December 10, 2008
Arts in L.A. Quarterly Calendar: Cultural events through Feb. 2009
(Page 2 - Previous Page)JANUARY
Fri., Jan. 9
"The Art of Blake Edwards." Perhaps he will always be renowned for his cinematic works of art the likes of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "The Pink Panther" and "Victor/Victoria," but distinguished producer-director Blake Edwards also dipped his creative brush in other mediums, such as painting and sculpture. This retrospective of his work, which spans 40 years, includes pieces created during the height of his career and reflect the same passion and humor seen translated on screen. Presented by Feingarten Galleries and curated by Gail Feingarten Oppenheimer. Through Jan. 31. Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., Seventh Floor, Los Angeles. (310) 657-0800. http://www.thepacificdesigncenter.com.
Fri., Jan. 9
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do." Whether you have personal memories attached to a Neil Sedaka song or you're just vaguely aware of his enduring hits from numerous pop culture references, you can appreciate and enjoy the bubbly soundtrack of this play. Stringing together 17 Sedaka tunes, "Breaking Up" spins a light-hearted tale about a dumped fiancee and her best friend, who find plenty to sing about at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. The 100 minutes of Sedaka chart-toppers include "Where the Boys Are," "Love Will Keep Us Together," "Calendar Girl" and the ultimate heartache anthem, "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do." 8 p.m. (Thu.-Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sat. and Sun.). Through Jan. 18. $38-$74. Cabrillo Music Theatre, Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Countrywide Performing Arts Center, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (805) 583-8700. http://www.cabrillomusictheatre.com.
Sat., Jan. 10
"The Flying Karamazov Brothers in 4Play." Although not actually blood relatives, the internationally acclaimed brothers have been performing their eccentric brand of vaudeville since 1973, forming a bond on and off stage that could definitely be called brotherly. Their motto is "I Juggle, Therefore I Am," but the talented foursome do much more than throw swords, apples, fish and skillets in the air. They tell jokes, perform theater, dance, play musical instruments and incorporate technological gadgets into the act, often with the help of the MIT Media Lab. "4Play" is their latest creation, a self-described "kaleidoscopic and passionate" post-modern work that demonstrates how the unexpected is what makes life interesting. 8 p.m. $25-$49. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (800) 300-4345. http://www.cerritoscenter.com.
Sun., Jan. 11
"LUMA: Theater of Light." According to the San Francisco Chronicle, LUMA "turns a theater full of adults into a bedlam of kids." Working around the theme of light, the performers create various representations of lighted objects, such as fireflies, computer screen savers and carnival rides using dance, acrobatics, juggling, gymnastics, puppetry and cutting-edge technology. The inventive performance is in the spirit of Blue Man Group and the Swiss troupe, Mummenschanz, though their content is entirely different. Incorporating audience participation, "LUMA" inspires kidlike fascination, slack jaws and googly eyes but is not recommended for children under 5. 2 p.m. $20-$35. Pepperdine University, Smothers Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 506-4522. http://www.arts.pepperdine.edu.
Mon., Jan. 12
Free Introduction to the Theater Classes. Is your kid hamming it up every chance he gets? Does your daughter show a particularly keen interest in dance? If your child belongs on a stage, this is your opportunity to introduce him or her to theater in a free five-week session organized by the talented and experienced folks at Kentwood Players, a community theater group. Their Kentwood Kids program aims to develop children's appreciation of theater, as well as hone their individual talents while providing a fun and positive experience. The only requirement is that your child must be able to follow directions and cooperate with the instructors. Open to children between the ages of 6-18, the sessions are capped at 30, so advanced registration is strongly recommended. Through Feb. 9. Free. Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. (310) 645-5156 (Tue.-Sat., 4-7 p.m. only). http://www.kentwoodplayers.org.
Tue., Jan. 13
John Legend in Concert. Smooth crooner and pianist John Legend hit the U.S. and U.K. Top 30 with his signature song, "Ordinary People," a simple yet emotionally charged ballad that earned him a Grammy. Collaborations with established artists, such as Kanye West, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, helped propel Legend into the spotlight, but his soulful sounds and witty lyrics have kept him there. His newest album, "Evolver," was released in October 2008 and features rapper Andre 3000, the crazy-clad half of OutKast, on the first single of the album, "Green Light." Already at the top of Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, "Evolver" includes songs that are "more upbeat than people think John is," according to Andre. Opening for Legend will be Estelle, the British hip-hop singer and rapper best known for her hit single, "American Boy." 7:30 p.m. (doors open). $40-$80. Gibson Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. (818) 622-4440. http://www.livenation.com.
Thu., Jan 15
"Pippin." A musical featuring sign language? Yep, you read that right. "Pippin," a story about a young man trying to find meaning in his life, combines music, voice, dance and sign language. Set in Charlemagne, the musical takes audiences through battlefields, orgies, revolutions and, finally, a place of love and domesticity. Based on a book by Roger O. Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, "Pippin" marks the opening of the Mark Taper Forum's 2009 season. Presented by Center Theatre Group and Deaf West Theatre. 8 p.m. (preview). Opens Jan. 25 and runs through Mar. 15. $20-$62. Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 628-2772. http://www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.
Sat., Jan. 17
"A Very Special Christmas Special." Comedy Central favorite Jeff Dunham is bringing "a brand new level of hilarity to the holiday season." Dunham, creator of other comedy specials like "Spark of Insanity" and "Arguing With Myself," is already selling out performances, but he isn't doing it alone. He's bringing his stuffed companions along: Peanut, a self-described comic genius; Walter, a curmudgeon, and Jose Jalapeno, to name but a few. Dunham -- with a little help from his friends -- will be providing some relief from the stress the holidays bring. 8:15 p.m. $40-$60. Gibson Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. (213) 480-3232. http://www.livenation.com.
Sat., Jan. 17
"Robert Dowd: Pop Art Money." In the first posthumous exhibition dedicated to L.A. pop artist Robert Dowd, his highbrow paintings of ordinary objects are once again on display. First exhibited in 1962 at the Pasadena Museum of Art, along with pop art giants Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and others, Dowd's images of money and postage stamps made waves in the art world. But it wasn't just art lovers who took notice. At one point, federal authorities suspected Dowd had counterfeited money -- this despite the artist's habit of shifting scale, making bills as large as 3- to 6-feet wide. Dowd also made a habit of replacing the portrait on the dollar, creating the first "Vincent dollar" or "Picasso dollar." See it all for yourself and relive the art of the '60s. 6-8 p.m. (opening reception). Through April 15. (Tue.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.) Free. Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 506-4851. http://arts.pepperdine.edu.
Wed., Jan. 21
"Minsky's." The world premiere of a racy, romantic musical comedy is coming to town. Set in the roaring '20s and in the age of Prohibition, "Minsky's" features loads of dancing, as well as music from three-time Tony-winning composer Charles Strouse ("Annie," "Applause," "Bye Bye Birdie"). Based on the book by Tony-winning writer Bob Martin, this exciting production brings to life the free-spirit world of con men, flappers and showbiz comedians. 8 p.m. Opens Feb. 6 and runs through Mar. 1. $20-$100. Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 528-2772. http://www.centertheatregroup.org.
Fri., Jan. 23
"Phantom of the Opera." It's not easy being the follow-up act to the enormously successful L.A. production of "Wicked," which dominated the Pantages Theatre for the past two years. But if any show is up to the task, it's Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic tale of the domineering masked figure and the innocent young soprano. Seen by more than 80 million people worldwide and having grossed an estimated $5 billion, the longest-running show in Broadway history returns to the Pantages for the first time in a decade for a limited five-week engagement. 8 p.m. Tue.-Sun.; through Feb. 21. $19.50-$79.50. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 365-3500. http://www.broadwayla.org.
"Stormy Weather." Lena Horne had the voice, the looks, the grace and the overall talent to succeed. But that wasn't enough. Instead, throughout her 40-year career, Horne was forced to battle the racism that permeated Hollywood. Horne did it, however, with courage and tenacity, opening doors for African Americans nationwide. Now in the opening production of Pasadena Playhouse's 2009 season, Tony- and Emmy-winning actress Leslie Uggams is set to belt out old Horne favorites like "The Lady Is a Tramp," "That Old Feeling" and "From This Moment On" in the production of "Stormy Weather." 8 p.m. (preview). Through Feb. 29 (Tue.-Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 4 and 8 p.m., Sun. 2 and 7 p.m.). $48-$58. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Ave., Pasadena. (626) 356-7529. http://www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
Fri., Jan. 23
"Chicago." Chicago Tribune reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins first wrote the play that later became a Tony Award-winning Broadway hit and an Academy Award-winning film. The play was based on the 1924 real-life trials of murderesses Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner, both of whom were acquitted. Set during the Prohibition era, the Kander and Ebb musical is full of satire, sexy celebrity criminals and catchy tunes, such as "All That Jazz," "Razzle Dazzle" and the steamy "Cell Block Tango." Catch Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart in this Southern California production of a jazzy Broadway favorite. 8 p.m. Also, Sat. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. $25-$55. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (800) 300-4345. http://www.cerritoscenter.com.
Sat., Jan. 24
Seven in One Productions Dance Concert. If you've become a devotee of dance competitions on television then you know good choreography is key to winning. Tonight, enjoy an eclectic evening of Los Angeles' finest choreographers. Benita Bike, Laurie Cameron, Anna Djanbazian and others will tell powerful stories in movement. Spanish guitar, Korean singing and Middle Eastern moves are just some elements of the night's performances. 8 p.m. $15-$25. Assistance League Playhouse, 1367 N. St. Andrews Place, Los Angeles. (818) 353-5734. http://www.lineagedance.org.
Tue., Jan. 27
Chamber Music Palisades. In a rare West Coast appearance, internationally acclaimed clarinetist Dimitri Ashkenazy, son of great pianist-conductor Vladamir Ashkenazy, is set to perform in the Pacific Palisades, along with Boston-based violist Scott Woolweaver. The program includes works by Schumann, Schmitt, Villa-Lobos, Uhl, Bruch and Bernstein. "Dimitri continues the amazing musical legacy of his father, who has been one of the biggest names in classical music for the past half century" pianist Delores Stevens said. 8 p.m. $25 (Free for students). St. Matthew's Parish, 1031 Bienveneda, Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-2070. http://www.cmpalisades.com.
Sat., Jan. 31
"The One-Man Bollywood Show." Internationally recognized choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan, best known for his work on the hit talent show, "So You Think You Can Dance," is fusing traditional Bollywood dancing with Western styles for his spectacular one-man show. Mahajan's dance routine will take audience members through a journey of the critical moments in the artist's life. The performance will also benefit the Indian-based nonprofit Pratham, an organization that fights illiteracy by building schools in India. A preshow cocktail reception and post-performance chai and sweets gathering are part of the unique night. 7 p.m. $35-$75. Wadsworth Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 365-3500. http://www.ndmdance.com.
Sat., Jan. 31
"Smucker's Stars on Ice." Founded in 1986 by ice-skating icon Scott Hamilton, the "Stars on Ice" annual tour has won three Emmy Awards for its spectacular display of talent, choreography, costumes and technology. This year's tour boasts reigning ice princess Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen, Olympic bronze medalist Jeffrey Buttle and a host of other Olympic, world and national champions. The skaters will take their skills to new heights and perform moves they dare not risk during competitions -- all on a steel blade no thicker than a pane of glass. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, an organization that provides leadership, education, health and arts programs for kids around the country. 3 p.m. $11-$137. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella, Anaheim. (714) 704-2000. http://www.starsonice.com.