Weekend Picks: L.A. Dance Festival, Nia Vardalos, Esa-Pekka Salonen and more

Ate9 is one of the many dance companies taking part in the Los Angeles Dance Festival at Cal-State L.A.’s Luckman Theatre.
Ate9 is one of the many dance companies taking part in the Los Angeles Dance Festival at Cal-State L.A.’s Luckman Theatre.
(Denise Leitner)

The L.A. Times Festival of Books and the Coachella music festival aren’t the only things happening this weekend. Our picks include the return of the Los Angeles Dance Festival, Nia Vardalos in the play “Tiny Beautiful Things” and Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Stravinsky. The music-and-dance concert “Extra Ancestral” celebrates African culture, singer Angela Ingersoll salutes Judy Garland, Musica Angelica and others perform a sacred choral work by Bach, and Manual Cinema explores death and dying in a new multimedia show.

Shall they dance?

A veritable who’s who of local dance troupes — including Ate9, Backhausdance, BodyTraffic, BrockusRED, Diavolo, Invertigo Dance Theatre, Pennington Dance Group and Kevin Williamson + Company — will take the stage as the Los Angeles Dance Festival moves to bigger digs for its seventh edition. Luckman Theatre, Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State Los Angeles, 5151 State University Drive. 8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $25-$55; student rush, $15.

Straight from the heart

Nia Vardalos heads the cast of “Tiny Beautiful Things,” the poignant stage drama that the “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” star adapted from the writings of “Dear Sugar” advice columnist Cheryl Strayed. The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. 5 p.m. Sunday; other dates through May 5. $25 and up.

Nia Vardalos stars in the drama “Tiny Beautiful Things” at the Pasadena Playhouse.
(Joan Marcus / Public Theater)

Salonen salutes Stravinsky

Conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to lead the L.A. Phil in the first of several programs saluting Igor Stravinsky. First up, it’s the Russian composer’s “Funeral Song” plus the ballet scores “Agon” and “The Rite of Spring,” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. At 2 p.m. Sunday, guest vocalists will join the orchestra for a selection of Stravinsky’s sacred vocal works. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. $20-$212.

Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic in works by Stravinsky.
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Black and proud at the Skirball

Jungle Fire, Ethio Cali, Capofresh Ensemble and Viver Brasil Dance Company come together for “Extra Ancestral,” a musical celebration of the African diaspora in Los Angeles tied to the new exhibition “Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite.” Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Sunday. $20.

Viver Brasil Dance Company will be featured in the cultural celebration “Extra Ancestral" at the Skirball Cultural Center.
(Viver Brasil)

Don’t rain on her parade

“Get Happy: Angela Ingersoll Sings Judy Garland” stars the singer-actress who portrayed Garland in the bio-musical “End of the Rainbow.” Here she pays further tribute to the legendary entertainer in a one-night-only engagement. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. 8 p.m. Saturday. $15-$45.

Angela Ingersoll sings the songs of Judy Garland at La Mirada Theatre.
(Brandon Dahlqvist)

Bach in the day

Period-instrument ensembles Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra and the Orchester Wiener Akademie of Vienna are joined by guest vocalists for Bach’s epic sacred choral work “The Passion According to St. Matthew.” Performed in German. First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, 540 S. Commonwealth Ave., L.A. 3 p.m. Sunday. $35, $55.

Martin Haselböck and Musica Angelica will take part in a performance of Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.
(Matt Fukushima)

A glimpse of mortality

The Chicago performance collective Manual Cinema is back with “Mementos Mori,” a meditation on death and dying that mixes live action, music, puppetry and projections. Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $35 and up.

Manual Cinema brings the multimedia work “Mementos Mori” to the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
(Manual Cinema)