This un-Christmas week’s arts calendar offers multiple contemporary L.A.-centric updates to classic literary and stage productions, some video art, a studio visit “to” the desert, a bit of live poetry, and a bunch of crazy-looking rocks. Happy holiday of your choice, or all or none of them — just please stay safe, friends.
Thursday, December 24
Cinema Orange: Sisters with Transistors at OCMA. The remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers — composers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to utterly transform how we produce and listen to music today. Streaming Thursday, December 24, noon – Sunday, December 27, midnight; free; ocma.art.
Friday, December 25
La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin at Latino Theater Company. Archival video of its signature holiday pageant, which until this year, has been produced annually at Downtown’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Since 2002, tens of thousands have watched the story of Juan Diego, a simple peasant to whom the Virgin Mary appeared on four occasions in the mountains of Tepeyac near Mexico City in 1531. Adapted for the stage by Evelina Fernández from the mid-16th century text The Nican Mopohua and performed in Spanish with English subtitles. Streaming free through December 31; thelatc.org/lavirgen.
Saturday, December 26
Viewing Stones at The Huntington. The California Aiseki Kai presents its 31st annual show virtually this year, featuring outstanding examples of suiseki and other viewing stones. Practiced in Asia for centuries and gaining popularity around the world, the art of viewing stones invites contemplation of the subtle, often fanciful forms that have been shaped by nature, the elements, and time. Saturday, December 26, 12am-11:45pm; free; huntington.org.
Tuesday, December 29
Pandemic Poetry & Open Mic feat. Mike the PoeT at Long Beach Public Library. Live poetry readings by local area poets, featuring beloved LA historian Mike Sonksen (aka Mike the PoeT), who will present a dynamic performance of his own poetry, as well as host an end-of-the-year “open mic” night with some special guests and anyone interested in sharing and celebrating the Spoken Word as we look forward to the New Year. Tuesday, December 29, 4-5:30pm; free; eventbrite.com/pandemicpoetry.
Virtual Studio Visit with Phillip K. Smith III at Palm Springs Art Museum. Join artist PKS3 and Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programs, Rochelle Steiner for a virtual visit to Smith’s Palm Desert studio and a discussion of his artistic practice. Perhaps best known for his installations that draw upon ideas of space, color, form, light, and shadow, Smith’s practice explores the intersection of art and architecture in relation to shifting perspectives of spatial experience, site specificity, and ecology. Tuesday, December 29, 5pm; $12; psmuseum.org.
The Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro at the Getty/Center Theatre Group. MacArthur Fellow Luis Alfaro’s Chicanx adaptations of Electricidad, Oedipus El Rey, and Mojada: A Medea In Los Angeles presented in readings filmed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre over three Saturdays during the pandemic. Alfaro’s award-winning trilogy of plays transplant themes of the ancient Greek tragedies of Electra, Oedipus the King, and Medea into the 21st-century streets of Los Angeles, giving voice to the concerns of the Chicanx and wider Latinx communities. Now streaming free online; centertheatregroup.org & youtube.com/getty.
Sean Meredith’s Dante’s Inferno at MoMA. Set in contemporary Los Angeles, this satiric update of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem is performed with hand-drawn paper puppets on a toy theater stage. Originally adapted and drawn by artist Sandow Birk as a book and gallery exhibition, the film has the quality of a graphic novel, following the journey of Dante and Virgil (Dermot Mulroney and James Cromwell) through an underworld of urban blight, crime, and political corruption. Streaming now through January 5 at noon; free to MoMA members; moma.org.