Featured Articles

Review: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

March 16, 2017 | By Benn Widdey | Category: Featured Articles, Theater and Dance

The New York City-based Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been performing in Los Angeles for decades. Almost every visit to the Southland includes a performance of its signature master work, “Revelations.” The work was choreographed by company founder and its artistic director until his death in 1989, Alvin Ailey. His timeless celebration of the [...]



Review: ‘Plasticity’ at Hudson Theatres

March 15, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Featured Articles, Theater and Dance

Plasticity is ostensibly a one-man show, yet with some half a dozen distinctly different characters that emerge, fade and reappear at various points within the show, you would be forgiven for thinking multiple actors were on stage. Credit goes to performer and co-writer Alex Lyras, who gives a tour de force performance that inhabits [...]



Review: LA Phil With James Gaffigan, Hélène Grimaud and James Matheson

February 27, 2017 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

On Sunday, French pianist Hélène Grimaud performed the Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Brahms under the direction of guest conductor James Gaffigan.
The concerto began with a beautifully sonorous horn introduction by LA Phil Principal Andrew Bain (and later echoed beautifully by Amy Jo Rhine), which established the melodic theme [...]



Review: LA Opera’s ‘Salome’ With Soprano Patricia Racette

February 21, 2017 | By Julie Riggott | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

LA Opera delivers a creepy valentine this month with Richard Strauss’ “Salome.” Of course, creepy can be good in the right hands. (Think “Fatal Attraction.”) And in the hands of Strauss and Oscar Wilde, from whose play the composer got his libretto, we get an intense, sometimes unsettling and still  (c’mon, a little bit?) shocking [...]



Review: Dudamel Conducts LA Phil with Lisa Batiashvili

February 5, 2017 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

On Saturday night, Gustavo Dudamel conducted the LA Phil in works by three Russian-born composers, (K)ein Sommernachtstraum by Alfred Schnittke; the Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 by Tchaikovsky, with Lisa Batiashvili as soloist; and Selections from Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev. Not only were all three composers Russian, but they all wrote music [...]



Review: ‘The Last Vig’ at the Zephyr Theatre

January 21, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Featured Articles, Theater and Dance

“The Last Vig” has an intriguing premise: How does an aging, faded Italian mob boss cope with the changes modern society hath wrought? Applied to this premise in the lead role at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood is the familiar and respected character actor Burt Young, known for his work in such films as [...]



Review: The Berlin Philharmonic Performs Mahler at Walt Disney Concert Hall

November 20, 2016 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

On Saturday night, the Berlin Philharmonic, under the baton of its music director, Sir Simon Rattle, gave LA concertgoers something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, a transcendent performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in E minor. Also on the program was a brief composition for a small ensemble of 15 instruments by Pierre Boulez [...]



Review: ‘The Barber of Seville’ (a POP opera)

November 15, 2016 | By David Maurer | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

By now, regular Culture Spot readers should know that Pacific Opera Project offers the best value in opera in town. For $65, you get two tickets, a table for two, a platter of snacks and a bottle of wine. While POP does do opera seria, they are best known for their irreverent and inventive comic [...]



CD Review: ‘Intimate Letters’ by the Lyris Quartet

November 8, 2016 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

Since its inception in 2008, the Los Angeles-based Lyris Quartet — Alyssa Park (violin), Shalini Vijayan (violin), Luke Maurer (viola) and Timothy Loo (cello) — has championed music by contemporary composers. As the founding resident ensemble of the Hear Now Music Festival, which focuses on the music of living Los Angeles composers, the quartet has [...]



Music Review: Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil in San Francisco

November 3, 2016 | By Theodore Bell | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

A bit of Los Angeles’ music culture came to San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall on Halloween night, Oct. 31, when the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with conductor Gustavo Dudamel, introduced young Los Angeles composer Andrew Norman’s composition titled “Play.” Norman personally introduced his piece, and then we were swept away into a most enjoyable 45 minutes [...]