Ate9 dance troupe director Danielle Agami in UCLA's Royce Hall Rehearsal Room.

Ate9's Danielle Agami doesn't need a mirror to know what she's doing

Dancer-choreographer Danielle Agami, artistic director of Ate9 Dance Company, dislikes voice mail, cameras and mirrors. Indeed, for someone whose career is so body-centric, the mirror has been noticeably absent in her dance practice for more than a decade.

But Israeli-born Agami, 29, has never been one to hew to tradition. When her eight-member troupe premieres her latest full-evening work, "Mouth to Mouth," at Los Angeles Theatre Center April 26 and May 3, expect a supremely idiosyncratic performance.

"The day Ohad took the mirror away I had the privacy to think about other things that are so...

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Inside Matjames Metson's cluttered studio

From Matjames Metson's cluttered studio, objets d'art emerge

Matjames Metson's Silver Lake studio is in a 1930s Art Deco duplex perched atop a steep flight of aging, concrete stairs overlooking a cul-de-sac, which overlooks a hillside, which overlooks a bustling intersection that, from above, appears to be teeming with tiny toy cars and action-figure people.

Inside, Metson's dusty, sunlit living room-turned-art studio is also full of tiny treasures. The assemblage artist builds intricate, architectural sculptures, wall hangings and furniture made from his abundant stash of objects, most of which he finds at estate sales. Marbles, toothpicks, old...

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Mikhail Baryshnikov, center, will star in the new play "Man in a Case," co-directed by Paul Lazar, left, and Annie-B Parson, right. They are seen at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York.

Mikhail Baryshnikov makes a 'Case' for restless creativity

NEW YORK — Mikhail Baryshnikov's earliest experience in the theater began when he was a child of just 4 or 5 in present-day Latvia, then a part of the Soviet Union. His mother, a Russian speaker unfamiliar with the local tongue, would drag along her young son to play interpreter.

Now, after a career in dance, film and television, he's performing the title role in "Man in a Case," a multimedia adaptation of two short stories by Anton Chekhov running April 24 through May 10 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

It's merely the latest dramatic adventure for the dancer, who began to dabble in...

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Photographer Annie Leibovitz at the Chateau Marmont.

Annie Leibovitz talks Taschen book, Miley Cyrus, John & Yoko

During four decades, Annie Leibovitz has been a dominant force in portrait photography, first at Rolling Stone and then with increasing skill and vision at Vanity Fair and Vogue. At 64, Leibovitz works hard at it still and isn't ready for a broad career retrospective but takes a look back at some of her most lasting images in "Annie Leibovitz," a huge limited-edition book from Taschen. In the tradition of Helmut Newton's "SUMO," the new volume is about 20-by-27 inches and 476 pages deep. It sells for $2,500 and comes with its own table, but the true richness can be found in the pictures, from...

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Actors Daniel Beaty, left, and Keith David are playing Paul Robeson in separate L.A. productions.

Paul Robeson, times two, speaks to L.A.

"What's my motivation?" is a standard laugh line satirizing the acting profession, a livelihood in which it's not always clear why one is doing what one needs to do.

At the moment, Daniel Beaty and Keith David may be the two American actors least likely to say it.

They are playing (and singing) the role of Paul Robeson in two separate plays on two separate Los Angeles stages. Their shared motivation is telling a story that is the ultimate retort to the idea that there's an unbridgeable gap between being a performer and living a serious life.

Beaty, 37, and David, 57, are a generation apart and...

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Soloist Sasha Cooke, right, onstage with the L.A. Philharmonic in performance of Philip Glass' score to Rome section of Robert Wilson's "The CIVIL warS."

Review: Philip Glass portion of 'CIVIL warS' rings true at Disney Hall

Los Angeles' two greatest cultural disappointments of the past three decades may have been the failure of the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984 to mount director Robert Wilson's eight-hour international operatic epic, "the CIVIL warS" and the Music Center's inadequate support in 2000 of Frank Gehry's grand plan to renovate and urbanize the facility and reshape downtown's civic center in the process.

All, though, is not lost. As part of Minimalist Jukebox on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Philharmonic reunited those two transformative artistic visions by presenting Philip Glass' contribution to...

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San Diego Opera patrons gather at the Civic Theatre before a recent performance of "Don Quixote."

San Diego Opera extends deadline for closing down after board exodus

San Diego Opera set a new deadline of May 19 to obtain new funding or close down after the resignation Thursday of 13 members of its board of directors, including President Karen Cohn.

The new deadline will give the reconstituted board time to raise money to keep the company alive -- though what form it might take is uncertain.

Under discussion at Thursday's meeting was a motion that stated in part that "additional information has come to the attention of the board regarding the prospects of new funding."

Ian Campbell, the opera's embattled general and artistic director, is still officially...

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Getty Villa's 'Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium From Greek Collections'

Review: Rapt in Byzantine gold at Getty Villa's 'Heaven and Earth'

Think of Byzantium, and a color leaps to mind. That color is gold.

The empire ruled from the crossroads of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea for a thousand years between AD 324 and its final collapse in 1453. At the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, where a rare and stunning exhibition of Byzantine art recently opened, gold is everywhere.

It's the ground on which biblical scenes unfold, from the tender nativity of Jesus to the brutal Passions and miraculous resurrection of Christ. It's in the air breathed by saints speaking to the faithful from painted manuscript pages.

It's in the threads...

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'Jersey Boys,' directed by Clint Eastwood, gets first trailer

"Jersey Boys," Clint Eastwood's big-screen adaptation of the Broadway jukebox musical, is scheduled to open June 20. On Friday, Warner Bros. released the trailer for the highly anticipated movie.

The story of Frankie Valli and his rise to success with the Four Seasons debuted at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in 2004 before transferring to Broadway the following year, winning the Tony Award for new musical. The Des McAnuff-directed production is still running at the August Wilson Theatre in New York, having logged more than 3,400 performances.

Eastwood has cast his movie with some members...

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Edie Brickell and Steve Martin at the Grammy Awards in January.

Steve Martin to debut new musical at Old Globe in San Diego

Steve Martin will present the world premiere of his much buzzed about new musical "Bright Star" in September at the Old Globe in San Diego as part of the company's 2014-15 season, which was announced on Thursday.

"Bright Star," which Martin is writing with Edie Brickell, had been expected to debut at the Old Globe after the company held workshop performances earlier this year in New York. The musical, which runs from Sep. 13 to Nov. 2, had also been workshopped at the Powerhouse Theatre in upstate New York.

Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the musical focuses on a young man...

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The life of author Patricia Highsmith inspired "Switzerland."

Geffen Playhouse season will include play about Patricia Highsmith

A new drama inspired by the life of author Patricia Highsmith and written by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith will be among the offerings of the Geffen Playhouse's 2014-15 season, which was announced on Friday.

The season will also include recent works by playwrights Tarell Alvin McCraney, Conor McPherson and Stephen Belber.

Murray-Smith's "Switzerland" will be a co-production with the Sydney Theatre Company and will debut in Australia this fall before running in Los Angeles from March 3 to April 12, 2015. The Australian run will be directed by Andrew Upton, artistic director of the...

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San Diego Opera patrons gather at the Civic Theatre in downtown San Diego before a performance of "Don Quixote."

San Diego Opera board president resigns at Thursday meeting

The president of San Diego Opera's board of directors resigned Thursday and walked out of an afternoon board meeting, deepening the uncertainty surrounding the troubled company.  

A number of other board members also resigned Thursday, though it remained unclear how many of the nearly 60 members have officially stepped down.

Karen Cohn had served as the board president and has been acting as the public voice of the company during much of the tumult following its March announcement that it was closing.

RELATED: San Diego Opera's fate still uncertain after final performance

Ian Campbell...

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