Culture Monster
All arts, all the time
'The Interview' to get a live reading at New York theater

Sony's theatrical release of "The Interview" is officially kaput, but a small New York stage company is taking up the cause by hosting a live reading of the movie's screenplay.

The reading, which is being mounted by a group of three New York-based producers and comedians, will be free to the public.

The Treehouse Theater, a relatively new stage company located near New York's Chelsea neighborhood, said on its website that the live reading will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. 

"This is an opportunity for people to come together in the name of free speech, in defiance of all who have threatened it," the theater company said.

The screenplay for "The Interview" was written by Dan Sterling, from a story by Sterling, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The movie follows two bumbling entertainment journalists who are invited to North Korea to interview Kim Jong Un. When the CIA learns about the trip, they enlist the journalists (James Franco and Rogen) to assassinate the North Korean leader.


Read more
Renee Fleming to star on Broadway for first time

Having played dozens of roles on the operatic stage, Renee Fleming will venture into new territory this spring when she makes her Broadway debut in the play "Living on Love." The soprano will reprise the role of a temperamental opera diva that she first performed this summer in a brief run of the comedy at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts.

"Living on Love," written by Joe DiPietro, is scheduled to officially open April 20 at the Longacre Theatre in New York, producers announced Monday. The production is to be directed by Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall, who staged the production at Williamstown.

In the play, Fleming plays Raquel De Angelis, an opera singer who spars with her conductor husband when he falls for the young woman hired to write his memoirs. In retaliation, De Angelis hires a young man to pen her memoirs, causing even more marital friction.

No additional casting has been announced for the Broadway production. At Williamstown, the roles of the young...

Read more
Holiday Sing-Along at Disney Hall a family delight

Christmas came early to Walt Disney Concert Hall. It came Saturday morning, and once again later the same afternoon, with jingle bells, Santa hats, and big and small voices all around.

It was the LA Phil’s annual Holiday Sing-Along featuring conductor John Sutton, the Angeles Chorale, and your friends and neighbors. Between the poinsettias, red and snowflake-patterned lights and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, there was no mistaking this was a holiday celebration.

This delightful tradition is not a show for people who like to sit back and let someone else do the driving. That’s probably for the best since judging by the audience for the 11:30 a.m. performance, a goodly portion had yet to obtain their driver’s licenses -- and some of them came in car seats.

Basically, this is the same family crowd you might see on the weekends at the zoo, except much better dressed and maybe a bit jollier. At certain points, the quality of the audience singing might have rivaled certain zoo...

Read more
'School of Rock' musical opening on Broadway in 2015

Richard Linklater's 2003 crowd pleaser "School of Rock" will become a Broadway musical when the world-premiere production opens at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York on Dec. 6, 2015, producers announced on Thursday.

The very American story of a struggling rock musician who becomes a substitute school teacher boasts a classy British pedigree in the forms of Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose company is producing and who is writing some new music to supplement the rock songs imported from the movie, as well as Julian Fellowes, the creator of "Downton Abbey," who is adapting Mike White's screenplay for the stage.

"School of Rock -- The Musical" is scheduled to begin preview performances on Nov. 2. Lloyd Webber has been the show's prime creative force through his company The Really Useful Group. Other producers include Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization. 

The production will be directed by Laurence Connor, who worked with Lloyd...

Read more
Made in L.A. 2016: Curators announced for Hammer biennial

The Hammer Museum announced Thursday that its next biennial art show, Made in L.A. 2016, will be co-curated by Hamza Walker of the Renaissance Society in Chicago and the Hammer's own Aram Moshayedi.

Combining a curator who has worked extensively in Los Angeles for the last 10 years with someone from outside the region, Moshayedi said, will help the program to examine regional art in relation to national and international art scenes.

"We both want to address the question of how Los Angeles is part of a network of cities that artists inhabit fluidly," he said. "This is about questioning whether or not a regional identity can be forged in a city that is inherently diverse and international."

The Hammer curator will work with Hamza, director of education and associate curator for the Renaissance Society, a contemporary art museum on the campus of the University of Chicago.

The mandate of Made in L.A., which debuted in 2012, is to showcase the work of artists from the L.A. area with...

Read more
Top conductors departing San Diego Opera and San Diego Symphony

The top conductors of the San Diego Opera and the San Diego Symphony will be departing their respective organizations in the months to come.

Karen Keltner, who has been resident conductor of San Diego Opera since the early 1980s, will step down  Feb. 1, following the company's production of "La Boheme."

Elsewhere in the city, Jahja Ling will depart the San Diego Symphony at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, following a tenure as music director that will have lasted 13 years by the time he leaves.

The symphony and the opera are separate and independent of each other, but musicians from the symphony perform as the pit orchestra for the opera.

Keltner's departure from San Diego Opera comes as the company relaunches itself following a traumatic period this year in which the company's plan to shut down was reversed following a bitter internal struggle.

The highly public fight saw the departure of the company's longtime leader, Ian Campbell, who had named Keltner as resident conductor...

Read more