The To-Do List: Top L.A. Events For the Holiday Season

A brief summary of your cultural agenda for the month (as the holidays finally settle in for good)
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Get some color. At 85, David Hockney remains as vital as he was in the 1970s. That’s when he met Peter Goulds, founder of L.A. Louver, ground zero for an unprecedented international exhibition of new works. The gallery’s latest show, David Hockney: 20 Flowers and Some Bigger Pictures, is based on iPad paintings Hockney made in 2020 while quarantined at his studio in Normandy, France. Along with flower still lifes, the “bigger pictures” are landscapes marking the seasons and reimagining the French countryside. Making its debut is 25th June 2022, Looking at the Flowers (Framed), a large-scale photographic drawing. L.A. Louver, November 16 through January 7. lalouver.com.

Benatar and Giraldo

Play with Pat. Invincible: The Musical is Romeo and Juliet with a boomer score. That’s husband-wife team Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo culling from their catalog and adding some new tunes to this world-premiere play. Literature’s favorite lovelorn teens now live in a modern, war-torn Verona where Chancellor Paris vows to quash the progressive resistance. The Wallis, November 22 through December 18. thewallis.org.

Rush out. The latest novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and SoCal native Jane Smiley (A Thousand Acres), A Dangerous Business, is set in Gold Rush California, where two young prostitutes set out to solve a string of murders. December 6.

Find sound salvation. It was going to happen last July, so if you had tickets back then, now’s the time to join Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad, the hosts of public radio’s This American Life and Radiolab, discussing their respective shows about science, humanity, and finding the epic in the everyday. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, December 10. acehotel.com.

California Gold Skating Team

Skate away. After a two-year shutdown, the Holiday Ice Rink returns to downtown, kicking off the season with the annual Icebreaker Opening Celebration, featuring live performances, special guests, and a balm for the winter blues—the shattering of a big ice sculpture. Pershing Square, November 23 through January 1. holidayicerinkdowntownla.com.

Hear Harry. Is there a better way to spend Christmas than with Grammy-winning singer Harry Connick, Jr.? Before you answer, consider listening to him croon through holiday classics as well as original seasonal faves like “When My Heart Finds Christmas.” Pantages Theatre, December 15 through 17. broadwayinhollywood.com.

Witness a life unfold. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu delivers an autobiographical film, Bardo, á la the Fellini classic, . A documentary filmmaker grapples with an existential crisis surrounding identity, family, and memory. Netflix, December 16.

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This article appears in the December 2022 issue of Los Angeles magazine