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Home / Events / Fun things to do in SoCal this week: May 5-11

Fun things to do in SoCal this week: May 5-11

by F Diaz
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Fair and festival season is unofficially upon SoCal! There are a few in this week’s calendar but check back because more are on the way.

May 5

LA County Fair

Fairplex | 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768 | May 5-29 | lacountyfair.com

The fair is back, this year with a theme all about spring. Get ready for rides, an eclectic music lineup, all kinds of fried foods, cars, baby animals at the farm, and exhibitions ranging from art forestry.

La Habra Citrus Fair 2023

321 E. La Habra Blvd., La Habra, CA 90631 | May 5-7 | helmandsons.magicmoneyllc.com

The fair features carnival rides, agricultural programs, live music, a citrus marketplace, classic car show, and dancers.

First Fridays: Giant Monsters/Giant Robot

Natural History Museum Los Angeles County | 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007 | May 5 | nhm.org

Continuing with this year’s theme of “Fandoms & Fantasy,” this Friday’s event features a discussion on the rise of Asian pop-culture and the legacy of Giant Robot Magazine with the magazine’s founders Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong, filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña, artist James Jean, and director Dylan Robertson. There will also be a  Giant Robot store pop-up, live music, DJ sets, food trucks and more.

Beach Life Festival

Redondo Beach | 239 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 | May 5-7 | beachlifefestival.com

Rock out on the beach with over 50 bands on four stages including The Black Keys, Sublime, Gwen Stefani, The Black Crowes and more.

Gimme Gimme Disco

Riverside Municipal Auditorium | 3485 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501 | May 5 | gimmegimmedisco.com

All Dancing Queens are invited to this dance party featuring music from ABBA, The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Cher and other disco stars.

May 6

Candlelight: A Tribute To Beyoncé

Immanuel Presbyterian Church | 663 S. Berendo St., Los Angeles, CA 90005 | May 6 | feverup.com

The 60-minute program will cover Queen Bey’s music catalog from “Say My Name” to “Cuff It” from her latest album “Renaissance.”

Candlelight concert. | Photo courtesy of Feverup

Beckman Arts And Science Family Festival

Argyros Plaza | 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | May 6 | scfta.org

Get ready for a free, family-friendly day of science. Explore the connections between science and art through hands-on activities, performances, and interactive exhibits. There will also be festival foods and more.

Brahms And Beyond

First United Methodist Church Pasadena | 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 | May 6 | pasadenachorale.org 

“Brahms and Beyond” will feature some of Brahms’ most beloved choral works and explores the music of living composers influenced and inspired by Brahms. The new pieces by five Los Angeles composers connect with Brahms by a through-line of expressivity and harmonic richness.

The Pasadena Chorale performing in March 2023. | Photo courtesy of Luis Luque

Emo Night Brooklyn

Echoplex | 1154 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026 | May 6 | emonightbk.com

Clean up your looks and dance, dance as DJs play the best emo and pop punk hits. Some of your favorite artists may be invited to surprise the crowd and join the party. 

909 Open Market

119 W. 2nd St., Pomona, CA 91766 | May 6 | 909openmarket.com 

Head to the 909 Open Market for some food, shopping and music. 

Street Food Cinema: ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

LA State Historic Park | 1245 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | May 6 | streetfoodcinema.com

Watch the people of Wakanda defend their home following the death of King T’Challa. There will also be live music from singer-songwriter Jacqriot and a selection of food trucks. 

Still from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” | Photo courtesy of ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The Backyard By Stater Bros. Community Concert Series

Toyota Arena | 4000 East Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764 | May 6 | toyota-arena.com

Disfruto Lo Malo with Junior H. and Natanael Cano will headline the next installment of the community concert series. 

818 Night Market

Kirk O’ the Valley Presbyterian Church | 19620 Vanowen St., Reseda, CA 91335 | May 6 | the818nightmarket.com

Stop by from 5-10 p.m. and do a little shopping from small vendors, get a bite to eat and enjoy some music.

Cinco De Mayo Block Party

Petersen Automotive Museum | 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90036 | May 6 | petersen.org

The Petersen and Mission Foods are partnering to produce this free, family-friendly block party featuring classic cars, music, vendors, and educational activities.

‘The Humours Of Bandon’

Odyssey Theatre | 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025 | May 6-8 | odysseytheatre.com

Annie is a 16-year-old Irish Dancer from Dublin and we meet her on the eve of the biggest competition of her life, the Irish Open Championships 1999. She charts us through the various successes and disappointments of her Irish Dancing life. We share her mind-numbing commitment and burning desire to win the coveted Irish Open title. Will she win and, if so, in what way? From the confines of every community hall in Ireland, Irish Dancing champions are churned out at a massive rate. Medals and cups build up in drawing rooms and Riverdance swells a national pride, but the public aren’t privy to the blood, sweat and tears that pave the way to the first place podium.

Margaret Mc Auliffe in “Humours of Bandon.” | Photo by Maria Falconer

May 7

Behind The Blacklist: ‘Trumbo’ (2007) And ‘The Prowler’ (1951)

Skirball Cultural Center | 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049 | May 7 | skirball.org

Inspired by the exhibition “Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare,” watch a double feature focusing on award-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo—who was blacklisted for being a member of the Communist Party—and a conversation with film historian Alan Rode and film critic and historian Leonard Maltin in between films. 

PCC Flea Market

Pasadena City College | 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106 | May 7 | pasadena.edu

If you’re not done shopping, head to the Pasadena City College Flea Market to search for antiques and collectibles from over 400 vendors.

Palm Springs Vintage Market

Palm Springs Cultural Center | 2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262 | May 7 | palmspringsvintagemarket.com 

The market features food, entertainment, vintage Americana and midcentury modern finds. 

May 8

Laura Dern & Diane Ladd With Cleo Wade

The Ann and Jerry Moss Theater–New Roads School Herb Alpert Educational Village | 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404 | May 8 | eventbrite.com

Award-winning actress and activist Laura Dern and her mother, actress Diane Ladd, discus their new deeply personal book, “Honey, Baby, Mine: A Mother and Daughter Talk Life, Death, Love (and Banana Pudding).”

Country Line Dancing

The Pour House | 405 S. Myrtle Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016 | May 8 | eventbrite.com

Put on your cowboy boots for line dancing starting at 6 p.m. If you’re not familiar with line dancing, there are lessons starting at 7 p.m. for $8. There are also pool tables, music, drinks and food. 

May 9


Pantages Theatre | 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 | May 9 – June 10 | broadwayinhollywood.com

Divorced. Beheaded. Survived. The six wives of Henry VII were so much more than the wives of a fickle king. The new musical turns their stories into ones of female empowerment. 

Anna Uzele (Catherine Parr, center) with (l – r) Adrianna Hicks (Catherine of Aragon), Andrea Macasaet (Anne Boleyn), Abby Mueller (Jane Seymou), Brittney Mack (Anna of Cleves) & Samantha Pauly (Katherine Howard). | Photo by by Joan Marcus

Missy Elliott

Yaamava’ Theater | 777 San Manuel Blvd., Highland, CA 92346 | May 9 | yaamava.com

See the rap and hip-hop legend, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, perform.

Andrea Bocelli

Hollywood Bowl | 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068 | May 9-10 | hollywoodbowl.com

The Italian tenor brings kicks off his tour in LA. 

May 10

Pen America World Voices Festival

LA | May 10-13 | worldvoices.pen.org

Celebrating how literature can change the world, the Pen America World Voices Festival features conversations with writers and activists on topics such as human rights, environmental action, gendered power structures, artistic freedom, political polarization, and birds. Each event will be held at a different LA-area institution. 

San Dimas Farmers Market

San Dimas | 245 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas, CA 91773 | May 10 | sandimasfarmersmarket.com 

The San Dimas Farmers Market is opening up for the season. Pick up fresh produce or artisanal goods. 

May 11

‘On This Side Of The World’

David Henry Hwang Theater | 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | May 11 – June 4 | eastwestplayers.org

A woman flies from the Philippines to America with a one-way ticket and a suitcase full of stories. Each story is collected from immigrants who came before her—tales of overseas workers, young lovers, and gossipy church ladies; snapshots of undocumented immigrants, millennial princesses and first-generation Americans. Suspended above the ocean, she replays these stories in her mind as she searches for the courage to embrace her future. This world premiere musical gives voices to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, eight-thousand miles from home.

Cast of “On This Side of the World.” | Photo courtesy of East West Players

Gershwin’s Rhapsody

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall | 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | May 11-13 | scfta.org

Party like it’s 1923! Over three days enjoy music from the Roaring Twenties, including George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris,” a Gatsby-esque party and the 1927 silent film “It.”

Montebello Night Market

Behind parking lot of Wells Fargo Bank | 777 W. Whittier Blvd,, Montebello, CA 90640 | May 11 | montebelloca.gov

Entertainment and vendors selling farmers market items, homemade goods, arts, crafts and food will gather from 6-9 p.m. Border Town will perform live renditions of blues, rockabilly, polka, and country music.


‘Connections: Asia’

Getty Center Museum | 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049 | Through May 7 | getty.edu

The exhibit features five works of Asian art made between the 14th and 18th centuries in China, India, Korea and Japan on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and displayed alongside European paintings and sculpture in the Getty’s collection made around the same time. “This juxtaposition creates visual and thematic dialogues that highlight the form and function of devotional images, woodcarving techniques, traditions of painting landscapes and portraits of prominent individuals, and the trade of luxury goods,” according to the Getty.


Ahmanson Theatre | 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Through May 7 | centertheatregroup.org

This Tony Award-winning Best Musical will make you rethink the birth of the nation. The production, featuring a diverse cast, explores what it takes to get two dozen powerfully passionate, exceedingly complicated, and all-too-human individuals to settle their differences, while they hold the very future of a nation in their hands.

(Center) Joanna Glushak and the National Tour Cast of “1776.” “1776” plays at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre April 11-May 7, 2023. | Photo by Joan Marcus

Desert X 2023

Coachella Valley | Through May 7 | desertx.org 

Site-specific art installations throughout the Coachella Valley examine how humans shape and impact their environment, and the environment of others, in both beneficial and detrimental ways. “The desert is full of mythologies, ones that equip people with a strong will to survive in conditions some might think to be impossible, and this combination of tenacity through storytelling contributes to the important role of ‘the desert’ in many cultures around the world,” says co-curator Diana Campbell. “One of the many challenges of this project is not to over-romanticize this ‘tenacity’ and to work with art, artists, and storytelling to address real problems (that are not just stories) facing humans and non-humans who live in the Coachella Valley today.” 

The Pilot Who Crashed The Party

Broadwater Theatre Main Stage | 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038 | Through May 7 | onstage411.com/Pilot

Written and directed by Tony Award winning actor and Second City alum Paul Sand, “The Pilot Who Crashed the Party” is an off-beat homage to the drawing room dramas of the ’30s set in the Santa Monica Mountains on a violent, stormy night filled with rain, lightning and thunder. Friends at the intimate soirée are suspicious. The caterer might be in love. “As the partygoers take turns caring for (the pilot), each projects a part of themself onto the pilot as they try to figure him out,” says Sand.

‘(Im)migrants Of The State’

The Actors’ Gangat The Ivy Substation | 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA, 90232 | Extended through May 13 | theactorsgang.com 

Created by and based on the real-life experiences of formerly incarcerated actors, these stories run the full gamut of emotions, and the creators have found a way to employ humor, joy, and hope as they face even the darkest moments. An ensemble of Prison Project alumni with over 240 years of combined incarceration who have found their way to freedom now want to share their stories with audiences. “People have shared with us that they’re [coming] to the theater for the very first time because they heard the play would contain stories that represented their lived experiences,” shared co-director Jeremie Loncka. “While some regular theatergoers said that the cast’s courage and vulnerability restored and inspired their belief in theater to create change.”

(Left to right) Front kneeling: John Dich, Montrell Harrell, Henry Palacio, Shaun Jones Back standing: Robert Chavez, Edgar Rodriguez, Scott Tran, Rich Loya Foreground right: Gregory Leon. | Photo by Bob Turton

‘Pueblo Espíritu’ & ‘Las Diosas Subterráneas’

The Los Angeles Theatre Center | 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 | Through May 14 | latinotheaterco.org 

Latino Theater Company presents Mexico City’s interdisciplinary, experimental ensemble Organización Secreta Teatro in two new performance works. “Pueblo Espíritu” (“Spirit Town”) explores a post-pandemic dystopian society in which human beings must connect with their mystical surroundings in order to survive. “Las Diosas Subterráneas” (“Subterranean Goddesses”) uses the Greek myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, kidnapped by Hades, god of the underworld, to tell a story of mothers looking for their missing daughters who have been kidnapped by human traffickers. “Pueblo Espíritu” will be on stage through May 7. “Las Diosas Subterráneas” performs the following week from May 10-14.

“Pueblo Espíritu.” | Photo by Ángela Chapa

‘Under The Skin’

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center | 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach, CA 90802 | Through May 14 | ictlongbeach.org

Lou needs a kidney. His daughter Raina has one to spare, but she’s also got issues. Like, how come he had sex with so many women who weren’t her mother? And never went to any of her birthday parties when she was a kid? Or can even remember the name or sex of her daughter? Secrets get aired and truths revealed in this lively, unpredictable dark comedy that asks just how much parents and children really owe one another.

Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area | 15501 Arrow Highway, Irwindale, CA 91706 | Through May 21 | renfair.com

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Renaissance Pleasure Faire returns to SoCal with entertaining shows ranging from falconry and magic to drinking songs and jousting. With delicious food, flowing drinks, a marketplace like nowhere else, and actors getting everyone into the spirit, you will undoubtedly have a good time. Huzzah!

‘A Little Night Music’

Pasadena Playhouse | 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Through May 21 | pasadenaplayhouse.org

Based on Ingmar Bergman’s “Smiles of a Summer Night,” and featuring a score primarily in waltz time, the production was one of Stephen Sondheim’s greatest commercial successes. Set in 1900 Sweden, “A Little Night Music” explores the tangled web of affairs centered around actress Desirée Armfeldt, and the men who love her: a lawyer by the name of Fredrik Egerman and the Count Carl-Magnus Malcom. When Desirée performs in Fredrik’s town, the estranged lovers’ passion rekindles. This strikes a flurry of jealousy and suspicion between Desirée; Fredrik; Fredrick’s wife, Anne; Desirée’s current lover, the Count; and the Count’s wife, Charlotte. Both men – as well as their jealous wives – agree to join Desirée and her family for a weekend in the country at Desirée’s mother’s estate. With everyone in one place, infinite possibilities of new romances and second chances bring endless surprises.

| Art courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena Showcase House Of Design

Pasadena | Through May 21 | pasadenashowcase.org

Leading interior and exterior designers renovate an existing home top to bottom to raise funds for music programs and grants for nonprofits. This year’s home is a 1933 grand colonial designed by Marston & Maybury. This year, the Restaurant at Showcase will be catered by Roe Fusion and executive chef Phillip Ozaki.

‘Whittier Boulevard’

The Los Angeles Theatre Center | 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 | Through May 28 | latinotheaterco.org

Years of fires, torrential rain, anarchy and bloodshed have led to a totalitarian city-state where the elderly disappear, their stories forgotten in 2042 Los Angeles. When authorities make a surprise visit to the home of faded Chicana starlet Veronica Del Rio on the eve of her 75th birthday, she enlists the help of her loudmouth nurse, a kindhearted policeman-fan, and a down-on-his-luck poet. Will Veronica disappear and be forgotten before she finds true love?

Evelina Fernández and Lucy Rodriguez in “Whittier Boulevard.” | Photo courtesy of Latino Theater Company

‘The Hilton Als Series: Njideka Akunyili Crosby’

The Huntington | 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108 | Through June 12 | huntington.org

The exhibit features a selection of works by Nigerian-born, Los Angeles–based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby in the final exhibition curated by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and New Yorker magazine critic Hilton Als, in collaboration with the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) and Akynyili Crosby. The two selected five collage-based paintings from “The Beautyful Ones,” Crosby’s ongoing series of intimate portraits of Nigerian children, including members of her own family.

‘Symbiosis: Living Island’

Japan House | 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Level 2, Los Angeles, CA 90028 | Through July 5 | japanhousela.com

The Inujima “Art House Project” creates a unique symbiosis between art, architecture, community, and ecology that has been transforming the landscape of the Japanese island of Inujima, which now is home to just 25 homes with more than half of the inhabitants over 70 years of age. The exhibition celebrates and transports visitors to this “living art” island through the sights and sounds of everyday island life, captured through an experiential diorama of the island and its art pavilions.

Butterfly Pavilion

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County | 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007 | Through Aug. 13 | nhm.org

The Natural History Museum’s seasonal Butterfly Pavilion featuring hundreds of butterflies of various species, native plants and natural light is finally opening. 

‘Peter Krasnow: Breathing Joy And Light’ 

Skirball Cultural Center | 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049 | Through Sept. 3 | skirball.org

The “Peter Krasnow: Breathing Joy and Light” exhibition showcases 20 paintings and drawings from the Skirball’s collection of the artist’s work. The exhibition focuses on works made primarily during the decades after World War II and the Holocaust. To ease the despair brought on by that painful period, Krasnow created vibrant paintings teeming with exuberant, abstract forms, radiating optimism, and evoking a spiritual world of renewal. Krasnow emigrated from Ukraine to the United States at age 20 in 1907 and established himself in the Los Angeles art community in the 1920s, where he was inspired by the hope and possibility of Southern California. His paintings incorporate elements of his Jewish heritage and the organic forms and vivid hues found in the plant life of his Atwater Village home and studio.  

Peter Krasnow, “Casa Verdugo,” 1923, repainted 1963. Oil on board. Collection of the Skirball Cultural Center, gift of Peter and Rose Krasnow. | Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

‘The Power Of Song: A Songwriters Hall Of Fame Exhibit’

The Grammy Museum | 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015 | Through Sept. 4 | grammymuseum.org

The newly expanded exhibition celebrates iconic American songwriters. Through artifact displays, an original film, and interactive experiences, the exhibit examines the songwriter’s creative process, tells the stories of great songwriters – all of whom are Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees or special award recipients – and digs deep into the celebrated compositional works that make up the American music treasury.

‘Printed In 1085: The Chinese Buddhist Canon From The Song Dynasty’

The Huntington | 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108 | Through  Dec. 4 | huntington.org

The Huntington will exhibit for the first time the oldest printed book in its collection, “The Scripture of the Great Flower Ornament of the Buddha.”  The exhibit will show the connection between religion and China’s printmaking, which had been practiced centuries before the first use of movable metal type in Europe.

‘Journeys Continued: LA Communities Through The Eyes Of Artists’

Los Angeles Union Station | 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Through Dec. 31 | art.metro.net

In “Journeys Continued: LA Communities Through the Eyes of Artists,” 12 featured pieces focus on a specific area, neighborhood or city Metro serves within greater Los Angeles and will be on view in the Passageway Art Gallery, between Union Station East and West.

“Irwindale” by William Acedo. | Photo courtesy of Metro Art

Shakira, Shakira: The Grammy Museum Experience

The Grammy Museum | 800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 | Through Winter 2024 | grammymuseum.org

If you’ve had “Las mujeres ya no lloran, las mujeres facturan” stuck in your head the last few weeks then you’ll want to stop by this exhibit honoring the multi-Grammy Award-winning and Latin Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, philanthropist and international icon. The exhibit explores the artist’s musical evolution, from her origins as a Latin rock-loving singer-songwriter in Barranquilla, Colombia, to a global superstar whose catalog spans multiple genres, from bhangra and bachata to rock and reggaetón. The exhibit features interactives, artifacts from Shakira’s personal archive, three original films, handwritten lyrics, costumes, guitars and more.

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