Top Performances and Plays in Los Angeles this May

"School of Rock" photo by ©Tristram Kenton
“School of Rock” takes the stage at Hollywood Pantages this month.

From performances by indie-rock royalty to Tony award-winning musicals, check out the top performances and plays in Los Angeles this May.

Edited by Christina Wiese.

“Soft Power”
Opening May 3. Having its world premiere here, this East-meets-West musical comedy from Tony winners David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home) follows a Chinese executive who falls in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader after the 2016 election. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.


“School of Rock”
May 3-27. Based on the Jack Black-starring comedy, this Tony-nominated musical features all the original songs from the movie, 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.


Cinco de Mayan Gigante!
May 4-5. L.A.’s longest running, action-packed variety show returns this year to The Mayan Theater. Expect huge heapings of Mexican masked wrestling, tequila, tamales, mariachi, aerial dancers, folkloricos, low riders, comedy and much more. 21+. Doors 7 p.m., show 8-10:30 p.m. $48.50+. 1038 S. Hill St., downtown.



LCD Soundsystem and Yeah Yeah Yeahs
May 4-5. New York-based indie-rock royalty share the iconic Hollywood Bowl stage. Bring your own picnic or pick up something tasty from the on-site marketplace. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.


Freestyle Festival
May 5. The 13th fest edition brings headliners like Village People and Sir Mix-a-Lot together at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach. Supporting acts include Right Said Fred, The Jets, Flirts and more. Doors at 1 p.m. 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach.


“Significant Other”
Through May 6. After a successful Off-Broadway and Broadway run, playwright Joshua Harmon’s comedy about love and 20-something urban life arrives in L.A. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A., 310.208.5454.


Greek Theatre photo by Michelle Shiers
Singer-songwriter Khalid takes on the Greek Theatre this May.

May 9-10. The soulful 20-year-old singer-songwriter, who’s swiftly risen to fame over the past year, plays the Greek Theatre. Doors at 6 p.m. $40+. Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., L.A.


“Weird Al” Yankovic
May 10-11. Pop-music parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic stops by the Theatre at Ace Hotel in the midst of his self-dubbed Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour to play two shows of original, nonparody material. 8 p.m. $60-$80. Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, L.A., downtown.


Itzhak Perlman
May 12, 14. Returning to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, beloved Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman (who’s the subject of a new documentary, Itzhak) performs works by Schubert, Beethoven and Dvorák. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown.


May 12-June 3. Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic masterpiece of betrayal and revenge takes center stage in Los Angeles this month. Conducted by Matthew Aucoin and directed by Mark Lamos. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown.


May 15-16. When it comes to concerts, it doesn’t get much bigger than U2. The Irish arena rockers are bringing their Experience + Innocence Tour to L.A. for two nights only. $46+. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood.


Taylor Swift
May 18-19. Pop powerhouse Taylor Swift—whose latest release, Reputation, was the top-selling album of 2017—promises a similarly large-scale show. 7 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena.


Audra McDonald
May 20. Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner Audra McDonald joins forces with the L.A. Opera Orchestra for a concert of show tunes, classic songs and original pieces written especially for the Broadway legend. 3 p.m. $19-$150. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown.


Block Party 
Through May 20. This celebration of the L.A. theater scene spotlights three encore productions from outstanding local theater companies. Die, Mommie, Die! plays May 10-20. See website for showtimes and pricing. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772.


"Blues in the Night" photo by Lawrence K. Ho
“Blues in the Night” lands at The Wallis this month.

“Blues in the Night”
Through May 20. Theater luminary Sheldon Epps’ Tony- and Olivier Award-nominated musical revue features 26 numbers by icons like Bessie Smith and Duke Ellington. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.746.4000.


Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival
May 20. Bring your instruments and dancing shoes to this old-timey festival at Agoura Hills’ Paramount Ranch. Expect everything from clogging, square and contra dancing to bluegrass performances and folk art vendors. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. GA $13+, free parking. Paramount Ranch, 2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills.


Paul Simon
May 22-23, 28. Legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel) takes the stage at the Hollywood Bowl. The shows are part of his farewell concert tour, Homeward Bound, and will comprise classic songs spanning Simon’s career. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.


“Fat Pig”
Opens May 23. Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Chrissy Metz (This is Us) makes her theatrical debut in Neil LaBute’s critically acclaimed Fat Pig. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A.


“The Color Purple” 
Opening May 29. The 2016 Tony winner for best musical revival arrives at the Pantages, telling the story of a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.


May 31-June 1. The pop icon brings her entertaining live show to Staples Center on May 31, followed by a show at the Forum the next night. See websites for showtimes and ticket prices. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown,; The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood,

“School of Rock” photo by ©Tristram Kenton. Greek Theatre photo by Michelle Shiers. “Blues in the Night” photo by Lawrence K. Ho.

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