‘Build,’ at The Geffen, Oct. 9-Nov. 18, 2012 (No Recommendation)

Thomas Sadoski and Peter Katona in Michael Golamco’s world premiere, ‘Build’ at the Geffen Playhouse. Directed by Will Frears.

by Charles McNulty
Los Angeles Times

Gather round, 21st century dramatists. Here’s a little addendum to your playwriting handbook: Protagonists in bathrobes are not your friend. This insight, hereby given the status of a dramatic verity, was born out of seeing “Build,” Michael Golamco’s new indie-spirited play at the Geffen Playhouse’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. Set in the not-too-distant future, the work revolves around a depressed video game designer holed up in his Palo Alto home in his bedclothes. READ MORE…

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Review: ‘In the Red and Brown Water,” Fountain Theatre, Thru Dec. 16, 2012 (Not To Be Missed)

From the production.

By Charles McNulty
Los Angeles Times

Beyond the fact that it is sensational, the Fountain Theatre’s production of “In the Red and Brown Water” by Tarell Alvin McCraney is important for two reasons: It introduces Los Angeles audiences to a dramatic poet in the process of discovering his singular voice and it shows how magnificently one of L.A.’s better small theaters can serve bold new talent. READ MORE…

Also read BackStage Review

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Preview: Lionheart Vocal Ensemble, Laudario of Sant Agnese, Getty Center, 7pm, Dec 1 2012 (Highly Recommended)

Lionheart

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

One side effect of excessive wandering about museums gazing at ancient things behind velvet ropes or inside glass cases is an increasing sense of distance with the past. Everything is so separate and silent, belonging entirely to a different world. Not so, however, if the men of the Lionheart Vocal Ensemble have anything to do with it. Read the rest of this entry

Review: ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ National Ballet of Canada, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Oct 19-21, 2012

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” with the National Ballet of Canada.

By Lewis Segal
L.A. Times

The search for a warm-weather “Nutcracker” continues with “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Christopher Wheeldon’s three-act dance fantasy, which the National Ballet of Canada brought to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Friday in its U.S. premiere, beginning a five-performance run. Like the Russian Christmas classic, the new work (co-commissioned by Britain’s Royal Ballet) begins at a party for adults, involves its child-heroine in dreamlike changes of scale and battles with bizarre READ MORE…

Review: Ticciati Conducts Vogt and LA Phil, Sibelius, Rachmaninoff, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Oct 19-21, 2012

Conductor Robin Ticciati.

By Mark Swed
L.A. Times

In March 2010, Robin Ticciati, a 26-year-old British wonder, made his debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A Simon Rattle protégé, Ticciati was at the time a newly appointed music director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and was said, perhaps, to be the next Dudamel. Since then his career has continued to rocket, as every year he adds more prestigious READ MORE…

Review: ‘Seminar’, Ahmanson, Oct 10 – Nov 18 (Not To Be Missed)

Jeff Goldblum.

By Charles McNulty
Los Angeles Times

Masochism is the chief prerequisite for a private writing seminar with Leonard, the fearsome teacher, writer and editor conducting a mini reign of terror in Theresa Rebeck’s Broadway comedy “Seminar,” now at the Ahmanson Theatre. Played by Jeff Goldblum as a snarling narcissist in designer sportswear better suited to someone half his age, this pedagogical terrorist has READ MORE…

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Review: ‘The Rivals,’ Actor’s Gang, Thru Nov. 17, 2012 (Worth the Risk)

From the production.

By Charles McNulty
L.A. Times

Let’s congratulate the Actors’ Gang for at least bringing some novelty to our classical repertory. When American theater companies feel an itch to revive a work by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, they inevitably reach for “The School for Scandal,” which has come to epitomize that post-Restoration genre known as 18th century comedy. “The Rivals,” Sheridan’s first play, is a more unwieldy affair, but READ MORE….

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Review: ‘Krapp’s Last Tape,’ Kirk Douglas Theatre, thru Nov 4, 2012 (Not To Be Missed)

John Hurt with tape machine.

By Charles McNulty
Los Angeles Times 

With his shock of silver-gray hair, his face etched by time with the lean expressiveness of a Giacometti sculpture and his soulful eyes registering every fleeting hurt and happiness, John Hurt bears a striking resemblance to Samuel Beckett in the distinguished British actor’s magnificent rendition of “Krapp’s Last Tape” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. READ MORE…

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Hot Tip: Los Angeles Master Chorale Opens With ‘Organ Extravaganza,’ Disney Hall, Sunday, 7pm, Oct 21, 2012 (Highly Recommended)

The Los Angeles Master Chorale

by Thomas May
Program annotator for the L.A. Master Chorale

There was a time when the mere phrase “modern music” could, Pavlov style, instantly trigger a reaction of fear and foreboding. It seemed that for composers to be suitably au courant, they had to descend deep into the angst-filled abyss. Yet in a program consisting entirely of pieces written in the 20th and 21st centuries — all except for three of them by living composers — the Master Chorale reaffirms music’s unique capacity to travel in “the other direction.” Hardly limited to the dark side of the human condition, music can just as potently voice our aspirations to rise up to something higher, to be borne aloft by feelings of joy and awe. READ MORE…

FOR TICKET INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.

Preview: ‘Le Salon de Musiques,’ Charles-Marie Widor, André Caplet, Nov 11, 2012 (Highly Recommended)

Flutist Pamela Vliek Martchev.

by Yu Tang
L.A. Opening Nights

At its most quintessentially French, Le Salon de Musiques pairs two rarities from late-19th-century Paris in what promises to be an afternoon of charming salon music. On the program are Charles-Marie Widor’s Suite for Flute and Piano, Op. 34, and André Caplet’s Quintet for Piano and Winds. Both pieces are representative of Le Salon’s theme this season of reviving beautiful Romantic and Neo-Romantic works that have fallen into obscurity. Per usual, the event takes place on the fifth floor of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, in an intimate setting that brings performers and audience together after concerts for conversation, champagne and Read the rest of this entry

Preview: ‘Brahms and Dvořák Piano Trios,’ Segerstrom Center, Nov 2, 2012 (Highly Recommended)

Cellist David Finckel, pianist Wu Han, and violinist Philip Setzer.

by Yu Tang
L.A. Opening Nights

Brahms and Dvořák are composers of great musical affinity, a delightful and rare quality that is also reflected in the artistic partnership of violinist Philip Setzer, cellist David Finckel, and pianist Wu Han. At the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, they will perform Brahms’ Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38, and two piano trios by Dvorák: the “Dumky” Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90, and the Trio No. 3 in F minor, Op. 65.

According to David Finckel, “This trio program, with a cello sonata as introduction, is one of the richest and most varied experiences Read the rest of this entry

Preview: Zubin Mehta 50th Anniversary Concert, LA Philharmonic, Mozart, Hindemith and Dvorak, Disney Hall, Dec 13-16 2012 (Highly Recommended)

Zubin Mehta

by Rosemary McGuinness
L.A. Opening Nights

Zubin Mehta, who presided over the L.A. Philharmonic from 1962 – 78,  returns to conduct the very program with which he inaugurated his tenure fifty years ago.

This is a delightfully varied collection of pieces. From the Classicism of Mozart, to the Romanticism of Dvorak and the twentieth-century Expressionism of Hindemith, each work heralds from an entirely different musical time period, and each reminds us what there is to love about their respective, disparate worlds. Read the rest of this entry

Preview: L.A. Master Chorale, Monteverdi’s ‘Vespers of 1610,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Nov 18, 2012 (Not to Be Missed)

The L.A. Master Chorale with music director Grant Gershon.

by Yu Tang
L.A. Opening Nights

Often cited as the most ambitious work of sacred music before J.S. Bach, Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is a monumental musical collection that demonstrates the composer’s mastery of all the compositional styles and techniques of the time. Grant Gershon conducts the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra in this favorite Read the rest of this entry

Preview: Salonen and the Philharmonia, ‘Wozzeck,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Nov 13, 2012 (Worth the Risk)

Esa-Pekka Salonen.

by Yu Tang
L.A. Opening Nights

Alban Berg’s Wozzeck is an opera based on true life.

Almost 200 years ago, a man killed his lover. His guilt was evident, but his sanity wasn’t. The court eventually determined that Johann Christian Woyzeck, an impoverished former soldier, was sane enough to be convicted of murder and sentenced him to a public beheading.

Woyzeck would inspire Georg Büchner’s 1837 play, which Alban Berg first saw in 1914 and immediately decided to adapt into an opera. But World War I intervened and Berg was called to military service. In a letter to his wife, he wrote: “There is a bit of me in his character, since I have been spending these war years just as dependent on people I hate, have been in chains Read the rest of this entry

Preview: ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ The National Ballet of Canada, Oct 19-Oct 21, 2012 The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Highly Recommended)

Sonia Rodriguez in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” with the National Ballet of Canada.

By Joseph Carman
Los Angeles Times

The Mad Hatter executes demonic time steps, his tap dancing signifying his mindless chatter. An enormous dismembered Cheshire Cat floats through space like a Japanese bunraku puppet. The Queen of Hearts glides threateningly around the stage in a bulbous, hard-framed, heart-shaped gown. Playing cards projected onto a scrim shuffle in concert with a full corps de ballet. And then there’s Alice, READ MORE….

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