Arts Are Essential | February 26 – March 5

Things we’re checking out this week in the arts

PHOTO: LA Phil | South Pasadena News | Gustavo Dudamel conducts The Los Angelese Philharmonic

LA Phil launches second season of Sound/Stage, beginning Friday, March 5, 2021, with new episodes released through June 25, 2021.

With Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel acting as host, the free online series features new performances by the LA Phil; Oscar and Grammy Award-winning artist, activist, author and actor Common; Grammy Award-winning gospel duo Mary Mary; opera star Nadine Sierra; Grammy-Award winner singer-songwriter and one of the world’s greatest ambassadors for Latin music Carlos Vives; and acclaimed pianists Yuja Wang and David Fung; as well as conversations with LA Phil Creative Chair John Adams and renowned chef José Andrés. Also appearing in his LA Phil debut is Martín Dudamel Marturén, Gustavo Dudamel’s nine-year-old son.

Each episode includes one or more special segments, ranging from animated shorts to interviews between Dudamel and his guests. The second season of Sound/Stage and supporting material, including artist-curated playlists, program notes and insights from Dudamel on how each program came together, will be available at

- Advertisement - continues to bring us their weekly Wine & Song podcast recorded right here in South Pasadena at Deep Mix Studios. This week’s podcast # 42 features Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Sam Robbins, Alice Howe, Tall Men Group, Danielle Durack, and Michael McNevin.

PHOTO: Center Theatre Group | South Pasadena News |Sharon Lawrence and Galen J. Williams appear in “The Gaze … No Homo.”

Center Theatre Group premieres Larry Powell’s “The Gaze … No Homo,” February 25 at 5 pm Pacific and available through March 25, 2021.

“The Gaze” will be free to the public for the first weekend (Feb 25 –  28) and cost $20 for the remainder of the run. The streaming video will be available on demand at

A satiric dramedy about the decolonization of the Black imagination adapted from his own 2020-2021 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist play, writer / creator Larry Powell refers to this production of “The Gaze” as a “#Digiplay Experience.”

Set in the prestigious Evergreen Theatre Festival tucked in a bucolic small town, which prides itself on developing the brightest and boldest new American voices, a young actor is cast in the virtual production of an emerging Black queer playwright. As the established director dreams of Broadway and tensions rise in heated Zoom-based rehearsals, “The Gaze” examines the process of building culturally specific and queer works of color in historically white spaces.

Visit for more on demand content.

PHOTO: Stephanie Berger courtesy of Dorrance Dance

The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021 with a 30-minute online program designed to share the love of the arts through dance with young people of all ages. Sponsored by The Blue Ribbon, a support organization of The Music Center, the free festival began in 1970 and is an important part of The Music Center’s commitment to engage young people in the arts.

This year’s Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival will premiere on The Music Center Offstage virtual platform on March 2, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. PT, and will expand its traditional invitation to fifth graders to include students in grades 3–12 throughout Los Angeles County and their families to reflect the current distance learning environment; the presentation will be available to watch on demand for a limited time through June 30, 2021.

The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival offers students the opportunity to experience a world-class performance by a professional dance company, Dorrance Dance, along with the chance to dance along at home, complemented by a targeted curriculum guide for participating students. For more information go to: