By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
FRIDAY, MAY 22
PLEASE PLEASE LET ME GET WHAT I WANT FOR MY BIRTHDAY
Steven Patrick Morrissey turns 50 today. It’s hard to believe it was half a century ago that Elizabeth Dwyer Morrissey held her newborn son in her arms and whispered, “You just haven’t earned it yet, baby.” Or was it, “The more you ignore me, the closer I get”? Some historians claim she said, “Why do you come here, when you know it makes things hard for me?” As I do every year, I sent him a birthday card. On the inside, it says, “I get by with a little help from Depends.” Do you think he’ll like it? The big 5-0 party, Morrissey’s 50th Unhappy Birthday Celebration, takes place at House of Blues with Smiths/Morrissey tribute band Sweet & Tender Hooligans. Says lead singer Jose Maldonado, “We’ll be performing songs from Morrissey’s entire career, both with the Smiths and as a solo artist. We’ll have guest musicians, a live string section and maybe even a mariachi band performing some of Morrissey’s songs in that style. The audience will sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to our hero as we bring out an animal-friendly cake and collectively blow out the candles, as we cheer loud enough for Morrissey to hear us all the way in Manchester, England.” House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Fri., May 22, 9 p.m.; $17 & $19. (213) 480-3232.
GETTING TO KNOW ME
Some of us are still recovering from the startling human innards of the Body Worlds exhibits. Now the California Science Museum brings us a look at what’s on the outside with Identity: An Exhibition of You, opening today. Designed as “an engaging journey through the science of human identity, challenging us all to see ourselves from a different perspective” — complete with original musical score — it’ll teach you about your genetic traits. Those of you who enjoy looking in the mirror can spend hours examining your earlobes and hairlines. California Science Museum, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park; May 22-Sept. 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; free, parking $8. (323) 724-3623.
SATURDAY, MAY 23
HIPPIES ON PARADE!
No one will laugh at you for twirling barefoot on the grass in your peasant skirt at Topanga Days. There’s top-notch music over three days — including Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Meters’ Leo Nocentelli, former Santana lead singer Gregg Rolie, and Grateful Dead tribute band par excellence Cubensis — plus an expansive kiddie area, belly dancers, hula hoopers, and dudes with beards and sunburns. Oh — and a parade on Monday. Topanga Community House Fair Grounds, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sat.-Mon., May 23-25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $20, $15 children & seniors, under 5 free. www.TopangaDays.com.
A timeless tale of tragic romance, some of ballet’s loveliest music, and a serious contender for the wickedest witch of all time — no wonder La Sylphideremains one of the most popular and long-performed ballets. Selected to close Los Angeles Ballet’s third season and following consistent praise for its mixed bills and particularly high marks for its staging of George Balanchine’s ballets, L.A.’s own professional ballet company unveils its La Sylphide. This new production marks a milestone: the company’s second full-length ballet to follow its successful production of The Nutcracker. Featured in Pointe Magazine for her 2008 performances, Corina Gill dances the ethereal role of the sylph, while Eddy Tovar, after his stunning LAB performance in Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, is James, the young Scotsman who abandons his bride to follow the enchanting Sylphide and to match wits with the deliciously evil Madge the witch, portrayed by no less than LAB artistic director Colleen Neary. The production has been staged by LAB artistic director Thordal Christensen, whose credits include artistic director at the Royal Danish Ballet, where this masterpiece is a cherished part of the repertoire. Last week’s opening in Redondo Beach confirmed LAB’s continuing strides toward greatness. This not-to-be-missed ballet moves to Westwood this weekend and closes in Glendale next week. UCLA Freud Theater, Wstwd.; Sat., May 23, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 24, 2 p.m. Also at Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., May 30, 7:30 p.m., $30-$95.(310) 998-7782 orwww.losangelesballet.org.
SUNDAY, MAY 24
IRONY CAN MAKE FOR A FULFILLING CAREER
For my money, the best part of The Flight of the Conchords (the HBO show, not the band) is Kristen Schaal as Mel, the creepy-cute No. 1 fan of the boys. She has the voice and sweet innocence of The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s Georgette, if Georgette lived in the East Village, and she’s nailed the lovable stalker to a tee. The band known as Flight of the Conchords — made of two New Zealanders, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie — is a zany mock-rock duo that’s something like Simon & Garfunkel meet KC and the Sunshine Band. They’ve gone from playing little Largo to a successful HBO series and now a bigtime show at the Greek, which is entirely too big for their small charms. Their songs are as cute as they are, like the synth-poppy “Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor,” and the zany rap of “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros,” without the cheesy special effects of the TV show. But you go and have a swell time. Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Griffith Park; Sun., May 24, 8 p.m.; $39.50. (213) 480-3232.
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