Archive for February, 2011

Tennessee Williams puts the fun in dysfunctional at the Fountain Theater



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 tempests. In the hands of less-skilled actress, the play could have veered into slapstick, but Martin’s soulful and whole-bodied interpretation evoked a heartbreak that lingered over the play like a rain cloud.

Sandy Martin. Photo by Ed Krieger

Alan Blumenfeld’s performance (rendered all the more spectacular by the fact that he joined the cast only a few weeks ago) instilled Cornelius Mc Corkle with raw vitality. From bellowing rages to sly conspiratorial asides with the audience, Blumenfeld’s vigor and spontaneity honored the dialogue of Tennessee Williams. An actor with a deep range of emotional notes, shades, and undercurrents, he deftly managed to evoke sympathy for his cruel character. When Blumenfeld darkly lashed out at his son Charlie for his deep attachment to “mama,” one could sense Cornelius’ own repressed jealousy and vulnerability, a desperate need for approval channeled through quixotic political campaigns.

Daniel Billet, Alan Blumenfeld. Photo by Ed Krieger

Finally, accolades must be given to Keith Skretch’s creative and poignant video design. During key moments in the play, a dream-like silllhouette of the young Mc Corkle children floated near their elderly mother, embodying her dreamy nostalgia for her beloved children thrown out by their father. Their plaintive calls to their mom and carefree dances outdoors gathering fireflies, depict Bella’s painful loss. Her constant loving stare at the framed photograph of her boy with the long blond curls, Chip, (bullied for his effeminate look and mannerisms) hinted at the darkness faced by Tennessee Williams for his own personal life.

This March would have marked Tennessee William’s 100th birthday. The Fountain Theatre’s “A House Not Meant to Stand” offers a rich and worthy tribute to a master playwright. Happy Birthday, Mr. Williams.

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-Scarlett O’Hara had nothing on me!

In a lecture a few years ago at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, it was revealed that Arabella Huntington, powerful arts patroness, happened to be a tempting siren.

Mystery shrouds the birth of her son. At the time, there were not two, but three gentlemen involved with Mrs. H, who could have sired the heir to the Huntington fortune.

Arabella went by the nickname Belle.

The stoic portrait of Arabella at the left, painted by Sir Oswald Birley, graces the entrance of the Huntington’s Research Library. It teaches us not to judge a book by its cover, nor a dowager by her spectacles, black garb, and beekeeper’s veil.

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Monday March 14

8:00-10:00 PM

Doors open at 7:00 PM

Skirball Cultural Center 2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90049

Fashion Show and Art Gallery

Proceeds benefit the Downtown Women’s Center, a project of ServeLA.


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The more things change…

Financial Episodes in Late Nineteenth- Century Art

Jan 29-May 30

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Road. San Marino, CA  91108. 626.405.2100


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U.S premiere of  “TRIO”

by award-winning writer and  concert pianist

Israela Margalit

March 12 through April 10

Follows 5-year, sold-out run throughout Russia and Ukraine

Music, passion, madness, and one woman’s fight for her right to a career. The relationships between Robert Schumann, his wife Clara Schumann, and the young Johannes Brahms come to life .

Directed by Rick Sparks

Featuring Peter Colburn, Bjorn Johnson, Meghan Maureen McDonough, Brian Normoyle, Jeremy Shranko

Lounge 2 Theatre. 6201 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90038

For information on tickets and show times, please call: 323-960-4412

or visit  http://www.plays411.com/trio

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“A room without books

is a body

without a soul”



Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

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Dr. Chambers-Salazar lecture-recital at the Norton Simon revealed a wonderful quotation:

Color is the keyboard,

the eyes are the harmonies,

the soul is the piano with many strings.

Wassily Kandinsky

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George Washington says,

“Do not chop down a cherry tree-

Instead go to LACMA– it’s free.”

(And you won’t have to grapple with fibbing to your old man.)

LACMA Admission Free

President’s Day. Monday,  February 21

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Banksy, the mysterious, anarchist street artist may have descended upon the city of Angels. Nominated for Best Documentary for his film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy, whose identity remains a secret, petitioned to be allowed on stage to accept his potential award donning a Monkey Mask. No Monkey Business at the Oscars came the reply. Since then, subversive street art work has allegedly crept up around the LA area, including Sunset Boulevard which reports sightings of a pyromaniac Charlie Brown, holding a gas can, whilst a cigarette dangles from his mouth.

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According to author Norman Lebrecht, in his Book of Musical Anecdotes, virtuoso pianist Sergei Rachmaninov was in the midst of performing a violin and piano recital in New York when his partner, violinist Fritz Kreisler was struck by a memory block.

A nervous Kreisler inched towards the piano, whispering intensely at Rachmaninov,

“Where are we?”

To which Mr. Rachmaninov cooly replied, “Carnegie Hall.”

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