ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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February 2021

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Spotlight!

BYRNE-ING BRIGHT

BYRNE-ING BRIGHT

  • By NANCY BISHOP

Legions have long enjoyed performances by celebrated Irish actor Gabriel Byrne. His work in film, television, and theater has received countless accolades and prestigious awards. In 1995, with the publication of his first book, the highly touted Pictures In My Head, we discovered Gabriel Byrne the acclaimed author. Now, some 25 years later, his second book, Walking with Ghosts, A Memoir (Grove Press) raises the ante. Byrne’s unflinching honesty and startling vulnerability are his bedrock. He lays bare his unvarnished thoughts and actions, from the prepubescent innocence of boyhood to the challenging realities of manhood. His visceral revelations veer from hilarious (I laughed out loud at his childhood musings about the mysteries of sex, and why he thought he might one day need a brassiere) to heartbreaking (I shed tears for poor Owl, and roiling anger toward a predatory member of the clergy). Byrne is clearly a fierce yet gentle soul, a mesmerizing teller of tales steeped in a rich remembrance of an oft times troubled past. His sharing of his truth so openly is an invitation to examine our own fragile lives. There is much to appreciate here, a rare tenderness that embraces the storyteller’s shortcomings as well as his accomplishments. Byrne inhabits his humanity with poignant grace and loving care, and we are the better for it. Walking with Ghosts, A Memoir is a gift. Open and enjoy!

Available on Amazon, click here.

Bridgerton

Bridgerton is streaming on Netflix (Starring Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor)

Bridgerton

  • By Elaine Petrone
  • Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Bridgeton is visually beautiful. the street scenes, the flower gardens, the clothes and the houses are all beautiful and in stunning living color. the story is about a family in regency England when it appears the people have nothing more to do but buy expensive gowns and go to nightly extravagant balls where the daughters are expected to find suitably rich husbands. So why do we care about these people? Because we can’t help ourselves. The eight-part series being shown on Netflix is produced by Shonda Rhimes, based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn. Each episode includes a queen, a duchesses, various rogues, and assorted scalawags all adding to the fun. Bridgerton is basically a family drama but it’s the cast that keeps you coming back for more. Rege-jean Page (remember that name) portrays Duke Simon Bassett and Phoebe Dynevos plays Daphne Bridgerton. It’s impossible to look away when these two leads are on screen together. Their scenes are incredibly passionate and sexy, leaving you wanting more. We can sense early as to how the drama will evolve but we can all enjoy the journey. The supporting cast is also excellent and includes adorable Irish actress Nicole Coughlin and hunky actors Jonathon Bailey and Luke Thompson. Julie Andrews who is never seen is heard throughout each episode adding a bit of mystery. It was just announced there will be a second season.

Watch season one on Netflix

LIFE IN A DAY

LIFE IN A DAY

  • By NINA SVENTITSKY

July 25, 2020 was a day like any other and like no day ever. On this day, people were born, died, celebrated birthdays and graduations, loved, cried, worked, ate together – all in the middle of a global pandemic. Life in a Day is the 10 year follow up to the original, in which ordinary people are inspired to film their boring and beautiful lives on a single day. The 2020 film is the result of 300,000+ submissions from 192 countries and is an extraordinary documentary/experience about humanity and its triumphs. This could have been about the class divides, the haves and have nots, the chasm between people of privilege and those living in refugee camps, and it could have been maudlin. Instead, it is stunning and joyful and poignant. Part of the pandemic’s cruelty and sadness is shown, but mainly this is a film of people laughing and shouting for joy, hugging each other, being ordinary philosophers and performing daily miracles. Directed by Kevin McDonald, LIAD is officially credited to the hundreds of smart phone owners from the Mongolian steppes to mid-American small towns. I promise that you will feel more in common and more connected to your fellow humans than end up depressed and isolated after watching Life in A Day.

Part of the Sundance Film Festival, the global free YouTube release is February 6th. For all ages, a must-see.

SUMMER VACATION

Joe Hernandez-Kolski

SUMMER VACATION

  • By KEN WERTHER
  • Photo By JOE HERNÁNDEZ-KOLSKI

Center Theatre Group’s Digital Stage is now presenting Community Stories on its Digital Stage and one of the highlights is Joe Hernandez-Kolski’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation. On its website, CTG explains, “The moment it became clear that the pandemic would keep us from physically visiting our local Boyle Heights libraries or community events to provide ongoing free workshops and play readings, we began working to find creative ways to continue supporting local playwrights and storytellers. Community Stories is our new series of artistic storytelling, told through a mix of short and long-form multimedia that are extremely timely and represent a range of perspectives and emotions.” How I Spent My Summer Vacation deals with Hernandez-Kolski’s own internal struggles as an artist in isolation during this historic time. “When creating one of my solo theatre pieces, I write, write, write, and then my director/collaborator Benjamin Byron Davis cuts about 90% of it! I go back and write some more and once we have a script, we put it on its feet,” Joe explains. But working under these unusual circumstances? “For the first time, I found myself writing, shooting, performing, and editing my work. It was a challenging piece to create because the national narrative continued to change,” he says. Only 13 minutes long and available to stream for free, I highly recommend this unique, funny, touching, and thoughtful entertainment experience!

For more on Joe, click here.

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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