February 2021

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Fountain Theatre

Fountain Theatre’s outdoor stage

Fountain Theatre

  • By Arlene Winnick

At long last some happy theater news! Hollywood’s acclaimed Fountain Theater has been given the green light to erect an outdoor stage in the parking adjacent to the theater.  Stephen Sacks, the theatre’s artistic director, said, “Pandemic permitting, we hope to open our first outdoor production by late spring or early summer.”  Added Sachs, “the most painful aspect of the past ten month has been the separation from our patrons and the disconnection from our art form.” I couldn’t agree more – though I stream theatrical performances a few times a week, nothing compares to the immediacy and energy of an in-person performance.

The new outdoor performance area will be able to accommodate 50-84 audience members all six feet apart and meeting all Covid-19 and Actor’s Equity rules and safety guidelines.  The structure is modular so it can be broken down and stored when it is safe to perform indoors.  In the ‘normal’ future Sachs envisions the stage being used again for special performances under the stars.

For three decades the Fountain Theatre has been the creative home for multi-ethnic theater and dance reflecting the rich diversity of Los Angeles.  They are also the foremost producer of Flamenco on the West Coast. When asked what the first production would be on the outdoor stage, Sachs would only say that it would be “an exciting LA premiere that dramatizes urgent social issues.”

Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Avenue.

Breathing Free

Heartbeat Opera’s Derrell Acon, bass-baritone; Anaiis Cisco, filmmaker; Kathryn Boyd Batstone, Director of Photography

Breathing Free

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of The Broad Stage

When Alex Ross, the esteemed music critic of the New Yorker magazine said he was “blindsided by its impact,” I wanted to learn more about Heartbeat Opera, the radical indie opera company, and their groundbreaking productions.  I was delighted to discover the West Coast premiere of their newest offering, Breathing Free, is available online this month presented by The Broad Stage. Breathing Free is a visual album/song cycle dedicated to the celebration of Black artistic voices using vivid music videos, excerpts from Beethoven’s Fidelio combined with a repertoire of songs by Black composers and lyricists all reflecting the contemporary themes of justice and equity.

Per Heartbeat Opera’s co-artistic Director Ethan Heard, “Heartbeat has dedicated itself to reinterpreting ‘the classics’ to make them more accessible and relevant to today’s audiences. Breathing Free is about expanding our definition of ‘the canon’ and celebrating the voices of Black artists.” Breathing Free builds on Heartbeat’s 2018 production of Fidelio, a story of betrayal and intrigue set during the French Revolution, told through the lens of Black Lives Matter featuring 100 incarcerated singers.  The 45-minute visual album features three singers, three dancers, eight instrumentalists with a variety of music from “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” to Malcolm’s aria from The Life and Times of Malcolm X.

“Breathing Free” will be livestreamed on February 10th and 13th. For more details, click here.


Hi, Are you Single? By Ryan Haddad (Photo Lawrence E. Moten III)



I must admit I was not familiar with the actor Ryan J. Haddad until I was asked to write about his solo show, Hi, Are You Single? Co-presented by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC and LA’s own IAMA Theatre Company, Hi, Are You Single? is available to stream for the entire month of February. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek and I can enthusiastically tell you this is truly a must-see! Directed by Laura Savia and Jess McLeod, this hilarious and moving autobiographical show has been touring the country. Haddad is the recipient of IAMA’s 2020 Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission. Woolly and IAMA have joined forces to bring this remarkable and unique tour-de-force to a global audience.

Said Woolly Mammoth artistic director Maria Maneula Goyanes, “Hi, Are You Single? asks us to examine sexuality through the lens of a queer man with a disability who is struggling to make meaning out of intimate interactions. That in itself is a radical shift in perspective.” It is indeed. Hi, Are You Single? was recorded at Woolly Mammoth in front of a limited, socially distanced, live audience. Haddad insists his sex drive is higher than ours. Oh, and he also has cerebral palsy. So, join him on his search to find love. It’s quite a journey through the gay dating scene with his provocative take on intimacy, rejection, and judgment. And boy, will you laugh!

For more details, click here.


Dixie’s Happy Hour streaming via Segerstrom (Starring Dixie Longate)



We could all use a little dose of the absolutely outrageous, totally hilarious, loose lipped Dixie Longate right now! Though she doesn’t have the cure to Covid-19, Dixie does know how to make you laugh so hard it will cure anything.  Her new don’t miss sequel to her smash off-Broadway show, Dixie’s Tupperware Party, is Dixie’s Happy Hour available virtually February 9-21 presented by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Who is Dixie? She’s a fast talking, hard-drinking redhead from Alabama’s #1 trailer park who doesn’t hold back.  She started selling Tupperware as part of her parole and her over the top plastic bowl parties (laced with lots of free-flowing booze) made her the #1 Tupperware representative in the country and launched her head over heels into stardom.  Her homespun wisdom, in your face honesty, and Southern humor (she named her child Absorbine Jr.) have made her one of the country’s most endearing characters. After touring with her second show, Never Wear A Tube Top While Riding A Mechanical Bull (and 16 other things I learned while I was drinking last Thursday) – the title says everything, the pandemic tried to stop her but noooo not our Dixie.  After mixing gin, rum, vodka and tequila (in the baby’s room), Dixie’s Happy Hour was born and I am soooo thankful. And at $35 per household, it’s the best deal in town.

For more details, 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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