El Sistema's ardent defender: Turmoil in Venezuela has the program under fire, but Gustavo Dudamel remains a staunch believer in it

LOS ANGELES -- Easter Day 2007, the Los Angeles Philharmonic announced that Gustavo Dudamel would become the music director in 2009. But he didn't wait that long to start Youth Orchestra Los Angeles.

By fall 2007, children from South L.A., most Latino or African American, were gathering at Exposition Park to learn instruments and play in a ...Read more

Q&A: Muppets Christmas special, 'Bones'

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: With Christmas rapidly approaching, I was wondering if there was a DVD for the "John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together" special. The music is on CD.

A: I do not know of an authorized release on DVD or any home-video format of the 1979 special, which suggests there is a problem clearing ...Read more

Think Ink: Chicago's Field Museum puts its 'Tattoo' on full display

CHICAGO -- Think ink. That's the message that Chicago's Field Museum conveys with its new exhibition, a compendium of tattoo art, tattooed bodies and tattoo history titled, unsurprisingly, "Tattoo."

But while the title may be a no-brainer, the presentation is plenty thoughtful. It begins with an exploration of body art in ancient times, and ...Read more

Review: Norah Jones masterful in concert

SEATTLE -- Norah Jones has always mixed jazz, country, folk and rock, but her concert at Seattle's Benaroya Hall on Wednesday demonstrated that she has become a master of them all.

Despite suffering from what she said was "a little cold" -- nursing it with something from a red cup (not whiskey, she said) -- Jones ranged with relaxed abandon ...Read more

Movie review: 'Salesman' shows how far people can bend before they break

"The Salesman" opens like a disaster movie: In Tehran, the residents of an apartment building evacuate as the walls shake and the world seems to be caving in over their heads. Among them are Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a married couple who are part of a troupe of amateur actors in the midst of rehearsals of a production ...Read more

Movie review: 'Christine' is empathetic look at suicidal reporter

This much we know is true: On the morning of July 15, 1974, Christine Chubbuck, a TV reporter who hosted a community affairs show on the Sarasota, Fla., station WXLT, shot herself in the head nine minutes into a live broadcast.

The rest of "Christine," a drama that recounts the weeks leading up to her suicide, incorporates elements of Chubbuck'...Read more

Presidential debate a history maker for Fox News … and moderator Chris Wallace

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace landed a permanent place on the presidential debate highlight reel when Republican nominee Donald Trump said he would not commit to accepting the results of the election.

Wallace told the Los Angeles Times in an interview that he wasn't shocked by the answer when he queried Trump during Wednesday's event at the ...Read more

Final Trump-Clinton face-off draws 71 million viewers

NEW YORK -- The third and final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had an average audience of about 71.4 million viewers on Wednesday, making it the third-most-watched candidate showdown in history.

The TV audience for the event held at the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas ranks behind the ...Read more

How the Adlers transformed the movie's music

Lou Adler didn't need his memory jogged to recall a disastrous test screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in Santa Barbara in 1975.

"I'll tell you exactly what happened," said the 82-year-old rock 'n' roll impresario, whose long resume includes, among other things, producing that film, organizing the Monterey Pop Festival and overseeing ...Read more

'Rocky Horror' remake lacks the magic and edge of the original

The basic mission of every remake is justifying its own existence. For "The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again," a two-hour special airing Thursday on Fox and starring Laverne Cox, that burden is even heavier -- and not just because of that cumbersome subtitle.

The original "Rocky Horror Picture Show" is the very definition...Read more

Can 'Manchester by the Sea' Gotham nominations lead to awards season glory?

Kenneth Lonergan's acclaimed drama "Manchester by the Sea" was the leader Thursday morning in the 26th annual Gotham Awards nominations.

The film earned four mentions, for feature, screenplay, actor (Casey Affleck) and breakthrough actor (Lucas Hedges).

Kelly Reichardt's "Certain Women," Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight," Jim Jarmusch's "Paterson" ...Read more

Theater review: 'Hamilton' makes the most of its Chicago shot

CHICAGO -- On a night when the Chicago Cubs shook off their doubts and oppressors and hit their way back into contention, the most profound theatrical experience in a generation -- a vibrant celebration of a country founded on the fervor of freedom and built with the mental and physical sweat of cursed outsiders and their children -- landed in ...Read more

Movie review: The spirits aren't willing when it comes to 'Ouija: Origin of Evil'

The title of "Ouija: Origin of Evil" should be changed to the more appropriate "Ouija: Bored." This lackluster follow up to the incredibly bad "Ouija" of two years ago is more likely to put you to sleep than keep you awake.

The scariest thing about the original "Ouija" was that the viewer might get crushed under its pile of cliches or fall out ...Read more

Movie review: 'Keeping Up with the Joneses' is a dud

Sometimes studio films arrive without the rich, yet subtle new car smell of a clever, carefully finessed movie. Such is "Keeping Up With the Joneses," a mood-swinging action spoof poorly balancing a bromantic comedy and a romantic one. It conjures up the scent of rancid products from a mediocre sausage factory. Or Adam Sandler's production ...Read more

Movie review: 'Jack Reacher' is a straight-shooter

While it doesn't tear up the envelope of the action genre or stray far from the familiar template of mysteries, "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" is agreeable middle-of-the-road entertainment.

Following up on the successful 2012 original, Tom Cruise returns as the ex-Army officer turned hitchhiking-nomadic-vigilante, inflicting pain and injuries on...Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

THE ACCOUNTANT. 3 stars. Crime thriller specialist Gavin O'Connor ("Hope and Glory"), delivers a slick, well-paced actioner based on the most ludicrous premise. Ben Affleck stars as an autistic accountant who also happens to be an expert sniper and martial arts master who is targeted by assassins after he finds financial irregularities at a ...Read more

After making $98 in 'This is Spinal Tap' music royalties over 30 years, writer-star Harry Shearer sues studio

Harry Shearer once was part of a group that went to 11. Now he's going to court.

The "This Is Spinal Tap" writer and costar has sued Vivendi and subsidiary StudioCanal, which hold the rights to the classic 1984 mockumentary, for $125 million.

Shearer claims that fuzzy accounting prevented him and the three other writer-stars (Christopher Guest...Read more

Movie review: Less a documentary than a stand-up gig, Michael Moore's 'TrumpLand' isn't the firebrand one might expect

"Michael Moore in TrumpLand" is not only the title of the new film by the cinematic provocateur but it is also an accurate description of what it provides.

Not an investigative documentary on the order of the writer-director's previous films like "Fahrenheit 9/ll," "Bowling for Columbine" or "Sicko," "TrumpLand" is rather a rambling, mildly ...Read more

Michael Moore made 'TrumpLand' in 11 days to rally 'depressed Hillary voters'

NEW YORK -- Just two weeks ago, Michael Moore wasn't promoting a movie.

He wasn't editing a movie.

He hadn't even shot a movie.

But in the past 11 days, the documentary provocateur had done what takes most people -- including him -- years to do. He staged a one-man-show about the election at a theater in the true-red town of Wilmington, Ohio....Read more

Smithsonian launches Kickstarter campaign to preserve Dorothy's ruby slippers

The Smithsonian is looking for a legion of good-deed-doers to help save Dorothy Gale's ruby slippers.

Though the shoes found their forever home in 1979, when an anonymous donation brought them to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, time has not been kind to the nearly 80-year-old costume piece from "The Wizard of Oz."

...Read more