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Igudesman & Joo have fun with Mozart, other classical dudes

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 7:30am
Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo channel comedians — and Gloria Gaynor — in their take on classical music. YouTube celebs, they're now taking their shtick on the road too.

Channeling Danny Kaye, Victor Borge, P.D.Q. Bach and other musicians-cum-comics, conservatory-trained violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo like to say that they don't make fun of classical music but rather that they have fun with classical music. After entertaining packed houses around the world, the 40-year-old YouTube celebrities return to Long Beach's Carpenter Performing Arts Center on Jan. 5. But first comes a phone call from Joo at their home base of Vienna, with Igudesman reporting in from the Dominican Republic.

Review: Tentative signs of progress in Metro's transit network design

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 6:00am
A new template for future subway and light-rail routes finds Metro moving toward a much-needed consistency, if colorlessly so.

For two decades, and especially since voters approved a $40-billion transit tax in 2008, the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has ranked among the most important patrons of public architecture in Southern California.

Carly Rae Jepsen is new 'Cinderella' on Broadway

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 11:52am
Carly Rae Jepsen is the latest reality-TV pop star who will attempt to parlay her mass appeal into Broadway dollars. The Canadian-born singer will take on the title role in the current Broadway production of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" starting Feb. 4 for a 12-week run at the Broadway Theatre in New York.

Is maestro Valery Gergiev being scapegoated for Russia's anti-gay laws?

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 6:00am
Critic's Notebook: Valery Gergiev is venerated by many as Russia's greatest living conductor and vilified by others for his silence on Moscow's anti-gay legislation.

Valery Gergiev is the major conductor today for whom the most superlatives apply.

Baddie role in 'Peter and the Starcatcher' hooked John Sanders

Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:00am
John Sanders steals the show as the dashing, malaprop-dropping Black Stache in 'Starcatcher,' now at the Ahmanson. He dishes on improvisation, the physicality of the show, and a certain Captain.

During his working hours, John Sanders sports a Groucho Marx mustache that looks like it has been applied with an extra wide black marker. The actor portrays the dashing, malaprop-dropping, always-hopping villain Black Stache in "Peter and the Starcatcher," now on national tour at the Ahmanson Theatre through Jan. 12.

MOCAtv's Art + Comedy venture aims to leave 'em laughing, artfully

Sat, 12/28/2013 - 1:00pm
The museum's YouTube channel has big goals for Art + Comedy, merging stars like Jack Black with artists like Jibz Cameron.

Jack Black is sitting on a ratty basement couch in his underwear. His fleshy belly spills over the elastic band, and he's emanating a profoundly foul odor.

Moving sound to anywhere but the concert hall

Sat, 12/28/2013 - 12:00pm
Critic's Notebook: Sound art exhibitions were popular in 2013. Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan sounded off, as did L.A.'s Union Station and elsewhere.

NEW YORK — This has been the season of the concert hall. The one named after Walt Disney turned 10. How that venue has revolutionized musical life in L.A. and beyond has been the subject of much consideration. Though the economy bubbles and bursts, this great space, having lost none of its contemporary luster, continues to inspire an international concert hall building boom.

Art review: Adam Silverman's 'Clay and Space' is vessel for inquiry

Sat, 12/28/2013 - 8:30am
Adam Silverman collapses clay pots and buildings in 'Clay and Space,' a provocative installation at Laguna Art Museum.

Before he became a potter, setting aside a longtime hobby for full-time engagement, Adam Silverman trained and practiced as an architect. Clay vessels and buildings are significantly different, in myriad obvious ways. But Silverman sometimes collapses the two in surprising and provocative installations.

Marvin Hamlisch, musical multi-tasker, is remembered in a documentary

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 11:36am
The composer-conductor is subject of 'Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love.' He and his songs for theater ('A Chorus Line') and film ('The Way We Were') are recalled by the likes of Barbra Streisand.

Marvin Hamlisch was a 6-year-old prodigy when he was accepted into the Juilliard School of Music. He went on to train intensively with the goal of becoming the next great classical pianist. But Hamlisch ultimately decided to play a different tune, a popular one.

Faces to Watch 2014: Art | Anne Ellegood, Phillip K. Smith III, Gabriel Kuri

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 11:00am
Art watchers in L.A. will be catching sight of installation artist Phillip K. Smith III, sculptor and collage artist Gabriel Kuri and curator Anne Ellegood.

The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here’s who they picked:

Faces to Watch 2014: Theater | Taraji P. Henson, Ayad Akhtar, Annette Bening

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 10:30am
Annette Bening performs Ruth Draper monologues, Ayad Akhtar premieres his next play and Taraji P. Henson stars in 'Above the Fold'

The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here’s who they picked:

Faces to Watch 2014: Classical music | Yotam Haber, Sunny Yang and more

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 10:00am
Classical music lovers in L.A. this year will witness appearances by such emerging artists as composer Yotam Haber, pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, cellist Sunny Yang and vocalists Profeti della Quinta.

The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here’s who they picked:

Faces to Watch 2014: Dance | Josie Walsh, Melissa Barak and more

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 9:30am
L.A. natives Josie Walsh and Melissa Barak, memories of August Bournonville, and the outspoken Nikolai Tsiskaridze are dance faces to watch in 2014.

The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here’s who they picked:

Faces to Watch 2014: Classical music | Philippe Jaroussky

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 7:30am
French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, set to stop at Disney Hall in February, talks about performing in the U.S. and his fascination with Farinelli.

Countertenors are a decidedly acquired taste — men who are trained to sing in the manner of women, or more accurately, in the style of the castrati, those singers hundreds of years ago who were castrated at a young age to preserve their boyish voices.

A chance to hear St. Louis Symphony's New Year's Eve surprise

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 10:30am
It has been a number of years since the members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic pulled New Year’s Eve duty, and none of them seem to be complaining about having the likes of Pink Martini, or this year, Sergio Mendes, take over at Walt Disney Concert Hall for the evening. Most orchestra musicians find a light-hearted holiday celebration a thankless chore when they’d rather be celebrating themselves.

L.A. theater openings, Dec. 29-Jan. 5: 'Abe Lincoln's Piano' debuts

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 10:00am
Brian Childers steps into the shoes of a legendary song-and-dance man, a new theater company steps up to the plate with the baseball-themed "Take Me Out," and Hershey Felder steps back in time to 19th-century America in a new show at the Geffen.

Brian Dennehy to do benefit show for L.A. County Arts High School

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 9:00am
Brian Dennehy will be extending his current L.A. run by one performance -- not in Sebastian Barry’s “The Steward of Christendom” at the Mark Taper Forum, which closes Jan. 5, but in a Jan. 6 benefit for the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, in which he’ll be surrounded by family.