Three months in the arts
Sat., Jan. 5 and Sat., Jan. 12
World City and Pillow Theater at the Music Center. The Music Center presents two Native American events showcasing the dance tradition of the Tsimshian people and the folklore of the Navajo. Come see World City as the Git Hoan Dancers (from the Tsimshian people) perform in traditional hand-carved masks, headdresses, and hand-made wooden drums, then come back for Pillow Theater to hear storyteller Geri Keams share her Navajo culture, featuring her delightful children’s book, “Grandmother Spider Brings the Sun.” World City: Jan. 5, 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Free. W.M. Keck Foundation Children’s Amphitheater, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-4396. Pillow Theater: Jan. 12, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Free. Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Downtown Los Angeles. (213) 972-8000. http://www.musiccenter.org.
Sat., Jan. 5
“Walker Evans: Beyond Documentary.” Who ever thought that a photograph of an unlaced pair of spent worker’s boots would receive so much attention? “Nobody knows what art is, and it can’t be taught,” says Evans, explaining the phenomenon. Infusing palpable (albeit invisible) color into his black-and-white depictions of the Great Depression and other periods of American history, this newest exhibition of Evan’s artistic genius portrays him as one of the true masters and innovators in twentieth century photography. 7 p.m. Through Feb. 23. Stephen Cohen Gallery, 7358 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 937-5525. http://www.stephencohengallery.com.
Mon., Jan. 7
New York Times’ Arts and Leisure Week. Established to commemorate the newspaper’s 150th anniversary, the New York Times launched a special weekend event offering discounted admission to cultural institutions and arts events. Since it began, it has expanded to a weeklong celebration and takes place around the world, including our own city. Participants include: UCLA Live, Los Angeles Opera, California Science Center and Black Maria Gallery, offering 2-for-1 discounts and other special offers. Through Jan. 13. For more information, visit http://www.artsandleisureweek.com.
Wed., Jan. 9
“Fugitive Denim” Book Signing. The jeans you’re wearing right now have a story to tell. And journalist Rachel Louise Snyder articulates that tale in her book, “Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade.” From international treaties, off-shore factories and human assembly lines to your nearest mall, a simple pair of jeans is not such a simple thing. Get the story, the book and the behind-the-scenes scoop at this author’s signing event. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. http://www.booksoup.com.
Thu., Jan. 10
Kathy Griffin. The cover girl of female comedy is back for a two-night stand-up routine of her provocative and spiced jokes and anecdotes. After starring in the third season of her Emmy-award winning show, “My Life on the D-List,” Griffin has embarked upon a cross-country trek, selling out shows wherever she goes and validating the Chicago Sun Times review: “That’s just the way she rolls — think it, say it, no-holds barred.” 8 p.m. $35-$60. Kodak Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 308-6300. http://www.kodaktheatre.com.
Fri., Jan. 11
“Post Mortem.” Passion and comedy fuse in playwright A.R. Gurney’s and director Jered Barclay’s vivid comedy, which addresses numerous contemporary punch-lines — from Bush and Cheney to technology and censorship. Imaginatively set in the future, a lecturer and her graduate student may have found the key to bringing down the current conservative regime in the form of a play, written by a forsaken playwright named A.R. Gurney. 8 p.m. Through Feb. 17. $18-$20. Lyric Hyperion Theatre CafÃï¿½(c), 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silverlake. (800) 595-4849. http://www.tix.com.
Sat., Jan. 12
Jim Brickman. Making one of the oldest musical forms a member of the avant-garde art movement, Jim Brickman has taken piano to a new age by infusing it with pop and romance music. Having collaborated with contemporary greats such as Martina McBride, Carly Simon, Michael Bolton, and various R&B artists, Brickman has found a voice that is all his own, and he enlivens his music with a new and pulsating sound that keeps his listeners from ever looking at the piano in the same way. 8 p.m. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 506-4522. http://www.pepperdine.edu/arts.
“Charles Arnoldi: Wood” is comprised of 25 large-scale works including loans from Dennis Hopper, architect Frank Gehry and Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger, all admirers of Arnoldi’s unique approach to post-minimalist art. Using non-art materials, in this case wood, Arnoldi manipulates his medium with chainsaws and paint, creating subjective and expressive works that draw on natural events and phenomena. He is a distinctly Californian artist whose legacy reaches beyond the art itself and reflects the mood of the country. 6-8 p.m. (reception with artist). Tue.-Sun. Through March 30. Free. Pepperdine University, The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 506-7257. http://www.pepperdine.edu/arts/museum.
Sat., Jan. 19
LA Opera Presents Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde.” Giving Romeo and Juliet a run for their money, Richard Wagner’s critically acclaimed love story is returning to the Los Angeles Opera stage with an array of delicacies for the eyes and ears. David Hockney’s vivid set and costume design enhance the already captivating tale of lust and family feud that will have you shouting “encore” with the final note of Isolde’s aria. 7 p.m. Through Feb. 29. $20-$238. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grant Ave, Los Angeles. (213) 972-8001. http://www.laopera.com.
Wed., Jan. 23
“The Magic Flute.” One of Mozart’s magnum opuses, this elaborate and colorful production takes the audience on an enchanting operatic journey from darkness to daylight, where love triumphs over evil. Also, Jan. 27, 31 and Feb. 2. 7:30 p.m. $27-$275. Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 556-2787. http://www.ocpac.org.
Sat., Jan. 26
“Carnage, A Comedy.” Current culture wars weighing heavily on your mind? Religious debates wearing you thin? Come laugh it off as Academy Award-winner Tim Robbins and co-writer Adam Simon present a revival of their hilarious 1987 satire about the state of religion in our country. Thu.-Sun. Through March 1. Opening night, $75 (includes a catered reception with the actors). $20-$25. The Actors’ Gang, Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310)-838-4264.