Fall Arts Preview

Photo courtesy of Norton Simon Museum

Photo courtesy of Norton Simon Museum

Masterpieces, performances fill the schedules
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

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

626-356-3100 | anoisewithin.org

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 October 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 October 17 to November 14. The play mirrors contemporary America while focusing on the heritage of Black Americans in the 1940s.

Alex Theatre

216 N. Brand Boulevard, Glendale

818-243-ALEX (2539) | alextheatre.org

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.

Events include Illusion Touring’s “Por Que Los Hombres Aman a Las Cabronas” at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, October 15, and “El Show en Vivo De Bely Y Beto” at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 28.

La Diosa Entertainment brings “Pimpinela: Gira 40 Aniversario” at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 16, and Eva Ayllon 50th anniversary concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 6.

Finally, LJ Productions presents “Dos Mas Dos” at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, November 5.

Boston Court Pasadena

70 N. Mentor Avenue, Pasadena

626-683-6801 | bostoncourtpasadena.org

The season kicked off with NT Live: “Cyrano De Bergerac,” starring James McAvoy of “X-Men” and “Atonement” fame. 

On October 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 October 9 and October 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 October 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

626-449-6840 | nortonsimon.org

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 November 13. It joins related post-impressionist works in the museum’s 19th century art wing.

“Unseen Picasso” continues through January 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 October 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 November 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 February 28.

Pasadena Playhouse

39 S. El Mollino Avenue, Pasadena

626-356-7529 | pasadenaplayhouse.org

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 November 9 to December 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.

Pasadena Symphony

Ambassador Auditorium

131 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena

626-793-7172 | pasadenasymphony-pops.org

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., respectively. The season includes the annually sold-out Holiday Candlelight Concert at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, December 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’s “Symphony No. 7” with conductor Joseph Young and violinist Randall Goosby, October 16. Selections include Jessie Montgomery’s “Banner,” Brahms’ “Violin Concerto” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7.”

“Rhapsody in Blue” is recalled on November 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 December 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.

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