From a contemporary take on an old tale of romance, a free smorgasbord of art, LGBTQ filmmakers and female artists taking the spotlight, to celebrating the Persian New Year, here are the 15 best things to do in L.A. this week.

fri 3/9


Modern Love

The popular Joffrey Ballet arrives with Polish choreographer Krzysztof Pastor's contemporized Romeo and Juliet. Serge Prokofiev's score still puts the star-crossed lovers in Italy, but Pastor injects time-capsule shifts over the three acts. Opening with Mussolini's fascists in the 1930s, the action moves to the Red Brigade and political kidnappings in the '70s, concluding with Silvio Berlusconi's social upheaval in the '90s. Along the way, there's even a ball that nods to West Side Story, perhaps the original contemporary version of the doomed lovers. Originally set on the Scottish Ballet in 2008, Pastor's version joined the Joffrey repertoire in 2014. The spread-out performance schedule reflects the Joffrey doing double duty, alternating with another tale of star-crossed lovers dancing John Neumeier's choreography for the Los Angeles Opera's performances of Orpheus and Eurydice. Complete details on both productions at Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., March 9, & Sat., March 17, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 11, & Sat., March 17, 2:30 p.m.; $34-$125. —Ann Haskins


Pasadena Parties

Twice a year, the city of Pasadena sponsors ArtNight — a utopian evening of art, music and culture where visitors can flit among open museums, libraries, universities and theaters on MTA shuttles like denizens of a new belle époque — all totally gratis. The same event last fall drew 28,000 people; this Friday, there are 19 participating cultural institutions, and nearly as many city-funded site performances. Start at City Hall (free snacks, live Indian music, woodworking workshop), and hop on a shuttle to the destination of your choice. Dive into scene work at the Pasadena Playhouse, art history and jazz at Jackie Robinson Community Center, taiko drumming and a kimono show at Shumei Arts Council, “counter-conventional orchestra” MUSE/IQUE at Paseo Colorado. For the kids, interactive glow-in-the-dark art beckons at Kidspace Children's Museum. Pasadena City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave., Pasadena; Fri., March 9, 6-10 p.m.; free. (626) 744-7887, —Beige Luciano-Adams


War Is Hell

The 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, in which members of the U.S. Army slaughtered several hundred unarmed, defenseless civilians, was a shocking wake-up call for many Americans who'd been raised to believe that the U.S. military were always the good guys on the battlefield. Fifty years later, San Francisco string musicians Kronos Quartet revisit the scene of the tragedy via composer Jonathan Berger and librettist Harriet Scott Chessman's new, darkly stirring operatic collaboration, My Lai. Featuring tenor Rinde Eckert and Vietnamese multi-instrumentalist Vân-Ánh Vo, the work tells the story from the point of view of U.S. helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson, who tried to save some of the victims. As with other recent war-themed operatic experiments, such as Fallujah, The Source and Thumbprint, the powerful subject matter helps to counteract the sometimes mannered tendencies of the presentation. Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Fri., March 9, 8 p.m.; $29-$59. (310) 825-4401, —Falling James

sat 3/10


Outfest Branches Out

Part of Outfest, the oldest film festival in L.A., the 15th annual Outfest Fusion screens movies made by and about LGBTQ people of color from around the world. This year's subjects range from a documentary about male sex workers in Japan and a drag performer in Alaska to a biopic on Tamara Adrian, the first transgender woman to serve in Venezuela's legislature. Following Friday's opening-night gala and awards presentation, the festival, which takes place mostly at the Egyptian Theatre and TCL Chinese Theatres, includes screenings of features, shorts, documentaries and even musical comedy, discussions with directors, an episode of Showtime's The Chi, filmmaking workshops and a closing party with a contest for one-minute movie submissions. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; TCL Chinese Theatres, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Sat., March 10, noon-9:30 p.m.; screenings $12; thru March 13. —Siran Babayan


Celebrating Women, Helping Girls

It may be a stretch from the socialist roots of International Women's Day (March 8), but L.A.'s vibrant all-women art and music festival Viva La Muxer this year celebrates March 10 with a hyper hashtag-able theme (“Boss Lady”) to honor “the entrepreneurial spirit of women around the globe.” Check out more than 100 curated art exhibits, live music and DJs, poets, food, dancing, workshops and a network of community resources. Your ticket money goes to Las Fotos Project, a nonprofit that mentors hundreds of local teen girls in professional photography each year. Onstage, don't miss local gems/global sensations Madame Gandhi, Amindi K. Fro$t and Syncopated Ladies. Plaza de la Raza, 3540 N. Mission Road, Lincoln Heights; Sat., March 10, 6-11 p.m.; $25 advance, $35 door, $55 VIP, kids under 10 free. (323) 223-2475, —Beige Luciano-Adams

The SOCIETY Fashion Week; Credit: The SOCIETY Fashion Week

The SOCIETY Fashion Week; Credit: The SOCIETY Fashion Week


Clothing Cornucopia

The largest touring fashion show in the country, the SOCIETY Fashion Week attracts the best and brightest working in the rag trade today. We're not talking just designers and models, either. This spectacle of style is geared toward everyone working in the clothing industry, from runway producers to buyers who bring sartorial sensations from the catwalk into the wardrobes of stylists and fashionistas nationwide. With a weekend-long pit stop in L.A., the SOCIETY Fashion Week Los Angeles continues to help shape the city into a fashion destination, forecasting trends while fostering creativity in the city's ever-budding garment industry. Sheraton Grand Los Angeles, 711 S. Hope St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., March 10-11; $50-$200. (844) 697-5286, —Tanja M. Laden

sun 3/11


Happy Nowruz!

For the past decade, the nonprofit Farhang Foundation has sought to bring more visibility to the artistic legacy of Iran, elegantly avoiding the religion and politics in order to focus exclusively on Iranian cultural heritage. Now, it's celebrating the Iranian new year with its 10th annual Celebration of Nowruz. Festivities begin with a free program at UCLA's Dickson Court, featuring live music, dancing, kids activities, a Persian costume show and a Haft Sîn display (a symbolic tabletop arrangement that traditionally accompanies Nowruz). As the sun sets, the celebration moves inside to Royce Hall for Sima Bina's Nowruz Concert, a ticketed program that features folk songs from Iran. UCLA's Dickson Court/Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Sun., March 11, noon-5 p.m.; concert at 6 p.m.; Free/$35-$250. (310) 825-2101, —Tanja M. Laden

Islamophobia; Credit: Courtesy of Getty Center

Islamophobia; Credit: Courtesy of Getty Center


Parsing Persecution

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the Middle Ages and Today is your chance to see the meeting of the minds that happens when historians Hussein Fancy and Sara Lipton talk about the shared miseries of both Jews and Muslims living in Western Europe during the Dark Ages. They'll tell you how both groups shared common enemies and persistent persecutors that could have just as easily gone after spatulas if a flyspeck fell a particular way on their manuscripts. Muslim scholar Jihad Turk moderates the whole thing and reminds you that hate crimes against Muslims and Jews are on the rise. Yet again. Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Sun., March 11, 3 p.m.; free (advance ticket required; parking is $15/$10 after 3 p.m.). (310) 440-7300, —David Cotner

Fat Gay Vegan: Eat, Drink and Live Like You Give a Sh!t; Credit: Courtesy of Watkins and Nourish

Fat Gay Vegan: Eat, Drink and Live Like You Give a Sh!t; Credit: Courtesy of Watkins and Nourish

mon 3/12


Conscious Eating

Ask someone if they're a vegan and they'll tell you. Or don't ask them. They'll still tell you. But what people tend to miss about the vehemence of vegans is that their stance on eating is really about awareness of the effects of what they consume. As such, Sean O'Callaghan — aka Fat Gay Vegan — presents his book Fat Gay Vegan: Eat, Drink and Live Like You Give a Sh!t ($15, Nourish), in which he tells you about how being observant about the things that die so that you can live is one of the cornerstones of the movement. Stories Books & Café, 1716 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Mon., March 12, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 413-3733, —David Cotner

tue 3/13


Palates and Painting

There's hardly a better way to understand a culture than through its cuisine. Cur-ATE: Dining in Colonial Mexico is a multisensory journey to 18th-century Mexico that begins with a private visit to LACMA's exhibition “Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici.” The immersive tour is led by Maite Gomez-Rejón, founder of ArtBites, an organization that seeks to uncover delicious tidbits of art history through cooking. Afterward, hungry parties move to Ray's & Stark Bar in order to enjoy dishes such as Spanish omelet, rabbit with mole and avocado flan. Inspired by the exhibition, the sumptuous four-course meal is prepared by executive chef Fernando Darin. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., March 13, 6 p.m.; $100 members/$110 general. (323) 857-6010, —Tanja M. Laden

wed 3/14


Can't Stop Won't Stop

The California African American Museum celebrates winter/spring openings with its recurring Can't Stop Won't Stop party. Explore photography, film, painting and multimedia exhibitions, with food trucks and DJ sets by Huneycut and Suga Shay. New shows map metaphysical geographies across the Southland, discover L.A. as a hub of 20th-century gospel music, see new photographic musings on black utopia in L.A./Miami and explore painterly perspectives on the West Coast; there's also a film capturing youth stories from Athens, California. Arrive early (6-7 p.m.) for 30-minute walkthroughs with artists and curators of Adler Guerrier's “Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity” and Shinique Smith's “Refuge.” California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park; Wed., March 14, 7-9 p.m.; free (RSVP required). (213) 744-2024, —Beige Luciano-Adams


Indigenous Poetry

What is now Los Angeles County once was home to thriving indigenous populations such as the Gabrielino, Chumash and Tataviam. L.A. still has the most native Americans in the country but tragically, much of their cultural heritage was almost lost. Native Women's Voices Through Poetry aims to change that. Led by Navajo artist and filmmaker Pamela J. Peters, this event features live readings from four poets who represent the incredible range of American Indian cultures: Emily Clarke of the Cahuilla, Kinsale Hueston of the Navajo, Allison Ramirez of the Tohono O'odham and Tazbah Rose Chavez of the Nüümü, Diné and Apache. The Main Museum (Beta Main), 114 W. Fourth St., downtown; Wed., March 14, 7:30-9 p.m.; free. (213) 986-8500, —Tanja M. Laden

All the drama, comedy and fun of a wedding without the nuptials.; Credit: Alex Nelson

All the drama, comedy and fun of a wedding without the nuptials.; Credit: Alex Nelson

thu 3/15


No Gifts, Please

Weddings make people cry. But have you ever laughed during a fake one? Since last year, comedians/writers Amrita Dhaliwal and Sunanda Sachatrakul have hosted Indian Wedding, their interactive sketch comedy show about fake family nuptials at the Three Clubs. They play Pinky and Bubbly, two haughty sisters from New Delhi, celebrating the marriage of their brother, Tarun, on sangeet (meaning music and dance in Hindi), the night that takes place before the ceremony and reception of an Indian wedding, which typically lasts three to seven days. It's the most festive of the wedding celebrations and includes henna designs, food, music, singing and dancing. Dhaliwal and Sachatrakul not only schmooze with the crowd but greet guests at the door, offering them traditional Indian sweets. And each night, they're joined by fellow South Asian artists, who are part of the show and perform music, comedy and dance. Tonight's lineup includes Neal Dandade, Nalini Sharma, Sri Panchalam, Richa Shukla and Anne Akhila Rubins Kang. It has all the fun and dysfunction of a real wedding minus — hopefully — the chicken dance. The Three Clubs, 1123 Vine St., Los Angeles; Thu., March 15, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 462-6441, —Siran Babayan


Joshua Bell Takes the Reins

Brash American violinist Joshua Bell returns to L.A. in high style as he leads an usually stellar band of backup musicians — the often-sublime British orchestra Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Bell has been music director of the venerable chamber-music ensemble since 2011, and he will simultaneously conduct and wring out the violin solos on Mozart's Violin Concert No. 4 and Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. But the violinist also will contrast those traditional classical opuses with an Overture for Violin & Orchestra by the eclectically inventive Tennessee composer-bassist Edgar Meyer, who created the piece specifically for Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and his longtime collaborator, Bell. The Soraya, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., March 15, 8 p.m.; $43-$85. (818) 677-8800, —Falling James


Sisters in the Sun

A Noise Within is presenting Lorraine Hansberry's classic, A Raisin in the Sun, through April 8. On Thursday, Mamie Hansberry, sister of the late playwright, will give a lecture before the show from 6 to 7 p.m. Come hear about growing up on the South Side of Chicago and the development of Hansberry as a writer and a civil rights symbol. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; Fridays-Sundays thru April 8, showtimes vary; $25. (626) 356-3100, —Richard Chang

LA Weekly