Category Archives: Special Events

Have a Cole Porter New Year’s Eve-Eve

Want to have an elegant holiday?  Want to escape the wet, slushy cold for the brisk sunny snow-less winter weather of Southern California? Escape to Los Angeles for an evening of Cole Porter music, stylish dancing on stage and  the possibility of romance with like-minded souls. All aboard for the Center Theatre Group’s special “Anything Goes” New Year’s Eve-Eve Singles Night.

You’ll have to book your own flight and hotel, but the rest is covered. Hunky dancer sailors and other “Anything Goes” cast members will attend the special early dinner at the supper club First & Hope Restaurant.  From 4 to 6 p.m., you’ll be eating jambalaya, black truffle macaroni and cheese, roasted rosemary garlic chicken au jus, Coca Cola braised short rib and grilled seasonal vegetables at this unassuming Art Deco New York Style dinner club. Of course, carefully selected white and red wines are included.

You’ll be walking over to the Sunday evening show of “Anything Goes” and sitting together in the mezzanine section $100 seats (included in the evening’s package).

Fans of the movie musical may also been surprised, but remember Hollywood often changes original musicals plot. In this case, Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse’s original book has been revised by Howard Lindsay and John Weidman. Yet “Anything Goes” has a history of revisions so purists shouldn’t be offended. The 1962 off-Broadway revival was revised, influenced by the movies. More Cole Porter songs were added such as “It’s De-Lovely” from “Red Hot and Blue” and “Friendship” from “DuBarry Was a Lady.”

The Tony Award-winning 1987 Broadway revival changed the order of some of the musical numbers and re-scored the music. It’s the revival of this 1987 version (which starred Patti Lupone) that opened on Broadway in 2011 with Sutton Foster playing Reno Sweeney. Foster went on to win a Tony for Best Actress. Rachel York takes Foster’s place on the national tour and her  Sweeney has plenty of glamour and she was able to muddle through a few technical problems with the microphones on opening night (for my full review)

After watching this cheery romance (6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.), while Cole Porter tunes are still running in your head, you’ll then skip back to First & Hope for post show champagne, coffee and tea and a luscious array of desserts: brownies, sugar cookies, profiteroles, peppermint marshmallows and a chocolate fountain. Cast members are expected to attend as well.

First & Hope’s swank Bar Fedora will also help get you into the mood with a bit of mood making lighting and some specially selected music.  The original costumes by designer Martin Pakledinaz will be on display. If that inspired you to find your inner glamour girl or channel the old Hollywood debonair air of say, Cary Grant, why not go tux and bow tie?

You don’t have to get all dolled up or dandified to attend. Holiday festive is requested. Dinner, delightful dancing and singing on-stage and the possibility of romance off-stage–what more can you ask as part of your New Year’s festivities?

For $98 what could be more delightful and delovely?  For more information, contact your social director for New Year’s Eve-Eve, Eileen Roberts at (213) 972-7249. The event is for adults. Parking is available at the Music Center parking lot off Grande Ave. for an additional fee of $9.

The ‘Dralion’ roadshow style in San Diego

“Dralion” is one of my favorite Cirque du Soleil shows and I saw it when it came in under the big tent. Currently, “Dralion” is in San Diego this weekend at Valley View Casino Center for seven performances only. There are only four performances left, two today (Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012) and two tomorrow.

If you missed “Dralion” when it was in Ontario or Long Beach, it’s worth seeing. Some of the carnival atmosphere has been lost without the big top and so has the major merchandising. There is a small booth selling “Dralion” items, but none of the high-priced items that I remember from the initial tour.

Parking at the Casino is pricey: $20. But you can park for free if you’re not running late. There are plenty of ways to avoid high-priced food as well. The area has many fast food restaurants as well as some sit-down chains like the Olive Garden or Chili’s. Chili’s parking lot connects with that of the Casino so you might be able to park and eat and then enjoy the show. I’d call and ask.

Many people parked across the street and found free parking.

The word “Dralion” combines dragon and lion so it’s a port manteau. I love lions and I love dragons, but I also forgot to bring my own dragon. An opportunity wasted for the dragon lady. According to the press notes, “fusing the 3000 year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil, “Dralion” (pronounced “Dra-lee-on”) draws its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its never-ending quest for harmony between humans and nature. The show’s name is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West.”

I think Africa might have something to say about that. Lions originally were found in Africa and western Europe to India. Wild lions still are found in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia. They had disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia. A remnant of the Asian population remains in the Gir Forest National Forest in India and are endangered. But if we think of lions in terms who they appear in royal European emblems and coat of arms as well as C.S. Lewis’ Aslan, I guess we can let this little problem slide.

Again according to the press notes: “In ‘Dralion,’ the four elements that govern the natural order take on a human form. Thus embodied, each element is represented by its own evocative colour: air is blue; water is green; fire is red; earth is ochre. In the world of ‘Dralion,’ cultures blend, Man and Nature are one, and balance is achieved.”

The concept of the elements is western because Asia has five (water, wood, metal, earth, air), but let we’ll let this slide as well. Earth is represented by Gaya the goddess of earth. In her dancer form for “Dralion,” Gaya represents Africa. Oceane (water) is the goddess of water and her dancer is dressed in a green costume of an Indian dancer. Azala is the goddess of air and her dancer is dressed in blue and is more like a European woman with the skirt of her dress supplemented by capri pants. Yao is the guide to the fire demons and has a decidedly Asian look. He’s the only male element.

“Dralion” includes the clowns who open the show which includes aerial hoop, aerial pas de deux, bamboo poles, crossed wheel (or diablo), hand balancing, hoop diving, Chinese yoyo, Dralions, skipping ropes and trampoline. None of these are recommended to be done at home. Even the skipping ropes is spectacular.

My favorite acts were the diablo, the Chinese yoyo, the aerial pas de deux, the aerial hoop and the skipping ropes. The crossed wheel is where a muscular man roles and spins on a contraption made of two-connected thick metal hoops that form a ball which the man can walk through and rolls under his control.

The Chinese yoyo act has an attractive female foursome tossing, catching and trading off yoyos with a slightly hip hop beat.  And while we all know what rope skipping is, I doubt that you’ve ever jumped rope like this.

This scaled down version of “Dralion” is still spectacular. It will surprise you, make you laugh and it always makes me wish I was younger and could run away and join this circus. And the costumes always inspire me to think of designing something beautiful to wear when I dance. Some of the soundtrack is suitable for social dancing such as Argentine tango.

Tickets are available at,, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

After the last show on this Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, the show moves on to Arizona (Tucson and Phoenix), Kansas (Topeka) and Oklahoma (Oklahoma City).  According to the current tour schedule, the show will then continue on to Africa.

Remaining Show Schedule (November 15-18, 2012):

  • Saturday, November 17 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 18 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.


Ticket Information:

  • Adults: From $35 to $85
  • Children (12 & under): From $28 to $69
  • Military, Seniors & Students: From $31.50 to $72

Argentine tango lessons from SYTYCD choreographers

Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo are offering beginning and intermediate classes in Argentine tango every Monday through August and September in Downey. These are classes that emphasize technique over just learning the steps and have something for everyone, including advanced helpers to make learning easier.

The classes started on August 6, but each night has a different topic so jump right in. The beginners class is 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Intermediate and advance dancers are 9:05 until 10:30 p.m.

Each class is $18 and includes a technique-focused warm-up.

August 13, the topic is milonguero style. Milonguero style refers to a style employing a close embrace in which both partners lean toward each other and have upper body contact. This style is useful in nightclubs on crowded dance floors and usually doesn’t include high kicks and fancy showy footwork.

August 20, Larici and Barrionuevo will teach barridas, llevadas and contraboleos. A barrida is a sweeping motion in which one partner’s foot sweeps the other partner’s foot and places it somewhere else without losing contact.

The term llevada comes from the verb, llevar, meaning to transport or carry. In this step, the man or leader uses his upper thigh or foot to carry the follower’s leg to the next step. You can see how this relates to barridas.

Contraboleos are boleos with a contra body movement. A boleo (from bolear which means to throw) is when either the leader or follower keeps their knees together and with the support leg swivels while whipping the free leg either high or low, in back or in front.

For August 27, the focus will be on sacadas. Sacadas are a displacement of a foot or leg when the leader or the follower shifts weight. They often give the impression that one person is kicking the leg or foot or the other person out of the way.

The couple will not ave a lesson on Labor Day, but on September 10, they will be back to teach giros, enrosques and embellishments. Giros are turning steps or figures and somewhat related to molinetes (windmills or wheels).

The verb enrosque means to coil or twist and an enrosque step is usually performed by the leader as the follower is performing a giro or a molinete. The leader wraps one leg around the other, perhaps catching one foot around the other foot or ankle as if he’s being twisted or coiled up by the follower’s actions.

In tango, embellishments are also called adornos in Spanish. These are small decorative steps, that give personality and flavor to the dance style  of individual dancers. These can include amague (sort of a fake-out step) or golpecitos (little toe taps) or golpes (toe taps) among other things.

September 17, the lessons will be on musicality and navigation. Listening to the music is something that’s easy to forget and the tango and milonga rhythms sometimes accent certain beats.

The last lessons will be on September 24 and the topic will be colgadas and volcadas. These are fun steps that require good connection between partners and core strength. In the volcada (from the verb volcar which means to capsize), the leader takes the follower off her axis and then catches her, supporting her while she sweeps her leg in front of her, or behind her.

In the colgada, leader and follower lean out, sharing an axis and spinning. How far the two lean out and the actual body positions depends upon the height and weight of both the leader and the follower.

The location is a bit out of the way, but there’s plenty of parking.  Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate dancer, you can learn a lot and improve under the watchful eyes of two of the world’s top tango dancers, Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.

  • Elks Club
  • 1233 Woodruff Ave.
  • Downey, CA 90241

Beginners class is 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Intermediate and advance dancers are 9:05 to 10:30 p.m.

Each class is $18 and includes a technique-focused warm-up.


For more information, go to

Let’s have some ‘Dirty Dancing’ tonight

You’ve heard of sing-alongs. You can do that, but if you can already pat your head and rub your stomach and walk at the same time, do that a much more because even as the L.A. Film Festival is winding down, Dance Camera West is just starting out and they want us to get down and dirty for a “Dirty Dancing” Dance-along tonight, Friday, 22 June 2012 at Grand Performances.

This is a warm-up for the  11th annual Dance West Dance Media Film Festival, and tonight’s Grand Performance presentation of the classic uptown girl with hunky blue collar guy movie “Dirty Dancing” is in association with the Los Angeles Film Festival and Grand Performances.

The dance group Contra-Tiempo will give pre-show salsa lessons and that starts at 7:45 p.m. Let’s just say few people pick up salsa in 15 minutes, but whatever. Screening starts 8 p.m..

You can RSVP on their Facebook page.


350 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, California 90071

Of course, you want to go out dancing on the weekend or stop and see the films for the final days of the L.A. Film Festival, but next weekend is the official opening of the Dance Camera West Dance Media Festival, Thursday, 28-30 June  2012 in Los Angeles.

  • This year the festival opens at LACMA with the screening of its highly anticipated international screendance shorts program, which will include special guests, on Thursday, 28 June 2012.
  • The next day, also at LACMA, DCW pays tribute in the evening of Friday, 29 June 2012  to Soul Train with a screening of the 64-minute documentary Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America” with special guests including Jody Watley, Damita Jo Freeman, Nieci Payne and Lula Washington, and a live Soul Train party hosted by Elvis Mitchell, as well as a longer shorts program during the day.
  • The festival closes too soon on Saturday, 30 June 2012,  with a panel discussion that explores the immediacy and impact of dance on popular culture from 3:00 – 5:00pm at the Westwood Library.  The 80-minute Wayne McGregor documentary “Going Somewhere” begins at 7:30 p.m.

All screenings and discussions are FREE and open to the public.

For more information, visit the Dance Camera West website.

Dear Sergio Trujillo: We’re crying for Argentina

Dear Sergio Trujillo:

As tangueros, when my husband, Ian Ono, and I attended the Pantages production of “The Addams Family” on Wednesday night, we were looking forward to the Act II musical number, “Tango de Amor.”

We remember from the movie with Raul Julio and Angelica Huston, the tango was closer to American tango and went to ridiculous extremes with the spins. There was, indeed, a little paso doble and flamenco (clam shells), but it was over the top funny. We can live with that. When we heard the first few measures of the music, we perked up. It was, no doubt, Argentine tango.

What we saw on stage was really bad Argentine tango–awkward ganchos and turns. Then, to add to our visual agony, you added some paso doble and a little flamenco-ish flourishes. There is a tango in flamenco, but this is quite different from the Argentine tango.

With the popularity of “Dancing with the Stars” the American public has been exposed to both Argentine tango and the ballroom version of the dance as well as the paso doble. While I love the cape work by Douglas Sills, I would love it even better if the feeling of the Argentine tango was better expressed. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

Consider Al Pacino and “The Scent of a Woman” or Antonio Banderas in “Take the Lead.”

Pacino was supposed to be blind, but the number was innocent and understated.

Banderas was all attitude and posture, but paired with a professional dancer.

On stage, “I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change” usually features an amusing American-style tango.

We were hoping for something more along the lines of the “Masochism Tango.”

I’m not the only Addams Family fan with that thought.

We were even hoping for lyrics in the same vein as Tom Lehrer’s tango which both fans used here.

Below are the lyrics for “The Masochism Tango” which was originally from the 1959 recording made in Sanders Theater in Harvard for the album “An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer.”

We need a modern masochism tango, and are disappointed that Andrew Lippa didn’t compose one and that the choreography was so poor. That wouldn’t cut it for “So You Think You Can Dance” and we really think that leading man Douglas Sills can dance.

That’s a triple disappointment in an otherwise fun show.

I ache for the touch of your lips, dear,
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear.
You can raise welts
Like nobody else,
As we dance to the masochism tango.

Say our love be a flame, not an ember,
Say it’s me that you want to dismember.
Blacken my eye,
Set fire to my tie,
As we dance to the masochism tango.

At your command
Before you here I stand,
My heart is in my hand. ecch!
It’s here that I must be.
My heart entreats,
Just hear those savage beats,
And go put on your cleats
And come and trample me.
Your heart is hard as stone or mahogany,
That’s why I’m in such exquisite agony.

My soul is on fire,
It’s aflame with desire,
Which is why I perspire
When we tango.

You caught my nose
In your left castanet, love,
I can feel the pain yet, love,
Ev’ry time I hear drums.
And I envy the rose
That you held in your teeth, love,
With the thorns underneath, love,
Sticking into your gums.

Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches.
The last time I needed twenty stitches
To sew up the gash
That you made with your lash,
As we danced to the masochism tango.

Bash in my brain,
And make me scream with pain,
Then kick me once again,
And say we’ll never part.
I know too well
I’m underneath your spell,
So, darling, if you smell
Something burning, it’s my heart.
Excuse me!

Take your cigarette from it’s holder,
And burn your initials in my shoulder.
Fracture my spine,
And swear that you’re mine,
As we dance to the masochism tango.





L.A. Edwardian Ball on Sunday (19 February 2012)

Our delightful San Francisco-based hosts won’t be making music at the Music Box this year, but in less than a month, Rosin Coven and Vau de Vire Society were able to resurrect the Los Angeles version. So get up in your steampunk goth glory and get to the ball at the Belasco Theater on 19 February 2012 (Sunday).

What should make this event even more dear to your smog-filled lungs and road-rage run hearts is that our hosts lost loads of money when the owners of the Music Box were “evicted and have effectively vanished.” Imagine that! The ball was, accorking to Justin Katz and Mike Gaines, one of 15 pre-booked and pre-paid events.

It took more than smelling salts to revive this night of dance, theater, shopping and music. According to Katz and Gaines, “We had an outpouring of support and suggestions for new venues – fortunately LA is full of beautiful, historic theaters, many of which could be perfect for our event. Some of the staff (not owners!) at The Music Box had good relationships with The Belasco Theater and were able to help us get in there on short notice.”

Of course, there are some residual problems due to the sudden change of date and location. Don’t most of us keep our dance cards filled? Katz and Gaines admitted, “We have lost some momentum and the entire situation is a bit confusing, but with the incredible lineup of performers and artists, and with so many friends and family supporting us in LA, we feel like we can more than make up for it with an incredible event. We can’t bring everyone from SF with us, but that’s the case no matter what… it’s the nature of taking the show on the road! In SF we have more than 120 cast/crew involved in the show.  For our Los Angeles, Belasco Theater adventure we’re bringing more than 50 amazingly talent SF artists with us… for a one night show, it’s not too much of a compromise we’d say!”

After such a rude Los Angeles speed bump in their plans, don’t we want to make Rosin Coven and Vau de Vire Society feel welcome? How are they feeling about us? “Cautiously optimistic.  This is a great event and we believe people will come around and still contribute to the unique experience we offer, regardless of the confusion!
Feeling Fantastic!  Our LA family and friends have rallied around efforts to overcome The Music Box shortfall and we feel immensely blessed to be offered such a beautiful venue in The Belasco Theater…it’s a perfectly fitting venue to house the grand spectacle that is The Edwardian Ball.”

Love to dress up? Then break out your finery. It is impossible to be overdressed and no one is so snobby they won’t allow the everyday wearing individuals a chance to mingle. After all, who knows what is under that shirt and tie–Mr. Humdrum or Mr. I’m mulling over murder in typical Edward Gorey fashion.

The Los Angeles 2012 Line Up features

Edwardian Ball Creators & Co-Hosts
presenting an original staging of ”The Iron Tonic” by Edward Gorey

DJ’s Xian and Delachaux
Creature Feature

The Society’s Variety
Cowboy Girls
Carmel and Cream
VdV Aerial Acts

and in The Ballroom
John Brothers Piano Company
Justin Paul (Playloop/PEX)
Mad Dog (Vau de Vire)
LushBunny (Disorient, Mosaic Lounge)
Dayhota (LA)

Fashion Shows
S&G Clothing
Dark Garden Corsetry

Added Attractions (other than you!)
SuperTall Paul’s Listening Lounge
Oddities and Wonders by Ben Burke
LA Art Curation by Debi Cable

Emcee’d by
Vegas E. Trip


LOS ANGELES – SUNDAY FEB 19th (Presidents’ Day Weekend!)

@ The Belasco Theater, 1050 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

* General Admission Tickets (GA) include General Admission with first-come, first-served, limited seating. Also includes access to Cabaret Ballroom, 2 Outdoor Patios, Photo Booth, Vendor Bazaar & Gaming Parlor. $42 advance, $45 at the Door.  BUY ONLINE HERE, on sale Thursday 1/26 @ 10:00AM

* VIP Tickets (5 Booth & Seat Options below) include all GA Floor Ticket priveleges plus Reserved Balcony Seating with prime views of the stage and ballroom floor.  $75-80 per ticket, very limited. Sold in the following packages:

#1) VIP Booth – Large (holds up to 10 people) 2 available, $750.00
1 ticket good for entire booth. Private, reserved booth in the Main Theater Balcony. All VIP Tickets include all GA Floor access plus private Balcony Seating with best view of main room and stage show, and drink service to your table. Bottle Service packages available.  BUY ONLINE HERE, on sale Sat 1/28 @ 10:00AM

#2) VIP Booth – Medium (holds up to 8 people) 2 available, $625.00
1 ticket good for entire booth. Private, reserved booth in the Main Theater Balcony. All VIP Tickets include all GA Floor access plus private Balcony Seating with best view of main room and stage show, and drink service to your table. Bottle Service packages available.  BUY ONLINE HERE, on sale Sat 1/28 @ 10:00AM

#3) VIP Booth – Medium (holds up to 6 people) 5 available $480.00
1 ticket good for entire booth. Private, reserved booth in the Main Theater Balcony. All VIP Tickets include all GA Floor access plus private Balcony Seating with best view of main room and stage show, and drink service to your table. Bottle Service packages available.  BUY ONLINE HERE, on sale Sat 1/28 @ 10:00AM

#4) VIP Booth – Small (holds up to 4 people) 6 available $320.00
1 ticket good for entire booth. Private, reserved booth in the Main Theater Balcony. All VIP Tickets include all GA Floor access plus private Balcony Seating with best view of main room and stage show, and drink service to your table. Bottle Service packages available.  BUY ONLINE HERE, on sale Sat 1/28 @ 10:00AM

#5) Single VIP Front Row Balcony Seats, $80.00 each, 24 total available
All VIP Tickets include all GA Floor access plus private Balcony Seating with best view of main room and stage show, and drink service to your table. Bottle Service packages available.  BUY ONLINE HERE, on sale Sat 1/28 @ 10:00AM

All ticket purchases are NON-REFUNDABLE, please read details and ticket information and select carefully!

Anyone that requires a refund for the Edwardian Ball Los Angeles — whether due to date change or the Belasco Theater’s 21+ requirement — should contact Ticketfly Customer Support directly for their refund. Their support page can be found at – their customer service reps will promptly respond to support requests. We apologize for any inconvenience due to date and venue change!

LBO’s ‘Maria de Buenos Aires’: Love disappears

From the moment we see a pile of human forms behind the scrim, slowly re-animating, as if awaking from a long slumber, a night of debauchery or death, the memory of another tango rises. Long Beach Opera’s production of “Maria de Buenos Aires” was engaging enough. Adult-oriented (bared female breasts) and thematically more about tango as a melancholy musical connection than dance.

Director Andreas Mitisek has adapted Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer’s tango opera, transporting it to Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983), when thousands of men and women were abducted, tortured and killed. It was the the mothers (Madres de la Plaza de Mayo) who led the protests, looking for the disappeared (los desaparecidos).

Piazolla and Ferrer’s tango opera debuted in 1968 with 120 performances according to the program notes. That’s a decade before the Dirty War. Between 1976 and 1983, Piazzolla was living in Italy and his relationship with the dictator Jorge Rafael Videla was not friendly. Piazzolla died in 1992 in Paris.

This is not the first time tango had been used as a metaphor for the tragedy of the Dirty War. In Carlos Saura’s 1998 movie, called simply “Tango” in English, but in Spanish “Tango, no me dejes nunca,” the musical the main character is working on deals with the Dirty War as well as other parts of tango and Argentina history. For the segment on los desaparecidos, Saura doesn’t use Piazzolla. Instead he uses “La Represión” written by Lalo Schifrin. Piazzolla’s “Calambre” is used in the sequence were ballet star Julio Bocca dances with Carlos Rivarola and the dance ensemble.

In their 1999 tour, “Tangokinesis” used the sound of machine guns in the Edgardo Rudnitzky piece “Tiros” (meaning shots).  Ana Maria Stekelman’s troupe mixed ballet-trained female dancers with muscular tangueros.

The LBO production uses a patchwork of photos much like the poster of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo.  One by one, the photos detach from the scrim “wall” and float down. The role originally played by the poet Ferrer is now cast as an older Payador (Gregorio Luke)–Maria’s lover remembering his younger days. As the young Payador, Gregorio Gonzalez smolders in his brief love affair with Maria (Peabody Southwell).

Nannette Brodie’s choreography goes more for tango fantasia or show tango and doesn’t really give you the atmosphere of a dating meat market or the salon style social exercises of tango dancers. Ian found fault with the male dancers’ “salsa hips” and the ganchos were not convincing.

The choreography and staging fail to evoke the emotional power of Saura’s movie and the sumptuous lighting of Southwell’s bare-breasted Maria seems more cabaret than stark reality.

It’s a shame that LBO can only afford two performances. Gonzalez and Southwell sang beautifully although this score is more tango than opera and in the ornate Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro the evening is an event of discovery–of tango culture (some patrons later retired to a small art gallery that regularly holds tango dance parties), of a little known opera (LBO previously produced “Maria” in 2004) and over a hidden Los Angeles jewel.

Next up in LBO’s 2012 season is a double bill of short comic operas: “The Breasts of Tiresias” and “Tears of a Knife” at the Center Theater in Long Beach. For more information, visit LBO’s website.




Another screening of ‘Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance’

If you missed the special events surrounding “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance,” then don’t miss the additional screening tomorrow, Saturday, 4 February 2012, at several Laemmle Theaters at 11 a.m.

This movie is a loving tribute to the two men who founded the Joffrey Ballet after meeting in Seattle. Going to NYC, they taught classes and then traveled everywhere giving one-night performances. As a company, they were able to rack up many firsts, including the first ballet company to perform in the White House and the first dance company to make the cover of Time magazine.

For our review, visit

For our interview with Sasha Anawalt, dance critic and writer of the book the movie was based upon, visit

Famous people born in the Year of the Dragon

Born in the Year of the Dragon are people from the elegant Cary Grant to Mr. T. Some of them even can dance such as Julianne Hough who came into the spotlight on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”



Hollywood has shown us who can dance. Who can forget that Al Pacino tango scene in “Scent of a Woman”? Ray Bolger was originally a dancer, too. Remember him in “The Wizard of Oz”? Then there’s the late Patrick Swayze who made us all swoon and wish we were Baby.

This is the year of the Water Dragon. I’ve picked people based on the Japanese start (1 January) but also listed the dates of the Chinese lunar year).

People born in the Year of the Dragon are strong, vigorous, passionate and pioneering, but also can be tyrannical, demanding and violent.

This year is about change and re-creation. Reform, including social reform.

How will you fare in 2012? This is a good year for people born in the element of metal, water and wood, but not for people born in the year the element is fire and earth.

This is a good year for people born under the Rat, Tiger, Rabbit, Monkey and Chicken.

For people born in the Years of the Ox and Dog it is a bad year.

Of course, all matters on the rest of your Chinese horoscope. You also are born in a month and hour of a zodiac sign. For instance, people born in February are mostly born under the Tiger.

1904 (16 February 1904 – 3 February 1905: Wood Dragon)

  1. Alfonso Bedoya
  2. Bruce Cabot
  3. Cary Grant
  4. Charles “Buddy” Rogers
  5. Christopher Isherwood
  6. Constance Bennett
  7. Dick Powell
  8. Dolores del Rio
  9. Dr. Seuss
  10. George Stevens
  11. Graham Greene
  12. Greer Garson
  13. Greg Toland
  14. J. Pat O’Malley
  15. Jean Gabin
  16. John Farrow
  17. John Gielgud
  18. Johnny Weissmuller
  19. Keye Luke
  20. Milburn Stone
  21. Peter Lorre
  22. Phil Harris
  23. Ralph Bellamy
  24. Ray Bolger
  25. Raymond Bailey
  26. Robert Montgomery
  27. Salvador Dali

1916 (3 February 1916 – 22 January 1917: Fire Dragon)

  1. Betty Grable
  2. David White
  3. Dennis Day
  4. Dinah Shore
  5. Doris Nolan
  6. Dorothy McGuire
  7. Edward Binns
  8. Edward Platt
  9. Glenn Ford
  10. Gregory Peck
  11. Jackie Gleason
  12. Keenan Wynn
  13. Kirk Douglas
  14. Margaret Hayes
  15. Margaret Lockwood
  16. Michael Gough
  17. Olivia de Havilland
  18. Peter Finch
  19. Peter Whitney
  20. Raf Vallone
  21. Roald Dahl
  22. Rossano Brazzi
  23. Sterling Hayden
  24. Van Johnson
  25. Walter Cronkite

1928 (23 January 1928 – 9 February 1929: Earth Dragon)

  1. Adam West
  2. Andy Warhol
  3. Ann Blyth
  4. Anthony Franciosa
  5. Arlene Dahl
  6. Bob Crane
  7. Capucine
  8. Dan Blocker
  9. Dick Van Patten
  10. Dick York
  11. Earl Holliman
  12. Ennio Morricone
  13. Estelle Harris
  14. George Maharis
  15. George Peppard
  16. James Coburn
  17. James Garner
  18. Jeanne Moreau
  19. Katherine Helmond
  20. Laurence Harvey
  21. Marion Ross
  22. Martin Landau
  23. Nancy Marchand
  24. Nancy Olson
  25. Orson Bean
  26. Patrick McGoohan
  27. Pernell Roberts
  28. Philip K. Dick
  29. Ralph Waite
  30. Roddy McDowall
  31. Rosemary Clooney
  32. Shirley Temple
  33. Stanley Kubrick
  34. Tony Richardson
  35. Warren Oates

1940 (8 February 1940 – 26 January 1941: Metal Dragon)

  1. Abbas Kiarostami
  2. Al Pacino
  3. Austin Pendleton
  4. Barry Corbin
  5. Bernardo Bertolucci
  6. Brian de Palm
  7. Bruce Lee
  8. Burt Young
  9. Chuck Norris
  10. Dan Hedaya
  11. Dari Argento
  12. David Jason
  13. Ed Lauter
  14. Geroge A. Romero
  15. Howard Hesseman
  16. James Brolin
  17. James Caan
  18. James Cromwell
  19. Jill St. John
  20. John Byrne
  21. John Hurt
  22. John Lennon
  23. John Mahoney
  24. Katharine Ross
  25. Lainie Kazan
  26. Linda Gray
  27. Mariette Hartley
  28. Martin Sheen
  29. Mary Beth Peil
  30. Michael Gambon
  31. Michael Parks
  32. Patrick Stewart
  33. Paul Williams
  34. Pauline Collins
  35. Peter Fonda
  36. Raul Julia
  37. Rene Auberjonois
  38. Richard Pryor
  39. Ricky Nelson
  40. Ringo Starr
  41. Robert Walker Jr.
  42. Sharon Farrell
  43. Susan Clark
  44. Terry Gilliam

1952 (27 January 1952 – 13 February 1953: Water Dragon)

  1. Alfre Woodard
  2. Angela Cartwright
  3. Annette O’Toole
  4. Annie Potts
  5. Brian George
  6. Carol Kane
  7. CCH Pounder
  8. Chazz Palminteri
  9. Christin Baranski
  10. Christopher Reeve
  11. Chuck Lorre
  12. Dan Aykroyd
  13. David Hasselhoff
  14. Delroy Lindo
  15. Edward Zwick
  16. Frances Fisher
  17. Graham Greene
  18. Gus Van Sant
  19. Harvey Fierstein
  20. Harvey Weinstein
  21. Isabella Rossellini
  22. Jeff Fahey
  23. Jeff Goldblum
  24. Jenny Agutter
  25. Jim Cummings
  26. John Goodman
  27. John Lone
  28. Jonathan Frakes
  29. Liam Neeson
  30. Mandy Patinkin
  31. Mary McDonnell
  32. Michael Dorn
  33. MIchael Jeter
  34. Mickey Rourke
  35. Mitch Pileggi
  36. Mr. T
  37. Patrick Swayze
  38. Paul Reubens
  39. Roberto Benigni
  40. Rondi Reed
  41. Roseanne
  42. Shohreh Aghdashloo
  43. Stephen Lang
  44. Steven Seagal
  45. Terry O’Quinn
  46. Virginia Hey

1964 (13 February 1964 – 1 February 1965: Wood Dragon)

  1. Amy Brenneman
  2. Andy Serkis
  3. Bridget Fonda
  4. Calista Flockhart
  5. Christopher Eccleston
  6. Clive Owen
  7. Courteney Cox
  8. Crispin Glover
  9. David Cross
  10. David Spade
  11. Djimon Hounsou
  12. Don Cheadle
  13. Dot Jones
  14. Elle Macpherson
  15. Famke Janssen
  16. Garret Dillahunt
  17. Guillermo del Toro
  18. Hank Azaria
  19. Hope Davis
  20. James Purefoy
  21. Janeane Garofalo
  22. John Leguizamo
  23. Joss Whedon
  24. Juliette Binoche
  25. Keanu Reeves
  26. Kim Richards
  27. Laura Harring
  28. Laura Linney
  29. Lenny Kravitz
  30. Lori Loughlin
  31. Marisa Tomei
  32. Mariska Hargitay
  33. Mark Addy
  34. Mary-Louise Parker
  35. Matt Dillon
  36. Melissa Gilbert
  37. Michael Cudlitz
  38. Monica Bellucci
  39. Nicolas Cage
  40. Patrick Warburton
  41. Penelope Ann Miller
  42. Peter Berg
  43. Ray Stevenson
  44. Rob Lowe
  45. Russell Crowe
  46. Sandra Bullock
  47. Steve Austin
  48. Teri Hatcher
  49. Vivica A. Fox
  50. Yorick van Wageningen

1976 (31 January 1976 – 17 February 1977: Fire Dragon)

  1. Aaron Ruell
  2. Alex O’Loughlin
  3. Alexander Skarsgard
  4. Ali Larter
  5. Alicia Silverstone
  6. Amy Smart
  7. Andrew Scott
  8. Anna Friel
  9. Audrey Tautou
  10. Benedict Cumberbatch
  11. Berernice Bejo
  12. Candace Cameron Bure
  13. Charlie Day
  14. Cillian Murphy
  15. Colin Farrell
  16. Danny Masterson
  17. Danny McBride
  18. David Oyelowo
  19. Desmond Harrington
  20. Diane Kruger
  21. Eion Bailey
  22. Elsa Pataky
  23. Emmanuelle Vaugier
  24. Fred Savage
  25. Freddie Prinze Jr.
  26. Isla Fisher
  27. Jessica Capshaw
  28. Joe Egender
  29. Joe Manganiello
  30. Kelly MacDonald
  31. Keri Russell
  32. Lukas Haas
  33. Marsha Thomason
  34. Melissa George
  35. Michelle Monaghan
  36. Nick Swardson
  37. Piper Perabo
  38. Rashida Jones
  39. Reese Witherspoon
  40. Rhona Mitra
  41. Ryan Hurst
  42. Ryan Kwanten
  43. Ryan Reynolds
  44. Sam Worthington
  45. Sarah Chalke
  46. Scott Adkins
  47. Scott Caan
  48. Seann William Scott

1988 (17 February 1988 – 5 February 1989: Earth Dragon)

  1. Alexa Vega
  2. Analeigh Tipton
  3. Anna Popplewell
  4. Emily Browning
  5. Emma Stone
  6. Haley Joe Osment
  7. Julianne Hough
  8. Kartina Bowden
  9. Laura Wiggins
  10. Mae Whitman
  11. Michael Cera
  12. Nikki Reed
  13. Rihanna
  14. Rupert Grint
  15. Sara Paxton
  16. Sasha Grey
  17. Vanessa Hudgens

2000 (5 February 2000 – 23 January 2001: Metal Dragon)

  1. Chloe Csengery
  2. Ella Bleu Travolta
  3. Jackie Evancho
  4. Jared Gilmore
  5. Jordan Nagai
  6. Mackenzie Foy
  7. Mason Cook
  8. Morgan Lily
  9. Noah Lindsey Cyrus
  10. Preston Bailey
  11. Willow Shields
  12. Willow Smith

Wanted: L.A. Home for a perfectly Edwardian Ball

Imagine waking up one day and checking your Facebook page and finding out you’d just lost thousands of dollars. That’s what happened to the organizers of the Edwardian Ball.

Justin Katz thought, “Oh, no. Not again!” Katz isn’t walking under a black cloud, at least, not in San Francisco where the event is entering its 12th year this coming weekend. “Last year, our second year [in Los Angeles], we had a curious incident where I learned the venue [the Music Box] had doubled booked. The owners of the Music Box asked us to please move our date to later, in March.”

The Edwardian Ball takes its name from a writer, Edward Gorey. That Edward and the reign of England’s King Edward gets people in the mood for antiquated manners and dress and a bit of murder and mayhem. That doesn’t mean one should expect a murder mystery–just an assortment of characters who are slightly sinister–maybe even a bit seedy. Think drawing room murder mysteries and fractured fairy tales. People might be evil or mean, but, good gracious, they have manners. But the organizers are finding that’s not true for everyone.

Katz thought that despite the delay, it was “a fabulous event.” People in Los Angeles certainly got into the spirit of the event dress up as goth, Edwardian, steam punk or just get out and have fun fashionable. Throwing on your best corset and applying lots of dark makeup was enough for some. You could dance, you could shop and you could check out new ideas for your next costume.

This year’s event was set to take place on 4 February 2012–just two weeks after the two-day event in San Francisco (20-21 January 2012). “We found out about it because a blogger posted it first; someone posted on the Edwardian Ball Facebook page. We did a little poking around.” The final nail in the coffin was the post on the Los Angeles Times.  From a 9 a.m. Facebook post to an afternoon news article. News travels fast with the Internet.

The organizers of the Edwardian Ball had already pre-paid for the event. “The internal turmoil that must be the Music Box, resulted in it closing suddenly and without explanation.” That means–no news about that happened to that sizable down payment. “We’re left in an unfortunate situation of losing that money with little hope of recouping it.”

Katz wanted to be clear that “the staff and crew of the Music Box were excellent–most gracious and helpful to us.”

If you have the weekend free, Katz stated there are still tickets available for the original Edwardian Ball in San Francisco. And the event has been growing. This year it includes an entire additional floor in the historic Regency ballroom–a museum of wonders. “The museum takes an idea that has been part of the ball since 2006, of displaying art collections, curiousities and oddities…It’s as if you’re stumbling through an eccentric old mansion full of treasures and strange delights.” Katz also hinted there will be performances in shadowy corners.

If you don’t have a costume, don’t worry. No one is turned back for lack there of. But wearing a costume makes you part of the fun.

But if you want to bring this steampunk fun to Los Angeles again, help find the ball a new home.

What are they looking for?

  1. A beautiful/historic setting
  2. An open ballroom floor
  3. A proper stage, preferably with sound and lights and ability for aerial rigging
  4. Multiple rooms or spaces for vending and art installations
  5. VIP space (balcony, booths, etc.)
  6. Capacity of 1000-1500
  7. Preferred location is downtown LA, Hollywood, but open to suggestions.

The organizers have already lost $10K due to the closure of the Magic Box so they are looking for a price break and depending upon the kindness of strangers.

Comments and queries at You can also “Like” the new Edwardian Ball Facebook page,

Wouldn’t it be great if this event came to art and historic dance friendly Pasadena?