Paul McCarthy’s ‘WS White Snow’ makes it to L.A. just in time for Frieze
I spent my Sunday counting down to the Rihanna concert — I mean, the Super Bowl. In all seriousness, that halftime show combined her top hits for a highly anticipated return to the stage, with choreography by Parris Goebel, that did not disappoint. Goebel brought out the sensual and vibrant energy of Rihanna’s music — best displayed as the camera moved frenetically up and down the stage. Better yet, I’ve become obsessed with the halftime show dancers popping up on my TikTok FYP. If you want more on the performance, check out Times pop music critic Mikael Wood’s insights here. I’m Steven Vargas, your L.A. Goes Out host, and with the Super Bowl behind us, let’s dig into the top events for this upcoming weekend with recommendations from the crew:
1. ‘Paul McCarthy: WS White Snow’
Hidden in plain sight, this 15,000-square-foot installation was brought to life in an East L.A. warehouse. Paul McCarthy’s “WS White Snow” toured in November 2022 with curators from the Getty, MOCA, Hammer, Broad, ICA LA, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, LAXART, LACMA and Lucas Museum. Now, it is being presented by LAND, the Box and Hauser & Wirth in time for Frieze Los Angeles. The immersive installation includes an artificial forest, a replica of the artist’s family home and a seven-hour, four-channel video projection. The piece investigates American consumerism through fairy tale imagery and absurdist performances. The exhibition — a rare chance to experience McCarthy’s work — is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Visit LAND’s website to RSVP and learn more about the free show.
2. ‘Khaleb Brooks: Gazelli Art House x Tuxedo Residency’
Works by Khaleb Brooks are making their way to Los Angeles. Brooks is currently an artist in residence at Tuxedo Residency and has had two solo shows in the last year. Brooks’ work focuses on the impact of internalized racism, mental health, familial disconnect, Black femininity and colorism. Brooks will be debuting three large-scale paintings created throughout the residency alongside the launch of their initiative, “The Well Retreat,” an artist’s salon that will bring together creators and art lovers in collaboration with VAM Studio. The event in Hollywood Hills, recommended by The Times’ Deborah Vankin, is from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and tickets can be found on Gazelli Art House’s website.
3. ‘Sunday in the Park With George’
“Sunday in the Park With George” is the first main-stage production in Pasadena Playhouse’s ongoing “Sondheim Celebration.” The 1984 musical is one of Sondheim’s “indisputable masterworks,” Times theater critic Charles McNulty says of his recommendation. The show is inspired by Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” and follows a fictional version of the painter as he gets consumed by the completion of his famous work. The production in Pasadena is directed by Sarna Lapine, who also helmed the 2017 Broadway revival with Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford. The show runs until March 19. Tickets, ranging from $39 to $142, can be found on Pasadena Playhouse’s website.
4. ‘The Romance of the Rose’
A world premiere by Pulitzer Prize finalist Kate Soper makes its way to Warner Grand Theatre with Long Beach Opera. “The Romance of the Rose” combines comedy and opera for a genre-bending show. The opera follows a dreamer’s journey to find a rose in an imaginary world. The show, recommended by The Times’ Jessica Gelt, is directed by James Darrah and led by Tony Award nominee Lucas Steele. “The Romance of the Rose” is intended to subvert expectations of opera and bring anunexpected twist. The show takes place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, with an additional 7:30 p.m. performance on Feb. 25. Tickets range from $55 to $165 and can be found on Long Beach Opera’s website.
A.I.M by Kyle Abraham is gracing us with two upcoming performances across SoCal. First up, the dance company will perform “An Untitled Love,” one of Abraham’s newest works, at the Bovard Auditorium at USC tonight at 7:30 p.m. The show is set to music from Grammy-winning artist D’Angelo and explores the complexities of self-love and Black love. The event is free and only requires an RSVP on the Visions and Voices website. Then the company brings another recent work, “Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth,” to the Soraya at CSUN on Saturday. The show explores reincarnation, life and death with music by producer EDM artist Jlin. Tickets to the 8 p.m. show range from $39 to $49 and can be found on the Soraya’s website.
Bonus round: ‘What Beautiful Space Tomorrow’
This week’s bonus event comes recommended by Vankin and coincides with Frieze. “What Beautiful Space Tomorrow” is a performance by curator, mentor and performer Bongile Lecoge-Zulu at the Centre for the Less Good Idea in conjunction with “William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows” at the Broad in downtown Los Angeles. Lecoge-Zulu’s performance is followed by response and audience activations and a screening of Kentridge’s “Second-Hand Reading.” The special event takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday and tickets cost $20. Details on the performance and ticketing can be found on the Broad’s website.
Your L.A. weekend, all mapped out
For a more comprehensive roundup of exhibitions, concerts, screenings, festivals and other events, check out Matt Cooper’s Culture Guide. The mapped list is a go-to for those who make plans based on the commute, and it also can be filtered by event type and price.
On my mind
Since last week’s edition of L.A. Goes Out was dedicated to Frieze, I’m going to include a little from last weekend as well, beginning with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra gala on Feb. 4 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The night honored Danny Elfman, whom James Newton Howard described that night as “a composer who also writes film scores.”
The night featured an extensive repertoire of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn and Elfman. I was particularly entranced by soprano Larisa Martinez, who sang “Ah, ritorna, età dell’oro” accompanied by violinist Joshua Bell. It began playfully with the husband-and-wife duo performing the same three notes, looking at each other as if they were playing a game of ping-pong with the music. Her voice then grew stronger, shifting the tone of the piece. She practically belted the song, then eased into a hum. The audience audibly reacted before she concluded the performance with a resounding final note and a simple flick of her hair.
Next up were performances of Elfman’s compositions, including movements from his Piano Quartet and Violin Concerto, conducted by Peter Michael Davison. What stuck out from the award-winning composer’s work was its complexity — an instrument was held in a slightly conflicting gait compared to the movement of the others, peering through the rest of the orchestra until it had a spotlight. At one point, the strings glided through an intricate tune while the rest of the orchestra softly complemented it. Suddenly, the piano came alive with a gorgeous and intricate tune of its own. That’s the beauty of his composition: it keeps you on your toes and pushes each instrument of the orchestra to the limit.
This past Friday, I saw “The First Deep Breath” at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. Prior to seeing the show, I spoke with the playwright and lead actor Lee Edward Colston II for a story on his journey to the theater. Despite having knowledge of the show, nothing could have prepared me for the show’s twists and turns. It follows the Jones family and the secrets that come to light as the father of the household prepares for his daughter’s memorial service and his son returns home from prison. Colston plants each secret into the script so strategically that by the time we see the entire family together for Thanksgiving dinner, it is a breathtaking game of subliminal messages. Nothing is as it seems on the surface, and the audience is in on it as family members take jabs at each other during dinner.
Aunt Pearl (played by Deanna Reed-Foster) stood out from beginning to end, cheery and comical at the start and introspective in the finale with a monologue that forced the audience to rethink the meaning behind each quip. Reed-Foster’s performance was steeped in honesty — from her voice to her movement.
Although it concluded a bit quickly with a fevered confrontation and a pile-on of additional secrets — leaving the crowd desensitized by the surprises — “The First Deep Breath” packed a punch overall. You can also check out McNulty’s review of the show here. The show ends March 5 with performances running at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Tickets range from $39 to $129 and can be found on Geffen Playhouse’s website.
On Saturday, I concluded my weekend events with “Data or 7 Ways to Dance a Dance Through Prison Walls” at the Odyssey Theatre in Sawtelle. The show spotlighted the impact of COVID-19 on those inside California prisons. A poem about the prison industrial complex by Forrest Reyes, who is still incarcerated at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, was read aloud. The group Dancing Through Prison Walls took Reyes’ vision for choreography and brought it to life for the show. Toward the end of the performance, audience members were invited on stage to perform the sequence together with the ensemble. As we went from movement to movement, I could feel Reyes’ presence in his words and choreography. It was a celebration of community and a reminder of the voices behind the numbers as scrolls etched with COVID-19 cases in California prisons hung from the ceiling of the theater. Learn more about the show here.
Insights: Parking in DTLA
I love centering my day around a particular performance or show and spending the whole day around the venue. However, this habit of mine can be a bit more difficult when I have to deal with parking in DTLA, and I know I’m not the only one. To make your next visit to the artistic hub of DTLA easier, I’m going to give a quick breakdown of prices and parking locations around the top venues. Let’s start with the parking garages:
- Walt Disney Concert Hall: The garage is shared with REDCAT and is open from 6 to 12 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 to 12 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Prior to 4:30 p.m., the maximum rate is $20 and $3.50 for every 15 minutes. After 4:30 p.m., it’s a simple $10 flat rate when there is an event and $9 when there is no event at the venue.
- The Music Center Garage: This parking garage is used by Mark Taper Forum, the Music Center and the Ahmanson Theatre, so if there are performances at all three venues, it is absolutely bonkers there. But it also makes it easy to identify where to park — by entering on Grand Avenue. Parking is a $10 flat rate starting at 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, two hours prior to a weekday matinee and weekend-long. When there is no event taking place, the flat fee changes to $9. Prior to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, the maximum rate is $20 and $3.50 for every 15 minutes.
- The Broad: The parking garage is underneath the art museum and can be entered on 2nd Street between Hope Street and Grand Avenue. It is $17 for three hours during the week (with validation), after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all weekend. The garage is only open from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
- California Plaza: MOCA Grand parking is in California Plaza on Olive Street. You’ll know you reached it because you’ll be driving under an overpass and there will be signs to 1 Cal and 2 Cal. Parking is $4.40 for every 10 minutes with a maximum of $44 on weekdays and $15 flat all day on weekends and holidays.
Some of these can be pricey, but there’s also street parking. Once you find your go-to spot, it’ll make venturing to see art in DTLA a lot easier. Here are a few streets where I’ve found the most luck:
- Grand Avenue between 4th Street and 7th Street.
- 1st Street near Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Music Center (rare, but it works).
- And if you’re down for a little bit of a walk, try Figueroa Street in between 3rd Street and West Temple Street.
Prices are subject to change. I hope this offers some help on where to start your all-day journey in the DTLA art scene.
Go out speed round
Go out for free: Break away from art fair festivities and go behind the scenes of L.A. Dance Project for its own program to mark the occasion. From 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. Friday, the dance company will be opening its doors for the public during a rehearsal of Benjamin Millepied’s “Romeo & Juliet Suite” in anticipation of a European tour starting later this month. The company will also be rehearsing “Quartet for Five” by L.A. Dance Project choreographic-artists-in-residence Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber. Then from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Lionel Popkin, Kate Wallich, Marjani Forté-Saunders and Julia Eichten will share performances of works-in-progress. You can find more details and RSVP to the events on the LADP website.
Go out before it closes: Speaking of Dance at the Odyssey, this weekend concludes the festival with DaEun Jung’s “ByoulNorri.” The piece that runs from Friday to Sunday combines Pansori (Korean folk opera) with electronic beats and numeric sequences to reinterpret classical Korean dance vocabulary. Tickets range from $15 to $25 and can be found on Odyssey Theatre’s website.
Go out and learn: For Presidents Day Weekend, Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City will be having a 19-story vertical dance performance titled “The Vertical Stage.” The public art performance by Bandaloop, an aerial dance company, pays homage to the history of the hotel that was once home to presidential celebrations, the Grammy Awards and star-studded performances — including from Sonny and Cher. Performances are at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. General admission is free and VIP tickets range from $55 to $150. More details can be found on Fairmont Century Plaza’s website.
Go out all night: Hauser & Wirth has even more programming coinciding with Frieze. The Performance Project presented by the gallery has two events this week. Tonight at 9 p.m., the House of AWT Project presents Exhibition Vogue Ball at the DTLA gallery, showcasing more than 30 talented competitors from the ballroom community. The free event just met capacity, but there is a waitlist open. Otherwise, the ball will be live-streamed in the outdoor courtyard of the gallery space. At 8 p.m. Saturday, GABE will present a fusion of music, sculpture and comedy about queer kinship. The event is also free with further details on the gallery’s website.
Go out with the kids: The Hammer Museum in Westwood has brought back its special kids program, Art Lab. The next iteration is from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and allows drop-ins, so after checking out some of the exhibits, you can stop by with the kids to get a more hands-on experience with art. The event is free and details can be found on the Hammer’s website.
Go out on a date: “Come Get Maggie,” the musical by Diane Frolov, is making its world premiere at Matrix Theatre in Fairfax with Rogue Machine. The story follows Maggie, a young woman stuck in ‘50s suburbia — think Florence Pugh in “Don’t Worry Darling” — who is abducted by aliens and experiences an intergalactic romance. Performances are at 8 p.m. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, and at 3 p.m. Sundays, until March 26. Tickets range from $30 to $50 and can be found on Rogue Machine’s website.
Go out all day: This annual series of races is celebrating 45 years. L.A. Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Run/Walk, Kiddie Run, PAW’er Dog Walk and 20/40 Mile Bike is this Saturday and Sunday. Get on your feet and celebrate Lunar New Year with the community at Chinatown Plaza. After the competitions, there will also be a post-race expo filled with vendors, a Chalk Art Festival, Boba Garden and more. Registration ranges from $30 to $65; details can be found on L.A. Chinatown Firecracker’s website.
Go out and wander: “Entanglements” is the first artist intervention at Hollyhock House in East Hollywood. Louise Bonnet offers paintings and drawings alongside Adam Silverman’s ceramics that create a dialogue with the 100-year history of the house. The installation is available for viewing starting today and you can see “Engagements” by reserving an in-person tour. Tour slots are available between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and tickets range from $3 to $7. Use this time to take in the historic moment, explore Hollyhock House and wander through Barnsdall Art Park. Details can be found on the Hollyhock House website.
Go out all weekend: Got a whole weekend to kill, try heading down to Long Beach for the Cali Vibes music festival! Performers include Snoop Dogg, Jack Johnson, Damian Marley and more. Here, you can vibe by the ocean with some reggae, hip-hop and dance hall music. Tickets range from $140 to $525 and can be purchased on the music festival’s website.
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I’m all ears!
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Follow our feed of recommendations and itineraries on Instagram and Twitter, and if you have recs of your own, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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