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GO LA: Fringe Artists, Porno Films and Lisa Lampanelli

Anna Biller licks up the scenery in Viva. See Tuesday.

C. Thomas LewisAnna Biller licks up the scenery in Viva. See Tuesday.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27

MUSEUMS

He Walked the Line; He Walked the Line

Say goodbye to Hello, I’m Johnny Cash. Today’s the last day to catch the Paley Center’s tribute to the Man in Black. The Paley Center, formerly known as The Most Important Museum on the Planet, a.k.a. the Museum of Television & Radio, holds more classic and rare video footage than the YouTubes, and they’ve put together an eight-hour retrospective, including stuff that hasn’t been seen since its original broadcast. See Cash imitate Elvis doing “Heartbreak Hotel” in the late ’50s, his heralded return to the Grand Ole Opry after beating a raging drug habit, plus duets with June Carter, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Joni Mitchell and Roy Orbison. The Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; Fri., Feb. 27, 12:30 p.m.; free. (310) 786-1091. —Libby Molyneaux

 

CLASSICAL

Fiddlers Three

Three great violin virtuosi will be in L.A. this week, and since we’d be hard put to choose the best among them, we’re giving all of them a joint pick, in order of appearance. First off, Sarah Chang. While virtually every great musician started off as a prodigy, Chang seems to have outdone all but Jascha Heifetz in the violin category. Legend has it that Heifetz saw a fiddle at age 3, picked it up, and began playing it so beautifully that everyone present burst into tears. One might put that story down to 1 percent maybe and 99 percent no way, except for the fact that at age 4, Sarah Chang begged for a violin, and by age 6 was admitted to the Juilliard School after wowing them with her performance of the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1. I saw Chang perform when she was 12, and was astounded by her maturity; she was not only technically brilliant but she had the insight and passion of a seasoned adult. Today, at 28, Chang is considered one of the most brilliant artists of her time, and this weekend she’ll be performing one of her signature works, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in E minor, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. James Conlon conducts the all-Mendelssohn program, which includes the Symphony No. 1 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Next up is Jennifer Koh, who by age 11 had already performed solo with the Chicago Symphony, and who won the International Tchaikovsky Competition when she was just 17. Praised as a “fearless” soloist whose “white-hot imagination” takes old standards to new heights, Koh has chosen a technically ambitious and intellectually challenging program for her concert on Saturday: Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin; Brahms’ Sonata No. 2 in A major; and Bartok’s Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano. At the keyboard is esteemed Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute. On Wednesday, check out the fabulous Cho-Liang Lin, a late bloomer who started violin lessons at 5 and made his memorable debut at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at the ripe old age of 19.

Named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America in 2000, Lin is known for his eloquent playing and profound musicianship, and his program includes Mozart’s Sonata in A major, K.526; Ravel’s Violin Sonata; and Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 in D minor and Scherzo. Accompanying him at the piano is the great Andre-Michel Schub, which should make for a dazzling evening indeed. Sarah Chang performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall; Fri., Feb. 27, 11 a.m. & Sat., Feb. 28, 8 p.m.; $42-$147. (323) 850-2000 or www.laphil.com. Jennifer Koh and Cho-Liang Lin perform at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. Koh: Sat., Feb. 28, 8 p.m.; $20-$40. Lin: Wed., March 4, 7:30 p.m.; $25. (562) 467-8818 or www.cerritoscenter.com. —Mary Beth Crain

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28

PERFORMANCE READING

Your Placenta or Mine?

Afterbirth, Dani Klein Modisett’s highly successful series of “stories you won’t read in a parenting magazine tapping the gushing vein of amazingly talented funny writer parents who live and work here” will be out as a book later this spring. Can a cable-TV show starring Maya Rudolph be far behind? This weekend’s live show is noteworthy for featuring Afterbirth’s first grandparent, TV legend Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H, Tootsie, Oh, God!). Also sharing parents’ “whoas!!!” are Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, Dan Bucatinsky of numerous crappy shows I wish I had on my resumé, Lew Schneider (exec producer of Everybody Loves Raymond) and Sarah Thyre (Mrs. Andy Richter). Klein Modisett also tips us off that Racelle Rosett is also on this show. “Racelle was supposed to be the next Diane English but became the next head of kid crafts instead, which she will be talking about. Sarah has two children and tried to breastfeed them both. Operative word being ‘tried.’” Which reminds me — how about the story of the time my dog ate the piece of umbilical cord that had fallen off my newborn son? It’s called “Holy Crap! The Dog Just Ate My Baby’s Umbilical Cord!” I see Catherine Zeta Jones playing me. M Bar, 1253 N. Vine St., Hlywd.; Sat., Feb. 28, 8 p.m.; $20, $15 with resv. (323) 856-0036. —L.M.

 

 

DANCE

Go Completely Batsheva

It sounds oxymoronic, but Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company is a venerable contemporary-dance company. Established in 1964 with help from no less than modern-dance legend Martha Graham, the ensemble has a long and triumphant track record as a cultural ambassador (a role U.S. dance companies used to play, too, once upon a time). Directed by choreographer Ohad Naharin since 1990, Batsheva dancers combine superlative technique with adventurous spirit, traits visible in Naharin’s newest, MAX. Exploring the possibilities of a 10-dancer ensemble, MAX runs approximately one hour without intermission and features an original score composed and performed by Maxim Waratt. When MAX was staged last October, Australian dance critic Stephanie Glickman described it as “tribal” and named it her favorite event of the two-week Melbourne International Arts Festival. UCLA Royce Hall, Wstwd.; Sat., Feb. 28, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 1, 7 p.m.; $26-$48. (310) 825-2101 or www.UCLALive.org. —Ann Haskins

 

COMEDY PICK

Lisa Lampanelli: Hail the Queen — And That’s an Order!

Known as the “Queen of Mean,” Lisa Lampanelli only called me an “idiot” once in this interview via e-mail. Is the Queen getting soft? Not on your life, dumbass.

 

 

L.A. WEEKLY: I love your comedy, but I enjoy it most when I see you with a bunch of rowdy pals and plenty of liquor. Does that count as being a fan?

LAMPANELLI: Not only does it count as being a fan — it counts as being a drunk. Get to an AA meeting immediately, donkey!

 

Your HBO special, Long Live the Queen, is brilliant, and you look gorgeous. Why go for the Carol Brady look?

Dressing like Carol Brady really fulfills everyone’s fantasy. C’mon — who didn’t want Mrs. Brady to call Alice a dykey-looking cunt? Plus, I’m hoping that dressing that way will land me a spokes-twat job for Wesson Oil. My commercial for Wesson Oil: “Before I suck a huge black cock, I always cover it in Wesson Oil. Mmmmm ... Wesson-ality!”

 

Howard Stern looks like he has soft skin. Have you ever touched him?

Sadly, I have not touched Howard Stern’s skin. However, if you want to know how soft it really is, just ask Sal the Stockbroker or Richard Christy. Their brown-nosing lips are on his ass on a daily basis.

 

Do your parents know what you do?

Of course they do, idiot. They have cable. Seriously, they know what I do and they know how much money I make. That way, when I threaten to put them in the home, they take it seriously.

 

If you had a sitcom about your life, what would it be called and what would it be about?

I have quite a few ideas for sitcoms. We could do a TV show about convenience stores called Everybody Hates Coloreds. I could also do a show about my dating history with black men called Eight Is NOT Enough. Or I could have a show about me and a black boyfriend who move to Connecticut, and live with my Italian parents with our gay friend next door. My manager wants to call it I Love Lisa, but I want to sell it to pay cable so we can call it Nigger-Lovin’ Fag Hag.

 

 

Why do gay men love you?

Gay men are the best audience members EVER because after taking it in the ass all day, my insults seem like a walk in the park.

 

Who are your comedy idols?

My idols are obviously Don Rickles and Howard Stern. But the person who has inspired me most is Kathie Lee Gifford. She has proven that you can have a career even if everyone on the planet hates your guts.

 

Is it possible to hurt your feelings?

Not really. I’m rich. If you don’t like me, what do I care? That’s not true — once a boyfriend told me that my strap-on made me look fat. That was depressing — not because I was fat, but because I never owned a strap-on.

 

Do you ever apologize about your act?

Hell, no! Who do I owe an apology to? It’s not my fault people are the ethnicity they are. I just point out their faults.

 

When you’re on the road, what do you do all day?

On the road, I like to go to the mall and make fun of queers, blacks and Latinos — or, as I like to call it, work on my act.

 

What do you like to do in L.A.?

My favorite thing to do in L.A. is to tell actresses they look fat and then eat their French fries when they run off to the bathroom to puke.

 

Your Nokia tickets are $45. How much per laugh does that come out to?

What do I look like — a gook who knows math? All I know is you’ll laugh until your ass bleeds — and that’s priceless.

—Libby Molyneaux

 

Club Nokia, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., dwntwn.; Sat., Feb. 28, 7 & 10 p.m.; $45. (213) 480-3232.

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 1

READINGS

Golden Age of Porn Pick of the Week

This week’s cut-’n’-paste special comes from Skylight Books: “In 1973, short on cash and with the rent due, a peacenik former Broadway gypsy living in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District signed on to cook for the cast and crew of a new film, The Devil in Miss Jones. She soon found herself cast in the lead role, and her legendary erotic performance launched her on a career that would come to define the era of Porn Chic. This is the story of Georgina Spelvin, a poignant and wholly bawdy memoir of her life before and after porn fame, full of riveting anecdotes and marvelous gossip from time spent among the famous and the infamous. With a storyteller’s touch, Georgina takes us to the bright lights of Broadway, the glamour of Manhattan’s Latin Quarter, the fervor of the Vietnam Era peace movement, and, of course, the so-called Golden Age of Porn. Thirty years in the making and five years in the writing, there are more laughs than tears, but no apologies or excuses. It is not a victim’s whine, but a romping good read, filled with the colorful details of a road less traveled.” Ms. Spelvin reads from and signsThe Devil Made Me Do It. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Sun., March 1, 7 p.m.; free, book is $18.50. (323) 660-1175. —L.M.

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 2

CABARET

Ladies and Gentlemen ... Carol Channing!

Voilà — behold the famous Magic Castle transform into a cabaret! Even longtime members were not aware of the theater space housing W.C. Fields’ trick pool table, marionettes from The Sound of Music, Edgar Bergen’s dummies, and more Tinseltown treasures. And who better to kick off “Cabaret at the Castle” than living legend Carol Channing? The ever-charming Ms. Channing presents The First 80 Years Are the Hardest, her one-woman show that was a hit in NYC. She’ll share stories and sing some of her most famous showstoppers, sequins and all. Such as? “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Razzle Dazzle,” “Hello, Dolly!” — plus choice tales about Tallulah Bankhead, Ethel Merman, Sophie Tucker and meeting the Queen of England! Magic Castle, 7001 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Mon.-Tues., March 2-3, 8 p.m.; $75, proceeds benefit the Dr. Carol Channing Foundation for the Arts. www.carolchanning.org. Resv.: (323) 851-3313, Ext. 336. —L.M.

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 3

COMEDY

Love Hounds

What has Elayne Boosler been up to? Funny you should ask. “I know you missed me, but I was right here, alive and busy. Merrill Markoe and I sat in for Stephanie Miller on radio for two years, I did a lot with baseball, and I’m thinking of putting 100 blowjob jokes in my act so I can get on Comedy Central. Luckily, they won’t have to be funny. I still do tons of concerts to raise rescue money for animals everywhere, some touring, write for Huffington Post, finishing a book called Forever for the fall, and working on a comedy CD. Recently produced and hosted St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa’s All Star 60th Birthday Roast DVD to help pay off his new animal shelter in Walnut Creek called ARF.”

When it comes to saving animals, Boosler walks her dog like she talks it. “L.A. is drowning in foreclosure dogs. People are walking out the front door and leaving their loved ones out back to die. And we thought dating was bad. Tails of Joy is national and helps all animals,” she says of the organization that benefits from The Dog and Pony Show. The lineup features Boosler, Marianne Curan, Markoe, Laraine Newman, Eric Saperstein and others. “It’s a great night of dog lovers reading personal stories and sharing milk and cookies!” adds Boosler. “Cookies! My fashion philosophy is, if you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.” Writers Boot Camp at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Tues., March 3, 7:30 p.m.; $25, $20 in advance. (310) 828-1500. —L.M.

 

 

BOOKS

Three Hipsters Walk Into a Silver Lake Bar ...

It’s not a pleasant thought, but we have to ask ourselves: Where would we be without indie comedy? Shudder to think of a world without smart, funny gals in horn-rimmed glasses. And no Janeane Garofalo! Stop it! Then again, we would never have had to type “Neil Hamburger.” John Wenzel’s given the topic a lot of thought and has written a dissertation ...

I mean a book, called Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny. He’ll be joined by comics Maria Bamford, Andrew Orvedahl, Ben Kronenberg and Tig Notaro at this reading. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tues., March 3, 7 p.m.; free, book is $16. (323) 660-1175. —L.M.

 

 

MUSEUMS

Wherefore Art Thou Yugo?

There were plenty of popular and obscure cars before the invention of gas-guzzling eyesore the Hummer. The Petersen’s What Were They Thinking? The Misfits of Motordom is an “autotorium of automobile oddities” that assembles the good, the bad and the unnavigable from all over the world, and examines the history of motor innovators who tried and failed. Upcoming related events include a tour led by exhibit curator Leslie Kendall, and a panel discussion featuring L.A. Times car columnist Dan Neil and owner of the L.A. Car Guy dealerships Mike Sullivan. Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; $10, $5 seniors & students, $3 children 5-12; under 5 free. (323) 930-CARS. —Siran Babayan

 

 

FILM

There’s No Porn Like ’70s Porn!

Anna Biller’s 1970s-styled sexploitation parody Viva may at times come too close to the real thing, but there’s a welcome delight in the film’s unapologetic and total submersion in cheap thrills. The story concerns suburban housewife Barbi (played by the seductive Ms. Biller herself), whose sexual awakening coincides with the Me Decade’s excesses. When her clueless-executive husband leaves on yet another trip, frustrated Barbi is off to the carnal races. She renames herself Viva (“Because I want to live!”), takes a job as a prostitute, visits a nudist colony and stars in a musical orgy. No outfit is too gaudy, no penis too limp to make it into this film, and Biller’s brazen art direction, as well as the copious nudity, leaves everything perfectly overexposed. Post-screening Q&A with Biller. Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; Tues., March 3, 8 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510. —Derek Thomas

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4

EXPERIMENTAL

The Little Engine That Could

The Engine Collision Festival (ECF): New Media, Film, Music, Fashion, Art and Literature is an 11-day celebration of international fringe artists from all over the world — and David Lynch. “Cinema, performance and multimedia dynamically presents the current state of ‘Genre,’ the influence of past and the vision of future.” If you have any idea what that means, you’ll want to attend all 11 days for such highlights as Lynch screening a selection of unavailable short works; a program of 2009 Slamdance winners; extreme films from the Parisian underground, including rare work from Gaspard Noé (Irreversible, I Stand Alone); and daily screenings from Bizzurke Army UFM. Lots of surprises from other cinematic arty types are also expected. Studio 1636, 1636 N. Wilcox Ave., Hlywd.; Feb. 25-March 8, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; $10; enginecollisionfest.com. —L.M.

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 5

FILM FESTIVAL

Hey, You With the Funny Shorts!

The organizers of the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival promise their mission was “started by funny people, for funny people.” We’ll be the judge of that! The fest is four days of comedic short films that should be funnier than that viral video of the drugged-out kid who’s just been to the dentist. Let’s hope so, though I am worried because the press release is so poorly written. Case in point: “With events hosted by Aisha Tyler and Adam Carolla, there will be panel discussions where ‘Famous People Talking about Sh*t’ and an Opening Night Gala where everyone will be ‘Flavor Tripping,’ the latest hot trend, Miracle Fruit, which is a small red berry that tricks the taste buds into perceiving sour flavors as sweet as candy!” There is nothing funny about that dangling modifier–ridden sentence. Downtown Independent Theatre, 251 S. Main St., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sun., March 5-8; $10, $99 all-access pass; www.lacomedyshorts.com. —L.M.