Tuesday, May 31, 2011

REDCAT Contemporary Arts Center

Opened November 2003, REDCAT is a contemporary arts center that is an extension of CalArts campus, and serves as the professional presenting arm of the Institute. The name REDCAT is an acronym for the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, though the center includes a 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) gallery space for visual art exhibitions, a 200–270 seat flexible black box theater for performing and media art programming, as well as a Lounge. REDCAT is located in downtown Los Angeles in the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall complex.

Programming at REDCAT features experimental dance, theater, music, film and visual arts exhibitions from around the world.

The lounge offers espresso, beer, wine, liquor, and free Wi-Fi connection, as well as a diverse book store which reflects its patrons' insterests.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Walt Disney Concert Hall - Reflection Problems

After the construction, modifications were made to the Founders Room exterior; while most of the building's exterior was designed with stainless steel given a matte finish, the Founders Room and Children's Amphitheater were designed with highly polished mirror-like panels. The reflective qualities of the surface were amplified by the concave sections of the Founders Room walls. Some residents of the neighboring condominiums suffered glare caused by sunlight that was reflected off these surfaces and concentrated in a manner similar to a parabolic mirror. The resulting heat made some rooms of nearby condominiums unbearably warm, caused the air-conditioning costs of these residents to skyrocket and created hot spots on adjacent sidewalks of as much as 60 °C (140 °F). After complaints from neighboring buildings and residents, the owners asked Gehry Partners to come up with a solution. Their response was a computer analysis of the building's surfaces identifying the offending panels. In 2005 these were dulled by lightly sanding the panels to eliminate unwanted glare.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Walt Disney Concert Hall - Construction

The project was launched in 1992, when Lillian Disney, widow of Walt Disney, donated $50 million. Frank Gehry delivered completed designs in 1991. Construction of the underground parking garage began in 1992 and was completed in 1996. The garage cost had been $110 million, and was paid for by Los Angeles County, which sold bonds to provide the garage under the site of the planned hall. Construction of the concert hall itself stalled from 1994 to 1996 due to lack of fundraising. Additional funds were required since the construction cost of the final project far exceeded the original budget. Plans were revised, and in a cost saving move the originally designed stone exterior was replaced with a less costly metal skin. The needed fundraising restarted in earnest in 1996—after the real estate depression passed—headed up by Eli Broad and then-mayor Richard Riordan and groundbreaking for the hall was held in December 1999. Delay in the project completion caused many financial problems for the county of LA. The city expected to repay the garage debts by revenue coming from the Disney Hall parking users.

Upon completion in 2003, the project had cost an estimated $274 million, including the parking garage which had solely cost $110 million. The remainder of the total cost was paid by private donations, of which the Disney family's contribution was estimated to $84.5 million with another $25 million from The Walt Disney Company. By comparison, the three existing halls of the Music Center cost $35 million in the 1960s (about $190 million in today's dollars).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Walt Disney Concert Hall - Acoustics

As construction finished in the spring of 2003, the Philharmonic postponed its grand opening until the fall and used the summer to let the orchestra and Master Chorale adjust to the new hall. Performers and critics agree that this extra time taken was well worth it by the time the hall opened to the public. During the summer rehearsals a few hundred VIPs were invited to sit in including donors, board members and journalists. Writing about these rehearsals, L.A. Times music critic, Mark Swed wrote the following account:

“When the orchestra finally got its next [practice] in Disney, it was to rehearse Ravel's lusciously orchestrated ballet, 'Daphnis and ChloĆ©.' This time, the hall miraculously came to life. Earlier, the orchestra's sound, wonderful as it was, had felt confined to stage. Now a new sonic dimension had been added, and every square inch of air in Disney vibrated merrily. Toyota says that he had never experienced such an acoustical difference between a first and second rehearsal in any of the halls he designed in his native Japan. Salonen could hardly believe his ears. To his amazement, he discovered that there were wrong notes in the printed parts of the Ravel that sit on the players' stands. The orchestra has owned these scores for decades, but in the Chandler no conductor had ever heard the inner details well enough to notice the errors.”

The hall met with lauded approval from nearly all of its listeners, including its performers. In an interview with PBS, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, said, "The sound, of course, was my greatest concern, but now I am totally happy, and so is the orchestra," and later said, "Everyone can now hear what the L.A. Phil is supposed to sound like." This remains one of the most successful grand openings of a concert hall in American history.

The walls and ceiling of the hall are finished with Douglas-fir while the floor is finished with oak. The Hall's reverberation time is approximately 2.2 seconds unoccupied and 2.0 seconds occupied.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Lillian Disney made an initial gift in 1987 to build a performance venue as a gift to the people of Los Angeles and a tribute to Walt Disney's devotion to the arts and to the city. The Frank Gehry-designed building opened on October 23, 2003. Both the architecture by Frank Gehry and the acoustics of the concert hall (designed by Yasuhisa Toyota) were praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Walt Disney Concert Hall

The Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, California is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, 1st and 2nd Streets, it seats 2,265 people and serves (among other purposes) as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre at Night

The Music Box is a concert venue in Los Angeles, California. It was previously called the Henry Fonda Theater, after the actor Henry Fonda.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Henry Fonda Music Box Theater

The Music Box is a concert venue in Los Angeles, California. It was previously called the Henry Fonda Theater, after the actor Henry Fonda.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Geffen Playhouse - 1929 "Let There Be Light"

The Geffen Playhouse was built in 1929 as the Masonic Affiliates Club, or the MAC, for students and alumni at UCLA. One of the first 12 structures built in Westwood Village, it was designed by architect Stiles O. Clements.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Geffen Playhouse - Simms Courtyard at Night

The Geffen offers 5 plays per season on the main stage and 3-4 plays on the second stage (the Skirball-Kenis). The theater is known for having well known film and television actors in their productions. Some actors in recent productions include: Jason Alexander, Debbie Allen, Dana Delany, Roma Downey, Peter Falk, Neil Patrick Harris, David Hyde-Pierce, Carrie Fisher, Rebecca Pidgeon, Martin Short, Alicia Silverstone, and Rita Wilson.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Geffen Playhouse - Simms Courtyard

In 2002, The David Geffen Foundation made a $5-million lead gift towards an eventually $17-million capital campaign to renovate the theater. The renovation was completed and the Geffen reopened on November 16, 2005; the historic character of the theater was maintained, but the interior was gutted. The renovation resulted in the main 500 seat theater being retained, as well as the new 125-seat Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theater being added.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Geffen Playhouse in Westwood Village

The Geffen Playhouse (or the Geffen) is a not for profit performing arts theater in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Originally named the Westwood Playhouse, UCLA purchased the property in 1993. UCLA's then chancellor, Charles E. Young, appointed Gil Cates (founder and former president of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television) Producing Director. The theater was renamed in 1995 after media mogul David Geffen donated $5 million, one of the largest philanthropic donations ever made to an already constructed theater.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Laugh Factory at Night

The Laugh Factory made headlines when Michael Richards went into a racist outburst toward two black men who were heckling him during a November 17, 2006 standup comedy routine at the venue. In response to the Michael Richards incident, The Laugh Factory banned comedians from using the word "nigger" in their acts. The first known incident involving this new rule involved Damon Wayans (himself an African-American), who used the word 16 times in a 20 minute show. He was fined $320 ($20 for each offense) and given a 3-month ban from the club.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard

In 1979, after a dispute over club owners refusing to pay comedians, a then 16 year old Jamie Masada recognized the need for a new venue for comedians to perform. After obtaining a loan of $10,000 from Neal Israel, he opened the Laugh Factory in a building formerly belonging to Groucho Marx. Recognizing his passion for comedy, Richard Pryor was the first comedian to perform on the now famous Laugh Factory stage. When Jamie attempted to pay him, Pryor instead handed him a $100 bill and wrote on it, "You need this for your rent, boy."

From that point on the Laugh Factory has grown to be one of the most famous comedy clubs in the world. USA Today has cited it as being the #1 comedy club in the country. It has and continues to be a launching pad for the careers of many stars. Mr. Masada still comes in almost every day and attends Tuesday Open Mic Nights to screen possible comedians for the Laugh Factory stage. The Laugh Factory now has two locations, both located in California: Laugh Factory in Hollywood, California and Long Beach, California.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Approaching the Laugh Factory

The Laugh Factory is a world famous comedy club located at 8001 on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Miles Memorial Playhouse

The Miles Memorial Playhouse is located at 1130 Lincoln Blvd. in Christine Emerson Reed Park (Formerly Lincoln Park). It was constructed in 1929 after former City Councilman, J. Euclid Miles and his wife Katherine bequeathed $25,000 upon his death for the construction of a public recreation hall for the young men and women of the city and dedicated it to their daughter Mary A. Miles. Designed by John Byers, an architect noted for use of the Spanish Colonial revival style, the building is a City landmark and is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the years Miles Playhouse has been used extensively as a meeting hall and performance venue. In January 1994, the Playhouse was nearly destroyed by the Northridge earthquake. In consultation with the John Ash group and the community at large, the Playhouse was completely re-built and re-dedicated to its original purpose of providing quality, youth appropriate performing arts events by professional non-profit organizations.

The new programming is sponsored by The City of Santa Monica's Cultural Affairs Division: Justin Yoffe, Playhouse Director and Christopher Hall, Associate Director.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Miles Memorial Playhouse

The new programming is sponsored by The City of Santa Monica's Cultural Affairs Division: Justin Yoffe, Playhouse Director and Christopher Hall, Associate Director.