Barry Goldberg: Fifty Years Of ‘Chicago Blues’

howlin wolf

-+*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

steve jobs

-+*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

donald freed tomorrow

-+*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.

Lincoln: How Spielberg Got It Wrong

frederick douglass

-+*Anthony Samad: Spielberg not only changed history, he misrepresented it. I’m glad the academy didn’t reward him for it. Lincoln was a story that had to be told. But it needs to be told correctly.

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.