Linda Le Kinff: Off to the Races

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James Rhodes: Perhaps it is her wildly colorful style or the exaggerated use of glowing women and hidden cats or maybe it has something to do with the tranquility of her work that connects with the “common man” — certainly an artist of the people.

Get Your Brecht On

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Ed Rampell: Brecht on Brecht is precise in its stagecraft, adeptly acted, deftly directed and Gayle Bluemel does her musical forebears, Mssrs. Brecht and Weill, proud.

Play Ball, Jackie

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Steve Hochstadt: I don’t know how my parents’ political views, our family’s history during the Holocaust, rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Jackie’s own nobility and fearless civil rights activism mixed together to make me hate racism.

License To Philosophize, Sinatra-Style

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Michael Sigman: We’ll never know the Chairman of the Board’s innermost insights about doing/being, if indeed he had any. What cannot be denied is that his choice of material covers a rich spectrum of emotional leaps and existential twists and turns.

Unlikely Friends: When Victims and Perpetrators Meet

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Diane Lefer: Punishment alone–though necessary and often satisfying–will not repair damage or help victims move forward with their lives. Restorative justice brings offenders and victims together to provide a chance for perpetrators to make amends and to promote social and individual healing.

The Lowdown on Accidental Racism

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Bruce Reilly: The sensational buzz around country star Brad Paisley’s song “Accidental Racist” is perfect fodder for a Twitter blurb — but is this the extent of racial analysis we can muster in America?

Argo Apostasy

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Gary Corseri: Movies like “Argo” have nothing to do with “freedom of speech” and everything to do with suppressing free speech and the truth for the sake of profits, promoting wars and hatred and slaughter.

Barry Goldberg: Fifty Years Of ‘Chicago Blues’

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Michael Sigman: The story of American music is often the story of race — and particularly of white boys and girls learning about music from black men and women. The tale of Elvis Presley hanging out in Mississippi juke joints is something like a gospel story in the history of American culture.

A Bite of the Apple

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Ed Rampell: This version of “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” is a really important, well-executed one-man show that exposes the abusive working conditions of masses of Chinese laborers toiling away for low pay in abysmal circumstances.

Tomorrow the World

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Ed Rampell: In this new play, Donald Freed extrapolates elements from MacBeth and its murderous lust for power, interchanging them with the 2000 presidential election’s Bush v. Gore debacle.

Class Struggle and Cinderella

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Ed Rampell: This L.A. Opera production of Gioachino Rossini’s Cinderella <(La Cenerentola) is nothing short of a sheer delight. It ranks amongst the most enchanting of all of the operas I’ve ever seen.

Cavalia’s Odysseo: A Show Unlike Any Other

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Ed Rampell: Cavalia’s Odysseo is a high tech horse-themed show unlike any other. Under the world’s largest White Big Top a breathtaking new 21st century art form synthesizes stallions, stunts, stilts, circus, cinema, sight and sound, created by a Cirque du Soleil co-founder.

Judy, Judy, Judy!

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Ed Rampell: As great as Bennett’s live numbers performed during the nightclub scenes are — and her singing and hoofing is worthy of Garland in all her glory — End of the Rainbow is a cautionary tale. Fame is no substitute for a rewarding personal life offstage and offscreen, with loving family, friends, lovers/spouses.