22 weekend culture picks: A Belafonte birthday bash with Jay-Z and Tiffany Haddish

Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte, pictured in last year’s Peacock documentary “The Sit-In,” will be celebrated at a 94th birthday party that’s also a charity fundraiser.
(Big Beach/Peacock)

A starry salute to Harry Belafonte, Tim Robbins’ satire of the Iraq War, concerts from the Pacific and Pasadena symphonies and a new Ed Ruscha exhibition make our weekend culture watch list. Here’s the rundown of online concerts, theater, art and other programming for your viewing consideration, all times Pacific.

“The Gathering for Harry”
Tiffany Haddish, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lin-Manuel Miranda are among the stars taking part in a 94th birthday salute to Harry Belafonte that doubles as a benefit for the singer, actor and activist’s nonprofit the Gathering for Justice. 3:30 p.m. Sunday. $25-$350.

Tim Robbins, Maria Bamford and Ed Ruscha.
Tim Robbins, left, Maria Bamford and Ed Ruscha.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times;; Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

“Embedded Live!”
The Actors’ Gang in Culver City streams a filmed version of this off-Broadway production. Company cofounder Tim Robbins wrote and directed the 2003 satire about the origins of the Iraq War. 7 p.m. Saturday and March 6, 13, 20 and 27. Pay what you can.

Symphony Thursdays @ 7
Pacific Symphony launches this series filmed at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. The program features works by Tchaikovsky and Strauss. 7 p.m. Thursday; available through March 26.,,

“Three Sides of Balanchine”
New York City Ballet’s digital season kicks off with a three-week celebration of George Balanchine that includes a recently filmed performance of the choreographer’s 1929 dance drama “Prodigal Son.” 5 p.m. Thursday; available on demand through March 4. Free.,

“Body and Soul”
The California African American Museum screens a newly restored version of this 1925 silent drama starring actor-activist Paul Robeson and directed by pioneering Black movie producer Oscar Devereaux Micheaux. 5 p.m. Thursday. Free.

The Getty Villa streams a reading of playwright Laurel Ollstein’s new drama inspired by the ancient Greek myth about a young woman who inadvertently unleashes evils into the world. 5 p.m. Friday through March 19. Free.

Maria Bamford
The comic known for her voice work as well as frank discussions of her struggles with mental illness performs stand-up comedy live. With opening act Jackie Kashian. 6 p.m. Saturday. $15.


Maria Bamford, the iconoclastic comedian behind the Netflix original sitcom “Lady Dynamite,” a slew of stand-up comedy specials and the cult-favorite Web series “The Maria Bamford Show,” often taps her struggles with mental illness for her routines.

Oct. 6, 2016

Emanuel Ax
The acclaimed pianist plays pieces by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Liszt in a 2018 performance filmed at Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo. Available anytime through March 31. Free.,

“A Tour of China”
New West Symphony’s multimedia-enhanced Lunar New Year/Spring Lantern Festival celebration features pipa virtuoso Wu Man and works by Tan Dun, Beethoven and Mahler. 3 p.m. Sunday. $25; season pass, $160.

George Winston
The pianist known for his bestselling jazz- and folk-inflected solo recordings performs in a live benefit for music venue the Ark in Ann Arbor, Mich. 4 p.m. Sunday. Free; donations accepted.

“Ed Ruscha: OKLA”
Take a short virtual tour of this new solo exhibition that tracks the influence of the L.A.-based artist’s formative years in Oklahoma City on his decades-long career. Presented by the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center. Available anytime. Free.

Getty’s interactive database “12 Sunsets” documents artist Ed Ruscha’s photographic journeys from the beach to downtown from 1965 to 2007. It’s a trip.

Oct. 7, 2020


“The Gaze … No Homo”
Center Theatre Group streams this satirical dramedy about a Black queer artist at a mostly white theater festival, the first installment in Larry Powell’s play cycle. 5 p.m. Thursday through midnight Sunday, free; March 1-25, $20.

“Pasadena Presents”
Pasadena Symphony’s spring season gets underway with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto featuring violinist Chee-Yun plus Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings. 4 p.m. Saturday; available on demand for 48 hours. Free.,

L.A.-based Robey Theatre Company presents an online reading of Shakespeare’s tragic tale about a Moorish general, his loving wife and a treacherous underling. 2 p.m. Sunday. Free.

“Virtual Bonsai-a-Thon”
The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens stages a two-part Zoom event exploring the Japanese art of miniature trees and shrubs. Includes video tours and curatorial talks. 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Free. RSVP at

“Bob Baker Day 2021”
Metro Art and Bob Baker Marionette Theater present a virtual celebration that captures the late puppeteer’s colorful creations cavorting in and around Union Station. Available anytime beginning 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Free.,

For years, puppeteer Bob Baker’s marionette theater hung on by a thread.

Nov. 28, 2014


“afroLAtinidad: mi casa, my city”
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes offers a virtual tour of this exhibition exploring life in Los Angeles’ Afro-Latinx community. Available anytime. Free.

“Artifacts Trio: … and Then There’s This”
The Chicago-based experimental jazz collective performs in this virtual event. 5 p.m. Saturday. $12, $15.

This series of short dance films curated by Jacob Jonas the Company continues with the choreographer’s new work, “Edging Normal.” Available anytime on demand, with new episodes dropping each Monday through May 8. Free.

Skirball Stages
The Skirball Cultural Center’s concert series continues with Americana artist Joachim Cooder sharing the stage with his father, Grammy-winning guitarist Ry Cooder. Singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah also performs. Available on demand beginning 8 p.m. Saturday. Free.

The Enzo Ferrari Cruise-in
The Petersen Automotive Museum salutes the legendary Italian auto racer who founded the high-end sports car company that bears his name in this virtual event. 8 a.m. Sunday. Free.

Masters of the American West Art Exhibition and Sale
A virtual edition of the Autry Museum’s annual showcase features works by more than 60 painters, sculptors, ceramicists, etc. Saturday through March 13. Free.


Our recurring coronavirus-era arts-viewing recommendations are posted every Thursday.