7 best things to do including L.A. Opera’s animated ‘Magic Flute’

L.A. Opera's "The Magic Flute"
An animation-enhanced staging of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” returns to L.A. Opera this Saturday.
(Craig T. Mathew / Mathew Imaging)

Our culture picks for the coming weekend include the return of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” to Los Angeles Opera, a stage adaptation of “Key Largo” starring Andy Garcia at the Geffen Playhouse, and Megan Hilty’s cabaret show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Theater artist Andrew Dawson gives a series of intimate performances, Sergio Mendes and Bebel Gilberto celebrate a seductive Brazilian musical style, and a pair of Critics’ Choice shows wrap their runs at local theaters.

Someday her prince will come

A bold young man sets out to rescue the proverbial damsel in distress, and then things get weird in “The Magic Flute.” The cast cleverly integrate themselves with projected hand-drawn animation as L.A. Opera reprises the popular Komische Oper Berlin staging of Mozart’s fantastical romantic fable. This time around, Zuzana Markova sings Pamina and Bogdan Volkov is Tamino opening night. Presented in German with English subtitles. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 7:30 p.m. Saturday; other dates through Dec. 15. $19 and up. (213) 972.8001.

Andy Garcia heads the cast of "Key Largo" at the Geffen Playhouse.
(Jeff Lorch)

Wise guys, eh?

A World War II veteran encounters a mobster and his gang at a Florida hotel as a hurricane approaches in “Key Largo.” Andy Garcia plays the heavy in this stage adaptation of the classic 1948 film noir that starred Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Edward G. Robinson (which itself was based on a play by Maxwell Anderson). With original music by Arturo Sandoval. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Dec. 10. $30-$145. (310) 208-5454.


Broadway's Megan Hilty will be in town for a three-night stand in Costa Mesa.
Broadway’s Megan Hilty will be in town for a three-night stand in Costa Mesa.
(Perennial Entertainment )

She’s got the pipes

Megan Hilty, star of stage (“Wicked”) and the small screen (“Smash”), performs show tunes, standards and more in the intimate confines of the Samueli Theater. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. $89. (714) 556-2787.

Andrew Dawson
Theater artist Andrew Dawson performs a series of intimate shows at UCLA this weekend.
(Nitin Vadukul)

Lean in closer

Using only his hands and a bare surface, theater artist Andrew Dawson re-creates the Apollo 11 moon landing and Wagner’s entire Ring cycle in a double bill of his closeup works “Space Panorama” and “Spirit of the Ring.” Royce Hall Rehearsal Room, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $28 and up. (310) 825-2101.


Blame it on the bossa nova

The melodies will be sweet in “Sergio Mendes & Bebel Gilberto: The 60th Anniversary of Bossa Nova.” The legendary Brazilian bandleader joins forces with the singer-songwriter for an evening of new and classic tunes. Royce Hall, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood. 8 p.m. Saturday. Royce Hall, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood. $79 and up. (310) 825-2101.

It’s curtains for ‘Big River,’ ‘Gem’

It’s your last weekend to catch these two L.A. Times Critics’ Choice shows:

“Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” the hit musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s classic novel about an uncivilized youth and a runaway slave rafting on the Mississippi. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $31-$76. (804) 667-2900.


“Gem of the Ocean,” August Wilson’s classic drama about a troubled African American man who turns to an aged matriarch for spiritual guidance in 1904 Pittsburgh. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. $25 and up; student rush, $20; group discounts available. (626) 356-3121.