True Detective. The 3rd season of HBO’s anthology crime series stars Mahershala Ali as Wayne Hays, an Arkansas state cop investigating the same child murder case over the course of 35 years. The story weaves through three specific periods of Hays’ life: First, as a brass young detective in 1980 still dealing with his stint in Vietnam; a family man looking to jumpstart his career in 1990; and in 2015 as a retired widower battling dementia and working with a TV documentarian who reopens the case. Stephen Dorff portrays this partner Roland West and Carmen Ejogo plays Amelia Reardon, a local teacher who falls for Hays. After shifting the series to California in Season 2, series creator Nic Pizzolatto returns to the Southern Gothic overtones of the first season, right down to the primitive sculptures that are found near the victim’s body. Ali excels in the lead role, proving yet again why he’s one of the best actors working today. With the first great performance of the year, Ali’s already put himself in the conversation for Best Lead Actor for this year’s Emmys. A return to form to one of TV’s most captivating shows. True Detective premieres this Sunday at 9pm on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.
The Prophet Speaks by Van Morrison. He’s been recording and performing for over 50 years, but Van Morrison is still on a touring and recording schedule as if it were still the 1970s. For his 40th album (and fifth album since 2016), Morrison and his band – guitarist Dan Wilson, Michael Ode on drums, and tenor saxophonist Troy Roberts – once again pair up organist/trumpeter Joey DeFrancesco to deliver a collection of six new originals and remakes of classic songs by Sam Cooke (Laughin and Clowin’,) John Lee Hooker (‘Dimples’), Willie Dixon (I Love The Life I Live’) and Solomon Burke (‘Gotta Get You Off My Mind’). The new songs stand alongside these classics quite well with ‘Got To Go Where The Love Is’ an album standout. Backed by a killer combo, Morrison is clearly having a blast, as evidence by freewheeling, relaxed vibe. In paying tribute to his heroes and still delivering outstanding new songs, Morrison has also proved once again that his name stands alongside his musical mentors. The Prophet Speaks by Van Morrison is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major streaming services.
New York City. Charles White: A Retrospective. This extensive MoMa retrospective – the first major museum look back at White’s career in over 30 years – has been blowing away audiences at MoMa since mid-October. It’s the final weekend to catch this look back at the virtuoso draftsman, painter, and printmaker, who used his talents to make definitive statements about the struggle for racial and economic justice for Black people in the U.S. The exhibit contains over 100 works covering everything from his drawings, paintings and prints, to his photographs, illustrated books and album covers. It will also feature a ton of archival materials and audio featuring White, long time friend Harry Belafonte, Kerry James Marshall and much more. In becoming a key figure in the creative communities in Chicago, New York, and Los Angles, White’ impact on the art world is still being felt today. One last chance to view the output of an artistic iconoclast. Charles White: A Retrospective will be at The Museum Of Modern Art thorough January 13th. You can also go to www.moma.org for tickets and additional information
Los Angeles. The Shyamalan-A-Thon. As a ramp up to the eagerly awaited film Glass, American Cinematheque will present a marathon of M. Night Shyamalan’s trilogy that has put a new spin on superhero films. It will kick off with the 2000 classic Unbreakable starring Bruce Willis, Robin Wright and Samuel L. Jackson; Split, the 2016 comeback hit featuring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley; and a preview screening of Glass, starring McAvoy, Sam Jackson and Bruce Willis. Whether you haven’t seen the previous two films and want to catch up or if you are fan of the entire series, this is the perfect way to get the full Shyamalan experience. The Shyamalan-A-Thon will take place at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, January 12th. You can also go to www.americancinemathequecalendar.com for more information.
Los Angeles. I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell. When Chris Cornell passed away in 2017, there was never a formal musical sendoff for the the iconic frontman. Now, family and friends of the late Soundgarden frontman will gather at The Forum to present a sonic wake that is bound to shake the rafters of the legendary venue. Jimmy Kimmel will host, and members of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple Of The Dog will perform, along with Foo Fighters, Metallica, Ryan Adams and other surprise guests. Attendees will receive a copy of Cornell’s self-titled career retrospective album with proceeds going to The Chris & Vicky Cornell Foundation and The Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation. It’s a fitting salute and sendoff to an all-time great. I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell will be at The Forum on Wednesday, January 16th. You can also go to www.msg.com or www.chriscornell.com for more information.
Los Angeles. Adams & Glass. The L.A. Philharmonic continues its centennial celebration with a series of shows pairing two classical titans. Contemporary classical composer, conductor and creative thinker John Adams will performing his over the top Grand Pianola Music and minimalist master Philip Glass will world premiere his third symphony based on David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy. For Glass, this will complete a project that he started – with full cooperation of Bowie and Brian Eno – with 1992’s Low Symphony and The Heroes Symphony in 1996. This time out he will base his work on seven of the ten original lyrics from the album Lodger. The new work will also featuring vocals by three time Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo. It’s a wonderful evening that merges the worlds of classical and rock. Adams & Glass will be at the Walt Disney Concert Hall January 10th-11th and January 13th. You can also go to www.laphil.com for tickets and additional information.