Dimensions Dance Theater

Co-founder and Artistic Director Deborah Vaughan has led the Oakland based Dimensions Dance Theater for 40 years. I can remember well the early years under the mentorship of Ruth Beckford, whose teaching at the Oakland Recreation Department made it possible for Deborah and many others to develop their skills as  ...

David Hockney

What distinguishes a fine contemporary artist from a master? One may find the answer at the extraordinary “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition.” Belying his age of 76, Hockney’s fabulous 398-piece show explores his brilliant talent, youthful enthusiasm, bountiful productivity and use of saturated color and enormous scale (hence the  ...

Le Joli Mai

In May of 1962, the first spring after France's debilitating war with Algeria, documentarian Chris Marker, together with his cinematographer Pierre Lhomme, filmed "Le Joli Mai" ("The Lovely Month of May") and dedicated it "to the happy many." You'll have a hard time, however, finding many happy people in  ...

The Armstrong Lie

If you're looking for a tragic hero in the classic mold, look no further than Lance Armstrong. Astronomic rise, as in seven Tour de France victories in a row (after conquering cancer)? Click. Abject downfall, as in being exposed as a regular consumer of performance-enhancing drugs, banned from competitive  ...

The Steward of Christendom

Heads up, serious theatergoers who are not looking for something frothy and easy for the holiday season. "The Steward of Christendom" at the Taper has plenty to sink your teeth into. There is nothing easy about it: Start with its being about two and three quarters hours long; then there are the  ...

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Traditionalists, you probably will not be overjoyed at Matthew Bourne’s reworking of the classic “Sleeping Beauty.” The rest of us, however, are in for a real treat. From interpretation to technique, Act I and Act II are about as good as it gets. This is “Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty,” not  ...

Manhattan

Woody Allen built his reputation on breezy, unstructured comedies that served as little more than excuses to place his trademarked hyper-neurotic nebbish in a series of incongruous environments ranging from 19th century Russia (Love and Death) to a dystopian future (Sleeper). These early comedies were occasionally screamingly funny (especially  ...

Parfumerie

'Tis the season so let us start with good tidings. For anyone who has not heard, the Wallis is the jewel of the new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and a welcome addition to the Westside arts scene. Entering the main lobby from Santa Monica  ...

Peter and the Starcatcher

What can I say? New York loved you, "Peter and the Starcatcher." Ben Brantley could not find enough superlatives to gush over you; and you had five Tony Awards thrown your way for best performance by a feature actor in a play, best scenic design, costume design, lighting, and sound.  ...