Sensory San Diego
Drawing upon the museum's collection of sculptural pieces and works on paper, the exhibition "Material Actions" focuses on how artists engage in their craft through their bodies' sensory experience. Works by artists Bruce Conner, Martin Pruyear, David Hammons, Petah Coyne, Sophie Calle and Nigel Poor contribute to this dialogue on handmade objects as a form of identity.
"Material Actions," Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Downtown, 1001 Kettner Blvd., San Diego. Opens today. Free. (858) 454-3541.
* Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Tuesdays. Ends Jan. 28.
Lights shine on the water
The 44th annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade happens this weekend -- twice. Holiday-decorated boats will circle the main channel as they compete for prizes. This year's grand marshal is actress Stefanie Powers. The festivities can be viewed from Burton Chace Park, where there will be a seasonal music program and live commentary by Lisa Osborn of KFI-AM (640) radio and TV personality Mickey Laszlo. Many of the waterfront restaurants in Fisherman's Village also offer good viewing spots. Fireworks precede Saturday's parade.
Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, Marina del Rey harbor; Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way; Fisherman's Village, 13755 Fiji Way. 7 to 9 p.m. Friday; 5:55 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Free. (310) 670-7130; www.mdrboatparade.org.
* Also 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday; fireworks at 5:55 p.m.
The rise of anti-Semitism in Europe is the focus of the documentary "Ever Again," directed by Richard Trank. Co-written by Trank and Rabbi Marvin Hier (Academy Award winners for 1997's "The Long Way Home"), the film reports that violent attacks by Islamic fanatics and neo-Nazis are at the root of the new wave of hatred. Kevin Costner narrates.
"Ever Again," unrated, opens Friday exclusively at Landmark Westside Pavilion Cinemas, 10800 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A., (310) 281-8223.
A journey with Mozart
Pianist-conductor Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra continue their survey of Mozart's evergreen piano concertos with three works: Nos. 16, 18 and 25. But mere number titles don't begin to suggest the wit, ingenuity and depths to be found here or their distinct personalities. The first two works were composed in 1784 and published during Mozart's lifetime. Concerto No. 25, his longest, was given its premiere in 1786 but published only after his death in 1791 by his widow, Constanze, who lost her shirt on the effort. According to LACO, she had to sell the engraved plates of the 1797 edition to recoup her losses. Following Mozart's example, Kahane will lead the orchestra from the keyboard.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Ave., Glendale, 8 p.m. Saturday. $17 to $76. (213) 622-7001, Ext. 215; www.laco.org.
* Also 7 p.m. Sunday, Royce Hall, UCLA, Westwood.
Feeling so 'Alive'
From its humble beginnings as a downtown loft venue for emerging artists, the arts collective Create: Fixate has since become a bimonthly spectacle that draws crowds who are just as much there for the people watching as they are to see the art. "Alive in Los Angeles" marks Create: Fixate's five-year anniversary and celebrates with more than 30 visual artists presenting video, experimental sculpture, fashion and painting demonstrations. The Audio Lab portion of the spectacle features live bands, spoken word and DJs.
"Alive in Los Angeles," 1530 Ivar Ave., 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, $15; $5 before 7 p.m. (kids free before 7 p.m.). (310) 590-7199.
The birth of hope
Conductor Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale conclude their six-year Bach "Christmas Oratorio" cycle with the final cantata of the series, originally performed on Jan. 6, 1735, to mark the Feast of the Epiphany. The text, taken from the Gospel of St. Matthew, recounts the Wise Men arriving at the court of Herod and later presenting their gifts to the Christ child. The work ends in a glorious chorus celebrating the birth of Christ as a victory over sin, death, hell and the devil. The remainder of the program consists of a wide range of sacred and secular seasonal music.
Los Angeles Master Chorale, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. 7 p.m. Sunday. $19 to $94. (800) 787-5262; www.lamc.org
OMG! Did I write that?
Back before teens documented their rites of passage in abbreviated language on blogs, they kept top-secret journals that were to be protected from the prying eyes of parents and siblings at all costs. David Nadelberg's "Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic." -- based on the cult stage show -- gathers the most embarrassing and angst-ridden entries from the journals of people now old enough to look back and laugh at their tales of first kisses, first puffs and other "OMG!" experiences.
David Nadelberg presents "Mortified," Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 7 p.m. Sunday. (626) 449-5320.
Purr of the saxophone
If Plas Johnson's name doesn't immediately ring a bell, just think "Pink Panther." The seductively purring tenor saxophone solo in Henry Mancini's memorable theme music is all Plas, making the most of one of jazz's most warmly engaging sounds. But you've undoubtedly heard him elsewhere, as well, on one of the almost countless albums he's recorded with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, Linda Ronstadt and Quincy Jones, among many others. Working with the sterling backup of pianist Art Hillary, bassist Richard Reid and drummer Lorca Hart, Johnson performs in the atmospheric setting of the Radisson LAX's Palmira Bar & Grill.
Plas Johnson, Palmira Bar & Grill in the Radisson LAX, 6225 W. Century Blvd. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday. $32.95 (plus tax and gratuities). (310) 337-6461.
A little experiment
STO Union, Canada's iconoclastic, critically acclaimed experimental theater company, presents the U.S. premieres of "Revolutions in Therapy," a multimedia questioning of psychoanalysis, religion and capitalism (part of UCLA's Fifth International Theatre Festival), and "Recent Experiences," the story of four generations of a family -- performed with the audience seated around a large table.
"Revolutions in Therapy,": Macgowan Little Theatre. Opens 8 p.m. Tuesday. Runs 8 p.m. next Thursday and Dec. 16, 4 p.m. Dec. 17; ends Dec. 17. $35.
"Recent Experiences," Freud Playhouse. Opens 8 p.m. Wednesday. Runs 8 and 10 p.m. Dec. 15, 4 p.m. Dec. 16, 7 p.m. Dec. 17; ends Dec. 17. $52. Both venues: UCLA, Hilgard Avenue off Sunset Boulevard (parking structure 3), Westwood. (310) 825-2101, www.uclalive.org.
Same-ol'? Not quite
If you're wanting to add some edge to your Hanukkah celebration, the Vodka/Latka: Festival of Rights party might be for you. The Progressive Jewish Alliance, JDub Records and Reboot will host this holiday celebration with live entertainment, a social justice themed menorah lighting, latkas (for the uninitiated, potato pancakes, a traditional Hanukkah treat) and cocktails. Folk-punk rockers Golem, performing a multilingual mix of Jewish, Slavic and Gypsy sounds, will be featured, along with the Conspiracy of Beards chorus and a reading of the original Hanukkah story by the group Heaping Hanukkah, featuring, among others, Jill Soloway, executive producer and writer of the HBO series "Six Feet Under."
Vodka Latka: Festival of Rights, El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Wednesday. $15; in advance, $12. www.vodkalatka.org.
Let it snow, let it snow
Russian clown Slava Polunin uses squirt bottles, giant beach ball balloons, fog, miniature houses with tiny lights, and bushels of confetti to transport audiences into a world of falling snow, fog and bubbles in the L.A. premiere of his tragicomic spectacle "Slava's Snowshow," presented by UCLA Live. The show is in its third year off-Broadway; in London, it won the Olivier Award for "best entertainment."
"Slava's Snowshow," Royce Hall, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Plaza, Westwood. Opens 8 p.m. Wednesday. Runs 8 p.m. next Thursday and Dec. 15, 19-20, 26-27, Jan. 2-5; 7 p.m. Dec. 17; 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 21-23, 28-30, Jan. 6; 2 p.m. Dec. 24, 31; 2 and 7 p.m. Jan. 7; ends Jan. 7. $42 to $68. (310) 825-2101; www.uclalive.org.