With concerts, stage productions, live performances, literary happenings, dance performances and new exhibits scheduled at area museums and galleries, what’s not to love about the fall arts scene in Pasadena and its neighboring communities?.
Although autumn has become well known for ArtNight, an evening of free visits to the city’s top art museums, this year set for Oct. 11, autumn for many actually kicks off Aug. 31 with the Pasadena Daydream Festival in Brookside Park, at the Rose Bowl featuring the Cure, the Pixies, Deftones, Mogwai, Throwing Muses and a host of others.
While places like the Rose Bowl, the Alex Theater, and Lodge Room Highland Park have been the sites of some memorable shows, Music Editor Bliss Bowen finds that other artists this fall are plying their skills at other somewhat offbeat locations, such as All Saints Church, Boston Court, Caltech, and Occidental College’s Herrick Chapel.
At The Rose nightclub, one of the region’s top live venues, guests will be treated to performances by such greats as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Martha Davis & the Motels, jazz-fusion guitarist Al Di Meola, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Judy Collins and LA’s own Ozomatli on Nov. 17.
In the world of theater, Arts Editor Carl Kozlowski learns there is something for everyone this season on stages located in Pasadena, Glendale and Sierra Madre.
The fun begins at the Pasadena Playhouse with the classic hit musical “Little Shop of Horrors” from Sept 17 through Oct. 20. Boston Court Theatre will present the world premiere of “How the Light Gets In” by E.M. Lewis, beginning Sept. 29, the Sierra Madre Playhouse offers its production of “The Joy Luck Club,” and A Noise Within will be staging works by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors August Wilson, with his “Gem of the Ocean,” and Sam Shepard and his hit “Buried Child,” the story of a man who no one recognizes when he shows up his family’s farm with a girlfriend in tow.
The Alex Theatre can always be counted on to bring a wide variety of interesting and entertaining productions to its stage, and this fall is no exception. First, the Musical Theatre Guild is presenting a staged concert version of the classic musical “Barnum” on Sept. 22, then “An Evening with Bob Iger,” part of the long-running Live Talks LA series, set for Oct. 1.
From early October to the middle of December the Anteaus Theatre Company, also in Glendale, will be staging “The Abuelas” by Stephanie Alison Walker through Nov. 25, with “Eight Nights” by Jennifer Maisel running from Oct. 31 through Dec. 16.
In the world of books and novels, Vroman’s Bookstore and the Pasadena Central Library offer readings and signings by some of the country’s top writers.
At Vroman’s on Aug. 29, Carla Sameth reads and signs her memoir in essays “One Day on The Goldline,” On Sunday, Sept. 1, the bookstore takes over the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown LA for “An Afternoon with Louise Penny,” the bestselling author of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels.
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Pasadena author Naomi Hirahara appears at Vroman’s with her latest novel, “Iced in Paradise: A Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mystery.” And the following night at Vroman’s, delight to 10-year-old author Emerson Forester her profound book “People of Pasadena.”
Scientist and artificial intelligence expert Gary Marcus, CEO and founder of the machine learning startup Geometric Intelligence, discusses his findings in the new book “Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust” in an appearance at Vroman’s on Sept. 19.
Other top Vroman’s events in October and November include former Pasadena Weekly contributor Chip Jacobs with his latest book “Arroyo,” New York Times best-selling social critic Meghan Daum will discuss and sign her latest, “The Problem with Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars,” and Ann Patchett will bring her latest novel “The Dutch House” to a special Vroman’s event at all-purpose All Saints Church in November.
Carla Sameth, who was also a Pasadena Weekly contributor, returns to Vroman’s with the essay collection “One Day on the Gold Line” on Sept. 19, and novelist and former PW writer Ann Louise Bannon teaches from “How to Write a Novel” on Oct. 3.
In the world of dance, PW’s Jana J. Monji learns about swans of a different gender with the award-winning “Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake” at the Ahmanson Theatre on Dec. 3. The Russian Ballet Theatre’s more traditional version of the Tchaikovsky classic is set for Sept. 25 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.
Cal State LA’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex hosts Ballet Hispánico for one night only (Sept. 29), when the company will be showcasing their all-Latina choreographers program, and Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre presents “Pacific Ballet Dance Goes Broadway” on Oct. 13, also at the Alex Theatre.
But the big local dance event of the year is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when the Social Daunce Irregulars present the costumed Grand Victorian Ball at the Pasadena Masonic Hall.
And lastly, with myriad styles, methods and visions to study and admire, the Pasadena area’s many art galleries, and museums — the Norton Simon Museum, Kid Space Children’s Museum, Pasadena Museum of History, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Southern California Children’s Museum, Pasadena Heritage, The Gamble House, the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, The Bunny Museum, and the South Pasadena Historical Library —offer visitors an opportunity to step into another time and place with the price of admission.