By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
There’s No Minor Like E Minor
Ever since I was little, the Chopin E minor Piano Concerto has been one of my favorite pieces — so much so that as a teenager, I managed to learn enough of it to put myself in a state of bliss. But oh, that Rondo! Such big chords and gargantuan leaps across the keyboard and glittering fingerwork that culminates in one of the most exciting finales in the piano repertoire! I never quite mastered it, so I’m a bit jealous of the lovely Argentinian pianist Ingrid Filter, who whips it off with such ease and grace that it looks like she could watch TV and ride a Lifecycle at the same time. Chopin wrote this exquisite work when he was just 19, and it’s still hard to believe that one so young had such maturity and passion in his soul. Filter, the informal successor of the great Martha Argerich, sealed her success when she won First Prize at the awesome Busoni competition in Italy and the Silver Medal at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Her Chopin has been likened to the legendary Artur Rubinstein, the “Mr. Chopin” of his day, and this week she performs the Chopin E minor Concerto with Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The program also includes Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor (“Scottish”) and the world premiere of Damian Montano’s Introduction and Scherzo. Preceded by a Concert Prelude with Kahane and Montano one hour prior to concerts. Note: This program is repeated at UCLA, Royce Hall; Sun., Jan. 25, 7 p.m.. Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, www.alextheatre.org; Sat., Jan. 24, 8 p.m. $18-$95. (213) 622-7001, ext. 215. —MBC
SUNDAY, JANUARY 25
How Green Was My Weekend?
You’ve been waiting, clutching your burlap Trader Joe’s bags for months and it’s finally here – Go Green Expo. Greenheads Ed Begley Jr., Mariel Hemingway, authors Josh Dorfman and Bryan Au will speak, and you can learn the latest developments in transportation, energy sources, conservation, and more. Catch Sundance Award winning film Fuel and go home with samples of of products to make your neighbors envy your green. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1111 N. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sun., Jan. 23-25; $10; www.gogreenexpo.com. —L.M.
MONDAY, JANUARY 26
Felon O’Reilly: Jail’s a Funny Thing
Though standup comedy and incarceration have had their connections (I’m talking to you, Andy Dick), Felon O’Reilly may be the first self-proclaimed “standup convict.” Though he’s a free man, dude’s done years of hard time for robbing and drugging. Now he’s performing at recovery centers, prisons and now, Largo. He’s got a book out, Laughing on the the Inside, and is even the subject of an upcoming documentary, Felon By Nature. For his L.A. debut, he proudly says, “This is my first time on the West Coast when I wasn’t in a blackout!”
L.A. WEEKLY: Your past is anything but funny – how do you find humor in your life?
FELON O’REILLY: I think some of my past IS funny! It’s not funny when you are in the middle of all that insanity, but I think one of the reasons I survived all the shit I put myself through is I was always able to laugh at a situation. I probably got that from my old man.
How old when you first were arrested?
I was 16 when I got my first pinch. although I was getting brought home by the cops at 14. My first pinch was for fishing without a license. Seems it was all down hill from there.
How many years total have you been in prison?
I guess around 10 years when you add it all up, perhaps a little more when you count all the parole violations. The longest stretch was three years. I was looking at life sentences on more than one occasion. I was indicted by the feds in 1990 as an armed career criminal. That carried a minimum mandatory 15 years . — got lucky on that one too!
What were the charges?
God! Everything but rape and homicide! A lot of assaults, drug charges, and a whole lot of larceny and theft. I think the first incarceration was for assault and battery with a deadly weapon on a police officer. I think I did a year on that. It’s not as bad as it sounds, He was trying to bust me for dope and i ran him over. so they considered the vehicle a deadly weapon. I got away with the dope though!
What’s the funniest thing that happened to you in prison?
I could tell you funny stories all day about prison! I guess one of my favorites was the time this Vietnamese kid came to me with his Vietnamese to English dictionary. One of the problems he was having was getting to use the shower. There were four single showers for a hundred plus guys. He finally managed to make me understand that he wanted to learn how to say “Can I be next?” So he goes over to one of the showers, nothing but a towel on, and yells to the guy in there. The problem was instead of “Can I be next?” I taught him how to say “Wanna touch it”! All hell broke lose and the guy in the shower was chasing him around the unit. I finally had to intervene so the kid wouldn’t get killed. I ran into him years later on my last bid and we laughed our asses off again!
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