January 19, 1992 |
Philip Littell sits in a trendy Italian cafe around the corner from the War Memorial Opera House, downing an espresso as he pokes distractedly at a tiramisu . A recent transplant from Los Angeles, he says his phone still isn't working and he's got a bit of the flu. But these are minor annoyances for the personable and urbane songwriter who's been a fixture of L.A.'s artsy bohemia for years.
September 20, 1996 |
Whether he is reinventing a classic or helming one of his own works, Philip Littell is one of the most challenging and innovative artists on the Los Angeles theater scene. The original musical "The Wandering Whore" at the American Center for Musical Theatre has been written, directed and produced by Littell, and composed by Eliot Douglass, who also contributes piano accompaniment throughout the show.
April 15, 1998 |
The age-old question in opera is which comes first--the music or the words? In the case of Frank Ticheli's "An American Dream," which receives its premiere today at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, the answer is simple: the words. Actually, the new piece is not an opera. It's subtitled "A Symphony of Songs for Soprano and Orchestra." Still, the principal applies.
November 5, 1994 |
Like the AIDS quilt, "No Miracle: A Consolation" is constantly evolving. In 1988, the project consisted of only 12 songs. In the current production at Highways, the number of songs has swelled to 37 and is still growing. Although this is a work in progress, it is in no way unformed. A song cycle about AIDS, "No Miracle" is a polished and important work by lyricist Philip Littell, who collaborated with Eliot Douglass and a number of other composers on the piece.
August 14, 1988 |
It took Philip Littell a while to find his medium. An actor who's appeared in plays at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, LaMama Hollywood, Powerhouse Theater and Court Theater, Littell also has done performance art pieces in small venues. He has written poetry, and for a while in the early 1980s he was involved in what he calls "deep-down underground rock-and-roll cabaret" at places like the Anticlub and the Lhasa Club.
June 24, 1989 |
Philip Littell is working a little territory all his own, a kind of modern cabaret-on-the-couch, transactional-analysis pop that is the perfect compliment for the post-modern supper club ambience of Cafe Largo in the Fairfax District, where he is playing Thursday night shows through July 27. Littell is a strangely discomfiting mix of Pee-wee Herman and Noel Coward. Between his daunting deadpan and overcompensating goofiness, it's hard to tell if his intent is sarcastic, sensitive or merely a bit paranoid.