Oct. 29, 2013 | 2:10 p.m.
Prolific composer Danny Elfman is celebrating his years-long cinematic partnership with Tim Burton in a unique way this week: Beginning a three-night run at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Elfman will present a live symphonic program of the 15 movie scores he’s penned for the filmmaker. “Danny Elfman’s Music From the Films of Tim Burton” will even see Elfman take the stage to sing selections from the soundtrack of the stop-motion animated fable “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Conductor John Mauceri will lead the 87-piece Hollywood Symphony Orchestra through the three performances, which also will feature the 45-member Page L.A. Choir. The duo is soon set to begin work on their 16th collaboration, Burton’s forthcoming “Big Eyes” about the painter Margaret Keane and her husband, Walter, who took credit for her art. But in a recent interview about […]
Oct. 12, 2013 | 2:00 p.m.
Kirk Jenkins doesn’t seem to notice the young woman suspended in the air in front of him, contorting her body through a hoop, or the man in a nearby corner, spinning a fighting stick. Instead, Jenkins sits on the side of the room of the Cirque School studio in Hollywood, intently focused on the steel blades in his hands. The Wolverine-reminiscent weapons are called kamas, and Jenkins grips them with controlled strength as he quietly goes through the motions of his 30-second audition routine. Jenkins, 24, who flew to Los Angeles from his home in Warrenton, Va., along with his father and coach Ron Jenkins, is one of hundreds of people to audition for “Marvel Universe Live,” a live-action arena stunt show that will unite many of Marvel’s most popular superheroes, including Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers. The Los […]
May 28, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
Eastern philosophy is not the first thing one associates with the Disneyland Resort, but the message of the Fantasyland Theatre’s new and quite splendid stage show “Mickey and the Magical Map” is decidedly, and surprisingly, Zen. Or as Zen as a show can be in which young men and women in rustic fantasy-wear sing and dance their way through some of the studio’s greatest hits in front of a gorgeous three-tiered screen awash in animated wonder. Like many characters of his demo, Mickey Mouse is, above all, a seeker of enlightenment. In “Mickey and the Magical Map,” he’s back in Sorcerer’s Apprentice mode, trying to prove himself by filling in the final empty space on his master’s map. The black spot, which does not want to be painted, comes to life and takes Mickey on a magical, musical, multimedia tour. […]
March 28, 2013 | 8:38 a.m.
Superman looks good for 75. The Last Son of Krypton’s 75th anniversary coincides with the June 14 release of “Man of Steel,” easily one of the top 13 must-see movies of 2013. Superman arrived on the scene in June of 1938 in “Action Comics” No. 1, one of the most coveted comic books in history. (If you see a dusty copy of the original at a garage sale, snap it up. Only a few dozen copies are believed to be in existence. An original netted $2.1 million for actor and collector Nicolas Cage.) Quiz: How well do you know Superman? In that debut issue, Superman was introduced as a mythic hero and champion of the oppressed. The brainchild of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster proved so popular with readers that he soon landed his very own comic series. In honor of Superman’s 75th anniversary, […]
March 13, 2013 | 5:51 p.m.
Feld Entertainment Inc., which produces the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, along with other live shows such as Disney on Ice, is teaming up with Marvel Entertainment to produce a live arena show featuring Marvel characters. It’s the latest in a series of new ventures for the company that created the likes of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Hulk, including two upcoming animated series, a Web series and a new digital comics platform. An arena or stage show featuring comic-book characters has been done — witness last year’s ‘Batman Live’ and the accident-prone “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” — but Kenneth Feld, CEO of Vienna, Va.-based Feld Entertainment, believes that his company’s experience with these types of acrobatic shows could make the difference. “What [the 'Spider-Man' Broadway show] tried to do was new for them, but it’s the stuff we […]
March 11, 2013 | 9:53 a.m.
Douglas Adams’ 61st birthday is being marked with a Google Doodle that would make the author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” proud. But “Don’t Panic” if you looked at the Google Doodle and wondered … “what is that supposed to be?” The interactive doodle draws on several allusions to the late English humorist’s writing, down to the rumpled towel said to be an important part of any trip. There’s a cup of tea, a packed back, a manuscript, the galaxy whizzing by outside the window. You can also see Marvin the robot by clicking on the sliding doors to the left, and you can tap the e-reader’s keyboard for several inside references. Most of it, though, will likely be lost on those unfamiliar with the author, who died at the age of 49 from a heart attack. He […]
Feb. 22, 2013 | 1:12 p.m.
Edward Gorey, an artist who injected glee into gruesome and mirth into the macabre, is the recipient of a Google Doodle. Gorey, who would have been 88, was known for his offbeat artistry — he won a cult following with his eerie, yet droll pen-and-ink drawings, writing and illustrating dozens of his own books. Animation of his work introduced the PBS show “Mystery!” for decades, and he won a Tony for costume design in 1977 for a Broadway production of “Dracula.” Gorey was also known for his eccentricities — which began at an early age. As a 5-year-old, he read Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” he told author Ron Miller in 1996. As a youngster, he also taught himself how to draw. From a young age, “his passion was creating his own bizarre stories and illustrating them.” Gorey was an admitted fan […]
Feb. 21, 2013 | 9:09 a.m.
Shia LaBeouf appears to be taking his case to the people’s court — via Twitter. The “Transformers” star is using the social media platform to post a series of personal emails to reflect the “creative differences” that led him to bow out of the upcoming revival production of the play “Orphans,” as reported by our sister blog, Culture Monster. LaBeouf’s departure led to talk that he clashed with costar Alec Baldwin. But Thursday’s news cycle is all about LaBeouf’s take-no-prisoners approach: He is using the social media platform to tell his side of the story by posting what purports to be personal emails involving Baldwin; another costar, Tom Sturridge; and the play’s director. PS4: 10 things you must know What do you think about LaBeouf’s tactics? A smart way to get his point across? Do you think the email senders feel like their […]
Sept. 28, 2012 | 4:04 p.m.
“Batman Live” kicked off its Los Angeles run last night, bringing Gotham’s heroes and villains to the Staples Center for a stunt-filled arena show that runs through the weekend. The production, which began in Manchester, England, last year and toured the United Kingdom, Europe and South America, features elaborate sets including a 105-foot bat-shaped LED video wall, pyrotechnics and fight scenes, performed by a cast of 43 actors and acrobats. The story follows the meeting and teaming up of billionaire Bruce Wayne and circus performer Dick Grayson (who becomes Robin), who are up against all of the Arkham Asylum regulars: Catwoman, the Joker, Harley Quinn, the Penguin, Poison Ivy and the Riddler, Two-Face and Scarecrow. Scottish actor Sam Heughan, whose previous credits include roles in British television, plays Bruce Wayne and his caped alter-ego Batman. Hero Complex caught up with […]
April 14, 2012 | 8:00 a.m.
This post has been corrected. See below for details. Pop quiz: Name the Broadway musical based on a comic book in which an actor playing a superhero fell from his safety harness while flying through the air. If you answered, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” you’d be wrong. Spider-Man doesn’t fly; he swings. The correct response is “It’s a Bird … It’s a Plane … It’s Superman,” the 1966 musical about the Man of Steel. The show boasted an impressive pedigree; it was directed by Hal Prince (who made a name for himself with “West Side Story” and “Cabaret”), with music and lyrics by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (the team behind “Bye Bye Birdie”) and the book was written by David Newman and Robert Benton (who, more than a decade later, would co-write Richard Donner’s “Superman: The Movie“). For the dual […]