Greg Keller’s play is set in 1992, and opens on a subway traveling north from Manhattan to the Bronx. Steve (Josh Zuckerman), middle-class and white, is reading War of the Worlds, and intent on ignoring the obstreperous behavior of a lanky black man, distinctly non-middle-class, who seems to be eyeing him from across the aisle.
One of the wryest moments in Karen Rizzo’s insightful one-act comes when Lee (Mark Carapezza), a sculptor attending a dinner party with his wife, blinks with bewilderment as he clutches a glass of $2,500-a-bottle Scotch in one hand and a goblet of chichi red wine in the other.
Vivian Rothstein reports on a theater program for California inmates.
The premise for Blueprint for Paradise sounds like a punchline: Nazi sympathizers looking for someone to design a secret compound in Southern California decide to hire a leading architect — only to discover that he is African-American. But playwright Laurel Wetzork’s conceit is no joke. It’s based on real-life events.
Most Americans have limited knowledge of the history and hardships of ethnic groups and nationalities outside their own (despite the best efforts of progressive educators in some of our urban schools to have it otherwise).
Obama-ology, written by Aurin Squire, takes place in 2008 and revolves around a youthful volunteer for the Obama campaign and the life education he receives from his senior colleagues and the folks in the community where he’s working.
Some reviewers have criticized the movie as another in a long line of “White Savior” films that feature a white protagonist who “leads” African Americans to freedom, or otherwise provides the wherewithal for them to fight their oppressors.
Capital & Main won top prize in one of the lead categories and finished second or third in five others Sunday evening at the 58th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards.
Muhammad Ali was a bad man. You could say he invented swagger before the word existed. Born Cassius Clay, Ali burst onto the world stage, winning the light-heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Olympics.
Human frailty and societal faults are being vividly probed on Broadway as the season draws to a close.
It’s often apparent at countless restaurants around the country that the hardest working employees are the bussers, with the “back of the house” providing the foundation for the entire culinary enterprise.
In some ways, Prince was the most successful pop recording artist who wrote frankly and pointedly about sexuality in nearly every one of his songs.
Deanna Dunagan and Seamus Mulcahy (Photo: Kevin Parry/Wallis Annenberg Center) Jesse Eisenberg has carved a film career playing irritating nebbish-antiheroes in a host of roles. He even earned an Oscar nomination for best actor in the most memorable of these, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. But his artistic ambitions also encompass […]
Immigration has never been more in the national spotlight, with Republican presidential candidates histrionically claiming most of those who cross the Mexican border are rapists and murderers, while calling for everything from mass deportations to the building of a massive wall with Mexico. Politicians and citizens are also debating how best to deal with Syrian […]
In books, blogs and newspaper pages, Los Angeles journalist and social critic Erin Aubry Kaplan has offered astute and unforgiving opinions about America’s race and class divides. (In 2005 she became the Los Angeles Times‘ first weekly black op-ed columnist.) In Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line, the KCET website contributor gave this […]
Hollywood insiders scanning the #Oscarsowhite lists of this year’s Academy Award nominees have not failed to notice that the five candidates for Best Cinematography are all male and all white—and to no one’s surprise. While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced changes in membership rules to make its voters more inclusive […]
No one’s ever claimed that Hollywood movies reflect the breadth of society, but this year’s Oscar nominees look more like attendees of a Trump rally in South Carolina than the face of the modern American populace. Without a single person of color nominated in any of the acting categories for the second year in a […]
For most people, the end of last year signaled a time for goodwill, reflection and family. But for many, the holiday season was marked by murder and mayhem, forensics and frustration. Released stealthily by Netflix, as if the doc series itself was a smoking gun planted for viewers to stumble across, Making a Murderer is a […]
Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post’s editorial page editor, has fired columnist Harold Meyerson, one of the nation’s finest journalists and perhaps the only self-proclaimed socialist to write a weekly column for a major American newspaper during the past decade or two. At a time when America is experiencing an upsurge of progressive organizing and activism — from […]
The end of the year is traditionally a time for reflection, and in that spirit we bring you “Our Moment,” a short video that reflects on some of the defining moments in the social justice movements of our time. The video, featuring words and performance by poet Mayda de Valle, first premiered at the Equity […]
Today kicks off the start of VisionLA ’15, a Los Angeles arts festival performed to coincide with the United Nations’ Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) as it unfolds in Paris. Below are program notes from VisionLA ’15 – please refer to the group’s site for a complete schedule and more information. Read Judith Lewis […]
Bad enough that the climate is changing and humans are causing it; worse, most of us don’t even want to talk about it. “Where are the books? The poems? The plays? The goddamn operas?” asked author and climate activist Bill McKibben a decade ago on Grist, comparing the climate crisis to the AIDS epidemic, which, […]
There’s something deceptively familiar about the first scene of Young Jean Lee’s play, Straight White Men, receiving its West Coast premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theater. It opens with an American family gathered together for Christmas. The three adult Norton brothers spend a lot of time horsing around their dad’s living room in flannel jammies, […]
If legendary labor activist Joe Hill were alive today — and some contend that he is — he would have plenty to say about the state of the American worker. And the country, if it listened, would have plenty to learn. Hill, who was executed in Utah 100 years ago this month, was an unapologetically […]
November 19 marks the 100-year anniversary of Joe Hill’s execution by a Utah firing squad for a sensationalized Salt Lake City double homicide. Hill, a 36-year-old Swedish immigrant, was an itinerant laborer and union organizer for the Wobblies – the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Today most historians view Hill’s arrest as a police […]
Truth might be seen as the third installment of an informal Robert Redford trilogy of films grappling with American electoral politics and its stormy romance with the news media. This triptych began with 1972’s The Candidate, a satire about a telegenic senatorial contender who manipulates his image to win an election. Then came the 1976 […]
Arthur Miller — one of America’s greatest playwrights whose work reflected his affinity for the underdog and who translated his social conscience into political action — was born 100 years ago (October 17, 1915) and died in 2005. A Miller play is always being performed somewhere in the world, but there’s a remarkable revival of […]
It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when San Francisco was considered a working-class town. It had always been home to a generous share of bohemians, dilettantes and tycoons, of course – but it had also been the city of unchallenged union power, the general strike and rough-hewn but familial neighborhoods spilling […]
It’s that time of year when I look for my name on the list of MacArthur Fellows, and not finding it once again resolve to keep working and wait until next time. But truly, perusing such a list is as humbling as it is inspiring. From puppeteers and choreographers to novelists, set designers, economists, […]
There now is a flow of fresh cultural monuments in Los Angeles that runs from the High School of the Arts over to Disney Hall. This includes, of course, the 36-year-old Museum of Contemporary Art, with which billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad was once deeply involved, and which Broad’s new art museum now competes with. All […]