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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Theater Review: A Noise Within’s “Desire Under the Elms,”- a MUST-SEE production

Electricity in Pasadena: A Noise Within’s “Desire Under The Elms” By Leticia Marie Sanchez For those in Los Angeles without power, head straight to A Noise Within’s “Desire Under The Elms,” the riveting production has all the electricity you need, and then some. Pasadena is no stranger to the works of Nobel Prize-winning American playwright Eugene O’ Neil. In 1928, the Pasadena Community Playhouse staged the world premiere of O’ Neil’s Lazarus Laughed. Directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, A Noise Within’s current, explosive production of Eugene O’ Neil’s Desire Under The Elms brings rawness to a narrative rooted in the myth of Euripides’ Hippolytus. It is a story steeped in ego, revenge, desire and the nature of human beings themselves. The strength of this production lies in the talent of its cast. William Dennis Hunt powerfully interprets the role of “tough

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Eugene Onegin

tatianas-bath

Opera Review: The Visual Poetry of LA Opera’s “Eugene Onegin” by Leticia Marie Sanchez “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.” During LA Opera’s psychologically profound production of Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” red skies foreshadowed emotional storms, from the passion-red sky faced by Tatiana the morning after she wrote her feverish note to Onegin to the blazing landscape faced by Lensky on the morning of his fateful duel. LA Opera’s production masterfully captured the poetic spirit of Tchaikovsky’s opera, bringing the interior life of Alexander Pushkin’s characters to the foreground through sumptuous visual poetry. This beloved masterpiece has never before been performed at LA Opera. Its debut on Saturday night led by James Conlon was nothing short of world class. The visually stunning production was originally created in 2006 by the late director

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ARIA’s Opening Night Festivities at LA OPERA- From Russia with Love

ARIA’s Opening Night Festivities at LA Opera: From Russia With Love All text and Photography © 2011 By Leticia Marie Sanchez At LA Opera’s ARIA’s White Night party, chaired by actress and singer-songwriter Emmy Rossum a vivacious fur-capped hostess floated around the dance floor bearing divine desserts. As James Bond would say, from Russia With Love. The Maestro himself, Placido Domingo, appeared at the ARIA party to introduce the talented artists behind the production of Eugene Onegin including:conductor James Conlon,Stage Director Francesca Gilpin, and Lighting Designer Peter Mumford. Additionally, the party goers met the stars of Eugene Onegin including: Dalibor Jenis (Eugene Onegin), Oksana Dyka (Tatiana), Vsevolod Grinov (Lensky), Ekaterina Semenchuk (Olga), James Creswell (Prince Germin), Ronnita Nicole Miller (Filipievna), and Keith Jameson (Monsieur Triquet). The Über-talented Oksana Dyka (third from Left, below) whose performance as Tatiana brought down the opera house with multiple standing

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Review: Itzhak Perlman and Beethoven at the Hollywood Bowl

By Leticia Marie Sanchez The program notes for Tuesday’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl included a 1920 quotation from Italian musician and conductor Ferrucio Busoni, “With Beethoven humanity enters into music for the first time.” Busoni’s postulate also holds true for the humanistic performance of violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman who led the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s in an all-Beethoven program including Romance No. 1 in G Major, Romance No. 2 in F. Major, Symphony No. 8 in F Major, and Symphony No. 5. The indefatigable Mr. Perlman had the dual role of violist and conductor at Tuesday’s magnificent performance. Mr. Perlman’s sensitive interpretation of Beethoven had guts, soul, and heart. As a conductor, Maestro Perlman is easily the best one to have graced the stage of the Hollywood Bowl for his talent in bringing out the best in each individual member

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Review: Rooting for the villain- the seductive powers of Richard III at Theatricum Botanicum

Rooting for the villain: the seductive powers of Richard III at Theatricum Botanicum By Leticia Marie Sanchez Nestled in a wooded glen, underneath the evening stars and accompanied by the hypnotic hum of crickets, Topanaga Canyon’s Theatricum Botanicum adds a dose of magic to Shakespeare. The outdoor Globe-like theater simultaneously infuses the Bard with reality and wonder. The march of Richard III’s army down dark, forest-like hills conveys a dimension of realism and immediacy that cannot be matched by an enclosed venue. Similarly, the towering loft used during the Tower of London murder scene enhanced the mysterious mood. The vast verdant set suspended the audience’s disbelief, as did the cast of talented actors in the Theatricum’s production of Richard III. On Saturday night’s performance, Melora Marshall starred as the protean protagonist, triumphantly suspending the audience’s disbelief that the Machiavellian king could

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Mozart at Crepuscule: Southwest Chamber Music at the Huntington- July 9-August 21

Mozart at Crepuscule All Text and Photography © 2011 Leticia Marie Sanchez Last night marked the opening weekend for the Grammy Award -Winning Southwest Chamber Music‘s Summer Festival at the Huntington. While Lorenz Gamma, Shalini Vijayan, Jan Karlin, Luke Maurer, and Peter Jacobson performed String Quintet No. 1 in B flat major, K.174  and String Quintet No 2 in C Major, K.515  by Mozart and Chanson d’orage for Two Violins by Alexandra Du Bois, audience members sat in the loggia or picnicked on the grounds of the Huntington Museum which is rarely open at night. The Huntington at dusk resembled an estate in an Evelyn Waugh novel- with a dash of mystery— As the crepuscule fell and the silver moon rose, the viola’s voice and the cello’s crescendo created a true midsummer’s night dream. The soft light warmed the profiles of ancient heroes.. For

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All the World’s a Stage: William Leavitt’s “Theater Objects” at MOCA

All the World’s A Stage: William Leavitt’s Theater Objects at MOCA By Leticia Marie Sanchez All photography© MOCA All the world’s a stage, all the men and women merely players. Nowhere does Shakespeare’s expression hold more true than at William Leavitt’s Theater Objects at MOCA. Walking into the exhibition one hears the constant chirping of birds and the flow of cool air. Are we in a jungle? A theme park? On the set of a play? Leavitt’s engaging exhibition interacts with its audience, causing the museumgoer to constantly question where he or she stands. Co-curated by MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson and Ann Goldstein, former MOCA senior curator and director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, William Leavitt: Theater Objects represents the first solo museum exhibition and retrospective of the artist’s 40-year career. The exhibit showcases approximately 90 works from 1969

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Review: The Real Housewife of Düsseldorf County—Clara Schumann

The Real Housewife of Düsseldorf County—Clara Schumann Israela Margalit’s “Trio,” currently playing at the Lounge 2 Theater in Hollywood, offers a window into the artistic triangle between Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, and Johannes Brahms. Maragalit, a concert pianist, tied the play together with her own recorded compositions of Schumann, Brahms, and Beethoven. Photo: From Left- Bjørn Johnson, Meghan Maureen Mc Donough. Jeremy Shranko Meghan Maureen Mc Donough played the grim, subdued Clara Schumann, a once famous concert pianist repressed as a housewife cooking beans. Mc Donough’s Clara was a woman drained by years of belittlement by an insecure husband who would toss cruel jabs at her, including, “Those who can’t compose, play.”Her father, dynamically portrayed by Peter Colburn, bemoaned the wasting of Clara’s life. Bjørn Johnson, captured Robert Schumann’s madness with pathos, particularly when he called out in the asylum for his beloved

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Review: Young Director’s Night at LACMA

Review: Young Director’s Night at LACMA by Leticia Marie Sanchez On March 5, LACMA Muse presented its 10th Annual Young Director’s Night. Six talented young directors presented a wide range of creative films. Left. Sylvia Sether’s “Overdrawn.” Winner of the Art of Film Award Cat Youell’s “The Mischievous Case of Cordelia Botkin” brought to light a true story episode from 19th century San Francisco history (death by chocolate) with charm and humor.  Sylvia Sether’s “Overdrawn,” (and winner of the Fourth Art of Film Award) exhibited comedic chops and timing in its depiction of a single bank teller pushed to the edge. Jordan Bloch’s “Underdogs,” created unsettling tension as a bounty hunter wreaked havoc amongst diners in a roadside restaurant. Left. “House of Olive Trees” directed by Thouly Dosiois Thouly Dosiois’ beautifully shot “House of the Olive Trees,” set in Greece,

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Review: -Must See- Tennessee Williams puts the fun in dysfunctional at the Fountain Theater

Tennessee Williams puts the fun in dysfunctional at the Fountain Theater ©2011 by Leticia Marie Sanchez The Fountain Theatre’s “A House Not Meant To Stand” deserves a standing ovation.  The dynamic cast, its Gothic set spewing forth leaks, and the darkly wry barbs of Tennessee Williams added up to a riveting performance of Williams’ “spook Southern Gothic spook sonata.” From Virginia Newcomb’s rapturous ecstasies as born-again Christian Stacey to Lisa Richards’ slithering portrayal of Jessie Sykes to Daniel Billet’s sensitive portrayal of a protective son, the entire cast brought William’s last play to life. Most strikingly, Sandy Martin fully inhabited the character of Bella Mc Corkle: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Although the play brimmed with zesty zingers, Martin poignantly captured Bella’s confusion and maternal loss with unsettling realism. Martin grounded the play as a spiritual anchor during literal and figurative

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