December 4, 2011 |
If it had not caught the attention of a handful of important readers, Jesmyn Ward's "Salvage the Bones" would most likely have quietly faded into obscurity; many worthy books do. Now, however, this novel about a poor Mississippi family in the weeks leading up to 2005's Hurricane Katrina has a prominent place in bookstores and boasts the gold medallion that comes with winning the 2011 National Book Award. Book awards are marvelously idiosyncratic. While major film and music awards are based on the votes of a large group - meaning there is a general consensus or popularity - book awards are frequently selected by just a few people.
September 25, 2009 |
Euripides' "Medea" taps into primal emotions that frighten and fascinate us in equal measure. Try as you may to interpret the tale of a wife who, having sacrificed everything for her husband, murders their children to punish him for his unfaithfulness, there's a mystery, a strangeness at the heart of this shocking crime that is ultimately irreducible. That strangeness is taken to a new level in UCLA Live's whirligig production, which opened Wednesday at the Freud Playhouse with an unsteady Annette Bening in the title role.
September 20, 2009 |
The wail plays like a primitive call to prayer in some undetermined Middle Eastern city. The sound is low, primal, an almost guttural cry -- and it takes a moment to realize that the noise is actually human, that it's emanating from a corner of the womb-like rehearsal room deep in the bowels of UCLA's Royce Hall. The source is unexpected -- a faceless woman slung up against a wall, a scarlet scarf covering her head. When the woman takes the stage, she is no longer crying but almost anesthetized -- blinded -- by pain.
September 13, 2009 |
LOCAL 'Medea' Few roles are as ferociously inviting to powerhouse actresses as Medea, the title character of Euripides' ancient masterpiece who sets out to teach her two-timing husband, Jason, a lesson he surely will never forget. Essaying the role in UCLA Live's production, directed by Lenka Udovicki, is Annette Bening, who will get to exercise her more menacing muscles. No stranger to dramatic malice, Bening won Oscar nominations for her portrayals of chilly connivers in "The Grifters" and "American Beauty."
June 4, 2009 |
UCLA Live will kick off its 2009-10 performing arts season with a world premiere that also represents the first original production to be created by the UCLA Live series: a new interpretation of the Euripides classic "Medea," starring Annette Bening and directed by Croatia's Lenki Udovicki. In an interview Wednesday, series artistic and executive director David Sefton said that despite the fact that Udovicki does most of her theater and opera directing abroad, she and her husband, Croatian actor Rade Serbedzija, are based in Los Angeles and Udovicki was eager to do a production here.
September 21, 2007 |
Scheming seductress, scorned wife, vengeful lover: The tragic figure of Medea carries all the worst labels applied to women but can't be contained by any of them. Dutch ensemble Dood Paard's cerebral, sly telling of her fierce and bloody tale plays through the weekend at Macgowan Little Theater as part of UCLA's International Theatre Festival.