Tag Archives: Billie Holiday



Twyla Tharp had her Nine Sinatra Songs, and at the Wallis this week, Bodytraffic presents its take on the Great American Songbook with Matthew Neenan’s A MILLION VOICES, a new dance work set to five Peggy Lee performances, featuring standards by Arlen and Mercer, Irving Berlin, Leiber and Stoller, and, of course, Benny Goodman—the bandleader with whom Lee started working when she was 22.

Is that all there is? For this tenth anniversary engagement, Bodytraffic will open the show with BEYOND THE EDGE OF THE FRAME (choreographed by Sidra Bell) and an excerpt from FRAGILE DWELLINGS (Stijn Celis), and after the intermission audiences will see the company premiere of Ohad Naharin’s GEORGE & ZALMAN.

The evening will close with a return to jazz: O2JOY, by Richard Siegal, set to songs by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, and performances by Billie HolidayCount Basie, Ella FitzgeraldOscar Peterson, and Clark Terry.


BODYTRAFFIC, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 31 through June 2, at 7:30 pm.

THE WALLIS, 9390 Santa Monica Boulevard North, Beverly Hills.



The company includes Tina Finkelman Berkett, Lorrin Brubaker, Joseph Davis, Haley Heckethorn, Natalie Leibert, Jessica Liu, Guzmán Rosado, and Jamal White.

Above: Choreographer Richard Siegal rehearsing O2Joy (in performance below).

Photograph below by Christopher Duggan.


Julia Bullock—who brought the house down at Disney Hall last year at the Franz Schubert/Samuel Beckett concert and performance—will sing a program in Santa Barbara ranging from Schubert and Samuel Barber to Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.

John Arida will accompany Bullock on piano.



Tuesday, April 3, at 7 pm.

Hahn Hall, UCSB

1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara.

Below: Julia Bullock in 2014. Photograph by Kevin Yatarola. Image credit: Julia Bullock.


Fans of MAHOGANY (1975) and LADY SINGS THE BLUES (1972) are in luck. The two Diana Ross vehicles are playing in all their big-screen glory this week on the Westside.

Motown founder Berry Gordy directed the former, the saga of a Chicago shopgirl and struggling fashion designer turned top international model. It’s a classic Joan Crawford scenario transferred to the 1970s, and co-stars Anthony Perkins, Billy Dee Williams, and Jean-Pierre Aumont as Count Rosetti.

MAHOGANY will be followed by a Q & A with Tisa Bryant and Ernest Hardy.

LADY SINGS THE BLUES is, of course, the Billie Holiday story, directed by Sidney J. Furie. It will screen following Waiting to Exhale and an introductory conversation with Suzanne de Passe.


Wednesday, February 14, at 7:30.

Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.



(preceded by Waiting to Exhale)

Thursday, February 15, at 7:30.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

Diana Ross in (top and bottom) Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues.

Magazine image credit: Rolling Stone.