Category: Facebook

Berlin theater performs play live on Facebook

January 13, 2012 | 10:29 am

If Shakespeare was correct all those centuries ago that, indeed, all the world’s a stage, then social media is the newest venue. Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater this week premiered Theodor Fontane's "Effi Briest” on Facebook, in what it dubbed the first live performance for the social networking site. 

Some 1,200 joined the theater’s Facebook group before the curtain call to see Fontane's 1984 tragic tale of the aftermath of an affair adapted for the (computer) screen. The social media storytelling included status updates, wall posts and tagged photos, as well as interactive elements. Viewers were encouraged to vote on their favorite wedding dress, contribute to a crowd-sourced love letter between characters and three small parts were cast with audience members. 

“It was a great opportunity for us to reach out to our Facebook friends in a different way, and we got many positive comments and lots of feedback,” says Rebecca Rasem, a spokeswoman for the theater, adding that future Facebook performances were a possibility.

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Monster Mash: Reeve Carney extends stay in 'Spider-Man' musical

September 16, 2011 |  7:30 am


Sticking around: Actor Reeve Carney has extended his stay with "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" through May but will take a hiatus to film a movie. (Playbill)

In custody: A former art dealer has been arrested in Florida for allegedly selling paintings stolen from a Los Angeles art gallery. (Los Angeles Times)

Ruling: A court is permitting an appeal by the artist Richard Prince, who was found by a lower court to have unlawfully used images by a French photographer in his work. (New York Times)

Gone: More than $100 million worth of art is estimated to have been lost during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (New York Post)

Innovative?: An early look at Diller Scofidio + Renfro's plans for the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. (Los Angeles Times)

Turning tables: A play by Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout, "Satchmo at the Waldorf," opens in Orlando, Fla. (Orlando Sentinel)

Cultural diplomacy: North Korea said a prominent South Korean maestro has conducted two orchestras in the North, in a sign of easing tension between the two countries. (Associated Press, via Washington Post)

Corporate policy: Art groups are running in to problems with Facebook's ban on nudity. (The Art Newspaper)

Monumental: A Philadelphia artist is completing a street-art project on the outside of an old Macy's parking garage in downtown Brooklyn. (WNYC)

Contemporary classic: Tony Kushner speaks about his play "Angels in America" 20 years on. (NPR)

Super-sized voice: A McDonald's employee in upstate New York is an opera singer by night. (WHEC)

Also in the L.A. Times: Theater critic Charles McNulty reviews the Reprise Theatre Company's production of "Cabaret" at UCLA's Freud Playhouse.

-- David Ng

Photo: Reeve Carney, right, with Patrick Page in Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." Credit: Jacob Cohl

Shakespeare not a hit with voters in online charity contest

May 26, 2011 |  1:14 pm

OlivierHamletUnitedPressInternational William Shakespeare would be a front-runner if experts were to vote on the greatest creative artist of all time, but he was just an also-ran in the Chase Community Giving competition, an online charity-by-popular-vote contest that ended Wednesday night.

JPMorgan Chase will donate $3.125 million to the top 25 vote-getters; the other 75 -– including the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, which finished 51st  -- get $25,000 each for making the final round of 100. In all, Chase will donate $5 million based on voters’ clicks for the charitable “Big Ideas” posted on its contest’s page on Facebook.

Whatever else the Bard may be, he isn’t Jewish -– and the get-out-the-vote campaign was strongest in some sectors of the Jewish community, which led to five of the top 10 finishers, and seven of the top 15 being Jewish-affiliated organizations, six of them schools. The top prize of $525,000 will go to the New York-based Chabad of Argentina Relief Appeal, whose “Big Idea” is a program to help Argentine youngsters who are at risk of child abuse.

The top Los Angeles-area finisher, the Conejo Jewish School of Thousand Oaks, came in sixth and will get $125,000 for its area-wide initiative against bullying, which includes developing online videos and other teaching materials to be circulated in schools. The foundation that supports the Arcadia Unified School District gets $45,000 for finishing 21st.

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A street-art satire of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, done Shepard Fairey-style

March 29, 2011 | 12:30 pm

Posse In recent weeks, street-art stickers have been appearing around Los Angeles satirizing Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg. What's noteworthy about the stickers is that they appear to be created in the style of Shepard Fairey, featuring the artist's "Obey" logo printed in Facebook's signature white-on-blue font.

The stickers feature a mug-shot rendering of Zuckerberg, surrounded by the text "Mark Zuckerberg has a posse," "$6.9 billion" and "500,000,000 friends."

Look familiar? In the late '80s, Fairey created his viral street-art campaign known as "Andre the Giant has a posse." The campaign became a worldwide phenomenon and remains one of Fairey's most recognizable works.

The creator of the Zuckerberg stickers appears to have modeled his or her design directly on the Andre the Giant campaign, down to the placement of the text and the mug-shot-style artwork.

Is Fairey behind the Zuckerberg stickers, copying his own past success? Or is someone satirizing Fairey satirizing Zuckerberg? (The possible levels of po-mo artistic commentary are endless.)

For now, it appears that the latter is true. The word from Fairey's spokesman is that the artist isn't the creator of the Zuckerberg stickers. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Fairey Shepard Fairey to settle "Hope" poster case with Associated Press

Shepard Fairey discusses future projects at L.A. Live party

Shepard Fairey weighs in on MOCA's mural controversy

Graffiti and street art show to take over MOCA's Geffen Contemporary in 2011

 -- David Ng

Upper photo A sticker satirizing Mark Zuckerberg on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Credit: David Ng / Los Angeles Times

Lower photo: Shepard Fairey. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Anonymous street artist puts up mural condemning MOCA director [Updated]

December 17, 2010 |  6:38 am


An anonymous L.A. street artist spoke out Thursday about MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch's decision to paint over another artist's mural that he had commissioned -- making a statement in the form of a provocative piece of guerrilla poster art glued to the exterior wall of the restaurant Zip Fusion Sushi on Traction Avenue and Third Street in Little Tokyo.

The wheat-pasted mural depicts the face of Deitch on the body of an Iranian ayatollah holding an extension pole with a paint roller at the end -- and it's set against Italian street artist Blu's now-controversial anti-war imagery. 

Blu's enormous mural was painted on the north side of the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo and pictured rows of coffins cloaked in dollar bills. The mural was commissioned by the museum in advance of its upcoming "Art in the Streets" show next April. But Deitch said Monday that the mural was insensitive to the neighborhood, as it was adjacent to both a Veterans Affairs hospital and a war memorial to Japanese-American soldiers. Deitch also said he had intended to meet with the artist before the mural went up, but was unable to due to travel complications on Blu's end and the fact that Deitch had to leave town to attend a Miami art fair.

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A 'Wicked' photo app for your Facebook profile

October 28, 2010 |  1:42 pm


The Broadway production of "Wicked" continues to do gangbusters business after nearly seven years running. Box-office data show that attendance this year for the musical hasn't dipped below 90% capacity at the Gershwin Theatre, which is one of the biggest houses on Broadway.

Apparently, there's no such thing as too much promotion even for a theatrical hit that shows no signs of closing. The people behind the show have put together a simple online photo application that allows you to "Ephalba" your Facebook profile.

Are you intrigued? The application permits you to upload your Facebook profile photo (or any picture on your computer) and to turn your skin color green in the fashion of the protagonist Ephalba in the musical. You can also choose between a few "Wicked" picture frames for your completed photo.

The application is rather crude and a bit cumbersome to use, but fans of the musical will no doubt find it mildly diverting. If you're feeling a little wicked inside, there's no one to stop you from green-ifying photos you've downloaded of your office or classroom frenemies.

-- David Ng

Photo: Kristin Chenoweth, left, and Idina Menzel in the original cast of "Wicked" on Broadway. Credit: Ari Mintz / Newsday


Wicked2 POLL: Who should star in the movie version of Broadway's 'Wicked'?

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Stephen Schwartz conjures up an opera

Theater review: 'In the Heights' at Pantages Theatre

Hunter Foster's Facebook campaign keeps growing

June 22, 2010 | 11:30 am

Abdul The preponderance of Hollywood stars at this year's Tony Awards ceremony gave the New York theater community an invigorating jolt of celebrity cachet. But not everyone was happy about the presence of so many L.A. carpetbaggers during Broadway's biggest night.

Actor Hunter Foster -- the brother of Tony-winner Sutton Foster -- has started a Facebook campaign titled "Give the Tonys Back to Broadway" which urges the show's organizers to give full-time theater artists a larger role in the annual ceremony.

"We want the evening to be about Broadway and for the fans of Broadway," writes Foster on the Facebook page. "This group is about including more of those artists that we admire and look up to, so that it truly becomes an evening to celebrate."

Foster is currently appearing in the Broadway musical "Million Dollar Quartet," which was nominated for best new musical.

Celebrities who made appearances at this year's Tony Awards -- either as nominees or presenters -- included Scarlett Johansson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Denzel Washington, Katie Holmes, Paula Abdul and Raquel Welch.

The Facebook group was started on June 16, three days after the Tony Awards. Two days later, it had already attracted more than 3,000 members. The group's popularity continues to grow: as of Tuesday morning, it had more than 7,700 members.

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Barbershop harmony's youth movement

June 30, 2009 | 12:03 pm

Mention barbershop quartets and you’re bound to conjure images of men in striped vests and bowlers belting in unison about their high-school sweethearts who are invariably named Adelaide or Rose.

Old stereotypes die hard but even the most stubborn of them fade away eventually. In fact, if you look hard enough, you can make out a smattering of young, smooth-faced barbershoppers in designer threads taking their place among the crowd of silver-haired crooners.

Though it is one of the most tradition-bound of musical genres, barbershop is currently experiencing a rejuvenation that some are hoping will help change public perception for good. Quartets and choruses around the country are actively courting young singers and promoting them as the art form's bright new hope.

"It's not that we don’t like the traditional stuff, but we want to make barbershop appeal to new audiences," said Sean Devine, a member of OC Times, a Southern California quartet formed in Costa Mesa whose members are in their 20s and early 30s.

"We want to push the envelope. We're interested in performing songs from the '50s and '60s and all the way up to the present, which for barbershop is pretty revolutionary."

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A 'West Side Story' for the Twitter set

June 29, 2009 |  2:41 pm

When the much-anticipated revival of  “West Side Story” opened on Broadway earlier this year, one of the most-talked about aspects of the show was the translation of songs and scenes into Spanish. The change was designed to give more of a dramatic edge to the Latino characters 52 years after the Stephen Sondheim-Leonard Bernstein-Arthur Laurents musical first opened.

Well, sorry, guys, we know you’re big-time Tony Award-winning legends in musical theater, but this is the Internet Age. A bilingual “West Side Story” is sooooo March 2009. 

Those Facebook-addicted, Pandora-checking, evite-conflicted blog-savvy forces over at have updated your update, putting a Net spin on the musical with their latest offering, “Web Site Story.” If you like the video, we suggest you Tweet this link to all your friends and followers out there. We know we did (follow us on Twitter @culturemonster).

-- Lisa Fung

Related coverage: Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest: It's a rap

Theaters are taking social networking to a new level

June 4, 2009 |  4:00 am


Now that practically every new stage production has its own Facebook page and Twitter feed, what's the next step for theater companies in the realm of social networking?

First, an obvious but crucial point: In the theater world, just as in any realm of showbiz, social networking is really just a glorified marketing tool, a cheap way of building word-of-mouth buzz. But for a marketing campaign to be really useful, it has to bring in information (in that creepy Orwellian way) in addition to putting out the word.

To that end, theater companies are starting to up the technical sophistication of their social networking sites, tricking them out with complex metrics tools that are designed to collect fan data, which in turn can be used to sell, sell, sell.

And it's happening everywhere, from stage productions on the West Coast to Broadway, from nonprofit companies to blockbuster productions.

The La Jolla Playhouse recently launched a new campaign titled "Your Life, Our Stage," in which the company is inviting everyone to submit ideas for a play based on their own lives by uploading videos, photos, artwork and written descriptions via the social networking vendor Brickfish.

The winning entry will have a scene from his or her life story written by Doug Wright, the playwright who won the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for "I Am My Own Wife."

So what's in it for La Jolla Playhouse?

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