SoCal best bets for the weekend: gay mariachis, Cuban American festival, Zombie Joe’s

Photo collage with a group of opera singers, a mariachi band, a man in a lit-up suit and a Beatles tribute band
Clockwise from top left: Pacific Opera Project’s “La Cenerentola”; Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles; the Beatles tribute band Classical Mystery Tour; “Ron Athey: Acephalous Monster.”
(Pacific Opera Project; Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles; Pasadena Pops; Rachel Papo / Ron Athey Archive)

Pasadena Pops’ salute to the Beatles at the county arboretum, the scrappy Pacific Opera Project’s “Cinderella” story and an L.A. premiere from performance artist Ron Athey are among the culture offerings on our shortlist for this weekend. Before you go, remember to call or check online for reservation requirements and other COVID-19 protocols.

“La Cenerentola”
Pacific Opera Project kicks off a new season of four fairy-tale-themed operas with a one-night-only staging of Rossini’s “Cinderella.” Sung in Italian with English supertitles. Co-presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. 8 p.m. Friday. $20-$80.

“Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles”
Beatles-tribute specialists Classical Mystery Tour join conductor Larry Blank and Pasadena Pops for an evening of Fab Four favorites. Los Angeles County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. 7:30a p.m. Saturday. $25 and up.


Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles
This ensemble, billed as the world’s first LGBTQ-inclusive mariachi band, performs traditional favorites in a pair of shows on an outdoor stage. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday. $30.

“Ron Athey: Acephalous Monster”
The L.A. performance artist and provocateur takes the stage in the local premiere of this multimedia show presented in conjunction with the career-spanning exhibition “Queer Communion: Ron Athey” on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, through Sept. 5. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown L.A. 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $13-$25.

A compelling survey of the L.A. performance artist who riled up Jesse Helms in the 1990s culture war opens at ICA LA

July 9, 2021

“Closely Related Keys”
A Black attorney in New York City meets the Iraqi half-sister she never knew she had in Wendy Graf’s drama set 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks. International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Sept. 12. $49-$55. (562) 436-4610.

Chicano Moratorium Festival
This family-friendly community event commemorating the Chicano Moratorium, in which tens of thousands of Mexican American citizen-activists took to the streets of East L.A. in 1970 to protest the Vietnam War, features live music and dance, guest speakers, food vendors and more. East L.A. Civic Center/Library, Belvedere Park amphitheatre, 4837 E. 3rd St., East L.A. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Free.

“King Kong”
The big ape runs amok on Skull Island and then again in Manhattan in this family-friendly stage adaptation of the classic 1933 creature feature. Maverick Theater, 110 E. Walnut Ave., Fullerton. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Sept. 11. $10-$28. (714) 526-7070.

Dance DTLA
Move and groove to the music of Motown in the latest installment of this family-friendly dance series. Music Center, Jerry Moss Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 7 p.m. Friday. Free.


Hollywood Fringe 2021
It’s your last weekend to catch a show or two — or three or four — before this annual open-access theater festival closes on Sunday. Multiple venues and showtimes. $2-$33. (323) 455-4585.

“Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy”
It’s also the final weekend to see this exhibit featuring vehicles from such classics flicks as “Blade Runner” and “Back to the Future.” Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Ends Sunday. $11-$16; active-duty military and children under 4, free; advance purchase required. (323) 930-2277.

The ultimate rundown of key exhibitions in Southern California: what to see, and how to see them.

Aug. 28, 2021

Annual Cuban American Music Festival
Charanga Cubana All Stars, Generación Rumbera and the Arsenio Rodriguez Project are among the acts taking part in this daylong event for ages 21 and older. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown L.A. Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. $40-$80; advance purchase recommended.

“Toxic Vampyre”
It’s like Halloween in August with the premiere of this late-night, walk-through horror theater experience. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11 and 11:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays through Sept. 11. $17.50.

Our weekly arts and culture recommendations are posted every Thursday.