By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
FRIDAY, MARCH 27
THEATER SPECIAL EVENTS
Yes, Vagina, There Is a Benefit
Happy V-Day. What’s V-Day, you ask? It stands for victory, Valentine and vagina and is a “global movement to end violence against women and girls.” If you like vaginas and you want them all to be happy and healthy, don’t miss this reading of The Vagina Monologues, with new material written by Eve Ensler. Lending their voices will be Calista Flockhart, Tricia Leigh Fisher, Penny Johnson Jerald, Christine Lahti, Doris Roberts, Debra Wilson-Skelton, D’Lo, Elaine Kagan, Wendy Hammers, Deborah Kagan, plus performances by Chris Pierce and all-gal percussion group ADAAWE. After the show is an after-party with KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole, open bar, food and silent auction, all to benefit Peace Over Violence and V-Day’s global spotlight, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri., March 27, 8 p.m.; $40-$125. (800) 595-4849. —Libby Molyneaux
Oh, Carmen, You’re So Fine ...
If I so much as mentioned the word “opera” to my 16-year-old nephew, he recoils in terror and contempt. There’s no way I’d ever give him a ticket to Carmen. Well, the regular Carmen. But now there’s a new Carmen, updated to appeal to the teenagers. Carmen Highis Extreme Makeover Bizet, recast as a high school drama and dealing with all sorts of teen-angst issues, from peer pressure and bullies to unplanned pregnancy and marginalization. The production is being mounted by the Full Circle Opera Project, an outreach program dedicated, says artistic director and famed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Vlahos, to “promoting the classical arts in a fresh, new way.” And is it ever fresh! One wonders what Bizet would say to Carmen, now a popular cheerleader, singing, “This Friday night at Frasquita’s . I know of a certain party . we’ll dance and we’ll drink and the music will be playing till morning . And her parents won’t be there!” Actually, Bizet might just think it’s totally cool — when his Carmen premiered at Paris’ Opera Comique in 1875, critics blasted it as “low” and “immoral,” to which the composer replied, “I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, crime, evil and the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note!” Carmen High is performed and presented by students at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and features Celeste Rose as Carmen, Cameron Kush as Jose, Lily Ali-Oshatz as Micaela, Meghan Mahowald as Mercedes, Katie Colbert as Frasquita and Alana Haim as “the Rock & Roll Muse.” At Cal State L.A., Luckman Theater, 5151 State University Drive, L.A.; Fri.-Sat., March 27-28, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 29, 2 p.m.; $20, $15 students. (323) 343-6600. —Mary Beth Crain
L.A. WEEKLY: Why are so many funny comics from Boston?
LOUIS C.K.: Because Boston is a miserable place filled with drunks, losers and Jewish girls with big tits.
What’s it feel like to be nominated for an Emmy for comedy writing?
It feels squishy and a little bit AIDSy. And it’s an honor just to be nominated. Did you know that I won one of those, too?
When was the last time you had a Cinnabon?
I had one in Louisville, Kentucky, but I don’t remember when. Whenever it was, I still feel awful about it.
Your bio has a ton of typos — would you hire me to be your proofreader?
Typos are subjective. I’ll spell my bio any way I want.
What was your highlight of 2008?
Recording my last standup special in March and waking up the next day with no usable standup material.
What was your low point?
My dog died.
What about you would most surprise your fans?
I am gay and a Republican.
What event from childhood most shaped your life?
Shitting on my grandmother’s floor on Christmas Eve in Mexico City.
What would cause you to give up comedy?
Death. Or if I feel like stopping. Or if the president tells me to stop.
The Wiltern is a classy place — what will you wear?
A wig made from your father’s hair. And Crocs.
Louis C.K. performs at the Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Fri., March 27, 8 p.m.; $19.75-39.75. (213) 388-1400.
SATURDAY, MARCH 28
If the only Vivaldi you’re familiar with is The Four Seasons and his 1 million concerti for all sorts of instruments, you’ll be interested to know that the Baroque maestro also composed operas — or what was known in the 18th century as “dramas with music.” Although Vivaldi himself claimed to have written 94 operas, only about 50 have been identified, and of those, perhaps 20 have survived intact. The score to one of them, Motezuma, was discovered a few years back, after 269 lost years, and the opera received its reconstituted world premiere in September 2006, in Dusseldorf. This week, Long Beach Opera and Musica Angelica baroque ensemble present the U.S. premiere of Vivaldi’s and librettist Luigi Giusti’s musical foray into 16th-century world of the conquistadors and the Aztec emperor Montezuma. The exotic subject matter was de rigueur for 1733, a time when curiosity about distant lands and strange cultures abounded and operas practically doubled as travelogues. As far as historical accuracy goes, well, Vivaldi and Giusti knew what really sold: hot stories of forbidden love. So, they centered the plot around a fictitious romance between Montezuma’s daughter Teutile and Cortez’s brother Ramiro. As Vivaldi biographer Michael Talbot observes, “Opera has a template. Mismatched lovers at the beginning of an opera get matched up by the end, and that’s more important than whether it is set in Mexico or China.” Andreas Mitisek conducts; David Schweizer directs. Cast includes baritone Roberto Perlas Gomez as Motezuma; mezzo-soprano Cynthia Jansen as Mitrena (Mrs. Motezuma); tenor/countertenor Charles Maxwell as Cortez; soprano Courtney Huffman as Teutile; in a gender-bender twist, mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell is Ramiro. At Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., March 28, 8 p.m. And at Barnum Hall, 600 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Sun., April 5, 4 p.m.; $45-$95; student & group discounts. (562) 432-5934 or www.longbeachopera.org. —Mary Beth Crain