La Traviata - LA OPERA


From my wife DIANE MICHELLE’s performance with our daughter at the Church in Ocean Park of her first album ever, “Blood Harmony.” So sorry! But the 80 or so who did get in seemed to enjoy it, and most bought the CD (soon available on CDBaby), so, thank  you so much, and great thanks to Rev. Janet and The Church in Ocean Park for hosting it. And to Jack Neworth for his column Friday, about our oh so talented family (“that is, if you don’t count Charles”). The check’s in the mail, Jack.


TONIGHT! — LA OPERA – LA TRAVIATA (it is the most popular, most performed opera there is but you must see this one, an LA Opera original production premiered in 2006 and reprised in ‘14, designed by Marta Domingo — Placido’s wife — to shift from mid-19th Century Paris to the Art Deco Roaring ‘20s, her “lavishly gorgeous settings and flamboyant costumes provide a feast for the eye” and when golden leaves come fluttering out of “the sky” it is exquisite, and the dance number, Robert Palmer meets walk like an Egyptian, is worth the price of admission, the three pricipal vocalists are stellar, Verdi’s classic tale of the fallen woman redeemed, almost, coming out of his personal experiences and longstanding resentment of authority, the middle opera of the trilogy he wrote and premiered in the mid-1850s — three in less than two years! — leaving behind the mythic foundations of Wagner and his predecessors for realism, courageous and groundbreaking in its time, the censors deemed his previous very similar libretto to be of “repulsive immorality and obscene triviality” but the censors settled for changing the title), Thurs, Wed 7:30 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., also June 22, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA, $99-$364.

DAVE ALVIN Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of “King of California” (“King of CA” ?, the case could be made, the younger founding brother of The Blasters going beyond the gold status of the iconic Orange County roots rockers to gain equal standing for his solo career  — all I know is seeing Dave perform solo should be on everyone’s bucket list and now if you live in SM, you don’t have to go far, not even to Orange County), Fri, Sun 8 p.m., McCabe’s, SM, $40.


SAMOPRIDE — this Sat: three blocks of interactive LGTBQ+ pop-ups, food vendors, live music, theater and other performances, DJs, kid’s zone, comedy, games, Pride Pong, workout and Dance classes, drag show, LGBTQ+ organizations and resources, and a dance party under the rainbow, 3-10 p.m., free..

LA PHIL NEW MUSIC GROUP – ATLAS: An Opera in Three Parts (everything evolves, right? — except certain “religious” non-thinkers… and this column has moved from recommendations of only performances I have had some personal experience with,  to things I will list for your attention that I would bet on, sight unseen, and let’s face it, the LA Phil is not going to put up some raggedy-ass  production with their name on it, I’ve been attending and appreciating opera much more lately, done well it is excellent music, vocals and theater combined, Meredith Monk’s “Atlas” receives “a staggeringly ambitious new production,” this landmark work from one of modern music’s most influential composers weaving a tale of Alexandra’s metaphorical journey through her imagination, drawn into a quest through inner space, exploring the loss and rediscovery of our inherent wonder, incorporating visual art, movement, and innovative use of the Concert Hall,” sounds challenging and wonderful), Fri 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA, $32-$164.

ALAN BROADBENT TRIO (there are at least two super jazz pianists in LA named Alan, maybe three, and this is one of them, but he’s also lauded and awarded as an arranger and composer, four Grammy noms, two snags, worked with Charlie Haden, Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Peter Erskine, Natalie Cole, Bud Shank, Diana Krall, Lenny Bernstein, Barbra, Rod, Linda Ronstadt, David Byrne, etc etc etc, a different format and program each night so check their web site and pick your favorite or, heck, all three, when do you get a chance like this?), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 5 p.m., Jazz Bakery, Moss Theater, SM, $40-$45.

SUDAN ARCHIVES, Oddisee + Good company – FIGfest, Figat7th (the downtown LA free Fridays music series features someone I’ve been wanting to see since I missed her on the Pier last year and now a couple more times since, self-taught electric violinist and electronics experimenter enamored of Northern African music, maybe this time…), Fri 7 p.m., Figueroa at 7th, free.

Meet Me at Reed: PAUL McDONALD BIG BAND (have I ever heard them? — nope but from past experience I’m betting every performance booked for every Sat afternoon in June and July in Reed Park will hold your interest, and you will be sitting on the lawn, under the trees, maybe with a cool ocean breeze blowing in, the kids running around but hopefully absorbing a little cul-chah, bring a picnic basket or raid the food trucks, this has become a great summer asset in Santa Monica), Sat 5-7 p.m., pre-concert activities begin at 3 p.m., free.

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN (performs at opening of his new supper club, Feinstein’s at Vitello’s — that’s a big deal, An Intimate Evening with Michael Feinstein: Home in Hollywood), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Studio City, $85-$110.

AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, The Art of Safecracking, The Start (goin’ for the first band only, what an opportunity, gotta love LA and LB has some treasures), next Thurs  8 p.m., Alex’s Bar, Long Beach, $20.

COMING ATTRACTIONS:  GILBERT CASTELLANOS QUINTET, June 21, KENNY GARRETT QUINTET, June 22, STEVE COTTER TRIO, June 23, Jazz Bakery, SM; “DEATH OF A SALESMAN” by ARTHUR MILLER starring Rob Morrow, Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, June 21-Aug. 4; 30th Annual MARIACHI USA, June 22, SANTANA, DOOBIE BROTHERS, June 24, Hollywood Bowl; KATE WOLF Music Festival, Laytonville CA, June 27-30; JOHN McEUEN & The String Wizards present Will The Circle Be Unbroken, June 29, RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT, June 30, McCabes, SM.

BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS: Forgive me, BOBBY FREEMAN (1940), “Do You Want to Dance,” “C’mon and Swim”, you had a couple of other decent songs and you were a survivor, skuffling around the Bay Area clubs after your records stopped selling, passing away two years ago at 76, but it doesn’t ring my chimes.

Let’s time travel back just a week, where my BB bio never made it into print, and say a couple of words about EDGAR FROESE (6/6/1944 — D-Day!), founder in 1967 of the very influential TANGERINE DREAM, electronic rock, pioneers in what came to be known as progressive rock, or prog rock. Froese remained the only member through the entire life of the band, but most people consider the early-to-late ‘70s lineup with Christopher Franke and Peter Baumann to be “the real TD,” and I do too.

Franke and Baumann’s solo work, like Froese’s, is well worth exploring. They dropped more than 100 albums, more than 60 soundtracks, including for the video game “Grand Theft Auto V.”

Surprisingly, perhaps, rock guitar worshipper though I be, I loved them. For a few years. Then it got a bit repetitious and I wandered off. Edgar Froese died suddenly in Vienna on 20 January 2015 from a pulmonary embolism.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at

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