11 best things to do in L.A. on the MLK Day 2020 holiday weekend


This MLK holiday weekend, Cirque du Soleil is under the big top at Dodgers Stadium, Contra-Tiempo dances at the Wallis and Heidi Schreck’s play “What the Constitution Means to Me” officially opens at the Mark Taper Forum. Performance artist and animator Miwa Matreyek graces the stage at REDCAT, Lea DeLaria belts out tunes at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, and the dance showcase “Moves at the Montalbán” returns, as does the Getty’s “Sounds of L.A.” concert series. Plus, we’ve got four ways to remember Martin Luther King Jr., including two free concerts.

Look, up in the sky!

Prepare to “ooh” and “aah” as aerialists and acrobats do their thing in Cirque du Soleil’s “Volta,” which is inspired by street sports. Dodger Stadium parking lot, 1000 Vin Scully Ave., L.A. 4:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m. Monday; other dates through March 8. (Also at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, March 18-April 19). $49 and up. (877) 924-7783.

For the record:

11:20 a.m. Jan. 16, 2020An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Cirque du Soleil’s “Volta” will also be at Segerstrom Center. It will be at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.


Jumping for joy

The L.A. urban Latin dance company Contra-Tiempo is back with an encore of “JoyUs JustUs.” This evening-length 2018 work celebrates communities of color by using the power of joy to overcome inequality. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. $29-$79. (310) 746-4000.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil rights leader Martin Luther King is remembered with concerts, a parade and other events this holiday weekend.
(AFP / Getty Images)

He had a dream

Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra’s annual MLK holiday concert remembers the civil-rights leader with a program that features Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” narrated by KUSC’s Rich Capparela, as well as William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American.” SGI Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. 2 p.m. Saturday Free.

The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles performs inspirational music including an orchestral and choral setting of King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Saturday. Free; reservations recommended. (310) 440-4500.

We the people

A woman recounts her experiences as a teen entrant in constitutional debate competitions while also reconciling “What the Constitution Means to Me” as an adult. Maria Dizzia heads the cast of Heidi Schreck’s acclaimed play, a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Feb. 28. (213) 628-2772.


Silhouettes, signs and wonders

Multimedia performance artist Miwa Matreyek interacts with her own fantastical animations in “Infinitely Yours,” a new climate change-themed fable featuring live accompaniment by Morgan Sorne. Also on the bill: Matreyek’s dazzling earlier works “Dreaming of Lucid Living” and “Myth and Infrastructure.” REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown L.A. 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $18, $22. (213) 237-2800.

Big Boo does Bowie

The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA presents “Lea DeLaria Live in Concert.” The actress, who played Big Boo on Netflix’s prison dramedy “Orange Is the New Black,” shares tunes from her recent jazz-inflected tribute to David Bowie. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Saturday. $28 and up. (310) 825-2101.

More ways to remember MLK

Colorful floats, marching bands, cheer squads, mounted riders and famous faces in fancy cars will take to the streets for the 35th annual Kingdom Day Parade. The procession gets underway at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Western Ave. in L.A. at 10 a.m. Monday. Free.

Meanwhile, the California African American Museum marks the holiday with a family-friendly festival featuring speeches, hands-on arts and crafts and a performance by the aforementioned Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. CAAM, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, L.A. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Free.


Don’t stop the dance

Up-and-coming dancers, choreographers and companies including Mary Grace McNally, Erik Saradpon, Rudy Abreu and JA Collective strut their respective stuff as part of the annual four-day showcase “Moves at the Montalbán.” The Montalbán, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. $40-$100. (323) 461-6999.

Stringing you along

3MA, a trio of specialists in African music for stringed instruments like the oud, the kora and the valiha, open a new season of the Getty’s concert series “Sounds of L.A.” Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium, North Sepulveda Boulevard and Getty Center Drive, L.A. 7 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. Free; advance tickets required. (310) 440-7300.