Weekend Picks: Yuja Wang, Block Party, ‘Aladdin’ and Iranian New Year

Pianist Yuja Wang returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall to perform a new concerto by John Adams with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Looking to get you out of the house after all that rain? May we suggest pianist Yuja Wang with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a new edition of the Block Party festival at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and the return of the national musical tour of “Aladdin.” The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields tunes up in Santa Monica, “Ragtime: The Musical” closes in Pasadena, two different works inspired by Greek tragedies go up at the Getty Villa and the Theatre at Ace Hotel, and there’s a free Iranian New Year celebration Sunday at UCLA.

The devil’s in the details

Pianist Yuja Wang reunites with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the world premiere of John Adams’ new piano concerto, “Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?” If that’s not enough, the program also includes Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $87-$258.

Block Party gets rolling

Center Theatre Group’s third annual Block Party series reviving small-theater productions kicks off with a remount of Theatre of Note’s “For the Love Of (Or, the Roller Derby Play),” Gina Femia’s comedy-drama about young women in a high-impact sport. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. 8 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday; other dates through April 8. $25-$72; series passes available.

A remount of Theatre of Note's “For the Love Of (Or, the Roller Derby Play)” is the first offering at this year’s Block Party festival at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
(Darrett Sanders)

Magic carpet ride

Aladdin, Genie, Princess Jasmine and the evil Jafar are all back on the boards in the national tour of Disney’s “Aladdin.” The hit stage adaptation of the 1992 animated musical makes another swing through Southern California, this time at Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday; other dates through March 23. $26.50 and up.

Lissa deGuzman and Clinton Greenspan costar in the national tour of Disney’s "Aladdin” at Segerstrom Center.
(Deen van Meer)

Outstanding in their field

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the acclaimed chamber orchestra led by violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, offers a varied program that includes Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 and Britten’s “Young Apollo,” plus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 featuring pianist Jeremy Denk. Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $89 and up.

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will perform at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Saturday.
(Upstream Photography)

Tragedies retold

The Theater Lab Series at the Getty Villa presents workshop performances of choreographer and UCLA professor Lionel Popkin’s new multimedia-enhanced, mythologically informed performance piece, “The Oedipus/Antigone Project.” Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $7.

Speaking of “Antigone,” Sophocles’ ancient Greek tragedy serves as the inspiration for Carrie Mae Weems’ “Past Tense.” This multidisciplinary exploration of violence, gender politics and identity by the noted contemporary artist gets its West Coast premiere courtesy of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, L.A. 8 p.m. Friday. $29-$69.

A projected image that will be part of “Past Tense,” artist Carrie Mae Weems' theatrical exploration of violence, gender politics.
(William Strugs)

Ringing down the curtain on ‘Ragtime’

The Pasadena Playhouse production of “Ragtime: The Musical,” the stage adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s novel about life in early 20th century America, ends its extended run. An L.A. Times Critics’ Choice. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. $25 and up.


A revival of the musical “Ragtime” closes this weekend at the Pasadena Playhouse.
(Nick Agro)

Out with the old, in with the new

Celebrate Iranian New Year with the return of the Nowruz Festival. The 11th edition of this family-friendly get-together will include live music, puppetry and folk tales, a parade featuring traditional costumes and performances by Djanbazian Dance Company, Firuze Dance Company and others. Dickson Court, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free.

The Nowruz Festival will be held at UCLA.
(Farhang Foundation)