30+ SoCal-Based Performances Happening this May

Chance Theater’s “The Story of My Life”

The Program: Mark your calendar for these May virtual, streaming and in-person SoCal performances that inspires innovative programs.

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If you’re new to our website or haven’t see previous editions, The Program is a regular blog series that offers a curated listing of the most influential Southern California arts partners and their forward-facing vision for the four O’s: online, outdoors, outreach—and everyone’s ultimate goal—onstage!

Note: Though hours and formats are updated regularly, they can change without notice; best to confirm at venue websites.
Jared Mezzocchi tells his true-life haunting story in “Someone Else’s House”

Geffen Playhouse
Someone Else’s House
Through June 5.
Obie Award-winning multimedia artist Jared Mezzocchi has a harrowing story to tell: his family’s frightening, true-life haunting inside a 200-year-old New England house. Flip the switch, light your candles and prepare yourself (as best you can) for this first-hand story of terror with the latest interactive production from the Geffen Stayhouse. In advance of the show, you’ll receive a “Haunting Kit” with items to help you set the scene for your performance, as well as important artifacts with which you’ll interact during the show. Shipping charges are included in the ticket price. $75. geffenplayhouse.org

Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion
Through May 31. Every other year since 1996, classical tabla virtuoso Hussain has served as curator, producer and host in bringing the very cream of Indian music to tour America and Europe with his series Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion. Hussain spends considerable time searching for unusual instruments and performers in diverse corners of the South Asian continent that he features in this series. Available for on-demand streaming. Free. cap.ucla.edu

Israel Galván: Maestro de Barra Servir el Baile
Through May 31.
CAP UCLA presents one of the world’s leading flamenco artists Israel Galván and his new work. During the confinement of this past year, Galván has sought to “servir el baile” (serve the dance) by finding other spaces for “seguir bailando” (keep on dancing) until we can return to some semblance of normal again. He is able to ”hear” the air of public spaces in a way that amplifies their internal rhythms, pauses and silences which he uses as the score for in Maestro de Barra, in which he marks the presence with his body, to point out, precisely, that everything one can hear, can also be danced to, that sounds can be ordered, accompanied and understood as a rhythmic vibration that can be translated into movement. Available on-demand. Free. cap.ucla.edu

Chance Theater
The Story of My Life
Through May 31. Chance Theater kick’s off its 23rd season with the Drama Desk Award-nominated musical The Story of My Life—a tribute to the power of friendship and the people that change our lives forever. Music and lyrics by Neil Bertram, this musical is deeply moving, funny and profound. Mature themes and language. Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 888.455.4212. chancetheater.com

Colburn School
Modern and Popular Music Jukebox
May 29. This exciting collection features original works and arrangements by alumnus and multi-instrumentalist Maya Paredes and various collaborators. The audience will hear songs ranging from solo works to multi-media ensemble remote recordings from several genres and styles—including singer-songwriter, Latin American music, Black American music, popular, indie, and electronic music. 7 p.m. Free with registration required. colburnschool.edu

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Chris Mann
May 27-28. Top selling recording artist, singer, songwriter and actor Chris Mann returns to the Segerstrom Center for his first Plaza performances. Broadway fans will remember him as the Phantom in Segertrom’s presentation of The Phantom of the Opera in 2015, and his stint on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012. Masks must be worn by all guests upon check-in and until they arrive to their assigned viewing area (or “pod”). Each viewing pod will be separated by at least 6 feet of space from neighboring viewing areas. Contactless check-in will include a touchless thermometer temperature check, and hand sanitizer stations will be accessible throughout the Plaza. 7:30 p.m. Pods start at $70. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

The Music Center
The Super Villainz: A Tap Dance Act for the Modern Age
May 26-28. Experience the rhythmical charm and powerful motion of tap dance with three of the world’s most influential tap dancers for five live on-stage performances on Jerry Moss Plaza or through one livestream. The Super Villainz makes its Music Center debut featuring Dormeshia, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant who together create the ultimate unity between music and motion. Set to live music performed by the trio, the performances highlight the improvisational skill, choreography and artistry of these American ambassadors of tap. Tickets are available for the five live on-stage shows in seated socially distanced pods on Jerry Moss Plaza. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with a livestream available on May 30. 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A., 213.972.7211. musiccenter.org

Happy Hour No. 58: François Rabbath, Double Bassist

May 25. Join Salastina for a virtual afternoon with François Rabbath—a newly-minted nonagenarian and legend of the Double Bass. Born in Syria, he moved to France in the 1950s and has performed live with Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Paco Ibañez and the Rolling Stones among others before joining the Paris Opera Orchestra at age 50. Every Tuesday via Zoom, Salastina’s Happy Hour brings audiences live musical performance, spirited conversation and interaction with musicians and fellow music lovers. 11 a.m. Free. salastina.org

Jake Broderin stars in “Einstein Comes Through”

North Coast Repertory Theatre
Einstein Comes Through
Through May 23. Now streaming on demand, this one-act, one-man play stars Jake Broder (pictured)—written by David Ellenstein and Marc Silver. Broder plays a seemingly ordinary man named Hank, who channels his lifelong idol, theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. The two personalities explore topics ranging from life’s everyday annoyances to its big mysteries—with dark and light moments in between. Broder—known for his roles in The Morning Show, Silicon Valley and How I Met Your Mother—shines in a brilliant solo performance. $35-$54. northcoastrep.org

IAMA Theatre
The Latrell Show

May 23-June 20. Written and performed by Brandon Kyle Goodman, The Latrell Show is a dark comedy that explores the mental aerobics of being black and queer in America by way of a hilarious and opinionated talk show host, Latrell Jackson. As Latrell films a “very special” episode giving hot takes on his favorite hot topics, matters of the world begin to compromise his relatable persona. Streaming on demand. $15-$20. Tickets | iamatheatre.com

Pasadena Symphony and POPS
Beethoven’s Triple Concerto
May 22. Sublimely melodic with playful variations, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto is a rare gem from the titan of classical music. The Pasadena Symphony continues its legacy of showcasing the stars of tomorrow here today with three soloists from the Colburn School. 4 p.m. Free. pasadenasymphony-pops.org

The Music Center
Spotlight Virtual Grand Finale
May 22. Hosted by Josh Groban, Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actor and Spotlight alum, The Music Center’s 33rd annual Spotlight Virtual Grand Finale celebrates the culmination of the year-long journey through the Spotlight program and showcases the 14 grand prize finalists’ thrilling performances as well as a showstopping opening number. 7 p.m. Free. musiccenter.org

LA Opera
Signature Recital Series: Soprano Julia Bullock
May 21. Tune in to LA Opera’s Signature Recital Series for an intimate virtual performance by soprano Julia Bullock, who will be accompanied by pianist Laura Poe. Watch Goerke perform—from Blaibach Concert Hall in Germany—a program lineup featuring songs by Wolf, Schumann and Weill, continuing with music by American composers John Adams, Margaret Bonds and William Grant Still, before a grand finale of beloved tunes from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. Available for on-demand streaming through July 1. $45 per household. laopera.org

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Summer Sounds on the Plaza: La Santa Cecilia
May 21. Segerstrom Center kicks off a new outdoor performance series with Summer Sounds on the Plaza. Enjoy the warmer weather and feel-good music at this welcoming series of sunset concerts reflecting the global communities and diverse musical influences found in Southern California including Latin, pop/rock, R&B, hip-hop and more. First up is Grammy Award-winning La Santa Cecilia. Masks must be worn by all guests upon check-in and until they arrive to their assigned viewing area (or “pod”). Each viewing pod will be separated by at least 6 feet of space from neighboring viewing areas. Contactless check-in will include a touchless thermometer temperature check, and hand sanitizer stations will be accessible throughout the Plaza. 7 p.m. Pods start at $25. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

Happy Hour No. 57: The Wiancko-Greensteins

May 18. Join Salastina for a virtual evening with Paul Wiancko (cellist and composer), his wife Ayane Kozasa (violist), his sister Michi Wiancko (violinist and composer), and Michi’s husband Judd Greenstein (composer) for a family reunion unlike any you’ve ever attended. Every Tuesday via Zoom, Salastina’s Happy Hour brings audiences live musical performance, spirited conversation and interaction with musicians and fellow music lovers. 6 p.m. Free. salastina.org

A Thousand Ways – Part Two: An Encounter
May 2, 9, 16.
CAP UCLA presents theater troupe 600 Highwaymen’s A Thousand Ways, a triptych of encounters between strangers. Guided by a score of instructions, questions, prompts, and physical directives, people who have never met build a series of performances for one another. Each installment of A Thousand Ways explores the line between strangeness and kinship, distance and proximity, and how the most intimate assembly can become profoundly radical. For Part Two: An Encounter, this is the set: Nested at the center of an empty space is a small table bisected by glass. You sit at the table, opposite a stranger, with a stack of index cards, a handful of objects, and a set of instructions to guide you. This will take place on the following days and times at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. See website to select the day/time you are able to participate. Deadline to RSVP is May 16 at midnight. See website for detailed list of COVID safety measures. $25 per person. 10745 Dickson Court, L.A., 310.825.2101. cap.ucla.edu | 600highwaymen.org

Multiple Theaters
Hershey Felder as Sergei Rachmaninoff in Nicholas, Anna & Sergei – Live from Florence
May 16. Don’t miss the newest world premiere performance from “Hershey Felder Presents – Live from Florence.” Taking place as a memory play in the house in which the Russian Rachmaninoff died in Beverly Hills, Nicholas, Anna & Sergei is the story of a very strange meeting between Rachmaninoff and Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be the sole surviving member of the Romanov Dynasty, the Princess Anastasia. Purchase includes a full week of on demand viewing access through May 23. Premieres at 5 p.m. See websites for prices. etcsb.org | lagunaplayhouse.com | rubicontheatre.org | thewallis.org

May 15. As the latest project from composer, singer, bandleader and two-time Grammy nominated recording artist Ted Hearne, Dorothea is a kaleidoscopic, lushly explosive post-pop song cycle embodying the darkly funny poems of Dorothea Lasky with synth beats, rhapsodic textures and the heavenly vocals of electronic musician Eliza Bagg aka Lisel. This live premiere, created with videographer Carole Kim and creative consultant Daniel Fish, features the work and process of visual artist Rachel Perry. 7 p.m. Free. cap.ucla.edu

East West Players
POSTPONED TO FALL 2021 — The Sitayana (or “How to Make an Exit”)

In partnership with New York City’s Hypokrit Theater and San Francisco’s EnActe Arts, East West Players present the world premiere of Lavina Jadhwani’s Sitayana, an artful transposition of the Hindu epic, The Ramayana, told from Sita’s point of view. Part epic tale, part coming-of-age story, Sitayana is the ultimate breakup play. The first weekend of performances (May 14-16) are rolling opening nights, with each performance featuring a different version. The second weekend is for the adventurous, the version of Sita livestreamed will be decided by the audience, who will be sent a personality quiz “What Sita Are You?” and the most popular Sita will be livestreamed. See website for more info. eastwestplayers.org | POSTPONED

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Kevin Nealon
May 14.
The Emmy and SAG-nominated actor, comedian, and author Kevin Nealon, best known for his nine-year stint as a cast member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” makes his Segerstrom Center debut with these stand-up performances on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. Masks must be worn by all guests upon check-in and until they arrive to their assigned viewing area (or “pod”). Each viewing pod will be separated by at least 6 feet of space from neighboring viewing areas. Contactless check-in will include a touchless thermometer temperature check, and hand sanitizer stations will be accessible throughout the Plaza. If you are purchasing more than one pod, call between Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Showtimes: 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Pods start at $60. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

Soprano Andrea Zomorodian performing for “Opera Through The Seasons”

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
Opera Through The Seasons
May 13-14. Experience the four seasons like never before at Casa Romantica’s original concept opera set against the backdrop of the historic property and performed promenade-style. There will be four custom stages, decorated with live blooms from local floral designers, that represent each of the four seasons. Performing at the event will be leading soloists from LA Opera, including soprano Liv Redpath and soprano Andrea Zomorodian (pictured above), who will perform an aria representing the season. 7 p.m. $35 Casa members, $40 general. casaromantica.org

Coronado Playhouse
May 12-30. Nick Payne’s Constellations takes a chance encounter between two drifting souls and opens a door to the infinite possibilities of their relationship. Constellations is a spellbinding exploration at how the tiniest change in the details of our lives can dramatically alter the lives we live. Available for streaming on-demand. $25 per device. coronadoplayhouse.org

Musco Center for the Arts
Black Violin
May 12. Musco Center presents a virtual performance by classically trained Floridians Wil B (viola) and Kev Marcus (violin), also known as the Grammy-nominated duo Black Violin. Through the combination of string arrangements and hip-hop artistry, Black Violin challenges conventions and expectations through their distinctive multi-genre sound called “classical boom.” There will be a live Q&A session, and the streamed concert will break through stereotypes and bring people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds together. 6 p.m. Free with RSVP. muscocenter.org

Happy Hour No. 56: Vijay Gupta, Violinist

May 11. Join Salastina for a virtual evening of drinks and great music with violinist Vijay Gupta. Named a MacArthur Genius in 2018 for his work founding and leading Street Symphony, Vijay ultimately left his job in the first violin section of the LA Philharmonic to pursue his career as a solo and chamber musician, speaker and arts advocate. Every Tuesday via Zoom, Salastina’s Happy Hour brings audiences live musical performance, spirited conversation and interaction with musicians and fellow music lovers. 6 p.m. Free. salastina.org

Colburn School
Styles and Textures for Solo Clarinet
May 8. Tune in to experience Colburn School’s virtual program starring clarinetist Alicia Lee and double bassist Kristoffer Saebo. This solo program showcases a variety of styles and textures for both the soprano and bass clarinets with Monolog by the Korean composer Isang Yun as its dramatic center. 7 p.m. Free with registration required. colburnschool.edu

LA Opera
Signature Recital Series: Soprano Christine Goerke
May 7. Tune in to LA Opera’s Signature Recital Series for an intimate performance by soprano Christine Goerke, who will be accompanied by pianist Craig Terry. Watch Goerke perform—from the Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey—a program lineup featuring Handel, Brahms, and Strauss; Italian art songs; classic show tunes; and other surprises including Carrie Jacobs-Bond’s witty cycle of short pieces, Half-Minute Songs. This series gives viewers exclusive access to astounding performances in intimate performances—filmed in stunning venues across the country and in Europe—streamed directly to your home screen. Available for on-demand streaming through July 1. $45 per household. laopera.org

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Close Quarters: Beyond the Horizon
May 7. LACO’s new premium streaming series, Close Quarters, features classical music performances set to compelling visual elements. This episode features Jessie Montgomery who works directly with episode director and Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard to craft this original work of video art incorporating the composer’s brilliant and eclectic program with cinematic footage of the orchestra. Streaming on-demand following premiere. Premieres at 6:30 p.m. Free. laco.org

The Music Center
Inside Look: Misty Copeland and Dada Masilo—Changing Narratives in Dance
May 6. The Music Center and Dance Magazine present an in-depth conversation between American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and South African dancer/choreographer Dada Masilo. The 30-minute conversation will share the personal anecdotes from these two strong women of color who have navigated and conquered the complicated world of dance, breaking down barriers and misconceptions about dancer body types and repertoire storylines. The program will premiere to the public exclusively via Dance Magazine on May 6 at 5 p.m. On-demand viewing will be available on the website starting May 10 at 9 a.m. Free with pre-registration. musiccenter.org

Happy Hour No. 55: Amy Barston, Cellist and Adam Silverman, Composer

May 4. Join Salastina for an evening of great music and big laughs with cellist and chamber musician Amy Barston along with husband and composer Adam Silverman. Every Tuesday via Zoom, Salastina’s Happy Hour brings audiences live musical performance, spirited conversation and interaction with musicians and fellow music lovers. 6 p.m. Free. salastina.org

Violins of Hope Los Angeles
Orchestra of Exiles
May 2. Violins of Hope hosts a special virtual screening of Orchestra of Exiles, a film about the artistic and humanitarian missions of Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman. The documentary about the founder of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra that became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra includes an interview with Amnon Weinstein, founder of Violins of Hope and director/producer/writer Josh Aronson. 10 a.m. $18 per household. RSVP | violinsofhopelosangeles.org

Wendie Malick stars in “Sitting and Talking” at Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Playhouse
Sitting and Talking
Through May 2. Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) and Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me) reunite in the premiere of Sitting and Talking a heartwarming play about love and companionship written by Lia Romeo specifically for the Zoom platform. Streaming on-demand. $20. lagunaplayhouse.com

Plastic Bag Store: The Film
Through May 2. CAP UCLA presents the world premiere of the filmed experience of Robin Frohardt’s Plastic Bag Store: The Film—an immersive puppet-theater piece. The film takes place in a storefront retail space and it employs inventive puppetry, humor, craft and a critical lens to explore how the hordes of plastic waste might be interpreted by future generations. Take a closer look at our culture of consumption and convenience—specifically single-use plastics (thousands of original, hand-sculpted items in an endless flux of packaging, all discarded) 7 p.m. Free. cap.ucla.edu

San Diego Opera
The Barber of Seville

May 1. Catch the French comedic play at the Drive-In format opera. Barber by day, matchmaker by night, Figaro (David Pershall) puts his wiles to work as he aids Count Almaviva in wooing the beautiful Rosina (Emily Fons). She’s such a catch that her disreputable guardian Dr. Bartolo keeps her under lock and key with the intent of marrying her himself. But no challenge is too great for Figaro and with hilarious pranks, mistaken identities, and general tomfoolery at every turn, we’ll find out which marriage is made in heaven! Sung in Italian with projected English translations. Post Opera Talk-Back after show. Pechanga Arena San Diego Lot, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego. 6:40 p.m. $200+ per car. sdopera.org

Megan Mullally and Jesse Vargas in Pasadena Playhouse’s “In Development: Iceboy!”


Ellen Reid Soundwalk
Ongoing. Soundwalk is an “ear-oriented art event” with an emphasis on listening to the environment of Griffith Park conceived by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid has worked on opera, film scores, orchestral works and sound installations. This GPS-enabled work of art, uses music to illuminate the surrounding environment with the help of an app. ellenreidsoundwalk.com | cap.ucla.edu

Moving Arts Theatre Company
Isolation Inn
Ongoing. Six L.A.-based writers created a 9-episode Zoom series that incorporates the medium as if it is one of the characters in the story. The result of their collaboration is a smart and wickedly funny story about nine essential workers who decided to isolate together during the lockdown of 2020. Stay for the live Zoom chat with cast and crew after the show. Streaming live on Sundays. 2 p.m. Pay what you can. RSVP | movingarts.org

Pasadena Playhouse
In Development: Iceboy!
Ongoing. Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”), Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”), Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect) and Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde: The Musical) star in this new comedic musical about a 10,000-year-old once-frozen Neanderthal that comes to life once thawed and becomes an acting sensation. Free. pasadenaplayhouse.org

Pasadena Playhouse
Ongoing. Javon Johnson, one of the nation’s most prominent spoken-word artists, shares his personal experience at a pivotal time in our history. Still. blends powerful imagery, witty prose and beautiful lyricism in a timely, unforgettable theatrical event. Free. pasadenaplayhouse.org

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
LACO Close Quarters
Ongoing. LACO Close Quarters features 16 digital programs produced exclusively for streaming with visual design by director James Darrah. Darrah—noted for visually and emotionally work at the intersection of theater, music and film—is establishing a first-of-its-kind LACO digital studio, a creative hub that will create works in a variety of mediums. Each LACO concert will be filmed at The Colburn School’s Olive Rehearsal Hall socially distanced with no audience and produced for streaming. Free. Watch | YouTube | Facebook

Photo credits: “Einstein Comes Through” by Aaron Rumley. “The Sitayana” by Lisa Tom. “In Development- Iceboy!” by Jeff Lorch. All other photos are courtesy of the venues.


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