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ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2012
'Billy Elliot the Musical' Where: Pantages Theatre, Hollywood When: 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday. Ends May 13. Tickets: $25 to $125 Information: (800) 982-ARTS or http://www.broadwayla.org
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OPINION
April 7, 2014 | By Charis E. Kubrin and Erik Nielson
For 16 months, Bay Area rapper Deandre Mitchell - better known as Laz Tha Boy - has been sitting in a jail cell faced with a decision no artist should have to make: whether to defend his innocence at trial, knowing his music likely will be used as evidence against him, or take a plea bargain and admit to crimes he maintains he did not commit. Mitchell's case dates to October 2012, when he was indicted for his alleged role in two gang-related shootings that occurred that year. Prosecutors didn't present a single arrest or conviction to establish Mitchell's association with a criminal gang, and with conflicting eyewitness testimony - and no physical evidence connecting him to the shootings, according to defense attorney John Hamasaki - prosecutors elected to introduce something else: Mitchell's violent gangsta rap videos and lyrics, which were presented to the grand jury as evidence of his criminal behavior.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2013 | By David Ng
It's the musical that refuses to go away. "Rebecca," based on the Daphne Du Maurier novel, has died multiple deaths on Broadway before ever opening and it now looks like producers are trying one more time to bring the show to New York. A report in Playbill this week quoted producer Ben Sprecher on his intention to bring "Rebecca" to Broadway in 2014. A separate report in the Austrian press this week stated that the owner of the show's rights - Vereinigten Bühnen Wien - had extended its license agreement with the American producers until 2014.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2014 | By Bob Pool
Gregory Kelly is a small-scale historian who is out to memorialize big-time Southern California landmarks, one by one. There's the miniature Watts Towers, an elaborate depiction of Newport Beach's Balboa Pavilion and a proportionally correct model of Silver Lake's Music Box Steps - all tucked in Kelly's crowded Tustin hobby shop. Not bad for a man who had never even built a plastic model airplane before deciding at age 20 to open his own shop in a building owned by his father.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 2013 | By David Ng
On paper, at least, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" had the makings of a sure-fire Broadway hit. It boasted a rock score by U2's Bono and the Edge. It had Julie Taymor, the visionary director of Disney's "The Lion King. " Above all, it starred one of Marvel's most enduringly popular superheroes, one who needed no introduction and who came with a built-in fan base. Several years and mountains of legal documents later, "Spider-Man" has become a cautionary tale of Broadway excess and artistic hubris.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2014 | By David Ng
A new musical inspired by the rap songs of the late Tupac Shakur is heading to Broadway. "Holler If Ya Hear Me" is scheduled to open at the Palace Theatre in New York on June 19, with preview performances set to begin on May 26. "Holler" isn't a biographical account of Shakur, who was killed at the age of 25 in 1996 following a shooting in Las Vegas. The musical production will use the rapper's lyrics to tell a story of contemporary inner-city lives. Among the producers of the musical are Afeni Shakur, the rapper's mother; movie and TV producer Eric L. Gold; and Chunsoo Shin , the prominent Korean theater producer who recently collaborated with the La Jolla Playhouse on another pop-music themed musical, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 2014 | By David Ng
Janis Joplin - the musical, that is - lives on, thanks to Live Nation. After a tour that took it to Southern California and other venues, and a run on Broadway that closed in February, "A Night With Janis Joplin" will transfer off-Broadway to the Gramercy Theatre in New York, with the opening set for April 10. The new engagement is in partnership with concert promoter Live Nation and is expected to be a new staging to fit the concert-like venue...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2013 | By David Ng
The intersecting fan demographic for baseball and musical theater isn't large, but it is apparently substantial enough to warrant a new stage musical based on the popular 1988 movie "Bull Durham. " Producers announced Wednesday that the new musical will have its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in September 2014. The musical features a script by Ron Shelton, who directed and wrote the original movie, and songs by Susan Werner. The original movie, which starred Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, follows a minor league veteran who is sent to Durham, N.C., to coach a rookie pitcher.
SPORTS
September 17, 2009 | Mark Medina
Who knew a rejection to join the fantasy team of ESPN's Bill Simmons and Matthew Berry would lead to a full-length musical? That's exactly what happened to David Ingber, whose show, "Fantasy Football: The Musical," opens Oct. 1 at the New York Musical Theater Festival. He originally pitched the idea to Simmons and Berry when they were fielding applications last year to join their basketball fantasy league. Upon being rejected, Ingber followed through with his project. The musical is set in 1991 and features Simmons and Berry inventing fantasy football.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 2008 | Daryl H. Miller, Times Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
April 5, 2014 | By Kari Howard
Two of this week's Great Reads were about music, which in my book means it was a good week for the Great Reads. (Hmm, maybe I can organize a musical theme for the entire week sometime...) But the two genres of music were so far apart, it was like they were from different planets. One was about L.A.'s accordion culture, a world of polka throwdowns and Weird Al Yankovic and twentysomethings with pixie haircuts. The other was about Brazil's “ostentation funk,” a dance music born in the hard-luck favelas that's full of economic braggadocio and beats so heavy they'd shake your house like an earthquake if a car drove by blasting them from the stereo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes
The push to bring a major music festival to downtown Los Angeles - one with rapper Jay Z expected to play a creative role - has set off a tussle between two L.A. politicians. Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar contends he was left out of discussions, spearheaded by Mayor Eric Garcetti in recent weeks, over bringing the two-day Budweiser Made in America music festival to Grand Park and the nearby steps of City Hall. Huizar, who represents most of downtown, called for the city to withhold approval of any permits for the Labor Day weekend event until the details are properly vetted.
OPINION
March 27, 2014
Re “Finding healing in music,” Column, March 22 Music as a tool to help children cope with feelings of grief and pain has been shown to be an effective intervention; in fact, even lighthearted group drumming sessions can be of positive benefit. Incorporating sensory integrative activities, such as music, help break down barriers posed by the feelings of fear, frustration, desperation and helplessness that children face when dealing with the loss of a loved one. I underscore Arvis Jones' music therapy methodology as part of a psychosocial grief management recovery process for traumatized children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | Sandy Banks
How do you help little children, too young to know what death really means, cope with the feelings of grief and pain that the loss of a loved one brings? If you're music therapist Arvis Jones, you let them bang on a drum, do the hokey-pokey or join a choir and sing. Jones is part of a growing professional field that taps the restorative power of music to help traumatized children heal. For 20 years, she's been going to crime scenes, hospitals, funerals and schools, reaching out to grieving families with a bin of unorthodox tools - keyboards, claves, jingle sticks, tambourines, djembe and tubano drums.
HEALTH
March 21, 2014 | By Jessica Ogilvie
Onstage at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, an older couple assumes a ballroom dance position. A tango begins, and the man, wearing a porkpie hat and suit, leads. The woman, wearing a floral dress, follows gracefully. Judging by the ease and fluidity of their movements, one would never know that Nancy Dufault, 72, has Parkinson's disease. When she is dancing, moving in time with her husband, Bob, she experiences a brief respite from symptoms. "She asked me to write a tango," says Mike Garson, a classically trained pianist who played with David Bowie for nearly 40 years.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
AUSTIN, Texas - Here's to bad vibes, colored vomit and off-years. Go ahead and toast those who prevailed at South by Southwest by getting signed, licensed or folded into a future marketing plan, but the losers in this vicious cycle earned more respect. This was a year in which Apple infiltrated the event to put on its own "festival" within the festival, and the year that party sponsors required that before entering, attendees sign away their rights for possible commercial use. The keynote speaker, Lady Gaga, trivialized bulimia with a shocking stunt, and the salted snack brand that funded her bull-in-a-china-shop arrival at South by Southwest further insulted the festival's spirit of creation with ham-fisted ploys to link music and munchies.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2013 | By David Ng
First writer Aaron Sorkin left the project. Now its star, Hugh Jackman, has also departed. The long-planned stage musical based on the life of Harry Houdini has lost its leading man, with Jackman withdrawing from the role. The Australian actor has cited scheduling difficulties, saying that he wasn't able to commit to the time that the part required. In a statement sent out Monday, Scott Sanders, one of the show's producers, confirmed the actor's departure. "Hugh has been terrific to have on this part of our journey.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2009 | By Martha Groves
It was a remarkable backyard there in Pacific Palisades, the kind that produces enduring memories -- of sloshing in the culvert under Sunset Boulevard, chewing watercress plucked from the spring-fed creek, tramping through tangled woods away from watchful eyes. It made for a childhood that was part Norman Rockwell, part Robinson Crusoe. For years, Thomas Newman, an admired composer of movie soundtracks, has collected ephemera from the places where he romped as a boy -- faded photos, vintage postcards, cartoons and other relics of the Uplifters, a spirited bunch of Los Angeles Athletic Club movers and shakers who bought land from the Methodists in the early 1900s and created a country compound in Rustic Canyon.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 2014 | By Richard S. Ginell
In December 1994, the Los Angeles Master Chorale presented the world premiere of a brief setting of the Latin chant “O Magnum Mysterium” by a little-known 51-year-old USC-based composer from the Pacific Northwest named Morten Lauridsen. Paul Salamunovich, then the Master Chorale's music director, promptly predicted that this six-minute motet would eclipse all other settings of that text. Incredibly enough, it did -- yet Salamunovich's bold proclamation turned out to be an understatement.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 2014 | By David Ng
Janis Joplin - the musical, that is - lives on, thanks to Live Nation. After a tour that took it to Southern California and other venues, and a run on Broadway that closed in February, "A Night With Janis Joplin" will transfer off-Broadway to the Gramercy Theatre in New York, with the opening set for April 10. The new engagement is in partnership with concert promoter Live Nation and is expected to be a new staging to fit the concert-like venue...
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