January 2018

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Scene from 2015 production of Candide (Photo Karli Cadel)


  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of LA Opera

Join Kelsey Grammer and Christine Ebersole for Leonard Bernstein’s round-the-world musical romp of Voltaire’s infamous 1759 satire Candide. Freewheeling and funny, satirical and soaring, Candide takes the audience on a whirlwind tour of human folly and foolishness. Brimming with youthful innocence, the buoyant Candide believes that he lives in the best of all possible worlds. But an unrelenting series of ridiculously unfortunate events makes him question everything he has been taught.

Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Kelsey Grammer (La Cage Aux Folles, Frasier) makes his opera debut doubling as both satirical author Voltaire and optimistic philosopher Pangloss while two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens, 42nd Street) makes her LA Opera debut in the riotous role of the Old Lady. This LA Opera company premiere celebrates the centenary of composer Leonard Bernstein whose brilliant score features some of musical theater’s greatest hits – from its exuberant overture to the show-stopping “Glitter and Be Gay” and the life-affirming “Make Our Garden Grow.” Don’t miss a rare opportunity to accompany this joyful hero on his journey from rapture to ruin to redemption.

“This was likely the best of all possible Candides.” – Opera Today

Plays Jan 27- Feb 18th. Six performances only. For more information, click here.

Tijuana in LA!

Tijuana plays the Skirball Cultural Center January 11th & 12th

Tijuana in LA!

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo Courtesy of Skirball

Fortunately,one of the recent fires dubbed the Skirball fire was contained on the east side of the 405, so the Skirball Center did not sustain any damage and has re-opened after a brief scare.

On January 10, and 11 the Center will premiere “Tijuana”, written and performed by Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol’s Gabino Rodriguez. Mixing video art and sculptural stage environment with piercingly poetic text this Mexico City collective blurs the line between fiction and reality using multimedia productions as mechanisms to link work and life, giving voice to overlooked moments in social and political history. In this mesmerizing solo show that dances the line between fiction and reality, actor Gabino Rodriquez changes his name to Santiago Ramirez and moves to Tijuana to become a minimum-wage factory worker for six month, ultimately facing challenges he never could have imagined.

With movement and text, Rodriguez depicts a man’s social experiment, in which he mysteriously appears as a new resident of a neighborhood with a new sweatshop job and a secret history. The collective confronts questions such as: What does democracy mean in Mexico today for some 50 million people living on the minimum wage? What do we expect from democracy today? What do we expect from politics beyond democracy?

“Tijuana” plays January 11-12th at Skirball Cultural Center. For more information and tickets, click here.

A Happy Place!

Happy Place Museum is located downtown L.A.

A Happy Place!

  • By Jon Steely
  • Photo Courtesy of Happy Place

It’s safe to say that we all could use a little more happiness in our lives, right? Well, if you think money can’t buy you happiness, there’s a pop up situation in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles that – for $28.50 – is happy to prove you wrong. Happy Place, which runs through February 25, is joyous over-the-top museum/experience that promises to engulf you in laughs, smiles and all things happy!

Welcoming all ages, Happy Place offers a sensory overload of bliss with a multitude of cheerful activities, including a massive birthday cake that you can climb, a gigantic confetti dome in which you can dance, a rainbow for you to jump off and a pot of happiness (oversized coins) for you to land in. There’s also a delightful team of “Happy People” on hand to guide you through this wonderful pop-up world and a scrumptious selection of treats for you to gobble up along the way. And just when you think things can’t get any happier, Happy Place highly encourages you to spread the merry vibes to your social media followers by providing you with a creative backdrop for taking some of the most unique selfies in town.  

So move over Disneyland. From now until late February, there’s what some might call a new happiest place on Earth. And you can find it in DTLA, happily waiting for you.

For more info, please click here.

Pirates in Pasadena!

Pirates of Penzance plays January 23-February 18th at Pasadena Playhouse

Pirates in Pasadena!

  • By Andrew Fish
  • Photo Courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse

Hitting the Pasadena Playhouse is theater company the Hypocrites’ beach-party take on The Pirates of Penzance — with the audience up on stage as beach balls bounce, ukuleles and banjos play, and an actual tiki bar serves drinks during the show.

The charmingly absurd 19th-century Gilbert and Sullivan operetta follows an earnest young man named Frederic, who has reached his 21st year and is apparently free of his indentureship to the pirates — off to a life of lawfulness, and duty-bound to bring his former colleagues to justice. But wait! According to his original contract, his term of service completes when he reaches his 21st birthday, which for him is February 29th, and with leap years accounted for, Frederic is technically only 5 “and a little bit over.” How will he ever settle down with Mabel, his true love, if he must plough the seas for another 63 years?

Directed by Sean Graney, this immersive iteration of the old standard offers a wildly updated experience, while staying true to the music, lyrics and lighthearted loopiness of the original. If you’re looking to start the new year with some fun and laughs — and to learn just what it takes to be the very model of a modern Major-General — then set sail with the pirates in Pasadena!

For more details, click here.

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