In the garden of delights

Overseeing 87 acres of paradise In the summer sun with Adrienne Nakashima by Bondo Wyszpolski She’s lived most of her life in and around the South Bay, but right now Adrienne Nakashima is at the top of the world. I mean, how can anyone say otherwise when Nakashima heads up one of the loveliest spots…

Read More

Long on activism, short on art

Loud voices for the voiceless Works by artist-activist Andrea Bowers at the Hammer Museum by Bondo Wyszpolski The causes she actively and tirelessly promotes are commendable — the rights of the undocumented, the marginalized, the bullied and abused, women’s autonomy over their own bodies, the preservation and dignity of nature, etc — but Andrea Bowers,…

Read More

Scare tactics under the big top

It’s a nightmare in Redondo Anything goes under the black and red tent of “Paranormal Cirque” by Bondo Wyszpolski Leave the kiddies at home. On Thursday, August 11, the self-described thrilling, wicked, sexy, and even dangerous Paranormal Cirque opens the dark maw of its tent for six shows in Redondo Beach. They say it’s not…

Read More

And then we’ll take tea

A walk in the park “Excursions of Imagination: 100 Great British Drawings from the Huntington’s Collection” by Bondo Wyszpolski The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens had begun to celebrate its centennial over the course of 2019 and 2020, and this show, “Excursions of Imagination,” was earmarked for that occasion. Like much else, it…

Read More

Movie music with Peninsula Symphony

Dinosaurs! Superheroes! Pirates! Deserts and plantations! We’re almost at the movies with Maestro Gary Berkson and the Peninsula Symphony by Bondo Wyszpolski Close your eyes, and you’re halfway there. Although the lights won’t go down, theme music from such silver screen blockbusters as “Star Wars,” “Jurassic Park,” and “The Avengers” may induce a cinematic euphoria…

Read More

Swagger and swish in the Middle Ages

“The Fantasy of the Middle Ages: An Epic Journey through Imaginary Medieval Worlds,” by Larisa Grollemond and Bryan C. Keene (Getty Publications, 134 pp, $29.95) by Bondo Wyszpolski The Middle Ages, or the Medieval period, fits roughly between 500 and 1500 AD, or from ancient Rome to the Renaissance. If you’re thinking 1200, 1300, you’re…

Read More

Back to the jungle with Werner Herzog

“The Twilight World,” by Werner Herzog, trans. by Michael Hofmann (Penguin Press, 132 pp, $25) by Bondo Wyszpolski Twenty-nine years after the end of World War II, which he thought was still being fought, Hiroo Onoda emerged from the jungle of Lubang Island in the Philippines. He told Norio Suzuki, the young man who’d found…

Read More

Grounded… and enjoying it

Nothing but blue skies “Come from Away” at the Ahmanson by Bondo Wyszpolski If you’d walked into this show by accident I think you could be forgiven for thinking the actors are in a sports bar and watching the NBA finals. Not only that, but at various points in “Come from Away” the singers and…

Read More

Stories by Maggie Shipstead take flight

“You Have a Friend in 10A,” by Maggie Shipstead (Alfred A. Knopf, 253 pp, $27) by Bondo Wyszpolski Now that we’re in June, some people may be thinking ahead to their summer reading, books for the beach, the mountain cabin, or the island getaway. I’m going to add a recommendation of my own and suggest…

Read More

Animal magnetism

The Beastly Ball bounces back Saturday, June 4, at the LA Zoo by Bondo Wyszpolski Yes, I was a card-carrying member of the L.A. Zoo when it opened at its “new” location, but that was well over half a century ago. These days I simply appreciate the efforts of GLAZA (the Greater Los Angeles Zoo…

Read More

Recurring shapes, with variations: the art of Yong Sin

Quiet noise Artist Yong Sin and the nuances of imperfection by Bondo Wyszpolski Shortly after immigrating with her family to the United States from Korea, Yong Sin signed up for several courses in philosophy at a community college and flunked all of them. Even though she’d been reading Sartre, Cocteau, Dostoevsky, Beckett and others, Sin…

Read More

Much Ado about Romeo and Juliet

All the world’s a stage… after a long intermission On the road again with Shakespeare by the Sea The South Bay’s only theater company devoted to the Bard has been spinning its wagon wheels these past couple of years, but they’re back this spring and summer with productions of “Much Ado About Nothing” and that…

Read More

Music and birthday candles for local college

“Shining Through the Decades” El Camino College’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration Concert marks 75 years of serving students and the community To commemorate this milestone, artistic director Joanna Medawar Nachef is heading up a free concert that features the ECC Symphony Orchestra, Chorale, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, Joanna Medawar Nachef Singers, and the Torrance Civic Chorale.…

Read More

Randy Berler’s cinematic oasis

Art films? Alternative films? Foreign films? Independent films? Randy Berler has brought the best of them to the South Bay for 10 years by Bondo Wyszpolski South Bay Film Society was founded in 2012 by Randy Berler and is known as the Laemmle of the South Bay. It curates the best of the art house…

Read More

Hadestown, one hell of a ride

Going Down? Tony Award-winner “Hadestown” at the Ahmanson by Bondo Wyszpolski As the house lights dim and the stage lights emerge, we seem to be in a Depression-era New Orleans honkytonk saloon. Right away, ah, there’s a welcoming allure, but one years in the making. This unconventional re-spinning of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth by…

Read More