Our Exclusive Guide to February’s Can’t-Miss Cultural Fare

From a mind-blowing Bob Marley retrospective to the L.A. Art Fair to Salman Rushdie’s revenge


One Love Experience
Bob Marley, one of the godfathers of reggae, is due for the immersive treatment. “It’s going to be amazing bringing the experience here to the U.S. for the first time and just steps from Daddy’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” says Cedella Marley, the CEO of the Bob Marley Group. The show features the entire Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Bob Marley Archive, flush with previously unseen photos, memorabilia, a cannabis garden, a giant spliff, and the world’s largest indoor vinyl record celebrating his best-selling album Legend. Exclusive art from The Postman, Camoworks, Idiot Box, and others emphasize the reggae star’s influence on street art. It’s as close to Marley’s Jamaica as you’ll get without booking a flight.
Ovation Hollywood, January 27 through April 23, bobmarleyexp.com


The First Deep Breath
Playwright Lee Edward Colston II chronicles a family’s spiral of denial when town pillar Pastor Albert Jones and loved ones gather for a memorial service to honor their late daughter. But when the eldest son, whom Jones blames for her death, returns from prison, everyone is confronted with some hard truths.
Geffen Playhouse, February 1 through March 5, geffenplayhouse.org


No, not Shakespeare’s foil Christopher Marlowe but Raymond Chandler’s other Marlowe, Philip, the one with the trench coat and fedora who’s committed to rooting out crime in Los Angeles. Oscar winner Neil Jordan directs this search for the ex-lover of a glamorous heiress, starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, and Jessica Lange.
In theaters February 15.


The Marriage of Figaro (PHOTO: VINCENT PONTET)

The Marriage of Figaro
Acclaimed filmmaker James Gray, takes on Mozart’s 1785 comedy of class and conjugal commitment on an Italian estate. Originally scheduled by L.A. Opera for 2020, Gray’s opera debut features costumes by celebrated fashion designer Christian Lacroix.
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, February 4 through 26. 


Unnatural History: An Alex Delaware Novel
Author Jonathan Kellerman’s L.A. crime fighters, Dr. Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis, team up to solve the murder of a photographer whose recent folio examines the homeless and the fantasies that inspire them. The killer could be among those exploited by the photos.
February 7.

Victory City
Rebounding from last year’s attempt on his life, Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie is back at it with this epic tale of a motherless child who inherits the powers of her goddess namesake and conjures a fantastical empire.
February 7.



Super Bowl LVII
This year’s matchup takes place in Glendale, Arizona, with Rihanna serenading a sold-out stadium. Fans of the reigning champion L.A. Rams will have to wait until next year, but the L.A. Chargers have qualified for the AFC playoffs.
Fox, February 12.


Coded: Art Enters the Computer Age, 1952–1982
Before there was AI, there was the mainframe, technology dedicated to making lives easier. As with any new tool, artists pounced—writers, painters, musicians, choreographers, and filmmakers discovered new ways of reflecting the world in the era preceding the PC.
LACMA, February 12 through July 2, lacma.org

L.A. Art Show
Sure, there’s that other art confab (Frieze L.A.) out in Santa Monica, but our homegrown show, now in its 28th year, features works from more than 80 galleries, museums, and nonprofits from around the world. It’s one of this month’s best places to view contemporary paintings, sculptures, works on paper, installations, photography, design, video, and performance. Jeff Robb‘s lenticular photography will be on display. New to the show is the Japanese Pavilion, debuting over 15 galleries, and a larger South Korean contingent than ever before. DIVERSEartLA returns with a curatorial focus on climate change. Conceptual photographer Alfredo De Stefano presents enigmatic installations in an ethereal desert setting. Evocative vermilion-wrapped figures, long shadows, and scorched shrubbery auger Earth as a desert planet. On the flip side is Il Giardino Planetario.
L.A. Convention Center, February 15 through 19, laartshow.com


Cali Vibes
With Method Man & Redman topping the lineup, think herb. It’s what you’ll smell burning at this Long Beach music festival. This year’s roster also features Snoop Dogg, Damian Marley, Slightly Stoopid,  311, Jack Johnson, Rebelution, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, and others. Take in tunes, the salty air, and secondhand smoke.
Marina Green Park, calivibesfest.com, February 17 through 19.


2023 NBA All-Star Weekend
Expect the usual slam-dunk contest, three-point shootout and Rising Stars Challenge. The NBA HBCU Classic pits Grambling State University against Southern University, with alumni Willis Reed and Bob Love as honorary captains.
TNT, ESPN2, and NBA TV, February 17 through 19.


The Secret Garden
Return to paradise with Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman and Grammy-winning composer Lucy Simon. Under their command, the children’s classic springs anew as orphan Mary Lennox travels from India to her uncle’s English country estate. There, with the help of some quirky companions, she penetrates the long-locked garden and uncovers family secrets from the past.
Ahmanson Theatre, February 19 through March 26, centertheatregroup.org


Jeff Robb, Aperture XII (2019)

Cruel Youth Diary: Chinese Photography and Video from the Haudenschild Collection
In the aftermath of 1989’s Tiananmen Square uprising, China saw unprecedented prosperity and openness under the Chinese Communist Party. Artistic expression flourished during the decade that followed, an era immortalized on film and video by artists like Weng Fen, Cao Fei, Yang Fudong, Zhu Jia, and Xu Zhen.
Hammer Museum, February 19 through May 14, hammer.ucla.edu

Mr. Brainwash Art Museum
Soon after the Paley Center shut its doors, popular street artist Mr. Brainwash announced plans to open his own museum. Three years later, his efforts bear colorful fruit. The inaugural exhibition, Enter Through the Museum, is a play on the Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. And yes, there is a gift shop.

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