Weekend Picks for Sept. 13-16: Dinnerstein plays Glass, Heidi Duckler does ‘Ramona,’ Juana Molina in DTLA and more

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein and chamber ensemble A Far Cry will perform a new work by Philip Glass at Soka Performing Arts Center on Friday.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

What to do, what to do? Noteworthy happenings around Southern California this weekend include pianist Simone Dinnerstein, et al., performing a custom-made concerto by Philip Glass, the latest site-specific work from Heidi Duckler, the final shows for Celebration Theatre’s “Cabaret,” and an exhibition of Japanese toys in Little Tokyo. Music fans should take note of a quirky Argentine singer-songwriter’s gig in DTLA and/or the return of hit shows about two legendary female artists. And if you want to get the kids out of the house, let them play with the Funky Punks at Reed Park in Santa Monica.

Dinnerstein, et al., play Glass, Bach at Soka

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein joins forces with Boston-based chamber orchestra A Fry Cry for a program that includes the Southern California premiere of Philip Glass’ Piano Concerto No. 3, written specially for the ensemble, plus Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Keyboard Concerto in G minor. Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. 8 p.m. Friday. $48, $60.

Heidi Duckler Dance tells ‘Ramona’s’ tale

L.A.-based Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre is back with the choreographer’s latest site-specific work, “The Story of Ramona.” A young orphan girl comes of age in mid-19th-century California in this adaptation of the beloved tale based on Helen Hunt Jackson’s popular 1884 novel. The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, 320 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel. 7 p.m. Sunday; also Sunday, Sept. 23. $15-$50.

Rosanna Taravez and Lenin Fernandez perform in Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's "The Story of Ramona" at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse.
(Mae Koo)

‘Cabaret’ closes at Celebration Theatre

It’s the last weekend to catch Celebration Theatre’s you-are-there staging of “Cabaret.” An aspiring American author and a brazen British chanteuse embark on an ill-fated romance in this classic Kander & Ebb musical set in a seedy night club in pre-WII Berlin. An L.A. Times Critics’ Choice. Celebration Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $35-$75.

Talisa Friedman, center, portrays Sally Bowles in the classic Kander & Ebb musical "Cabaret" at Celebration Theatre.
(Matthew Brian Denman)

Toys take over in Little Tokyo

Feel like a kid again with the playful new exhibition “Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey Through the World of Japanese Toys.” This one-of-a-kind show will feature vintage and contemporary vinyl toys from the artist’s sizable personal collection, as well as some of his own fantastical creations. Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo, downtown L.A. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; ends March 24. Closed Mondays. $6, $12; children 5 and under, free.

The Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo hosts the new exhibition “Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys.”
(Brian McCarty)

Singer-songwriter Molina in DTLA

Attention adventurous music fans: Argentine singer-songwriter Juana Molina brings her signature eclectic mix of low-key Spanish-language folk and hand-crafted electronica — as heard on her acclaimed 2017 album “Halo” — to downtown L.A. for a one-night-only all-ages show. Teragram Ballroom, 1234 W. 7th St., L.A. 9 p.m. Friday. $18.

Argentine singer-songwriter Juana Molina will play a show at the Teragram Ballroom in downtown L.A.
(Marcelo Setton / Crammed Discs)

King, Joplin musicals return to SoCal

Two legendary ladies of song are celebrated in return engagements of two tune-filled bio-dramas: “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Sept. 30. $49 and up.; and “A Night With Janis Joplin,” La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Oct. 7. $15-$84.

Sarah Bockel stars in the nationally-touring production of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," coming to the Pantages.
(Matthew Murphy)

Clowning around in Santa Monica

As part of the city of Santa Monica’s “Meet Me at the Reed” series, the Funky Punks — Troubadour Theater Company’s merry band of acrobats, clowns, dancers and puppeteers — present a free, family-friendly show. So pack a picnic lunch and/or dinner and bring the kids. Reed Park, 1133 7th Street, Santa Monica. Pre-show fun and games: 3:30 p.m.; performance: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Free.

The Funky Punks will play a family-friendly show at Reed Park in Santa Monica.
(Ron Batzdorff)