Laguna Dance Festival

Friday Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m. – Sunday Sept. 9, 2 p.m.

Laguna Playhouse

If you missed the Alonzo King Lines Ballet last October at Bovard Auditorium, the Laguna Dance Festival provides another opportunity to witness the San Francisco-based troupe in action.

The Backhausdance company kicks off the festival Friday night with a mash-up performance of their renowned works Sitting on January, Push and Love and Other Impossibilities. As part of their 10-year anniversary celebration, the troupe will also recreate a performance of an original work, Connections, and put a new spin on structurally-complicated show, The Margin.

On the second day of the festival, the Alonzo King Lines Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago share the bill with their prospective shows Dust and Light and Three to Max. Can’t make it to the Saturday night performance? Check out the encore presentation on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Though Laguna is a bit of a drive, a chance to listen to live conversations with the artistic directors and check out these modern interpretations of a classic art form makes the trip well worth it.

Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo

Saturday, Sept. 8, at 8:15 p.m.

Gibson Amphitheatre

The car horns and roller-coaster screams of Universal City will be silenced Saturday night as the powerhouse vocal stylings of Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo come to the Gibson Amphitheatre.

Time will tell if Blige decides to perform classics like “No More Drama” and “I’m Going Down” on her so-called “Liberation Tour.” But even if she sticks to a setlist from her latest album, My Life II… The Journey Continues, the show promises to be a treat.

And with D’Angelo as her smooth-voiced male counterpart, fans of R&B in general should anticipate one memorable evening.


Sunday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m.

Actors Circle Theatre

After a month-long run at the Actors Circle Theater, the curtain will go down Sunday night on Assassins, among the best and least

performed of Stephen Sondheim’s musicals.

A musical in which presidential assassins congregate on one stage to tell their sides of the story, Assassins is as disturbing and stirring as it is unconventional. The musical should take on new relevancy with its messages regarding gun control.

Fans of Sondheim already have tickets. Fans of American history and the blackest black humor should get theirs now.

El Colver: Living In Chaos: Capturing The Birth of L.A. Hardcore

Thursday Sept. 6, at 6:30 p.m.

Annenberg Space for Photography

As part of the Annenberg Space for Photography’s “Who Shot Rock & Roll” exhibit, photographer Ed Colver will give his lecture “Living in Chaos: Capturing The Birth of L.A. Hardcore” on Thursday night.

A self-taught photographer, Colver is best known for his photographs of the punk bands Social Distortion,  Aerosmith, R.E.M. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and for his photo spreads in magazines such as LA Weekly, Mix and Surround Professional. Whether you’re a budding photographer or someone with an interest in music history, Colver’s lecture has something to capture your attention.

Free admission also provides an extra incentive to expand your interests in photography and learn something new on a Thursday night.