Billy Budd

Winding up a yearlong celebration of Benjamin Britten’s centennial, L.A. Opera presents the composer’s most ambitious opera, "Billy Budd," featuring definitive staging by Francesca Zambello from her 1995 Covent Garden production. It stars Liam Bonner in the lead role, and is conducted by the company’s own James Conlon, with performances Feb. 22 through March 16. "Budd" was Britten’s most daring work,  ...

Richard Hamilton

The artist Richard Hamilton, who died in 2011, is mostly remembered today for the collage that he made for the exhibition "This is Tomorrow" at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1956. "Just What is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?" was a key manifesto for Pop Art. A  ...

Love and Information, NY

They Know You Exist Caryl Churchill’s "Love and Information" is a solid one-hour play that happens to run for a little under two hours. Its fifty-seven scenes are connected thematically and not narratively, featuring over one hundred characters who are all struggling with the same problem: deciding  ...

The Who and the What, San Diego

Family dramedies have a formula. The first half introduces the family and fellow travelers, their zany personality tics and the explosive revelations that could be their undoing. The second half exposes those revelations and sorts out the mess. The first section, introducing characters to the audience, is relatively  ...

Moby-Dick, Washington, DC

The Washington National Opera production of “Moby-Dick” is a crowd pleaser. Jake Heggie’s music is tonal, sometimes glancing off Puccini, but ventures out with touches of Philip Glass minimalism and other occasions of atonality that make it satisfyingly contemporary. Maestro Evan Rogister adeptly handles a large orchestra and cast that  ...

Salinger (2013)

    After reading David Denby’s “The New Yorker” review of the documentary about J.D. Salinger, which has recently been released for public consumption, I felt somewhat smugly satisfied at my lack of desire to see the movie myself, although I am a die-hard fan of the author.   ...

Napoli! San Francisco

      “Napoli!,” a robust entertaining World War II comedy/drama by the great Italian playwright Eduardo De Filippo (1900-1984), revolves around the boisterous, amusing Neapolitan Jovine family, who turns to selling black-market goods to friends and neighbors in order to survive. But beyond the laughs, the  ...

The LEGO Movie (2014)

The LEGO Movie is a prime example of why movie theater owners are right to complain about trailers. I felt like I saw the movie and was ready to love it before I even walked in the door. Imagine my disappointment when it ended up being different than the advertising  ...

An interview with David Hyde Pierce

The "Frasier" alum was nominated in 2013 for his performance as Vanya in the play and returns to direct the show's L.A. run at the Mark Taper Forum through March 9. In an era where actors seem to be migrating away from movies to television, David Hyde Pierce transitioned to theater  ...