Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

In The Wings - December '10

November 30, 2010

Scott Shepherd and Ari Fliakos in The Wooster Group's Vieux Carré Photo: Franck Beloncle/The Wooster Group 2010

December is a quieter than usual month around these parts, although there are a handful of new events coming up that are worth noting in addition to continuing runs of others that you can still catch while they're around. Probably the biggest ticket this month is over at REDCAT where The Wooster Group will return for their second visit in their ongoing residency at the black box theater in the basement of Walt Disney Concert Hall. This time out they’ll present the U.S. Premiere of their take on Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carré. The show opens on Wednesday the 1st and runs until the 12th.

Curt Hansen, Alice Ripley, and Asa Somers in Next to Normal Photo: Criagn Schwartz 2010

The Los Angeles Philharmonic will host much of the rest of the recommended shows this month including appearances from Nicholas Angelich playing Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto under the baton of Stéphane Denève the weekend of the 3rd followed the next weekend by Hilary Hahn playing Tchaikovsky under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos who will also lead Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique. Nicholas McGegan leads an evening of Haydn and Mozart the weekend before Christmas as well. Probably my most anticipated night at WDCH this month though is the Pierre-Laurent Aimard recital on Dec 1 which will feature Messiaen, Chopin, and Ravel. For hose looking for Holiday music there’s a variety of other shows in the last two weeks of the month including Kristen Chenoweth on New Year’s Eve.

Marina Poplavskaya in Don Carlo Photo: Ken Howard/Met Opera 2010

There are a number of continuing shows worth considering as well. The Ahmanson will continue its just opened performances of Kitt and Yorkey's Next to Normal in its first national tour with Tony-winner Alice Ripley throughout the entire month and the new Randy Newman revue, Harps and Angels continues at the Mark Taper Forum through the 22nd. (My review) L.A. Opera will have several more performances of its two latest productions as well including Wagner’s Lohengrin with Ben Heppner and Dolora Zajick (My review) playing in rep with Verdi’s Rigoletto. (My review) My opera highlights for the month will mostly be in New York where I’ll be the weekend of the 17th for the final performance in the current run of Verdi’s Don Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera where a revival of Debussy’s Pélleas et Mélisande will also kick off under the musical direction of Simon Rattle. Also on tap for that weekend with be Seji Ozawa leading the Saito Kinen Orchestra in Britten’s War Requiem at Carnegie Hall, Charles Busch’s The Divine Sister at SoHo Playhouse, and the star studded musical version of Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown up at Lincoln Center. Which should pretty much take care of the rest of the year. Happy Holidays.


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