Class Struggle and Cinderella

cinderella

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

odysseo

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!

end of the rainbow

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.

Wagner’s Dutch Treat

flying-dutchman-wide

Ed Rampell: What is Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman (Der Fliegende Holländer) if not a rip-roaring ghost story, highly charged by greed, and lest we forget, sexual frisson?

Dreamgirls: The Stuff That Motown Dreams Are Made Of

dreamgirls

Ed Rampell: Dreamgirls is a thoroughly enjoyable, rollicking, rocking journey down musical memory lane that tells a fictionalized history of 1960s/1970s Black pop music through, appropriately, the medium of Tom Krieger’s blitzkrieging music and dance, as skillfully choreographed by Rae Toledo.

Director’s Note: The Girl

the girl

David Riker: I began to think about what it means to live in the very epicenter of the American Dream, and feel not hope – but trapped. My focus shifted, and I began to imagine a film not simply about the borders of geography, but about human borders – of class, culture, attitudes, and ideas. This was the starting point for The Girl.

Grapes of Wrath: “All Aroun’ in the Dark”

grapes of wrath

Ed Rampell: Don’t miss this inspiring theatrical adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath, the rabble-rousing, pro-union Depression-era classic that, alas, remains as timely now as the day John Steinbeck wrote it in 1939.

PBS, Oscars Slighting Latinos

lupe ontiveros

Rudy Acuña: I still remember going round and round with broadcasters over Ken Burns’ special on World War II. As in the case of his documentaries on jazz and baseball, Mexican Americans and Latinos do not exist for Burns.