Go on a spiritual journey on ‘The Horse’ at Long Beach Opera

A man rehearses in a blue spotlight.
Chris Emile performs during a dress rehearsal at Rancho Los Cerritos on March 3 for Long Beach Opera’s “The Horse,” an outdoor performance piece about a dancer and a singer on a spiritual journey.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

This last weekend’s North West and Ice Spice collab was the last thing I anticipated happening in 2023. And it all began because Northy showed off her artistic talents with a drawing of the Munch herself. Anyway, now I got “Boy’s a Liar” by PinkPantheress and Ice Spice stuck in my head. I’m Steven Vargas, your LA Goes Out host, and here’s how you can spice up your week with event recommendations by the crew:

Weekly Countdown

A man inside an installation beside a performance space.
Portrait of creator and performer Chris Emile inside an installation beside the performance space on the grounds of Rancho Los Cerritos on March 3 in Long Beach.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

1. ‘The Horse’
Go on a spiritual journey with music and dance at Long Beach Opera. Choreographer and dancer Chris Emile’s ritualistic movement is accompanied by Cody Perkins’s original score and Alexis Vaughn’s vocals. Emile digs into the Vodun description of a “horse”: a person possessed by a deity. By exploring movement invoked by ancestral knowledge and traditional ballet, Emile strives for balance between body and spirit. The show takes place at Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach with two additional performances remaining: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. And be sure to get there early to see the accompanying installation beside the performance space that displays Emile’s research for the piece. Tickets to the dance-opera range from $55 to $125 and can be found on LBO’s website.

Multiple hands grasp the neck of a guitar in an image for "The Lonely Few."
The Geffen Playhouse 2022/2023 season production of “The Lonely Few.”
(Justin Bettman / the Geffen Playhouse)

2. ‘The Lonely Few’
Take a trip to Paul’s Joint, a Kentucky dive bar where the story of “The Lonely Few” unfolds. The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood will host the world premiere in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, starring Tony winner Lauren Patten as Lila, a musician in a band with the same name as the play. Between working at a grocery store and caring for her brother, Lila seeks an opportunity to let her musical dreams soar. When established musician Amy (Ciara Renée) comes to town, Lila’s world gets turned upside down. This love story, commissioned as part of Geffen Playhouse’s New Play Development Program, is recommended by Times theater critic Charles McNulty. Tickets for the show range from $59 to $139. Few remain, so hurry up before the show closes on April 9.

Douglas Tausik Ryder, "Your Myth Here."
Douglas Tausik Ryder, “Your Myth Here.”
(Guy Loftus)

3. ‘Your Myth Here’
Douglas Tausik Ryder is best known for combining wood sculptures with new technology. Now, he’s taking his practice to the next level with AI in his upcoming exhibition “Your Myth Here.” He previously used 3-D modeling to create works that stand up to 9 feet tall in his exhibition “Body Language” in 2019, pushing boundaries with a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine tool in his artwork, as he shared with The Times’ Deborah Vankin. His upcoming show will use AI techniques and technology to combine mass media collages with five large-scale new works. The media blending exhibition at PRJCTLA in downtown L.A. opens Saturday. The gallery is free and open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. More details can be found on the gallery’s website.

A man sits at a piano.
Pianist Jeffrey Kahane.
(Brian Feinzimer / L.A. Chamber Orchestra)

4. ‘Kahane Plays Kahane’
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra presents a show of familial ties. Conductor laureate and pianist Jeffrey Kahane will perform a composition commissioned by his son Gabriel Kahane appropriately titled “Heirloom.” “Kahane Plays Kahane” will mark the West Coast premiere of the piano concerto from Gabriel that he describes as “a series of inheritances.” This recommendation comes from Times classical music critic Mark Swed. There are only two upcoming performances, at 8 p.m. Saturday at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Westwood and at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Tickets range from $32 to $142 and can be found on LACO’s website.

A person in a crown and blue outfit.
Dean Evans’ immersive clown experience “Slow Dance” will premiere at HIT Dance Fest on March 11 at Stomping Ground LA.
(The HIT app)

5. HIT Dance Fest
The dance festivals keep coming. This weekend, HIT Dance Festival takes place at Stomping Ground L.A. from Friday through Sunday. The event will premiere work from more than 30 local independent choreographers and queer performance artists. The event produced by the HIT app opens its doors at 7 for an evening of performances, ranging from a hybrid ball culture/concert dance experience titled “No Sugar Please” by Rome Ebony on Friday to an immersive dance experience titled “Slow Dance” with the “hottest and weirdest” clowns on Saturday. Tickets are available for presale on the HIT app and range from $10 to $20 for individual shows and $40 for a three-day pass. If you have trouble signing up, email or DM @thehitapp on Instagram.

Bonus round: ‘Out the Mud: A Black American Rite of Passage’

b. Robert Moore's "Amerikkka Made US 'Crazy'" (2023).
B. Robert Moore’s “Amerikkka Made US ‘Crazy’” (2023), acrylic, molding paste, oil pigment and charcoal on canvas.
(b. Robert Moore)

b. Robert Moore is presenting his first solo exhibition at Thinkspace Gallery in West Adams. Moore’s work explores the complexities of being Black in America. He deconstructs traditional African tribes’ rites of passage and centers it on the rite of passage for African Americans, differentiating what coming of age means for the community here: survival. With works like “Amerikkka Made US ‘Crazy’” and “Messiah // Middle Child,” Moore dissects the life of Black youth and their resilience. The free exhibition runs until March 25. Thinkspace Gallery is open noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and details can be found on its 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

From left: Camila Rozo, Brian Weir, Melissa Paladino, Kelvin Morales, Liz Eldridge and Katharine Noon in "The Dry Years."
From left: Camila Rozo, Brian Weir, Melissa Paladino, Kelvin Morales, Liz Eldridge and Katharine Noon in “The Dry Years.”
(Austin Crowley )

On Thursday, I caught “The Dry Years” by John Guerra, presented by Ghost Road Company, before it closed over the weekend. Guerra’s story follows Casey as she shares how her hometown was revived with the help of a rain man named Hatfield (Ronnie Clark). But it came at a deadly cost that led Casey to leave. As she recounts the story to her daughter, with the events of the narrative playing out onstage, she tries to take control of the narrative.


The second Melissa Paladino stepped onstage as Casey, an ominous feeling filled the air. The audience was immediately sucked in as she tried to start her story. The tone abruptly shifted as supporting characters grabbed wood boards to create the impression of a cyclone around Casey. The scene marked a new chapter in the play, denoted by the sound of rain created by actors tapping on the wood. This fantastical and whimsical storytelling continued throughout the play. The direction by Christine Breihan was refreshing; she made use of every inch of the set designed by Katrina Coulourides, playing with door frames, collapsible wood pieces and shadow to transport the audience. While the direction was strong, some of the conflicts lulled in the first half of the show as anger became the primary form of communication.

Performers in "The Dry Years."
From left: Ronnie Clark, Melissa Paladino, Richard Azurdia and Camila Rozo in “The Dry Years.”
(Austin Crowley)

The second half of “The Dry Years” took a turn as Casey lost control — literally and figuratively. The ensemble left her stranded and she remained the only person holding up the cyclone of floorboards around her that were present at the start of the show. She scrambled to stack the boards together — to tell the story how she wanted — but eventually had to face the truth. The lines she gave her mother (Liz Eldridge) to recite were then repeated by her brother, Paul (Kelvin Morales), who took over the script. She tried to set the story straight and was pushed to the edge — to the truth.

Paladino delivered a tear-jerking performance as she looked to the audience and bared all her character’s truths, faults and failures. After experiencing every bit of her life story and the guilt that weighed on her shoulders, Casey turned to the audience once again in the same way she started the play. That intensity Paladino held at the start returned and there was a new meaning behind it. There was a stronger pain behind her words. It was both beautiful and heartbreaking.

Insights: How to watch the Oscars

A giant Oscars statue in Los Angeles.
(Matt Sayles / Invision via Associated Press)

It’s rare that I provide insight on how to stay in, but this is an exception because it’s the Oscars. If you’re thinking about watching the show, here are a few ways to do so:

  • If you do have cable or a TV antenna, tune in at 5 p.m. Sunday on ABC.
  • Stream from Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, AT&T TV or FuboTV. If you’re like me and don’t have a live TV subscription, some of these options offer free trials.
  • A combination of the two: stream from or the ABC app by authenticating your TV provider.

I’ll be covering the big event from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood alongside other Times reporters to bring the biggest news to you — TV subscription or not. Stay updated with our coverage.

Go out speed round

Go out before it closes: Alicia Adamerovich’s solo exhibition “This Is the Time of the Hour” is nearing the end of its time at Kohn Gallery in Hollywood. The free show, combining alien landscapes with wooden sculptures, closes Saturday. Kohn Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Go out for free: Three is a magic number and Corey Helford Gallery thinks so too. The downtown L.A. gallery is opening an exhibition Saturday titled “The Power of Three,” showcasing Taiwanese artist Chen-Dao Lee, Spanish illustrator Jesús Aguado and contemporary faux naïf artist Sun-Mi (aka Pamplemouze). The free opening reception is from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, and the gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Details can be found on the gallery’s website.


Go out and learn/craft: Speaking of the Oscars, the Los Angeles Public Library West Valley Regional Branch in Reseda is hosting a discussion on the costume design category. The event is led by Bobi Garland, an instructor at Woodbury University’s art history department, and Marjorie McCown, a costume designer and author. The two will be dissecting the films up for costume design from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday just before Oscars Sunday. Details can be found on the L.A. Public Library website.

Dancers perform in "Story Pirates Live on Stage!"
“Story Pirates Live on Stage!”
(Ian Curcio)

Go out with the kids: The Story Pirates Podcast is coming to you live. The popular educational organization is coming to the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills with a benefit performance featuring Peter and Eric from the podcast, a DJ Squirm-a-Lot video appearance and a performance of “Fart Out Loud Day!” Tickets to the 4:30 p.m. Saturday show range from $35 to $175, and can be found on the Story Pirates website.

Go out on a date: Grammy-nominated cellist Seth Parker Woods is making his Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts debut on Thursday with a program of contemporary and classical works. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance range from $39 to $99 and can be found on the Wallis’ website.

Go out all night: If you’re the kind of person who throws it back to “Mamma Mia!,” I’ve got just the event for you. Broadway Rave, a Broadway-themed dance party, is coming to the Regent Theater in DTLA. Warm up those pipes to sing along to your favorite show tunes with fellow theater geeks and musical theater lovers. Tickets are $20 and can be found on Ticketmaster. More details on the event are on Broadway Rave’s website.

Go out all week: Calling all music students and fans. The Grammy Museum in DTLA is continuing with the free Grammy in the Schools Fest running until Friday. The festival includes performances, educational panels, workshops and clinics. To give you a taste of what’s to come, Thursday includes a guest artist session featuring NLE Choppa and Baby Tate, and Friday includes a music therapy panel. Registration can be found here, and details of the festival are on the Grammy Museum’s website.

A mural of a Holocaust hero on an exterior wall.
Mural of Holocaust hero Irene Gut Opdyke covers a 60-foot exterior wall to inspire the millions who drive through downtown L.A. every year.
(Artists 4 Israel)

Go out and wander: While you’re wandering through DTLA, be sure to check out the latest mural at Art at the Rendon dedicated to local Holocaust hero Irene Gut Opdyke, a Polish nurse who aided Jewish people targeted by Nazi Germany. The 60-foot mural by Andrew Hem is a response to surges of antisemitism.

Go out and listen: Oliver Button may be called a sissy, but he’s also a reader, artist, singer and more. “This Is Me,” featuring “Oliver Button Is a Sissy,” tells the story of Button to promote anti-bullying and acceptance. The event at 7:30 p.m. Saturday is presented by South Coast Chorale, the Musique Sur La Mer adult and youth orchestras, members of the Kids Theatre Company and Long Beach Landmark Theatre. Tickets to the night full of music and storytelling range from $15 to $60 and can be found on SCC’s Eventbrite.

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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