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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
April 12, 2014 | By Kari Howard
One of the qualities I value most in the writers of the Great Reads are their powers of observation. I'm a big believer in showing, not telling -- in giving those little scenes and details that make readers connect to people whose lives might seem impossibly remote from theirs. The writer of Friday's powerful Great Read, Raja Abdulrahim, is particularly gifted: She finds those moments when she's directly in the line of fire in Syria. In Friday's story, Raja, who has made her way into rebel-held territory many times during the three-year conflict, wrote from Aleppo, where life alternates between terror and a grotesque version of normalcy.
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.
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.
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.
June 4, 2006
IT is interesting to contrast your piece ["It's Not Quite Time to Mourn the Musical," May 28] with Ben Brantley's critique of the musical season on Broadway last week in the New York Times. Maybe it takes 3,000 miles to give perspective to the current state of the musical theater. Pacheco had it and was able to highlight some of the remarkable young talent like Adam Guettel and Jason Robert Brown. Los Angeles will be fortunate to see both Guettel's "Light in the Piazza" and the world premiere of Brown's "13" next season.
July 28, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
"Magdi, Magdi," the kid yells, running in off the street. A bottle of water flies up to the loft and Magdi Ali catches it and shouts thanks. The child disappears through the sawdust and back into the sunlight. Ali scrapes his planer, pale curls weightless as snow tumble around his sandals, his glue pot simmers on a stove. He tightens strings of copper and silk until the pluck-pling of ancient music rises from his worn hands and drifts out the door. A single note. Then it vanishes.
November 10, 1990
So, NBC's Perry Simon has come to the realization there is not much appetite for large-scale production numbers ("TV's Blackboard Bungle," Oct. 27). What a genius! People, in general, don't like to see someone pop out of the bushes and bust into a song or start dancing; people just don't do that, it's stupid. Talk about TV-speak: " . . . find ways to integrate music in a more organic fashion." Huh? Who is Perry Simon and how did he get this job? I cannot conceive that he thought for even one minute that "Hull High" had a chance.
November 6, 2009 | John Horn
As this Spider-Man tale opens, the audience sees New York City "on fire and in ruins" as "a section of the Brooklyn Bridge ascends with Mary Jane bound and dangling helplessly from the bridge." Soon thereafter, a new villainess called Arachne flies into the picture spinning her own deadly trap, and as Spider-Man battles all kinds of criminals he's swinging right over the audience. It sounds like the 3-D opening for the next "Spider-Man" sequel, and even though this superhero story is filled with Hollywood-style special effects, it is instead a glimpse from a confidential script of a planned "Spider-Man" musical -- the priciest undertaking, and among the most troubled productions, in Broadway history.
March 23, 1991
So much for democratization! I agree with Bernheimer's every word. ELAINE LIVESEY-FASSEL Hollywood
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.
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.
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.
March 25, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
The Rocki is a music streaming device that lets users listen to music from their smartphones on their big speakers without having to put their phone down. The gadget works by hooking up directly to users' speakers through an auxiliary or RCA cable. Users then connect the device to the same Wi-Fi network as their smartphone so that they can send music over the network and onto the Rocki . The Rocki is a tiny little gadget that fits in the palm of the hand. It comes in seven skin colors: orange, purple, pink, red, yellow, black and green.
March 22, 2014 | By James C. Taylor
NEW YORK - Pianist Evgeny Kissin speaks many languages, but to audiences around the world he is best known - and in some circles, revered - for his ability to articulate, with precision, the greatest scores of the classical piano repertoire. Talking with the Russian-born artist on New York's Upper West Side a few days before a sold-out solo recital at Carnegie Hall (the program of Scriabin and Schubert will repeat at Disney Hall on Monday), it becomes immediately clear that Kissin's mind is hard-wired for accuracy.
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.
December 6, 2008 | Diane Haithman
"Vanities, a New Musical," scheduled to open Feb. 26 on Broadway, has been delayed to later in the season. Lead producer Sue Frost attributed the postponement Friday to "this complicated economic time, which makes it very hard to support a new musical on Broadway." The show, directed by Judith Ivey and written by Jack Heifner with music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, received a production at Pasadena Playhouse earlier this year. No new date has been set for the Broadway opening. -- Diane Haithman
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.
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