June 29, 2012 |
He roams the night in menacing military police garb in search of homosexuals. No, he's not cruising the bars of West Hollywood, the Castro or Chelsea. He's the head of Uganda'sspecial task force for the country's Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Funny, isn't it, the way the words "probe" and "penetrative" always seem to be on his lips? He insists his nation won't "bend over" for homosexuality and believes that the enforcement of the "penal code" is way too "soft. " Satire plays only a small part in Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine's solo show "A Missionary Position," which is receiving its world premiere at REDCAT in an artfully staged production that runs through this weekend.
June 27, 2012 |
They're looking for a few good denouements. The Promenade Players Theater Company's “Six Characters Looking for an Author” and Katselas Theatre Company's solo show “I Am Chrissie” both spark from the same premise: Those who don't stage their history are condemned to repeat it. “Six Characters” is a new version of Luigi Pirandello's one-act by David Harrower. In this surreal skit, a tedious theater rehearsal takes an unexpected turn when an agitated family enters and announces its members are characters from an unfinished play.
June 17, 2012 |
Despite playing the occasional flapper or showgirl, Sutton Foster is not considered a showbiz "bad girl," someone whose fame stems from tabloid breakups or behaving badly on a reality show. A Tony-winning musical comedy star, she made her name the old-fashioned way: though years of anonymous work interrupted by a fortuitous break. So when Foster says, "I'm trying to break every rule possible -- and I hope I do so," it sounds a little out of character. Foster is talking about cabaret, not the Kander-Ebb musical but rather the theatrical form -- and her instinctive suspicion of it. "Cabaret can have such a negative connotation," Foster says just before a rehearsal for the cabaret-style show she's bringing to the Kirk Douglas Theatre this week.
April 29, 2012 |
As exhibition titles go, "Meticulosity" is more of a speed bump than an open door or clearly marked path. The term looks familiar but sounds odd. It compels us to slow down, proceed with care. "We tried to stake out a word that's not commonly used, so people wouldn't bring a fixed meaning to it," explains writer and independent curator John David O'Brien, who organized the group show at Otis College of Art and Design's Ben Maltz Gallery with director Meg Linton. "Meticulosity" is an antiquated term for "scrupulousness," with origins in the Latin root for "fearful" -- a nod, write the curators in their manifesto-like catalog essay, to the urgency and meaning that are at stake in the art they've gathered.
November 10, 2011 |
Metaphors and visual symbols play a big role in conceptual landscape painter Whitney Bedford's life. Take what happened in 2001. The daughter of an international businessman and a flight attendant, Bedford impulsively jumped on a plane to follow a man she had a crush on to Antarctica. When she arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina , the southernmost city in the world and a port to the South Pole, she discovered he wasn't there. "I was devastated," she said. A master's in fine arts candidate at UCLA at the time, she decided to stay for a couple of weeks and make the best of it. "I took flying lessons and used it as a metaphor for coming back up" from her emotional doldrums.
September 18, 2011 |
The coffee table in Barbara T. Smith's Venice home is piled high with aging cassette tapes. She's been sorting through audio from a 1981 performance piece called "Birthdaze" in preparation for "The Radicalization of a '50s Housewife," her upcoming solo show at UC Irvine's University Art Gallery. The piece, originally performed on Smith's 50th birthday, was a feminist tour de force in which she enacted a version of her own life story in relation — quite literally — to the male avant-garde.
September 1, 2011
ART Mixing clean design with a neo-surrealist sensibility, the concept for Rob Reger's "The Encyclopedia of Hallucinations" has its roots in Reger's childhood camping trips, when his father taught him to draw forms from a squiggle with a stick in dirt. The solo show will also feature his best-known creation, Emily the Strange, a raven-haired pixie who has become a symbol of empowerment for outsiders of all ages. La Luz De Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd. Opening reception, 8-11p.m.
July 27, 2011 |
Anna Deavere Smith, a walking democracy in disguise as a solo performance artist, has made her theatrical career soliciting viewpoints on land-mine topics. Contention and controversy present themselves to her as opportunities to explore what is unknown or improperly understood about issues that provoke more cable-news apoplexy than enlightened discussion. "Let Me Down Easy," her timely and deeply stirring documentary collage now at the Broad Stage through July 31, tackles a subject no less divisive than her two most acclaimed works, "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992" and "Fires in the Mirror," both of which investigated racially charged episodes of urban unrest.
July 12, 2011 |
Miguel Gutierrez has danced for 24 hours straight while blindfolded in response to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He invented his own existential workout form called DEEP (Death Electric Emo Protest) Aerobics. And he wrote a book of performance texts that include poems such as "The Problem With Dancing," which laments that the art form "doesn't sell, doesn't last [and] doesn't mean anything. " The 40-year-old choreographer has also created more than a dozen full-length live performances and a number of smaller works that incorporate dance, song, spoken word and bold visual imagery to tackle subject matter simultaneously personal and political, cerebral and emotional.