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80 Segments




The Music of East L.A.

Rock historian Ed Ward will look at Cal-Mex music - the sound from East L.A. - and the legacy of "La Bamba."


Spalding Gray's L. A. Adventures.

Autobiographical monologist Spalding Gray. Gray is best known for his monologue "Swimming to Cambodia," about his experiences during the filming of the movie "The Killing Fields." "Swimming to Cambodia" was produced as a film last year, and Gray appeared in the David Byrne film "True Stories," as well as a recent installment of the PBS comedy series "Trying Times." Gray is wrapping up a 10-month residency at the Mark Tapper Forum in Los Angeles where he worked on several new monologues.


Choreographer Bella Lewitzky

Lewitzky is based in Los Angeles where, early in her career, she danced in a number of motion pictures. Her choreography for the stage conveys simplicity of movement, divorced from any suggestion of narrative. Lewitzky performed until the age of 62.


The Return of a Stand-Out Mystery Show

Peter Falk reprises his role of the disheveled detective Columbo, twelve years after the series ended. TV critic David Bianculli says the show meets the high standards of the original, and that Falk is as charming as ever.


The Changing Sounds of L.A.'s Music Scene

Rock critic Ken Tucker says the music coming out of Los Angeles today has come a long way from the soft rock sound of the 1970s. But no one style dominates the city -- there's some good pop and rock, but Tucker is most excited by rap artists from Compton.


Robert Parker Succeeds in Completing Chandler's "Poodle Springs."

Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews "Poodle Springs," the novel Raymond Chandler was working on at the time of his death. The story finds Chandler's famous detective Philip Marlowe married and living in Poodle Springs. Writer Robert Parker has just finished the novel that Chandler started 30 years ago.


Skid Row Theater.

John Malpede and Kevin Williams of the Los Angeles Poverty Department, a performance group comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people. The LAPD tries to show the reality of life on the streets. John Malpede is a former performance artist and founder of LAPD (in 1985). He now serves as the group's director and a legal advocate for the homeless. Kevin Wiliams is LAPD's assistant director and former resident of Skid Row.


Seeing Celebrity Up-Close.

Critic Maureen Corrigan shares her thoughts on celebrity stars, thoughts generated by her recent trip from the East Coast halls of Academe to Hollywood.


The Diverse Sounds of Los Angeles Punk

Rock historian Ed Ward talks about how the city's music scene in the late '70s and early '80s incorporated rockabilly with bands like X, and Mexican traditions with Los Lobos.


Crime Fiction Writer James Ellroy

Ellroy grew up in Los Angeles; his mother was murdered when Ellroy was still a child. He credits these two experiences with leading him on his path toward becoming a crime writer. His latest novel is called L.A. Confidential.


Hollywood's Newest "L.A. Story"

Film critic Owen Gleiberman reviews the new comedy, written by and starring Steve Martin. He says that, unlike Woody Allen's Annie Hall, this movie both celebrates and revels in the town's absurdities.


First-time Film Director John Singleton.

First-time film director John Singleton. His new film is "Boyz N the Hood," which is set in South Central L.A. where Singleton grew up. A number of theatres across the country have cancelled the showing of "Boyz N the Hood," because of violent outbreaks at or near theatres where its been shown. Over 30 people have been injured and one killed. But the film itself is plea to stop the violence and killing.


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