arts calendar los angelesThis week, everyone is in the picture, with photography exhibitions including a Black History Month group show, a thoughtful snapshot of L.A. in pictures, and a portrait of a great love and the end of a great mind. For theater, a look at the intertwined lives of brilliant, frenemy sisters; a revival of a Steven Martin-penned quantum comedy; and improvisational code-switch comedy. Also in town, documentary film of self-discovery, mixed media immersive sculptural installation for the planet, an outdoor art show in the park, classic compositions and dance, and more.

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Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side at REDCAT (Photo by Rafael Hernandez)

Thursday, February 23

Adrienne Kennedy and Monty Cole: Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side at REDCAT. Kennedy captures the Black experience in America in the 20th century with a trademark embrace of symbolism, lyricism, and mythic figures. In this world premiere production, Etta and Ella Harrison are talented academics on the Upper West Side—as well as sisters and rivals. Director Monty Cole employs a cinematic approach to this intricate blend of monologue, dialogue, voiceover, and prose in a work that is part experimental play, part narrative thriller. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown: Thursday-Saturday, February 23-25; Saturday’s performance will be live-streamed; $25;

Our Truths, Be Told at LACP

Our Truths, Be Told at LA Center of Photography. In honor of Black History Month, LACP hosts a pop-up exhibition curated by LA-based Director/Photographer Kawai Matthews. Each artist shares a narrative they want the world to know, as photographers, collage artists, filmmakers, projection and mixed media artists, and more, stitch together a spectrum of visual stories. Through this exhibition, we get up close and personal with the power of co-existing truths, perspectives, and interpretations. No story is the same, and yet, we find connection through the artists’ stories. Sovern, 5757 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Opening reception: Thursday, February 23, 7-10pm; free;

The Ruskin Group Theatre

Friday, February 24

Picasso at the Lapin Agile at The Ruskin Group Theatre Co. Steve Martin’s long-running Off-Broadway absurdist comedy places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, just before the scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism. As a writer, the iconic comedian plays fast and loose with fact, fame, and fortune as these two geniuses muse on the century’s achievements and prospects, as well as other fanciful topics. The final surprise patron to join the merriment is a charismatic dark-haired singer, time-warped in from a later era… 3000 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; Performances February 24 – April 2; $20-$35;

Goethe-Institut Los Angeles

Becoming Black at Goethe-Institut. A screening of the autobiographical film Becoming Black followed by a discussion with filmmaker and Villa Aurora Fellow Ines Johnson-Spain, Thomas Mann Fellow Alice Hasters, and Associate for the Global Media Makers Program at Film Independent Nora Bernard. A white couple in Germany of the 1960s explains to their Black daughter that her skin color is pure coincidence and has no meaning. This is also what the girl likes to believe until, by chance, she discovers the truth at the age of 12. The child is filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain. Long after meeting her biological father’s family in Togo, she now, in the role of protagonist and author, reconstructs her family history. 1901 W. 7th St., Westlake; Friday, February 24, 7pm; free;

Mulyana: Ocean Wonderland, 2020. Yarn, Dacron, cable wire, plastic net, metal rod, felt fabric (Photo by STUDIO MOGUS)

Saturday, February 25

Mulyana: Modular Utopia at the USC Fisher Museum of Art. The Indonesian artist’s first solo museum exhibition in LA features their large kinetic environments composed of intricately constructed, knit modules of marine life sculptures that vividly portray an unadulterated underwater world. Mulyana’s diverse art practice centers on the themes of sustainability and human flourishing. His studio is based in the town of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, he collaborated with a community of transgender women to execute these monumental soft-knit and crocheted sculptures—testaments to human endurance and imagination. 823 Exposition Blvd., downtown; On view February 25 – April 13; free;

Janna Ireland at CMay Gallery

LA Photoscape at CMay Gallery. A group exhibition that explores the notion of landscape in LA, through the work of six LA-based photographers, curated by Carl Berg. LA, one of the most photographed and filmed cities, has caught the interest of many artists, photographers and filmmakers for over 100 years—and at this point is probably best known through their interpretations rather than its reality. A widespread metropolis, it does not reveal itself quickly and it can often take years before one really understands it, if ever. 5828 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Opening reception: Saturday, February 25, 4-7pm; On view through April 1; free;

Safi Alia Shabaik at Open Mind Art Space

Safi Alia Shabaik: Personality Crash at Open Mind Art Space. Join artist and caregiver Safi Alia Shabaik as she shares her father’s end-of-life journey with Parkinson’s. The exhibition, which features images from the last year of Safi’s father’s life, is on view through March 4th, but this weekend, the gallery hosts an afternoon of special programming titled “The Intersection of Art and Science in PD,” a presentation by Safi and moderated conversations on topics including Parkinson’s and creativity, family caregiving, patient advocacy, end-of-life care, and dying with dignity. The program will also be live-streamed, and followed at the gallery by an in-person reception with Shabaik. The exhibition runs through March 4. 11631 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; Saturday, February 25, 1pm program live and virtual, 4-7:30pm gallery reception; free w/ rsvp;

Deborah Aschheim at Collective Memory Installation

Illuminate LA: Collective Memory Installation at Grand Park (Outdoor). A digital exhibition of artworks reflecting on the collective history of Los Angeles, presented by the County Department of Arts and Culture in partnership with Grand Park and The Music Center. The installation features artworks by 100 local artists working in a wide array of artistic mediums to share diverse community experiences and perspectives, highlight underrepresented histories, and celebrate the dynamic culture of the region. The works are presented by theme (Our Cities, Roots, Earthly Spirits, Kinship, and Ofrenda), changing each week, all curated by cultural organizer Anuradha Vikram. 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; On view February 25 – March 18; free;


Sunday, February 26

MILATIDO: Nuestro Árbol at ICA LA. The continuation of Nuestro Árbol (Our Tree)—a year-long cultural project examining our roots and our evolutionary growth into active, creative individuals in the world. Organized and led by artist Mercedes Gertz in collaboration with the youth community organization MILATIDO, visitors participate in grounding exercises, enjoy a meal, and contribute to the creation of Nuestro Árbol (Our Tree) with photographs, drawings, and other ephemera. All ages are encouraged to participate. Nuestro Árbol began on December 11, 2022 at ICA LA’s annual Posada Family Festival and will culminate at the Posada in December 2023. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown; Sunday, February 26, noon-3pm; free;

Guillermo del Toro (Photo by

Directing Frame by Frame: Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson at The Wallis. An evening exploring the fascinating world of stop-motion animation with key members of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. Learn how each frame was handcrafted from the ground up by the talented artists who created the puppets and brought them to life frame by frame. Hear from del Toro, director Mark Gustafson, director of character fabrication Georgina Hayns, and animation supervisor Brian Leif Hansen about their experience directing “in four hands,” to create this stunning contemporary rendition of a classic favorite. Immediately after the show, stay for a reception to celebrate animation. 9390 N. Santa Monica, Beverly Hills; Sunday, February 26, 5pm; $35;

Monday, February 27

The Black Version at the Groundlings. Even in this presumably enlightened modern era, people of color are often portrayed with lazy stereotypes, if at all, and despite progress, remain seriously underrepresented. But the brilliant minds behind The Black Version have a plan to redeem the silver screen with their riotously absurd—and culturally insightful—parodies. The concept is simple: “The audience suggests the title of a popular film, and a cast of all-Black comedy actors improvise the Black version of it.” Spoiler alert: it’s almost always a marked improvement. 7307 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Monday, February 27, 8pm; $20;

Agnes Pelton, Winter, 1933, on view at LACMA (Courtesy of the Crocker Art Museum)

Tuesday, February 28

Another World curator walk through at LACMA. In 1938 in New Mexico, a loose configuration of artists came together to form the Transcendental Painting Group. The group explored spiritually heightened abstraction by employing free-wheeling symbols and imagery drawn from the collective unconscious. According to their manifesto they strove “to carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new concepts of space, color, light and design to imaginative realms that are idealistic and spiritual.” Curator Michael Duncan leads an in-gallery discussion with contemporary creative thinkers and artists in response to works on view in Another World: The Transcendental Painting Group, 1938–1945. He will be joined by artists Eric Beltz and Sharon Ellis and artist and art historian Michael Carter. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Tuesday, February 28, 7pm; free/ regular admission, $10;

The Colburn School

Wednesday, March 1

Discovering Debussy: Music and Dance at the Colburn School. An exploration of beloved composer Claude Debussy’s rich and imaginative works, including Syrinx for solo flute and Six épigraphes antiques for piano duo, with dancers from Colburn’s Trudl Zipper Dance Institute performing choreography by Jerome Robbins. Maestro James Conlon, LA Opera Music Director and curator of the Discovering Debussy series, will provide musical and historical context throughout the performance. Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Wednesday, March 1, 7pm; from $30;

Jim McHugh at CMay Gallery

Ellen Friedlander at CMay Gallery









































































































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