A Very Cultured Saturday (Tim Burton Exhibition At LACMA & Encore Entertainment’s Production Of The Drowsy Chaperone)

What fun! Went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (AKA LACMA) for the first time with our friends Jeff and Wendy to check out the Tim Burton Exhibition (closes Oct 31) and various other exhibits there. Then Laura and I went to West High in Torrance to see a student production of The Drowsy Chaperone which was a lot of fun!

Tim Burton Special Exhibition (Resnick Pavilion): to see so much Burton goodness in such concentrated form was amazing. The exhibit features remnants from his interment in Burbank (winning contest entries, doodlings on newspapers, poetry referencing classmates), props and costumes from his numerous film projects and replication maquettes from Nightmare and Corpse Bride, but what’s really amazing is to see how much of Burton’s genius is captured in his sketches. It is his preferred medium of communication, and his prose is stunning. The rooms of the exhibit are lined with his sketches and there are grotesque, visual and absolutely fascinating. Also fun to note that he is an avid sculptor (some very nice pieces of his on display, not to be confused with the work of Rick Heinrichs, one of his long-term collaborators, aka a member of his “posse”) and photographer (a really fun collection of Polaroid prints that he enlarged and played with). And the exhibition included Stain Boy! I just geek out a little because I really love the Stain Boy animated webisodes. They feature characters from Burton’s published collection of poetry/drawings entitled The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy And Other Stories and were so Burton-esque and fun. My one tiny complaint was the initial flow of the exhibit: it suffers greatly from the large (and constant) crowd of people. I didn’t really start having fun until we got into the larger rooms that absorbed more people and gave everybody room to actually look at the exhibits. All in all it’s a really great exhibit that’s worth visiting.

Lunch at the Plaza Cafe. Pretty good for The Patina Group. They had dark chocolate Toblerone! That’s so hard to find commercially! Whoo hoo!

Pavilion For Japanese Art: very fascinating structure (internally and externally), not forgetting the pretty art. The architecture flows very well with lots of smooth lines.

Ahmanson Building: Burton Selects is just a gallery of art that Burton likes, doesn’t necessarily extend the exhibit experience; really tall LA cops/Watts Tower exhibit; Transformers piece.

Broad Contemporary Art Museum: Redbeard action figure from Scooby Doo; giant elevator piece (no longer functioning); giant (accurate) balloon dog; gorgeous view from the 3rd floor of the Hollywood sign, the Griffiths Observatory and other LA tourist attractions.

The Mourners (Art Of The Americas Building): really interesting statuettes with incredible detail from the tomb of the Dukes of Burgundy (on loan/tour while they renovate their home).

Hammer Building: Korean Art while looking for Egyptian mummies. Find the Egyptian exhibit, it’s actually part of a Near-East exhibit (where’s THAT line??) and wander into gallery upon gallery of art in the classic sense (you know, paintings and statues and stuff). This was where we had the most fun: we’d see a giant stone tablet and joke about it being the 2nd marker and needing to make a rubbing; blue and white vases would inspire, “4th century Ming dynasty. Thank God, it’s a fake!”. There was one statue bust that, due to the way it was lit looked like it was made from white modeling chocolate. We’d see a cardinal and joke about Tim Curry (who portrayed Richelieu in the 90’s 3 Musketeers film). There were two pieces that were very interesting for their use of physical depth: one was a depiction of the golden apple event that leads to the Greco-Trojan war and the other was (I think) about Neptune’s victory over somebody. The first one was carved in white stone and used depth incredibly well – the foreground characters were practically statues while the background were faded carvings. The second one made me think about Brooke McEldowney (cartoonist behind 9 Chickweed Lane and Pibgorn) and other cartoonists that play with the “frame” of their comics because it was a bronze-looking carving that exploded out of the frame in which it was placed – quite literally! There was action crawling out of the carving and taking place on top of the frame. It was very nifty.

The Drowsy Chaperone: Sure they’re just kids, but they’re ambitious and talented. Great production! I loved Ryan Jure’s take on The Man In The Chair (who pretty much runs the show) – great gravitas mixed with screwing the fourth wall and doing whatever he felt like while watching/narrating/commenting on the action of the musical within the musical.

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