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Downtown Culture: Wrinkles, Rossini, Hip-Hop Talk and Globetrotters

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, February 24, 2011, at 04:34PM
East West Players: Wrinkles Michael Lamont

Teena (Elizabeth Ho, left), Nancy (Amy Hill, behind couch) and Jason (Ki Hong Lee, right) are shocked by Grandpa Harry’s (Sab Shimono, on couch) bad boy life on the internet. "Wrinkles" runs at East West Players through March 13.

While Little Tokyo hosts a tale of a Grandfather gone bad-boy for profit in "Wrinkles" at East West Players, Grand Avenue has Rossini’s tryst-filled “The Turk in Italy” at L.A. Opera. It's ironic that while "Wrinkles" can be considered a well done sitcom, there is a character in the L.A. Opera production that makes use of a sitcom icon.

What does it all mean? Maybe nothing. There is plenty of meaning in REDCAT'S exploration of the human senses through dance and performance, or the conversations that survey artistic motives at ALOUD and the Grammy Museum's series with musicians and authors.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 24

WRINKLES: Brilliant comic timing sets the pace in this tale of a grandfather who is “big in Japan” as an “internet sensation” now running at East West Players. Written by Paul Kikuchi, “Wrinkles” is a light sexual romp about a family discovering that Grandpa Harry (played with disarming charm by Sab Shimono) is an Internet adult entertainment star. While the structure is loose, the actors in this sitcom-style setting avoid overselling the joke. “The people laughing the hardest were the eldery ladies from Little Tokyo,” says our opening night scout. “Wrinkles” also stars Elizabeth Ho, Amy Hill and Ki Hong Lee. Directed by Jeff Liu. "Wrinkles" runs through March 13 / East West Players / 120 Judge John Aiso

FIGHT NIGHT: 'Fight Night Club's third season opens with undefeated light welterweight Jessie Vargas (13-0) versus Lanard Lane (21-1). This boxing series is part sports event, part nightclub: musical guests are Too Short, Baby Bash and DJ Chu. Thu Feb 24 6pm / Nokia Theatre L.A. Live / 800 W. Olympic

LAST CALL It's the last weekend for MOCA’s Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space. On Thursday, art historian Andrea Giunta offers a walkthrough of the exhibition February 24 (6:30pm). On Sunday she discusses the work of contributing artist Lucio Fontana (3pm). Geffen Contemporary at MOCA / 152 N. Central

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25

HIP-HOP TALK: The Grammy Museum chats with Russell Simmons, Def Jam Recordings creator and Hip-Hop pioneer. Topics include Simmons' music, career and his latest book “Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All.” Fri Feb 25 8pm / The Grammy Museum / 800 W. Olympic

RETURN OF PUNK: Prolific punk singer “Texas” Terri Laird returns to Los Angeles to perform after a few years of invading clubs in Germany. She will be joined by a welcome home committee made of punk groups Prima Donna, the Neurotics, Million Kids and A Pretty Mess. Fri Feb 25 9pm / Redwood Bar and Grill / 316 W. 2nd

L.A. VS L.A. HALLWAY SERIES: With two wins after the All-Star break, the Lakers may have found that switch. With help of 3-pointers from the uneven Ron Artest, the Lakers stunned the Trailblazers with an OT win on Wednesday night.

Just as stunned, but for different reasons, is Clippers' point guard Baron Davis. He is being dealt for the Cavs’ Mo Williams. That is life in the NBA. One day you are tossing a ball to Blake Griffin from the sunroof of a car, the next day you are heading to a dismantled team in Cleveland. Fri Feb 25 7:30pm / Staples Center / 1111 S. Figueroa

SPEAKING OF SWITCH: Gender-bending comedy and warm observations from transgender comedian Ian Harvie: “I had the great pleasure to come out twice to my parents.” Fri Feb 25 and Sat Feb 26 (9pm) / Downtown Comedy Club / 114 W. 5th

JAZZ MEN: Saxophonist Bob Reynolds and his Quartet play Little Tokyo’s jazz hot spot. Fri Feb 25 9pm / Blue Whale / 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 26

HISTORIC THEATRE TALK AND WALK-THRU: LAHTF tours and talks up The Belasco Theatre's history and impressive restoration. Sat Feb 26 10:30am / Belasco Theater / 1050 S. Hill

FOR THE KIDS: Imagination Movers' "In A Big Warehouse" tour brings music and characters from the popular Disney show to L.A. Live. Sat Feb 26 2pm and 5pm / Nokia Theatre / 777 Chick Hearn Ct.

TWO AT CB1: Artist Larry Mantello's solo show opens with a reception for the artist on Saturday. CB1 Gallery also holds a reception for Los Angeles painter Edith Beaucage. Sat Feb 26 5pm / CB1 Gallery / 207 W 5th

OLD SCHOOL GLEE CLUB: The Morehouse College Glee Club reaches L.A. on its national tour, celebrating 100 years of singing tradition highlighted by appearances in the big rooms: The White House, The Super Bowl and the 1996 Olympic Games. Sat Feb 26 7pm / Club Nokia L.A. Live / 800 W. Olympic

FUNDRAISER: A two-set concert and fundraiser will help powerhouse street band Killsonic raise funds to take 20 to 25 band members to New York City this Spring. Sat Feb 26 10pm / Edgar Varela Fine Arts / 727 S. Spring

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 27

FAMILY HOOPS: The Harlem Globetrotters 85th consecutive season makes a stop at Staples with their 2011 "4 Times the Fun" World Tour. Why four? They are featuring a new rule, the 4-point shot. Sun Feb 27 12pm / Staples Center / 1111 S. Figueroa

The Academy Awards Drink Along: From Red Carpet at 3:30 to Awards Show at 5:00, The 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be shown live on the Downtown Independent's big screen for free. Rules are being set now to decide when everyone in the audience will drink together. I nominate the moments when music cues a thank you speech that going on too long. Sun Feb 27 3:30pm / Downtown Independent / 251 S. Main

MUST-SEE ROSSINI: Rossini's comedic opera ‘The Turk in Italy’ is a runaway hit and there are a few days left to see it. “It’s raucous. It’s also refined. It’s inspired.”. It runs February 27 (2pm); March 2 (7:30pm); March 5 (7:30pm); March 10 2pm; March 13 (2pm). LA Opera Dorothy Chandler Pavilion / 135 N. Grand

MONDAY FEBRUARY 28

ARTIST THEATER: Film/video/installation artist Erika Vogt curates "A Group Show of Film and Video Work by Visual Artists," a night of experimental films. “It seeks to foster a heterogeneous debate about artistic concepts and practices, and to challenge some common assumptions,” says REDCAT. Mon Feb 28 8:30pm / REDCAT / 631 W. 2nd

ROGER HODGSON: Conversation and music with Roger Hodgson, co-founder and lead vocalist of Supertramp. Mon Feb 28 7:30pm / The Grammy Museum / 800 W.Olympic

TUESDAY MARCH 1

AUTHOR TALK: Author's talk with Joan Schenkar about her bio on writer Patricia Highsmith, “The Talented Miss Highsmith.” She is joined by actress Kathleen Chalfant. Tue Mar 1 7pm / Central Library / 630 W. 5th_

REEL TO REEL: Los Angeles premiere of “Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune,” a documentary on the 1960’s folksinger whose protest music had the attention of emerging songwriters and the FBI. Tue Mar 1 7:30pm / The Grammy Museum / 800 W. Olympic

WEDNESDAY MARCH 2

DANCE: The Sharon Disney Lund Dance Series offers "Eiko & Koma: Regeneration,” dance works that “use precision and stillness as the duo creates resonant performances of slowly evolving movement and image.” The night features seminal works “White Dance” and “Night Tide” along with their latest piece, “Raven”. Opens Wed Mar 2 (8:30pm) and runs through Sun Mar 6 / REDCAT / 631 W. 2nd

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