August 2020

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Pasadena POPS

Play at Home with the Pasadena Symphony and POPS

Pasadena POPS

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of Pasadena Symphony

I am just catching up with an enjoyable video POPScast hosted by Larry Blank, The Pasadena POPS resident Conductor. Each week (they started in late June) Blank chats with a star-studded line-up of performers, composers and musicians who frequently appeared on the POPS stage.  You’ll hear behind-the-scenes stories, personal recollections, and heartwarming anecdotes of life on the road, on stage, in films/TV, rehearsals, auditions, how they are coping with life away from performing and so much more. At the end of each POPScast, there is a musical clip from a past POPS performance.

Guests for the month of August include:  singer/songwriter Kiki Ebsen (daughter of actor Buddy Ebsen);  Tony Award-winning actress Cady Huffman (Ulla in Broadway’s The Producers and Netflix Master of None);  Lisa Vroman, a versatile songstress who starred in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera;  actress/singer Anita Gillette (Tina Fey’s mother in 30 Rock); and Lucie Arnaz who starred opposite her mother, Lucille Ball, in numerous TV shows and has enjoyed a career playing many of the best women’s roles in the theater. New POPScasts premiere weekly on Saturday at 7:30pm on the Pasadena POPS website. Past POPScasts and musical clips from past POPs performances are also available. Don’t miss Michael Feinstein ‘ambassador of the Great American Songbook;’ composer/lyrist Marc Shaiman (Bette Midler’s original vocal arranger) or Valerie Perri talking Evita, the role of a lifetime

For all things happening, click here.



  • By J. COOK
  • Photo Courtesy of LA PHIL

In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl, without the parking headaches, in the comfort of your own living room … just think about it! Throw open all the windows (unless you have the air conditioning blasting, which is also an improvement over a hot and sweaty August night), bring trays of neatly packed hors d’oeuvres (as opposed to your picnic basket of goodies all packed and stacked in Tupperware), and break out the nice crystal stemware (you’ve got an open bar!). Then there’s the power of the pause button for bathroom breaks … shall I go on? This summer, we’ve all got front row seats at the Hollywood Bowl and they’re coming to us on KCET starting August 19, at 9pm.

The series will continue for six weeks featuring the music of favorites such as Gustavo Dudamel, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Natalia Lafourcade, Misty Copeland, Kamasi Washington, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Kristin Chenoweth, and John Williams. In a year when we’re all finding new ways of upholding old traditions, let’s bring the Bowl home with us and take advantage of this unusual opportunity. Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl are a revered part of summertime activities in my family and we all know that nothing can replace actually being at LA’s beloved concert destination in person. We can, however, appreciate and celebrate the Bowl in this new way while awaiting its return in 2021.

For all things happening at LA Phil, click here.


The Chicks release new album Gaslighter



The Chicks! Formerly known as The Dixie Chicks, this country pop trio made its debut all the way back in 1989 and initially included four women. They performed at music festivals and small venues for six years without attracting a major label. Then, in 1998, Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Strayer achieved commercial success with the hit songs “There’s Your Trouble” and “Wide Open Spaces.” The Chicks have won 13 Grammy Awards, including five in 2007 for their album “Taking the Long Way” and its hit single “Not Ready to Make Nice” (including record of the year and song of the year). At this point they have racked up 33 million certified albums sold and sales of 28 million albums in the U.S. alone.

Now comes “Gaslighter,” The Chicks’ first album in 14 years! Originally scheduled for release on May 1, it was pushed back due to (what else?) the coronavirus pandemic, and was just released on July 17 (though three singles from the album preceded it). “Gaslighter” has been met with near universal acclaim from fans and critics alike. It debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 3, becoming the band’s fifth top 5 album. Oh, and about that name change — the three women were happy to remove the word ‘Dixie,’ a reference to the American Mason-Dixon Line, which has connotations of American slavery. I love “Gaslighter!” and I love The Chicks!

For all things The Chicks, click here.


Ellie Goulding


  • By Alex Brown

It has been nearly a full decade since English songstress Ellie Goulding officially launched her pop career. Previously a folktronica artist, in 2010 Goulding officially hit global stardom when her song “Lights,” released in November of that year, charted on the US Billboard Hot 100. A unique voice with an airy quality that whispers both warmth and emotion, Goulding is a one-of-a-kind in today’s world of seemingly dime-a-dozen artists.

Following on the heels of her first single, Goulding has achieved chart success over and over again with hits like “Anything Can Happen” and “I Need Your Love” (Halcyon, 2012), “On My Mind” (November 2015) and “Close to Me” (with Diplo and Swae Lee, October 2018). But it was her hit “Love Me Like You Do,” recorded for the soundtrack of the cult film Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the bestselling book of the same name.

And now in the year of lock-down and pandemic, Goulding has released her newest creation, album Brightest Blue. Billed as an introspective record, Blue mixes self-assured lyrics with a classic Goulding sound to produce something that is characteristically Ellie, and something rare in this world of one-hit wonders and formulaic forgettables—solid gold. And like the metal of the same name she is clearly here to stay.

“Brightest Blue” is available everywhere you buy and listen to music.

What's Hot!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve adjusted our content this month.

LAArtsOnline now features two NEW pages: BOOKS and EXTRA! We’ll look at what’s hot in the world of books and reading along with some suggestions of EXTRA! things to check out, read about, and do!

Stay positive, stay safe.

Paige Petrone
Founder / Publisher


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