From a bountiful Easter brunch and a 4/20 "high" tea to the return of Esa-Pekka Salonen and Dr. Ruth herself, here are the 14 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!
Stravinsky by Salonen
Former L.A. Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen has been a major impetus behind the orchestra transforming into a dynamic and daring force that champions contemporary and avant-garde music. In recent weeks, the conductor laureate has plunged deeply into the works of Igor Stravinsky, and this weekend he leads L.A. Phil through two of the Russian composer's myth-themed ballets, Orpheus and Perséphone. Orpheus was written for choreographer George Balanchine in 1947 during Stravinsky's extensive sojourn in Los Angeles. The 1933 work Perséphone is revived in an ambitious staging from director Peter Sellars that features tenor Paul Groves, narrator Cécilia Tsan, both the L.A. Master Chorale and the L.A. Children's Chorus, and Cambodian dance troupe Amrita Performing Arts. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., April 19, 11 a.m.; Sat., April 20, 8 p.m.; $20-$194. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James
You Say You Want a Revolution
Presented in Spanish with English supertitles, the Latino Theatre Company's Revolutions/Revoluciones promises a colorful "theatrical fever dream," as it chronicles the story of a mother trying to find her son in a Latin American country overtaken by totalitarianism. The country isn't identified in the production, but for the purposes of the story it's probably not necessary. According to the promo, this show sets out to present a kaleidoscopic experience as writer Elaine Romero's narrative unfolds. Meshing magical imagery, choreography by Olga Sokolova and emotional performances (cast includes Corina Vela, Hasiff Fadul and Javier Balderas) with social commentary, the production was co-produced by Mexico's Foro Shakespeare, an independent nonprofit working to develop projects for social impact via the performing arts. Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m., thru May 18; Sun., April 28-May 19, 4 p.m.; $20-$38. (866) 811-4111, thelatc.org. —Lina Lecaro
We deal with stereotypes every day, but the Huntington's Stereotypes and Stereotyping in the Early Modern World looks as the origins of racial, religious and gender misconceptions as they relate to early British and American history, from the Elizabethan period to colonial America. Where did these negative attitudes come from? How did society deal with them? And how were they interpreted in literature, theater and art? The two-day conference, which includes coffee, a buffet lunch and opening and closing remarks, features more than a dozen university scholars discussing their research on such topics as Puritans and Catholics in the Elizabethan era; the role of housewives in pre-industrial England; and leprosy and African slaves. Huntington Library, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino; Fri.-Sat., April 19-20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $25. (626) 405-2100, huntington.org. —Siran Babayan
MFA's Got Talent
CalArts student Naama Attias has been documenting the children's beauty pageant scene in Texas, and Edgar Arceneaux has been thinking a lot about Milli Vanilli lately. Other members of the extended CalArts MFA family are more obsessed with amateur magic, homegrown musical theater, stand-up comedy, garage bands and reality shows. These and other manifestations of kitsch-tastic, mortifying wonderment await on the REDCAT stage as Talent Show brings together the students, alums and professors of the art school for a variety show of "awkward virtuosity" and flashes of brilliance, curated by Ariel Osterweis and Sharon Lockhart. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Fri., April 19, 8:30 p.m.; $12. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org/event/sharon-lockhart-and-ariel-osterweis-talent-show. —Shana Nys Dambrot
At exactly 4:20 p.m. on 4/20, enjoy an afternoon of cannabis-infused, low-dose edibles and British afternoon tea treats to celebrate the first anniversary of legal 4/20. It will be a Crumpet High Tea with Stephanie Hua and Coreen Carroll, authors of Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen. Their cookbook of 30 recipes is designed to teach all skill levels to make low-dose bites, such as Spiced Superfood Truffles and Strawberry Jam Pavlovas. There are also instructions on how to create your own magical butter and oils. The event is being put on by Crumpet L.A., a British events company that "brings a slice of cool Britannia to America." Downtown location disclosed with ticket purchase; Sat., April 20, 4:20-7:20 p.m.; $80. crumpetla.com/new-events. —Michele Stueven
Life is but a dream, and in the group art exhibition "The Reality of Illusions" four artists create their own worlds by turning boring old reality into a fanciful and fantastic place infused with magical realism. Orange County artist Tiffany Liu's colorful paintings are populated by cute children, fluffy kittens and adorable goldfish who cavort with similarly cute cartoon creatures in enchanting forests under sentient mountains. Kittens turn into mermaids, unicorns sprout into flowery trees, and even hints of the cruel world (fires, bombs, ghosts and storm clouds) are rendered with loving whimsy. Combining cartoon imagery with sculpture, local artist Sergio Jauregui rebuilds Los Angeles in miniature with a fine eye for detail that captures the essence of this city. The show also includes Albert Reyes and the playful fairy-tale inventions of Jen Tong. Giant Robot 2, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Sawtelle; opening reception Sat., April 20, 6:30-10 p.m.; through Wed., May 8; free. (310) 478-1819, facebook.com/events/2667370369946912/. —Falling James
Listen to This
Advances in technology are generally perceived as improvements that replace outdated forms of doing things, but Damon Krukowski wonders about all the things that are lost along the way, in his new book Ways of Hearing. "It's more than nostalgia that makes me remember the analog studio as different than what we know today," the writer and musician (Galaxie 500) muses. "Because the digital era has not just altered our tools for working with sound. ... It is changing our relationship to time itself." Considering such disparate things as urban living, space, pop music, the weather, texting and radio, Krukowski uses his own experiences as a musician as a launching pad to examine how our reliance on digital technology has changed society in numerous subtle ways. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Sat., April 20, 4 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Falling James
Lordy, There Are Tapes
Larry Bell, James Turrell, Robert Irwin and Craig Kauffman are among the pillars of American and especially Californian art history as pioneering practitioners of the Light and Space movement. Part and parcel of an expanded field of inquiry into the mechanics of sight, natural light and the NASA-inspired materials of the "future," these men and their compatriots took contemporary art to other dimensions, literally. Art historian Alan Solomon interviewed these four in 1969, at the height of the era, but sadly died and the sessions were never published — until now. Join Matthew Simms, editor of The Los Angeles Tapes, in conversation with gallery artist Larry Bell at Hauser & Wirth for some on-the-record insight and, if we're lucky, some extracurriculars from what was surely a mind-blowing time. Hauser & Wirth, 901 E. Third St., downtown; Sat., April 20, 2-4 p.m.; free. (213) 943-1620, hauserwirth.com/events/24039-conversation-book-launch-larry-bell-los-angeles-tapes. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Unlike so many musicians who metaphorically claim that they can sculpt sound, Lenka Morávková actually creates music from a glass sculpture known as the Bohemian cristal instrument. Manipulating the instrument, the Czech musician creates eerie, atmospheric sounds that are alternately soothing, mysterious, hypnotic and otherworldly. In this Atlas Obscura presentation, Morávková not only performs her ambient music but also will take questions about the relatively short history of this 20th-century invention and demonstrate the properties of an instrument that sounds like equal parts the result of technology and magic. Hotel Figueroa, Tangier Room, 939 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Sun., April 21, 7 p.m.; $20 & $50. (213) 627-8971, facebook.com/events/2218247808489216. —Falling James
Hop on over to the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica for Easter brunch in the courtyard, which a buffet that includes custom omelets, rib-eye steaks, cold seafood station, salmon Wellington, waffles and cotton candy. There also will be a selection of salads, fruits and yogurt parfaits and a decadent dessert display. There's live entertainment all day, and the Easter Bunny himself will supervise the egg hunt at 1:30 p.m. (for kids 12 and under); he'll also be available for photos. Hotel Shangri-La, 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., April 21, noon-3 p.m.; buffet (including a glass of Champagne) $80, kids 12 and under $40. (310) 394-2791, bit.ly/easter_shangrila. —Michele Stueven
Listening to diminutive, 90-year-old Dr. Ruth talk about the G-spot and erectile dysfunction still feels like listening to your nana or bubbe. But after more than 30 years, the '80s icon is still teaching us how to stay woke and non-shaming about our bodies and sexuality. Director Ryan White's documentary Ask Dr. Ruth, which premieres May 10 on Hulu, goes behind the famous German accent and her success as a world-renowned sex therapist. Born in Frankfurt to Orthodox Jewish parents who perished in the Holocaust, Ruth Westheimer survived WWII thanks to the Kindertransport. She was raised in a Swiss orphanage and later trained in the Israeli military as a sniper. In New York, she worked at Planned Parenthood and as a professor before becoming a star radio and TV host in the '80s and '90s at the height of the AIDS epidemic, making listeners blush and feel better about themselves with frank advice about their sex lives. The Hammer Museum screens the movie, followed by a discussion with Dr. Ruth, White and Liz Goldwyn, author, filmmaker and host of the podcast The Sex Ed. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Mon., April 22, 7:30 p.m.; free, reservations required. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Siran Babayan
On the evening before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, the UCLA VEM Ensemble celebrates the music of Armenian composers Komitas Vardapet, Alan Hovhaness, Edward Mirzoian and the legendary Aram Khachaturian with a free concert. Memory is important these days. While it might seem strange that such a tragic event as the Ottoman government's attempt to erase Armenian culture and systematically murder its Armenian citizens in the early 20th century would ever be forgotten, the current Turkish government refuses to even acknowledge that the genocide took place, and U.S. politicians have generally been too cowed by Turkey to make even a symbolic resolution in support of Armenians. Sometimes, music — and survival — is the best revenge, as the UCLA VEM Ensemble invokes the stirring power of these engrossing composers. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., April 23, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Falling James
Literature is full of examples of conjured spirits whose protective instincts go awry, magic being an unpredictable art that all but guarantees unforeseen consequences. In the case of artist Joshua Abarbanel, his monumental work Golem visits this phenomenon through the lens of Jewish culture, exploring the poignant metaphor of a dangerous spirit nevertheless invoked by European Jews during the Holocaust as a symbol of protection, a dark knight equipped to fight evil. In 2015 the Jewish Museum in Berlin commissioned Golem and Abarbanel created a humanoid figure made from thousands of wooden Hebrew letters in a complex process referencing the language-based rituals that bring such creatures to life. Tonight, on the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the artist shows a scale model of the work and speaks about the work, his process and the experience of exhibiting the golem in Berlin. William H. Hannon Library, 3rd floor, Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive; Tue., April 23, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 338-2700, bellarmine.lmu.edu/jewishstudies/events/annualholocaustremembranceday. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Practicalities for Artists
Inspiring art is one thing but actually facilitating it is what can change the world. As part of Our L.A. Voices — Pop-up Arts+Culture Fest, Grand Park is doing both by offering free workshops that transcend the esoteric aspects of art and get pragmatic — real, if you will — in terms of actually being an artist as a career. Today's workshop, "Artists Thriving Into Retirement: Visioning and Tools to Get You on Track," is presented by Jennifer Cuevas and Angie Sharma, and guides participants into strategic planning for retirement, as well as learning tools to help with spending and saving behavior, lowering debt and creating new revenue opportunities, all tailored to the artist and independent contractor lifestyle. Other workshop topics include "Intellectual Property and Copyright Protection" (April 23) and "Branding and Marketing for Artists" (April 25). L.A. Law Library, 301 W. First St., downtown (validated parking for workshop attendees at Parking Lot 10, 145 N. Broadway, enter from Broadway or Hill Street); Tue.-Thu., April 23-25, noon; free with registration. bit.ly/GrandParkOLAVworkshops-biz. —Lina Lecaro
Poetry Is Fundamental
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Since its founding in 2006, Get Lit has stratospherically demonstrated the power of poetry to spark joy, boldness, creativity, confidence and, above all, literacy in students across the region. Through a classroom curriculum and network of mentors, students are empowered to write and perform their own poems, and this weekend's return of the annual Classic Slam is their chance to rock the stage and your chance to witness — and support — the excellence. Over three days, students from 50 schools compete for the title, with all-day quarter- and semi-finals Thursday and Friday at LATC and the finals at the Ace Hotel on Saturday night. Los Angeles Theater Company, 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Thu.-Fri., April 25-26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., April 27, 7-10 p.m., $20-$40. getlit.org/programs/classic-slam. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Man or Machine?
Machines do so many dirty jobs that human beings don't want to even think about, much less carry out themselves. Machines are still used for the executions of prisoners, and the ongoing moral dilemma of relying on inconsistent technology to take care of a judicial problem was anticipated 100 hundred years ago by Franz Kafka in his short story "In the Penal Colony." Long Beach Opera revives composer Philip Glass and librettist Rudolph Wurlitzer's darkly lulling and contemplative 2000 operatic adaptation, in which a visitor (tenor Doug Jones) to an island prison encounters an officer (Zeffin Quinn Hollis) who is so enamored by a machine used for executions that he overlooks his own humanity. CSULB Studio Theater, 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach; Thu., April 25, 7:30 p.m.; through Sun., May 5, 2:30 p.m.; $49-$150. (562) 985-5526, longbeachopera.org. —Falling James