All entries by this author

Dance Review: Los Angeles Ballet’s ‘Giselle’

May 26, 2011 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Theater and Dance

The oldest surviving Romantic ballet and one of the most popular ballets of all time, “Giselle” (1841) was the very first “ballet blanc,” featuring the corps of women in long white tutus which has become the symbol of classical ballet.
As staged by Los Angeles Ballet Co-artistic Director Thordal Christensen, this timeless masterwork is a living [...]

Los Angeles Ballet CELEBRATION

March 8, 2011 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Theater and Dance

The human mind arrives at stunning truths which, once known, cannot be unknown. The most life-altering of all insights – the inescapable reality of Death – comes to all of us at some point. The force of the blow that precipitates our dark understanding, and our age when it comes, color forever how we approach [...]

LA Ballet Opens Fifth Season with Exuberant ‘Nutcracker’

December 16, 2010 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Featured Articles, Theater and Dance

In an era of catastrophic personal belt tightening and calamitous corporate downsizing, too many promising arts organizations have fallen face-first into the chasm of disappearing dollars. When even an established, respected old organization like the Pasadena Playhouse had to close its doors for a time, it is beyond astonishing that a new classical ballet troupe [...]

World Premiere of ‘Yard Sale Signs’ at Rogue Machine Theatre

October 7, 2010 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Theater and Dance

A middle-aged woman half-heartedly tries on clothes in the dressing room of a discount store. Perplexed and uneasy, she does not recognize her business-suit-clad self reflected in the full-length mirror, having spent years in old sweatsuits while tending her dying mother. Who is she, now that her role has changed? Her best friend sits on [...]

Los Angeles Jewish Symphony Presents Cinema Judaica

August 6, 2010 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Classical Music and Opera

The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony celebrates contributions of Jewish composers to film history with its annual concert program, Cinema Judaica, on Sunday, Aug. 8, at 7:30 p.m., under the stars at the Ford Amphitheatre.  The orchestra, led by Founder and Artistic Director Noreen Green, pays tribute to Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Steven Schwartz, Danny Pelfrey, [...]

The Evolution of a New Play: Steven Sater’s ‘New York Animals’ at Rogue Machine

July 31, 2010 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Theater and Dance

“The process is completely fascinating,” says longtime theater lover Abigail Paine, as she leaves the small West Los Angeles theater.  “It really feels like a privilege to have watched something as unusual as ‘New York Animals’ evolve at Rogue Machine.” Paine says she has seen this mega-workshop of Steven Sater’s newest play three times. “And [...]

Los Angeles Ballet’s ‘New Wave LA’

May 21, 2010 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Theater and Dance

I love ballet. I love the grace, the magic, the sheer beauty of it all. But, once in a while, ballet isn’t merely attractive young dancers in white tutus, assembling in lovely tableaus to strains of Mozart and Delibes.  Once in a while, ballet is the tumultuous and heartstopping and transformative theatrical experience I had [...]

Los Angeles Ballet’s World Premieres

May 12, 2010 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Theater and Dance

From May 15 to 30, the Los Angeles Ballet finishes its fourth season with the unveiling of four contemporary world premieres by acclaimed guest choreographers Mandy Moore, Travis Wall, and Sonya Tayeh of the FOX TV hit, “So You Think You Can Dance,” and LA’s Josie Walsh. Titled “New Wave LA,” the program presents cutting-edge, [...]

‘Playboy of the Western World’

April 27, 2010 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Featured Articles, Theater and Dance

An increasingly agitated audience greeted the world premiere of J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World at Dublin’s Abbey Theater in 1907.  Good Irish lads sang patriotic songs and shouted, “Kill the author!” Howls of outrage escalated to fistfights, culminating in an actual riot. At subsequent performances, young hotheads sat in the front rows [...]

‘Awake and Sing’ at A Noise Within

March 31, 2010 | By Penny Orloff | Category: Theater and Dance

Clifford Odets’ first play, “Awake and Sing,” is considered his masterpiece. A fortuitous product of zeitgeist, psychosocial climate and synchronicity, the work has become a holy relic of Depression-era American culture.
Glendale’s estimable classical theater rep company, A Noise Within, presents “Awake and Sing” now through May 23. The plot concerns three generations of a Jewish [...]