The celebrated writer Rubén Martínez hosts the debut of this monthly variety show in the spirit of his grandparents, who were vaudeville performers in L.A. in the early 20th century. Each show has a theme, with this one titled "The Road to Los Angeles," inspired by the John Fante novel. While it's not clear yet how much Variedades will involve old vaudeville standbys like slapstick and jugglers, Martínez intends to bridge the city's cultural divide by bringing together diverse literary, musical and theatrical artists. He's off to a good start, with scheduled participants like La Santa Maria's Marisoul, Son Jarocho's César Castro, KPFK's Betto Arcos and musicologist/author Josh Kun. It's rumored that Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano might drop by to lend a spoken word or two.
Sun., March 27, 5 p.m., 2011