12 best bets for your weekend: Hamburg Ballet, Shakespeare, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and more

Pictures rotate through shirtless man with arms outstretched; man in blazer holds another around his neck; Wizard of Oz cast
A dancer in Hamburg Ballet’s “St. Matthew Passion”; Xavi Moreno, left and Brent Charles in “Live at the Porpentine — A Comedy of Errors;” Judy Garland and the cast of “The Wizard of Oz.”
(Kiran West; Independent Shakespeare Co.; Turner Entertainment)

One very versatile ballet company, an “erroneous” Shakespeare comedy and a beloved Hollywood musical lead our short list of cultural offerings this weekend. Before you go, remember to call or check online for reservation requirements and other COVID-19 protocols.

‘Bernstein Dances’
Hamburg Ballet launches a new season of “Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center” with the West Coast premiere of company director and choreographer John Neumeier’s full-length work featuring music from classic Leonard Bernstein scores including “On the Town” and “West Side Story.” Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday; also 7:30 p.m. March 19. $34-$138.

Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’
The Hamburg Ballet also teams up with James Conlon and the Los Angeles Opera for Neumeier’s acclaimed staging of the Bach oratorio that tells the story of the arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 7:30 p.m. Saturday; other dates through March 27. $19-$292.


‘Live at the Porpentine — A Comedy of Errors’
Mistaken identities? Check. Slapstick humor? Check. A goat? Check! Independent Shakespeare Co., presenters of the annual Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, will offer six free livestreams of the troupe’s tune-filled, classic movies-inspired adaptation of the Bard’s madcap romp. Recommended for ages 13 and older. 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Sundays through March 20. Free; reservations required.

COVID-19 prompts L.A.’s popular free Shakespeare festival in the park to conceive “Romeo and Juliet” as a distanced, livestreamed affair.

Sept. 17, 2020

‘The Wizard of Oz’
Dorothy (Judy Garland) and company are off to see you-know-who in Victor Fleming’s beloved 1939 musical fantasy based on the writings of L. Frank Baum. Presented in 35mm. Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 2 p.m. Sunday. $5, $10.

Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
The violinist and conductor leads the storied chamber ensemble in two distinct programs — one featuring Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian,” and the other, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica” — at two different SoCal venues. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya), Cal State Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 8 p.m. Thursday. $41-$109.

Also at Soka Performing Arts Center, Soka University of America, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. 8 p.m. Friday. $63-$175.

‘ABBA Mania’
Take a chance on a touring version of this hit West End musical that re-creates a concert by the Swedish foursome behind such chart-toppers as “Fernando,” “Mamma Mia” and “Dancing Queen.” El Portal Theater, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. 2 p.m. Sunday. $40, $50.

Well before ‘Mamma Mia,’ a homemade remix of a second-tier ABBA song was the big bang of the LGBTQ community’s love affair with the Swedish foursome.

Nov. 4, 2021

‘Sunrise on Sunset’
Rachael Worby’s Muse/Ique jump-starts the eclectic ensemble’s yearlong, multi-venue celebration, “L.A. Composed: A Festival of Los Angeles Music,” with this salute to Sunset Boulevard and its place in musical history featuring special guests a cappella group the DC6 Singers and Broadway veterans Brandon Victor Dixon and Kecia Lewis. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $29-$79.


‘The Firebird Suite’
Music director Eckart Preu leads the Long Beach Symphony in the Stravinsky favorite inspired by a Russian folktale. The program also includes Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” Suite No. 1. Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. 8 p.m. Saturday. $32-$112. (562) 436-3203.

‘Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art From the Yuz Foundation’
It’s your last weekend to catch this exhibition, co-presented with the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, featuring works by Ai Weiwei, Huang Yong Ping, et al. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Ends Sunday. $10-$25; ages 2 and younger are free; discounts available to L.A. County residents. (323) 857-6010.

Van Gogh at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ at the Broad. Ramen bowls at Japan House Los Angeles.

March 1, 2022

‘Westside Chamber Series: Goldberg Variations’
Need more Bach? Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra violinist and concertmaster Margaret Batjer leads members of the ensemble in Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s string arrangement of Bach’s highly mutable 1741 composition originally written for the harpsichord. The Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. Saturday. $58.

‘Sherry Vine & Jackie Beat: Dirty Thirty!’
The two veteran drag artists celebrate three decades of real-life friendship and onstage rivalry in this bawdy and barb-filled cabaret outing. Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. 8:30 p.m. Thursday. $20, $30; food and drink minimums apply.

‘Florian Hecker: FAVN’
The line between the real and the imagined is traversed in the German-born composer and audio-visual artist’s automated performance/sound installation. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., downtown L.A. 8:30 p.m. Saturday. $13-$25.