This Autumn the Los Angeles theater scene was launched with a big “bang, bang” thanks to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presenting the ultra-impressive For The Record: Scorsese—American Crime Requiem. It was a larger than life production that was perfect for The Wallis venue as it framed an intense explosion of theatrical energy and emotion through contemporary songs that illustrated key moments in Scorsese movies. Created by Anderson Davis (who also directed), Shane Scheel and Jesse Vargas, the show brought a cinematic magic to the stage during its run (Sept. 21-Oct. 16). It featured a collection of scenes with characters from Martin Scorsese’s most celebrated movies (Casino, The Departed, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, The Wolf of Wall Street), and the brilliant cast perform songs that were featured in the movie soundtracks.
Each member of the cast was a true star and deserved the spotlight with their overpowering vocals and performances, included among them: John Lloyd Young (as Sam), B. Slade (Stacks), Jason Paige (Frankie), Carmen Cusack (as Ginger), Dionne Gipson (Diane), Olivia Harris (Teresa), Pia Toscano (Karen), James Byous (Travis), Justin Mortelliti (Jordan), Zak Resnick (Henry), Doug Kreeger (Jake), and Lindsey Gort (Iris). Kudos to all. And a big thanks to Paul Crewes, the Artistic Director at The Wallis, for mounting such a powerhouse production.
But wait, there are more tasty treats coming from The Wallis this Fall. Upcoming October Events at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts include:
Harlem Quartet with Aldo López-Gavilán (Chamber Music: Modern) Sunday, October 23 at 7 pm. The Harlem Quartet, praised for its “panache” by The New York Times, is “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent,” says the Cincinnati Enquirer. The quartet, comprised of violinists Ilmar Gavilan and Melissa White, violist Jaime Amador and cellist Felix Umansky, will be joined by the acclaimed Cuban pianist/composer Aldo López-Gavilán in a collaboration that bridges jazz, classical and traditional Cuban music through the works of Dizzy Gillespie, Antônio Carlos Jobim and Abelardito Valdés. The program also features several original works by López-Gavilán arranged specifically for this collaboration.
Carmen de Lavallade (Dance) Friday, October 28 at 8 pm. As I Remember It: Celebrating Carmen de Lavallade’s 85th birthday, directed by Joe Grifasi co-written by Carmen de Lavallade and Talvin Wilks. Dance icon Carmen de Lavallade returns home to Los Angeles for her 85th birthday celebration. As I Remember It is an intimate portrait of the legendary artist told through dance, film and her personal writings. From her childhood days playing in the empty lots of 1930’s Los Angeles to performing on the world’s grand stages, this very special evening will be inspiring for dancers and dance lovers of all ages.
Zukerman Trio (Chamber Music: Classic), Sunday, October 30 at 7 pm. A prodigious talent recognized worldwide for his artistry, violinist Pinchas Zukerman has long been an inspiration to audiences and young musicians. Since 2013, Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Angela Cheng have performed as the Zukerman Trio at prominent festivals and major venues around the globe. The Trio embraces the works of Glière, Schubert and Shostakovich for its debut at The Wallis.