The 24th Street Theatre blurs the line between adult and children’s theater with programming that's simultaneously accessible and nuanced. But the organization accomplishes much more than that. Stewards to the Teatro Nuevo Latino Initiative, music services, and outreach programs for at-risk youths, 24th Street Theatre's creatives draw neighborhood adolescents into the arts. And they're obviously doing something right. As Jack Black once said of the theatre’s director, according its website, “I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t met Deb Devine, my first drama teacher.”
The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, which the Huffington Post calls “the gold standard of the avant garde in LA,” introduces members to emerging local and international artists with gallery exhibitions and innovative performances in art, music, dance, film, and multimedia. In time for the debut of the 2012 schedule, individual members enjoy a 20% discount on up to two tickets to each of REDCAT’s theatrical productions, which include Lars Jan’s genre-defying Abacus, with high-tech effects and compelling performances that explore media’s persuasive power. With 24 hours’ notice, members can trade in tickets for another date, increasing their chances of catching chats with filmmakers such as William E. Jones, comedy sets by jokesters such as Sandra Bernhard, or recollections of '70s New York by former Yankees shortstop Lou Reed.
On this night only Dianne Reeves belts it out on one of the largest, most star-strut-upon stages in Los Angeles. Orchestra-level seats place you right up front (seating is anything below the balcony section), close enough to feel all of the soulful notes roar. Reeves, a musical titan, part R&B star, part storyteller, and pure jazz from voice to toe, improvises and revises the genre's tradition, singing always her present moment's gospel. She has earned so many Grammys and other shiny accolades that she donates them to children to fill up their birthday piñatas. Her eclectic career defies simplistic labels: she sung the soundtrack to period-piece heavyweight Good Night and Good Luck, closed the 2002 winter Olympic games, and broke through a seemingly impassable cultural barrier by being the first jazz singer to perform in the Arab kingdom of Qatar. With a voice that holds more soul than purgatory, it's an evening not be missed.
Experienced trapeze artist Ray Pierce began his circus training on the tightrope in 1976. More than 30 years later, he and his highly trained staff at his company, Hollywood Aerial Arts, devote their time to every aspect of the art form, from choreographing their own aerial acts to designing custom rigs to teaching the next generation of artists how to maneuver through the air. They reference their collective backgrounds in the circus, Pilates, stunt work, and dance to teach group workshops inside their 10,000 square-foot facility. All of the classes supply students with safely lines and a spotting belt, and the majority of the classes focus on a specific apparatus. These include the aerial bungee, aerial hammock, spanish web, tightrope, tissu, or flying trapeze, which is performed on the facility's 32-foot-high outdoor trapeze equipped with a safety system and animatronic clown cheerleaders.
Led by Allen Levin, an experienced actor, producer, and writer, Lifebook Acting Class’s celebrity-extolled workshops impart budding performers with the art of dramatization. Stratified into three levels ranging from orientation to advanced, classes for aspiring professionals mix improv and character building with career coaching to prevent missteps such as starring in a western with talking tumbleweeds. Acting hobbyists develop comedic and dramatic talents in Acting for Non-Actors and First Timers, a self-confidence strengthening romp through the basics of theatrics. For those with proven celebrity or one major credit to their name, the Master Class sharpens already deadly dialogue skills into a force to be reckoned with in time for a prized audition, starring role, or first meeting with future in-laws.