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  • 'Blueberry Toast' from Echo Theater Company is a darkly whimsical dish

    'Blueberry Toast' from Echo Theater Company is a darkly whimsical dish

    The kitchen wallpaper is relentlessly cheery. Board games are scattered on the floor, eagerly waiting to be picked up again. All the ingredients for a scrumptious breakfast stand at the ready. Something is obviously wrong with this picture. In “Blueberry Toast,” playwright Mary Laws creates a storybook...

  • All of Bob Dylan's 1966 live shows in 36-CD box set due Nov. 11

    All of Bob Dylan's 1966 live shows in 36-CD box set due Nov. 11

    A 36-CD box set featuring every known recording of Bob Dylan’s historic 1966 concert tour will be released Nov. 11, providing a companion piece to last year’s ambitious set documenting his studio recordings from 1965 and 1966. “Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings” will feature songs taken from...

  • Why Disney is unlikely to buy Twitter

    Why Disney is unlikely to buy Twitter

    One is an entertainment giant famous for exacting tight control over its content. The other is a tech firm whose commitment to free speech has earned it a reputation as a hub for news and a haven for online harassment.  Together, they make for a brow-raising pairing. But stranger things have happened...

  • China's Dalian Wanda Group in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions

    China's Dalian Wanda Group in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions

    Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group is in talks to buy a controlling stake in the iconic Dick Clark Productions, a move that would further accelerate its rapid push into Hollywood. The deal would value the production firm at as much as $1 billion, according to one person familiar with the process...

  • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra serves up a sandwich of sad and sweet

    Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra serves up a sandwich of sad and sweet

    Not quite two weeks after turning 60, Jeffrey Kahane began his 20th and final season as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra last weekend. He was buoyant, opening with one of Bach’s most overtly jubilant cantatas and ending with what the conductor described as the most joyous symphony...

  • Herschell Gordon Lewis, filmmaker and ‘godfather of gore,' dies at 87

    Herschell Gordon Lewis, filmmaker and ‘godfather of gore,' dies at 87

    Herschell Gordon Lewis, the horror filmmaker known as the “godfather of gore,” has died. He was 87.  The director of such films as “Blood Feast” and “Two Thousand Maniacs” died in his sleep early Monday, spokesman James Saito said.  Lewis pioneered the horror genre in the 1960s known as the “splatter...

  • Drake releases 23-minute music video, and 'Views' returns to No. 1

    Drake releases 23-minute music video, and 'Views' returns to No. 1

    Drake may be seeking forgiveness with his new music video, but he’s likely not apologizing for “Views” returning to the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s albums chart. On Monday the rapper released “Please Forgive Me,” a 23-minute video that’s part action, part thriller and all Drake exclusively on Apple...

  • Ty Dolla Sign makes a star-studded 'Campaign' stop at the Palladium

    Ty Dolla Sign makes a star-studded 'Campaign' stop at the Palladium

    Ty Dolla Sign was ready with an excuse in case he’d left an important name off the list of artists who’d joined him onstage at the Palladium. “If I didn’t say it,” the Los Angeles-based rapper and singer explained near the end of Sunday’s concert, “I was high.” Who could take offense after that?...

  • Chinese movies cement control of China box office

    Chinese movies cement control of China box office

    Chinese films nearly swept the country’s box office last week, after getting sidelined earlier this month by American blockbusters. The Chinese-Hong Kong fantasy saga “A Chinese Odyssey: Part Three” topped the list for the second week in a row, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan...

  • Must-see debate week TV: 'The Choice 2016,' 'Debate Wars' and 'Drunk History'

    Must-see debate week TV: 'The Choice 2016,' 'Debate Wars' and 'Drunk History'

    Debate night! When presidential candidates stand side by side to test the strength of their arguments and the effectiveness of their rhetoric! (Sure.) An audience of a bazillion gazillion is expected, because more than usually the shape of the world, from pole to pole and meridian to meridian,...

  • 'Birth of a Nation' stars Gabrielle Union and Nate Parker help voter registration drive in theaters

    'Birth of a Nation' stars Gabrielle Union and Nate Parker help voter registration drive in theaters

    Fox Searchlight Pictures has announced it will team up with various theater chains and voter organizations to launch a voter registration drive tied to the release of its upcoming slave-revolt drama “The Birth of a Nation.” The initiative will be launched at special advance screenings of the film...

  • Matt LeBlanc to return to British car series 'Top Gear'

    Matt LeBlanc to return to British car series 'Top Gear'

    Matt LeBlanc plans to be back in the driver’s seat on “Top Gear” when the long-running British car series returns in 2017.  BBC Two announced news of LeBlanc’s return Monday morning, saying that the actor had been signed to a two-series deal.  “I am thrilled that Matt LeBlanc is returning to Top...

  • Debate land mines that Trump and Clinton need to avoid in order to connect with voters

    Debate land mines that Trump and Clinton need to avoid in order to connect with voters

    Anticipation for Monday’s presidential debate, the first of three marquee match-ups between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, is riding high. Many will be tuning in to find out how much more unhinged this election can get. As a theater critic, I’ll be keeping tabs not only on the war of words and...

  • In a first, a VR short will become a Hollywood movie

    In a first, a VR short will become a Hollywood movie

    Over its short life, virtual-reality entertainment has often been spun out of traditional Hollywood productions, whether an episodic piece based on “The Martian” or a more participatory experience derived from “Ghostbusters.” But the transom has rarely if ever gone the other way--an original VR...

  • Music Tastes Good showcases Long Beach with an accessible, approachable debut

    Music Tastes Good showcases Long Beach with an accessible, approachable debut

    About 24 hours before taking the stage at Long Beach’s first Music Tastes Good festival on Saturday evening, locals Warpaint had performed at a very different sort of celebration —  Symbiosis Gathering, a festival with a reputation for Burning Man-level debauchery.  Clothes, the band noted, were...

  • Why TV news needs to pull itself together for the Trump-Clinton presidential debates

    Why TV news needs to pull itself together for the Trump-Clinton presidential debates

    Once more unto the breach, Lester Holt, once more. For the second time in less than two years, the eyes of the world are upon the former “Dateline” host. Tapped to step in for and then replace Brian Williams last year after the dethroned NBC news anchor was caught choosing self-promotion over the...

  • 'Magnificent Seven' wins box office shoot-out over 'Storks'

    'Magnificent Seven' wins box office shoot-out over 'Storks'

    Shooting past all competition, MGM and Sony’s “The Magnificent Seven” took over the weekend box office, surpassing fellow new release “Storks,” from Warner Bros. “Magnificent Seven” pulled in an estimated $35 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada, meeting analyst expectations of $30 million...

  • Jane Pauley to succeed Charles Osgood as host of 'CBS Sunday Morning'

    Jane Pauley to succeed Charles Osgood as host of 'CBS Sunday Morning'

    Jane Pauley is back on the morning shift. Charles Osgood is handing the “CBS Sunday Morning” baton to the former “Today” co-host, who will be the new anchor of the news program. The move was announced at the end of Osgood’s final appearance as host of the program he took over 22 years ago. Pauley...

  • Bruce Springsteen on keeping life honest, real in 'Born to Run' autobiography

    Bruce Springsteen on keeping life honest, real in 'Born to Run' autobiography

    Anyone who has ever experienced the uniquely soul-stirring amalgam of musical celebration, spiritual rejuvenation, intellectual provocation and physical release-to-the-point-of-exhaustion that is a concert by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band will feel right at home in the 508 pages of “Born...

  • Holly Hunter makes a leading-lady comeback — even if she won't call it that

    Holly Hunter makes a leading-lady comeback — even if she won't call it that

    The restaurant table was a little wobbly, so Holly Hunter did what every 58-year-old Oscar-winning actress in an elegant outfit would do: she folded up a packet of papers and got down on the floor to fix it. "Does that work?" she asked in her trademark Lowcountry accent, as she extended her arms...

  • Backstreet Boys to test Las Vegas residency in 2017

    Backstreet Boys to test Las Vegas residency in 2017

    The Vegas Strip is about to get even more larger than life: The Backstreet Boys are set to call the city home.  More than 20 years after declaring they’ve "got it goin' on," the boy band that managed to graduate from teenage dreams to full-fledged adults without losing their shimmer will head to...

  • In 'Dirty 30,' Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart showcase their rapid-fire, quippy personalities

    In 'Dirty 30,' Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart showcase their rapid-fire, quippy personalities

    YouTube stars Mamrie Hart, Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart stretch their talents to feature film length in “Dirty 30,” directed by Andrew Bush and written by Mamrie Hart and Molly Prather. This is the second feature film collaboration for the trio, after 2014’s “Camp Takota.” Each performer has individually...

  • 'Total Frat Movie' is a totally bad movie

    'Total Frat Movie' is a totally bad movie

    It’s a rare film that can dredge up nostalgic fondness for 2002’s awful “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder,” but “Total Frat Movie” manages to rise to the dubious occasion. The second of two releases this weekend concerned with white frat boys behaving badly (the other is the more serious-minded “Goat”),...

  • Rupert Murdoch reaps $34 million in compensation

    Rupert Murdoch reaps $34 million in compensation

    Media mogul Rupert Murdoch might be getting out of the office more, but he continues to pull down handsome compensation. The 85-year-old executive chairman of 21st Century Fox collected $34.6 million in executive compensation in fiscal 2016, which represents a 24% raise from the prior year, according...

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