The site where the mural "Brooks Avenue Painting" once stood in Venice.

Lawsuit filed over removal of L.A. Fine Arts Squad mural in Venice

A lawsuit has been filed over the destruction of a public mural in Venice that was created in 1969 by the group Los Angeles Fine Arts Squad.

Artist Victor Henderson, a cofounder of the group, alleges that the mural, known as the "Brooks Avenue Painting," was improperly expunged last summer from its location using water blasting, according to papers filed this week in federal court. 

The mural, which is famous for having served as a backdrop for a photographic portrait of the rock band the Doors, has been replaced with a replica of the original painted by another artist.

GRAPHIC: Highest-...

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Southeby's Auction House in New York.

Daniel Loeb keeps up pressure on Sotheby's

Daniel Loeb, the lightening-rod hedge-fund manager, continued his assault on Sotheby's this week with a letter to the art auction house's shareholders asking them to vote for a new slate of board members that would include Loeb himself.

In the letter, which was sent on Monday, Loeb states that "this board is in dire need of fresh insights, and that our candidates are more qualified than the company’s emissaries we are seeking to replace." 

Loeb runs the hedge fund Third Point, which is the largest shareholder of Sotheby's. His letter came as a response to one sent by Sotheby's to its...

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Rebecca Mozo and Nate Mooney star as workers at a small-town coffee shop in South Coast Repertory's world premiere of "Five Mile Lake" by Rachel Bonds.

Theater review: 'Five Mile Lake' at South Coast Repertory flows nicely

Among the revivals and West Coast premieres that dominate our theatrical offerings, the startling phrase “world premiere” implies an exhilarating, possibly risky novelty: You can’t help expecting pyrotechnics.

But Rachel Bonds’ “Five Mile Lake,” receiving its world premiere at South Coast Repertory, is a small, quiet play in which nothing particularly momentous happens.

In fact, you may forget you’re watching a play at all, and that the people in whose every fleeting expression you have become so deeply absorbed are actors reciting memorized lines.

Mar...

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Daniel Beaty brings Paul Robeson's story to the Mark Taper Forum in his solo show "The Tallest Tree in the Forest."

Review: Paul Robeson's roots examined in 'Tallest Tree in the Forest'

Multi-hyphenated celebrities are all the rage these days, but none can match the gravitas of Paul Robeson.

Singer, classical actor and civil rights activist, Robeson (1898-1976) had given up a career in law to pursue the stage after distinguishing himself as a scholar and an athlete. There was no discipline, it seemed, that he could not conquer.

Fame provided a platform for him to speak out against oppression in America, and that is where the plot shifts in the glorious biographical narrative of an overachieving son of a minister father who had been born a slave. Robeson's prodigious and...

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Street artist Jay Shells returns to L.A. with @TheRapQuotes

Street artist Jay Shells returns to L.A. with @TheRapQuotes

On this warm Easter Sunday morning, New York street artist Jason Shelowitz (a.k.a. Jay Shells) is on the streets of Inglewood. He pulls over his rented silver Chevy at the bustling intersection of Imperial Highway and Western Avenue, hip-hop prattling on the car stereo. Then he grabs a step ladder from the back seat, adjusts his black “Rap” baseball cap and races across three lanes on foot.

Now on the traffic island, cars whizzing by on both sides, he eyeballs a pole sporting a “One Way” street sign. Quickly, as if changing a light bulb, he screws in what looks like...

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Daniel Radcliffe, left, and Sarah Green performing in "The Cripple of Inishmaan" at the Cort Theatre in New York.

Daniel Radcliffe gets raves for 'Cripple of Inishmaan' on Broadway

Daniel Radcliffe returned to Broadway on Sunday with the official opening of Martin McDonagh's "The Cripple of Inishmaan" at the Cort Theatre in New York. The drama is the third Broadway outing for Radcliffe, who performed in the play last year in a London production directed by Michael Grandage.

McDonagh's play, which debuted in 1996 at the National Theatre in London, has been extensively performed in the U.S. and England. The drama bowed at the Public Theater in New York in 1998 and had its Los Angeles premiere the same year at the Geffen Playhouse.

Radcliffe plays one of the inhabitants of...

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An empty chair (far left) for Jeffrey Dinsmore as the Crossing performs during the Los Angeles Philharmonic Minimalist Jukebox concert of "De Materie" on April 18 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Dinsmore, one of the founding members of the Crossing, died last week. The concert was dedicated to his memory.

Review: 'De Materie' a bold Minimalist outing for L.A. Philharmonic

The Dutch have their secrets. It's possible that Louis Andriessen's "De Materie," given its premiere in 1989 in Amsterdam, is not the first great Dutch opera. Perhaps a notable national Netherlands opera remains hidden in Holland, a moldy Baroque manuscript in a damp basement beside some canal.

But "Materie," which reached the West Coast for the first time Friday night in a commanding performance conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw as the culmination of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Minimalist Jukebox festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall, is the Dutch opera that the world at large had long been...

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

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

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,' 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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Annette Bening performs "Ruth Draper's Monologues" at the Geffen Playhouse Saturday, April 5, 2014.

Review: Annette Bening pays fine tribute in 'Ruth Draper's Monologues'

Watching Annette Bening perform the monologues of Ruth Draper at the Geffen Playhouse put me in mind of that lovely music tradition born out of reverence for the past: the tribute album.

One doesn't expect a replica on these recordings — no two voices are ever the same. And part of the interest is seeing how one sensibility interprets another, how the greatness of the original is illuminated by the talent of the one paying homage. The rewards of these offerings naturally depend as much on the performance as on the auditor's expectations.

With this bill of four vignettes,...

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 Review: High-def recording of L.A. Phil's 'The Other Mary' is otherworldly.

Review: High-def recording of L.A. Phil's 'The Other Mary' is otherworldly.

In a perfect colossally Minimalist world, where resources and rehearsal time are no object, the Los Angeles Philharmonic might have concluded its Minimalist Jukebox festival Sunday with a revival of John Adams' "The Gospel According to the Other Mary." It happens to be a late Minimalist Easter opera written by the festival's curator and a finalist for this year's Pulitzer Prize in music.

But what we do have for this Easter Sunday — and for Passover as well, "The Other Mary" being an ecumenical opera — is a new recording. The L.A. Phil commissioned and premiered "The Other Mary" two...

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Matthew Schechter, left,  and Tony Shalhoub in a scene from "Act One."

Review: Little drama in 'Act One'; still, there's some good theater

Whenever a thespian, young or old, needs some inspiration, I always prescribe the same two books: "The Mystic in the Theatre: Eleonora Duse" by Eva Le Gallienne and "Act One" by Moss Hart.

Both works offer testimony to the rocky shoals and spiritual rewards of a life in the theater. "Act One," the story of a poor outer borough New York City kid realizing his dream of the Broadway big time, is cherished additionally for its portrait of a bygone era of a bustling American theater dominated by prodigious wits and garish, hustling impresarios.

Hart's beloved memoir cries out for dramatization, but...

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In "Sovereign Body," Anna (Taylor Gilbert, left) and her family (Kevin McCorkle, Dani Stephens and Hannah Mae Sturges) face a degenerative illness.

Review: 'Sovereign Body' aches with a sense of lost self-reliance

Thanksgiving dinner can often be a recipe for disaster, but it proves especially problematic for the workaholic chef who finds her familiar familial dysfunction laced with far grimmer ingredients in “Sovereign Body,” Emilie Beck’s new drama from the Road Theatre Company,

In the play’s literally heavy-handed opening, micro-managing matriarch Anna (Taylor Gilbert) ominously finds herself dropping things as she prepares a holiday feast for her fractious brood. Before you can say “neurologically degenerative affliction,” Anna faces losing the control and self-...

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Gary Lang, "Clarion," 2009, acrylic on canvas, 13 feet in diameter.

Review: Gary Lang's paintings at Ace Gallery make spirits soar

Right now, the most beautiful place in all of Los Angeles may very well be the center gallery of Gary Lang’s exhibition at Ace Gallery Beverly Hills. Eleven big, circular paintings, each a candy-colored rainbow of concentric rings, fill the space with enough visual warp and woof to make repeat visits thrilling.

The setup is symmetrical: three dazzling paintings on each of three long walls and two more flanking the door through which you entered. The size of Lang’s paintings matters, and it’s measured in feet: 6, 9½, 11 and 13 at their diameters. But their scale is more...

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Helen Pashgian, "Untitled, 2012-13," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Review: At LACMA's 'Helen Pashgian,' step back and watch magic happen

Snobs often say that it’s wrong to stroll through a museum without stopping to study a single work of art. They have a point -- today we tend to do things too quickly. But there’s more than one way to look at great art, and scrutinizing every little detail may not be the best way to perceive everything out there.

It certainly isn’t when you visit “Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. To fully engage the subtly mesmerizing installation, organized by curator Carol S. Eliel, you must stroll slowly around the perimeter of the long,...

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MOCA director Philippe Vergne takes to Twitter

If you’re wondering how new Museum of Contemporary Art Director Philippe Vergne is taking to Los Angeles and his post at the museum, or what he has to say about the ambitious “Mike Kelley” exhibition that opened March 30, just ask him.

Vergne will be holding a live Twitter Q&A from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Pacific time on Friday. The hashtag for questions is: #askMOCA. Vergne’s answers will post in real time at twitter.com/MOCAlosangeles.

In the meantime, MOCAtv, the digital programming arm of the museum, launched a six-minute video Thursday morning in which Vergne addresses...

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A performance of "The Suit" in Paris with Rikki Henry and Nonhlanhla Kheswa (who also appears in the UCLA production).

Critic's Pick: 'The Suit' and Schubert

Death in Peter Brook’s elusive, essential production of “The Suit,” which closes this weekend at UCLA, is not losing your balance. Falling and picking yourself up again means you can keep going. Brook vividly underscores that in the new documentary about his rehearsal process, “The Tightrope.” 

Schubert’s songs are the key. Unlike the other music in “The Suit” -- African, blues, a Strauss waltz, Bach -- Schubert never interrupts, never stops the action, never accompanies, never even colors. These songs simply flow like an inescapable current. It...

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James Franco, left, and Chris O'Dowd in a scene from "Of Mice and Men," at the Longacre Theatre in New York.

James Franco, his 'Of Mice and Men' critic and an Instagram rant

The social-media buzz surrounding James Franco's Broadway debut on Wednesday in "Of Mice and Men" doesn't have to do so much with his performance or with the production, for that matter. The trending subject is an Instagram post that's being attributed to Franco in which the actor appears to have lashed out against a prominent theater critic.

The post has been deleted, but screen shots of it on various blogs seem to show Franco calling Ben Brantley of the New York Times an "idiot" and another insulting term that won't be repeated here. The post is attributed to the account "jamesfrancotv,"...

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Mike Kelley's "Deodorized Central Mass With Satellites," 1991-99, mixed media, shown at Perry Rubenstein Gallery in November 2012.

Ovitz, Shepard Fairey among creditors in Rubenstein Gallery bankruptcy

The list of creditors in a recent bankruptcy filing for the Perry Rubenstein Gallery in Los Angeles reads like a Hollywood art-world summit. Among those with claims against the gallery, according to court documents: Creative Artists Agency founder and former Walt Disney Co. President Michael Ovitz, L.A. artists Shepard Fairey and Zoe Crosher, renowned Dutch photographer Iwan Baan and German sculptor Georg Herold.

The gallery, which arrived from New York in June 2012 with a star-studded opening, debuted its swanky, 9,500-square-foot Highland Avenue space with a Helmut Newton photography...

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Mikhail Baryshnikov and Tymberly Canale in "Man in a Case" at the Broad Stage.

L.A. theater openings, April 20-27: 'Man in a Case' and more

Baryshnikov does Chekov in "Man in a Case" at the Broad Stage. Plus, a Pulitzer Prize winner: D.L. Colburn’s “The Gin Game” at Little Fish Theatre.

Dr. Keeling’s Curve Mike Farrell portrays the scientist who first sounded the alarm about global warming. Ramo Auditorium at Caltech, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena. Tue., 8 p.m. $5-$35. (626) 395-4652.

The Gershwins’ Porgy and BessTony-winning revival of the classic musical about African American life in 1920s South Carolina. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next...

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Simba, a lion cub born to King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi, grows up and faces his uncle Scar to avenge his father's death and reclaim his place as the rightful king of the pride in "The Lion King." Adapted from 1994's animated Disney film, the musical has been running on Broadway since 1997 and won six out of its 11 Tony nominations, including for musical. "The Lion King" is currently the fourth longest-running Broadway show of all time and has grossed more than $1 billion.

From screen to stage: Musical movie adaptations

Movies often turn to the stage for inspiration, but more and more films are spurring stage productions. Here is a look at some popular (and not so popular) musicals that were adapted from the big screen.

By Tracy Brown
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James Franco, right, and Chris O'Dowd in a scene from "Of Mice and Men."

Review: 'Of Mice and Men' finds James Franco in CliffsNotes mode

NEW YORK — Why is James Franco, the world's most famous perpetual student, making his Broadway debut in a revival of that panting war horse "Of Mice and Men," a favorite of high school English teachers and Turner Classic Movies addicts?

It's a strange choice for this multi-hyphenated star, who has conducted his career like a postmodern experiment designed to reveal — who knows? — the pointless distinction between high and low culture or maybe the susceptibility of the arts and academia to the whorish charms of celebrity.

What his work here ultimately exposes, however, are the...

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This model-haunted world: In Sheila Callaghan's new play, "Everything You Touch," having its world premiere at Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Jess (Kirsten Vangsness, center), a young woman with body-image problems, sees beautiful models wherever she looks  (l to r, Candice Lam, Chelsea Fryer and Allegra Rose Edwards).

Theater review: "Everything You Touch" at Boston Court Performing Arts Center

You may have seen your share of makeovers, but nothing like the one Sheila Callaghan inflicts on her heroine in “Everything You Touch,” her lushly written dark comedy world-premiering at Boston Court Performing Arts Center.

Three glamorous models descend on Jess (Kirsten Vangsness), shrieking like birds of prey, while Victor, a histrionic fashion designer (Tyler Pierce), shouts insults at her.

She staggers out of the fracas in a leopard-print swing coat.

CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat

This scene laid bare the savagery at the heart of every makeover, and it...

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