Those of us who get off on edgy, experimental theatre sometimes find it in OC storefronts—when we’re lucky, as with STAGEStheatre’s current Genet/Ionesco bill (closing this weekend)—but more often in LA. South Coast Repertory plays host Feb. 14-17 to Rogue Artists Ensemble’s “Songs of Bilitis,” which almost certainly falls into that category.
When asked to name my favorite plays of the past five years by a facebook friend, I noted the Rogues’ wonderfully inventive “Gogol Project,” which they may revive this year. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to this erotic psychological thriller, which explores how and why a hetero avant-garde Parisian novelist impersonated a lesbian Greek poet in an elaborate literary hoax.
The Studio SCR offering combines multi-media projections with puppetry, movement, live audio-sampling and larger-than-life Greek masks; “Bilitis” also runs Mar. 7-30 at the Bootleg Theater in LA. As you might expect, it contains nudity and adult themes. Call 714-708-555 (SCR) or visit www.rogueartists.org.
When I’m not getting my jollies from theatre, I often turn to classic music—as I did last Sunday when Itzhak Perlman visited Costa Mesa. The Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall was filled to capacity for this Philharmonic Society of OC event. I immediately appreciated the theme of PSOC’s season, Music Up Close, as I took my seat; I could’ve beaned the illustrious headliner with a softball, unlike the last time I saw him in the cavernous Hollywood Bowl.
The thing that struck me about Perlman this time was how effortless he made it look; he seemed impossibly relaxed. And while he aced the almost obligatory famous composition—in this case Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano and Violin, No. 1 in D major—he also excelled at drawing out the nuances in Cesar Franck’s delicate Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major.
The violinist’s frequent accomplice, Rohan de Silva, provided flawless piano accompaniment, notably on the playful passages in Giuseppe Tartini’s Sonata in G minor for Violin and Continuo “Devil’s Trill.” Perlman exhibited wit as well as technical virtuosity in his well-chosen encores, including Fritz Kreisler’s Andantino, and John Williams’ popular Theme from "Schindler's List.”
The Philharmonic Society’s upcoming concerts include Camera Lucida performing Brahms (Mar. 5), young violin virtuoso Ray Chen (Apr. 6), and the St. Lawrence String Quartet (Apr. 21), all at the Irvine Barclay; the St. Louis Symphony (Mar. 18) and Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic (May 24), both at the Segerstrom. Hot tip: The Dude sold out the joint two years ago. Call 949-553-2422 or visit www.philharmonicsociety.org.
More from Jordan:
Hwang’s ‘Chinglish’ rocks SCR, ‘Mermaid’ dances into Segerstrom http://www.examiner.com/article/hwang-s-chinglish-rocks-scr-mermaid-dances-into-segerstrom
Ionesco’s ‘Chairs’ at STAGES, Off-Center Festival at Segerstrom http://www.examiner.com/article/ionesco-s-chairs-at-stages-off-center-festival-at-segerstrom
Guirgis’ ‘MoFo’ in Costa Mesa, Genet’s ‘Balcony’ in Fullerton http://www.examiner.com/article/guirgis-mofo-costa-mesa-genet-s-balcony-fullerton
Best of OC Theatre 2012
Billie Holiday on DVD, Sathima Benjamin on CD, Wynton Marsalis in paperback
Academy Award Losers, 1912-1939: Great Performances in the Oscar Hall of Shame, Vol. 1 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ARTJGOA
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