February 2019

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella plays the Ahmanson thru March 10th


  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Center Theatre Group

Matthew Bourne/New Adventures returns to the Ahmanson Theatre following its triumphant 2017 staging of The Red Shoes with its acclaimed dance theatre production of Cinderella reset to WWII London. Here the famous fairy tale becomes a wartime romance performed to Sergei Prokofiev’s classical score in which Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot find love amidst a deluge of daily bombings by Hitler’s Luftwaffe during The Blitz.

Prokofiev composed Cinderella between 1940-1944 when wars raged over several continents for global dominance. Bourne integrates the sounds of exploding shells and anti-aircraft fire into Prokoviev’s magnificent score, immersing audiences in the aural realities of a besieged London. Cinderella is performed in Surround Sound and features a specially commissioned recording played by a 60-piece orchestra. Cordelia Braithwaite and Ashley Shaw, who played Victoria Page in The Red Shoes to critical acclaim, alternate again as Cinderella in Les Brotherson’s sumptuous Olivier Award-winning costumes and sets.

The recommended age for this show is 10+. Per Center Theatre Group, parents are encouraged to “use discretion when bringing children younger than 10 as this performance has a lengthy runtime (2.5 hours + two intermissions) and contains content intended for older audiences.”

Plays February 5th to March 10th. For more information, click here.

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston, photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1938, courtesy of Library of Congress Digital Collections

Zora Neale Hurston

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo Courtesy of Skirball Cultural Center

In 1927, African American novelist and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview the last living freed slave who arrived on a slave ship from Africa. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, eighty six year old Cudjo Lewis was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.  This remarkable oral history was only published in 2018.

Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it.

In honor of Black History Month, Tony award winner L. Scott Caldwell and the venerable Bill Cobbs from the Ebony Repertory Theatre will present a staged reading from Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” at the Skirball Cultural Center on Sunday February 10 at 7:30.

UCLA historian Wade Dean will provide a short overview of Hurston’s contributions and an audience discussion with producer-director Wren T. Brown will follow the program.

For more details, and all things happening at the Skirball, click here.

Charles White

Charles White: A Retrospective on view Feb 7-June 9th at LACMA

Charles White

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo Courtesy of LACMA

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Charles White’s birth, The Los Angeles County Museum is presenting Charles White: A Retrospective, (February 17, 2019–June 9, 2019) tracing the famed mid-century artists career and impact in the cities where he studied, worked and called home: Chicago, his birthplace; New York, where he joined social causes and gained acclaim; and Los Angeles, where he developed his mature art and became a civil rights activist.

In the first major 21st-century museum retrospective, approximately 100 drawings and prints along with lesser-known oil paintings come together to trace Charles White’s four-decade career. A superb draftsman, and printmaker as well as a talented mural and easel painter, White focused on images of both historical and contemporary African Americans, powerfully interpreting their history and culture.  He extolled their dignity, humanity, and heroism in the face of the country’s long history of racial injustice and encouraged his viewers and fellow artists of color to project their own self-worth. Despite escalating racial tensions, White create non-violent images up until the mid-1960s when he did become frustrated with the slow progress and began to infuse his work with allusions to the continuing to violence, poverty and disparity of educational, housing, employment and voting opportunities.  This landmark exhibition of White’s work showcases an accomplished artist whose work continues to resonate amid today’s national dialogues about race, work, equality and history.

For more details and all things happening at LACMA, click here.

Frieze Art Fair

Frieze Art Fair (Photo Graham Carlow)

Frieze Art Fair

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo By Graham Carlow

Premiering February 14-17, 2019, Frieze LA will join Frieze New York, Frieze London and Frieze Masters on the international art world calendar, recognizing Los Angeles position as a global arts capital. Frieze’s new annual contemporary art fair will offer an un paralleled opportunity for art fans to discover 70 of the world’s most significant and forward-thinking galleries from across the city and around the world. Taking place at the historic Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood, where the famed movie set backlot will be transformed into a symbolic cityscape where art is at the center of civic life.

The curated program will celebrate the unique creative spirit of our city featuring artist projects, talks, films, restaurants and experiments in patronage and activism making Frieze Week an umissable week highlighting the wealth of art and culture in the City of Angles.

Highlights at Frieze Los Angeles galleries include today’s most exciting artists from around the world and exceptionally ambitious presentations including; Iconic and influential Californian artists such as Mike Kelley’s sensational installation Unisex Love Nest (1999) which will be shown for the first time in LA exactly 20 years since its inception, in the city where it was conceived; Lawrence Weiner responding to works by John Baldessari with Marian Goodman Gallery; Allen Ruppersberg at marc Selwyn Fine Art, coinciding with the artists major Frieze Week exhibition at the Hammer Museum.

For more details, click here.

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