belt when he turned his attention to his homeland. While studying at Cambridge he had met E.M. Forster, the venerable British author of classics like "A Passage to India" and "A Room With a View," and the elder novelist had encouraged him to write about the subcontinent.
April 14, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A bill before Parliament in Uganda would prohibit women from wearing miniskirts in public. The government's ethics minister, Simon Lokodo, has taken the lead in defending it. "Anything above the knee is outlawed," he said. "If a woman wears a miniskirt, we will arrest her. " If the bill were to become law, Uganda would hardly be the first country to institute harsh restrictions on women's dress in public. Saudi Arabia, for instance, famously expects women to be shrouded head to toe in public.
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