edited by MAYER RUS
In the beginning was the word. Then came the beat—and it was good. Rappers, MCs, DJs, graffiti writers, B-boys, B-girls and their devotees will rejoice over Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey, a lavish history of the revolutionary musical movement. The large-format volume includes 30 essays by prominent scribes of the genre, along with best-of list, interviews and profiles of such game-changers as Kurtis Blow and Snoop Dogg (above). A treasure trove of images unites highly produced editorial photography with snapshots from the birth of the genre. The intro was written, fittingly, by hip-hop godfather Afrika Bambaataa. $299. hiphopculturebook.com.
Jane Fonda has played a bewildering range of roles in the more than half a century since she first appeared on Broadway, including Oscar winner, political agitator and fitness queen. In 2009, La Fonda returned to the Great White Way as a Beethoven-obsessed musicologist in Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations, a role she’s reprising at the Ahmanson, to the delight of Jane-obsessed Angelenos. Through Mar. 6. $35–$80. 135 N. Grand Ave., 213-628-2772, centertheatregroup.org.
In his one-man vaudeville act, This Filthy World Goes Hollywood, irrepressible John Waters aims at everything from showbiz’s endearing depravity to the hauteur of the international art world. Like Network’s Howard Beale, Waters is a “latter-day prophet, a magnificent messianic figure, inveighing against the hypocrisies of our times—a strip Savonarola.” Folk rocker Elvis Perkins (son of Anthony) opens. Feb. 23. $28–$48. Royce Hall, UCLA, 310-825-2101, uclalive.org.
Just when you thought it was safe to step away from midcentury modernism, L.A.’s Craft and Folk Art Museum shines a well-deserved spotlight on two of its pioneers. A Marriage of Craft and Design: The Work of Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman spans a half century of creative output that blithely bridges the gulf between handcrafted folk art and industrial modernism. A sympathetic design sensibility comes to life in Crossing the Line: A Space by Tanya Aguiñiga, a site-specific installation of woven objects and furniture in a web of yarn. Through May 8. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., 323-937-4230, cafam.org.