Graham100 Dance Company performs (Opening Night) September 30, 2023 at The Soraya

Graham 100

  • By Arlene Winnick

GRAHAM100 a three-year celebration of the works and legacy of Martha Graham, one of the creative geniuses of the artistic community, premieres at The Soroya on the campus of CalState Northridge on September 30. Though Martha Graham Dance Company first premiered in NYC, Graham spent her early years in California and since 2015 The Soroya has been the troupe’s West Coast home.  Graham was a primal force in evolving the art form of modern dance with her pioneering techniques, experiments in human movement, and creation of a singular American style of dance.  GRAHAM100 will feature performances, exhibitions, film screenings, discussions, and educational activities.

The initial season “American Legacies” spans more than 100 years and begins with performances of two notable Graham classics: “Dark Meadow” and “Maple Leaf Rag” along with Ted Shawn’s “Serenata Morisca” and a re-orchestrated production of Agnes de Mille’s 1942 work “Rodeo.”  In the new work, multi-instrumentalist and composer/arranger Gabe Witcher has rearranged Aaron Copland’s iconic score for a six-piece bluegrass ensemble highlighting the musical form’s Black origins.

Adds MGDC Executive Director LaRue Allen, “The 100th anniversary of the Martha Graham Dance Company is more than a red-letter day for Graham -the entire field of American modern dance has reason to celebrate…. the continuing success of the Graham Company shows that modern dance can be sustained, that it can evolve and remain relevant to successive generations.”

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LA Opera presents Don Giovanni September 23-October 15, 2023 at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Photo ID Kasper Holten’s production of Don Giovanni, pictured in a performance at Houston Grand Opera/Photo Lynn Lane HGO)

Don Giovanni

  • By J. Cook

It is one of the most famous operas ever written (which just so happens to be about a libertine), with an opening score we’ve all heard in many scary movies (or funny movies when something goes comically bad). It concerns a promiscuous nobleman who abuses everyone in town, then meets his match in a… supernatural entity. Ya know—the whole reap what you so/evildoers get what’s coming—in other words, a tale as old as time.

Great news—the LA Opera is putting it on! They are even doing a simulcast September 23, 2023—and playing it outdoors on huge LED screens at the La Mirada Community Regional Park and the Santa Monica Pier. No tickets required, but we’d suggest to BYOP (bring your own picnic) and arrive early for pre-performance activities. And for all those who watch things at home with subtitles on, there will be subtitles in English and Spanish. I’m told you only need to read one or the other to enjoy the Italian opera. There is no scientific proof bilingual readers enjoy the opera more. Italians claim it is because their language is so dope, it sounds good with any translation.

If theater alfresco ain’t your thing, the show, led by James Conlon, starring Lucas Meachem, runs through October 15, 2023. 

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Lise Davidsen September 17, 2023 at BroadStage (Photo Courtesy of BroadStage)


  • By Arlene Winnick

Three very different and exciting musical performances are coming to the BroadStage this September.

On September 13 soprano Lise Davidsen makes her West Coast debut as part of the theatre’s renowned Celebrity Opera Recital Series. Davidsen was awarded Female Singer of the Year by the International Opera Awards and has appeared in premier opera houses around the world. She’s “in a league of her own,” proclaimed Peer Gelb, Metropolitan Opera.

With its robust history of presenting the finest Jazz music, the BroadStage welcomes two Grammy® winning performers: recording artist, bassist and composer Stanley Clarke and the vocal virtuoso Hiromi on September 23.

Clarke is one of the most celebrated and influential acoustic and electric bass players in the world.  This concert also marks the beginning of a three-year appointment of Clarke as BroadStage Artist in Residence giving local music students direct access to professionals in their field. Hiromi is known for her virtuosic blending of musical genres such as progressive rock, classical, post-bop and fusion.  Clarke and Hiromi have recoded and performed in the past and won a Grammy® for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

The BroadStage’s renowned Blackbox series returns September 30th presenting Mando Dorame with Carl Sonny Leyland and the Boogie Woogie Boys. LA’s own tenor saxophonist Dorame is the co-founder of Royal Crown Revue. Leyland shines in all genres from Blues and Ragtime or Country and Swing.For more, click here.

John Waters: Pope of Trash opening September 17, 2023 at the Academy Museum (Photo ID Hairspray (USA, 1988), Warner Bros./Photo Henny Garfunkel)

John Waters: Pope of Trash

  • By Arlene Winnick

An exhibition celebrating the cinematic provocateur bad boy John Waters opens at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens this month and its’ guaranteed to have people talking. John Waters: Pope of Trash explores Water’s 50-year career of filmmaking that redefined independent cinema as he pushed the boundaries of good taste with outrageous characters, salacious elements, hilarious situations all starring his merry band of traveling exhibitionists! 

Accompanying the exhibit is a retrospective screening series of Waters’ works kicking off with an ultra-rare screening of Eat Your Makeup presented with live commentary from Waters.  Other films in the series include Hairspray (his homage to hometown Baltimore), Polyester (starring his larger than life muse, Divine, with Tab Hunter filmed in Smellovision), Female Trouble (a life of depravity), Cecil B Demented plus twelve more of the most outrageous cinema you will see in your lifetime.

The creatively staged exhibition takes you on a journey through Waters’s complete filmography with handwritten scripts (on legal pads), costumes, props, posters, film clips and photographs.  There is also an experiential gallery highlighting the films’ music and dance.  But my favorite part are the rare iconic objects on view:   electric chair from Female Trouble; the tutu from Desperate Living; Debbie Harry’s exploding wig; Tracy Turnblad’s roach dress worn by Ricki Lake in Hairspray; Johnny Depps leather jacket and much more. Get your tickets NOW, it will surely be sold out.

For more click here.