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Title Role

July 11, 1996 | JEANNINE STEIN
How many euphemisms are there for "large size"? Several. Department stores have a knack for giving their women's plus-size divisions generic, nonthreatening and sometimes cryptic names. You figure out what they mean. A sampling: * Macy's: Macy's Woman * Nordstrom: Encore * Saks Fifth Avenue: Salon Z * Robinson's-May: Woman's World * Bloomingdale's: Shop for Women * Spiegel (catalog): For You
October 11, 2013 | By Frank DeCaro
Like a Southern-fried Larry David in rolled-to-the-knee support hose, Thelma Mae Crowley Harper could curb anyone's enthusiasm. For six seasons on "Mama's Family" beginning in 1983 - and years before that on "The Carol Burnett Show" - the motor-mouthed matriarch, played by Vicki Lawrence, rarely had a kind word to say to anyone. But who could blame her? In the insular burg of Raytown, and particularly under her own roof, Mama was surrounded by morons. Her son Vinton (Ken Berry) was a ne'er-do-well locksmith whose grocery store checker wife, Naomi (Dorothy Lyman)
March 28, 2011
Actress Gene Tierney had the title role in what classic 1944 film noir? "Laura"
June 7, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
She's often referred to as a philosopher, but the great thinker and writer Hannah Arendt considered herself a political theorist. However you choose to characterize her work, the absorbing new film "Hannah Arendt" finds the living pulse in it, and Barbara Sukowa's performance in the title role is the kind that reverberates long after the screen goes black. Director Margarethe von Trotta, for whom Sukowa has portrayed such remarkable figures as Rosa Luxemburg and Hildegard von Bingen, builds her movie around Arendt's response to a charged moment in history - the 1961 trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann - and to the backlash against her writing about it, which famously revolved around the concept of the "banality of evil.
March 18, 2011 | By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times
For fans of "The Bachelor" and its spinoff, "The Bachelorette," who have wondered why the veteran ABC dating franchise has never spotlighted a nonwhite contestant in the title role in any of their combined 21 seasons, the shows' creator has come up with at least a partial answer: People of color apparently don't want to be on the show. "We always want to cast for ethnic diversity," Mike Fleiss said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, adding, "It's just that for whatever reason, they don't come forward.
July 9, 2012 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Ernest Borgnine seemed born to play the heavy when he burst onto the Hollywood scene as "Fatso" Judson, a sadistic stockade sergeant who viciously beats a private to death in the 1953 movie "From Here to Eternity. " But two years later came the title role in "Marty," where the stocky, gap-toothed Borgnine defied typecasting and earned recognition as a versatile actor by inhabiting the part of a lonely Bronx butcher looking for love. He went on to a prolific seven-decade career in film and television, moving easily from scoundrels and serious portrayals to a comedic role on the 1960s TV sitcom "McHale's Navy" and a spate of grandfatherly parts.
October 3, 2005 | Susan King
"I am flattered by the attention I have received recently," remarks Peter Sallis. "I am an old man, so it comes as a nice surprise." At 84, Sallis finally has his first starring role in a feature film: "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," which opens Wednesday. "It is the first time I have had the title role in anything," says the charming British actor, whose career spans six decades.
February 13, 1994
Hilda Simms, 75, actress best known for performing the title role in Broadway's "Anna Lucasta." The play, produced by the American Negro Theater in 1944, moved from Harlem to Broadway as the first mainstream drama with an all-black cast that did not deal with racial issues. Miss Simms portrayed a middle-class woman who became a prostitute and tried to regain respectability.
January 12, 1990 | CHRIS PASLES
Citing health reasons, soprano Stephanie Friede has withdrawn from three upcoming performances in the title role of Verdi's "La Traviata" at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Opera Pacific announced Thursday. Friede, who reportedly became ill during rehearsals, will be replaced as Violetta by Brenda Harris at performances at 2 p.m. on Sunday and by Nova Thomas at 8 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 2 p.m. on Jan. 21, company general director David DiChiera said in a prepared statement.
September 8, 1990 | GREGG WAGER
When James Maddalena was asked to audition for the title role in John Adams' opera "Nixon in China," he knew that he wasn't being typecast, despite a mild resemblance, especially in his receding hairline. But after reading everything he could get his hands on about Richard Nixon, the 35-year-old Democrat from Boston now admits a certain affection for the famous politician, media personality and die-hard Republican. "He was such an intensely shy and private person," observes Maddalena.
May 20, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
An essay in the program for Los Angeles Opera's new production of "Tosca," which opened at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Saturday night, begins by quoting Benjamin Britten on Puccini's opera. The British composer, Joseph Berger writes, was "'sickened' by the music's 'cheapness and emptiness,' and the astute critic Joseph Kerman famously called [the opera] 'a shabby little shocker.'" A few pages on, director John Caird starts out a note on his production by calling "Tosca" "one of the greatest works of music theater ever written.
January 18, 2013
Peter Pan is a timeless tale that resonates with people of all ages. Now you can see a stellar production of it at the Pantages with Tony Award nominee Cathy Rigby in the title role. Elaborate sets and flights of fancy are in store. The Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. Through Jan. 27. Times and prices vary. (323) 468-1770, .
January 16, 2013 | By Lewis Segal, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Any show created by or with the late Jerome Robbins invariably retains its magic through decades of restagings. The scruffy-looking but endearing production of "Peter Pan" that opened Tuesday at the Pantages Theatre for a two-week run is no exception. His first show as both director and choreographer, "Peter Pan" found Robbins putting together the script from previous stage adaptations and author James Barrie's various editions and afterthoughts. He also invited Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne to supplement the songs by Carolyn Leigh and Moose Charlap, and gave this patchwork of words and music the sense of a complete, living world that audiences soon came to recognize as a Robbins trademark.
November 20, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Pretty much all there is to say about "Scrooge and Marley" is that it is a gay-themed adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" made in Chicago. One can more or less imagine the entire film from there. The Ghost of Christmas Past tours Ben Scrooge (David Pevsner) through being kicked out of the house by his bigoted father on to finding acceptance within the local gay community. After becoming a successful nightclub owner, Scrooge and his partner, Jacob Marley (played as a ghost by "SNL" veteran Tim Kazurinsky)
November 17, 2012 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - Few people would think that Douglas Hodge's last two Broadway parts had anything to do with the other: Albin in "La Cage Aux Folles" and the title role in "Cyrano de Bergerac. " But the British actor says the drag queen and the disfigured romantic are actually opposite sides of the same character - people trying to create an identity hiding their true nature. "While they are two very different people, they do appear to be cousins," Hodge said. "They have constructed a personality - forged a life - that is bigger than their selves, a suit of armor to put on. " After his 2010 best actor in a musical Tony Award for "La Cage Aux Folles," Hodge returned to New York last month to star as Cyrano, the secret poet at the center of Edmond Rostand's 1897 tragedy.
August 30, 2012 | By Susan King
The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre is hoping to make your Labor Day with its “Eastwood Westerns” program. The retrospective of Clint Eastwood's best sagebrush sagas begins Monday evening with his final spaghetti western for director Sergio Leone, 1966's “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” which also stars Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef. On tap for Wednesday is “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” the 1976 revisionist Western he also directed. Sondra Locke, who would be Eastwood's collaborator both on and off screen for several years, is also featured.
The Germans have a wonderful, irreverent word: Theaterviech . Literally, it means theater-beast . But it means more, and it isn't pejorative. It describes someone who walks out on a stage and exerts instant magnetism, someone who takes chances, someone who holds nothing back, someone who can fascinate an audience while reading the phone book or staring blankly straight ahead. A Theaterviech doesn't have to be a technical paragon.
March 14, 1985 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, Times Music/Dance Critic
It is "Anastasia" come lately. Back in 1967, Kenneth MacMillan concocted a very dramatic, though not very balletic, one-act ballet on the historic subject of Anna Anderson. The role of the woman who claimed to be Anastasia Nocolaevna, daughter of the last Russian czar, was made to order for Lynn Seymour. The premiere at the West Berlin Opera turned out to be somewhat controversial. In 1971, MacMillan returned to the Royal Ballet of London, taking Seymour and "Anastasia" with him.
August 19, 2012 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Irene Cara was only 13 when she was cast as the title role in the original"Sparkle,"the musical-drama about three African American sisters who form a singing group in the late 1950s. Sparkle, the youngest of the group, ends up becoming a star. There's been renewed interest in the influential 1976 film, which featured a classic R&B score by Curtis Mayfield, since the high-profile remake - starring "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks in the role Cara made famous and the late Whitney Houston, in her final film as Sparkle's mother - opened Friday.
August 14, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
The Hollywood Bowl, yet again, became a beacon for helicopter pilots Sunday night. But then there was a grisly murder in the Hollywood Hills to check out. A hunchback, who was not really a hunchback, took out a contract on his daughter's lover, a lothario. The job went awry. The young woman was stabbed instead and discovered by her father as she lay dying in a garbage bag. Which is to say that Gustavo Dudamel chose "Rigoletto" for his annual Bowl opera with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
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