David Ng

March 20, 2014 | 8:01 a.m.

‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ composer Bear McCreary scores with Calder Quartet

As a classical-music ensemble with a sterling critical reputation and a flair for the contemporary, the Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet is used to playing at some of  the most prestigious concert venues around the world. On a recent winter morning, however, the musicians were in a modest studio in a not-so-glamorous stretch of Glendale dominated by shabby industrial warehouses. Passing freight trains emitted a repetitive ka-chink as they moved through the area on rusty tracks. Inside, a rhythm of a different sort was at play. The quartet was recording (and re-recording… and re-recording) a staccato passage for the soundtrack of the Starz drama series “Da Vinci’s Demons.” Leading them from the podium was the series’ Emmy-winning composer Bear McCreary. The 35-year-old McCreary demanded the musicians repeat the passage several times, suggesting slight changes in their interpretation with each take. “Maybe […]
Feb. 14, 2012 | 8:18 p.m.

William Shatner boldly goes just about everywhere in his career

William Shatner is standing in a mostly bare rehearsal room in Hollywood, his arms outstretched as he recites the closing lines to his Broadway-bound one-man show. Naturally, the subject of the moment is his career — that strange, constantly mutating accumulation of TV series, movies, guest spots, online projects, commercials and more. “It’s easy to say no,” he says, addressing an invisible audience. “Saying yes carries more danger to it. Saying yes is risky business — but how much richer my life has been because of it.” If there is one inviolable law of the Shatnerverse, it is simply that: Say yes. Shatner’s career is defined by a bottomless capacity to try it all. Nothing is too weird or outlandish; selling out is nothing to be ashamed of. His oddball career choices form the backbone of “Shatner’s World: We Just […]
Nov. 30, 2010 | 5:32 a.m.

Broadway’s ‘Spider-Man’ gets off to shaky start

David Ng at our sister blog, Culture Monster, has been keeping tabs on Broadway’s $65 million “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” to see if the new musical can in fact do whatever a spider can…  On Sunday, Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” began preview performances at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York. The event marks the first time that a paying public audience was able to experience the long-delayed stage musical. But according to reports in the New York press, the first performance was marred by a number of technical mishaps. New York Post columnist Michael Riedel reported that “overhead stage wires dropped on the audience, scenery appeared on stage missing pieces — and the show’s star [Reeve Carney] was even left swaying helplessly over them midair during what was supposed to be the climatic end to the first […]
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