From the category archives:


Karlheinz and the boys

December 10, 2008

Last night Ronnie and I went to Disney Hall to the 2nd concert of the Green Umbrella series. The concert opened with a piece I dreaded hearing but I became a convert afterwards: the Berio trombone sequenza. Trombonist James Miller, in clown costume, sold it to the respectable crowd. Joanne Pierce Martin made me fall […]


Bowl night

July 16, 2008

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Howard got a choice box at the Bowl last night and invited Del, Larry and me to join him. We zipped into valet parking, dropped off the car and walked in, and afterwards walked to get our car and exited quickly. That by itself made the concert a thrill. The LA Phil […]


Friends II

June 30, 2008

“We are friends. I like saying that. No one ever said this to me. I like it. We are friends. It’s good!” Also sprach Friederich Nietzche to Joseph Breuer in the film “When Nietzche Wept” written, directed and produced by Pinchas Perry based on the best-selling novel by the same name by Irvin Yalom. The […]

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HOMER IN CYBERSPACE has finished its run. Since critics are discouraged from reviewing student events at UCLA Theater Department, I can’t offer you reviews. One rather rather grouchy and clueless review appeared in the Santa Monica Mirror online that sounded as though it was expecting a play and was annoyed to find it so cluttered […]

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In the mid-1980s my publisher told me about the gay choral movement. Several of his composers had written for the chorus in New York and he encouraged me to make connections to try to join that world. It didn’t happen until 1991 when the late Leonard Raver (organist to the NY Phil) recommended to Jon […]


Daniel and I have fabulous front row tickets to the Chamber Music series at Disney Hall. On Tuesday, Josie (his mother) and I went to a concert that featured our new conductor, Gustavo Dudamel. Like us, everyone was anxious to see him in action. But here he played second violin in the Mozart Clarinet Quintet […]


Why I love “Sweeney Todd”

December 26, 2007

I watched the new Tim Burton realization of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” the other day. I found it absolutely thrilling. But I realized that what I mean by “it” is probably different than what others may mean. We went with Ronnie who looked at it as a musical trying to be a movie, as manifested […]


Across the Universe (movie)

November 6, 2007

The LA Times had an interesting article about the Beatles place in the memories of teenage girls! ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, the terrific new film by Julie Taymor, was a great success in my book. I love the film, and especially the psychedelia, but I was mostly surprised at how much I loved the Beatles arrangements. […]


Last night Peter, Juliana, Scott and I went to hear Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra. In this tour, the ensemble devoted the evening to the crooner cabaret music of the mid 1920s through the 1930s. Post Al Jolson. Kurt Weill, Irving Berlin, and others. I didn’t find Max’s voice remarkable, but appropriate to the […]


For those of you brave enough to learn about how your brain distorts and deceives reality (that’s right: YOUR reality) I can’t recommend highly enough Cordelia Fine’s “a mind of its own” [Norton]. I am actually the Wizard of Oz, or I think I am, and behind the scenes is this busy little man huffing […]