Arts Are Essential | What’s On in Arts & Entertainment This Week | November 6 – 13

PHOTO: Geffen Playhouse | South Pasadena News | Jefferson Mays in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the Geffen Playhouse

I have been seeing shows at The Geffen in West LA for years now but I do know that sometimes the cross town drive at 6pm can be a bit off-putting. But hey, it’s a global pandemic so the silver lining is all this cool content our local theaters are making available to us. One such event is the upcoming extraordinary feat of Jefferson Mays playing all the characters in a one man production of A Christmas Carol. On sale now, the shows begin Nov. 28 and run through Jan. 3. It’s truly an experience unlike any other with the timeless tale given new life by the haunting direction of Michael Arden, who won a Tony for Best Revival for Once on This Island. Staged exclusively for this production and captured live with breathtaking clarity, this must watch streaming event conjures the powerful spirits of Christmas and brings all the magic of live theatre home for the holidays. For tickets and info head to GeffenPlayhouse.org.

PHOTO: Juli Kim performs at LA Women’s Theatre Festival

Local thespians and proprietors of our beloved Fremont Centre Theatre, James Reynolds and Lissa Layng Reynolds will be once again co-hosting the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival this Sunday at 3pm. This weekend’s spotlight performer is Juli Kim starring in Abandon. Kim creates Korean classical/fusion work that has been described as “both powerful and poetic in an improvised form based on rigorous training.” Her most notable work is the production of Friendship Concerts, a series of concerts that commemorate the LA Riots and promotes unity in diversity. Other highlights on Sunday will be “Tapping My Way To The Nuthouse” with Lynne Jassem, “I Didn’t Cry” with Sergia Starr, and “Dare To Claim The Sky” with Sharon Nyree Williams. Tickets are only $10 and can be found at lawtf.org

PHOTO: A Christmas Carol narrators on stage at Fremont Centre Theatre in a Young Stars Theatre production

Now if A Christmas Carol is a story you love and a more traditional production that is kid-friendly, fun, sweet and oh so economical, all while supporting a real live youth theatre company in town, is what you crave, then tune into the live, online production of Young Stars Theatre’s A Christmas Carol coming to your living room via Zoom December 11, 12 & 13. Tickets are now available for YST’s own original adaptation which will be performed LIVE! YST is the current resident company at Fremont Centre Theatre. For Tickets and info on more ways you can support YST, visit their website at YoungStarsTheatre.org

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PHOTO: Members of The Jazz Cartel playing at Jones Coffee in South Pasadena

Thank you Jones Coffee Roasters and The Jazz Cartel for providing Jazz Wednesdays to keep us all sane and give us a respite in these crazy times. South Pasadenans continue to take advantage of our good weather and beautiful sunsets by strolling Mission Street, grabbing an al fresco bite at Aro, Bistro de la Gare, Teamorrow, La Monarca and more. Featuring Jonathan “Fizzo” Frias on string bass, Shaun Valentine on drums, Kyle O’Donnell on tenor sax and the those smooth vocal stylings of Curtis Perry, The Jazz Cartel will make your night. Wednesdays 5:30pm to 8:30pm on the Jones patio at 1006 Mission Street in South Pasadena. Tip the guys on Venmo @thejazzcartel

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic explore solitude in the seventh episode of the LA Phil’s SOUND/STAGE series beginning Friday, November 6, at 10am. Through the musical selections and the ancillary content, the program captures various aspects of solitude, striking a balance between too much and not enough and the pathway music can provide in finding peace in a tumultuous time.

PHOTO: Adam Latham | South Pasadena News | Gustavo Dudamel conducts the LA Phil

The concert portion of the program features Dudamel and the LA Phil performing Thomas Adès’ Dawn, in its U.S. premiere, and Duke Ellington’s melancholy Solitude, arranged by Morton Gould. Though very different, both works convey the ups and downs the feeling of being alone can evoke.

Further exploring the topic is an online conversation with LA Phil Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock. In the discussion, the long-time practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism shares how he uses solitary or internal practices to achieve a greater understanding of how we can be alone yet connected. Solitude through meditation and as a form of healing is also examined in Living Resistance, one of The Ford’s Digital Festivals, through various forms of wellness with an emphasis on providing communities of color with access to spaces for solitude and self-care. Additional content includes an essay from writer Pico Iver and a bonus performance featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, all found at LAPHIL.COM/Soundstage

PHOTO: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera | South Pasadena News | Vittorio Grigolo as Romeo and Diana Damrau as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette at The Met.

The Metropolitan Opera continues its two-week Tour of Opera History; From the Baroque to the Present with Saturday’s Romeo et Juliette by Gounod. The world’s most famous love story comes to operatic life with superstars Anna Netrebko and Roberto Alagna playing the star-crossed young couple. The abandon and ardor of their performances brought audiences to their feet in both the opera house and in movie theaters. And the unique, up-close-and-personal camerawork takes the viewer onstage to witness some of the production’s most memorable images and sultriest moments as never before. Tune in Saturday beginning at 4pm PT and available for 24 hours at MetOpera.org

So this is fun for all you sartorial fans of The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit. The Brooklyn Museum and Netflix teamed up to offer an amazing 3D exhibit of costumes from both shows. You can tour the collection of costumes at thequeenandthecrown.com where you will be whisked into a 3D model of the museum. One can choose which show and then zoom into them to get a closer look and details. If you venture over to the fourth season costumes of The Crown, the hit-show about the life and rule of Queen Elizabeth II, you’ll see the Queen’s “Trooping of the Colour” riding habit and her tweed Braemar Games suit, as well as the stunning wedding dress worn by Princess Diana in the show. Three people across four weeks and 600 hours created Princess Di’s dress, which used 95 meters of fabric and 100 meters of lace, according to the exhibit. The train is about 25 feet long. Tailoring the dress took five fittings with actress Emma Corrin. Emmy-winning Costume Designer Amy Roberts created these outfits. The fourth season of The Crown debuts on November 15.