Top Performances and Plays in Los Angeles This August

American Contemporary Ballet shows take place on the 32nd floor of the Bloc.

From modern ballet to classic jazz to Broadway’s finest, check out the top performances and plays in Los Angeles this August.

Edited by William Yelles

American Contemporary Ballet
Aug. 2-5, 9-12. Artistic director Lincoln Jones’ American Contemporary Ballet, an L.A.-based dance company known for its original contemporary classical ballets, performs two starkly different pieces this month. Candide Overture pays tribute to Leonard Bernstein while Transfigured Night delves into the haunting world of two lovers, with music by Arnold Schoenberg. ACB always performs to live classical music, and shows take place on the 32nd floor of the Bloc, downtown. Audiences sit at stage level, where they enjoy both an intimate view of the ballet and 360-degree views of the city. See website for show times and ticket prices. 700 S. Flower St., L.A., 213.878.9020.

JazzPOP: No Bounds
Aug 2, 9, 16. The Hammer Museum’s summertime creative jazz festival continues with carefully crafted compositions mixed with contemporary chamber music, and sounds and grooves from across the world. 8 p.m. Free. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, 310.443.7000.

Aug. 2-24. Former Hells Angels leader George Christie’s one-man, autobiographical show explores his rise to become one of the most controversial leaders of the world’s most notorious biker organizations before walking away after 30 years to become a writer and family man. $25. See website for show times. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 213.713.9149. Tickets

Aug. 2-26. Based on the Keri Russell-starring 2007 film of the same name, this musical about waitress and expert pie maker Jenna boasts an all-female creative team and original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles. See website for show times and ticket prices. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.

Jazz at LACMA
Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. Not only does LACMA host some of L.A.’s finest jazz musicians during its Jazz at LACMA series on Friday evenings during the summer—August features Tom Rizzo Quartet, Keschia Potter Band and Sara Gazarek—but also its long-running Latin Sounds series presents world-renowned artists playing tunes from Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Los Angeles on Saturday afternoons through Labor Day. See website for full lineup. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.

Grand Performances
Aug. 3-4, 10-12, 17-18. This free, outdoor summer concert series spotlights global performing arts with a lineup of quality music, dance, theater and more in downtown L.A. California Plaza, 300 & 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown.

Pasadena Pops + The Beatles
Aug 4. The Pasadena Pops celebrates the best of The Beatles with a special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the White Album. Gates open at 5:30 pm for picnicking. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink or visit one of the many onsite gourmet food vendors. 7:30 p.m. $25+. Los Angeles County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, 626.793.7172. Tickets

Ford Theaters Jam Sessions
Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27. This interactive series invites participants of all skill levels to release their inner artist with Tahitian dance, stepping, flamenco and more. 7 p.m. Free. 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood, 323.461.3673.

Original Farmers Market
Aug. 3, 10, 17, 31. The Original Farmers Market continues its Friday night music series on the West Patio, covering a range of musical genres from around the world including salsa, Latin jazz, samba and more. 7-9 p.m. Free. 6333 W. Third St., L.A., 323.933.9211.

Subaru Summer Jazz Nights
Aug. 7. Hollywood & Highland’s summer live-music series concludes this month with a performance by Poncho Sanchez in the central courtyard. Proceeds from Wolfgang Puck Catering refreshments benefit Project Angel Food. 7-9 p.m. Free; wine and cheese $14. 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.467.6412.

Randy Newman
Aug. 12. L.A.’s own Randy Newman celebrates his half-century-spanning career with his own band and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Newman is set to perform selections from each of his 11 studio albums. 7:30 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”
Aug. 14, 16. Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a production with the National Ballet of Cuba and featuring the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. 8 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

A Noise Within presents “Man of La Mancha” beginning Aug. 16.

“Man of La Mancha”
Opens Aug. 16. A Noise Within presents the classic prison-set story-within-a-story of Don Quixote’s musical misadventures. See website for show times and ticket prices. 3352 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, 626.356.3100.

“Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations”
Opens Aug. 21. This new musical about the Temptations—the band behind hits like “My Girl” and “Just My Imagination” that was discovered on the streets of Detroit by Berry Gordy—plays L.A. before heading to Broadway. See website for ticket prices and show times. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Aug. 25. Rodriguez—the anti-apartheid folk singer who shot to fame thanks to the Academy Award-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man—brings his unique talents to the Luckman Fine Arts Complex stage at Cal State LA. 8 p.m. $60-$80. 5151 State University Dr., L.A., 323.343.6600.

“Carmina Burana”
Aug. 28, 30. Carl Orff’s choral masterwork tops a program that begins with pianist Emanuel Ax playing Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” concerto. Bramwell Tovey conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale and Los Angeles Children’s CHorus. 8 p.m. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Opens Aug. 29. Lynn Nottage’s new play, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, follows a group of co-workers in Reading, Pennsylvania, who find themselves pitted against each other in order to stay afloat. See website for ticket prices and show times. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

American Contemporary Ballet photo by Anastasia Petushkova. “Man of La Mancha” photo by Craig Schwartz.

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