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, MAY 1
Vivaldi Gone Wild!
Beyond the tutus and pointe shoes of the “Royal” ballet companies, European cities nurture (and fund) an array of smaller, contemporary-ballet ensembles like Ballet Preljocaj, led by inventive choreographers who take audacious delight in challenging dancers to move in imaginative productions that deconstruct classical ballets and classical music. In the ’70s, Maurice Bejart’s stunning Firebird was a parable of insurgent spirit rising phoenixlike from the ashes of a fallen guerrilla leader. In 1985, Maguy Marin reconceived Cinderella with the dancers as dolls complete with porcelain facemasks. In the ’90s, Mats Ek envisioned the maid as the heroine in The Nutcracker, and Matthew Bourne transformed Swan Lake into a riff on dysfunctional royal families, with a male swan corps in feathered knickers. Add to that list Angel Preljocaj, who is best known here for his version of Romeo and Juliet, set in a post-Bladerunner world where love is not just romantic euphoria but an act of rebellion against a culture of robotic uniformity. Robotic movement is part, but only a small part, of Preljocaj’s Les 4 Saisons (yes, Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons), which is the calling card for Ballet Preljocaj’s performances at two local venues. Premiered in Paris in 2005, Les 4 Saisons blends objects dangling above and some falling onto the stage, fluorescent-green frogs, men costumed in sponges, and a bit of nudity. Some whimsy mixed into a 21st-century reconsideration of the familiar 18th-century musical classic. UCLA Royce Hall, Westwood; Fri.-Sat., May 1-2, 8 p.m.; $28-$54. (310) 825-2101 or www.uclalive.org. Also at Cal State Long Beach, Carpenter Center, 6200 Atherton St.; Tues., May 5, 8 p.m.; $50, $45 students & seniors. (562) 985-7000 or www.carpenterarts.org.
If you go to www.gumball3000.com, you can watch the second-by-second countdown to Gumball 3000, which the organizers have planned “so that it does not clash with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival, two events that many of our clientele regularly attend.” In the past, the Gumball Rally has covered Europe, North America, North Africa and Asia. This year’s event starts in L.A., so you can gather to cheer on the 120 cars as they rev off on an eight-day, 3,000-mile drive to Miami. Here’s the press poop: “Some say it’s a modern-day version of the infamous 1970s Burt Reynolds Cannonball Run movies, and we have to agree that it does share similarities, attracting the most eccentric group of thrillseekers imaginable, from vintage to modern supercars, and from rock stars and sheiks to the simple car enthusiast.” Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (Pssst: Eurotrash.) The event is run by Maximillion Cooper, who lists “artist, fashion designer, film director, racing driver and skateboarder” as occupations. You can enter the rally for $44,000! Celebs jump on and off at various points. David Hasselhoff comes aboard at some point, and Motörhead’s Lemmy will be at the starting line to climb aboard the Fuel Girls’ jalopy for the leg to Las Vegas. Who are the Fuel Girls? “Kickass, ultrasexy, fire-breathing rock & roll, dance and stunt” gals from the U.K. — in their handpainted 1960 Cadillac De Ville. I would love to know what’s going to go on in that back seat. Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica; Fri., May 1, cars on display all day Fri.; cars leave Sat., May 2, 1 p.m.; www.gumball3000.com.
The Musical Stylings of Mr. Stephen Lynch
Stephen Lynch might be the funniest guy ever nominated for a Tony Award (The Wedding Singer). He’s keeping the art of the comedy song alive with his fourth CD, 3 Balloons. —L.M.
L.A. WEEKLY:You use a lot of naughty language for a clean-cut guy — are you a secret sicko?
LYNCH: I am the Ted Bundy of comedy.
Does your act have a “Margaritaville” — a song your audience would be crushed if you didn’t perform?
I have many “Margaritavilles.” Probably my most requested songs are “Lullaby,” “Beelz” and “Grandfather.” Also, my cover version of “Margaritaville.”
You are the son of a former nun and a former priest? How fucked up are you?
Fortunately, the nun and priest were normal people and good parents, so not too fucked up. Well, a little fucked up. Hail Satan.
What do you like to do when in L.A.?
Go to San Francisco.
Are you one of those New Yorkers who feels superior to us?
I’m from Detroit, so I feel superior to no one.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Lionel Richie, obviously.
If you had a catch phrase, what would it be?
“That’sa spicy meatball!” No, wait. “Hell’s bells!” No, wait. “It’s already been broughten!” Yeah, the last one.
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