Archduke

“Bang. You’re dead.” It is June 28, 1914; Gavrilo Princip shoots the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife. World War I is off to a flying start. Or that is the impression one gets from grammar school textbooks. Of course history  ...

Tosca, LAOpera

“Tosca” … it is Puccini … what’s not to like? True, and it is probably his best opera. But LAOpera’s current production is a “Tosca” to love, not simply like. With glorious voices that are every bit a match for  ...

Into The Woods

A confession is in order. I love Sondheim. I adored “Into The Woods” when it was presented by The Oregon Shakespeare Company at the Wallis in 2014. I rushed to take grandchildren to the 2015 film with Meryl Streep. I  ...

Salome

Whether your orientation is religious or secular, if your culture is western the name Salome probably conjures up images of seduction and grisly obsession. She is depicted in the bible. She is seen frequently in European painting. The gruesome image  ...

The Abduction from the Seraglio

Opera folks have their quibbles. There are those who want a classic staging, just as audiences would have seen at the times the operas were written. The fewer liberties, the better. And then there are those who believe resetting the  ...

Macbeth

Here is my conundrum: (1) I am not crazy about performances that last three full hours; (2) I want to be emotionally pulled in; and (3) if dancers are going to be on stage for most of an opera the  ...

A View from the Bridge

What a treat. The Young Vic production of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” is a powerful offering even in the cavernous space of the Ahmanson Theatre. Oh, there have mutterings through the years. ‘View is not Miller’s best  ...

Baby Doll

“Baby Doll?” Does the name sound familiar, but you cannot recall where you saw it? The answer is that “Baby Doll” was originally a screenplay written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Elia Kazan in 1956. It took the  ...

Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens, an estate in the Hamptons, gained national attention through the mid 70’s documentary by David and Albert Maysles. The brothers were originally contacted by Jacqueline Kennedy and her sister Lee Radziwill, who were hoping to drum up some  ...

Disgraced

Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Disgraced,” has finally arrived in Los Angeles. It was the most produced play in America last season. Witty and timely it pulls no punches in the arena of American racial relations or  ...