You won’t need the Expo line just yet — there’s so much going on in Santa Monica (and nearby) this weekend!
“The Memory of Water,” winner of the prestigious British Olivier Award for Best Comedy, was a hit on London’s West End. Now it’s onstage at the tricky-to-find Promenade Playhouse, 1404 Third Street Promenade.
Shelagh Stephenson’s dark comedy, adapted on film as “Before You Leave,” features three sisters — paranoid Mary, uptight Teresa, and strung-out bratty Catherine — who have returned home to the north of England for their mother’s funeral, setting the stage for hilarious sibling jealousies, witty bickering, and doped-up soul searching. Their mother’s ghost appears, too. Each sister holds distinct memories of their childhood, each has a unique perspective on what these memories mean. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Feb. 15, tickets at https://www.plays411.com/memoryofwater.
FIRESIDE AT THE MILES
The 6th annual season of Fireside at The Miles opens on Saturday. These multi-disciplinary performances take place at the beautiful Miles Memorial Playhouse with hearth-side performances ranging from jazz, comedy, storytelling, dance, poetry, beat boxing, to a capella singing and more.
Starting this Saturday, Jan. 17, the Los Angeles Flute Orchestra opens the season. For the following five weeks on both Fridays and Saturdays, enjoy the humor of Joe Hernandez-Kolski, the best stories from the SHINE Storytelling series, The Poree Family Reunion Jazz Concert, Hart Pulse Dance company and more.
Pricing is modest and seating is limited. Visit www.milesplayhouse.org, call (310) 458-8634 or email MilesPlayhouse@SMGov.net for reservations.
CELEBRITY BUBBLES AT EDGEMAR
The Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar Center for the Arts on Main Street boasts a hearty theatrical, film and dramatic arts teaching program, as well as art shows in its gallery.
Still onstage is Henry Jaglom’s “Train to Zakopane,” which will now be enhanced by “Portraits,” an exhibition of celebrity photos by Robert G. Zuckerman opening on Sunday, Jan. 18.
Zuckerman is renowned for photographs that publicize such TV shows as “American Horror Story” and “Justified,” films like “Flight” and “Transformers” and such iconic magazines as Vanity Fair and Paris Match … not to mention the album covers he’s produced for major labels.
Portraits include Morgan Freeman, Heavy D, John Turturro, David Bowie, Will Smith, Faye Dunaway, Arnold Schwarzenegger with Bill Clinton, Kate Winslet, Marcello Mastroianni, Al Pacino, Jeff Goldblum, Roy Lichtenstein and more. Portions of sale proceeds will be donated to two non-profit organizations, Hope N Carry Project, which provides cameras and mentoring to at-risk youth, and the Adult Polyglucosan Body Disease Research Foundation.
Images are on view this Sunday through the end of April.
But that’s not all! Have you ever seen a square bubble? Or a spaceship inside a bubble? Or a volcano inside a bubble? Have you ever personally stood inside a human-sized bubble?
Prepare to be amused and aghast at the artistry and skill of the master of the secret soapy formula. Louis Pearl, the Amazing Bubble Man returns to Santa Monica for six performances only this weekend. Book fast! These shows usually sell out!
I know whereof I speak: I’ve been to Louis’s shows and have been entertained by him at a private party — so I speak from the heart about the amazingness of these bubbles and Louis himself, who makes big fun for adults and kids.
There are three daytime performances on Jan. 17 and again on Jan. 18. Edgemar is located at 2437 Main St., for details and tickets call (310) 399-3666 or visit www.edgemar.org.
In collaboration with The MLK Westside Coalition, Santa Monica Symphony honors Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and legacy with a special concert on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 2:30 p.m. at the SGI Auditorium.
All of Santa Monica Symphony’s concerts are free and this one will be rich in works by African American composers and some of Dr. King’s favorite songs, including “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” plus an audience singalong of “We Shall Overcome,” enhanced by the voices of special guest recording artist Niki J Crawford and The Ward AME Church Choir.
The SGI Auditorium is located at 525 Wilshire Blvd. Seating is open but get there early; concerts are tremendously popular and people have been turned away once capacity is reached. Visit http://www.smsymphony.org for details.
And Orchestra Santa Monica is moving to beautiful new digs, The Moss Theatre on the campus of New Roads School. To celebrate they’re presenting an All Mozart almost-birthday concert this Sunday, Jan. 18 at 3:30 p.m.
One of Mozart’s most dramatic symphonies, No. 40 in G Minor and the A Major Symphony No. 29 are featured, as is OSM’s Principal Oboist, Catherine Del Russo in the Oboe Concerto in C.
Get tickets and info at www.orchestrasantamonica.org, including senior and student discounts.
CULTURE CLASH REDUX
The sharp-edged, socially conscious vaudevillian humor of L.A.’s powerhouse Latino theatre group, Culture Clash, will be on display at a newly reworked edition of their classic production “Chavez Ravine.”
Lisa Peterson, who directed the world premiere in 2003 at Mark Taper Forum, is back again directing original Culture Clash members Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza in this revised performance, opening at The Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City on Feb. 4.
Culture Clash examines the constantly changing landscape of urban Los Angeles. “Chavez Ravine” recalls the uprooting of a small, tightly-knit neighborhood to build what was initially proposed to be a low-income housing project but ultimately became Dodger Stadium.
The company is celebrating its 30th anniversary with this production, which also features new material and music by the Rodarte Brothers and others. Find out more at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. The Kirk Douglas Theatre is at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City. Performances run through March 1.
Sarah A. Spitz spent her career as a producer at public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica and produced freelance arts reports for NPR. She has also reviewed theatre for LAOpeningNights.com.