Just as the nights are getting longer and that dreaded seasonal depression is setting in, light displays are cropping up all over Southern California brighten up our lives. The darker nights are also ushering in some holiday themed events like a preview of the sequel to “A Christmas Story” and a musical of a certain red-nosed reindeer. If you prefer to hold off on the holiday celebrations, keep reading for all the fun events happening in the Southland this week—from musical performances to a taco and margarita festival.
LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden | 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007 | Nov. 11-Jan. 8 | arboretum.org
The popular light display is back with 15 displays (including the very instagramable Winter Cathedral) and the U.S. premiere of three installations: Will-o’-the-wisp, Whole Hole and the biggest Laser Garden.
“Encanto” Live-to-Film Concert Experience
Hollywood Bowl | 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068 | Nov. 11-12 | hollywoodbowl.com
The original cast on Disney’s “Encanto” will sing songs from the film as they’re accompanied by a full orchestra and 50-person ensemble.
Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus | 332 S. Michigan Ave., Pasadena, CA, 91106 | Nov. 11 | events.caltech.edu
Nobuntu, the female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro jazz to gospel. The ensemble’s concerts are performed with pure voices augmented by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments, such as the Mbira (thumb piano), and energetic, authentic dance movements.
Jazz At LACMA: Chuck Johnson’s Jazz Coalescence
LACMA Smidt Welcome Plaza | 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | Nov. 11 | lacma.org
Enjoy a free concert from Chuck Johnson’s Jazz Coalescence. “Saxophonist and bandleader Chuck Johnson presents ‘Voices of the Saxophone,’ saluting the 100th anniversary of Illinois Jacquet and Dexter Gordon, along with Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, John Coltrane, Jimmy Heath, and Charlie Parker,” according to LACMA.
Los Angeles Taco and Margarita Festival
LA Coliseum | 3911 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90037 | Nov. 12 | lacoliseum.com
Tacos and margaritas? I’m sold! There will also be music, entertainment, pro-wrestling, taco trucks, a custom taco and margarita menu, and a tequila expo.
Atwater Village Theatre | 3269 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039 | Nov. 12-Dec. 5 | iamatheatre.com
“Smile” is set in 1992, the year a record number of women were elected to the U.S. Senate that was dubbed “Year of the Woman” by the media, but things haven’t changed much for 17-year-old Rachel Olivera. A kid from the inner city whose mother moved her in order to attend a white, affluent public school in Philadelphia’s Main Line, Rachel still dreams of her first kiss; she’s ill-equipped to navigate a world which defines her solely by gender, race and class. When an “incident” at school lands Rachel in the guidance counselor’s office, her situation sparks the young mother’s own questions and insecurities. Soon, Rachel and Helen find themselves developing a complicated relationship.
Free Drive-In Movie: ‘Lightyear’
Indian Hill Conference Center parking lot | 1444 E. Holt Ave. Pomona, CA 91767 | Nov. 12 | instagram.com/p/CkJ4eaxPWjT/
The City of Pomona and PUSD are hosting a free drive-in screening of Disney’s “Lightyear”.
‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical’
Downey Theatre | 8435 Firestone Blvd., Downey, California 90241 | Nov. 12 | downeytheatre.org
The 1964 holiday classic comes to life on stage with all your favorite characters including Santa, Hermey the Elf and the Abominable Snow Monster.
MUSE/IQUE: Sunset On Sunset
Union Station | 800 N. Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Nov. 12-13 | muse-ique.com
Concluding its yearlong concert series focussing on different LA streets and music associated with it, MUSE/IQUE now ventures on a musical journey into the center of LA with Brandon Victor Dixon (Billy Flynn in “Chicago” on Broadway) and Dejah Gomez. With this sweeping performance, MUSE/IQUE traces Sunset’s influence from film noir to glitzy clubs on the world-famous “Sunset Strip.”
Burbank Winter Wine Walk
Downtown Burbank | 301 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA 91502 | Nov. 12 | burbankwinterwinewalk.com
San Fernando Boulevard will be filled with vendors, live entertainment, artists, crafters and wine tastings. You do not need a Wine Walk ticket to enjoy the street fair.
Free Preview: ‘A Christmas Story Christmas’
The Autry | 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027 | Nov. 12 | theautry.org
Presented by Warner Bros. Pictures, HBO Max and Legendary Pictures, “A Christmas Story Christmas” follows an adult Ralphie as he returns home and tries to give his kids a Christmas as magical as the one he had as a young boy. Pack a picnic basket, or purchase something from a participating food truck, and watch this early preview as it’s projected on the big screen.
A Verdi Puccini Fest
First Presbyterian Church | 1220 Second St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 | Nov. 12-13 | verdichorus.org
This program, which Verdi Chorus Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum says includes “some of the most exciting moments from two of the greatest operatic composers who ever lived,” will feature selections from four Verdi operas – “I Lombardi,” “Don Carlo,” “Rigoletto,” and “La traviata,” and sequences from Puccini’s “Turandot,” “La bohème,” “Suor Angelica,” “Tosca,” “La fanciulla del West,” and “La rondine.”
Marine Stadium | 5255 E. Paoli Way, Long Beach, CA 90803 | Nov. 13 | dearhandmadelife.com
This bike- and dog-friendly event features over 200 makers, live music, artisan food vendors, food trucks, and DIY crafting. Special activities at the show will include making your own room spray, creating your own holiday tags, yarn painting, creating incense blends and more.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
Rose Bowl Stadium | 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103 | Nov. 13 | rgcshows.com
Pickup some antiques, collectibles, or vintage finds from over 2,500 vendors at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.
Munchies Block Party
1908 E. Cesar E Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90033 | Nov. 13 | eventbrite.com
This cannabis and food fair will feature vendors selling cannabis, food, drinks, and boutique goods. There will also be music and televised sports.
Rabia Chaudry Discusses ‘Fatty Fatty Boom Boom’
Vroman’s Bookstore | 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Nov. 14 | vromansbookstore.com
The bestselling author and “Undisclosed” podcast host has written a memoir about food, body image, and growing up in a Pakistani immigrant family.
On The Front Lines Of Democracy
Mark Taper Auditorium Central Library | 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles, CA 90071 | Nov. 14 | eventbrite.com
In a discussion moderated by law professor and free expression expert David Kaye, Joel Simon, the author of “The Infodemic,” and the directors of the HBO documentary “Endangered,” Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, describe how lies, censorship, and attacks on journalists are undermining democracy.
Caltech Behind The Book: ‘Nomad Century’ By Gaia Vince
Online | Nov. 15 | events.caltech.edu
British science journalist and author Gaia Vince will discuss her book “Nomad Century: How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World” with Tapio Schneider, Caltech’s Theodore Y. Wu professor of environmental science and engineering, in a pre-record conversation that will be followed by a live discussion of Caltech’s involvement in climate science now and in the future, with Schneider and his Caltech colleagues and students.
Latin Jazz Ensemble Directed By David Tull
Center for the Arts – Room: West Patio | 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106 | Nov. 15 | pasadena.edu
Part of Pasadena City College’s Free Outdoor Concerts, the public is invited to this showcase of student talent.
Pershing Square Building ART Show & Complimentary Cocktail Reception
Pershing Square Building | 448 S. Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 | Nov. 16-18 | eventbrite.com
Reserve a spot for this free art show featuring more than 30 local artists with a complimentary reception hosted by Mrs. Fish Japanese Restaurant and Whisky Bar.
Lola Boutée Presents TRiPTease Burlesque
TRIP Santa Monica | 2101 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405 l Nov. 16 l eventbrite.com
Lower your inhibitions and see what’s hot at LA’s longest running weekly burlesque and variety show. Every Wednesday features a fresh new lineup of talent hosted by the original dame herself, Lola Boutée.
Tribute To Celia Cruz
The Mixx | 443 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Nov. 17 | themixxclub.com
DJ Sloepoke and DJ Scarlett Casanova will play special sets in honor of the legendary queen of salsa. Rare musical performances and videos will be projected on the large LED wall.
CONTACT: A Multi-Sensory Journey Celebrating Daft Punk
Wisdome LA | 1147 Palmetto St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 | Nov. 17-19 | feverup.com
This galactic show will catapult guests into a multi-sensory dance party with an evolving roster of DJs, cirque performers, immersive actors, and musicians. Integrated with cutting edge dome content, captivating lasers, 3D mapping, and practical effects, the show is the ultimate love letter to Daft Punk’s legacy.
‘The Brothers Paranormal’
David Henry Hwang Theatre | 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Nov. 17-Dec. 11 | eastwestplayers.org
After a nationwide increase in sightings of “Asian-looking ghosts,” two Thai brothers struggle to launch a ghost-hunting business. The two brothers–one born in Thailand and the other in the American Midwest–are called to investigate the paranormal hauntings at the home of an African-American couple displaced by Hurricane Katrina in this supernatural thriller. A suspenseful, humorous, and compassionate exploration of the trauma of leaving home, whether crossing the country, the globe, or over from the other side.
Creative Talent Network Expo CTNX2022
Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel | 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505 | Nov. 17-20 | ctn-events.com
Whether you’re just starting your journey in animation and visual storytelling or you’re a professional, the expo will have something to offer. The three-day expo will feature meetups, curated exhibitions, screenings, panels, intermediate and advanced master classes, networking opportunities with large and small studio professionals, portfolio reviews and more.
‘The Planets’ In Concert
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall | 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Nov. 17-19 | pacificsymphony.org
Pacific Symphony performs Gustav Holst’s celestial musical trip with visuals on the big screen. Violinist Stefan Jackiw will perform Max Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy.”
Bargain Box Thrift Store | 64 E. Live Oak Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006 | Through Nov. 12 | assistanceleague.org/arcadia
The Assistance League of Arcadia will hold their Holiday Boutique daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The store will be filled with brand new gift items, and holiday treasures, including décor, clothing, toys, games, and tableware. The Holiday Boutique raises funds to provide new school uniforms and school supplies for
underserved children through our Operation School Bell Program.
A Noise Within | 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 | Through Nov. 13 | anoisewithin.org
“Radio Golf” is the final play in Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle” decade-by-decade exploration of the Black experience in 20th century America. Harmond Wilks, Pittsburgh’s first Black mayoral candidate, finds himself on the verge of the business breakthrough of a lifetime. The arrival of an unexpected visitor with surprising news forces Harmond to choose between his personal aspirations and his integrity. With humor and courage, Radio Golf challenges the steep price progress can exact upon the soul.
Pasadena | Through Nov. 13 | pasadenaheritage.org
Celebrating great architecture in the city, Pasadena Heritage has created an entertaining and educational program highlighting different architectural styles.
Pasadena Convention Center | 300 E. Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Through Nov. 13 | stitches.events
If you’ve always wanted to learn about sowing, crochet and the like, this is your chance to do so. The schedule of 104 classes includes knitting, crochet, weaving, sewing, quilting, embroidery, spinning, carding, dyeing and more. There will also be a market with yarn, fiber, fabric, tools and everything else you need for your next project.
‘Warrior Queen Anahit The Brave’
Colony Theatre | 555 N. Third St., Burbank, CA 91502 | Through Nov. 18 | imaginetheatreca.org
Filled with song, multi-media, interactive elements and spectacle, “Warrior Queen” reinvents Ghazaros Aghayan’s 1881 fable “Anahit” to powerfully recount the transformation of a young, peasant rug weaver to sword-wielding Queen of the Armenian Highlands.
‘Alice And The Wonderful Tea Party’
Santa Monica Playhouse | 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 | Through Nov. 20 | santamonicaplayhouse.com
This lively show follows a grown-up Alice who goes back through the looking glass at the invitation of the Queen of Hearts to visit the wonderful Wonderland of her youth.
South Coast Repertory | 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Through Nov. 20 | scr.org
Snow White is finally telling her own story alongside Dwarf Four, as six of the seven dwarves are missing. Two actors take on 14 roles in this fast, humorous and imaginative twist on an old tale.
‘2:22 – A Ghost Story’
Ahmanson Theatre | 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Through Dec. 4 | centertheatregroup.org
Starring Constance Wu, Anna Camp, Adam Rothenberg, and Finn Wittrock, this award-winning supernatural thriller mixes mystery, comedy and a little horror.
‘(Re)Inventing The Americas: Repeat. Erase, Construct’
The Getty | 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049 | Through Jan. 8 | getty.edu
Challenging European interpretations and often racist versions of history, “(Re)Inventing the Americas: Repeat. Erase, Construct” analyzes the creation of the mythologies that arose during the conquest and exploration of the Americas and reveals the influence that those myths and visions have had on defining the two continents. The exhibition will feature a collaboration with Denilson Baniwa, a contemporary artist from the Brazilian Amazon region who will generate different artistic interventions throughout the show.
123 Farm | 10600 Highland Springs Ave., Cherry Valley, CA 92223 | Through Jan. 8 | 123farm.com
The festival includes festive foods and drinks (including a lavender-infused hot cocoa), horse-drawn carriage tours, a life-size gingerbread house, s’mores pits, a Christmas village, Santa and a display of over one million lights.
‘Open Flowers Bear Fruit’
USC Pacific Asia Museum | 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Through March 12 | pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu
“Open Flowers Bear Fruit” features 10 photographs from Stephanie Shih’s ongoing series Asian American Still Life. Through her references to 17th-century Dutch still life paintings, Shih’s photographs challenge viewers to consider the complexity of the Asian American experience as it has manifested in the foods we eat and the things that remind us of home.
‘Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898–1971’
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures | 6067 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | Through April 9 | regenerationblackcinema.org
The exhibition explores the achievements and challenges of Black filmmakers in the US in both independent production and the studio system—in front of the camera and behind it—from cinema’s infancy in the 1890s to the early 1970s. A survey of the films and filmmakers explored in the exhibition will be shown until Sept. 29 and will feature more than 20 screenings. The Regeneration Summit, Feb. 3–5, 2023, will be a two-day celebration of Black cinema featuring artists, scholars, and filmmakers participating in conversations, workshops, and activations throughout the museum.