Arts Are Essential | What’s On in Arts & Entertainment This Week | November 13 – 20

Here's a look at what's cooking in the arts online and around town this week

PHOTO: courtesy of LA Phil | Chicano Batman performs at Hollywood Bowl

The eighth episode of SOUND/STAGE, the LA Phil’s series of concert films, features L.A.’s own genre-defying Chicano Batman in their Hollywood Bowl debut, begins streaming Friday, November 13, at 10am on the LA Phil website. The sound of Chicano Batman has never fit into a particular box – the band is often described through their influences, which range from 1960s Brazilian Tropicália and Delfonics-style soul to Afro-Cuban rumbas and the funk-jazz of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters period. Their SOUND/STAGE performance presents a set of six songs drawing from their new album Invisible People that demonstrates their eclectic and expansive range. Also featured this week is a guest essay by Walter Thompson-Hernández, a conversation with the band and one of The Ford’s Digital Festivals, Solidarity for Sanctuary, which brought together the artists following in Chicano Batman’s footsteps to perform and promote immigrant rights, voting, and Black and Brown solidarity. Tune in at

Blue Guitar’s Wine & Song podcast is back this week with a brand new episode hosted by South Pasadena’s nighttime mayor, Brad Colerick. Episode 29 features Ernest Troost, Brendan James, Alice Wallace, Tony Gilkyson, Carlos Calvo, and Caroline Aiken with  Emily Sailers and John Keane. Listen in at

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PHOTO: Fizzo | South Pasadena News | The Jazz Cartel

Jazz Wednesdays continue in South Pasadena at Jones Coffee Roasters featuring The Jazz Cartel. Take a stroll down Mission Street near the metro tracks on an early Wednesday evening and you’ll hear the smooth sounds of jazz emanating from the Jones patio from 5:30-8:30pm. It’s become a weekly meet-up to hang out with friends, bop to the music and even “cut a rug” on the sidewalk! Featuring Jonathan “Fizzo” Frias on string bass, Shaun Valentine on drums, Kyle O’Donnell on tenor sax and the smooth vocals of Curtis Perry, The Jazz Cartel will make your night. 1006 Mission Street in South Pasadena. Tip the guys @thejazzcartel

PHOTO: A Noise Within | South Pasadena News | The company of Canciones de Olemdo

A Noise Within will partner with Diversifying the Classics to host the second edition of Los Angeles’ Festival of Hispanic classical theater, LA Escena 2020, Nov. 12-16, 2020. All events are free to the public, and RSVPs can be made on A Noise Within’s website at This special-edition, largely virtual festival includes artists from Mexico City, Madrid and Málaga in Spain, as well as New York and Los Angeles, all exploring new directions in theater practice across a number of platforms. Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx, Director of Cultural Programming at A Noise Within, said this partnership has long been in the works.“A Noise Within is honored to be hosting LA Escena 2020,” Muñoz-Proulx said. “Ever since stepping into my current position as Director of Cultural Programming two years ago, I have been working with UCLA Diversifying the Classics to bring this international event to ANW. Up until this past March, we were looking forward to welcoming international artists from across the globe to ANW’s campus and two performance spaces. Though COVID-19 has required this year’s festival to take place virtually, we now find ourselves with an incredible opportunity to merge Hispanic classical theatre with new technologies and platforms. The act of re-imagining these canonical texts has never been so exciting. Old meets New with this unexpected collision of classic stories with our current global moment.” The festival will include a combination of both English and Spanish performances. The full lineup and details can be found at

PHOTO: Johan Persson | South Pasadena News | Center Thatre Group Associate Artist Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake.”

Center Theatre Group presents Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake,” premiering Friday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m. and streaming Saturday, November 14 at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 15 at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Free to CTG subscribers and supporters and $10 for all others at Made available by New Adventures Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake” returns with a fresh look for the 21st century. Retaining the iconic elements of the original production loved by millions around the world, Matthew Bourne and award-winning designers Lez Brotherston (set and costumes) and Paule Constable (lighting) create an exciting reimagining of the classic New Adventures production captured during its sell-out run at Sadler’s Wells. Thrilling, audacious, witty, and emotive, this Swan Lake is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble, which shattered conventions, turned tradition upside down, and took the dance world by storm. Collecting over 30 international accolades including an Olivier Award in the UK and three Tonys on Broadway, Matthew Bourne’s powerful interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece made its American premiere at the Ahmanson in 1997 and has returned twice due to popular demand.

PHOTO: Rose Callahan | South Pasadena News | Yannick Nézet-Séguin,
the Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director at The Met Opera.

The Met Opera celebrates conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin all week and while any new Met production of Verdi’s beloved tragedy, La Traviata, would be noteworthy, Michael Mayer’s dazzling staging was doubly significant as it marked Yannick’s first performance as the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director. On the podium for this Live in HD transmission, Nezet-Sequin leads a starry ensemble. As Violetta, the consumptive heroine fighting to find true happiness, soprano Diana Damrau delivers a compelling portrayal. Tenor Juan Diego Florez sings his first Verdi role with the company, as impetuous lover Alfredo, and baritone Quinn Kelsey is Geiorgio Germont, Alfredo’s implacable father. La Traviata streams Thursday November 19. Tune in at for a full opera every evening streamed for 24 hours.