TONIGHT! — “DEATH OF A SALESMAN” by ARTHUR MILLER starring ROB MORROW (Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play from the brilliant Arthur Miller, Morrow rocks it, directing and cast stellar, extended again, through 9/15 ), Thurs-Fri-Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., special added show this Sunday 8 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $20-$35.
TONIGHT! — THE ROLLING STONES (“No Filter Tour”- ? – really? – you mean they’ve had a filter all these decades? P‘M sure they’ll be great so if you want to spend next month’s rent and fight your way to the Rose Bowl you go boys and girls but if you haven’t already left yesterday you’ll never make it in time and then you will have no satisfaction), Thurs 730 p.m., The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, $200-$500 if you can get a ticket, maybe multiples more, good luck.
TONIGHT ONLY! — “PAVAROTTI” (a reliable source said I must see it), Thurs, Music Hall, Beverly Hills;
TONIGHT ONLY! — “ECHO IN THE CANYON” (another first-person account of rock and roll history, of and by the creative denizens of Laurel Canyon), Thurs, Music Hall, Beverly Hills;
TONIGHT! — “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” (here in the outdoor theater, you don’t have to imagine a forest from painted cardboard), Thursday 8 p.m., Thursday, also Mon 9/2, Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH” (set in WWII-era New Jersey and the Ice Age — !?! — Thornton Wilder’s oblique, mysterious, confusing, thought-provoking and wonderful), Fri 8 p.m., also 9/2, W.G.’s Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE” (check my previous CURIOUS CITY column for some description of this excellently acted, thought-provoking adaptation by Artistic Director Ellen Geer of a classic Ibsen about… a poisoned water supply, and racial tensions, topical enough for ya?), Sun 8 p.m., also 8/31, 9/8, 14, 22, 28, W.G.’s T. Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“TWELFTH NIGHT” (they’re known for their mastery of The Bard), Sat 8 p.m., also 9/1, 15, 28, W.G.’s TB, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“MOBY DICK-REHEARSED” (based on Orson Welles’ 1955 adaptation of the novel, it sounds like it requires a lot of “acting,” no whales, no ship — cool!), Sun 4 p.m., also 9/1, 7, 15, 22, 29, T. Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42.
PACIFIC OPERA PROJECT presents THE MIKADO (I’m really torn about “downgrading” this from HIGHLY to just RECOMMENDED and maybe I wouldn’t if I had been sitting at a table in the main room but with a seat in the “back” room I couldn’t hear all the punch lines, it’s really frustrating when everyone else is laughing, I believe they updated the book in places for current events satire and I hated missing that, this show relies on singers’ projection, no subtitles and the musical theatre elocution sometimes could stand printed subtitles, but that aside the staging and direction, sets and costumes were terrific Janet Todd as Yum-Yum was of superlative voice and acting, tickets are mostly sold out for this short run so don’t mess around), Fri 8 p.m., Sat 2 p.m., 8 p.m. through 8/31, Highland Park Ebell Club, $15-$25, tables available $80-$180 with food, wine, cushions.
TONY GILKYSON, I SEE HAWKS IN LA (great double bill of LA Americana-alt country performers who will make you a fan if you’re paying attention and not yakking with your tablemates, is Tony a better guitar player or a vocalist, are Hawks better songwriters or performers, A+ all around but you decide), Fri 9 p.m., Mr. T’s, Highland Park Bowl, free.
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON (outlaw, highwayman, he’s a legend for a reason, he’s 83 — go!), Sat 7:30 p.m., Starlight Bowl, Burbank, $28-$58.
JOE LABARBERA TRIO (“Further Trio Explorations,” this is a really great trio, also featuring Billy Childs on piano and Ben Shepherd on bass), Sat 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m., Sam First, LAX, 415-$20.
JAZZ ON THE LAWN with Nutty (simple jazzy takes on rock standards and more elaborate pairings of rock/jazz numbers with World Music thrown in, hey never mind, it’s a fun free family time in the park) Sun 5 p.m., Gandara Park, SM, free.
LA PHIL — BEETHOVEN’S 9th (hell yeah, this will be killer, “one of the supreme achievements in Western music,” pay no mind that Dudamel has hand-picked a guest baton waver, Xian Zhang, you’ve also got this stellar line-up of vocalists in soprano Liv Redpath, mezzo Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor Toby Spence and bass Michael Sumuel, with The Los Angeles Master Chorale, on a balmy night at The Bowl, you’d be balmy to skip it, leads off with a world premiere, The Observatory, by young Pulitzer winner Caroline Shaw), Tues, Thurs 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $8-128.
SOUNDWAVES CONTINUUM (formed in East LA in 1987, inspired by bands like Weather Report, Oregon and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, they present a special acoustic set in honor of Charlie Parker’s birthday, a performancer of intimate, exciting, virtuosic, and exploratory jazz), next Thurs, 7:30 p.m., Main library, DTSM, free.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: BRYAN FERRY, 8/29, Greek Theatre, Griffith Park.
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL, 8/30-31, 9/1, Landmark Theater, Westwood, special appearances by bandmates, family, associates of Miles; LA BOHEME — LA OPERA, 9/14, 22, 25, 28, 10/2, 6;
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” — John Lennon
BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS: CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862). JOHN LEE HOOKER (1917), KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (1928), VERNON REID, Living Colour (1958).
Never caught Debussy’s act but did finally see John Lee Hooker when he came to Albuquerque in the mid-’70s and it was a revelation. I felt like seeing him and listening plunged me instantly deep into the real blues, right there in Johnson Gym in the NM desert. That deep growl, the way he played his guitar so percussively, I thought it was because of his reliance on hitting the bass strings with his thumb but a little research revealed he had a few ways of playing that were not like everyone else. ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons definitely emulated him, and covered a few of his best songs. I was a big fan of LA blues band Canned Heat, and when I saw “Hooker & Heat” in my local record store, I knew the young white boys had gone to heaven and I was about to too.
Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at firstname.lastname@example.org