“Inside Llewyn Davis,” Joel and Ethan Coen’s new film, is the fictional story of one week in the life of a folksinger in Greenwich Village in 1961.
If you’ve been to Israel in the last 40 years or heard Israeli popular music, then you probably know Danny Sanderson, who will be performing with his band at the Gindi Auditorium at American Jewish University on Dec. 8. Sanderson was a founding member in 1973 of Kaveret (literally Beehive; also called Poogy), a band often referred to as “the Beatles of Israel.”
A giant risk is being taken with The Wallis — as the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills is being called, and for which the 1934 Beverly Hills Post Office on Santa Monica Boulevard, between Canon and Crescent drives, has been rehabbed to pristine beauty.
The guitar stood on a stand in a small conference room in corporate offices in Beverly Hills. A black Fender Stratocaster with a white body plate, a few nicks to its side, it looked simple, basic, uncomplicated.
About a mile north of Duke’s in Malibu, a right turn takes you up to a bluff with its own driveway, which leads to a large parking lot. There, on the day I visited, a tour bus was parked in front of a modest ranch house, alongside several other cars, none of them too fancy.
Etgar Keret, with his collections “The Nimrod Flip-Out” and the recently published “Suddenly, a Knock on the Door,” reinvigorated the short story (and the short, short story). The author, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Zoetrope and on “This American Life,” recently spent a day in Los Angles, at UCLA, as a guest of the Israel Studies department, and at a reception in his honor at the home of Sharon Nazarian, president of the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Foundation, which sponsored the event.
The death on Sept. 16 of Rabbi Philip Berg, 86, who founded the Kabbalah Centre with his second wife, Karen, did not come as a surprise. Rav Berg, as he was known at the center, had suffered a stroke in 2004 and had been little heard of since.
The Skirball Cultural Center, which stands at the crest of Sepulveda and Mulholland just west of the 405 Freeway, was built on a dump. Literally. Who knew? Before the Skirball acquired the land, it was a garbage dump.
In one version of our lives, childhood is a series of deprivations and desires whereby we want things we can’t have, some of which we grow out of or just forget. In my case, I was seized with heartache when I entered the newly opened 8,000-square-foot Leica store on Beverly Boulevard at Robertson in West Hollywood. Until then, I had forgotten how much I wanted to own a Leica.
The exhibition “Hans Richter: Encounters” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a curator’s dream: retrospective of a somewhat obscure, multiplatform artist, who is equally adept (and revolutionary) in painting and film; whose life and career intersects with the major artists and artistic movements of the 20th century; and whose work, when organized didactically, continues to appear very of the moment, ready for reappraisal and for greater attention.
The Israel Conference held at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset Boulevard May 30-31 was the largest gathering I’ve ever seen of … Israelis in suits.
How far can you travel in less than an hour? All the way to Capetown, South Africa, and back, if you are talking to Leora Raikin, a third-generation South African Jew who has lived in Los Angeles for the past 15 years.
Achinoam Nini, the Israeli singer-songwriter known to all simply as Noa, will perform on June 18 at American Jewish University as part of the new Geller Festival of the Arts.
Many years ago, on Jan. 23, 2004, to be precise, I was driving west on Sunset Boulevard when traffic stopped completely. There were police and an ambulance in front of the Chateau Marmont, where a car had crashed.
It’s back! Remember long ago in those dark days of 2011, when “Pacific Standard Time,” the Getty-sponsored initiative, got more than 60 cultural organizations throughout Southern California to shine a light on the impact of Los Angeles’ art scene between 1945 and 1980?
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: We spend the first half of our lives running away from home and the rest trying to get back. Consider Homer, way back in ancient Greece, who defined our notion of a life’s odyssey as a journey that begins and ends at home.
Sons of famous fathers rarely eclipse their parent. Although there are some notable exceptions (JFK and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes come to mind), the singularity of purpose, the ruthlessness that lead to lasting renown, as well as the perks and vicissitudes that come with fame, none of these reward excellent parenting nor allow children the same crucible to ignite a flame that might burn brighter than their parent’s. That children of the famous write memoirs is common; that they have insight is less so.
For Passover this year, Rizzoli has just released “The Bronfman Haggadah,” written by the businessman, philanthropist and Jewish community leader Edgar Bronfman Sr., illustrated by artist Jan Aronson, who is also Bronfman’s wife.
A writer walks into a room full of rabbis. This sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s not. In the words of Woody Allen’s “Broadway Danny Rose,” “It’s the emes.”
When I was a young kid, my dad used to take me to the auto show at the old New York Coliseum, where together we looked, agog, at the cars of the future — experimental vehicles that would never see the light of day. I remember feeling bone-tired after walking the floor and being overwhelmed by all there was to see. I would clutch my dad’s hand ever tighter, afraid of getting lost in the disorienting vortex of people pitching products. These memories came flooding back in early January, as I stood amid the chaos of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Arnold Schwartzman, the artistic director of the “Voices & Visions” program and one of the most accomplished designers and documentary directors of our times, is a story unto himself. Recently, I spent a few very companionable hours at Schwartzman’s L.A. home as he shared some of the details of his personal journey and professional career.
Here’s a challenge: Let’s say you had $1.1 million to give away on a program to inspire people working in Jewish organizations as well as the people who find themselves in their public spaces.
In Hollywood, the logline for this story would be: A playwright who has outwitted his demons to find balance in his life, has, after a devastating TV experience, returned to the stage with a play whose plot twist is as transformative to its actors, and to the audience’s assumptions about the characters, as writing it was for the playwright. The play is a success off-Broadway and then a bigger success on Broadway. And then, as validation and final vindication, he brings it to Los Angeles.
When we visit sites of early civilization — Athens, Rome, Jerusalem, Angkor Wat, Pompeii, Machu Picchu or Petra — ancient wisdom seems like ancient history, evidence of a culture that no longer exists. It is very easy to believe that we have evolved, that modern society has progressed. But the real loss remains elusive: What might we have learned from these extinct peoples?
Abraham Lincoln has been dead for almost 150 years, yet suddenly he’s everywhere. At the Skirball Cultural Center, you can see an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Lincoln, amid an impressive array of founding American documents.
In person, Larry Miller, president of Sit ’n Sleep, is less “Crazy Eddie” (fast-talking, exuberant salesman) and more “Uncle Larry” (the gregarious, warmhearted, favorite family relative).
On Nov. 1, Israel’s most popular and enduring pop icon, Rita Yahan-Farouz, known the world over simply as Rita, will appear at UCLA’s Royce Hall, along with a special band assembled for this tour.
One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons features two men in conversation walking down a city street. Surrounding them are dollar signs — in every window, on every car, on everything. The caption reads: “Remember when everything was sex, sex, sex?”
On Nov. 1, the Los Angeles County of Museum of Art, (LACMA) in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (those wonderful folks who bring us the Oscars), will present the first U.S. retrospective of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, a project developed in partnership with the Kubrick estate, a show that originated at the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany, but will be seen here in a more expanded form.
Part of the pleasure of seeing a survey show of contemporary art, such as the summer show “Made in L.A. 2012,” currently at the Hammer Museum, lies in the joy of discovery. There may be artists whose works you recognize, but the WOW!
It seems like only yesterday that my friend Teri was telling me that if she could do college all over again she would take different courses: literature, poetry and just a greater variety of subjects. Well, I’ve got some good news: turns out that you can now take an amazing variety of courses, many of them offered by universities that most of us couldn’t get into today, such as Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, many of them free. What’s the hitch? Just this: the courses are online.
Gustav Klimt is best known for his famous golden paintings, portraits of society women adorned in jewels and cloaked in gold, and for the flat two-dimensionality of his work that led many to declare it superficial and merely decorative. The Getty exhibition “Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line” puts a lie to that characterization, demonstrating how Klimt’s work conveys complex emotions and even allegorical ideals.
The recent regional extravaganza known as Pacific Standard Time (PST), a six-month, far-ranging agglomeration of Southern California exhibitions, installations and performances, began with a series of shows that made a very convincing argument for the importance of art created in Los Angeles from 1945 to 1980.
When the hit comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors” comes to Broadway this spring, I’ll be able to say I saw the London production. I also saw the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of “Don Giovanni” with the Polish tenor Mariusz Kwiecien. As for bragging rights, it’s hard to match having seen David Hallberg’s debut with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow in “Sleeping Beauty.”All this, without ever leaving Los Angeles.
The haggadah, the user’s manual to the Passover seder, might be the world’s oldest annually practiced ritual, and the story of the Jews’ freedom from slavery in Egypt is, Jonathan Safran Foer said recently, “the best-known greatest continuously read story” in book form.
The recent death of John Demjanjuk, 91, in a nursing home in Germany, brings to a close one of the most extensive and most contested Nazi war crimes prosecutions in history, a process that began in the United States in the mid 1970s and was ongoing at the time of his death as Demjanjuk awaited the appeal of his conviction in Germany as an accessory to the more than 28,000 murders of Jewish men, women and children committed during the time he served as a camp guard at the Sobibor extermination camp.
I listen to music all day, in my car, in my office, at the gym, while walking the dog or taking a hike.
Cubes of color intersected by bands, which the viewer can manipulate into arrangements within a grid framing the work; watercolors of narrow striations, punctuated by colors and shapes, transform abstraction from cool cerebral to emotional landscapes. Clothing made in Los Angeles but destined for the world, an ongoing narrative about fabric and color draped over the human form.
“Pacific Standard Time,” the sprawling multivenue consideration of Los Angeles art from 1945 to 1980, is, for the most part, a story of artists who thrived here. However, “Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles,” which opened Nov. 13 at MOCA Grand Avenue, posits a different narrative, recounting the famed New York photographer’s sojourn in Los Angeles between 1947 and 1952 as a somewhat soured love affair. If Hollywood is indeed a boulevard of broken dreams, then the Weegee show is our tour guide.
Art exhibitions take many forms. They can be surveys of a time, place, artist or artistic movement. They may reconsider an artist through a new prism, or appreciate the familiar in a new or different way. All too rare is the exhibition that invites the viewer to share in the joy of discovery, engaging us as confidants in new revelations that suddenly seem self-evident. “Speaking in Tongues: Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, 1961-1976,” is just such an exhibition. At the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, the show was co-curated by Claudia Bohn-Spector and Sam Mellon.
On Halloween this year, instead of being the best sugar pusher in the neighborhood, or following your inappropriately costumed progeny as they amass their candy fortunes, or abandoning your own hard-earned dignity for a night of brew-fueled revelry, let me steer the adults amongst you to REDCAT, the CalArts downtown theater at Walt Disney Concert Hall, where for one night only, Mark Z. Danielewski will conduct a staged reading with shadow puppets and musical accompaniment of his Halloween-set story, “The Fifty Year Sword.” The evening will also raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in honor of the son of one of Danielewski’s close friends, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Halloween.
When the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein — beloved for her plays “The Heidi Chronicles,” “The Sisters Rosensweig” and “Isn’t it Romantic?” — died in 2006 at age 55, Broadway dimmed its lights in her honor. Five years later, Julie Salamon’s page-turning biography “Wendy and the Lost Boys” (The Penguin Press: $29.95) sheds light on the public and private selves of this author, whose own family dramas were no less gripping than those she wrote for the stage.
Can comedy save a life?
For those of us who are not native to Los Angeles yet live here (some for more of our lives than anywhere else), there is a compulsion to define Los Angeles, to get control in some manner of this ever-changing city that is distinguished as much by its sprawl as its particulars, by its air and light as its buildings and institutions, by its self-made individualists as its patchwork of ethnic communities.
For 30 years, Michael Schwartz has owned and operated Galerie Michael, an art gallery on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, building, in his own words, “museum-quality collections, one work at a time.” Works by Picasso, Dali, Goya and Miró adorn the walls for the current exhibition on Spanish masters.
On the afternoon I attended the Annenberg Space for Photography’s latest exhibition, “Beauty Culture,” I was standing in the dark watching a series of fashion images projected in the digital gallery, when I was distracted by a woman who entered the room. I did a double take, as I recognized her as one of the iconic women featured in the exhibition, a former fashion model.
That Hibbing, Minn., native who was born Robert Allen Zimmerman but has been known as Bob Dylan since he first started performing in New York’s Greenwich Village some 50 years ago — and who has lived in Los Angeles probably longer than anywhere else — turns 70 on May 24.
The conviction today of John Demjanjuk, 91, by a German court is significant in many respects, not the least of which is that this may be one of the last Nazi war crimes trials. Demjanjuk was freed pending appeal, having been found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of more than 28,000 Jewish men, women and children at the Sobibor extermination camp, having been trained at the Trawniki camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. He was convicted primarily on the basis of documentary evidence, records of his service at several camps, including his identification card from the Trawniki camp.
“2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America” (St. Martin’s Press) is Albert Brooks’ novel (in all senses of the word) take on our not-so-distant future. Anyone familiar with Brooks’ films, such as “Defending Your Life” or “Modern Romance,” will not be surprised that his debut novel is clever and entertaining. But it is also thoughtful, insightful and inventive about issues as diverse as health care, transportation, aging and politics. And funny — let’s not forget funny.
Elizabeth Taylor, who died Wednesday at age 79, spent much of her life in the public eye – famous for her violet eyes and her jewelry – and she managed over the years to transition from child star, to legendary beauty, to Oscar-winning actress, to tabloid fodder for her passionate affairs, her tumultuous marriages and divorces, to philanthropist being among the first notable Hollywood personality to speak about AIDS and, as co-founder of AMFAR, one of the earliest AIDS research and support organizations – no small achievement.
William Link, 77, was asking the question. Link is one of, if not the most successful producer and writer in television history, having put, with his late partner Richard Levinson, 16 series on the air, including creating “Columbo,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Cosby Mysteries” and “Mannix.” They also created any number of important TV movies, including “The Execution of Private Slovik,” which launched Martin Sheen’s career, “That Certain Summer,” which was the first sympathetic portrayal of gay men on television, and the 1988 “Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami,” which was hauntingly prescient.
Who do we have to thank for Hitler’s eventual defeat? What was World War II’s turning point? Who, by his actions during the war, inspired Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s early leaders? The answer, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s stirring new documentary, “Walking With Destiny,” is Winston Churchill.
The Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon in Southern Israel, six miles from Gaza, is a 500-bed facility with an emergency room and a teaching hospital that treats Israelis and Palestinians. Qassam rockets launched from Gaza land so regularly on the building that the top two floors are kept unoccupied as a “safety buffer.”
Tony Curtis was so famous, so iconic an American movie star that I don’t really need to tell you who he was. He was Tony Curtis, and he lived that role with childish delight, relishing where his life had taken him, and the pleasures and opportunities fame had afforded him. By the time he died last week at age 85 at his home in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nev., he was known the world over — for the movies he starred in, such as “Some Like It Hot” and “Sweet Smell of Success,” for the women he loved (Janet Leigh, Marilyn Monroe), for being the father of Jamie Lee Curtis and for being a movie star from a time when being one mattered.
It’s been 10 years since my mother died on Sept. 22 — nine since I stood by her graveside at the unveiling. Since then, I have visited her grave in New Jersey on many occasions and have diligently observed days of mourning and lit memorial candles.
The recent news that Mel Gibson is no longer a client of William Morris Endeavor should come as no surprise. Many news and entertainment programs, including NBC’s “Today Show,” pegged the delisting to Gibson’s recent domestic assault allegations and tabloid leak of surreptitious tapes of racist rants he allegedly made, all arising from his custody dispute with his baby-mama Oksana Grigorieva.
Recently I sat down with violinist Joshua Bell to talk about being a classical music performer in the 21st century and a star in the age of iPods and auto-tuned performances. Bell, who will perform July 15 at the Hollywood Bowl, talked about how technology can enhance the concert experience, what makes for a great performer and his deepening connection to Israel.
“Sons of Tucson” is a clever and subversive new sitcom about three sons who’ve fled to Tucson, Ariz., because their father was imprisoned for financial fraud. They then go on to recruit a ne’er-do-well, played by Taylor Labine (of “Reaper” fame), to pose as their father for school and other official purposes. The show is generating some drama of its own.
Not long ago, someone brought up the painter Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) and I realized I’d always assumed he was Jewish. I was wrong; he was an Armenian Christian. But my mistake piqued my curiosity: Why did I think so? What element of his life and work spoke to me so deeply that I felt such a kinship?
If USC professor Josh Kun had his way, the Jewish people might not be known as “the People of the Book” but rather “the People of the Record.”
Mel Brooks is on a hot streak: He was just a Kennedy Center Honoree (along with Dave Brubeck, Robert De Niro, Grace Bumbry and Bruce Springsteen); 20th Century Fox just released “The Mel Brooks Collection” in Blu-ray — a nine-DVD set that includes “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Spaceballs,” among other classics; and Shout! Factory has released “The 2000 Year Old Man: The Complete History,” a three-CD, one-DVD set that collects the various incarnations in which Carl Reiner, the world’s greatest straight man, interviews a visitor who’s survived since ancient times and who speaks in a thick Jewish accent to hilarious effect.
“Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt With Nazis,” a new documentary, portrays filmmaker Gaylen Ross’ attempt to understand why Reszo (Rudolf) Kasztner, a Hungarian Jewish leader who saved more than 1,600 people in war-time Budapest — more than Oskar Schindler — on the so-called Kasztner train, remains so controversial to this day.
As a tough year ended and a new decade began, it seemed a fair question. While The New York Times has looked to bowling alley attendance as a gauge of our nation’s condition, I turned to Jonathan Greenstein and his recent auction of silver Jewish ritual art, or Judaica, to determine the health, wealth and current condition of the Jewish community.
Saul Liskin, who was 6 when his father was killed in a DP camp in Germany — had a shock of recognition when he heard that Demjanjuk was being investigated for possibly running over a man with a truck in a DP camp in German — he realized it was his father.
History often seems to take place on a stage distant from our own experience — yet the exhibition “Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968,” which opened at the Skirball on Nov. 19, reminds us that even our recent past can deliver a strong message for our times.
Ladies and Gentlemen, are you seeking a spectacle that will amaze, entertain and educate you? An evening in which you will encounter some of the most remarkable figures from the history of entertainment, such as Cinquevalli, “The King of the Jugglers,” or George Anderson, "The Living Skeleton," or perhaps a learned goose, a sapient pig or a singing mouse? A night in which the choice will be yours: to spend time with the famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng, or perhaps the less well known but equally well connected Millie-Christine? Then better hurry, hurry to order tickets because for 10 nights only (Dec. 29, 2009-Jan. 10, 2010), Ricky Jay is bringing his new show to the Geffen Playhouse, a show titled “A Rogue’s Gallery: An Evening of Conversation and Performance.”
When the German forces surrendered to the Allies in May 1945, World War II in Europe ended. However, for the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, the trauma of what they endured wasn’t over. For many, the effects lingered on in ways large and small, noticeable and not, often in ways their families came to know.
“If there’s music in a movie,” said Robert Kraft, president of Fox Music, “whether on screen, or underscore, or someone is playing guitar in a scene, I’m involved.”
The summer of 1969 was host to a pair of historic events — the moon landing and the Woodstock festival — that seemed to define the ’60s. As we revisit those events this summer, it is fair to ask: What did they mean, what did they accomplish and what parts of the ’60s have meaning today?
If you believe all the tech pundits, the future of home movie watching will be moving to “the cloud.” We’re already well on the way to where Netflix DVDs will no longer arrive in the mail and sit, unwatched, on an entryway table. Soon all films and many reruns of TV shows will be downloaded and sit on your hard drive — indeed, this option is already available in many cases.
Can a piece of furniture convey the story of Hungarian Jewry or reveal the genius of a little-known master? The story of a career undercut by anti-Semitism and cut short by death?
Who knew that basketball has a storied Jewish past, or that a non-sports guy like me would ever read, no less enjoy, a book about baseball umpires, Bruce Weber’s “As They See ‘Em” (Scribner, 2009)? Maybe it’s because Passover is a time of miracles — or is that Chanukah? Or Purim? Or the entire sweep of Jewish history? No matter. We’re here to talk sports, a subject I now know a little more about.
Los Angeles has long held a fascination with the visual; beholden to looks, surfaces and images, it is a city where even the buildings seem to strike a pose. So it might seem surprising that until now, there’s never been an institution here devoted to photography. But that all changes this week with the opening of the stunning new Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City.
Ever wonder how the movie industry went from five-cent nickelodeons in New York to the glamour of Hollywood with red carpet premieres and the highest of artistic aspirations? Or why a certain pagoda-like Hollywood movie theater in whose courtyard rest footprints of actors is one of the most beloved and frequented tourist sites on the planet?
Are Holocaust movies good for the Jews? Or even, for that matter, for society at large?
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s two Jewish kids from Cleveland!
Tommywood is ... Tom is ... on Facebook. Aren’t you? If you read this column online and are not on Facebook, you will soon be.
Art Spiegelman attended Harpur College in Binghamton, N.Y. It was the '60s! Sex, LSD and combinations of both blew his mind, while trips to San Francisco, the East Village and a Vermont commune put flowers in his hair, or at least in some of his drawings.
New downtown Grammy Museum reflects on music's importance, even during a time of industry uncertainty
David Wild wants you to know that he is an unabashed Neil Diamond fan. So much so that he has written a book titled, "He Is ... I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond"
" . . . I'm talking to Shlomo Shva about my daughters, trying to dredge up a little sympathy. He knows about that. The harshest criticism of Israel and the Jews has always come from us. The biggest anti-Semites of all are educated Israelis, and my daughters are as fanatical as they are, but sweeter than most . . . "
Levine was in the middle of a Showtime meeting when his assistant interrupted saying "Dustin Hoffman's on the line." Hoffman was not calling to pitch Showtime; instead, he was standing on a soundstage and needed Levine to intone the Kaddish for a movie he was mixing
What does it mean that Spielberg's other founding partners, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, are no longer with the company?
As we get older, we no longer ask so many questions aloud. Our questions become more private: Why? Why are we on this earth? Events occur, and we ask: Why me? Or, why not me?
"Without people like the Broads,we wouldn't have commissioned work of Mozart and Bach and Beethoven and so many of the great painters. How they use their capital is commendable." -- Dustin Hoffman
It was at college that he first met Allen Ginsberg. "He was 17. He was a bit crazy, and he was more eccentric than I was," Gold said.
I decided to watch every film adapted from Philip Roth's work. My mission started simply enough: a search on imdb.com turned up eight works on film and TV, stretching back to the 1950s. Some had never been released on video, some are only in VHS, some were available at the local video store, some had to be tracked down in specialty shops or in university or museum archives. My quest led me across Los Angeles and afforded me the pleasure of visiting some of the city's most beautiful libraries and research facilities, as well as some of its best-stocked video stores.
He was famous for being the first man in Hungary to own a car, and my grandmother kept a clipping from the Royal Hungarian Automobile Society with a picture of him seated at the controls of his Benz with a little girl on the rear rumble seat. Beneath the photo was the caption in Hungarian, German and French, proclaiming "Hatsek Bela le premier automobiliste Hongrois sur son voiture Benz en 1895."
As to whether "Zohan" will advance the cause of peace in the Middle East and increase regard for Israel and Israelis in the world at large, even as Israel itself celebrates its 60th anniversary, that's hard to say
The last time BookExpo was in Los Angeles, the convention floor was constantly, overwhelmingly crowded, with so many booths that the author autographing section had to be relegated to a basement hall
Preservation Hall's formula was simple and is followed to this day: No reservations, no food, just music in a small room. Shows began at 8 p.m. Each set lasted around 35 minutes, and tickets were priced low (they're now $10 a show, Wednesday through Sunday)
What does it mean to be a Jew in a Post-Zionist world?
William Shatner is God. And Pharaoh. And Moses, too.
Just in time for Passover, the Jewish Music Group (a division of Shout Factory) has released "Exodus: An Oratorio in Three Parts," performed by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. It is conducted by David Itkin, who created and composed the Oratorio, sung by baritone Paul Rowe and includes dramatic readings from the Bible and from the haggadah, spoken by none other than Shatner.
Dutton's Brentwood Books, among the best-known and best-loved of Los Angeles' independent bookstores, will close on April 30.
It is hard not to take this as a sign of the times.
The Actors' Gang, now in residence at the historic Ivy Substation in Culver City, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The substation, constructed in 1907 by the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad, looks more like a Spanish mission than an electric power facility, strangely appropriate for The Actors' Gang, which is both a theater troupe with a strong sense of mission and a longtime source of power plays and electric performances (and that's as far as I'm willing to stretch this metaphor).
So who is Steve Binder, and why was the "Singer Presents Elvis" special from 1968 so special that 40 years later, people still regard it as one of the greatest TV musical performances ever?