Essential Arts and Culture: A Hallelujah chorus, a nun's story and energy unleashed

I’m Kelly Scott, the arts and culture editor of the L.A. Times, and we begin with the story that ended an eventful week across the country, one that the arts community wasn’t alone in celebrating.

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Time has come today

“Hallelujah,” actress Audra McDonald said. “It’s pretty huge,” said artist Catherine Opie. From Broadway theaters to art museums in Texas to LACMA’s impressionist gallery -- where artist Mark Dutcher intended to  marry his partner of 13 years Friday in a “stealth ceremony” -- people who’ve waited decades for it celebrated the Supreme Court’s Friday ruling establishing the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Tony winner Audra McDonald is among the Broadway community voices who sang out in support of the same-sex marriage ruling. (Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)

The force is still with him

At this historic moment, we have an extensive interview with writer and activist Larry Kramer, the author of the play “The Normal Heart,” and the subject of the new documentary “Larry Kramer in Love and Anger,” in the Arts & Books section. Now 80, “Kramer gives the impression of an old prophet convalescing after a long career of productive wrath,” writes theater critic Charles McNulty. Kramer spoke with McNulty about many things, and before the SCOTUS decision, but when asked about progress toward marriage equality, he was the Larry Kramer of yore: “Everyone says ‘you should be so happy we’ve come so far,’ “ he said. “I don’t think we’ve come so far. People are still being attacked all over the country.”

Recalibrating the mission?

While the Music Center awaits the arrival of new president Rachel Moore, the fallout from recent budget cuts and a decision to scale back its teaching artists program has some observers saying the Music Center has fallen from its lofty position as a national leader in arts education. Read Mike Boehm and David Ng’s reporting on whether the partially-county-funded Music Center has retreated from its mission of arts education.

Don Julian School teacher Robert London's fourth-grade class shows off puppets they made as part of the Music Center's in-school teaching program in their La Puente classroom. (Christina House / For The Times)

Sister Mary Corita explains it for you

Upon seeing “Someday Is Now: The Art of Corita Kent,” now at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, Christopher Knight decided that Kent learned a lot from Andy Warhol and the soup cans she saw at the 1962 Ferus Gallery exhibition. A key figure found at the intersection of 1960s counterculture and the L.A. arts world, Kent was a prolific artist and printmaker, and the exhibition shows both what she was and what she was not. (The curators Ian Berry and Michael Duncan talked about Kent recently with Jessica Gelt.)

We have liftoff

Two of the girls are 9 and one is 10, but all play the lead of “Matilda the Musical“ with wit, aplomb and pretty decent comic timing at the Ahmanson Theatre, where the show is launching a national tour. They alternate performances, though two of them must be at the theater for every show, in case they’re needed. But even a Matilda needs to blow off steam. Tre’vell Anderson followed Mia Sinclair Jennes, Mabel Tyler and Gabby Gutierrez on their afternoon off as the young actresses — none of them are Angelenos — discovered the Santa Monica Pier.  Their energy level could have powered the Ferris wheel. Even though there are three of them -- in my experience a problematic number of girls in the same space at any given time -- it works. They like each other, they really like each other. “There’s not a single bad bone in each of their bodies,” Mia said of her colleagues.

The three Matildas; Mia Sinclair Jenness, left, Mabel Tyler and Gabby Gutierrez. (Christina House / For The Times)

In short

Cineramadome, the sequel: The Academy Museum, made up of a refurbished May Co. building and a big new round theater called the Sphere, received City Council approval this week. Groundbreaking this summer. . .  Reboot, prequel, or origin story? J.K. Rowling announces  a theatrical version of the Boy Wizard, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” is coming to a London stage next year, but even she’s not certain... Shepard Fairey a wanted man — what’s that about? ... And when is the Confederate flag not whistling “Dixie”? When it’s artist G. Ray Kerciu’s, at the Laguna Art Museum ...

What we’re reading

I’m reading “Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition,” the book that accompanies the Hammer Museum show of the same name, which proposes that there is an important strain of recent camera work that “lays claim to the autonomy long associated with a work of art.” – Christopher Knight, art critic

I’m reading the Supreme Court decision which I learned of on Lido in Venice. We have  come a long way since “Death in Venice.”  -- Charles McNulty, theater critic, vacationing in Italy.

This writer examines the power of symbols – flags, in other words – to move us. – Kelly Scott, arts editor

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