HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

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.

 

RECOMMENDED:

TONIGHT! — MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL film (musical giant, cultural icon Miles Davis, visionary, innovator, originator who embodied the word cool but was fiercely independent, featuring never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes, rare photos, the story of a singular talent unpacks the man behind the horn, I learned a lot, it is so well done), Thurs-?, Landmark Theater, Westwood.

“TWELFTH NIGHT” (they’re known for their mastery of The Bard, forsooth), Sat 4 p.m., also 9/15, 21, 28, Will Geer’s 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!), Sat 8 p.m., also 9/15, 22, 29, T. Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;

“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?), Sun 4 p.m., also 9/14, 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), Sun 8 p.m., also 9/14, 21, 29, W.G.’s Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42.

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.

LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE (this great doc will perhaps open your eyes with more respect for a woman who blazed early trails in male-dominated rock, 11 platinum alb ums, first artist ever to simultaneously top the Pop, Country, and R&B charts, 26 Grammy nominations, 10 wins, always advocated for human rights, shared a mattress on the floor of the Governor’s Mansion with Jerry Brown, lived life and her art on her own terms and succeeded wildly, and as Dolly Parton declares, “that girl could sing ANYthing!”), Fri-?, Landmark Theater, Westwood.

LIBRARY GIRL presents CAHUENGA PRESS TURNS 30 (always a premier spoken word event, LG this month features their more-or-less annual tribute to a standout local small press, and especially to one of their four longtime poets, Cahuenga Press co-founder Holly Prado, who passed recently, so the three will be reading from her work as well as their own, don’t you want to be entertained, provoked, enlightened, moved AND discover a new-for-you local press you might love AND get that cupcake?), Sun 7 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $10 includes cupcake!!

“SAVE THE PIER” (another gem from the informed pen of local playwright, historian and Pier authority Jim Harris, who gave us the fascinating “An Illegal Start” a couple of years ago, played out on our carousel and also directed by Paul Sand, long-time Santa Monican and founder of Santa Monica Public Theatre, the story revolves around two groups of passionate SM citizens in the 1970s working to save the Pier from the City Council’s plan to build a 35-acre artificial island in the bay with a bridge connecting to the Santa Monica freeway and after the new construction was complete, the Pier would be torn down), Sun 7:30 p.m., Santa Monica Pier, free.

DAVID CROSBY (no, really, you should go see him, for a few reasons, he’s a two-time RnR Hall of Famer for The Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash, wrote “8 Miles High,” “Guinevere,” “Wooden Ships,” still has a gorgeous tenor, and after years of severe addiction, diabetes, hepatitis C, a liver transplant, eight stents and three heart attacks, any tour could easily be his farewell tour), Tues 9 p.m., Saban Theater, Beverly Hills, $27-$580.

BRIAN WILSON with Al Jardine & Blondie Chaplin, THE ZOMBIES (“Something Great from ‘68” Tour, of course they’re not in their “prime” but are you? OK that’s not fair because you’re not charging admission, but Brian is definitely worth catching, and he is a music genius of our time, and The Zombies are still pretty dang good, yes they are), next Thurs 7:30 p.m., Greek Theater, Griffith Park, $50-$350.

 

COMING ATTRACTIONS: LA BOHEME — LA OPERA, 9/14, 22, 25, 28, 10/2, 6, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA; STREET SYMPHONY with VIJAY GUPTA, 9/15, Monica Film Center, DTSM; SOUNDWAVES Series: Michael Vlatkovich Wind Quintet, 9/18, Main Library, DTSM; MARK KNOPFLER, 9/22, Greek Theater, Griffith Park;

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” Roy T. Bennett

 

BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS:  FREDDIE MERCURY (1946), LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III (1946), DWEEZIL ZAPPA (1969), SUNNYLAND SLIM, blues pianist  (1907), JOHN CAGE, composer (1912), EDUARDO MATA, composer (1942).

You do know John Cage was born in LA and lived for two years in Santa Monica? Where he made a living partly by giving small, private lectures on contemporary art, which he sold by series subscription, door to door.  Before my time. But here’s my personal connection story for a birthday boy.

In 1970 I was the newly-minted Arts & Media Editor for the UNM Daily Lobo. A big reason for me to grab that job was the avalanche of review albums I received daily. One day I had a pile on my desk and our new Special Editor Michael Blake, from LA by way of tiny EasternNMU where he was ousted as campus paper editor for criticizing the college president, picked one up, the eponymous first album by Loudon Wainwright III with a very funky photo on the cover, and asked, “May I review this one? I’ll give it back when I’m one.” Sure. “Do you know who this is?” No. Do you? “Well not really but his father is a big shot in East Coast media, a LIFE Magazine editor and columnist, so it might be interesting.”

Well, as we all know, LWIII was and is still nothing if not interesting, 50 years later. And Blake was pretty interesting. A fiercely dedicated writer, he moved back to LA, became an editor at the LA Free Press, helped lead the revolt that formed the breakaway paper The Staff, then spent the next 20 years doing poor-paying odd writing jobs and getting rejected continuously, couch surfing and living in his car with his faithful dog Kelly, but never losing faith in himself, until finally… he won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for writing the screenplay to “Dances with Wolves.” What a story. Never give up, if you know you’ve got the goods.

 

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 therealmrmusic@gmail.com

 

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1 Comment

  1. Really enjoyed seeing “Save the Pier,” by Jim Harris. Highly recommend! The setting is lovely out on the SM Pier by the water, under the stars!

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