September 11, 2008
Arts in L.A. Quarterly Calendar: Cultural events through November 2008
(Page 2 - Previous Page)OCTOBER
Wed., Oct. 1
"Madama Butterfly." Giacomo Puccini's tragic heroine graces the stage again. The performance first dazzled L.A. audiences and critics in 2004, and L.A. Opera is hoping the revival will break box-office records. Set in early 20th century Japan, "Madama Butterfly" tells the tragic story of a young geisha and her American lover. The performance will take place on a simple set constructed of natural materials, wood and stone, with stunning lighting effects, all of which will make audiences feel like they are in the country from which the story stems. 7:30 p.m. Through Oct. 18. $20-$250. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-8001. http://www.laopera.com.
Fri., Oct. 3
"Flash of Genius." College professor and aspiring inventor Robert Kearn was your average 1960s Midwestern family man. With six kids and a comfortable job at a Detroit university, Kearn never dreamed he would one day be the subject of a major motion picture. "Flash of Genius" is the true story of Kearn's revolutionary invention -- the automatic windshield wiper -- and his drawn-out David-and-Goliath battle against the U.S. automobile titans who embraced his device then took credit for it. Starring Oscar-nominated Greg Kinnear as Robert Kearn and Lauren Graham as his wife, this inspiring drama may just be Kinnear's second chance at a golden statuette. Opens in theaters Oct. 3. http://www.flashofgenius.net.
Fri., Oct. 3
TarFest Weekend 2008. From the nexus of Los Angeles' art scene on the Miracle Mile comes a cultural festival that combines film, music and art. TarFest, a four-day, multivenue, indoor/outdoor festival named for its proximity to the La Brea Tar Pits, is a citywide excuse to check out burgeoning local artists, filmmakers and musicians. In addition to an art show, film screenings, concerts, discussions and workshops, LACMA curator Howard Fox will jury all art submissions. And new this year is the inaugural Miracle Mile Run, which raises funds to benefit local community arts and fitness programs. 6-10 p.m. (opening reception art show). Free. Korean Cultural Center, 5505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 936-7141. http://www.tarfest.com.
Fri., Oct. 3
Kronos Quartet. Aiming to evoke the personal and public tragedy of Sept. 11, this cathartic meditation of world-fusion music sweeps from Uzbekistan to Germany and Iraq to the United States. In the first classical music event of UCLA Live's season, the Kronos Quartet performs "Awakening: A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11," which begins with a Muslim call to prayer. Based on sounds developed around the world, the compositions encompass the profoundly personal and global pain of the Sept. 11 tragedy. 8 p.m. $28-$52. Royce Hall, UCLA, 574 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (310) 825-2101. http://www.uclalive.org.
Fri., Oct. 3
"Simply Ballroom" Starring Debbie Reynolds. Almost as glamorous as the popular television series, "Dancing With the Stars," veteran entertainer Debbie Reynolds hosts a ballroom spectacular with couples dancing salsa, tango, cha-cha and the rumba. Replete with bejeweled costumes, dazzling choreography and world-famous music, there's nothing quite as entertaining as a passionate dance. 8 p.m. $25-$53. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (562) 916-8500. http://www.cerritoscenter.com.
Sat., Oct. 4
J.U.i.C.E. Hip-Hop Dance Festival at the Ford Amphitheatre. Popping, locking, breaking, krumping -- these innovative dance forms weren't created in the polished dance studios of performance academies or established dance companies. These improvisational styles evolved in everyday spaces, such as street corners and schoolyards, and were inspired by specific genres of music. Bringing these progressive moves to the stage, along with the most creative street dance choreographers and dancers in Los Angeles, are artistic directors Amy "Catfox" Campion and Jacob "Kujo" Lyons. The high-energy production will include cutting-edge street dancing, spoken word and rhymes, live DJs and graffiti painting, a hip-hop show and a dance film. The festival is being produced by Antics Performance and J.U.i.C.E. (Justice Uniting in Creative Energy), two organizations that promote the innovation of hip hop and provide youth a safe and productive outlet for their energy. 6 p.m. (doors open), 8 p.m. (show). $5 (students and children), $25 (adults). Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. (323) 461-3573. http://www.fordtheatres.org.
Sun., Oct. 5
NoHo Scene. The second annual NoHo Scene will give visitors a taste of the North Hollywood arts district by offering free theatre, dance and music performances; improv and acting workshops; film screenings; activities for kids and families; and discounts to local restaurants and boutiques. In addition, free trolleys will transport visitors to events and places that are a bit out of reach. For those wanting to take in the sightseeing at a slower pace, a centrally located outdoor stage will provide ample opportunity for entertainment, food, wine and relaxation. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Free. NoHo Arts District in North Hollywood. Lankershim Boulevard will be closed to traffic between Magnolia Boulevard and Hesby Street, and a ticket booth just south of Magnolia offers free tickets to performances (distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early). (818) 980-6646. http://www.nohoartsdistrict.com.
Sun., Oct. 5
Caras Vemos, Corazones No Sabemos/Faces Seen, Hearts Unknown: The Human Landscape of Mexican Migration. Encapsulating the immigrant experience of human beings struggling on their way to a dream, 40 artists tell the Mexican migratory tale through journeys, boundaries, landscapes and identity. From the physical border crossings to the political, social and cultural barriers that await them on the other side, this multifaceted exploration of Mexican immigrants, which includes supplementary discussions and films, is both deeply personal and harshly affecting. Noon-5 p.m. (Wed.-Sun.). Free. Through Dec. 28. The Fowler Museum, UCLA, 574 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (310) 825-4361. http://www.fowler.ucla.edu.
Wed., Oct. 8
"Girl's Room" at El Portal Theatre. Newsday called it "a Neil Simon-on-estrogen dramedy," and with a plotline that involves three generations of lively women you can be sure at least the estrogen part is spot on. The El Portal's fall headliner is about a talented ballet dancer on the cusp of super stardom when a serious accident threatens to shatter her dreams. Her mother and grandmother, played by Broadway veterans Donna McKechnie, who played Cassie in "A Chorus Line," and Carol Lawrence, the original Maria in Broadway's "West Side Story," add to the drama in this emotional, humorous and charming play written by Joni Fritz. Wed.-Sun. Through Nov. 2. $45-$55. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 508-4200. http://www.elportaltheatre.com.
Sat., Oct. 11
"DIVAS Simply Singing!" Join Sheryl Lee Ralph in a night of strength through voice as she and other entertainers come together to benefit Women Alive Coalition and Sister Circle Project: South Africa, two organizations leading the way in the fight against HIV/AIDS. With nothing more than a concert grand piano and some impressive pipes, each diva performs one song as a commitment to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Now in its 18th year, "DIVAS Simply Singing!" remembers those who were taken by AIDS and vows to get help to those men, women, and children who are still here and fighting. All profits go to the cause. 7:30 p.m. $25-$250. Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. http://www.divassimplysinging.com.
Sun., Oct. 12
"A Sounds Eclectic Evening." Santa Monica's public radio station is giving music lovers the perfect excuse to spend their Sunday evening lost in music. KCRW is bringing back its "Sounds Eclectic" evenings with Canadian singer K.D. Lang, who will play from her new record "Watershed," which she calls the "culmination" of everything she's done before. The Duke Spirit, who have drawn comparisons to Sonic Youth and the Pixies, will also be playing their hook-filled rock, with the lovely Leila Moss fronting the band. But the whole evening will get off to a great start thanks to the South American group Bajofondo, whose latest album "Marc Dulce," features Elvis Costello and Nelly Furtado. Proceeds from the concert will go to supporting the Santa Monica City College station. 7:15 p.m. $40-$325. Gibson Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. (213) 480-3232. http://www.kcrw.com.
Mon., Oct. 13
Tina Turner in Concert. The "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" may be nearing 70, but Tina Turner still belts out soul-filled tunes like no other. Thanks to her energized, almost frenzied performances, the Grammy-winner continues to have an easy time outselling other female performers. Don't miss the opportunity to watch Turner shake it as she performs songs like "Proud Mary," "What's Love Got to Do With It?" and "We Don't Need Another Hero." 7:30 p.m. Through Oct. 16. $59.50-$150. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles. (213) 480-3232. http://www.staplescenter.com.
Tue., Oct. 14
"Dialogue Among Giants." California has its own photographic history, and the J. Paul Getty Museum is exploring its evolution through the work of Carleton Watkins -- considered one of the most important American photographers of the 19th century. Watkins' career spans from the Gold Rush to the turn of the 20th century, and his photographs chronicle many of the events most significant to California's history. He is also believed to be the first person to photograph Yosemite and worked side-by-side with the likes of Eadweard Muybridge and Charles Leander Weed, who will also be featured in the exhibition. Many of the first photographs taken in the state will also be presented. Through March 1, 2009. Free. Parking is $8. The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-7300. http://www.getty.edu.
Tue., Oct. 14
"The Grapes of Wrath." International City Theatre is bringing Frank Galati's Tony Award-winning stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's tale of an Oklahoman family's search for a home and a steady job amid the Great Depression. "The Grapes of Wrath" chronicles the family's journey to the more hopeful but ultimately disappointing farmlands of California. 8 p.m. Through Nov. 9. $32-$60. International City Theatre, Long Beach Center Theater, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. (562) 436-4610.
Sat., Oct. 18
The Pasadena Symphony. Traveling to Mexico just got a lot easier thanks to the opening night of the Pasadena Symphony's new season. "The concert will be a time-traveling journey into Mexico's indigenous past as The Symphony performs Carlos Chavez's Sinfonia India (Symphony No. 2) and Silvestre Revueltas' La Noche de los Mayas. Mexico's unique mariachi music tradition will be told as Mariachi Champana Nevin join Mester and The Symphony to perform the Concerto for Mariachi & Orchestra (Pasion Mexicana)," spokeswoman Cathie Lou Paker said. The program is a natural one for music director Jorge Mester, who is himself from Mexico: "The concert is going to be close to my heart, and it's going to be fun, especially La Noche with its 12 percussionists and even a conch shell. Everyone has been asking to hear La Noche again." 7:30 p.m. $20-$60. Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. (626) 584-8833. http://www.theorchestras.org.
Fri., Oct. 24
"Nightspot." The Miami City Ballet is coming to Los Angeles and bringing with it the West Coast premiere of "Nightspot." Audiences will have the opportunity to watch dancing set to a score by Elvis Costello. The performance is choreographed by Twyla Tharp, who has a history of incorporating modern music into her dances and is hoping this newest collaboration will attract those who might not otherwise venture out to see ballet. Tharp has also enlisted the help of notable fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Christopher Wheeldon's "Liturgy" and George Balanchine's "Tarantella and Symphony" will also be part of the program. 7:30 p.m. Through Oct. 26. $30-$120. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-7211. http://www.musiccenter.org.
Sat., Oct. 25
Lamia Ziade: "Time for a Kent." Lebanese artist Lamia Ziade mixes raw, sensual scenes with pop iconography in her penetrating exploration of two themes -- a woman's sexuality and the terrors of war. Her focus may be the litter from a departed lover or ominous images of men with rifles, ships sinking in a harbor or a building engulfed in flames. Ziade mixes her classical influences with a pop sensibility, which brings unpredictability to the mood of her work. Born in Beirut in 1968, Ziade was discovered by fashion designers Jean-Paul Gaultier and Issey Miyake before going on to design fabric, film posters and children's books. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tues.-Sat.) Free. Through Dec. 6. Benjamin Trigano Gallery, 612 N. Almont Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 550-6802. http://www.benjamintrigano.com.
Wed., Oct. 29
"Spring Awakening." Rock music and adolescents raging with hormones go hand in hand in a play that has garnered eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2007. Based on a German play that was banned for sexually explicit content, the musical "Spring Awakening" is described as a "universal sexual coming-of-age story" set to a "bold rock score." Indeed, the play will resonate with anyone who remembers the excitement and confusion associated with first experimenting with newly formed sexual desires. Through Dec. 7. $30-$100. Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-7231. http://www.centertheatregroup.org.
Fri., Oct. 31
Contemporary Crafts Market. Creativity meets function at this popular fair featuring 250 artisans that design everything from hand-crafted shoes to colorful glassware to custom furniture. One of the largest events of its kind in the country, this year's market includes: Joyce Aysta's "Origami Architecture" (really fancy greeting cards); Jerzi Sanecki's decorative brass-and-glass light sculptures (really pretty lampshades); and Rubaiyat shoes ("from classic brown flats to flaming red python pumps"). In other words, you'll only see this one-of-a-kind of stuff here. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $7. Through Nov. 2. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica. (310) 285-3655. http://www.craftsource.org.