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
THE RUSSIANS ARE DANCING! THE RUSSIANS ARE DANCING!
For decades after World War II, Russian ballet was something to be glimpsed through the Iron Curtain when the Bolshoi or Kirov companies brought their full-length ballets on a rare tour, or in smaller ensembles traveling under the banner of Stars of the Bolshoi, Stars of the Kirov or the catchall Stars of the Russian Ballet. The Iron Curtain may have fallen, but contemporary economic curtains have replaced the political ones as constraints, yet Orange County Performing Arts Center has found an inside track with producer Ardani Artists to regularly bring Russian ballet companies and their stars to SoCal audiences — and it’s raised the bar several notches this time. In a week almost too full of goodies, Russia’s Eifman Ballet opens Wednesday with the first of five performances of choreographer Boris Eifman’s full-length Onegin, followed on Thursday by a one-night gala for which star-studded is an understatement. While dominated by stars from Russian companies, the roster includes luminaries from U.S. and European companies dancing pas de deux from the classics as well as several contemporary works, mostly from Eifman. On Friday, the programming returns to full-length ballet with four more performances of Onegin, Eifman’s exploration of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin’s classic Eugene Onegin. Eifman Ballet: Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Wed., May 20, & Fri.-Sat., May 22-23, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., May 23-24, 2 p.m.; $25-$85. Tour de Force: A Gala Dance Spectacular: Thurs., May 21, 7:30 p.m.; $35-$150. (714) 556-2787 or www.OCPAC.org.
REVENGE OF THE COMEDY FILM NERDS
Three of my favorite words, “comedy,” “film” and “nerds,” come together for Comedy Film Nerds. Hosts Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood give a warm welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to comics Chris Hardwick, Jackie Kashian and Matt Weinhold. Short films, including “Hole in the Wall” by Matthew Ehlers and a “secret” film by Hardwick, will screen. Tip: Largo still doesn’t have its liquor license, but you can front-load at numerous bars in the area. The Little Room at Largo, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Wed., May 20, 9 p.m. (310) 855-0347.
THURSDAY, MAY 21
SEE YA LATER, ALLIGATOR!
Jen Lancaster, 38, still listens to Wham! and she’s not afraid to admit it. She likes plaid a little too much. The author of Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer, has gone back to the wordy-book-title biz and written the equally space-hogging Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or The Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase. She talks about her LaCoste obsession — she would rock two polos at a time — and tells numerous other ’80s fashion-related tales. Why can’t some people just let go of the ’80s? And why do people make fun of the mullet? It’s a great look for some of us and practical, too! Barnes & Noble, 210 Americana Way, Glendale; Thurs., May 21, 7 p.m. (818) 545-9146.