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Weekend Picks: A bilingual ‘Madama Butterfly,’ Alvin Ailey Dance, Mayumana and more

Weekend Picks: A bilingual ‘Madama Butterfly,’ Alvin Ailey Dance, Mayumana and more
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown L.A. (Paul Kolnik)

This weekend’s picks include a bilingual take on Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” in Little Tokyo, the return of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and new work from the socially conscious Los Angeles Poverty Department at REDCAT. The Verdi Chorus belts out opera favorites in its spring concert, the Israeli dance troupe Mayumana lights up the stage at Segerstrom Hall, and the Huntington salutes the Bard of Avon.

Not lost in translation

Language is no barrier to love in “Madama Butterfly.” L.A.’s Pacific Opera Project and Houston’s Opera in the Heights’ new racially aware re-imagining of the Puccini classic, about the ill-fated romance between a Japanese geisha and an American naval officer, comes with a new English-and-Japanese libretto courtesy of Josh Shaw and Eiki Isomura. Aratani Theatre, 244 San Pedro St., downtown L.A. 7 p.m. Saturday; also 7 p.m. April 13 and 2 p.m. April 14. $15-$75. pacificoperaproject.com

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All the right moves

The venerable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrates its 60th anniversary with four distinct programs — “Bold Visions,” “Musical Inspirations,” “Trailblazers” and “Timeless Ailey” — taking turns through the weekend. Several West Coast premieres are included along with classic repertory in seven performances that are part of the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center series. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $34 and up. musiccenter.org

Whose streets?

The Skid Row-centric Los Angeles Poverty Department — not to be confused with that other LAPD — returns with “I Fly! or How to Keep the Devil Down in the Hole,” a theatrical exploration of policing and public safety in low-income communities of color. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $14-$20. redcat.org

Los Angeles Poverty Department, with company member Lee Maupin, will perform a new work at REDCAT.
Los Angeles Poverty Department, with company member Lee Maupin, will perform a new work at REDCAT. (Los Angeles Poverty Department)

Spring is in the aria

For its spring concert, “L’Amore e la Vita (Love and Life),” the Verdi Chorus is joined by guest soloists to perform selections from operas by Puccini, Bizet, Delibes, Donizetti — and, of course, Verdi. First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th St., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $10-$40. verdichorus.org

The Verdi Chorus will perform opera favorites in its annual spring concert in Santa Monica.
The Verdi Chorus will perform opera favorites in its annual spring concert in Santa Monica. (Tim Berreth)

Power play in Costa Mesa

Israeli music-dance-theater troupe Mayumana makes its West Coast debut with “Currents,” an evening-length multimedia-enhanced work that tracks the rivalry between inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $39 and up. scfta.org

Israeli performance troupe Mayumana performs “Currents” at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa.
Israeli performance troupe Mayumana performs “Currents” at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa. (Zeev Roytman)

No holds Bard

Shakespeare Day isn’t until April 23, the day the playwright was born. But you can get a head start on your celebrations as members of Independent Shakespeare Company, A Noise Within, Los Angeles Opera and the Guild of St. George give family-friendly interactive performances at locations around the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Included with general admission ($13-$29; kids younger than 4 are free). huntington.org

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