By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
NEW LAW: ALL PARENTS WHO NAMED THEIR CHILD “DYLAN” ARE REQUIRED TO CHANGE IT TO “ZIMMERMAN”
“No repeats.” That’s a promise from Andy Hill and Renee Safier, organizers of Dylan Fest — now in its 19th year! Hill and Safier’s band, Hard Rain, is the hourse band backing more than 60 musicians performing more than 60 Dylan songs over seven hours. The first Dylan Fest was held in Hill’s backyard and billed as a Bob Dylan birthday party. “An older neighbor brought a present for Bob, thinking he lived there,” recalls Safier, who has since moved the fest to a more spacious park. Goofiness is encouraged, she stresses: “The throwing of the Styrofoam rocks by the whole crowd during ‘Rainy Day Women #12 & #35’ is always a blast. The Dylan Kazoo Choir is fun.” Figure out how to be “Tangled Up in Blue” or “Farmer’s Daughter” and you’ll fit right in. Serious students of Bob will also appreciate the fact that, according to Hill, “Without consciously attempting it, the festival realizes the vast range of arrangement ideas reflected in Dylan’s career, intimate solo performances, small rock bands, a gospel band, acoustic ensembles and huge, electric composites. St. Anthony School, 233 Lomita St., El Segundo; Sat., May 30, 1-8 p.m.; $25, $20 in advance; $10 children under 12. www.andyandrenee.com.
SUNDAY, MAY 31
Few musical genres are more full-bodied than zarzuela. The Spanish art form, which originated in the 17th century at Palacio de la Zarzuela, King Philip IV’s hunting retreat outside Madrid, which was surrounded by zarzuela, or bramble bushes, is a combination of opera, melodrama, dance, theater and comedy that has had audiences laughing and crying for some 400 years now. The early baroque zarzuela, popular from about 1630 to the mid-1700s, was influenced by the mythology and rustic themes of Italian opera. By the mid-19th century, romanticism and nationalism found a new voice in zarzuela, which began utilizing popular Spanish jargon and idioms and centered around the controversial, realistic themes of revolution and passion both romantic and political. With its ornate Spanish baroque influences, downtown’s Million Dollar Theater provides the perfect setting for Chamber Music in Historic Sites’ final concert of their 2008-2009 season, when the ensemble El Mundo presents!Zarzuela! Led by stellar lutenist-guitarist Richard Savino, the “first rate band of minstrels” perform Sebastian Duron’s “Salir el Amor del Mundo” (“Cupid’s Final Folly”), along with other examples of zarzuela at its funniest and flashiest. Million Dollar Theater, 430 S. Broadway, dwntwn.; Sun., May 31, 4 p.m.; preconcert talk at 3:30 p.m.; $41-$49. (213) 477-2929.
BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE SOCIAL/RACIAL STEREOTYPE
Why do we need a spoof of beauty pageants when the real thing provides so much unintentional humor, not to mention some real ugliness? Because it’s an endless source of humans at their worst! Here we have Paul Ryan’s Miss International Princess Pageant Variety Show. The event started with the “Miss Southern Belle Princess Pageant,” only to be followed by “Mr. Gay Prince,” “Miss Lesbian Princess,” “Miss Asian Princess,” “Miss Jewish Princess,” “Miss Playmate Princess” and “Miss Plus Size Princess.” Mr. Ryan Bert Parks it up (look him up, kids) on the action. The audience and celebrity judges decide the winners. There will be tears — let’s hope lots of ’em. Acme Comedy Theatre, 135 N. La Brea Ave., L.A.; Sun., May 31, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 525-0202.
IF YOU CAN MAKE IT HERE, YOU CAN POSSIBLY MAKE IT IN NEW YORK
The self-declared bastions of L.A. culture too often dismiss L.A.-based dance companies as lacking the level of professional production, national and international reputations to justify devoting their funds to presenting outside dance companies in major local venues. In addition to the implicit assumption that if local dance/dancers were really any good, they would be somewhere else, the illogic of this odd pavane of civic self-loathing is belied by the caliber of dance here. If a fraction of the fortunes being poured into presenting outside touring companies was committed to local dance, a number of the L.A.-based companies would be able to go toe to toe with a lot of what comes to town. Nowhere is that more evident than The 18th Annual Lester Horton Awards, presented by the Dance Resource Center. The DRC’s annual Horton Awards is part awards ceremony, part reunion for L.A.’s far-flung dance community and a splendid performance sampler of the range and depth of the vibrant and diverse local dance scene. Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica; Sun., May 31, 5 p.m.; $20. www.brownpapertickets.com.
MONDAY, JUNE 1
You wouldn’t necessarily think that someone born in Arcadia might have such an amazing Technicolor dreamcoat of a life — notwithstanding Sho Kosugi, who just lives there — but Dennis Cooperhas had more lives than almost any modern artist short of Marcel Duchamp or John Giorno, and he just keeps on finding new ways to live. His latest creative endeavor, the short-story collection “Ugly Man” (Harper Perennial), with titles like “One Night in 1979 I Did Too Much Coke and Couldn’t Sleep and Had What I Thought Was a Million-Dollar Idea to Write the Definitive Tell-All Book About Glam Rock Based on My Own Personal Experience but This Is as Far as I Got,” balance ultraviolence with cutting humor honed for more than 30 years both here (Beyond Baroque) and abroad (Amsterdam). Cooper’s writing in Ugly Man is like a highly literate game of hot-hands — you never know when he’s going to hit you next, but by the time it’s all over you feel that distinctive stinging sensation. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Mon., June 1, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175 or skylightbooks.com. Also at Book Soup on Tues., June 2.