9 picks for your L.A. weekend: A Shakespeare festival, Broadway musicals, ballet and more

A slideshow includes an exuberant woman, musicians standing in an orange grove, a group of dancers and a tableau vivant
The Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, Summer SoundWaves, Barak Ballet and the Pageant of the Masters make our list of culture picks this weekend.
(Mike Ditz; Humberto Howard; Cheryl Mann; Festival of the Arts)

Not one, not two, but three Tony-winning musicals and the return of the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival make our shortlist of Southern California cultural offerings this weekend. Before you go, remember to call or check online for reservation requirements and COVID-19 protocols.

‘The Knight of the Burning Pestle’
Independent Shakespeare Co.’s annual Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival returns for another summer with this rarely performed 17th century satire written not by the Bard, but rather by his friend and contemporary Francis Beaumont. The Dell above the Old Zoo, 4801 Griffith Park Drive, Griffith Park, L.A. 7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; other dates through July 31. Free; reservations required.

The $4-million project will allow for better sets and sound, the organizer of the annual free Shakespeare festival says.

Sept. 23, 2019


‘Kinky Boots’
A drag performer helps the owner of a struggling shoe factory turn his business around in a one-weekend-only staging of Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-winning musical based on the 2005 movie comedy. Emmy winner Wayne Brady stars. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $14-$181.

‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’
A struggling writer and a glamorous nightclub entertainer share an ill-fated romance in turn of the last century Paris in the Tony-winning adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 musical drama. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $39 and up.

‘Into the Woods’
Pacific Opera Project presents a site-specific outdoor staging of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony-winning musical fantasy inspired by classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; also July 15-17. $25, $30 (both price categories are currently sold out, but a wait list is available). Details at

A critic’s tribute to Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, a master of storytelling in song.

Nov. 26, 2021

‘Barak Is Back’
Barak Ballet, the Santa Monica-based neoclassical ballet company led by artistic director Melissa Barak returns to live, in-person performance after a pandemic-induced two-year hiatus. BroadStage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $50-$95.

‘Michael Feinstein Sings Gershwin’
The singer, pianist and principal conductor of the Pasadena Pops also occupies the microphone to lead the orchestra through a selection of songwriter George Gershwin’s greatest hits. The Los Angeles County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. 7:30 p.m. Saturday (gates open at 5:30 p.m.). $25 to $152.


Pageant of the Masters
This annual presentation of tableaux vivants — lifesize re-creations of famous works of art using living, breathing humans — is back. This year’s theme: “Wonderful World.” Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. 8:30 p.m. nightly, Thursday through Sept. 2. $30 and up.

Paintings by Korean artist Park Dae Sung at LACMA. The California Art Club’s 111th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition. Black photographers at the Getty.

July 1, 2022

‘Mrs. Krishnan’s Party’
She’s cooking up a storm, so bring your appetite in this immersive, interactive theatrical experience presented by New Zealand’s Indian Ink Theatre Company. The Edye at BroadStage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; other dates through July 24. $45-$65.

Summer SoundWaves 2022
La Marisoul y Son California, purveyors of traditional Mexican folk music, help launch a second edition of this family-friendly concert series. Local singer Jackie Mendez opens the show. The Music Center, Jerry Moss Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Saturday. $20; up to four children, ages 12 and younger, free with each paying adult.