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Cultural Events- LA- July 30 and 31

This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail includes a dash of Calypso, an apertif at the Old Mill, and an infusion of Rachmaninov- Enjoy!

Saturdays Off the 405- July 30 6 pm – 9 pm

Songwriter Lord Huron’s Afro-Caribbean percussion and Calypso-inspired music. Free Spotlight after Dark tours in the galleries at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Getty Center. 1200 Getty Center Drive. LA, CA. 90049. (310) 440-7300 

Cal Phil at the Mill.

July 30: 8:00 P.M.

An evening of chamber music under the stars in the Pomegranate Patio of San Marino’s historic Old Mill

1120 Old Mill Road, San Marino, CA, United States, 91108.  626.449.5458

http://www.old-mill.org/index.asp

Pianist Roger Wright

Sunday, July 31- 6 pm- LACMA- Free- No Reservations

Rachmaninoff: Prelude in D major, Opus 23 No. 4, Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit, Frederic Rzewski: Down by the Riverside, and Mily Balakirev: Islamey, an Oriental Fantasy. Bing Theater. LACMA• 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA,

http://www.lacma.org/

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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 be played by a woman. With a small frame and intense, red-rimmed eyes, Ms. Marshall illustrated that the true source of Richard III’s power emanated from his cunning speech and a knack for manipulation. Marshall elicited sympathy for the murderous monarch not only through her constant limp, but more importantly via the edgy humor that she brought to the role. Marshall’s appealing underdog Richard III is akin to the archetypal schoolyard outcast who through sheer force of determination (and sarcastic zingers) manages to court the most popular girl, topple the In Crowd, and get the audience to root for him. Marshall’s comedic delivery of the line in Act I “Was ever woman in this humor wooed?” (after Richard’s brazen courting of Lady Anne at her husband’s funeral) added lightness to Richard’s realization of his dark powers. The casting of the tall Christopher W. Jones as Buckingham was a brilliant choice; the diminutive Richard bossing around the hulking Buckingham underscored Richard’s rhetorical and manipulative prowess.

One scene that humorously embodied Richard’s capacity for mind games occurred during Act III, when Richard “reluctantly” accepts his subjects’ pleas to be their ruler. Through this scene Marshall conveyed Richard’s talent for reverse psychology, another tool in his arsenal of manipulation. With Catesby, Buckingham, and the cast kneeling below him on the balcony, Richard protests innocently, “Why would you heap these cares on me/I am unfit for state and dignity.” The comedy of the scene was further depicted as the murderous Richard posed piously between two clergymen, holding a book of prayer. The gesture was especially biting in today’s world, a salient commentary on the hypocrisy of politicians who don the cloak of religion as a mantle to seduce the masses.

The entire cast of Ellen Geer’s production, from the precocious children playing Richard’s young nephews to the booming oracle, Queen Margaret (played by Earnestine Phillips), to the guilt-ridden Second Executioner of Clarence (Dylan Booth Vigus) added to the narrative’s vivacity . At one point, the wrapped bloody head of Hastings is tossed around like a football. Political battles are often a sport. With Marshall’s interpretation of Richard III, we don’t focus on the fact that he was more morally reprehensible than anyone else. What we realize is that in the bloody match of Team Lancaster Versus Team York, the glib-tongued Richard III was just better at the game.

Photo by IAN FLANDERS: Melora Marshall as Richard III, Willow Geer as Lady Anne

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In the news: in honor of artist’s Alexander Calder- a Google doodle

In honor of the birthday mobile sculptor inventor, Alexander Calder, play with a Calder-like mobile. The moving mobile will appear on Google search today Friday July 22. The left side of the interactive mobile reminds me of a hungry plant from the Little Shop of Horrors: “Feed Me!”

Before becoming an artist, Mr. Calder studied engineering. According to the Calder Foundation, one of the most profound experiences in Mr. Calder’s life occurred when he was working as a fireman on a Ship’s Boiler Room. When he awoke one day (on a ship heading from New York to San Francisco) he saw both a radiant sunrise and a resplendent full moon. At that moment the ship lay off the coast of Guatemala, and Calder could see each striking vista on opposite horizons. What an incredible sight that must have been…

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A Liszt of cultural events in LA this weekend- July 22nd and 23rd

This week’s cultural cocktail includes: a dash of Romanticism, a twist of Mullholland Drive, and a morsel of Parisian luxury- oh la la!

Piano Performance: Angels and Demons: Liszt and the Arts

Fri. July 22- 7:00 p.m.

Tatiana Thibodeaux. Held in the 20th-century gallery. Norton Simon Museum of Art.411 W. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91105 626.449.6840 http://www.nortonsimon.org/

Mulholland Drive  Sat July 23- 7:30 P.M

Directed by David Lynch and starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Robert Forrester and Ann Miller.

Bing Theater. LACMA• 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA, 90036 To purchase tickets, call: 323 857-6010  Or Visit: http://www.lacma.org/


Paris: Life and Luxury

closing August 7th

Getty Center.

1200 Getty Center Dr. LA, CA 90049

(310) 440-7300 http://www.getty.edu


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Strange Love: the berserk engagement of Richard Strauss

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Some men plan a midnight stroll by the beach. Others a calm picnic under stars…

Richard Strauss‘ engagement to temperamental soprano Pauline de Ahna involved: 1. being shrieked at by a soprano, having a musical score thrown at his head, and ducking flying objects

Elizabeth Lundy, in her book, Secret Lives of Great Composers, reports that after being conducted by Strauss in an opera rehearsal, Miss Diva Pauline went ballistic over a difference of opinion over tempo.

“Pauline threw her score at Strauss’s head…the entire orchestra tiptoed.. so they could listen to the screaming, shrieking, and occasional thuds as objects flew around the room… The musicians announced that in respect for their conductor and in protest of Pauline’s outrageous behavior, they would refuse to participate in any further production in which Fraulein de Ahna had a role.

“That distresses me,” said Strauss, “as I have just become engaged to Fraulein de Ahna.”

[The Secret Lives of Great Composers, 183]

I hope that Strauss threw Miss Pauline a nice derangement, I mean, engagement party.

To the left, Pauline de Ahna, who rather resembles a Viking warrior                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

“Fear my wrath, Strauss If you mess up my tempo, I will kill you.No, I will MARRY You.”

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4-Oh-5 Things to do during Carmageddon weekend

Angelenos

Do not fear.  

The end of days

is not near.


CULTURAL COCKTAIL is the antidote to mass hysteria 
Here are ways to spend your weekend away from the 405 (yes, the Getty Brentwood is closed)

5.  Check out Vermeer at the Norton Simon on loan from the Metropolitan Museum

http://www.nortonsimon.org/

4.  Relax in the gardens at the Old Mill to the strains of the Cal Philharmonic

http://www.calphil.org/concerts/more-concerts-events/old-mill/

3. See some tranquil Pre-Raphaelite ladies at the Huntington

http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary_02.aspx?id=9450

2. Watch ballerinas dance to Shostakovich at the Music Center.

http://www.musiccenter.org/

1. Breathe.

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Fusion Fridays at Pacific Asia Museum


Glistening laterns, pulsing Panamanian calypso beats, a quiet space upstairs to paint your own tea cup,  a man in a seersucker suit donning rabbit ears and nibbling on a carrot: this is not a psychedelic dream; it was the Mad Green Tea Party at the Pacific Asia Museum.

There is one more Fusion Fridays party left, on August 19.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.pacificasiamuseum.org/_events_calendar/series.aspx

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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 information on upcoming Southwest Chamber Music concerts at the Huntington this summer, please call:

626.685.4455 or visit:

http://www.swmusic.org/home/home.html

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In the News: San Francisco art heist: “The Preppy Sockless Picasso Thief”

Who: Preppy Sockless Picasso Thief

What: Steals Picasso 1962 sketch ““Tête de femme,” valued at $275,000 before heading to party in Napa

Where: San Francisco’s Weinstein Gallery at Geary and Powell Streets

When: Tuesday the 5th of July

The man calmly removed the sketch from the wall of the gallery, wrapped it newspaper, and then walked out into the crowds at Union Square.

The brazen Picasso pilferer then hopped into a taxi, carefree as a lark, to join friends at a party in Napa, before being caught by police, who had caught his image from a security camera at a restaurant near the gallery.

For more on the story, please read:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/08/MNC41K7JHQ.DTL

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In the News: Vitamin D deficiency may have contributed to Mozart’s death

According to an article in Live Science, the lack of sunlight-induced Vitamin D may have contributed to Mozart’s young demise. The authors of the study surmise that the Vitamin D deficiency could have made the composer more susceptible to a plethora of infections during the winter.

According to the authors of the study,

Mozart did much of his composing at night, so would have slept during much of the day. At the latitude of Vienna, 48 degrees N, it is impossible to make vitamin D from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance for about 6 months of the year. Mozart died on December 5, 1791, two to three months into the vitamin D winter.”

The researchers include: D. William Grant, of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, and Stefan Pilz of the Medical University of Graz in Austria

For the full Live Science article, “Mozart’s Death was written in the Key of (Vitamin) D,”

please see:

http://www.livescience.com/14925-mozart-death-vitamin.html

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