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
FRIDAY, JANUARY 30
Everything Is Booty-ful
The word “booty” has plenty of definitions — my fave is “plunder” but maybe you prefer the nastier meaning. Whatever shakes yer booty, curator and “avant artist” (aren’t they all) Heidi “bluegirl” Calvert loves the word so much she all-capped it for her arty, sexy-pirate party, BOOTY! “Expect a wide variety of art, human art, sexy performances and music, and yes, of course, pirates!” she promises. DJs Shok and the Rev. Dr. Davidian make the noise, and there will be wanton shenanigans by Feminine Oddities, Kimberlee Rose and Jezebelle X, plus actual music by Agness Twin. You pretty much have to come in costume — or experience the wrath of boozed-up hipster pirates. Infusion Gallery, 719 S. Spring St., downtown; Fri., Jan. 30, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.; $8, $6 in costume. (213) 683-8827. —Libby Molyneaux
Make Mine a Castrati on the Rocks
If ever there was a class of artists that attained all the glories of megasuccess through unimaginable suffering, it was the castrati. These unique singers were castrated at a young age, then subjected to arduous training. The boys had no life outside of school; a typical day, according to the records of one singing school in Rome, consisted of “one hour of singing difficult and awkward pieces, one hour practising trills, one hour practising ornamented passaggi, one hour of singing exercises in their teacher’s presence and in front of a mirror so as to avoid unnecessary movement of the body or facial grimaces, and one hour of literary study.” And this was just the prelunch schedule! Operatic superstardom was virtually assured. This week, Mexico’s acclaimed Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes brings us the L.A. premiere of its rollicking farce, Monsters and Prodigies: A History of the Castrati, a broadly comic, impeccably articulated peek into the unrestrained world of early European opera and the temperamental eunuch divas who were the rock stars of their day. Among the delectable characters are a two-headed Siamese twin, a surgeon and an opera columnist, who time-travel from the 18th to the 20th centuries, “from the succulent extremes of the Baroque to the beginnings of the technological age, where beauty has been annihilated by reason.” REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., L.A.; www.redcat.org; Fri., Jan. 30, 8:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 31, 8:30 p.m. $25-$30, $20-$24 students. (213) 237-2800. —Mary Beth Crain
New Image Art gallerist Marsea Goldberg is a cultural badass. With great foresight and taste, she ferrets out new creative subcultures — plus she knows how to throw an art par-tay. Originally out of a 10-by-10 studio, she showed the first Ed Templeton photos and Shepard Fairey prints. Fast-forward 15 years to a sleek and only slightly bigger space in the Fairfax District, where the work of recent art darlings Jim Hauser, Chris Johanson, Neckface and Faile unite for a retrospective: 15 Years of New Image Art. On display for art fans old school and new are Goldberg’s discoveries, amazing, puzzling, snotty and otherwise. At the show’s opening-night party last week, you only had to follow the noisy chaos of NIA vintage performance videos and an impromptu set by NoAge spilling out onto Santa Monica Boulevard to realize Goldberg has done it again. But to really appreciate her accomplishment, a return to the gallery without the crowds is in order. Here’s to another decade of disruption! New Image Art, 7910 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; thru Feb. 20; Wed.-Sat.; or by appointment.
(323) 654-2192 or newimageartgallery.com. —Shelley Leopold
SATURDAY, JANUARY 31
Iranian-born Maz Jobrani is one-third of the successful “Axis of Evil Comedy Tour,” along with Ahmed Ahmed and Aron Kade. He’s also living proof that “Iranian comic” is not an oxymoron.
Maz — what kind of name is that?
Maz Jobrani: One that people never get right. Just think Lamaze, Maserati or Mazatlan. Or how about doing Lamaze while driving a Maserati in Mazatlan?
Who are some other Iranian funny people?
Ahmad Moorfee, Jamsheed Carry and Vilfa Rol. They’re all 20-million-rial stars (about $2,000 a picture).
What do you most love about L.A.?
The fact that I get to practice my Spanish on a daily basis.
What do you most hate about L.A.?
The fact that I have no idea what actual Spanish speakers are saying when they respond.
How do you feel about Obama being in office?
Love it. Did you know he’s half Persian? I swear.
If you had a sitcom about your life, what would be the premise?
Think Curb Your Enthusiasm in Westwood: Me, just trying to be a regular American, with a family that’s disappointed I’m not a doctor and married to a Persian woman, and an outside world that thinks I’m part of a terrorist cell.
When you started doing the “Axis of Evil” shows, were you worried about possible negative reaction?
A little. My thought overall was that people would either love the name and come to the shows, or they’d think it was unpatriotic and not come. I was pretty sure that those who thought the latter wouldn’t have been into my material even if we had called it the “George Bush Rocks” comedy tour. Basically you’re either with me or against me.
What do you actually do all day?
I don’t have an office to go to. I don’t have to punch in anywhere. So basically, I don’t do anything. However, for someone who does nothing I end up being really busy all day long. I’ve got a baby boy now (7 months old) so you could say he’s the boss who keeps me running.
How has the current economy affected you?
I could’ve sworn I had more zeros in my investment portfolio the last time I checked. It feels like they just keep moving that decimal point to the left.
Do you give money to homeless beggars?
A buck usually. It’s easier to get them out of your conversation faster.
How can your comedy change the world?
I plan to go to Waziristan one of these days and laugh Osama out of his cave.
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