Virtual Fourth of July celebrations: 14 shows worth watching this holiday weekend

Fireworks during a previous Pacific Symphony performance at Pacific Amphitheatre
Pacific Symphony’s virtual July 4 celebration includes a recorded fireworks finale.
(Steven Georges / Pacific Symphony)

Beaches are closed, museums are closed and the governor has recommended the cancellation of the usual Fourth of July fireworks in many parts of California.

How, then, to celebrate the holiday weekend?

We’ve pulled together 14 shows to watch from the comfort and safety of home, from Pacific Symphony’s “Virtual July 4 Spectacular” to some other cultural events that might be less obvious ways to celebrate the freedom of expression. All times are Pacific.

Pacific Symphony
Dedicated to frontline healthcare workers and cohosted by Music Director Carl St. Clair and principal Pops conductor Richard Kaufman, this year’s annual Independence Day celebration pulls together performances from July 4 concerts past. Highlights include a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” recorded last summer at Angel Stadium, a selection from John Williams’ score for the 1976 World War II movie “Midway,” the song “76 Trombones” from the musical “The Music Man,” an appearance by country star Lee Greenwood and a fireworks finale set to John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” The festivities kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday and are free to stream at until Aug. 18.

“Grand Park + the Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party: Home Edition”
Vocalist San Cha, rapper D Smoke, singer Ginger Root, dancehall artist Amindi and comedy troupe Filipino AF are among the featured performers in a free, virtual edition of this annual downtown L.A. event. Also included: profiles of local artists, chefs and others. 7-8 p.m. Saturday at and on L.A. County public access Channel 36; it continues 8-10 p.m. Saturday on

“Voices of a People’s History of the United States”
Student performers read the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Dylan and others in this video work inspired by the Howard Zinn book. 11 a.m. Saturday. Free.


AmericaFest Celebration
The 94th annual celebration at the Rose Bowl goes online this year and includes a live flyover by vintage aircraft. Also planned: a daytime light show and a performance by cellist Cécilia Tsan. Local news anchor Pat Harvey hosts. 2 p.m. Saturday. Free.

Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music
A holiday edition of this monthly celebration normally held at New York City’s South Street Seaport Museum includes a special rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Free. Register to receive the Zoom link via email at

“Noche Unidos: A Night of Dance and Unity”
New York-based Ballet Hispánico’s recorded celebration features 10 world premieres plus appearances by Rita Moreno, Norman Lear, Gloria Estefan and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Available anytime. Free.

“Two Centuries of Black American Art”
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art streams filmmaker Carlton Moss’ 1976 documentary on the landmark exhibition curated by David Driskell that declared Black art matters. The 26-minute film has a soundtrack that’s a bit wonky and visuals that look grainy, as one might expect a 44-year-old doc to be, but it does offer a glimpse at what Times critic Christopher Knight recently recalled as a historic milestone for American museums. Available anytime. Free.

“La Bohème”
The Royal Opera of London streams a 2018 performance of Puccini’s tragic tale about bohemian types eking out a living in 19th century Paris. 11 a.m. Friday. Free.

“Celtic Tiger”
“Riverdance” star Michael Flatley stars in this 2005 stage show that uses Irish music and step-dancing to celebrate the struggles and triumphs of the Irish people. 11 a.m. Friday; available for 48 hours. Free.

“The Bacchae”
Los Angeles theater company City Garage continues its “Three by Mee” series with a 2006 performance of Charles Mee’s reimagining of Euripides’ ancient Greek tragedy. “The Bacchae” centers on a ruler who makes a powerful enemy in the god Dionysus. 8 p.m. Friday through midnight Sunday. Donations accepted.

“Let’s Talk”
Robey Theatre Company cofounders Danny Glover and Ben Guillory discuss the state of Black theater and other topics in this inaugural Zoom chat. 6 p.m. Saturday. Free. Register via email at

Connecting ACO Community
Pianist Stephen Gosling premieres work by composer Krists Auznieks in a new installment of this online series from American Composers Orchestra. A Q&A follows. 2 p.m. Sunday. $5.

Jazz in the Pines
Running through July 17, this annual music festival presented by Idyllwild Arts moves mostly online and kicks off with a livestreamed performance by jazz singer and pianist Champian Fulton. 2 p.m. Sunday. Free.

Memorial for Us All
Grammy winner Vanessa Williams leads a new installment of Lincoln Center’s inspirational series honoring those who have died from COVID-19. 3 p.m. Sunday. Free., and on Instagram @lincolncenter

Our recurring coronavirus-era recommendations are indexed in the same place arts event listings (sigh) used to post.

San Cha is a queer Latina musician whose new album, ‘La Luz de la Esperanza,’ is a musical telenovela that reimagines rancheras with a gothic edge.