The arrival of fall means welcoming a new season of cultural activities to Southern California.
In addition to the many exhibitions of PST: L.A./L.A, this season’s highlights include various touring Broadway musicals, a conversation with best-selling author Salman Rushdie and a whole lot of Bernstein.
Below, Los Angeles Times critics and writers guide you through the season in art, books, dance, theater, music and more. For more in depth coverage, explore our complete fall arts preview.
The exhibitions of Pacific Standard Time: L.A./L.A. are dominating the season. Here’s a quick rundown on of highlights, including some non-PST shows.
Sept. 10-Dec. 31
‘Martín Ramírez: His Life in Pictures, Another Interpretation’
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles — formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art — inaugurates its downtown L.A. home with the extraordinary drawings of self-taught artist Martín Ramírez (1895-1963). A Mexican immigrant institutionalized for schizophrenia — perhaps falsely — at DeWitt State Hospital in Northern California, Ramirez made powerful linear drawings on big sheets of examining-table paper. ICA L.A., 1717 E. 7th St., L.A. (310) 284-8100. www.theicala.org
Sept. 15-Dec. 31
‘Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985’
The Hammer Museum has an excellent track record in advancing scholarship related to art made by women. This sprawling show will look at more than 100 Latin American women and U.S. Latinas working in 15 countries during a period of profound social upheaval and artistic transformation. Hammer, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. (310) 443-7000. www.hammer.ucla.edu
Sept. 16-Jan. 28
‘Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas’
Gold, silver, jade, turquoise, shell and feathers — luxury materials were essential to displays of social status, political power and sometimes even religious beliefs in pre-Columbian cultures. The exhibition features 300 objects from recent archaeological excavations in Peru, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico. The Getty Center, North Sepulveda Boulevard and Getty Center Drive, L.A. (310) 440-7300. www.getty.edu
Oct. 10 – Jan. 14
‘Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice’
A small but exceedingly rare exhibition of 13 paintings and one drawing by Giovanni Bellini should be a standout in the fall season. The Bellini family — father Jacopo, brother Gentile, brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna — was, in many respects, the launchpad for the Venetian Renaissance. And Giovanni was the best. The Getty Center, North Sepulveda Boulevard and Getty Center Drive, L.A. (310) 440-7300. www.getty.edu
Nov. 19-March 18
‘Painted in Mexico, 1700-1790: Pinxit Mexici’
The century leading up to the 1810 War of Independence was among the most tumultuous in Mexico, and the art that was produced reflects the lavish complexities. More than 100 works, including many previously unpublished, form the first full survey of 18th century painting in Mexico to be seen in an American museum. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. (323) 857-6010. www.lacma.org
Nov. 19-April 15
Three in 10 Americans have at least one tattoo, and the popularity is highest in urban and rural (rather than suburban) areas, according to a Harris Poll conducted in late 2015. This traveling show, organized by Paris’ Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, will look at the global past and present of artistically inking skin. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., L.A. (213) 763-DINO. www.nhm.org
Architecture exhibitions this fall promise to visit familiar subjects from new perspectives, bouncing from the California desert to Mexico City to Rio de Janeiro in the process. A sampling of what’s on view in the season ahead:
Sept. 9-Jan. 7
‘Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi: A Search for Living Architecture’
This Palm Springs Art Museum exhibition centers on two Modernists who never actually met. Frey (1903–98) may be well known here for his desert architecture, but Bo Bardi (1914–92) will be a revelation to many. An Italian-born architect who moved to Brazil in 1946, Bo Bardi proves to be something of a Sâo Paulo counterpart to Southern Californian Frey, turning out buildings that connect people to their surrounding natural world. Presented as part of the Getty-led Pacific Standard Time: L.A./L.A. at the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center, 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive. (760) 423-5260, www.psmuseum.org.
Sept. 10-Jan. 28
‘Condemned to Be Modern’
With Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House as a backdrop, this exhibition on “the role of government and public policy on the built environment” unfolds appropriately enough in the city of Los Angeles’ art gallery. Guest curator Clara Kim from the Tate Modern in London assembles work by more than 20 contemporary artists from Latin America who use photography, film and other media to comment on issues such as preservation and development. Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. (323) 644-6269, www.lamag.org
Sept. 16-Jan. 7
‘The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830-1930’
Flying under the radar, eclipsed by some splashier Pacific Standard Time exhibitions, is this Getty Research Institute show on the evolving architecture of six industrializing cities: Mexico City; Havana; Rio de Janeiro; Buenos Aires; Lima, Peru; and Santiago, Chile. Getty Center, North Sepulveda Boulevard and Getty Center Drive, L.A. (310) 440-7300, www.getty.edu.
Sept. 17-April 1
‘Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915-1985’
What’s billed as the first show on “the full range of design and architecture dialogues between California and Mexico” will encompass furniture, clothing, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design and more. Among the parallels that this Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition will explore: the visual language between the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 and the L.A. Games of 1984. The show also promises to show how local materials and traditions have shaped broader distinctions in design sensibilities between north and south. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. (323) 857-6010, www.lacma.org.
The late Bay Area landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, whose work includes the master plan for the Sonoma County community the Sea Ranch, is at the center of several events this fall — a continuation of his centennial celebration last year. The Cultural Landscape Foundation and the A+D Architecture and Design Museum are presenting a symposium Nov. 4 that will emphasize Halprin’s legacy in downtown L.A.; the museum will present the foundation’s traveling photography exhibition of Halprin’s work this fall; and the Edward Cella Art & Architecture gallery will have little-seen Halprin drawings on view Sept. 9-Oct. 28. Los Angeles Conservancy walking tours and a Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre performance also are scheduled. A+D, 900 E. 4th St., L.A., (213) 346-9734, www.aplusd.org. Edward Cella, 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., (323) 525-0053, www.edwardcella.com. Cultural Landscape Foundation, tclf.org. More information on all events: www.halprinla.com
For those looking for a bit of Broadway beyond “Hamilton,” here’s a rundown of touring musicals and plays arriving on area stages.
‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’
Just wrapping up a run at the Ahmanson, Simon Stephens’ Tony-winning tale about the struggles and triumphs of a misunderstood British teen sets up shop in Orange County. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. www.scfta.org
Sept. 15-Oct. 1
‘The Red Shoes’
A woman literally can’t stop dancing in the U.S. premiere of Matthew Bourne’s stage adaptation of the fantastical 1948 Powell and Pressburger film based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-4400. www.centertheatregroup.org
Oct. 11-Nov. 19
A literary editor in post-World War II North Carolina looks back on her youth in this bluegrass-tinged musical from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-4400. www.centertheatregroup.org
Nov. 5-Dec. 31
‘Spamilton: An American Parody’
The West Coast premiere of this “Hamilton” spoof from the creator of the long-running “Forbidden Broadway.” Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (213) 628-2772. www.CenterTheatreGroup.org
Nov. 7-19 and Nov. 21-Dec. 31
Two brothers in Shakespeare’s time set about inventing the modern musical. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. www.scfta.org. Also, Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-4400. www.centertheatregroup.org
‘Motown the Musical’
A celebration of the Detroit record label that spawned such stars as Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross and the Supremes. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. www.scfta.org
Jan. 10-March 31
Stage adaptation of the hit 1992 animated film about a wily street urchin, a beautiful princess and an irrepressible genie. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (800) 982-2787. www.HollywoodPantages.com
Tony-winning bio-musical about the 1960s chart-toppers Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. www.scfta.org
A drag queen helps the owner of a failing shoe factory turn his business around in this Tony-winning musical with songs by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. www.scfta.org
Feb. 7-March 18
‘Crazy for You’
Romantic musical comedy set in 1930s New York featuring a book by Ken Ludwig and classic songs by George and Ira Gershwin. Directed and choreographed by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-4400. www.centertheatregroup.org
‘The King & I’
An 18th century British woman takes a job as governess for the children of the king of Siam in this Rodgers & Hammerstein favorite. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. www.scfta.org
On any given night in Los Angeles, there are myriad book events to chose from; here are autumn’s top-billed literary events.
Salman Rushdie is no stranger to controversy, and his latest novel, “The Golden Hour,” is a contemporary epic that takes on American politics and culture. Set in New York after Obama’s inauguration, it tells the story of a mysterious billionaire and his eccentric family, as well as a “comic-book villain” who makes “a crass presidential run.” Rushdie, whose last novel “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights” was funny, fantastical and profane, is best known for “The Satanic Verses,” which prompted death threats and forced him into hiding for years. Rushdie will sign “The Golden House” at Vroman’s on Sept. 16 and on the following night appear at the L.A. Times Ideas Exchange to talk about his book.
Art Garfunkel is best known as one half of one of the most beloved musical duos of the past century and in his September memoir “What Is It All But Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man,” Art Garfunkel “writes about his life before, during, and after Simon & Garfunkel.” Many musicians of his generation have recently penned autobiographies, but Garfunkel is particularly bookish — he keeps a list of every book he’s read since 1968 on his website — and his memoir includes his poems, as well as stories about his time in Hollywood, acting in “Carnal Knowledge” and “Catch-22.” The evening event is outdoors at Grand Performances, presented with Scripps College, which brings its programming to downtown L.A.
In Jennifer Egan’s hotly anticipated new novel, “Manhattan Beach,” a young girl comes of age during the Second World War; when her father vanishes, she becomes the first female diver at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. A “noir thriller” that probes into the story behind the father’s disappearance, “Manhattan Beach” is also Egan’s first foray into historical fiction. Her last book, the innovatively structured “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and the L.A. Times book prize. Egan will be in conversation with author Marisa Silver at ALOUD.
ALOUD, Mark Taper Auditorium-Central Library, 630 W 5th St., Los Angeles. (213) 292-6254
Bruce Campbell, the B-movie king, is the beloved cult character actor with an unforgettable face and more than 100 IMDb credits, including director Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” and the “Spider-Man” films. Campbell has a new memoir, “Hail to the Chin,” and will celebrate its release by hosting “Last Fan Standing,” a live game show that tests the audience’s knowledge of fantasy, sci-fi, horror and all things nerdy. Attendance includes a copy of the book; VIP tickets get you a meet-and-greet with the Chin himself.
Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is an essential voice in contemporary letters. His book “Between the World and Me” won the National Book Award for nonfiction and has been on the L.A. Times bestsellers list for almost 90 weeks. His next book, “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy,” coming in October, collects required reading from his work at the Atlantic, including “The Case for Reparations” and “Fear of a Black President,” original essays and an examination of the racially charged 2016 presidential election.
As writer and creator of the television show “Mad Men” and a writer on “The Sopranos,” Matthew Weiner is a key figure in our new golden age of television. Now he turns to a new medium, releasing his first novel, “Heather, the Totality” in November. “A collision course between a privileged family and a dangerous young man,” author Michael Chabon writes, drawing a parallel to the “Mad Men”-esque Richard Yates. Weiner will be in conversation with New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean.
L.A. author Janet Fitch is beloved for her bestselling Oprah pick “White Oleander,” a novel about a difficult mother-daughter relationship in Southern California. She travels far for her next novel, November’s “The Revolution of Marina M.,” a historical epic set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. Fitch follows the story of one genteel woman swept up by the tides of the time; her story becomes intertwined with some of the markers of history. She’ll be interviewed by Russian literature scholar and Los Angeles Review of Books editor Boris Dralyuk.
ALOUD, Mark Taper Auditorium-Central Library, 630 W 5th St., Los Angeles. (213) 292-6254
Fall will be a season of Lenny and the ladies. The Leonard Bernstein centennial celebration shouldn’t rightfully begin for another year (the 100th anniversary of his birth isn't until next August), but it’s getting an early start just about everywhere you look. Bernstein, who mentored glass-ceiling-breaking female conductors such as Marin Alsop, would be delighted to see how thoroughly women are becoming, at least in Southern California, part and parcel of the orchestra world. The Los Angeles Philharmonic has been a leader; this fall Maria Guinand conducts the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and Anu Tali conducts the Pacific Symphony. Here are others to watch in the season ahead.
The Los Angeles opera director and founder of the Industry has gotten international attention lately, especially with his upcoming debut next year as the first American to direct at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. He will be an ever-striking local presence this fall, with workshop performances of the Industry’s latest project (a new opera, “Galileo,” by Andy Akiho written to be performed on the beach at San Pedro) and the creation of a new opera for the L.A. Phil (Annie Gosfield’s “War of the Worlds,” which will include sirens blaring around town). Meanwhile, Sharon also finds time to open the Cleveland Orchestra’s season with a semi-staged production of Janácek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen.”
The Industry’s “Galileo,” Sept. 16-17, Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro. www.theindustryla.org
Cleveland Orchestra’s “The Cunning Little Vixen,” Sept. 23-26, Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave. (800) 686-1141. www.clevelandorchestra.com
L.A. Phil’s “War of the Worlds,” Nov. 12, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (323) 850-2000. www.laphil.com
Bernstein here, there and everywhere
The Los Angeles Master Chorale kicks it off its season with Bernstein and “Chichester Psalms”; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra does likewise with Joshua Bell as soloist in “Serenade”; ditto for Pacific Chorale with “Mass.” The New West Symphony turns to Bernstein’s stage works conducted by John Mauceri. Other than accompanying a screening of the movie version of “West Side Story,” the L.A. Phil won’t gear up for Bernstein big time until next year, but Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony are not waiting, turning September into Bernstein month in the Bay Area.
Los Angeles Master Chorale’s “Chichester Psalms,” Sept. 23-24, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-7282. www.lamasterchorale.org
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s “Serenade,” Sept. 30, Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; and Oct. 1, Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. (213) 622-7001. www.laco.org
Pacific Chorale’s “Mass,” Oct. 29 , Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 662-2345. www.pacificchorale.org
New West Symphony’s Bernstein stage works, Nov. 17 Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St. Northridge, CA, Nov. 18 Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center, Kavli Theatre, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.; and Nov. 19, Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. (866) 776-8400. www.newwestsymphony.org
L.A. Phil’s “West Side Story,” Nov. 24 and 26, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (323) 850-2000. www.laphil.com
San Francisco Symphony’s Bernstein month, Sept. 14, Sept. 22-24, Sept. 28 and Oct. 1, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. (415) 864-6000. www.sfsymphony.org
Los Angeles Philharmonic
The L.A. Phil could fill a fall preview by itself. So take your pick: Gustavo Dudamel opens the season with two programs focusing on Mozart’s last year on Sept. 26, Sept. 29 and Oct. 1; Dudamel leads a Mexico City festival, CDMX, on Oct. 12-15 and 17; and the orchestra mounts another “Noon to Midnight” new-music marathon on Nov. 18. Not one but four electrifying women will conduct subscription concerts: Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla (Oct. 19-21), Susanna Mälkki (Oct. 27-29; Jan. 19-21 and 23), Emmanuelle Haïm (Nov. 16-19) and Xian Zhang (Dec. 8-10). Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (323) 850-2000. www.laphil.com
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New West Orchestra
In the final rounds of music director searches, both orchestras will be led by guest conductors, most of whom are candidates. Audiences may not get to vote on the final choice, but search committees will certainly be weighing crowd reaction.
LACO with guest conductor Jaime Martín, Sept. 30-Oct 1; Peter Oundjian, Oct. 14-15; Thomas Dausgaard, Jan. 30-31; Douglas Boyd, Feb. 24-25; and Karina Canellakis, April 21-22. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; and Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. (213) 622-7001. www.laco.org
New West Orchestra with guest conductor Kynan Johns, Jan. 26-27; Tania Miller, May 12-13; and Fawzi Haimor, October 2018. Thousands Oaks Performing Arts Center, Kavli Theatre, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.; and Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. (866) 776-8400.
‘The Pearl Fishers’
While Bizet’s familiar “Carmen” opens the Los Angeles Opera season, it is the French composer’s exotic “The Pearl Fishers” that may well generate the most interest. The gorgeous production by British filmmaker Penny Woolcock proved a hit at the Metropolitan Opera, and the cast will be led by Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-8001. www.laopera.org
André Previn With Pacific Symphony
We hardly know any longer André Previn, who still won’t return to Los Angeles because of a feud with the L.A. Phil that goes back to when he was music director in the 1980s. But he happens to be one of the greatest musicians this country has ever produced, and he will be making a rare guest appearance conducting the Pacific Symphony in a program that includes two of his favorite composers, Mozart and Rachmaninoff, as well as a recent piece of his own. Any chance to see the 88-year-old Previn should not be missed. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 755-5799. www.PacificSymphony.org
‘Refuse the Hour’
South African artist and opera director William Kentridge bases Philip Miller’s opera, “Refuse the Hour,” around a vast installation work, “The Refusal of Time,” that includes all the Kentridge characteristics of gripping animation, startling choreography, unexpected music and a vision of the world that mixes science, philosophy, race, religion, socialism and whatnot into a brew like no other. Presented by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. (310) 825-2101. www.cap.ucla.edu
Nov. 18-Dec. 3
Nico Muhly’s “Marnie” was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera for its 2019-20 season, but the world premiere is going to English National Opera this fall. It’s based on Winston Graham’s novel, later an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, about a young female embezzler. Muhly says that the opera examines the cost of freedom, limitations of forgiveness and impossibility of escaping the past. London Coliseum, St. Martin’s Land, London. www.eno.org
Nov. 21-Dec. 10
‘Girls of the Golden West’
No new opera this season comes close to having the expectation factor of John Adams’ California Gold Rush tale “Girls of the Golden West.” It’s another Adams collaborations with director Peter Sellars, who supplied the libretto and with whom Adams has made operatic history time and time again. The cast is composed of some of our most spectacular young American singers, including Julia Bullock and Davóne Tines, with Los Angeles Master Chorale music director Grant Gershon as conductor. San Francisco Opera, San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, 301 Van Ness Ave. (415) 864-3330. www.sfopera.com
The fall dance season is noteworthy for its eclecticism: the dance styles, the visiting companies, the featured performers. Los Angeles’ first full-evening concert by the brilliant tap dancer Michelle Dorrance and her company is one of the most anticipated shows, but a slew of out-of-towners are coming our way too, including Matthew Bourne and his latest, “The Red Shoes,” and the Mariinsky Ballet’s return to Orange County.
Local dance companies are also well represented. BodyTraffic will be at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex in L.A. on Oct. 7, Invertigo Dance Theatre celebrates its 10th anniversary Oct. 22 at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica and the Versa-Style Dance Company brings high-energy hip-hop to the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Sept. 23. Diavolo will cover 25 years of Jacques Heim’s daredevil choreography Nov. 11 at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, and at the L.A. Theatre Center downtown at the end of this month, the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company premieres a new piece by Nathan Makolandra, a dancer with L.A. Dance Project. There’s a lot of cross-pollination going on.
Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures
Twenty years after Bourne’s all-male “Swan Lake” corps de ballet shook up the Ahmanson Theatre, the British choreographer returns with a staged version of “The Red Shoes.” Taken from a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and the 1948 Emeric Pressburger-Michael Powell film, “The Red Shoes” has love and obsession unfolding within a ballet troupe. The production, which won top honors when it premiered last year in England, has sets and costumes by a favorite collaborator, Lez Brotherston, and a score adapted from the film music of Bernard Herrmann (without the throbbing chords from “Psycho”). Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 628-2772. www.centertheatregroup.org
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street will bring the rarely seen here, still-challenging “One Flat Thing, reproduced” by William Forsythe (now on the faculty at USC). Inspired by the dangers of Robert Scott’s Antarctic expeditions, Forsythe followed his complex choreographic process to end up with an abstract piece of unrelenting physicality for 14 dancers who manipulate 20 metal tables to a sometimes ear-splitting score. “Cloudline,” by former Hubbard Street dancer Robyn Mineko Williams, and two pieces by Spaniard Nacho Duato are also on the program. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. (949) 854-4646. www.thebarclay.org
Oct. 7, 21, 28
Los Angeles Ballet
Los Angeles Ballet’s mixed repertory evenings feature a commissioned piece by Menghan Lou, a Chinese-born dancer with Nederlands Dans Theater making his U.S. choreographic debut. The company has also scheduled two works by Alejandro Cerrudo and George Balanchine’s “Four Temperaments.” Oct. 7 at Royce Hall at UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. Oct. 21 at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Oct. 28 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd. (310) 998-7782. www.losangelesballet.org
The Music Center’s “Ballet Now” program gave us a taste of Michelle Dorrance. This fall we get the full experience — an evening-long program by the MacArthur Fellow “genius” tap dancer and her company. Dorrance, based in New York City, is an extraordinary performer; she articulates rhythmically complicated moves with oversize physical intensity without sacrificing finesse. Her across-the-stage slides are like ice skating. This is one to see. Bram Goldsmith Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 746-4000. www.thewallis.org
This masterful group retains the crystalline Russian classical style. The program is devoted to masterworks by Michel Fokine, the independent-minded early 20th century ballet reformer and a chief choreographer for Sergei Diaghilev’s legendary Ballets Russes. Three of the signature pieces of that latter company’s repertory will be featured: “Le Spectre de la Rose,” “Chopiniana” (also known as “Les Sylphides”) and “Schéhérazade.” The program also includes “The Swan,” the two-minute solo piece created for and made famous by Anna Pavlova. The Mariinsky’s storied orchestra joins the dancers. Keep an eye out for two non-Russian principals, Briton Xander Parish and Korean Kim Kimin. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. www.scfta.org
L.A. Dance Project
Chief choreographer Benjamin Millepied and dancers are the resident company of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, which means they will be presented in the fall and spring — a rare honor. The mixed program includes the U.S. premiere of a work by a young French choreographer, Noé Soulier, plus a Merce Cunningham “MinEvent,” a compilation of excerpts. The rest of this program is devoted to three creations by “Black Swan” choreographer Millepied, including “In Silence We Speak.” Bram Goldsmith Theater, the Wallis, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 746-4000. www.thewallis.org
Lucy Guerin Inc and Dancenorth
Kristy Edmunds, executive and artistic director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, for three years headed up what’s now called the Melbourne Festival. She has selected acclaimed artists from that Australian city for this award-winning piece called “Attractor.” Created by acclaimed choreographers Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek, it features a folk- and heavy-metal inspired score by the Indonesian experimental singing duo Senyawa. The musicians use handmade, electrified stringed instruments, bringing the performers — and perhaps the audience — into an ecstatic trance. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. (310) 825-2101. www.cap.ucla.edu
Danielle Agami and her company have their first main-stage gig at CAP UCLA with “calling glenn.” The “glenn” is percussionist and composer Glenn Kotche (of Wilco fame), and he will accompany the dancers onstage. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. (310) 825-2101. www.cap.ucla.edu
Nov. 30-Dec. 3
Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener
In “Tesseract,” filmmaker and director Atlas and former Merce Cunningham dancers Mitchell and Riener collaborate on a two-act multimedia show that combines 3-D film, choreography and video streaming from multiple cameras. “Tesseract,” which premiered at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in March, aims to take the viewer to another dimension. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles. (213) 237-2800. www.redcat.org
Miami City Ballet
The Music Center and Miami City Ballet will present a new production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” featuring children from two local dance schools. Miami City Ballet has a three-year commitment to do the holiday classic at the Music Center, and though the production retains Balanchine’s 1954 choreography and story, Cuban American designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo are revamping scenery, props and costumes. Children from the Colburn School and the Gabriella Foundation’s Everybody Dance! community will join Miami dancers onstage, while the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus will sing with a live orchestra. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-0711. www.musiccenter.org
Relieved summer festival season is over? Or maybe you’re kicking yourself for missing the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and FYF Fest? No matter — there’s plenty of quality music to be seen and heard in the months ahead.
After a long summer of music festivals, even the hardiest fan may have doubts about driving down to Del Mar just to stand around and watch bands for a few more days. But with its strong, unusually eclectic lineup — Jackson Browne and Jason Derulo? — Kaaboo promises to make the experience worth it. Acts to see include Kesha, playing one of her first gigs since the release of her impressive comeback album, “Rainbow”; Pink, who has a new record on the way; and Michael McDonald, because — well, because he’s Michael McDonald. Del Mar Racetrack & Fairgrounds. www.kaaboodelmar.com $129 — $299
Sept. 21, 22 and 25
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
They came west out of Gainesville, Fla., but have called Los Angeles home since the mid-1970s, when Tom Petty put together a new band called the Heartbreakers with several old friends. This year they’re marking the 40th anniversary of their debut album, “Tom Petty the Heartbreakers,” which appeared near the end of 1976 but didn’t pick up considerable momentum until the following year. Petty and the Heartbreakers have proved one of the most reliably inspiring and enduring bands in rock history, a status they’ll celebrate with three big homecoming shows at the venerable Hollywood Bowl. www.hollywoodbowl.com $49.50 — $1,400.
Solange’s “A Seat at the Table’ was one of the most artful and personal albums to emerge from the anxiety of American life in 2016. As everyone figures out what to do next, one of Solange’s answer was to assemble a regal bill of experimental pop at the Bowl. Longtime collaborator Blood Orange, King, Kelela, Moses Sumney and Kelsey Lu will join her. The lineup’s not just vast and genre-blind, it’s close to an authoritative cross section of black American music right now. Hollywood Bowl. www.hollywoodbowl.com Sold out.
Her sparkly debut “Ctrl” has become one of the soundtracks of summer. With tender, vulnerable musings on love, lust, loneliness, family and identity distilled through the gaze of a young woman coming into her own, her album is one of the year’s most achingly honest and brazen R&B efforts. With music this raw, SZA’s upcoming tour is one of the fall’s hottest tickets. The Novo. www.thenovodtla.com Sold out.
The xx and Perfume Genius
The Forum is the perfect venue for British minimalists the xx, who craft cavernous sonic spaces in songs such as “On Hold,” “Angels” and “VCR.” Since its rise in the late-’00s, the trio — Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith — has earned voluminous praise for its simmering, whispered works, which draw on post-punk bedroom pop, contemporary R&B and sparse electronic music. The band is touring in support of a third album, “I See You.” The equally inspired artist Mike Hadreas, who performs as Perfume Genius, will open. Traveling in support of one of the year’s best pop albums, “No Shape,” Hadreas is a magnetic live performer with a voice built for arenas. The Forum. www.fabulousforum.com. $40-$71.
Sturgill Simpson/Fantastic Negrito
Kentucky-bred singer-songwriter Simpson is one of the freshest voices to grace the Americana music scene in the last decade, and his latest album, “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” exhibited his affinity for country, folk, blues, gospel and R&B. He’s paired on this show with Oakland blues-R&B-soul singer-songwriter Fantastic Negrito, born Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, whose latest album powerfully blends his upbringing as a Muslim in Massachusetts with his immersion in African American street culture in Oakland. Greek Theatre. www.lagreektheatre.com. $29.50 — $75.
Those looking for the center of the Southern California music underground should circle mid-October with a red Sharpie, when the sixth Desert Daze festival occurs in Joshua Tree. Featuring some of the most striking young artists in the region — Weyes Blood, John Maus, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Ariel Pink, MNDSGN and Starcrawler among them — the fest is headlined by punk icon Iggy Pop, Brit drone-rock act Spiritualized and the duo of Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, among others. The camp-friendly fest was born as a same-week alternative to Coachella, but has grown to become an annual fall highlight. Institute of Mentalphysics (Joshua Tree). desertdaze.org $229-$450 for weekend pass, $89-$149 for single-day pass.
Cloak & Dagger
If even Taylor Swift is going goth, something sinister is clearly lurking in music right now. This mini-festival — a spinoff of the popular members-only goth nightclub — spans genres but locks in a bleak, heavy mood. Headliners include the Jesus and Mary Chain, KMFDM and She Wants Revenge, with a huge bill of peers like Cold Cave, Health, Ho99o9, Mykki Blanco and Uniform spread across two downtown venues. Globe Theatre and the Palace Theatre.www.xcloakanddaggerx.com. $99 — $400.
Nov. 7, 8, 10 and 11
Need a reason to catch Bruno Mars live? Just look up Super Bowl 48 (and 50). Or the Grammys, especially that sleek Prince tribute. Or the countless other award shows he’s stolen with his ferocious showmanship that’s lifted right from the James Brown and Michael Jackson playbook. Mars’ latest record, “24K Magic,” is a sizzling throwback to New Jack Swing, underrated electro-funk masters such as Zapp & Roger and Cameo, and soulful crooners like New Edition and Luther Vandross. The album is made for swooning. The Forum. www.fabulousforum.com Remaining seats start at $695.
Oct. 27, Dec. 21
The hip-hop great flipped wigs this year with “4:44,” his shockingly intimate album about the importance of black entrepreneurship and the foolishness of cheating on Beyoncé. But how will Jay-Z, long one of rap’s most grandiose performers, present those up-close confessions onstage? Find out when he launches his “4:44” tour with a show in Anaheim, then circles back two months later to finish the tour at the Forum. Honda Centerwww.hondacenter.com $30.50 — $495. The Forum www.fabulousforum.com $39.50 — $609.70.
The veteran South African rocker who created that country’s first integrated rock band nearly four decades ago is playing North America one last time on what he’s calling his “Final Journey,” after which he aims to remain closer to home following a 2015 diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, which currently is in remission. His albums and exuberant live shows helped popularize Afro-pop in the U.S. in the 1980s and ’90s. Balboa Theatre (San Diego). sandiegotheatres.org.
Prophets of Rage, ‘Prophets of Rage’ (Fantasy Records)
True resistance never dies — that’s the message of the self-titled debut by this proudly left-leaning supergroup, which formed just in time to protest last year’s Republican National Convention. Featuring members of Public Enemy, Cypress Hill and Rage Against the Machine, Prophets of Rage moves on from the election to what the band calls “the counteroffensive” in bruising rap-rock tracks laced with bitter sarcasm: “All hail to the chief,” Chuck D barks, “who came in the name of a thief to cease peace.”
The Killers, ‘Wonderful, Wonderful’ (Island Records)
The spiraling gyre of pop nostalgia is already turning to the early-mid 2000s, and the Killers are finally getting their critical due as one of the best rock acts to emerge from that post-punk and New Wave-infused era. The act has been on a bit of a hiatus, and its new album “Wonderful, Wonderful” will arrive in a vastly different market for big rock records. But the Killers have been layering progressive synth tones into arena rock for over a decade; if anyone can reassert the genre’s viability atop the pop charts today, it’s likely the Killers.
Neil Finn, ‘Out of Silence’ (Kobalt)
Finn is chiefly responsible for some of the most thoughtful and catchy pop songs since the Beatles throughout his work over the last three decades with New Zealand’s Split Enz, then Crowded House, the Finn Brothers (with sibling Tim) and his solo albums. This unusually gestated new solo set emerges from a series of live-streamed sessions at his home studio that culminated with the recording of yet another compelling collection of expertly and inspiringly crafted songs that remind us just how wondrous pop music can still be.
Moses Sumney, ‘Aromanticism’ (Jagjaguar)
It’s been more than three years since vocalist Sumney appeared in a striking cover image on the underground music mag LA Record as an artist to watch, and his (occasionally frustrating) patience in issuing his first full-length prompted its fair share of head-scratches. What was taking so long? The breathtakingly beautiful “Aromanticism” answers it: He’s been layering tracks, honing songs, crafting a statement worthy of the buzz. Cool like Chet Baker and Sade and as fearless as Björk and Anohni, Sumney places layer upon layer of his voice into tracks until he achieves Beach Boys-esque harmony.
Miley Cyrus, ‘Younger Now’ (RCA)
“Feels like I just woke up / Like all this time I’ve been asleep,” Cyrus sings in her new album’s title track, and that’s a curious way to describe the years she spent gleefully tormenting America’s morality police. Yet the line gives you a sense of how seriously she’s taking her latest makeover — this time from the lip-smacking libertine of “Bangerz” and “Her Dead Petz” to a happy hippie with Elvis on her mind and her toes in the sand.
Robert Plant, ‘Carry Fire’ (Nonesuch)
The ex-Led Zeppelin singer has been on a real creative roll for a good decade now, going back to his knockout 2007 collaboration with Alison Krauss, “Raising Sand,” which earned the musical odd couple a Grammy Award for overall album of the year. Following equally bracing projects with singer-songwriter Patty Griffin and celebrated Americana musician and producer Buddy Miller, he’s put out a pair of invigorating albums with the Sensational Space Shifters, who by and large are backing him again on “Carry Fire,” which figures to take their rootsy world-music excursions to yet new frontiers.
Beck, ‘Colors’ (Capitol)
This is his first full-length since winning the album of the year Grammy for 2014’s “Morning Phase,” but anyone who’s followed the mercurial L.A. musician knows he’d unlikely do a stylistic repeat. As comfortable making buoyant, contemporary pop as he is making downtempo soft-rock records, Beck on “Colors” opts for the former. Featuring synthy dance beats, electronic flourish and propellant energy, the record sits alongside similarly infectious endeavors from his impressive discography such as “Odelay,” “Midnight Vultures” and “The Information.”
Lee Ann Womack ‘The Lonely, The Lonesome & the Gone’ (Sugar Hill)
Singer-songwriter Womack scored a slew of Top 10 country hits in the 1990s and early 2000s, but was always a notch above a lot of her peers on the country charts at that time because of her potent combination of interpretive skills as a vocalist and her canny choice of material. She’s returning with a new album delving into her Texas roots in country, folk, blues and gospel music one on of the most personal albums of her impressive career.
Morrissey, ‘Low In High School’ (Etienne Records/BMG)
Only in L.A. would a daring prankster drop a “Morrissey” banner over the 101 Freeway exit for the Hollywood Bowl to herald Moz’s upcoming concerts there. Moz — still the patron saint of Los Angeles rocker mopes —was famously displeased with his label’s rollout of his last record, but his new one, “Low In High School,” to be a fresh start for the singer and recent bestselling novelist.
Release date TBA
Ty Dolla Sign, ‘Beach House 3’ (Atlantic)
He has helped redefine L.A. radio with melodic hooks and his lush, hedonistic blend of R&B and rap. His muscular debut, 2015’s “Free TC,” showed the singer-songwriter-producer-multi-instrumentalist had an eye on pop stardom with its mix of confessionals, ribald party starters and commentary on the penal system. The latest installment in his “Beach House” series is already shaping up to be a party. The Dream and Lil Wayne anchor the bouncy “Love U Better,” Skrillex and Damian Marley push Ty into experimental reggae on “So Am I” and he’s teased collaborations with Future and Pharrell Williams.
Release date TBA
Kelly Clarkson, Unknown title, (Atlantic)
When Clarkson announced she had departed her longtime label in favor of Atlantic Records, she had a major order of business: To make the “record that I have been wanting to make since I was a little girl, and … that fans have been asking me to make for years.” That implies Clarkson is dialing into the R&B grooves that have long punctuated her music. Expect a mix of urban, pop and R&B that’s heavy on soul, attitude and honesty. Now we just need a release date.
We could all use a heavy dose of comedy right now, and this fall, Paul Rudnick is writing a prescription that I’m eager to have filled. In addition, there are musicals to make you laugh (“Something Rotten!” is the funniest show since “The Book of Mormon,” and “Spamilton” spoofs the blockbuster everybody’s clamoring to see); clever plays to give you a royal chuckle (“King Charles III” glimpses future palace shenanigans); and several new works that look to blend the serious with the daffy — a combination that was good enough for Shakespeare and Chekhov. The dates listed here include previews.
Through Oct. 8
‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City’
Cancer and joke-telling may seem like awkward bedfellows, but playwright Halley Feiffer won praise off-Broadway for her dark romantic comedy about a stand-up comedian finding an unexpected audience for her act in the hospital room of her convalescing mother. Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. (310) 208-5454. www.geffenplayhouse.org
Paul Rudnick, whose humor bubbles in the pages of the New Yorker as well as onstage and screen, has written a new comedy. It’s about an Oscar nominee who’s fending off advice on what to say in his acceptance speech while wondering why his boyfriend isn’t calling back. Rudnick set the bar high for Academy Award absurdity with “In & Out,” but it would be a mistake to underestimate this urbane wit. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (213) 628-2772. www.CenterTheatreGroup.org
Sept. 13-Oct. 22
‘Head of Passes’
Phylicia Rashad reprises her powerhouse performance in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play about a matriarch whose faith is tested as severely as Job’s when a storm hits and tragedy descends on the family home she built with blood and sweat. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 628-2772. www.centertheatregroup.org
Sept. 13-Nov. 5
This new post-Katrina drama by Jeremy Kamps, set in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, is a mother-daughter story centering on a runaway teen who returns to the rubble of her former life. Shirley Jo Finney brings her experienced directorial hand to the material. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. (323) 663-1525. www.FountainTheatre.com
Sept. 14-Oct. 22
How could this new play by Boni B. Alvarez, set in L.A.’s historic Filipinotown and inspired both by Calderón’s Spanish Golden Age drama “The Physician of His Own Honor” and the 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning” escape our radar? Echo Theater Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. (310) 307-3753. www.EchoTheaterCompany.com
Sept. 15-Oct. 8
‘Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally’
Math geeks, don’t get too excited: This play by Kevin Armento is less about the order of operations (the title is a handy mnemonic for students) than a coming-of-age story about a troubled teen, an inappropriate algebra teacher and a narrating iPhone that gives expression to the chatty isolation of modern life. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. (323) 960-4429. www.plays411.com
Sept. 26-Oct. 22
For those wondering whether there’s anything left to discover in Thornton Wilder’s oft-produced classic, this co-production with Deaf West Theatre, featuring Jane Kaczmarek as the stage manager, seems likely to cut a fresh path through Grover’s Corners. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. (626) 356-7529. www.pasadenaplayhouse.org
Sept. 30-Oct. 29
This new play by Alessandro Camon (who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for “The Messenger”) tells the parallel stories of a young man convicted of killing a gang rival and a woman whose police-officer son was slain in the line of duty. The narrative convergence is bound to be intense in this production directed by Bart DeLorenzo and starring two potent forces of acting, Tonya Pinkins and Alex Hernandez. The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. (866) 811-4111. www.thelatc.org
Oct. 13-Nov. 9
‘Turn Me Loose’
Joe Morton stars in this drama (critically praised off-Broadway) about the life of comic trailblazer and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 746-4000. www.thewallis.org/tml
Oct. 14-Nov. 11
‘Gem of the Ocean’
The first in August Wilson’s 10-play series exploring 20th century African American life decade by decade, “Gem of the Ocean” is set in Pittsburg in 1904. It brings us face to face with Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old healer of souls, who helps a man migrating from the South unshackle himself from the the guilt of his past. South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 708-5555. www.scr.org
L’État de Siege” (The State of Siege)
Théâtre de la Ville, which brought Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” to Royce Hall in 2012, is back (thanks to the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA) with a play by Albert Camus. Sharing some common ground with his novel “The Plague,” this piece presents a cautionary tale about fear and fascism. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. (310) 825-2101. www.cap.ucla.edu
Chilean playwright and director Guillermo Calderón (“Neva”) continues his exploratory deconstructions of artistic truth in the U.S. premiere of this work by one of the most innovative minds in Latin American theater today. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. (213) 237-2800. www.redcat.org
Nov. 5-Dec. 31
For theater lovers who can’t afford a ticket to “Hamilton” and want to see it lampooned and for fans who can’t get enough of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece, this is the show you’ve both been waiting for. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (213) 628-2772. www.CenterTheatreGroup.org
Nov. 7-Dec. 1
‘Chasing Mem’ries: A Different Kind of Musical’
This new musical, starring the one and only Tyne Daly and showcasing the songs of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, has a romantic storyline that sounds at once wistful and heartening. Let’s hope the show isn’t as schmaltzy as the title. Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. (310) 208-5454. www.geffenplayhouse.org
Nov. 7-Dec. 3
‘King Charles III’
A “future history play,” Mike Bartlett’s Olivier-winning drama mixes Shakespearean intrigue with tabloid-worthy backbiting in this work about royal jockeying for power after the queen kicks the bucket. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. (626) 356-7529. www.pasadenaplayhouse.org
Nov. 7-19 and Nov. 21-Dec. 31
This backstage musical, set in the cutthroat theatrical world of Elizabethan London, follows the nutty schemes of two brothers tired of being caught in the shadow of that conceited upstart, William Shakespeare, and determined to write the early modern world’s first musical. The shtick on Broadway was so perfectly executed that the show should have carried a warning about asphyxiation from laughter. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. www.scfta.org. Also at the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-4400. www.centertheatregroup.org
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