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June 13, 2010 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
The recent parade of Hollywood stars on Broadway has allowed theater critics to indulge in their two favorite pastimes — grousing and fawning. The hypocrisy is perfectly natural: Standards need to be upheld while luminaries are there to be adored. Yet pity the poor conflicted reviewer — committed to "The Theatuh" on the one hand, swept up in the tidal surge of celebrity charisma on the other. I've always maintained that a good actor is a good actor. But famous novices and returning legends need to choose their theatrical ventures wisely.
May 13, 2010 | By Jenn Garbee, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Viola Rowland's jalapeño jelly, mango chutney and corn relish started making the rounds at swanky Hollywood cocktail parties in the early 1930s. Actors Doris Day and Dan Duryea, cosmetics magnate Max Factor and Los Angeles Examiner Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons hired the private cook to dollop her spicy-sweet condiments on cream cheese-topped toasts and seafood canapés. Today, her granddaughter, Nancy Rowland, is carrying on the local cocktail condiment tradition with her own versions of her grandmother's recipes.
March 31, 2010 | By Garrett Therolf
Los Angeles County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to terminate their relationship with the troubled foster care agency that placed a 2-year-old girl with a woman who is now under investigation in connection with the child's death. United Care, which oversaw 88 homes with 216 foster children under contract with the county, had been repeatedly cited in recent years after caregivers choked, hit or whipped their charges with a belt. In 2007, a foster child drowned while swimming unsupervised in a pool.
March 15, 2010 | By Garrett Therolf and Anna Gorman
A foster mother and her boyfriend are under investigation in the death of a 2-year-old child in their care who was beaten with a hammer, according to authorities and coroner's records. Viola Vanclief's death March 4 is the latest in a series of troubles linked to United Care Inc , a nonprofit foster care agency that contracts with Los Angeles County to provide shelter for abused and neglected children. Records show that United Care, which oversees 88 homes with 216 foster children, has been repeatedly cited in recent years after caregivers choked, hit and whipped their charges with a belt.
March 6, 2010 | By Rick Schultz
A snail shell . . . a smooth paving stone . . . a sardine can. These are among the unorthodox instruments English composer Frank Denyer uses in his music. On Monday night at the Colburn School's Zipper Hall, the new-music series Monday Evening Concerts presents the premiere of Denyer's "Out of the Shattered Shadows 2," along with the U.S. premieres of his "Hanged Fiddler" and "Woman, Viola and Crow." "I'm looking for a tone of voice with little rhetoric," Denyer, 67, said recently over breakfast in Little Tokyo, understating the deep intimacy of a sound world created by such things as mango seeds, bones and even moth cocoons.
November 1, 2009 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
Google "viola joke" and you'll be rewarded with thousands, an afternoon's worth of hilarity at the expense of one of the most expressive sound producing machines ever conjured up. Here's a popular example: What's the difference between a viola and a trampoline? You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline. I learned that one from a violist who, like many of his colleagues, collects the jokes and posts them online. Why shouldn't he? He lives a charmed life with a string instrument mellower than a violin and more agile than a cello, a mechanism of magic, under his chin every day. He has no need for insecurity.
April 12, 2009
Some glimpses of the conductor from his friends and colleagues who were asked to share a key memory. The reminiscences were mostly written, at the invitation of The Times. Several were shared in interviews with music critic Mark Swed and staff writer Mike Boehm. MARK KASHPER Philharmonic violinist One of Esa-Pekka's favorite Finnish jokes goes like this: Q. What's the difference between Finnish introvert and extrovert? A.
January 23, 2009 | Lisa Rosen
It's been a big week. On Thursday, at an ungodly hour, the Academy Award nominations were announced. And two days earlier, there was some excitement on the East Coast as well. President Barack Obama was inaugurated on the Capitol steps, in front of a sea of people from every demographic. Viola Davis, a newly crowned supporting actress nominee for her role as Mrs. Miller in "Doubt," was watching the scene in tears at home in Los Angeles with her husband.
December 10, 2008 | Lisa Rosen, Rosen is a freelance writer.
Viola Davis has played roles without names for years. She was Mother in Hospital in "World Trade Center." Policewoman in "Kate and Leopold." Social Worker in "Traffic." She at least got a first name, Eva May, in "Antwone Fisher," but that was all. Though she was in only one scene and barely spoke a word, her portrayal of a broken woman in that film was transcendent, garnering her a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination.
February 23, 2007 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
Al Viola, a versatile guitarist best known for his long association with Frank Sinatra and his memorable mandolin playing on "The Godfather" soundtrack, has died. He was 87. Viola died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Studio City, said his wife, Glenna. Viola, who arrived in Los Angeles as a member of the Page Cavanaugh Trio after World War II, became a prominent member of the local recording-studio scene.
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