CULTURE MONSTER

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Journey on race relations takes some wrongs turns in 'White Guy on the Bus'

As the title suggests, “White Guy on the Bus” is a play about troubled urban race relations. Playwright Bruce Graham lobs a grenade at the post civil rights-era conceit that we’ve made real progress toward easing economic and cultural tensions between the haves and have-nots.

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Why it took two women to write 'Balls,' the opera about Billie Jean King's 'Battle of the Sexes'
L.A. Opera's 30-year-old 'Salome' is back, and not a kid anymore

Thirty is not old in opera. An art form that’s been around for more than three centuries, it is also an art form that takes the long view. Classic 1950s and 1960s opera recordings of standard repertory survive, thrillingly remastered to the latest hi-res standards. Operas written 30, 40, even 50 years ago are perceived as modern.

What does age as quickly as fashion, however, is staging.

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What's it like to hear the L.A. Phil play your music in Disney Hall? Ask these composers, ages 16 to 18

Conductor Christopher Rountree stands illuminated by a spotlight on the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage. He takes a soothing breath and encourages the 2,100 middle school students seated before him to help perform John Cage’s seminal composition, “4’33”,” which requires the audience and musicians to participate in silence for four minutes and 33 seconds.

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An idiosyncratic ride with the Bamberg Symphony and Ray Chen at CAP UCLA

You have to hand it to those persistent concertgoers who somehow made it through the downpour to UCLA’s Royce Hall on Friday night to hear an orchestra that is not exactly one of the most glamorous in the world. 

Dedicated record collectors from way back, however, know about the Bamberg Symphony from a plethora of inexpensive Vox LPs from the 1950s.

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Essential Arts & Culture: A buoyant 'Zoot Suit,' Moholy-Nagy at LACMA, and the power of composer Thomas Adès

Fly suits on stage at the Mark Taper Forum. The eternal artistic optimism of a Hungarian refugee of war. And the British composer who is making L.A. his second home. I’m Carolina A.

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