Indoor events are back in Los Angeles and leading the way is the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. This fall, The Wallis presents three dynamic LA dance companies led by prominent female choreographers. The LA Times called BODYTRAFFIC “one of the most talked about companies nationwide.” BODYTRAFFIC’s mesmerizing program features Kollide combining elements of ballet and hip hop; the world premiere of a duet, Recurrence and Snap which captures the LA experience. Micaela Taylor’s The TL Collective, one of LA’s emerging dance companies, makes its Wallis debut this month. Known for their fusion of contemporary dance and theatrical hip-hop accompanied by high-level athleticism, their program features Drift and 90’s Sugar. Concluding the fall dance series in November is troupe ATE9 will premiere Joy, a humorous and poignant reflection on human habits and addictions.

In addition to solo performances by Jennifer Holliday and Anne Akiko Meyers, celebrated pianist Ory Shihor presents Beethoven: Darkness and Light, a concert pairing the composer’s sonatas. On October 8, comedian and actress Sandra Bernhard changes the pace with her Madness & Mayhem standup comedy show.

Returning in November The Wallis’ popular outdoor free Sunday Fundays returns with events “designed to spark children’s imagination and fuel their creativity” noted Wallis Artistic Director Paul Crewes. No tickets are required. Note on your calendar: Love Actually Live, a holiday tradition, is back better than ever this year.

For details, click here.

Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds on view Oct 7th-Feb 20th, at the Skirball Cultural Center (photo™ and © 2021 CBS Studios, Inc. © 2021 Paramount Pictures Corp. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Star Trek

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo Courtesy of Skirball Cultural Center

From combat pilot to television visionary, the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, strongly believed in racial and gender equality, and he often argued with television executives over these issues. After the Pentagon stopped cooperating on his show, The Lieutenant, because of an episode that featured a friendship between Black and White Marines, he realized that setting stories in an imaginary future would make it easier to slip controversial ideas past the censors. Thus, more than fifty years ago, a television show called Star Trek was born and broke ground with its daring vision, an inclusive cast of humans and interplanetary beings cooperating and working together, through challenges as they explore the cosmos. 

Themes of heroism, optimism, equality and humanity that are still relevant today, posed questions about real life on Earth as much as in its fictional future worlds. Encompassing more than a half-century of television series, spin-offs, and films, Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds sheds light on the enduring relevance of this pop-culture phenomenon. This fully immersive exhibition will showcase Star Trek’s significant impact on culture, art, and technology through more than one hundred rare artifacts, set pieces, and props, many of which have never been on display in LA, plus state-of-the-art photo and video interactive. 

For details, click here.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Exhibition in Los Angeles

The Sistine Chapel

  • By Arlene Winnick

Up until now there were basically two ways most of us were able to view the famous ceiling in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

You could fly to Rome and visit in person surrounded by hundreds of tourists and stare straight up

at the ceiling 68’ above you making nearly impossible to see any detail or truly appreciate the artwork under those circumstances.

Or you watched the 1965 film The Agony and the Ecstasy staring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison, a fictionalized version of the ceiling’s creation focusing more on the conflict between Michelangelo Buonarroti and Pope Julius II, who commissioned the ceiling, rather than the artwork.

Now there is an amazing third way to view this masterpiece thanks to Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Global Entertainment. Biallas’ team brought the viewing rights to the artwork and reproduced 33 hi-definition photographic blowups of each section of the ceiling.  These giant ‘frescos’ – Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition — are on display in Los Angeles now thru November.  Attendees can see the works up close in full detail at their own pace. Each fresco has a scannable audio code (use your phone or their device) so you can learn about the images, what biblical story they depict, unusual aspects to be aware of and other historic details.  There’s also a wonderful PBS video in a private screening room that delves into fascinating details.

For tickets, click here.

Sun & Sea

  • By Cynthia Lum

The Los Angeles premiere of the Venice Biennale’s top prize winner, Sun & Sea, will be presented by The Hammer, MOCA and CAP UCLA at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.  The huge warehouse like gallery will be transformed into a lively beach with 10 tons of sand and 13 vocalists. Sunbathing characters will offer up a range of seductive harmonies and melodic stories that glide between the mundane, the sinister, and the surreal. From the sprawling tapestry of their lives emerges a piercing exploration of the relationship between people and our planet, captured in one afternoon on a crowded beach. 

The piece is brought to life by the 13 vocalists who are surrounded by approximately 25 adventurous local community members who act as fellow beach-goers. The touring vocalists will be supported by members of LA-based choral group Tonality, best known for concerts on themes of social justice.

 “The libretto of the piece is set as a mosaic of stories, inner monologues, dreams and thoughts, sung in solos and as a chorus by the beach goers. This ‘soup’ of stories might sound mundane and carefree, however, in this liturgical, poppy, and synthetic ocean of songs one can feel an impending threat said librettist Vaiva Grainytė on behalf of the artistic team. “The picture of enjoyable holidays belies the consequences of this inertia – planetary resources being extracted as if sipping fizzy Piña Colada”

For details, click here.