ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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January 2018

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Television!

Versace’s Story!

American-Crime-Story: Gianni-Versace’s Edgar-Ramirez

Versace’s Story!

  • By Rebekah Rejniak
  • Photo Courtesy of FX Network

For FX’s second iteration of American Crime Story, the series turns to the event that shocked the world on July 15, 1997: the assassination of renowned fashion designer, Gianni Versace. The second season tracks the tumultuous three months of murderer, Andrew Cunanan’s, life leading up to the killing that took place literally on the front steps of Gianni’s mansion, Casa Casuarina, in South Beach, Miami.

Gianni Versace was one of the most progressive fashion designers in the world, and the founder of the Versace brand, which his sister Donatella and brother Santo took over after his untimely death. His influences were his mother, Francesca, a dressmaker, as well as Greek history, which defined the Calabrian-environment of his childhood. His designs were worn by supermodels, Hollywood elite, and by his most cherished client, Princess Diana.

The cast includes Venezuelan actor Édgar Ramírez (Gold, Point Break) as Gianni Versace, Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Vanilla Sky) as Donatella Versace, Ricky Martin (Glee) as Antonio D’Amico, and Darren Criss (Glee) as Andrew Cunanan. The show also stars Finn Wittrock, Dascha Polanco, Judith Light, Max Greenfield, Cody Fern, Mike Farrell, Nico Evers-Swindell, Jon Jon Briones, and Annaleigh Ashford. The series is directed by Ryan Murphy, and was written by Maureen Orth (details) and Tom Rob Smith (Child 44, London Spy),

American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” is slated to premiere January 17th on FX.

The Alienist!

The Alienist premieres January 22nd on TNT (pictured: Daniel Brühl)

The Alienist!

  • By Rebekah Rejniak
  • Photo Courtesy of TNT

The Alienist, or one who studies mental pathologies, is TNT’s new show based on the international bestselling novel by Caleb Carr. The psychological thriller opens in New York City 1896, when a slew of boy prostitutes are barbarically murdered presumably by the same killer. Maverick police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt consorts with criminal psychologist aka The Alienist, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, and newspaper illustrator John Moore to begin a clandestine operation to track the killer. With the help of Sara Howard, Roosevelt’s ambitious secretary, along with breakthroughs in forensic technology, and emerging psychological techniques, the band of outsiders begins the first ever task force to track serial killers. The show is visually and aurally stunning. The winds howl, snow crunches, bridges creak and moan with tension, while the screen is lit by haloed candlelight and dusty, hazy, filtered lights.

The series stars Brian Geraghty (Boardwalk Empire, The Hurt Locker), Daniel Bruhl (Rush), Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral), and Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train). The series also stars Douglas Smith, Matthew Shear, Matt Lintz, Robert Ray Wisdom and Q’orianka Kilcher. Jakob Verbruggen (Black Mirror) works as director and executive producer along with Academy Award® winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Academy Award® nominees Hossein Amini (Drive) and E. Max Frye (Foxcatcher). Don’t miss it!

The Alienist” premieres on January 22nd on TNT.

Black Lightning!

Black Lightning premieres January 16th on The CW Network (pictured Cress Williams)

Black Lightning!

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo Courtesy of The CW Network

We’re definitely in the age of heroes, and who can complain? We need some good saving. In keeping with the spirit of heroes and the popular trend of comic-book adaptations, The CW will premiere Black Lightning this month, based on the DC comic book series that follows the print’s first African-American superhero.

Set against the backdrop of real-life current social issues (in particular, race issues), Black Lightning follows Jefferson Pierce, a retired superhero, now the principal of a high school, whose focus is on raising his family: daughters Anissa (successful med student) and Jennifer (your average teenage rebel without a cause, but with a good head on her shoulders). Following a run-in with the police that included crude racial profiling and a society that discriminates, Jefferson re-adopts the costumed vigilante role to save the day, or rather, his daughters. Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie) stars as Jefferson.

Although developed by Greg Berlanti, a DC Comics adaptation, and premiering on The CW, Black Lightning will not be a part of the Arrowverse, an extended television universe that includes Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. Despite this, the series — timely, hopeful, even nostalgic for a time where the people once had a voice — is just as fresh and vibrant as any show on the network and will surely satisfy just about anybody.

Black Lightning” premieres January 16th on The CW Network.

SIMPLY MARVELOUS!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now streaming on Amazon (pictured Rachel Brosnahan)

SIMPLY MARVELOUS!

  • By William Nedved
  • Photo Courtesy of Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is indeed marvelous. Rachel Brosnahan – Emmy-nominated for playing call girl Rachel Posner in House of Cards – stars as Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a 1958 New York City woman who has everything she’s ever wanted: the perfect husband, two kids, and an elegant Upper West Side apartment perfect for hosting Yom Kippur dinner. Midge’s life takes an unexpected when she discovers an unknown talent: stand-up comedy. The eight-episode, hour-long series is written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the renowned creator of Gilmore Girls, and executive produced by her husband Daniel Palladino.

Brosnahan is hysterical and heartbreaking in the title role, for which she’s been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Musical or Comedy. She’s joined by Golden Globe winner and three-time Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub (Monk) as Midge’s father Abe Weissman, Michael Zegen (Boardwalk Empire) as Midge’s soon-to-be-ex-husband Joel Maisel and Marin Hinkle (Two and Half Men) as Midge’s mother Rose Wiessman. The MVP Award goes to Alex Borstein – from Family Guy and HBO’s late, great Getting On – as cantankerous comedy manager Susie Myers. The performances, Sherman-Palladino’s trademark rat-a-tat dialogue, and the production’s sublime art direction (it’s like a lighter, brighter Mad Men) combine to create a passionate rebuke to the sexist notion that women aren’t funny. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – both the character and series – are hilarious.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is streaming now on Amazon Prime.

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