Beyond The 805
The Joffrey Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is a dynamic, contemporary take on the classic ballet. From the various costumes and settings spanning the 1930s, 1950s, and 1990s to the contemporary twists to the ballet choreography, watching Joffrey Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet is a refreshing and captivating experience.
Christine Rocas and Rory Hohenstein The Joffrey Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet. Photo by Cheryl Mann
Steven Dietz's This Random World at SPTC
Santa Paula Theatre Center kicks off its 2018 season with a wonderfully good production of Steven Dietz's This Random World. SPTC produced Dietz's Becky's New Car last season as well; but these are two very different plays with little in common except Dietz's genius for fascinating female parts; a beautifully controlled, understated sense of humor; terrific writing; and Dietz's particularly good-hearted, slightly off-kilter somewhat philosophical bent.
Scott Blanchard (L) and Aileen-Marie (R)
Beyond The 805
Los Angeles Opera
James Conlon’s Sensuous Carmen
His love affair with Carmen began at the age of 13 for Los Angeles Opera conductor and formidable company mentor James Conlon, who has conducted Bizet’s popular masterpiece dozens of times in other cities, but never before in the city of angels. Singing in the children’s chorus as a kid, Conlon explained during a pre-performance chat to about 200 in the Music Center’s Grand Lobby, he apparently couldn’t help himself and was told repeatedly to please stop conducting during Act IV while on-stage. Thus, a natural conductor was born. Los Angeles Opera’s Carmen, which runs through October 1st at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center, is guided heart and soul by the seasoned artistic provenance of James Conlon.
Russian American Jews composing an opera about racism in the Deep South circa 1935 featuring a virtually all-black cast? George and Ira Gershwin were considered out of their minds if not outright un-American at the time for such boundary-bending audacity. Their masterpiece, Porgy and Bess, from a libretto by Dubose Heyward based on his novel Porgy was shunned after its initial debut and all but forgotten for decades. In recent years, though, especially since the civil rights movement of the 60’s, the opera has been revived and re-spirited on several occasions using diverse media and genres; recognized at last, as a major American folk opera of unparalleled genius and universal humanitarian message and appeal.
Photo Credit: David Bazemore