9 best things to do in L.A., including Yuja Wang in concert and an Irish ‘Swan Lake’

Pianist Yuja Wang
Pianist Yuja Wang will perform a reprise of John Adams’ “Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Our show recommendations for this second weekend in November include Larissa FastHorse’s satiric “The Thanksgiving Play.” But we’ve also got pianist Yuja Wang with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, an Irish dance troupe’s take on “Swan Lake” and the eclectic musical ensemble Partch. Pasadena Playhouse has the local premiere of Lauren Yee’s “The Great Leap,” New Zealand’s Black Grace gives a pair of dance concerts, a revival of the musical “In Circles” wraps up its run and a new theater company uses puppetry to revisit a classic fairy tale. Last but not least, bundle up the kids for Moonlight Forest at the Arboretum.

Wang dances with the ‘Devil’

Pianist Yuja Wang joins Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Phil for a reprise of “Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?” Wang premiered John Adams’ piano concerto with the orchestra last spring. The program also includes Ginastera’s “Variaciones Concertantes” and Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.” Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. Friday. $20-$249. (323) 850-2000.

Ireland's Teac Damsa will perform Michael Keegan-Dolan's “Swan Lake/Loch na hEala” on Saturday at Royce Hall.
Ireland’s Teac Damsa will perform Michael Keegan-Dolan’s “Swan Lake/Loch na hEala” on Saturday at Royce Hall.
(Colm Hogan)

Spreading their wings

Director-choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan and his dance company Teac Damsa reimagine a classic ballet through the lens of traditional Irish music and folklore in “Swan Lake/Loch na hEala,” presented by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood. 8 p.m. Saturday. $28–$59. (310) 825-2101.


Noah Bean, Alexandra Henrikson and Samantha Sloyan in “The Thanksgiving Play” at the Geffen Playhouse.
Noah Bean, left, Alexandra Henrikson and Samantha Sloyan costar in “The Thanksgiving Play” at the Geffen Playhouse.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Talking turkey at Geffen Playhouse

A company of actors is tasked with creating a culturally sensitive Thanksgiving pageant for an elementary school in “The Thanksgiving Play,” satire from Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse. Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Dec. 6. $30-$120. (310) 208-5454.

The Partch ensemble performs in Santa Monica on Saturday.

Music of an American maverick

Partch, the ensemble dedicated to the works of Harry Partch, performs the composer and instrument inventor’s musical fable “The Wayward.” The piece, presented by the Jacaranda Music series, is based on the tales of hobos and other travelers. First Presbyterian Church, 1220 2nd St., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. Saturday. $25, $45.


Christine Lin and Justin Chien costar in “The Great Leap” at the Pasadena Playhouse.
(Jenny Graham)

Taking it to the hoop

An American basketball team becomes embroiled in controversy on a trip to Beijing in “The Great Leap.” BD Wong directs the L.A. premiere of Lauren Yee’s drama, presented by Pasadena Playhouse in association with East West Players. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave. 5 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Dec. 1. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

New Zealand-based dance company Black Grace performs in Laguna Beach on Sunday and at USC on Monday.
(Neil Ieremia)

Feet firmly planted

Black Grace, a dance company from New Zealand that mixes Maori and Pacific Islander traditions with modern dance and hip-hop, comes to Los Angeles and Orange County. Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach; 6 p.m. Sunday; $50; Also at USC’s Bovard Auditorium, 3551 Trousdale Pkwy., L.A.; 7:30 p.m. Monday; free; RSVP at


Going around in ‘Circles’

It’s your last weekend to catch the hit revival of “In Circles.” The nonlinear prose of author Gertrude Stein serves as the basis for Al Carmines’ Obie-winning comedic musical. An L.A. Times Critics’ Choice. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $32-$37; discounts available. (310) 477-2055.

Princess Turandot and her operator, Arianne Villareal, in Imagine Project’s “The Tale of Turandot.”
(Imagine Project)

No strings attached

A young princess tries to shake off the shackles of convention in “The Tale of Turandot.” For its inaugural production, children’s theater company Imagine Project uses puppetry, music and video projections to re-create this classic fairy tale; for ages 4-12. Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Nov. 17. $17, $25. (818) 558-7000.

The light installation “Moonlight Forest” returns to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia.
(L.A. County Arboretum)

Glow-in-the-dark fun

Prepare to ooh and aah as Moonlight Forest returns for a second year. This super-size, family-friendly event features nature-themed illuminated environments, plus dancers, acrobats and more. Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. 5:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; other dates through Jan. 12. $23-$28; timed-entry tickets required.