17 picks for weekend culture: Ruben Salazar, Emmett Till remembered


Online dramas about Emmett Till and Ruben Salazar and classical favorites from Pacific Symphony and La Jolla Music Society are among the streaming concerts, online theater, virtual art offerings and other cultural experiences for your viewing consideration this weekend. Here’s our latest rundown, all times Pacific.

“August 29”
The Latino Theater Company presents a live reading of this new company-created work inspired by the life and death of Mexican American journalist and activist Ruben Salazar. 7 p.m. Friday. Free.

“The Ballad of Emmett Till”
The Fountain Theatre reunites the cast of its 2010 production of Ifa Bayez’s historical drama, about the African American teen whose abduction and murder by two white men in Mississippi in 1955 helped galvanize the civil-rights movement, for a multimedia-enhanced live reading. 4 p.m. Friday; available until Dec. 31. $20.


“A Virtual Celebration of Black Joy — 10th Annual Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks”
Presented by L.A. Commons, this celebration of the African diaspora normally held in Leimert Park moves online and features performances by musicians and dancers from Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Curacao, Zambia and Los Angeles. 2 p.m. Sunday. Free.,

“Summer Replay”
Pacific Symphony’s virtual concert series continues with a performance from February of Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.” 7 p.m. Thursday; available on demand for 45 days. Free.

Chasing Salazar: Accident or assassination? A reporter’s years-long quest to find out how and why Ruben Salazar died.

“SummerFest 2020”
The virtual version of La Jolla Music Society’s annual showcase concludes with works by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, et al., and livestream performances by cellist Alisa Weilerstein, pianist Inon Barnatan and others. 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday; ends Aug. 29. $90.

“The Diaspora Suite”
REDCAT presents a virtual screening of Ephraim Asili’s series of five shorts films about the lives of people of African descent in Ghana, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Brazil, Canada and the U.S. 5 p.m. Thursday. $5-$10.

Skirball Stages
The Skirball Cultural Center presents this virtual concert featuring L.A.-based R&B singer Gavin Turek and Korean pop-folk ensemble Ak Dan Gwang Chil. 8 p.m. Saturday; available until Nov. 29. Free.


“Piff the Magic Dragon: Live from Las Vegas”
Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks presents the illusionist (“America’s Got Talent,” “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”) in this family-friendly magic-and-comedy show using the Zoom app. 7 p.m. Saturday. $35.75.

From the Ford
This new series presented by the Ford Theatres in Hollywood kicks off with the encore performance “Rhythmic Relations” featuring L.A.-based taiko-drum troupe Taikoproject. 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Free.

“The Gertrude Stein Project”
City Garage in Santa Monica streams its 2001 staging of this salute to the Modernist author of “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” and other works. 8 p.m. Friday through midnight Sunday. Pay what you can.

“Latin Sounds: Meet the Musicians Live!”
This concert series presented by Los Angeles County Museum of Art goes virtual over the Zoom app and features Brazilian vocalist Kátia Moraes. 5 p.m. Saturday. Free. RSVP at

“Red Hen Press: The Poetics of Climate Change”
Includes a panel discussion on environmental issues, plus readings by Natalie Diaz, Paisley Rekdal and former Los Angeles poet laureate Luis J. Rodriguez. With host Sandra Tsing Loh. 6 p.m. Thursday. Free.,

Excerpt: Luis J. Rodriguez revisits his two years —and nonstop gigs —as L.A. poet laureate in “From Our Land to Our Land.”

Feb. 10, 2020


Laguna Playhouse Annual Gala
The theater’s annual fundraiser goes online and includes performances by Joe Mantegna, Alfred Molina, Tony Shalhoub, baritone Nathan Gunn, music and comedy duo the Skivvies and many others. 7 p.m. Saturday. Free; donations accepted.

Digital Dance DTLA
The virtual version of Music Center’s popular outdoor summer series continues with an evening of tango led by Ilona Glinarsky. 7 to 8 p.m. Friday. Free.

“Island Girl”
Sherman Oaks-based Whitefire Theatre’s SoloFest 2020/Best of the Fest concludes with writer-performer Luka Lyman’s fantastical Hawaii-set fable. 7 p.m. Thursday; available through Saturday. $15.99.

“Fairytales For Days of Reckoning”
Public radio station KRCW-FM presents this live Zoom show mixing scripted comedy and improv, with special guest Steve Chiotakis. 7 p.m. Thursday. $1 minimum donation.

L.A. Writers Center launches this new play-reading series with “Strange Fruit Part I,” Jon Bastian’s drama exploring the classic Billie Holiday ballad about lynchings in the South. 11 a.m. Saturday. Free.

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