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February 9, 2014 | By Laura Bleiberg
In the contemporary ballet “Liliom” -- based on a 1909 play of the same name, which Rodgers & Hammerstein turned into the musical “Carousel” -- Hamburg Ballett choreographer-director John Neumeier sends the audience home with a surprising hopefulness surrounding the iconic, central couple. The German company gave “Liliom” its American debut this weekend at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The carnival barker Liliom bestows his final kiss on the innocent Julie, and this confirmation of shared love had particular power and promise Friday night.
February 6, 2014 | Matt Cooper
The new drama "Villon" profiles a medieval bandit with a penchant for poetry, or vice versa. Plus, basketball players have a hard time scoring in "Lysistrata Jones, " and it's England one, France nil in Shakespeare's "Henry V. " Death Takes a Holiday Musical Theatre Guild presents the tune-filled fantasy based on the 1929 play. Moss Theater at New Roads School, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. Sunday, 7 p.m. $45. (818) 848-6844. The Recommendation L.A. premiere of Jonathan Caren's drama about two college roommates from disparate backgrounds whose friendship is severely tested.
January 30, 2014 | By Gina McIntyre
"Neighbors," the raunchy Seth Rogen comedy about a married couple living next to a frat house, will premiere alongside Jon Favreau's restaurant comedy “Chef” and Rob Thomas ' crowd-funded “Veronica Mars” movie as part of the 21st edition of the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, organizers announced Thursday. The 115-film lineup at the film fest, set for March 7-15, includes new movies from David Gordon Green, who will bring his adaptation of the Larry Brown novel "Joe," starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan; Diego Luna, who will screen his biopic "Cesar Chavez" about the labor organizer; and Patrick Brice, who will premiere "Creep," starring Mark Duplass as a videographer who answers a want ad for a job only to discover the client is not what he appears to be. Filmmaker Wes Anderson also will be on hand for a screening of his new film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," followed by an in-depth discussion about his career.
January 30, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
A screen for film or video projection has become a common occurrence at concerts, multimedia being a way of 21st century musical life. A floor lamp on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday night was, maybe, a curious homey touch, but hardly eccentric when a green umbrella is the trademark of the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. The lamp could even have been something stagehands forgot to throw away after the orchestra's last Green Umbrella extravaganza in November, a messily prop-crazed production of Frank Zappa's "200 Motels.
January 28, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine's political opposition celebrated the first major victory in its two-month-long standoff with the government as the country's prime minister tendered his resignation Tuesday. But the move appeared unlikely to end the crisis. Mykola Azarov's resignation came after a week of violent clashes in Kiev, the capital, in which at least four activists were killed, dozens arrested and hundreds injured on both sides. It was the worst street violence in the history of post-Soviet Ukraine.
January 25, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Luis Suarez says he is a changed man. Whether that change is for better or worse he didn't specify. But when you spend the whole of training camp petulantly demanding a trade and are forced to sit out the first five games of the regular season because you bit an opponent, there's really only one way to go. "The last few months were a little difficult for me," the mercurial Liverpool striker said on the team's website earlier this month....
January 24, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Fox's legal drama "Rake" debuted with modest results, following more "American Idol" auditions.   The new darkly comedic series, starring Greg Kinnear as a defense attorney with severe self-destructive tendencies, drew an average of just more than 7 million viewers, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen. In the key 18-49 age group, it drew a rating of 1.7, which is lower than expected.   "American Idol's" trip to Atlanta drew an average of 12.1 million viewers and a rating of 3.3 in 18-49, down 13% from a week earlier.
January 18, 2014 | By Susan Reiter
NEW YORK - Between them, Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg have performed in dozens of "Giselle" productions over the years. Kobborg alone estimates he's danced in 25 versions of the beloved Romantic classic, created in 1841. So when these stellar danseurs and longtime friends joined forces to create a new "Giselle" production in late 2012, the three dozen dancers of the Royal New Zealand Ballet were benefiting from considerable combined experience and insight. FOR THE RECORD: A previous version of this article said that the Royal New Zealand Ballet was performing "Giselle" only in Los Angeles.
January 18, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker envisioned "The Lion's Mouth Opens," which screens as part of the documentary shorts program at the Sundance Film Festival, as "an espresso shot to the heart. " It is most certainly that. Fifteen minutes of shifting, searing emotions as its subject, actress-writer-director Marianna Palka, deals with the prospect she might have the gene for Huntington's disease, the neurodegenerative disorder that cruelly felled her father, taking, as the Scottish-born actress' mum recounts, both his body and his mind in torturous ways.
January 16, 2014 | By Susan Denley
Lena Dunham of "Girls" is known for a certain scruffy edge, but she's got style cred now, appearing for the first time on the cover of February's Vogue , which deems her "the new queen of comedy. " (Oh, and she also wore a white lace frock from Erdem's pre-fall 2014 collection on Wednesday to the British premiere of "Girls'" third season). First lady Michelle Obama, who turns 50 on Friday, tells People she thinks that at this age she may cut back a bit on cardio and add yoga to her exercise routine for flexibility and balance.
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