Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

In the Wings - February '10

February 02, 2010

from The Wooster Group's North Atlantic
Photo: Paula Court

Except for the periodic stray rain shower, February is one of my favorite months in L.A. It’s freezing everywhere else, but here it's sunny, relatively warm, and you can see the days start to get longer. It’s also a great month for music around town with performances from a variety of esteemed guests. Perhaps one of the most exciting visitors at Walt Disney Concert Hall next month will be the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly who'll appear on the 17th in an all-Beethoven program. Meanwhile, in the non-Beethoven department, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra returns on the 3rd and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will team up with Alarm Will Sound and Brooklyn’s own Dirty Projectors on the 27th. And perhpas most near and dear to my heart, Max Raabe and the Palast Orcheter will return for "A Night in Berlin" at UCLA's Royce Hall on the 18th.

Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester

Speaking of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, they’ll be performing with three conductors who’ve proven they know how to marshal a great performance out of our wonderful orchestra on many memorable previous occasions. Herbert Blomstedt will lead a Haydn and Beethoven (again!) program over the weekend of the 6th. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos will bring us Ravel and Schumann over the weekend of the 13th. But don't miss, Charles Dutoit who will serve up more Ravel and Stravinsky’s Petrushka on the weekend of the 20th. And if you’re in the mood for more Petrushka, puppeteer extraordinaire Basil Twist will present his version of the famous ballet at the Broad stage starting on the 4th. If it’s newer music you’re looking for, the Monday Evening Concert Series will present an evening dedicated to Mauricio Kagel on the 22nd. The L.A. Philharmonic’s New Music Group will also offer a “Green Umbrella” program on the 2nd to include Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire with Kiera Duffy and a rare performance of Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King.

Dirty Projectors

On stage the big event will be the return of the Wooster Group to REDCAT as part of their ongoing residency at downtown’s most adventurous theatrical site. Elizabeth LeCompte and her troupe will revive North Atlantic starting on the 10th. REDCAT will also welcome Chilean troupe Teatro En El Blanco with a work entitled Diciembre on the 24th. Far less experimental, but perhaps just as interesting will be the Mark Taper Forum’s new production of The Subject Was Roses starring Martin Sheen and Frances Conroy which kicks off on the 10th. And if you just can’t get enough of it, Dreamgirls will return again to the Ahmanson on the 24th. In the city’s great smaller theaters there are two particularly exciting offerings this month. The Blank Theater will open the local premiere of Christopher Durang’s comedy Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them. The title says it all. But let’s not forget about the good news in theater coming from Pasadena: Boston Court Theater who will start their year of four world premiere’s with Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus El Rey on the 27th.

It’s an at home month for me and the only out of town moment I’m going to get is also the month’s only new opera offering down in San Diego where the local company's markedly reduced 2010 season will premiere Verdi’s Nabucco with Richard Paul Fink on the 20th. That should about cover it until March.


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