From a selection of events to mark International Women’s Day to a pow wow at Cal State Long Beach, a celebration of the humanities and a discussion of truth, here are the 14 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!
Reclaiming Her Time
The aspirations and creations of African-American artists have long been overlooked by the mainstream art establishment. It would be nice to say that society evolved beyond past such exclusionary practices decades ago, but some of the best work by people of color continues to be ignored today. Multimedia artist/photographer Carrie Mae Weems has brought issues of race, gender, class, family and politics into sharp focus throughout her prolific career, but her new performance piece, Past Tense, might be her most ambitious project yet. Using video imagery, text and music, a Greek chorus of vocalists serenades as Weems stands at a pulpit and re-examines the myth of Antigone via themes of social justice and identity. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri., March 8, 8 p.m.; $26-$66. (213) 623-3233, theatre.acehotel.com. —Falling James
Free Art Fills Pasadena
Held in the fall and spring, ArtNight Pasadena is the city's tradition of free art, music and other performances, which last time attracted more than 16,000 visitors. Twenty of the area's galleries, museums, libraries and cultural institutions take part and extend their hours, plus seven food trucks will donate 10 percent of proceeds to the nonprofit event. It's a lot of ground to cover, so you can walk, drive or take free shuttle rides to the venues, whether you want to hear jazz at the Jackie Robinson Community Center, watch taiko drumming at the Shumei Arts Council, get free books at Red Hen Press or admire special exhibits of Matisse and Picasso paintings at the Norton Simon Museum. Various locations; Fri., March 8, 6-10 p.m.; free. artnightpasadena.org. —Siran Babayan
Women of the World, Unite
March is Women's History Month, which includes International Women's Day today, a date celebrated since 1917, when women gained suffrage in Russia. It's been an important day here in the U.S. since 1975. Today, it's about recognizing the historical and cultural achievements of women, and taking action against gender inequality. You'll find a wealth of women-driven events all month, kicking off with some inspiring events today. The fifth installment of We Choose Art: A Feminist Perspective 5.0 — Movement & Motion, curated by Baha H. Danesh, features a "Feminist Portrait Gallery" and live performances that evoke female strength, collaboration and "dialogue of equality for all." Performers include Karine Fleurima, Less Bells and Miss Barbie-Q. The Montalban Mezz Gallery, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood; 7-11 p.m; $10 (includes a cocktail) before 9 p.m., $15 after. facebook.com/events/388526091721948. Part dance party, part march and part rally, the International Women's Strike Los Angeles is our city's answer to the global movement initiated in Poland and Argentina, addressing issues such as stopping wars on women, children, migrants and the planet. Speakers include Thandiwe Abdullah, the 15-year-old who helped to found the Black Lives Matter youth vanguard; Arlene Inouye, chair of the UTLA bargaining team; Judy Vaughn, founding member of Alexandria House; and Helen Jones, mother of John Horton, who was murdered by sheriff's deputies at Men's Central Jail in 2009. DJ Daisy O'Dell spins for the event. 300 N. Los Angeles St., downtown; 4-7 p.m.; free. parodemujeres.com/march-8th-womens-strike-marzo-8-paro-de-mujeres. Or join L.A. Weekly's Culture Editor (disclosure:That's me!) for the panel discussion Rebel Girls: Women in Media, Music and Art. Inspired by our cover story "Roaring & Soaring," which explored women's struggle for equality in the L.A. music and club scene, this discussion features Save Ferris' Monique Powell, DJs Ana Calderon and Daisy O'Dell, writer-gallerist Lisa Derrick and entrepreneur and YouTube personality Vanessa James Decker, and marks the closing of Burgundy Room Gallery's current exhibition, "Art of Female." 1621 Cahuenga Blvd. Hollywood. 9 p.m.-mid.; free. facebook.com/events/78206958215984.—Lina Lecaro
On Their Own
Kaleidoscope are an interesting ensemble who forgo having a conductor as they perform a mix of classical music and more experimental works. This evening's performance is a typically atypical program of such traditional pieces as W.A. Mozart's Quintet for Piano and Winds, K. 452, juxtaposed with stranger fare, such as contemporary composer Joan Tower's whirlwind of flutes and strings, Petroushkates, and Valerie Coleman's airily ebullient work for winds and horns, Umoja. The program also includes Cuban-American saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera's merry Aires Tropicales and the world premiere of Catalan composer Josep Maria Guix's Jardin Seco. Westerbeck Hall, Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., March 9, 7 p.m.; pay what you can. (213) 891-2104, kco.la. Also at First Presbyterian Church, 1220 Second St., Santa Monica; Sun., March 10, 2 p.m. (310) 451-1303. —Falling James
The oldest artistic and cultural traditions on this continent were initiated by the various Native American nations who thrived before the colonization/invasion by European settlers destroyed much of their way of life. Indian people are still treated as second-rate citizens in the Dakotas and other places, but the folks at Cal State Long Beach have been celebrating the unique and disparate American Indian cultures for nearly 50 years. All are welcome at the 49th annual Puvungna Pow Wow at CSULB, a free weekend event that includes dancers and musicians from the Diné, Tongva, Taos Pueblo and other tribes, as well as such delicacies as fry bread and Navajo tacos. Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., March 9, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., March 10, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (562) 985-4111, web.csulb.edu/divisions/students/sld/american_indian_services/pow_wow/. —Falling James
Artist-provocateur Christy Roberts Berkowitz has built her own figure-skating rink complete with torturous obstacles to address global warming; planted thousands of poppy seeds as a guerrilla gardener to bring attention to public spaces; and hosted feminist wrestling matches. Her latest project is "The Distance Between the Grooves in My Fingerprint," a solo exhibition in which she employs video, mixed media, text and installation. In the show, the artist-activist examines the ambiguities of her Russian-Jewish heritage while conflating themes that are both personal (her ambivalent relationship with her father) and universal (socialism, the patriarchy and gender). "I am 400 years of making art, but I am also 400 years of colonial violence," she says. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air; opening reception Sun., March 10, 3 p.m.; through Mon., July 1; free. (310) 440-1280, arts.aju.edu. —Falling James
Focus on Female Composers
In the classical-music world, ads for various performances often list just the last names of various composers to draw attention: Mozart, Stravinsky, Bartók, Schumann, etc. But composer-pianist Clara Schumann, whose work was overshadowed by husband Robert's career, was a major creative force in her own right, even if she's still left out of the classical boys' club these days. Violinist Tien Hsin Cindy Wu leads the Da Camera Players through works by such female composers as Louise Ferrenc and Amy Beach. Any chance to become wrapped up in the lyrically entrancing passages of Clara Schumann's Piano Trio should not be missed. Ebell Club of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd., L.A.; Sun., March 10, 4 p.m.; $60. (323) 931-1277, dacamera.org. —Falling James
A Different Perspective
Throughout the year, Slamdance Cinema Club brings films from the 2019 indie festival to the ArcLight Hollywood, saving you the trek to Sundance. Tonight it's documentary Behind the Bullet, which explores the impact of pulling the trigger on a few of those who participate in the 32,000-plus shootings each year in the United States. Laura Allison Wasser moderates the postscreening Q&A with director Heidi Yewman, which is likely to get heated. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., March 11, 8 p.m.; $12-$16. arclightcinemas.com/en/news/arclight-presents-slamdance-cinema-club-2019. —Lisa Horowitz
Yay for Humanity!
A nationwide coalition of arts and humanities advocates gathers today in Washington, D.C., for its annual conference and creative lobbying event. Around the country, satellite celebrations pop up with solidarity and regional programs. The Cal State L.A. Arts & Letters department hosts National Humanities Advocacy Day, a full schedule of all-campus events from futurist philosophy debates to printmaking, music and poetry, scavenger hunts, cosplay and art shows. Highlights include a special reading with Los Angeles poet laureate Robin Coste Lewis and a tour of the campus gallery's current exhibition "Lesbians to Watch Out for: '90s Queer L.A. Activism" — a history-rich trove of art, ephemera, documentary, performance and inspiration. Cal State L.A., 5151 State University Drive, El Sereno.; Tue., March 12, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; free. (323) 343-3000, calstatela.edu/academic/al/national-humanities-advocacy-day. —Shana Nys Dambrot
The American Dialect Society voted "fake news" the 2017 word of the year, defining it as "disinformation or falsehoods presented as real news" and "actual news that is claimed to be untrue." But the term existed long before Trump made it a part of his anti-press rhetoric. Zócalo Public Square's panel discussion Did Truth Ever Matter? looks at fake news throughout history and how it relates to even classic art. Moderated by L.A. Times writer Sandy Banks, guests include New York Times film critic A.O. Scott; Lee McIntyre, author of Post Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back; and Jennifer Kavanagh, co-author of Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life. Together they'll examine people's ability to distinguish between basic facts and raw data as well as personal bias and how it affects important issues, especially political discourse. The Getty, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Wed., March 13, 7:30 p.m.; free, resv. required. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu. —Siran Babayan
Art in a Quiet Place
An internet search of the term ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) reveals a lot of complex explanations for a neuro-physical combination of relaxation and skin-tingling, often referred to as a "brain orgasm." In the hands (literally) of Whisperlodge, ASMR is the foundation of an intimate one-on-one performance art experience that redefines immersive to include diving into your own consciousness. Eight guests at a time enter a 90-minute conceptual spa treatment involving blindfolds, low-key movements, touching of hair and skin and the turning off of cellphones, as personal guides use ordinary objects to stimulate an expanded multisensory field. This edition features daytime slots in addition to the recommended night gallery version, and has developed an ASL aspect, making the entire thing accessible to the hearing-impaired. Silver Lake location provided with ticket purchase; Wed.-Sun., March 13-17, multiple dates and times; $120-$150. whisperlodge.nyc. —Shana Nys Dambrot
After the minimalist staging of L.A. Opera's introspective psychological drama The Loser, the local company returns to lavish sets, elaborate costumes and a large cast with its fancy new production of W.A. Mozart's rarely performed opera The Clemency of Titus. Powerhouse tenor Russell Thomas, who has been such a charismatic force in previous performances with L.A. Opera and L.A. Phil, portrays the titular emperor who struggles through a variety of Machiavellian machinations while Rome burns. Chinese soprano Guanqun Yu makes a welcome return to the company with her sterling tone. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed., March 13, 7:30 p.m.; through Sun., March 24, 2 p.m.; $16-$249. (213) 972-0777, laopera.org. —Falling James
Flash of a Neon Light
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Enter the elaborate and ornate architecture space of the Fine Arts Building lobby downtown, and it feels more like a Victorian church or maybe Hogwarts than a place of business. A designated historic landmark, its carved stone, warm wood and brass, marble floors, charming balustrades and especially the Gothic glass vitrines that line the lobby walls are worth seeing on their own merits. It is an unexpected and always engaging proposition, then, when the Art Meets Architecture program places contemporary art in the cases. This month it's even more eccentric, as it shows the work of neon artists Linda Sue Price and Michael Flechtner. Both Price's largely abstract and gestural works and Flechtner's more pop art– and pun-centric works sending up signs, symbols and quirks of language inhabit the space with pizzazz, making it a priority stop on tonight's Downtown Art Walk, or anytime you're in the neighborhood this month. Fine Arts Building, 811 W. Seventh St., downtown; Downtown Art Walk reception Thu., March 14, 6-8 p.m.; daily through Sun., April 7, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; free. artmeetsarchitecture.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
The Next Will Ferrell?
Will Ferrell has played a lot of memorable roles but when it comes to comedy classics, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy reigns supreme. The 2004 parody skewering 1970s TV news and culture has become one of the most meme- and gif-friendly films ever. The writing is brilliant but it's Ferrell's delivery that makes it work. Or is it? This will be put to the test in Anchorman: The Unauthorized Musical Adaptation of the Legend of Ron Burgundy, which aims to capture the retro-wacky spirit of the film. Anchorman tells the story of boastful but lovable buffoon Burgundy, San Diego's top-rated TV news personality — until an ambitious female reporter is hired as his new co-anchor. Starring Trent Mills and Shanera Richardson, this one promises to make you feel like you're in a veritable "glass case of emotions!" El Cid, 4212 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Thu., March 14, 7 p.m.; $20; 21+. eventbrite.com/e/anchorman-the-unauthorized-musical-tickets-56721345070. —Lina Lecaro