Whaddaya Want? – Beethoven’s 9th, Miles, Ty?
TONIGHT! — “DEATH OF A SALESMAN” by ARTHUR MILLER starring ROB MORROW (Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play from the brilliant Arthur Miller, Morrow rocks it, directing and cast stellar, extended again, through 9/15), Thurs-Fri-Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $20-$35.
TONIGHT! — SOUNDWAVES Series: CONTINUUM (formed in East LA in 1987, inspired by Weather Report, Oregon, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, special acoustic set in honor of Charlie Parker’s birthday, “a performance of intimate, exciting, virtuosic, and exploratory jazz”), Thurs, 7:30 p.m., Main library, DTSM, free.
LA PHIL — BEETHOVEN’S 9th (hell yeah, this will be killer, “one of the supreme achievements in Western music,” pay no mind that Dudamel has hand-picked a guest baton waver, Xian Zhang, you’ve also got this stellar line-up of vocalists in soprano Liv Redpath, mezzo Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor Toby Spence and bass Michael Sumuel, with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, on a balmy night at The Bowl, you’d be balmy to skip it, leads off with a world premiere, The Observatory, by young Pulitzer winner Caroline Shaw), Thurs 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $8-128.
TONIGHT! — BRYAN FERRY (sure, you know him from Roxy Music but hopefully you followed his solo career too because it began just one year after Roxy did, was also distinguished and you will probably hear hits, 30M records sold, from his entire 47-year career yeah he’s that old but still looking and sounding sharp, “an elegant, seductive crooner,” he and Bowie set the sartorial style for cool rock stars), Thurs 7:30 p.m., Greek Theatre, Griffith Park, $50-$250.
“AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE” (check my previous CURIOUS CITY column for some description of this excellently acted, thought-provoking adaptation by Artistic Director Ellen Geer of a classic Ibsen about… a poisoned water supply, and racial tensions, topical enough for ya?), Sat 4 p.m., also 9/8, 14, 22, 28, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH” (set in WWII-era New Jersey and the Ice Age — !?! — Thornton Wilder’s oblique, mysterious, confusing, thought-provoking and wonderful), Sat 8 p.m., also 9/2, W.G.’s Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” (here in the outdoor theater, you don’t have to imagine a forest from painted cardboard), Thursday 8 p.m., Thursday, also Mon 9/2, Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“MOBY DICK-REHEARSED” (based on Orson Welles’ 1955 adaptation of the novel, it sounds like it requires a lot of “acting,” no whales, no ship — cool!), Sun 4 p.m., also 9/ 7, 15, 22, 29, T. Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“TWELFTH NIGHT” (they’re known for their mastery of The Bard but the season clock is running out on this terrific program so get tickets now! for every show!), Sun 8 p.m., also 9/15, 28, W.G.’s TB, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42.
PACIFIC OPERA PROJECT presents THE MIKADO (if I had been sitting at a table in the main room I would have heard everything, including the updated, topical script but with a seat in the back room I couldn’t hear all the punch lines and it’s frustrating when everyone else is laughing, this show relies on singers’ projection, no subtitles and the musical theatre elocution sometimes could stand subtitles but that aside the staging and direction, sets and costumes were terrific, tickets are mostly sold out for the last weekend of this short run so don’t mess around), Fri-Sat 8 p.m., Highland Park Ebell Club, $15-$25, tables for 2-4 available $80-$180 with food, wine, cushions.
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL film (musical giant, cultural icon Miles Davis, visionary, innovator, originator who embodied the word cool, featuring never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes, rare photos, the story of a singular talent unpacks the man behind the horn), various times through Thurs, special appearances by bandmates, family, associates of Miles on Fri-Sat 7:10 p.m., Sun 4:10, Landmark Theater, Westwood.
TY SEGALL & FREEDOM BAND (if you’ve never yet caught our local mad guitar scorcher, you have a chance every Fri night through the end of Sept, a rare long residency, I heard a cut off his new album, highly praised by the radio DJ, and it was really good), Fri 9 p.m., Teragram Ballroom, DTLA, $30-$200.
BROAD FEST (always a good time, excellent performances, this year from Brasil to Django swing to Latin soul ), Sun 2 p.m., Broad Theater grounds, SM, free.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: BARBARA MORRISON, NICK MANCINI ORGAN TRIO, 9/7 – Rhythm & Brews BBQ Fundraiser for Jazz ‘n Paz, Pasadena, garden of a private residence; LIBRARY GIRL 10th Anniversary!, 9/8, Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport; LA BOHEME — LA OPERA, 9/14, 22, 25, 28, 10/2, 6, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: ““Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” ― J.K. Rowling (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”)
BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS: MICHAEL JACKSON (1958), CHARLIE “Bird” PARKER (1920), DINAH WASHINGTON (1924), WILHELM PACHELBEL (1686), MARION WILLIAMS – gospel (1927), CHRIS COPPING – Procol Harum (1945), STERLING MORRISON – Velvet Underground (1942), ME’SHELL NDEGEOCELLO (1968), INGRID BERGMAN – sigh (1915), RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH – actor, politician, director-producer of “Gandhi” (1923), PRESTON STURGES – director (1898), JOHN LOCKE – Father of Liberalism (1632), JOHN MCCAIN – this one’s for you, Donald (1936).
I guess you have to put Michael at the top of the list for many reasons, but how sad that he can’t be remembered just for his music achievements, and instead the mention of his name for most people causes a groan. Genius usually does not come in a tidy, nice package, but we should especially honor the giants who are also decent people, even role models, and there are a few. (I won’t mention any of my picks until after the posthumous bios are written, and vetted.)
I saw the Jackson 5 at Dodger Stadium many years ago and I’m glad I did but can’t say it’s in my Top 20 Concerts Ever. Sure wish I had seen Charlie Parker in person. I did have the privilege to see the great Miles Davis, at The Strand in Redondo Beach where my wife Diane was performing — also caught a rare stand-up show by Jim Carrey there, insane, insanely brilliant.
I did have a brush with Me’Shell OdegeOcello when she played at the lamented Virgin Records on Sunset, took my daughter who was three but knew what she liked musically and she liked this bassist-composer-vocalist so much she quickly learned how to pronounce her multisyllabic name perfectly. I must admit I got a kick out of prompting her to say the name for the folks around us, many of whom admitted, I can’t say that!
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 email@example.com