Los Angeles Summer Events: May 30 – August 30
SAT | MAY 30
DUDAMEL, DESSNER AND GLASS
In addition to two major premieres commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic from Bryce Dessner (half of indie rock favorite The National) and minimalist composer Philip Glass, there will be two string quartets and a performance of the piece responsible for making Caroline Shaw the youngest Pulitzer Prize winner for music. Both composers have worked with either Yiddish or biblical Hebrew in past pieces and have been recognized for their huge impact on the international music scene. 8 p.m. $65-$112. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grande Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 850-2000.
SAT | JUNE 6
“I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT”
It’s the last Saturday night performance of the play adaptation of the hilarious book by Annabelle Gurwitch. Performed by Gurwitch herself and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, “I See You Made An Effort” asks: Is it possible to enjoy just one night off from the indignities put upon a woman of a certain age? Gurwitch’s work can also be found in the Los Angeles Times, Glamour, Los Angeles Magazine and more. Get your laugh going, or at least, make an effort. Ticket price includes a copy of the book! 6 p.m. $25. Through June 8. Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 761-7061. THUR | JUNE 11
Composed by David T. Little and featuring librettist Royce Vavrek, this new opera is based on the story by Judy Budnitz from her first collection of short stories, “Flying Leap.” After an unimaginable catastrophe, a family struggles to keep it together. The teenage daughter hangs on to hope, unwilling to accept her dire situation, until a stranger shows up. Tonight is opening night and the first opportunity the West Coast will have to experience this raw and powerful contemporary opera. Directed by Robert Woodruff. 8 p.m. $69. Through June 15. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., Los Angeles. (213) 237-2800. SAT | JUNE 20
ELECTRIC DUSK DRIVE-IN SERIES
The second half of this super cool film venue’s summer schedule features some of our favorite movie visionaries. From “The Big Lebowski” (Coen brothers) to “E.T.” and “Indiana Jones” (Steven Spielberg) to “The Princess Bride” (Rob Reiner), there’s a classic for everyone. With the city sprawled out behind the screen, it’s a truly unique — and seasonal — way to watch the best of the best. It certainly beats sitting in traffic and staring at the car in front of you. 8:30 p.m. $9-$13. Through Aug. 15. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 1000 San Julian St., Los Angeles. (818) 653-8591. TUE | JUNE 23
He’s dominated television with “Freaks and Geeks” and as an executive producer on “Girls,” as well as film with comedies including “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” so it only makes sense that he’d also contribute a book. “Sick in the Head: Conversations about Life (and Comedy),” is a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past 30 years — including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Harold Ramis, Louis C.K., Chris Rock and Lena Dunham. If you’re a comedy nerd, this should be the next book on your shelf. 7 p.m. Free. Barnes and Noble at The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 525-0270. THUR | JULY 9
IPALPITI FESTIVAL 2015
Eighteen years and still going strong! An ensemble of a couple of dozen young musicians from around the world, iPalpiti & Soloists offers an expansive and international repertoire. Founded by Lord Yehudi Menuhin, the orchestra is often served by renowned conductor and honorary President Eduard Schmieder. With tons of concert opportunities in all kinds of cool locations, it will be difficult to miss out on this festival. There also will be a chance to meet the artists during the grand finale gala. Various times. Through July 26. Free-$120. Various venues. (310) 205-0511. THUR | JULY 16
Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” is a musical set in the East Village of New York City. It follows a group of young dreamers as they learn about falling in love, finding their voice and living for today. Confronting AIDS/HIV in a time when it was uncommon to do so, the musical also made political noise during the 1990s. Winner of the Tony Award for best musical and Pulitzer Prize for drama, the show has been enthusiastically received across the board. Whether you’re in it for the pop tunes or Puccini’s “La Boheme” influences, it will be a theater experience at its best. 8 p.m. Through July 26. $65-$149.50. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. THUR | JULY 23
The Skirball Cultural Center kicks off its Sunset Concerts series, held each summer in the museum’s one-of-a-kind hillside setting. Devoted to inspiring the diverse populations of greater Los Angeles, the lineup will again showcase exceptional global talents, both legendary and emerging. Some headliners include the Yuval Ron Ensemble, Hurray for the Riff Raff and tonight’s Los Angeles debut of funky Afro-Colombian group La Chiva Gantiva. A full schedule is available on Skirball’s website. 8 p.m. Free. Through Aug. 27. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. TUE | AUG 18
LIVE PRESENTATION OF “2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY”
Conductor Brad Lubman leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with the help of Grant Gershon’s Los Angeles Master Chorale, in a live scoring of Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece. See the film’s visual grandeur on the Hollywood Bowl’s big screen while the soundtrack is performed right in front of you. Music includes Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra,” “The Blue Danube Waltz” and more. 8 p.m. $11-$45. The Hollywood Bowl, 2301 Highland Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 850-2000. FRI | AUG 21
If you missed him last year at the Saban, here is another chance to catch the soulful songwriter. Hitting it big with his early ’90s hit “Walking in Memphis,” Cohn has spent years joining clever and sensitive lyrics with a musicality that’s simultaneously country, rock and pop. He won the 1991 Grammy for best new artist and has released seven studio albums. He toured with Bonnie Raitt in 2013, so maybe at this show you’ll here some super secret on-the-road stories. 8 p.m. $38-$68. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. SUN | AUG 30
DODGERS JEWISH COMMUNITY DAY
Take you out to the crowd! Your Los Angeles Dodgers invite you to their 16th annual kosher baseball game. They’ll be playing the Chicago Cubs, so after waiting in line for a kosher hot dog or four, put on the special shirt that comes with your ticket package — a T-shirt that says “Dodgers” in Hebrew. The first 40,000 in attendance will get Dodger headphones! Sounds like a home run to us. 12:10 p.m. $30 and $38. Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 224-2642.
Spectator – Movie for ‘Rent’
More people can afford “Rent” this month, thanks to Revolution Studios. The production company brings a film version of the Jonathan Larson rock opera to movie theaters this week, directed by Chris Columbus and starring most of the original Broadway cast.
Set against the backdrop of New York’s East Village in the late 1980s, and based on Puccini’s opera, “La Boheme,” “Rent” tells the story of bohemian artist friends struggling with poverty, heartbreak, drug addiction and AIDS.
Perhaps because of its gritty, real themes and characters, the show has been credited with generating interest among younger generations in musical theater. “Rent” is currently the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history, with a fan base affectionately called “Rentheads.”
Notably absent from the film creation is show creator Larson, who died of an aortic aneurysm on the eve of the play’s first preview. Larson’s sister, Julie, is the film’s co-producer, which should ease fans’ minds about the filmmakers’ desire to do justice to a show that has won both Pulitzer and Tony awards.
Indeed, the sound and feel of Broadway’s “Rent” are intact, even while the music assumes a slightly edgier rock core, and some dialogue is spoken rather than sung.
Jewish Rentheads can also rest easy, as the little nods and throwaway lines Larson wrote for Jewish character Mark Cohen are still there, too. Mark still mentions his bar mitzvah, and talks about learning to tango with Nanette Himmelfarb, the rabbi’s daughter at the Scarsdale Jewish Community Center.
The filmmakers also kept the part where Mark’s mom calls him on Christmas to wish him a happy holiday. That may sound strange, but actor Anthony Rapp, who reprises the role from Broadway, explained that Mark’s character was drawn from Larson’s own experience.
“I know that Jonathan did celebrate Christmas in their house, but I think they also had a menorah,” Rapp said.
This loyalty to Larson’s vision is a hallmark of the film.
“We’re here to serve Jonathan and the play,” said Tracie Thoms, who plays Joanne in the film. “And we’re here to serve all the fans who were touched and moved and saved by the play.”
“Rent” opens in theaters Nov. 23.