Category Archives: Literature

The Carrie Hamilton at The Pasadena Playhouse Celebrates Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz in Properties of Silence

 by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
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Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.   ~Buddha

For its commemorative 25th anniversary “Properties of Silence”, produced by About…Productions in residence at The Carrie Hamilton Theatre at The Pasadena Playhouse is currently being paired in revival with a Convergence of Women’s Voices Salon Series of poetry readings, special performances, panels and discussions. 

Written by Theresa Chavez, Rose Portillo and Alan Pulner and directed by Chavez, this short play melds two seemingly separate yet parallel stories together which ultimately discuss the struggle for self-expression.

It is a simply breathtaking piece! 

The third part of a trilogy that deals with the inner voice as a possible source of personal spiritual and political truth, the play takes place in a multi-layered dreamscape highlighting not just its gorgeous, inspired presentation, but the very real importance of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a nun of  New Spain (Mexico) who in the 17th century was an acclaimed, self-taught playwright, poetess, scientist and philosopher. 

Sor Juana focused on highlighting and revering the beauty and necessity of earthly things, people, sciences and ideas as the real blessing of God rather than falling in line strictly behind Church dogma which was suffocating and unenlightening especially for women who were brutally repressed.  She became known in her lifetime as “The Tenth Muse” and the “Phoenix of the Americas”. During her life, she also acquired what is considered to be the largest collection of scientific and musical instruments in the Americas and possessed a substantial library.  Before being silenced by the Church, she was commissioned by the vice-regal court of New Spain, residing in Mexico City, to write verse and plays, a number of which were published in Europe.  

Sor Juana was silenced by the Church for being a woman but really, for being a woman of extraordinary intelligence and reason, attributes  that were forbidden by the Church itself for women to possess.  Sor Juana wrote during a time when the subjegation of women was absolute. Intelligence shown by any woman was considered and dealt with as a disobedience and even though she was completely devoted to her faith, much of Sor Juana’s writings are said to have been destroyed as part of her penance wherein she writes (or was told to write), I, the worst of all women...

Nevertheless, a few of her works managed to live on creating a legacy that could not be denied. Even the facts surrounding whether or not she actually signed the penance papers or that she completely conformed to her silence remain loosely in debate. She is considered the first feminist writer and a Latin American treasure.  Properties of Silence is inspired by her most significant poem, “Primero Sueño” (“First Dream”). 

Properties of Silence is as brilliant as Sor Juana’s works themselves.  It is hands down one of the most evocative, intelligent, accessible writings imbued with considerable simplicity and empathy for all women, for all, period, feminist or not. 

Set in Phoenix, Arizona and told all in poetic line and imaginary dream where the players cross time and space to meet, exchange ideas and confess their fears, the piece shifts lightly from past to present through metaphor and reality until both become one.  Barbara (Elizabeth Rainey) and Tom (Kevin Sifuentes) come to grips with their troubled marriage.  Sor Juana (portrayed by Rose Portillo) confronts her own imminent silence by the Catholic Church who is forcing her to silence her pen and her scientific inquiries.

Properties of Silence and the “Post-Silence” Salon Series runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m until March 29, with one weekday matinee on Wednesday, March 25 at 2 p.m. (dark Sunday, March 22). Four preview performances take place on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m.; and Friday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. 

Post-Silence Salon Series remaining highlghts.

Red Hen Press will present poets Nicelle Davis, Laurel Ann Bogen and Amy Uyematsu on March 12 and Gail Wronsky and Alicia Portnoy on March 20.

Scholar Barbara Fuchs, PhD on March 14; and writer/performer/activist Karen Anzoategui on March 21.

Mujeres de Maiz will present poets Iris de Anda, Felicia Montes, Rebecca Gonzales and Xitlalic Gujosa Osuna on March 15, and poets/writers Las Lunas Locas on March 26.

Starring Elizabeth Rainey, Kevin Sifuentes and Rose Portillo

Written by Theresa Chavez, Rose Portillo and Alan Pulner

Directed by Theresa Chavez

Original compositions by Julie Adler

Projections by Janice Tanaka

Set design iby Akeime Mitterlehner

Costume design is by Marcy Froehlich

Lighting Design iby Pablo Santiago

Choreography by Sarah Leddy

Original prints created by artists from the first Maestra Atelier at Self Help Graphics & Art in tribute to Sor Juana will be displayed in The Carrie Hamilton Theatre lobby.

Now Playing through March 29

at The Carrie Hamilton Theatre at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena CA 91101

POS_graphic-medWednesday at 2 p.m.: March 25 ONLY

Thursdays at 8 p.m.: March 12, 19, 26

Fridays at 8 p.m.: March 13, 20, 27

Saturdays at 8 p.m.: March 14, 21, 28

Sundays at 3 p.m.: March 15, 29 (dark March 22)

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Reservations and Information:

(626) 396-0920 or www.aboutpd.org

ADMISSION:

General admission: $30

Students with valid ID: $15

Hungry for a Great Story? EAT YOUR WORDS

Eat Your WordsEat your words is back on February 5th!  If you haven’t participated in this mashup of stories, chefs, bartenders and urban foodies, this week’s event will make you salivate with stories inspired by a food politics.  It’ll be the best meal and food memory you ever ate!
 A Live Storytelling Event hosted by Greg Walloch Eat Your Words will be an intimate intimate evening of storytelling in the tradition of: 
The Moth and
This American Life
Each show features a rotating cast of the city’s most
outstanding storytellers and comedians with special guest appearances.
“L.A. audiences don’t seem to actually eat very much food, so they might as well come to a show where they can hear all about it.” 

– Greg Walloch on Eat Your Words at The Standard, Hollywood

The Standard Hollywood
Cactus Lounge 8300 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
February 5th 2015 ongoing the first Thursday of each month.
8pm-10pm

ADMISSION: Free

TICKET INFO: The event is free. RSVP is strongly encouraged: hollywoodRSVP@standardhotel.com

This month’s storytellers include:

Steven Brydle
@midnight, FunnyorDie

Lex Vaughn
films, Maddy, Short Bus
Greg Cope White
On the Menu, memoir The Pink MarineChris Gorham and Anel Lopez Gorham
Covert Affairs, PopularAlec Mapa
Ugly Betty, The Tonight Show

Hosted by GREG WALLOCH – 

The Moth, The Howard Stern Show
Produced by Greg Walloch + Zachary Foster + Adam Gould + Dave Srock 

Culture Marches On

 Of all the things I could possibly write about 2014…that it’s been Gia On The Move’s best year yet…that we’ve been so fortunate to have experienced so much gorgeous, avant-garde, unique, delicious artistry in live performance, art, music, movies, food, fashion and more…what an awesome adventure it’s been…that we love all of the great friends we’ve made along the way, and how incredibly lucky to often accidentally have stumbled across gems that no one else was noticing…  What we’re most happy to say is ‘Thank you’.  Thank you for letting us entertain, inform, introduce and offer a little bit of our passions to YOU.   What a ride!  Ready for more?   ~Gia

Happy New Year!!!

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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.