November 5-December 31
Some say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but in musical theater, parody takes top honors. Gerard Alessandrini is the Weird Al of Broadway, and his answer to Hamilton is Spamilton, a spoof of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop juggernaut opening at the Kirk Douglas Theater. You’ll hear riffs on many songs from the OG soundtrack, plus a few jabs at other beloved musicals (watch out, Book of Mormon).
Through December 31
The Hammer Museum’s contribution to Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA celebrates female artists. Two one-off events stand out this month: Bands like Sotomayor and Sin Color perform on November 2 to highlight Latin America’s vast sonic landscape. On November 5 writers Vivien Mejia (Ugly Betty), Carolina Rivera (Jane the Virgin), and others talk about women of color onscreen.
Night Nation Run
There are some people who run for fun, and there are others who run only when chased. If you fall into the former camp, sign up for this nocturnal music festival-meets-marathon at the Irwindale Event Center. DJs, light shows, and designated selfie stations dot the route (what a time to be alive); cap it off with a sweaty afterparty, complete with confetti guns and a hush-hush headliner.
Grand Park Lights Up the Holidays
November 26-December 26
You may not have a winter wardrobe, but Grand Park does. The DTLA greenspace is decked out in holiday decor, including towering Christmas trees.
The Heart of Robin Hood
November 28-December 17
The classic tale gets an upgrade with aerial arts, onstage lakes, and drawbridges. (Plus there’s a plot twist: This Robin steals from the rich and…keeps it for himself.) The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts even shipped over eye-popping forest sets from Iceland.
Grand Avenue Arts: All Access
From the Broad to the Colburn School to the L.A. Central Library, more than ten arts institutions along Grand Avenue open their doors for a free day of architecture tours, special exhibitions, performances, and workshops. Soak up as much culture as you can from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ate9: calling glenn
Founded by Israeli choreographer Danielle Agami, the L.A.-based dance company is known for risky, playful pieces. Wilco’s drummer, Glenn Kotche (who—fun fact!—is also a classical composer), joins the troupe at CAP UCLA for a new rhythmic work where he plays an original score he created.
November 21-December 31
The Tony nominee for Best Musical finally makes its way west to the Ahmanson. Set in the 1590s, it’s a comedy on par with Spamalot: Two playwrights, both rivals of Shakespeare, learn from a soothsayer that the future of theater involves song and dance. To best the Bard, they set out to write the world’s first Broadway hit.
The L.A.-based dance group—now a household name, thanks to America’s Got Talent—celebrates its 25th birthday at the Valley Performing Arts Center with a programming blitz: The crew dances ten different pieces in a single day.
Noon to Midnight
If last year was any indication, Disney Hall’s smorgasbord is going to be equal parts interesting and weird and great. The institution hosts 12 hours’ worth of musical wonders, all of which are performed by emerging L.A. ensembles.
November 6, 16, & 29
A trio of events, held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, tackle everything from race politics to photography. Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses his new book, We Were Eight Years in Power (November 6); MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is in conversation with Conan O’Brien (November 16); and former White House photographer Pete Souza shares insights from the Obama years (November 29).
Taking Shape: Degas As Sculptor
November 10-April 9
The Norton Simon Museum has one of the largest Degas collections in the world. To mark the centenary of the artist’s death, the Pasadena institution puts 72 of his bronze sculptures on display alongside iconic paintings like Dancers in the Rotunda at the Paris Opera.
We can all agree that adult toys are acceptable, right? (Mind out of the gutter.) At DCon, 400 vendors—including Giant Robot, the Little Friends of Printmaking, and Steff Bomb—hawk collectible toys, plushies, sculptures, prints, pop art, and more. Panels, DJ sets, and live painting competitions round out the weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center.