Category Archives: Literature

Northanger Abbey: Jane Austen’s Classic Novel with Puppets at the Broad Stage

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

BoxTale4_639x426A very reserved and slightly curious procession with a chest of objects to the stage heralded the opening of Box Tale Soup’s adapted version of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, featuring handmade puppets and an almost exact dialog replication of the novel itself.

As shows accompanied by puppets go this one was no less charming, although much more quiet in temperament and delivery, than anything I’ve seen this year at the Broad or anywhere with any company in Los Angeles.  Appropriate for all ages, it’s definitely more entertaining looking at it through a child’s eyes. And that is my suggestion: bring your children.  And if you are attending as an adult on your own, go forth with an openness to sweetness and possibility.

Viewing at first was a bit difficult.  The Edye is small and seating a bit less raked than I’d like, but that didn’t stop magic from happening throughout the evening.

It is classic storytelling with themes of conflict between marriage for love and marriage for property, the banality of partner selection, and life as fiction.  But not to worry.  As deep as that may sound, there is plenty more then just “rational happiness” and frustration to be experienced in this production.  It is true love Edwardian style, absolutely darling with a little bit of self-made thriller thrown in.

Northanger Abbey, as a historical point of reference was the first of Jane Austen’s novels to be completed for publication, though she had previously made a start on Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.  It tells the story of the young, naive and unlikely heroine Catherine Morland who starts off as a tomboy, grows up to be a pretty girl and has a particular fascination with Gothic novels and melodrama. She is introduced into Society at Bath by her wealthy neighbors where she falls in love quite spontaneously with a dashing Henry Tilney who always seems to be out of reach.  Catherine, additionally, is thwarted at nearly every turn, by the wealth-hunting, spouse-chasing, brother and sister team, Isabella and John Thorpe, who befriend Catherine and her brother James, and keep her mostly occupied to their will until they discover that Catherine’s family is not as rich as they would prefer.  But she manages to finally get an invitation from Tilney’s younger sister to visit Northanger Abbey where she secretly hopes for a romantic connection with Henry.  It’s touch and go for Catherine who humorously and disastrously lets her overactive imagination get the best of her while visiting the Abbey.  Mistaken assumptions on both sides, for a variety of reasons, end in her being abruptly sent home. But just when all her illusions of Tilney are shattered and her destiny sidetracked, he comes back with a rescue.

“Fate manages to throw a Hero in her path and all is well.”

Storytelling comes so much more alive when puppetry is involved and in the oddest way, closer to reality.  And actors Antonia Christopher and Noel Byrne as they interact with and opposite their creations, are delightful in every way.

The length of this production and the lack of a much needed pause or intermission, are the only decided drawbacks.  I found myself fidgeting (luckily way in the back where no one could be disturbed by my restlessness) for a quicker ending.  But as all was well with our story, so was it with the world and the play.  It’s still a recommend.

BoxTale1_426x426There are 5 performances left:

Friday, December 12 @ 8pm

Saturday, December 13 @ 5pm and 8pm

Sunday, December 14 @ 2pm and 5pm

General Admission. Prices vary by performance.

Visit:  www.thebroadstage.com or call the Box Office at 310.434.3200

The Broad Stage is located at 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401.  Parking is FREE.

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Graffiti

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On September 8th, Daniel Gennaoui posted on his Twitter account the best combined with  .  We couldn’t agree more.  Big things really do come in small packages.  In this case, big graffiti art ideas. Talk about “taking it to the street!”

 The little details are by far the most important. ~Sherlock Holmes

Follow Daniel for more really great ideas:

@DanielGennaoui

Wildlife, Extreme Sports and Street Art lover. Part-time guitarist. Niume Founder.  @Niume_official  …  London · niume.com

Bellydance Evolution: “Alice in Wonderland” World Fusion Dance

The Magical Tale ReImagined Through Theatrical World Fusion Dance

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Step into the world of Alice in Wonderland as Bellydance Evolution brings this classic tale to life through world fusion and Middle Eastern dance. Under the artistic direction of international belly dance sensation Jillina, the cast will meld Middle Eastern dance and music, break dance, theatrical hip hop, contemporary dance, fusion and tribal dance, for a journey into wonderland. The storyline will unfold to the sounds of an original score composed by Paul Dinletir and the live beats of Ozzy Ashkenazi.

Friday, August 1 @ 8:30 p.m.
John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068

buy-tickets-now

Uniting Eastern and Western Culture with Middle Eastern,
Hip Hop, Contemporary, Tribal, and Acrobatic Dance

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Founded in 2009 by world renowned choreographer Jillina Carlano, the company presents a revolutionary approach to the whimsical and magical tale, reimagining the colorful, iconic and – dare we say – “mad” characters through the language of world fusion dance. The dance company takes a revolutionary approach to the art of belly dance, presenting theatrical dance shows with a storyline, much like a ballet. The show features a cast of 20 international artists from diverse backgrounds in Middle Eastern dance and music, break dance, theatrical hip hop, contemporary, tribal and fusion dance, each bringing their own unique vision to the production.

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Bellydance Evolution has performed to sold out crowds in over twenty different countries spanning North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The company was featured at the 2012 Mawazine festival in Morocco, where it performed for the Queen of Morocco. With the success of its residency program, Bellydance Evolution has established ensemble company members in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Bellydance Evolution’s “Alice in Wonderland” takes you on a magical journey filled with spinning mushrooms, dancing caterpillars and a charismatically acrobatic rabbit all set to an original and theatrical soundtrack. Based on Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, the performance is appropriate for all ages.

Ticket prices start at $18; discount tickets available for full-time students with ID and children 12 and under. Purchase by July 26 and save! Tickets are available at FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673 (for non-visual media 323 GO 1-FORD). To learn about discounts for groups of 8 or more, please call 323 461-3673.

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ABOUT THE FORD THEATRES

The Ford Theatres are located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway between Hollywood Blvd and Barham Blvd in the Cahuenga Pass. The grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking. The Ford offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages is available on site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink.

The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request. On site, stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle for evening shows and $1 per vehicle for morning family shows. FREE nonstacked parking serviced by a FREE shuttle to the Ford, for evening amphitheatre performances only, is available at the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station parking lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. The shuttle, which cycles every 15-20 minutes, stops in the “kiss and ride” area. Please allow an extra 30 minutes if taking the shuttle.

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This event is part of the Ford Theatres 2014 summer amphitheatre season, a multidisciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County based arts organizations. A complete season schedule, directions to the amphitheatre and parking information can be found at FordTheatres.org.

Bellydance Evolution was created with a mission to unite Eastern and Western culture through dance and this intention is evident in the works of the company through their education and residency programs. Together, these initiatives celebrate the dynamic aesthetics of world fusion dance, culture and creativity, by sharing the joy of dance with all communities.
With the success of a residency program, Bellydance Evolution has established ensemble company members in the USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  In addition to this specialized performance program, principal cast members offer seminars that are open to all people in the community, giving dancers and non-dancers alike an opportunity to learn about this diverse and important cultural art form from accomplished masters in the field.

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Jillina Carlano, Founder, Executive/Artistic Director (The Queen of Hearts) is a performer, master instructor, choreographer, director and producer, Jillina has devoted her life to dance.  Jillina pulls from a strong dance background in Middle Eastern, folklore, jazz, ballet, and hip hop to create a colorful Middle Eastern fusion repertoire. She travels extensively, teaching seminars and performing in concerts worldwide.  Jillina has co-produced 12 instructional DVDs, which are now offered in five different languages and distributed by Universal Records. In the summer of 2009 and 2010, Jillina was the first American to be invited as a featured performer in the prestigious closing gala at the Ahlan Wa Sahlan festival in Egypt.  Jillina is the owner of Evolution Dance Studios, located in Universal City, California, USA.

Paul Dinletir, Music Composer, is the co-founder of and lead composer for “audiomachine”, a boutique motion picture music production house, specializing in original music and sound design for the high-end trailer market. To create his signature sound, Paul records with the world’s top orchestras and musicians in exclusive spaces such as Skywalker Ranch and Air Studios of London. He has composed exclusive music for blockbuster campaigns such as The Hobbit, Avatar, Life of Pi, Hunger Games, 300 and Snow White and the Huntsman.  In creating original scores for Bellydance Evolution, Paul composes and records an emotional, dramatic soundtrack. He works side by side with the artistic director to bring the show to life and is an integral part of the creative process.

 

Happy Birthday Will! Celebrate Shakespeare in Long Beach, CA

Shakespeare

William Shakespeare will officially be 450 years old on April 23rd, 2014.  The man who brought us “To be or not to be,” “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo,” “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes,” and so many other phrases that live on the tips of our tongues, is someone to celebrate! 

He coined over 1,700 new words — among them: majestic, champion, amazement, discontent, premeditated, bedroom, advertising, compromise, impartial, laughable, excitement, and so on…and on… and on! He created immortal lovers who fill us with passion, inspiring heroes who urge us to action or warn us against haste, and clowns that show us our own follies.

In 2000, he was voted The Man of the Millennium!

For the rest of the month here are a few events presented by the Long Beach Theatre Company that you can attend to celebrate the spirit of the bard.

lbsc-logoApril 18 and 19— Two half-hour old-time radio shows, both performed with live music and sound effects. 

Gunsmoke episode: “Shakespeare”—From 1952, a good story about a crazed Shakespearean actor who commits murder during a Kansas heat wave. 

“Mister Shakespeare”—From 1948, a story about what MIGHT happen if the greatest of all playwrights could come out of the past to work for a modern motion picture studio.

The Bard 450 years April 23— The Official Birthday. In partnership with World Book Night U.S., LBSC will give away a FREE copy of the Shakespeare Sonnets to each person in attendance. The actors will perform selected sonnets, followed by a reception with cake and beverages to celebrate Shakespeare’s birth!

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April 25 and 26— Richard Armour’s Twisted Tales From Shakespeare. A parody of serious lectures on the Bard. 

April 27 —LBSC presents the final event of Shakespeare Month. FREE! Louis Fantasia, Director of Shakespeare at the Huntington Library and former Director of the Shakespeare Globe Centre’s Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance Institute from 1997 to 2002, presents “King Lear or Survivor—Tragedy in The Age of Oprah.” 

At the Richard Goad Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Ave. in Long Beach.

Sunday performances at 2 pm; all others at 8 pm.

Tickets and info at LBShakespeare.org or 562-997-1494.

Record Number of California Counties To Participate This Year in “Poetry Out Loud”

Poetry Out LoudThis year, 40 thousand students, a record number, will  be represented in the Captiol for the California Poetry Out Loud state finals slated to take place on March 23rd and 24th in Sacramento, CA.

“Poetry Out Loud engages thousands of California’s high school students, helping them to build self-confidence, master the art of public speaking, and learn to love the written word,” said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. “This year, we’re proud to partner with thirty-five counties across California, making this our largest Poetry Out Loud State Final to date.”

In  outstanding participation, high school students analyzed, memorized and recited their poems in California. Only a few dozen, however, will stand on the state Senate floor for the competition finals.

Nationwide, Poetry Out Loud has grown every year. More than 365,000 students participated in 2013. And California features the largest, most exciting competition of all! Join theFacebook group to follow all the action.

Judges include California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera,  Filmmaker Christopher Coppola, and Poet and Arts Leader Frances Phillips

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The California Poetry Out Loud competition takes place on Sunday, March 23 (Round 1) and Monday, March 24 (Round 2 and Round 3). The events on Monday will take place in the state Senate Chamber and be recorded by the multi-media staff in the Senate and televised and/or webcast live on the California Channel (http://www.calchannel.com).

The Arts Council’s 2014 California Poetry Out Loud state finals are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Hewlett Foundation and are expected to be standing-room only, based on the excitement generated statewide and attendance in previous years.

Participating Counties

Finalists from the following counties are expected to compete in the state Capitol: Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba. (Other counties participated in the program but do not have a county winner to send to the finals.)

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About Poetry Out Loud

The Poetry Out Loud State Finals is California’s culminating competition between county winners who have shown their merit in the classroom, school, district, and county (a pyramid competition structure similar to the spelling bee). The California Poetry Out Loud champion will win $200 from the NEA and go on to compete in Washington, DC in April, with the winner’s school receiving $500 for poetry books. The California runner-up receives $100 from the NEA, with his or her school receiving $200 for books. At stake for the national finals is approximately $50,000 in scholarships and related winnings.

Public Attendance

As space will be limited, members of the public interested in attending the competition should contact Poetry Out Loud coordinator Kristin Margolis at kmargolis@arts.ca.gov. More general information, including a list of poems the students may choose to recite, can be found at www.arts.ca.gov/poetryoutloud/.

About the Judges

Christopher Coppola is the Director of the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute and a member of the California Arts Council. As President of Christopher R. Coppola Enterprises, Christopher Coppola has been a champion of, and leader in, digital media for over a decade. Since 1987 he has directed eight feature films and numerous television shows as well as developing and producing content for alternative distribution and interactive platforms. He is a member of the prolific Coppola family.  Coppola is deeply committed to education. His educational initiatives include helping to build a High Definition Research Laboratory at the San Francisco Art Institute, Coppola’s alma mater. The state-of-the-art lab provides equipment for shooting, editing and viewing, enabling students and visiting artists to discover new, artistic uses for high definition technology.

Juan Felipe Herrera was appointed California Poet Laureate by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on March 21, 2012. Mr. Herrera is the author of twenty-nine books in various genres including children’s books, young adult novels, stories and poetry, and currently serves as serves as Professor of poetry in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. He was a professor and chair of Chicano and Latin American Studies at California State University, Fresno, from 1990 to 2004. Herrera’s work has received wide critical acclaim including numerous national and international awards.

Frances Phillips is program director for arts and the Creative Work Fund at the Walter and Elise Haas Fund in San Francisco. Prior to her foundation work, Phillips was executive director of Intersection for the Arts (1986-94)-San Francisco’s oldest alternative arts space-and director and assistant director of the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San SACRAMENTO – Francisco State University (1980-86). She teaches Creative Writing and Grantwriting at San Francisco State University. Phillips is the author of three small press books of poetry from Kelsey Street Press and Hanging Loose Press. She served as a reviewer and poetry review editor for The Hungry Mind Review and also has published book reviews in Montemora, Poetry Flash, The San Jose Mercury News, The Washington Post, and other publications. With Stan Hutton, she co-authored The Nonprofit Kit for Dummies (fourth edition published in November 2013). Last year, she interviewed Margaret Atwood and Jamaica Kincaid on stage for City Arts & Lectures of San Francisco.

New York Theatre Ballet Announces The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies

Alice-in-Wonderland follies

“Imagine a totally unwired world and the impact of so much visual richness on the children in it. Then unplug a 21st century kid, and head for the Gould…”- The Village Voice

New York Theatre Ballet announces The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies choreographed by Keith Michael at New York City’s Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, New York City.

Follow Alice’s adventures through Wonderland as she meets some of the most beloved characters in children’s literature.

Presented in a vaudeville setting (NY circa 1915) this eclectic ballet draws on many different dance forms – from Irish step dancing to African Jubba to classical ballet.  The ballet features sets by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith and costumes by Sylvia Taalshon Nolan, Resident Costume Designer of the Metropolitan opera.

Performances:

Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 1pm

Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm

Tickets are $39 and are available at online at www.nytb.org, via Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787, or in-person at the Florence Gould Hall box office.

For more information, contact the Florence Gould Hall box office at (212) 355-6160.

The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies is part of NYTB’s Once Upon a Ballet series.  Other ballets in the Once Upon a Ballet series include:

Cinderella

March 1-2, 2014 at 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm

Carnival of the Animals & Sleeping Beauty’s Wedding

May 3, 2014 at 1pm, May 4 at 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm

ABOUT NEW YORK THEATRE BALLET

New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB), founded in 1978 by artistic director Diana Byer, is the most widely seen chamber ballet company in the United States and has been hailed by The New York Times as “an invaluable company.” NYTB is dedicated to inspiring a love of dance in diverse audiences through performances of chamber ballet masterpieces and bold new works, as well as innovative one-hour ballets for children, all at affordable prices.

By pairing the ballets of legendary creators with those of contemporary visionaries, NYTB brings a new understanding and appreciation of dance. The approach to live performance for children is groundbreaking and unique. New York Theatre Ballet offers an annual series of hour-long ballets tailored to the attention span of young audience members, while offering high production values and clever choreography sophisticated enough for discerning parents.

NYTB is committed to reaching underserved audiences by performing in small cities throughout the U.S. Its professional school provides ballet training based on the Cecchetti syllabus. Classes are offered at affordable prices. Scholarships are awarded to talented homeless and underserved children along with support for well-rounded learning.

Good Morning…What does the bee say?

BeesTHE BEE – by Emily Dickinson
(1830-1886)

Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry

Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.

His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon!