November 30, 2007 |
Maybe music really can soothe a savage beast. On Wednesday, I attended the opening of the Civil War musical "Atlanta" at the Geffen Playhouse. It's by Grammy-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon, who's composed hits for the Dixie Chicks, and Adrian Pasdar, a star of the NBC series "Heroes" who happens to be married to the band's lead singer. Wow, what a train wreck. You could come up with about 100 jokes about "Atlanta" going down in flames again.
September 30, 2007 |
ON a fall afternoon, the harbor at Camden, Maine, is glistening, splendid, with wooden boats and white sails and the small sounds of sea gulls and halyards and rigging. All roads into Camden funnel onto one main street that leads first to the library and then, just a few doors down, to Richard Russo's house. Toward the center of this street is the Camden Deli, where Russo wrote much of his sixth and newest novel, "Bridge of Sighs" (Alfred A. Knopf: 528 pp., $26.95).
July 18, 2007 |
AT 62, Justin Cartwright is a senior member of a masterful generation of English novelists that includes Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie and Kazuo Ishiguro. He has all that group's relevant credentials -- a novel on the Booker shortlist, five nominations for the Whitbread Prize and an admiration for Saul Bellow and John Updike. Now -- with "The Song Before It Is Sung" -- he has something more: a quiet masterpiece.
January 19, 2007 |
A starburst of yellow glass cones hanging from an oak tree makes an unlikely forest chandelier. Red reeds rise from the cactus garden. And where the macaws fly low, the pink crags are piled like a massive tower of rock candy. Dale Chihuly's work has transformed the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, adding spheres of multicolored glass to ponds where lily pads once floated alone, and kaleidoscopic columns to patches of green.
December 4, 2006 |
Brazilian guitarist-composer Guinga's Los Angeles performance in spring 2005 was scintillating enough to arouse enthusiasm for a prompt return engagement. And the wish was fulfilled Friday night at Walt Disney Hall in a program offering a considerably expanded view of his beguiling musical vision.
October 5, 2005 |
"From Shtetl to Swing," which airs tonight as part of the PBS series "Great Performances," is a short film about the Jewish influence on American popular music and especially its early and continuing conversation with jazz and African American culture. It is a modest work but quite moving in its portrayal of a lost time, world and culture. By 1924, there were 2.
March 20, 2005 |
Leaving Joyce Carol Oates in the dust, William T. Vollmann has become the most prolific serious writer of our time.
June 11, 2004 |
Art is an urbane method for not following conventions. Put another way, it's a type of nonviolent civil disobedience. Partly that explains why art's profile tends to be liberal -- a fact that annoys conservatives no end, fueling dark thoughts of cultural conspiracy. But it really shouldn't. Civil disobedience is an American tradition.
April 27, 2004 |
For 18 years, Pacific Serenades has been presenting chamber music concerts locally and commissioning new works. Usually the approach is determinedly friendly, in keeping with both words in the group's name. One attends this series in expectation not of the cutting edge but of music with a soft, comforting center, and that is mostly the order of the day in the latest program, presented for the second of three times Sunday at Pasadena's Neighborhood Church.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2004 |
A provocative, 150-foot-long tapestry on display at Los Angeles International Airport has touched off a Janet Jackson-style debate about what kind of art is appropriate in public places. The canvas tapestry, created by a collective of 115 Latino, Chicano and African American artists in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was unveiled Jan. 23 in a plexiglass display case lining a ramp that leads arriving passengers out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.