What do you get when you take a classic American television show, combine it with many dashes of Top Forty music numbers, and then place it on a stage? You get a pop cultural stew that is bubbling with personality and wit. Director and writer Dane Whitlock is a master at this and has shown this through works like Are You There God? It’s Me, Karen Carpenter. His latest piece is equally as cut-and-paste from American entertainment as it takes television classic Little House On The Prairie, places a glittery microphone in its hand, and then has it sing and dance to some of the biggest songs on the radio. The result is the hysterical Little House On The Prarie-Oke, a production that sees Whitlock taking Laura Ingalls Wilder out to a karaoke bar in Koretown. We caught up with Whitlock on the eve of the show’s production week to hear about the process of creating such a unique piece and what it’s like to work with so many fantastic LA creatives.
You know what people in Los Angeles love? They love creative projects that literally reflect Los Angeles culture. That’s one thing we have noticed in sharing creative projects by Angelenos, for Angelenos. There’s a certain amount of hometown pride we LA people have so, when people make physical objects to honor the city, there is an embedded level of ovation you will get. The latest entry into this world is a series of necklaces that are intended to let you wear your commute around your neck: they are L.Makai’s Commuter Collection, necklaces that use Los Angeles’ highways to make a statement.
All artists have a specific point of view. For photographers, there are a handful of categories they can play within from style to subject to presentation. It’s the nuances in all of these that make the work special and stand apart from the others. LA based photographer Betsy Winchell mainly focuses on people. She doesn’t shoot portraits and she doesn’t shoot fashion photography: she photographs people just being people. These people are at work or they are at play or they are at a still moment between it all–and Betsy is able to capture something special in these otherwise mundane moments.
You know when Metro does those little photography art shows that stay up for a way long period of time and you keep passing them and don’t ever stop to look at what they are? Well, they have another cool one up at the Beverly and Vermont Metro station that focuses on curious Nancy Drew like girls solving mysteries. The work is from photographer Holly Andres from a series titled Sparrow Lane, where discoveries lie around every curious turn.
Renaissance oils are not the first thing that come to mind at mention of the Los Angeles art scene – and this is the first place that painter Tim Smith, known as TV5D, directs me. His recently completed Titled is propped against the studio wall, taller than both of us, and Tim claims Jacopo Tintoretto’s The Miracle of St Mark Rescuing a Slave as a primary source of inspiration. Tintoretto’s 1548 work tells the story of a slave who leaves the sovereignty of his king to see religious idols in Venice – a crime for which the king orders other slaves to exact punishment on the deserter. St. Mark descends from the Heavens to rescue the noble slave, bridging the earthly divide.