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Commentary: Theaters nobly fill the COVID void, but screens make me miss the stage even more

Zoom theater is an oxymoron, but substitutes for live performance will have to do until we can safely gather again as an audience.

The Old Vic's In Camera program demonstrates what can be done with an actor on stage alone or physically distanced from a scene partner. The offerings, scratch productions with topnotch performers, recall Peter ...Read more


Henry Cavill explains how his portrayal of Sherlock in 'Enola Holmes' is different from past versions of the detective

Henry Cavill uncovered a different side of detective Sherlock Holmes.

The British actor plays the iconic sleuth in "Enola Holmes," a film about Sherlock's younger sister working to solve a mystery of her own.

But in this movie, Sherlock is portrayed as never before, with Cavill drawing out the steely detective's empathy through his ...Read more

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New music: 3 cool albums worth checking out in fall 2020

Here are three recent albums that are definitely worth spinning:

"Work Hard and Be Nice," Michael Franti & Spearhead

The Bay Area act, which draws from folk, hip-hop, reggae, pop, jam rock and other musical styles, serves up another big dish of positive vibes with its 11th studio album. So consider putting on "Work Hard and Be Nice" the next ...Read more

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At a time when COVID-19 is isolating, these young artists turn rhymes and verses into instruments of peace to bring communities together

CHICAGO - At a time when COVID-19 is isolating, young artists of Emcee Skool are using their skills to bring communities together. Emcee Skool is a grassroots community organization created by hip-hop artist Teh'Ray Hale (aka "Phenom") in 2018 to train the next generation of artists to become community leaders and peace ambassadors.

On March 9,...Read more

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My worst moment: 'The Simpsons' star Harry Shearer and the confused (and hostile!) Spinal Tap audience

When Harry Shearer is not busy working on "The Simpsons," where he is the voice of characters including Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and Waylon Smithers, he's often making music for his radio show, "Le Show."

"The writing part came out of necessity and habit," Shearer said. "I pay attention to the news because that's what I make ...Read more

How Sofia Coppola and Rashida Jones put their own family lives into 'On the Rocks'

LOS ANGELES - It was just another Saturday for a pair of working mothers when Sofia Coppola and Rashida Jones got together on a recent conference call. Jones had been dealing with a flat tire as she was driving from Ojai to Los Angeles. Coppola was in Northern California, concerned about nearby fires as the clatter and chatter of life with a ...Read more

Review: Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola reunite in 'On the Rocks,' with mixed results

The Los Angeles Times is committed to reviewing new theatrical film releases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because moviegoing carries inherent risks during this time, we remind readers to follow health and safety guidelines as outlined by the CDC and local health officials. We will continue to note the various ways readers can see each new film,...Read more


Director Lulu Wang criticizes Ron Howard's film about Chinese pianist Lang Lang

Amid ongoing scrutiny of the lack of diversity in Hollywood, AGC Studios has tapped Ron Howard to direct a film about Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang.

Many, including "The Farewell" director Lulu Wang, questioned the project Tuesday on Twitter after the Hollywood Reporter released details about the biopic, which will be produced by Brian ...Read more

Disney moves 'Black Widow' and more big titles to 2021 amid coronavirus concerns

LOS ANGELES - In another setback for theaters, Walt Disney Co. has delayed the release of its highly anticipated Marvel Studios film "Black Widow" until next year, amid concerns about the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on moviegoing.

Burbank-based Disney on Wednesday said the Scarlett Johansson superhero blockbuster is now set to hit ...Read more

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Chicago jazz great Ira Sullivan dies at 89

CHICAGO - Sometimes it seemed as if Ira Sullivan could play anything that had a mouthpiece.

Tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, trumpet, fluegelhorn, flute, alto flute - the man applied his comprehensive virtuosity and pervasive musicianship to all of them, switching from one to the next with seeming effortlessness, often during a single set.

...Read more

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Sophia Loren's first film in 11 years generating serious Oscar buzz

Sophia Loren might have a new man in her life soon - and his name is Oscar.

The 86-year-old, silver-screen legend is generating serious awards buzz for her performance in "The Life Ahead," her first major film role in 11 years.

The Netflix feature, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, has Loren playing Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who ...Read more

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The anti-Spotify: How online music company Bandcamp became the toast of the COVID age

Like thousands of artists, Nashville singer and songwriter Emma Swift faced a reckoning in March after all of her gigs were scrapped.

"When the pandemic hit, I lost my job as a touring musician. And in losing that job, I lost my primary income stream," she said during a recent phone call. Pondering the prospect of releasing "Blonde on the ...Read more

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Shamir's new album was inspired by Gwen Stefani, Miranda Lambert and … Jeffrey Dahmer

The charismatic singer, songwriter and guitarist Shamir has had a busy 2020 despite the circumstances. In March, as the COVID-19 pandemic tore through America, the 25-year-old released the distorted rock album "Cataclysm." He followed that up with a series of singles - "On My Own" to celebrate Pride Month in June, the exuberant synth-rock anthem...Read more

These TV shows are changing the way we see immigrants, a new study finds

Two children sit alone, facing a judge in an immigration court set in Litchfield, New York.

"Ms. Casillas, do you and your brother have a lawyer?" the judge asks.

The little girl shakes her head.

"Do you know what a lawyer is?" the judge replies.

"No," the little girl whispers.

"Well, do you understand that we are here to determine whether ...Read more

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Review: Trump interviewed, softly, on WGN America's 'NewsNation'

Landing a one-on-one interview with President Trump would put the startup "NewsNation" "in the big time," an executive for the network crowed before the interview aired in Tuesday's first hour of the WGN America national cable newscast.

After seeing the questions anchor Joe Donlon lobbed at the president and the unchallenged assertions and ...Read more


Sound Advice: Tesla Powerwall best known home solar panel, battery combination

Q. I just read your column about automatic backup generators in my local newspaper. Thank you for that very useful and intelligent summary of the issue. It would be extremely useful to have a detailed comparison of backup generators to solar panels and battery installations in homes. It is hard to find independent analyses such as you could ...Read more

Movie review: 'Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles' inadvertently prescient sugar theater

Note: We are continuing to review theatrical film releases during the COVID-19 pandemic, though please be aware that indoor moviegoing does carry risk during this time. Please follow every health and safety guideline outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as guidelines provided by local health officials in your area. ...Read more

Review: Sherlock who? Millie Bobby Brown is terrific in the clever 'Enola Holmes'

Amy March, Scout Finch, Lisa Simpson ... you never know what you're going to get in a younger sister, and Enola Holmes is as surprising as any of them. Bursting forth from Nancy Springer's young adult series "Enola Holmes Mysteries," which focus on the younger sibling of Sherlock, Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective, Enola provides a richly ...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

The top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of Sept. 14:

1. Irresistible (2020) - Universal

2. Rogue - Lionsgate

3. The King of Staten Island - Universal

4. Hard Kill - Redbox Entertainment

5. Scoob! - Warner

6. The Bay of Silence - Vertical

7. Z - RLJ Entertainment

8. Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite! - Warner

9. The Outpost - ...Read more

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Bob Mould is on fire with new album echoing his Hüsker Dü years

When he blew off some smoke in the recording studio in February, Bob Mould didn't know he would literally be surrounded by it in the days leading up to his new album's release.

"We can't even leave the house, it's so bad," the ex-Minnesotan indie-rock legend said by phone last week from San Francisco.

The city he now calls home has been ...Read more