Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Essential Arts: Time to place bets on the Tony Awards. Hint — we’re into ‘Hadestown’ by Carolina A. Miranda

It’s the end of another week, and the end of my supply of Japanese gummy candies. I’m Carolina A. Miranda, staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, with the week’s essential culture news…

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Tony Awards’ top races: A theater critic’s opinionated guide by Charles McNulty

Of the many cliffhangers the Tony Awards will resolve on Sunday, the story line that has me on the edge of my seat is whether “Hadestown” will be crowned best musical. Anaïs Mitchell is…

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Reactions to Ali Stroker's historic Tony Awards win will make your heart soar by Jessica Gelt

When Ali Stroker rolled onstage in her wheelchair to accept the Tony Award for featured actress in a musical, audiences at home went bananas. As Ado Annie in director Daniel Fish’s revival…

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André De Shields just won his first Tony at 73. Here are 5 facts on his epic career by Makeda Easter

André De Shields capped a 50-year acting career by scoring his first Tony Award on Sunday, winning best featured actor in a musical for his role as Hermes in “Hadestown.” It’s been a …

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Ali Stroker wins a Tony Award and makes history with her wheelchair trip to the podium by Ashley Lee

The Tony Awards cain't say no to Ali Stroker, who made history Sunday by becoming the first actor in a wheelchair to win the biggest honor in theater. The actress took home the Tony for feat…

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Why 'The Prom’ wanted that same-sex kiss to be on the Tonys telecast by Ashley Lee

When the cast of “The Prom” performed at the Tony Awards, it drove home the show’s themes of acceptance and inclusion with a same-sex kiss. The musical, which entered the night with se…

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Tony winner Rachel Chavkin of ‘Hadestown’ on being a woman alone by Jessica Gelt

Rachel Chavkin was glad to win the Tony Award for best director of a musical for “Hadestown” at the Tony Awards on Sunday night, but made it clear that she was profoundly unhappy about t…

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Tony winners: 'Hadestown' leads with seven awards so far, including best director by Ashley Lee

The Tony Awards are underway, and “Hadestown” has proved to be the show to beat. The musical entered the night with a leading 14 nominations and has won seven statues so far, taking home…

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‘Oklahoma!’ actress Ali Stroker may be the first actress in a wheelchair to win a Tony by Barbara Isenberg

From her first song in Daniel Fish’s daring revival of “Oklahoma!” actress Ali Stroker presents an Ado Annie like audiences have never encountered before. Partly it’s her amazing voi…

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What time are the Tony Awards? It’s (ridiculously) complicated by Craig Nakano

The 2019 Tony Awards can be seen live at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS — unless you live in the fourth dimension known as the West Coast. For theater fans here, CBS will continue its tradition of …

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Tony Awards: A critic celebrates Broadway’s unabashed idealism by Charles McNulty

At a time in America when lies are rampant in public life and alternative truth has been adopted as a winning political strategy, the 2018-19 Broadway season will be remembered for those gri…

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Why ‘Hadestown’ deserves the Tony Award for best musical of the year by Charles McNulty

It turned out not to be a horrendous year for new Broadway musicals, if you disqualify “King Kong,” lower your IQ for “The Cher Show” and bring earplugs to “Be More Chill.” “Th…

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

MOCA receives a $10-million gift to make admission free by Deborah Vankin

The Museum of Contemporary Art has announced that it will make admission free — a switch made possible by $10-million gift from MOCA Board of Trustees President Carolyn Powers. Powers made…

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Review: ‘Anna in the Tropics’ lights a powder keg of passion by Margaret Gray

Nilo Cruz’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Anna in the Tropics,” is set in 1929 at a cigar factory in Florida, but the Anna of the title is Anna Karenina. Tolstoy’s adulteress ne…

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Review: David Henry Hwang’s ‘M. Butterfly’ takes flight in a more gender-fluid era by Charles McNulty

Time passes, and even a contemporary classic can use a nip and tuck. David Henry Hwang, most famous for his Tony-winning 1988 play “M. Butterfly,” performed some not insignificant cosmet…

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

New in L.A. theater: Liberal politics, heavy metal and an Asian ‘Mamma Mia!’ by Philip Brandes

If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother — a bit of bumper sticker wisdom, perhaps, but on the heels of Mother’s Day it’s an apropos adage for three of this week’s selections from…

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Review: Helder Guimarães brings his philosophical magic to the Geffen by Charles McNulty

Helder Guimarães is either a magician posing as a philosopher or a philosopher posing as a magician. But however you classify him, he’s excellent company in his new show, “Invisible Tan…

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Review: In ‘Tigers Be Still’ in Anaheim, a millennial struggle to get off the couch by Margaret Gray

Kim Rosenstock, a writer for the Fox sitcom “New Girl,” launched her career with the play “Tigers Be Still,” first produced in New York in 2010. As Chance Theater’s regional premie…

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Review: 'Boxing Lessons' delivers mayhem and plot twists in a one-two punch by F. Kathleen Foley

John Bunzel may be a veteran film and television writer, but he has never wandered far from his roots in the theater, where he has been plying his trade for more than 30 years. Anyone who ha…

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This choreographer uses dance to help transgender communities feel seen by Makeda Easter

In the opening vignette of Sean Dorsey’s latest work, “Boys in Trouble,” the choreographer performs a gentle solo within the confines of a single spotlight. As he dances, his recorded …

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Ojai Youth Opera: Like ‘Glee’ for the kid who can’t get enough of Puccini by Tim Greiving

This isn’t “High School Musical.” No, the members of this young company — from 7-year-old moppets all the way up to assured 18-year-olds — say things like: “I think a lot of peop…

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

USC's dance school has its first graduates. Where do they go from here? by Makeda Easter

On Friday the 33 students who make up the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s inaugural class will graduate. More than 60% of them will leave USC employed, said Jodie Gates, the school’…

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Review: With ‘Julius Weezer,’ the Troubies conspire to wreak brainy mayhem by Daryl H. Miller

It’s 44 BC, a bit before the ides of March, and Roman citizens are in the streets singing a cheeky ode to life in the Seven Hills — to the tune of Weezer’s “Beverly Hills.” This ca…

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Herb Alpert Award names five winners who will get $75,000 each to push their art forward by Jessica Gelt

A playwright exploring the Asian American experience and a film and video artist who addresses the representation of Puerto Ricans in culture are among the five people who will receive $75,0…

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‘Hillary and Clinton’ playwright Lucas Hnath meticulously masters the messiness of life by Charles McNulty

Playwright Lucas Hnath is back on Broadway with “Hillary and Clinton,” a zesty drama on America’s most picked-apart political couple that finds Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in top f…

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New in L.A. theater: Arthur Miller, Lucas Hnath and Lauren Yee by F. Kathleen Foley

The scales are balanced between the straightforward and the offbeat in the 99-Seat Beat, our weekly recommendations for Southern California’s small stages. Arthur Miller’s “The Price…

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Review: ‘Secret Garden’ in Cerritos is bountiful but still gets lost in the weeds by Daryl H. Miller

Sniffles in the darkness. They’re a sign of success, right? Yes, but at productions of the 1991 Broadway musical “The Secret Garden,” they’re a backhanded indicator. They come only w…

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

What happens when an all-star trio gets interrupted by the couple arguing in the front row by Rick Schultz

Violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk were set to grapple with Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2 on Wednesday night at the Soraya in Northridge. The great 1944…

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How one Kwame Brathwaite photo captures the ’60s ‘Black Is Beautiful’ movement by Makeda Easter

It was the summer of 1963 when photographer Kwame Brathwaite captured a protest over Wigs Parisian, a white-owned wig shop that opened on Harlem’s 125th Street near the Apollo Theater. One…

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After two Oscars and and two Emmys, Dianne Wiest finds meaning in Beckett by Charles McNulty

“I just want to do Beckett’s ‘Happy Days’ over and over again,” Dianne Wiest declared between nibbles of a poached egg. “I don’t want to do anything else, because nothing else …

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Review: Sweeney Todd, Sondheim's throat-cutting barber, sets up shop in South Coast Rep's entertaining revival by Charles McNulty

“Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd.” These lyrics, sung throughout Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s imperishable 1979 musical, are heeded assiduously by director Kent Nicholson in a s…

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