30+ SoCal-Based Performances Happening this September

The cast of "Hair" at The Old Globe, 2021_photo by Jim Cox
Grab tickets to experience “Hair” under the stars on The Old Globe’s outdoor theatre stage

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

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Note: Though hours and formats are updated regularly, they can change without notice; best to confirm at venue websites.

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum transforms into an enchanted forest for William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Through Nov. 7.
The natural surrounding of the Theatricum transforms into an enchanted forest for the comic misadventures of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream this summer thanks to sponsorship by the S. Mark Taper Foundation. See website for showtime and ticket prices. 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. theatricum.com

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
Julius Caesar
Through Oct. 30.
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum 2021 Repertory Season, sponsored by the S. Mark Taper Foundation, brings back Caesar’s tyrannical rule. His assassination divides the people, the senators, even his friends, into warring factions. The republic descends into bloody civil chaos in the Bard’s chilling—and eerily timely—thriller about power, political change and the elusive nature of truth. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 310.455.3723. theatricum.com

The Old Globe
Through Oct. 3.
Directed by Old Globe Resident Artist James Vásquez (The Old Globe’s American Mariachi and Tiny Beautiful Things), this legendary rock musical bursts onto the outdoor stage with its Grammy Award-winning score, featuring iconic hits such as “Let the Sunshine In,” “Good Morning Starshine,” and the exuberant title song. Make love, not war!—and celebrate “harmony and understanding” with Broadway’s first great rock musical. 8 p.m. Starting $37. 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, 619.234.5623. theoldglobe.org

Hollywood Bowl
Mozart Under the Stars with Dudamel
Sept. 28. Gustavo keeps a beloved tradition alive with the timeless magic of Mozart under a night sky. Featuring the L.A. Philharmonic’s concertmaster (and Mozart-lover) Dudamel leads the Sinfonia concertante and the two G-minor symphonies: the stormy 25th that was written by Mozart at only 17 and the 40th, full of urgent passion written near the end of the composer’s life. Gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Cecile McLorin Salvant and Sullivan Fortner
Sept. 26. Jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant returns to Segerstrom Center (she first appeared here in 2014) along with jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner for two performances in one night inside the Samueli Theater. Cecile and Sullivan have each won numerous prestigious music awards, and they won Grammys in 2020 for their collaboration on their album, The Window. 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. $59+. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

Hollywood Bowl
Herbie Hancock in Concert
Sept. 26.
Grammy-winning, keytar-toting, sound-exploring Creative Chair for Jazz sets his sights on another magic night at the Bowl. Herbie Hancock is one of the most revered and innovative musicians in jazz history. His restless reinventive spirit has found him exploring African music, funk, classical, electronic music, hip-hop, and more. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., concert begins at 7 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

James Blake photo by Max Montgomery
British singer and producer James Blake

Hollywood Bowl
James Blake with Orchestra
Sept. 25. British singer and producer expands his unique—and emotionally bracing—electronic music with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and conductor Thomas Wilkins for his Hollywood Bowl debut. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

Chance Theater
Sept. 24-Oct. 24.
Chance Theater presents the Orange County premiere of the Pulitzer Prize Finalist Yellowman. A celebration of language and the human spirit, Yellowman is an exquisite and provocative exploration of the challenges of overcoming racism, class, biases, and prejudices inherited both from community and family. Note: This show contains mature language and themes. See website for showtimes. $39-$49. 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 888.455.4212. chancetheater.com

Hollywood Bowl
St. Vincent Spoon
Sept. 24.
Grammy-winning musical and visual icon St. Vincent brings her latest to the Bowl. Austin’s most esteemed rock ambassadors, Spoon, also join the bill. Multifaceted artist Mereba opens. Gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 7:30 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Laura Benanti
Sept. 23-25. One of today’s most celebrated singing actresses, Laura Benanti, makes her debut in the Cabaret Series in the Samueli Theater. A Tony Award winner and five-time nominee, her Broadway resume includes Lincoln Center’s acclaimed production of My Fair Lady, She Loves Me, Gypsy (2008 Tony Award for Outstanding Feature Actress in a Musical), and Into The Woods. Benanti also appears frequently in television and film roles. 7:30 p.m. $89+. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

Irvine Barclay Theatre
Jake Shimabukuro
Sept. 23. Widely recognized as “the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele,” one-man army Jake Shimabukuro returns to Irvine Barclay Theatre with his ukulele to perform tunes ranging from crunching, effects-laden rock to sensuously swinging jazz. 8 p.m. $30-$125. 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949.854.4646. thebarclay.org

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
St. Lawrence String Quartet
Sept. 21. Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ 2021-22 Chamber Music Series kicks off with the return of series favorite, St. Lawrence String Quartet, who will perform in the Samueli Theater. Each year, this Segerstrom Center series presents ensembles and musicians who have reached the pinnacle of the classical music world. Guest soloists for this event include pianist Stephen Prustman and soprano Monica Shober. 8 p.m. $29+. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

Irvine Barclay Theatre
Larry, Steve and Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers
Sept. 19. The Gatlin Brothers’ close family harmonies have given this country trio a signature sound that has kept them at the top of the entertainment industry for more than 60 years. Their storybook career includes a string of No.1 records and such country classics as “All the Gold in California,” “Broken Lady,” and “Love Is Just A Game.” Enjoy the soulful vocals of their chart-topping classics and hear the stories behind the writing of their biggest hits. It’s as pure as music gets. 7 p.m. $30-$120. 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949.854.4646. thebarclay.org

Odyssey Theatre
It’s Alive, It’s Alive! A Brand New Work-in-Progress
Sept. 18, 25 | Oct. 2, 9. L.A.-based legendary performance artist John Fleck created a musical theatrical rollercoaster that hilariously and pointedly skewers our fears and assumptions about everything from COVID-19 to our identity as earth dwellers at this precarious moment. John will play many characters, sing, “perform” in unique and memorable ways along with live musicians, directed by his longtime collaborator David Schweizer. 8 p.m. $20. 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 310.477.2055. odysseytheatre.com

Brittany Howard photo by Bobbi Rich/ courtesy Hollywood Bowl
Brittany Howard

Hollywood Bowl
Brittany Howard’s Soulful Portait
Sept. 18.
The Grammy Award-winning singer Brittany Howard steps out on the Hollywood Bowl stage with defiantly modern soul, while singer/songwriter Jamila Woods and producer/singer Georgia Anne Muldrow show off their visions for R&B. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m. $15-$133. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards
Sept. 18. Come along on a New Orleans-style musical adventure with Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards at the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. Founded by celebrated vocalist, writer and arts educator Ashli St. Armant, the band tours the U.S. bringing jazz to young audiences to encourage kids and their grown-ups to celebrate the music of New Orleans as part of the American folk music heritage. 1 p.m. $15+. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

Hollywood Bowl
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince In Concert 
Sept. 17. The Bowl has been making its way through the enchanted Harry Potter canon in recent years. The sixth installment in the beloved series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince In Concert, arrives on September 17. The score for David Yates’ 2009 film was written by British composer and guitarist Nicholas Hooper, who also scored Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. For this performance, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra will be conducted by Justin Freer. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., concert begins at 7:30 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

Irvine Barclay Theatre
C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce
Sept. 16-18. C.S. Lewis’ mesmerizing fantasy about heaven, hell, and the choice between them comes to life with Lewis’ signature wit, amazing actors, and dazzling, state-of-the-art stagecraft! Lewis’ brilliantly drawn characters take a fantastical bus trip from hell to the outskirts of paradise. Each receives an opportunity to stay … or return to hell, forever divorced from heaven. Note: Recommended for ages 13 and older; Children under age 4 not admitted. Th-F 8 p.m.; Sa 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. $49-$99. 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949.854.4646. thebarclay.org

Geffen Playhouse
The Enigmatist
Sept. 14-Oct. 30. From the creator and performer of the hit virtual production Inside the Box comes an immersive experience of puzzles and cryptology. Following a sold-out New York City run in 2019, renowned magician and New York Times crossword constructor David Kwong brings his popular in-person show to the Geffen Playhouse. Clues are everywhere, so keep your eyes open and be ready for surprises behind every multi-layered illusion. See website for showtimes. $30-$150. 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A., 310.208.5454. geffenplayhouse.org

Hollywood Bowl
Yo-Yo Ma | The Bach Project
Sept. 14. Yo-Yo Ma performs all six of Bach’s cello suites in a spellbinding recital. When Ma first presented the Bach suites at the Bowl in 2017, Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker, “Almost no one made a sound. Almost no one moved. When a large audience is listening intently, it creates an atmosphere that cannot be measured or recorded, only remembered. Here, it was as if music had stilled the world … [The audience] was under the spell of a solitary searcher in the dark.” The internationally heralded cellist returns for this rare solo performance. Gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

The Fountain Theatre
An Octoroon
Through Sept. 13.
The Los Angeles premiere of An Octoroon, a radical, incendiary and subversively funny Obie award-winning play by MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, inaugurates the new outdoor stage at The Fountain Theatre. A spectacular collision of the antebellum South and 21st-century cultural politics, An Octoroon is a gasp-inducing deconstruction of a moustache-twirling melodrama by 19th century playwright Dion Boucicault that twists a funhouse world of larger-than-life stereotypes into blistering social commentary. See website for schedule. $25-$45. 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A., 323.663.1525. fountaintheatre.com

Alonzo King LINES Ballet's Dancer Adji Cissoko and Robb Beresford photo by RJ Muna
Dancers Adji Cissoko and Robb Beresford from Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Sept. 11. Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents the mesmerizing dancers of Alonzo King LINES Ballet performing “gripping, urgently beautiful choreography” (San Francisco Chronicle) by visionary choreographer Alonzo King. Leading the performance is AZOTH, a luminous ballet that premiered in 2019, along with repertoire works set to music by Zakir Hussain, Gabriel Fauré, and Edgar Meyer. 7:30 p.m. $39+. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org

Hollywood Bowl
Marvel Studios’ Black Panther in Concert
Sept. 10-12. In September comes a double premiere of sorts, with the first performances of the first film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get the live orchestra treatment: Black Panther. Ryan Coogler’s 2018 superhero blockbuster scored many other firsts, including the first Academy Awards for an MCU film, winning Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score. Ludwig Göransson, who had worked with Coogler since their days together at USC, went to Africa to research and record traditional music for that score, traveling with Senegalese musician Baaba Maal, who is featured in two of the tracks. Göransson’s brilliantly fused, emotionally rooted music, which also won a Grammy, was recorded in Senegal and completed at Abbey Road Studios in London with a full orchestra and choir. Gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

Hollywood Bowl
Beethoven and Schumann
Sept. 9. Hélène Grimaud’s fearlessness in rethinking classics and creating new phrasings sets her apart, and she has been celebrated for her expressive interpretation of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto throughout her career. Marta Gardolińska performed as the second conductor for Dudamel’s Grammy-winning Ives symphony cycle. In her Bowl debut, the Polish conductor leads Beethoven’s celebratory, dance-inspired Seventh Symphony. Gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

Sing for Hope
Sing for Hope Pianos Come to Beverly Hills
Through Sept. 6. Nonprofit Sing for Hope partners with City of Beverly Hills and Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts to bring 16 artist-designed Sing for Hope Pianos to parks and public spaces throughout Beverly Hills for the public to enjoy. Each Sing for Hope Piano features original artwork designed by L.A.-based visual artists and will appear at iconic locations throughout the area, including Beverly Hills City Hall, Beverly Gardens Park, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Will Rogers Memorial Park, La Cienega Park and Roxbury Park. Additional locations to be announced. See website for more info. singforhope.org

Hollywood Bowl
John Williams: Maestro of the Movies
Sept. 3-5. John Williams, the composer behind the emotional heartbeat of some of Hollywood’s most memorable films, returns to the Bowl for this beloved annual celebration of music from the movies. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted both by David Newman and Williams himself, performs a thrilling program of cinematic hits, including some selections presented with film clips. Gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

Hollywood Bowl
Gershwin, Bonds, and Still
Sept. 2. Grab your tickets to watch star soprano Julia Bullock perform a selection of songs by George Gershwin and Margaret Bonds, one of the first Black composers to gain recognition in the U.S., at Hollywood Bowl. Along with Bullock, virtuoso jazz and classical pianist Aaron Diehl will perform Gershwin’s intricate “I Got Rhythm” Variations with Thomas Wilkins conducting. Gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000. hollywoodbowl.com

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

La Jolla Playhouse
Pick Me Last
Ongoing. La Jolla Playhouse presents a new play to stream for young audiences—a humorous and touching story about standing up for your friends and learning to let them stand up for themselves. This schoolyard story by Idris Goodwin delights with its music and poetry. Streaming. Free. lajollaplayhouse.com

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: “Hair” by Jim Cox. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum by Ian Flanders. James Blake by Max Montgomery. Brittany Howard by Bobbi Rich/courtesy Hollywood Bowl. Alonzo King LINES Ballet by RJ Muna. “In Development- Iceboy!” by Jeff Lorch. All other photos are courtesy of the venues.


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