By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Pasadena Weekly Executive Editor
There is nothing quite as special as experiencing a new theatrical performance or artwork that makes one think. Sharing it with others who are on the same journey makes it even more impactful.
After a long pandemic absence of live performances, local theaters and art museums around Pasadena offer a chance to see favorite artists, classical compositions and theatrical productions live this fall.
Check out these local events in the next few months.
A Noise Within
3352 E. Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena
A Noise Within is celebrating its 30th season with productions that portray special individuals.
This fall is “An Iliad” by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare through Oct. 3. Based on Homer’s “The Iliad,” “An Iliad” tells the story of rage and conflict starring one performer.
“An Iliad” will be followed by another chapter of August Wilson’s 10-play American Century Cycle with the blues opera “Seven Guitars,” from Oct. 17 to Nov. 14. The play mirrors contemporary America while focusing on the heritage of Black Americans in the 1940s.
216 N. Brand Boulevard, Glendale
For more than 90 years, Glendale’s Alex Theatre has offered diverse programming that — prepandemic — boasted roughly 250 events and 130,000 patrons per year.
Program offerings range from classical, contemporary and world music concerts to film screenings, live theater and stand-up comedy. This fall, Latin programming takes center stage.
ARTsakh Arts & Cultural Foundation presents “Gate to Heaven,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17.
Filmed in Artsakh, “Gate to Heaven” tells the story of a German journalist who returns to Artsakh in 2016 to cover the war, which has been reignited after a 22-year ceasefire. While reporting, he has a relationship with a young opera singer. The dialogue is primarily in English with some portions in Armenian, German, and French; non-English dialogue will have English subtitles.
Other events include Illusion Touring’s “Por Que Los Hombres Aman a Las Cabronas” at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15; and “El Show en Vivo De Bely Y Beto,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28.
La Diosa Entertainment brings “Pimpinela: Gira 40 Aniversario,” 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16; and Eva Ayllon 50th Anniversary Concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6.
Finally, LJ Productions presents “Dos Mas Dos” at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5.
Boston Court Pasadena
70 N. Mentor Avenue, Pasadena
The season kicks off with NT Live: “Cyrano De Bergerac,” starring James McAvoy of “X-Men” and “Atonement” fame from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26. This new adaptation of “Cyrano de Bergerac” was filmed live on London’s West End.
On Oct. 1, the series continues with NT Live: “A View from the Bridge” starring Mark Strong (“The Imitation Game,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) and Nicola Walker (“The Split,” “Last Tango in Halifax”).
In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price.
NT Live: “Follies” will screen Oct. 9 and Oct. 10. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the Follies in this “party on the stage.” Just as their theater is about to be demolished, the Follies girls have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.
NT Live: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” hits the screen on Oct. 15. Based on Mark Haddon’s novel, the performance features 15-year-old Christopher who stands beside Mrs. Shears’ dead dog. Christopher is the suspect in the death of the dog, who was killed with a garden fork. A detective takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
The fall wraps up with NT Live: “War Horse,” which has been seen by 8 million people worldwide. “War Horse” features life-size puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping, charging horses to life. Based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford.
Norton Simon Museum
411 W. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
The Norton Simon Museum showcases the art masters this fall, including Paul Gauguin. The picturesque painting “The Swineherd” from 1888 is on long-term loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through Nov. 13. It joins related post-impressionist works in the museum’s 19th century art wing.
“Unseen Picasso” continues through Jan. 10 and presents a selection of innovative, rarely seen prints created throughout the artist’s career.
“The Expressive Body: Memory, Devotion, Desire (1400-1750)” opens Oct. 15 and runs through March 7. In the centuries following the Middle Ages, images were believed to heal or to injure in Europe and Latin America. Theories of vision suggested that through perception, images could literally stamp themselves onto the mind of the viewer.
Opening Nov. 19 is “Manet’s Philosophers from the Art Institute of Chicago.” In 1865, Édouard Manet traveled to Spain to see all those beautiful things and seek the counsel of maestro Diego Velázquez, according to literature. Velázquez’s paintings of Aesop and Menippus provided a model for Manet, whose guiding artistic ambition was to relate art historical tradition to contemporary life. Closes Feb. 28.
39 S. El Mollino Avenue, Pasadena
This fall, Pasadena Playhouse stages an experiential reimagining of the Broadway musical “Head Over Heels” with songs by the Go-Go’s, directed, choreographed and conceived by Jenny Koons and Sam Pinkleton.
From Nov. 9 to Dec. 12, “Head Over Heels” is a musical comedy adaptation of “The Arcadia” by Sir Philip Sidney and features the hit songs “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” and Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.” The audience will join in the journey as a royal family search to save their kingdom and discovers the joy of each other along the way.
131 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena
Pasadena Symphony recently unveiled its 94th season with a variety of concerts. All concerts take place at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium with both matinee and evening performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The season includes the annually sold-out Holiday Candlelight Concert at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at All Saints Church.
The Pasadena Symphony staff says the shows are designed for the music lover, the social butterfly or a date night out. Audiences can enjoy a drink or a bite in the outdoor Symphony Lounge, which offers lunch and dinner, and a full-service bar before the concerts and during intermission.
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 with conductor Joseph Young and violinist Randall Goosby, Oct. 16. Selections include Jessie Montgomery’s “Banner,” Brahms’ “Violin Concerto” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7.”
“Rhapsody in Blue” is recalled on Nov. 13, with conductor Anna Rakitina and pianist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner. Featured music is Nkeiru Okoye’s “Voices Shouting Out,” Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 9 New World.”
On Dec. 18, the beloved Holiday Candlelight will be conducted by Jenny Wong with a soloist to be announced soon. Performers include the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, The Donald Brinegar Singers and the LA Bronze Handbell Ensemble.