Our performing-arts recommendations for this weekend include a mythologically-inspired evening under the stars, a ballet based on a classic of Spanish literature, and an acclaimed cellist tackling some serious Bach. Also, a pre-Veterans Day salute to armed- forces members, stories from one L.A. neighborhood told in dance, and a powerhouse vocal group from Zimbabwe.
The nighttime is the rite time
L.A.-based “junkyard opera” company Four Larks is back with its latest work, “katabasis.” This immersive, site-specific performance piece inspired by the current Getty Villa exhibition “Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife” is part nocturnal processional and part Orphic mystery rite — so comfy shoes and warm clothing are most definitely recommended. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; other dates through Nov. 17. $25. www.getty.edu
(Note: The Friday, Nov. 9, performance of “katabasis” has been cancelled due to fire conditions)
From Russia, with passion
St. Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Ballet returns to the O.C. with “Don Quixote.” Principal dancers Ivan Vasiliev and Victor Lebedev share the role of the love-sick barber Basilio in this full-length work based on episodes from Cervantes’ classic 17th-century tale of chivalry and romance in medieval Spain. Segerstrom Center, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. $29 and up. www.scfta.org
Rosined up and ready to go
Cellist and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Alisa Weilerstein comes to town for a one-night-only solo recital featuring not one, not two, but all six of Bach’s Cello Suites. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. 7:30 p.m. Friday. $45–$95. www.TheWallis.org
Veterans, in their own words
Annette Bening, Ed Asner, “Veep’s” Gary Cole and “Days of Our Lives’” Kate Mansi take part in a pre-Veterans Day presentation of “If All the Sky Were Paper.” This work created by author Andrew Carroll and presented with live score, features dramatic readings of the personal correspondence of U.S. armed forces personnel, their family members and others, from the Revolutionary War up through more recent conflicts. Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University, 1 University Drive, Orange. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $25-$65; discounts available for veterans. www.muscocenter.org
Jumping for joy in Long Beach
L.A.-based urban Latin dance-theatre company Contra-Tiempo presents “joyUS justUS,” an evening-length celebration of resistance and resilience inspired by the stories of residents of South Los Angeles. Features live music by East L.A.’s Las Cafeteras. Read our feature on the company here. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach. 8 p.m. Saturday. $50. www.carpenterarts.org
A joyful noise in O.C., L.A.
Nobuntu, an all-female a capella vocal quintet from Zimbabwe, will draw from a wide-ranging repertoire that includes traditional African music, gospel and jazz in performances at two separate venues this weekend. Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. 8 p.m. Friday. $26, $30. www.soka.edu. Also at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $40 and up. www.thebroadstage.org