Bach for the holidays
Canadian Baroque specialist Bernard Labadie leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and La Chapelle de Quebec in a holiday-themed Bach program at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Labadie will conduct Bach’s Magnificat, composed in 1723 for Christmas, in the original version that included four movements -- later dropped -- based on traditional Lutheran hymns for the Christmas season. The program also will include the motet “Jesu, meine Freude” and the cantata “Gloria in excelsis Deo,” which was later incorporated into the Mass in B minor.
Los Angeles Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. 8 tonight. $15 to $135. (323) 850-2000. www.LAPhil.com
* Also 11 a.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.
Not for faint of humor
In his signature rapid-fire style, irascible stand-up comic Jackie Mason delivers politically incorrect insults and observations as he presents his one-man stage show, “Jackie Mason in the Ultimate Jew.”
“Jackie Mason in the Ultimate Jew,” Wadsworth Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Opens 8 p.m. today. $28 to $103. (310) 479-3636. www.BroadwayLA.org* Also 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday.
Director Stephen Wadsworth explores themes of war, family, the gods, leadership, moral responsibility and fallibility in “Agamemnon,” Aeschylus’ first play of the “Oresteia” trilogy, translated by Robert Fagles. The cast, headed by Tyne Daly as Clytemnestra, will perform staged readings of significant scenes from the work.
“Agamemnon,” Getty Villa, Auditorium, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. Opens 8 p.m. Friday. Free, but limit of four seats per reservation. (310) 440-7300. www.getty.edu
* Also 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday.
Plans didn’t include this
Filmmaker Anthony Minghella reunites with actors Jude Law (“The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Cold Mountain”) and Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient”) for the contemporary drama “Breaking and Entering.” Law stars as a landscape architect whose successful business in King’s Cross is the target of young thieves, leading him to an encounter with the mother (Binoche) of one. Robin Wright Penn costars.
“Breaking and Entering,” rated R for sexuality and language, opens Friday at the Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, (310) 394-9741, for a one-week qualifying run, returning Jan. 5.
That’s his own sound
Guitarist-singer John Pizzarelli is often compared to, among others, Nat “King” Cole and Frank Sinatra. But, as his latest CD, “Dear Mr. Sinatra,” reveals, even when he’s singing material associated with other artists, Pizzarelli retains his own sound, style and inimitable sense of swing. He’ll be tossing in some seasonal items for this holiday appearance.
John Pizzarelli, Samueli Theater, Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday. (714) 556-2787.
* Also 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
Olvera St. tradition
Las Posadas on Olvera Street has been a Los Angeles holiday tradition since the 1930s. Nine consecutive evening candlelight processions reenact the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for lodging. The ceremonies feature singing, pinata-breakings, entertainment and free refreshments each night. The event culminates on Christmas Eve with the “birth” and presentation of the baby Jesus.
Las Posadas, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, L.A. 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Free. (213) 625-7074.
* Also 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday to Dec. 24.
Poulenc’s joyous piece
Far and away his most popular religious choral work, Poulenc’s Gloria encompasses grand musical gestures, bouncy jazz and chant-like serenity. “In writing it,” the composer said, “I simply thought of those frescoes of Gozzoli in which the angels are sticking out their tongues and also of those serious Benedictine monks whom I spotted one day playing soccer.” Jorge Mester leads the Pasadena Symphony and the Combined Choirs of Occidental College in this joyous piece. The program will also include Mozart’s “Paris” Symphony, Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and Ravel’s “Bolero.”
Pasadena Symphony, Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. 8 p.m. Saturday. $16 to $75. (626) 584-8833. www.pasadenasymphony.org
Wares have an edge
Warning: Bazaar Bizarre is not your grandma’s craft fair. Rather, it’s a holiday craft fair with an offbeat, punk rock-hipster flavor. Founder Greg Der Ananian and some friends staged the first Bazaar Bizarre in Boston in 2001 as a way to sell their edgy do-it-yourself wares. The event has become so popular with teens and young adults that last year it spawned a craft book. In addition to the bazaar’s 130 vendors, this year’s event will include the L.A. debut of Swap-O-Rama-Rama, a clothing fair based on old-fashioned barter. Swap will offer clothing, accessories, toys, jewelry, holiday ornaments and other items with a homey but irreverent flair.
Bazaar Bizarre, Shrine Auditorium Expo Center, 700 W. 32nd St., L.A. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. $2. (213) 749-5123; bazaarbizarre.org. Swap-O-Rama-Rama, $5 donation with a bag of clothing; $10 without. www.swaporamarama.org/la.html.
Making reading fun
In celebration of National Children’s Book Week, the California African American Museum does its part in promoting literacy with “Ears Are Burning, Children Are Learning.” The event aims to make reading and writing fun for children with a variety of activities: workshops (create pop-up books, write Christmas cards), craft-making sessions (paper-making demos), giveaways (books and other goodies), book signings and storytelling with children’s book authors and illustrators (including writers Synthia Saint James and Brenda C. Roberts).
“Ears Are Burning, Children Are Learning,” California African American Museum, Exposition Park, 600 State Drive, L.A. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free. (213) 744-7432.
Images with a history
Photographer Marc Joseph has been fascinated with books and records since combing through small shops and yard sales in Cleveland as a kid in the ‘70s. For Joseph, the talismanic covers of “London Calling” by the Clash and George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” are both public artworks and evocative of formative personal experiences. “New and Used” gathers Joseph’s color photographs of such works and the places they were sold, plus essays, short fiction, prose and poems from Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, novelists Lydia Davis and Jonathan Lethem and many others.
Marc Joseph, Arcana: Books on the Arts, 1229 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday. (310) 458-1499.
Exploring a golden past
The Homestead Museum in the City of Industry offers a glimpse of California life from the mid-19th century when the area was still part of Mexico to the early 20th century when Los Angeles was on the brink of becoming a major American metropolis. The Workman House, an 1870s country home built around an 1840s adobe and La Casa Nueva, a 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival mansion, form the nexus of the
museum. On Sunday,
the museum offers its annual Holiday Evening Tours, docent-guided, one-hour explorations of California holiday traditions from the 1840s through the 1920s. Refreshments and hot cider will be included.
Holiday Evening Tours, Homestead Museum, 15415 Don Julian Road, City of Industry, 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday. $3 to $5; 1 and younger, free; reservations required. (626) 968-8492.