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L.A.'s live stage is back this weekend: 24 picks for culture

Pacific Opera Project's 2021 staging of Leonard Bernstein's "Trouble in Tahiti"
Megan Potter and Andrew Potter costar in Pacific Opera Project’s staging of Leonard Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti.”
(Pacific Opera Project)

The adventurous Pacific Opera Project becomes the first of L.A.'s larger performing arts companies to open an in-person (not a drive-in!) show this weekend. That, plus a hair-metal musical and an “ER” cast reunion lead our weekend list of music, theater, art and other cultural offerings for your viewing consideration. All times are Pacific.

“Trouble in Tahiti”
Pacific Opera Project stages four outdoor performances of Leonard Bernstein’s one-act musical drama about an unhappily married couple in post-World War II suburbia. Designed and directed by Josh Shaw. Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St., Highland Park. 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. Saturday; 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Front section is sold out; lawn section is $25 per person. (Bring your own chair or blanket.) pacificoperaproject.com

“Rock of Ages: All-Star Reunion Concert”
Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis and others from the original Broadway cast of this jukebox musical built on hair-metal hits from the 1980s reconvene for a one-night-only celebration streaming live from the Bourbon Room in Hollywood. 5 p.m. Saturday; on demand for 24 hours afterward. $33 and up. stellartickets.com

“Stars in the House”
George Clooney, Julianna Margulies and other cast members from the 1994-2009 drama “ER” reunite to reminisce in a new installment of this online series. 5 p.m. Thursday. Free; donations accepted. starsinthehouse.com, youtube.com

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“Drive-in Poetry Showcase”
Greenway Arts Alliance’s 5th Annual LA Get Down Festival for poetry and spoken-word concludes with a live, in-person event. Melrose Trading Post, Fairfax High School parking lot, 7850 Melrose Ave., L.A. 5:30 p.m. Sunday. $10 per vehicle; space is limited; advance purchase required. greenwaycourttheatre.org

“Elevator Repair Service: Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge (In progress)”
REDCAT presents the New York theater company in this work-in-progress re-creating the famous 1965 debate between African American author James Baldwin and conservative commentator William F. Buckley Jr. 8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $8-$15. redcat.org

“Fandango at the Wall — The Shapeshifter Sessions”
The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts in Northridge presents this concert film featuring Grammy winners Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with special guests including Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez and musical trio the Villalobos Brothers. Free for Soraya subscribers. 7 p.m. Friday and on-demand afterward at thesoraya.org; available to the general public for a suggested $20 donation beginning at 4 p.m. April 28 at shapeshifterlab.com.

“She Is Called: Dear Stranger”
Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA presents this user-driven online audio-visual experience from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. It explores gender, identity and community through student-created writings plus commissioned works by composers including David Lang. Available anytime beginning Saturday. Free. cap.ucla.edu

“The Plastic Bag Store: The Film”
CAP UCLA also streams a filmed version of artist and puppet maker Robin Frohardt’s multimedia installation that examined the global plastic pollution crisis. 7 p.m. Thursday. Free with registration. online.cap.ucla.edu

“An Iliad”
Pasadena repertory theater A Noise Within livestreams performances of this solo drama, created by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, that explores Homer’s ancient epic about the Trojan War. Geoff Elliott and Deborah Strang alternate in the role of the poet/storyteller. 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; other dates through May 16. Opening night only: $50 (or $75 with afterparty on Zoom); all other performances: $25, $40. anoisewithin.org

“Grand Park’s Our L.A. Voices: A Pop-up Arts+Culture Fest”
The virtual version of the Music Center’s family-friendly spring fling continues with a craft workshop led by master ofrenda builder Ofelia Esparza, a chat with L.A. artist Jonah Elijah, a virtual tour of historic downtown Pomona and more. On demand beginning 6 p.m. Thursday. Free. olav.grandparkla.org

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“The Shot”
Skylight Theatre Company in Los Feliz launches its season with Robin Gerber’s drama about former Washington Post publisher and domestic abuse survivor Katharine Graham. Sharon Lawrence stars. A Q&A follows. 5 p.m. Saturday; on demand through May 2. Minimum $10 donation. skylighttheatre.org

“Magic Asphalt: Drive-In Comedy Under the Stars”
Iliza Shlesinger and Laura Kightlinger are featured in a new edition of this outdoor stand-up showcase. Magic Castle Hollywood, parking lot, 7001 Franklin Ave. 7:45 p.m. Saturday. $120-$150 per vehicle (maximum five people). nightout.com

“Ever a Dancer: Axis Dance Company”
The Oakland contemporary dance company featuring dancers with and without physical disabilities performs in this livestream event presented by the Musco Center for the Arts in Orange. Includes a Q&A with artistic director Marc Brew. 7 p.m. Free; registration required. muscocenter.org

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“Two Sisters and a Piano”
Online theater company New Normal Rep streams Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz’s drama about siblings — one a pianist, the other a novelist — under house arrest in 1990s Havana. With Jimmy Smits. On demand through May 23. $25. newnormalrep.org

Piano Spheres
Pianist Mark Robson plays Lee Hoiby’s “Schubert Variations” and the L.A. premiere of his own piece “Black/White: Etude for Octaves,” plus works by William Bolcom, Samuel Adams and Eve Beglarian. Free. On demand through Monday at pianospheres.org; available afterward at youtube.com

“Moving Through”
Metro Art’s monthlong series of performances filmed in and around downtown L.A.’s Union Station concludes with “Baggage,” a new work from dancer-choreographer Jay Carlon. 7 p.m. Thursday; available on demand afterward. New episodes April 8, 15 and 22. facebook.com/losangelesmetro, facebook.com/metroartla, facebook.com/UnionStationLA, youtube.com

Workers removing tobacco tar and dirt from the ceiling of L.A.'s Union Station were surprised to discover vibrant floral painting hidden for decades.

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“How Did Politics and Pop Culture Become One?”
Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks and the Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein, a former L.A. Times columnist, tackle the topic in this live chat presented by Zócalo Public Square. 6 p.m. Thursday. Free. Register at zocalopublicsquare.org

Los Angeles Master Chorale High School Choir Festival 2021
A choral version of Pharrell Williams’ 2013 hit “Happy” is included in a second virtual edition of the chorale’s annual showcase for student choirs from around Southern California. 10 a.m. Friday; on demand afterward. Free. lamasterchorale.org

“Magical Musical Mystery Follies”
West Coast Jewish Theatre offers this virtual variety show featuring show tunes, classical music, standup comedy, magic and more. 7 p.m. Saturday; also May 1 and 8. $36 per household. wcjt.org

“Michael Gutenplan: The Magic Mentalist”
The magician and third-generation psychic performs live from the Magic Castle in Hollywood in this family-friendly Zoom show presented by Laguna Playhouse. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $30 per household. lagunaplayhouse.com

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“Two by Sarah Maldoror”
The UCLA Library Film & Television Archive and the Black Feminism Initiative at UCLA pair the late French filmmaker and theater artist’s 1969 short “Monangambé” with her made-for-TV 1981 comedy “Dessert for Constance.” 4 p.m. Thursday. Free. cinema.ucla.edu

“Paul Cornish: Make Jazz Culminating Concert”
The pianist-composer performs with special guests in this concert streamed live from the World Stage in Leimert Park and co-presented by Santa Monica’s 18th Street Arts Center. 7 p.m. Sunday; available on demand afterward. Free. 18thstreet.org, youtube.com, facebook.com/18thStreetArts, facebook.com/theworldstage

The Hammer and Huntington biennial, ‘Mesopotamia’ at the Getty Villa, Wayne Thiebaud, Yoshitomo Nara, butterflies and the Disney archives: exhibitions at SoCal’s reopened museums.

“Red Riding Hood”
Costa Mesa’s South Coast Repertory streams a digital production of Allison Gregory’s kid-friendly take on the classic fairy tale; for children age 4 and above. On demand through June 13. $25, $30. scr.org

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“The Musical Traces Saturday Soiree: Music in Reel Time”
The Music Guild presents this Zoom concert featuring piano arrangements of film-score selections plus some classical favorites. 5 p.m. Saturday. Free with RSVP. us02web.zoom.us

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


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