Opera performance
Amanda Woodbury (right) as Lucia, with Madeleine Lyon as Alisa, in LA Opera's 2022 production of "Lucia di Lammermoor"

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 

THE HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES – Breakneck, virtuosic 1930s Django-style swing music in the cozy Culver City dive, almost 75 years old with live music almost every night and never a cover charge. It’s gigs like this that make putting up with the bad side of Santa Monica worth it. Every Mon 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover.

EM – She’s still amazing. But nothing good lasts forever, you know. Don’t push your luck. So why not go this Tuesday night? Betcha, you’ll thank me. Every Tues 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $10.

RECOMMENDED:

RICK SHEA – Addictive singer-songwriter. Just go. You’ll thank me. It’s free and the place is cool. Fri 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover.

THEATRICUM BOTANICUM – You have an opportunity to sate your live theater jones in one weekend, with all four of TB’s 2022 lineup available. Their flag and forte is Shakespeare, and when I saw “THE MERRY WIVES of WINDSOR” recently, I struggled through a somewhat slow and confusing opening act (blame the Bard and his penchant for confused identities and genders) but it recovered magnificently and the second half paid off in gold, with an inspired ‘50s setting adaptation which allowed the injection of pop songs of the era that fit the narrative and were familiar and lots of fun – Fri 7:30 p.m. Their very first performance 50 years ago was “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM,” and they have performed it every season since. You don’t have to sit indoors and imagine a forest: it’s surrounding the massive TB outdoor stage – Sat 7:30 p.m. (prologue discussion with the cast, 6:30pm.). “WESTSIDE WALTZ” (written by Ernest Thompson, “On Golden Pond”) trots out the TB elite, founder Will Geer’s very accomplished lineage, daughter Ellen, her daughter Willow, and Ellen’s half sister Melora – Sun 3:30 p.m. “TROUBLE THE WATER” is the riveting, barely believable true story of Robert Smalls’ bold plan to escape slavery, with his family, by commandeering the Confederate warship he was serving on and impersonating the captain through three nail biting checkpoints – Sun 7:30 p.m., All shows Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-60 (discounts for seniors, students, teachers, veterans, AEA, ages 5-15).

LADY GAGA – is now the star she always wanted to be, since starting piano at age four. She puts on a costumed stage show rivaled only by elron and Björk. She’s an excellent songwriter, and has such a solid intuition for music history that she can take on any genre. Tony Bennett’s partner at the end? You have to earn that. She’s a pretty good actress too, with an Oscar nom for her very first role, in “A Star Is Born,” and leaving everyone shocked that she didn’t repeat for “House of Gucci.” And a book on the NY Times bestseller list. (You can catch her co-author and protege, the amazing EM, every Tues night at Harvelle’s, right here on Fourth Street.) Even in a huge stadium, Gaga will likely knock it out of the park. Sat 7:30 p.m., Dodger Stadium, LA, $80-1300+.

2nd ANNUAL SANTA MONICA PIER CLASSIC CAR SHOW – Go for the (200) cars but also get to hear House of Vive and three DJs and see SM Ballet Folklorico, with great food from local eateries, all proceeds to benefit programs for underserved youth. Sat 10 a.m., SM Pier, free (donations accepted).

PACIFIC OPERA PROJECT, DONIZETTI’S “L’ELISIR D’AMORE” (“THE ELIXIR OF LOVE”) – They’re back! That lil ol’ opera company who did most of their early shows in Santa Monica, has grown remarkably under the leadership of colorful director Josh Shaw, they may not have million dollar sets or a 90 piece orchestra but they are not lacking in any category, including voices and acting, and are swearing to give us an even better time this season, something they always deliver. Donizetti in the 1950s? Why not? Sat 7 p.m. Sun 3 p.m., El Portal Theatre in N Hollywood, $20-100.

LIBRARY GIRL Presents “She Who Should Be Paid Attention To” – and that would be Suzanne Lummis: poet, teacher, writer, impresario, and “L.A. Treasure,” says LG founder/director Susan Hayden. “I’m very excited about this show and the talent we have, 15 top poets from (Linda) Albertano to (Mariano) Zaro (“The Poet Laureate of Ocean Park” – Santa Monica Daily Press. Sun 7 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $20.

TOLEDO DIAMOND — The true hipster (when that sobriquet meant something way cool), choreographer to the stars, smoky Svengali, showman supreme. Toledo and his unquestionably unique show always pleases, if you are ready for the very different. Every Sun 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $12.

ITZAK PERLMAN, LA PHIL – I’m not the world’s biggest Tchaikovsky fan (oh, the abuse that’s going to engender) but his 4th can certainly get your attention. I’d be more interested in the opening Bach “Concerto for Two Violins,” since one of the two is maestro Perlman, and that’s worth the price of admission in my book. Tues 8 p.m. Hollywood Bowl, $13-121.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: “THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR” 9/9, 17, 25, 10/2, “THE WESTSIDE WALTZ” 9/11, 18, 23, “TROUBLE THE WATER” 9/16, 24, 10/2, “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” 9/18, 25, 10/1, Theatricum Botanicum; LA OPERA, “LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR,” 9/17, 21, 24, 28, 10/2, 9; TOLEDO DIAMOND, Harvelle’s, 9/18, 25; HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES, Cinema Bar, 9/19, 26; EM, Harvelle’s 9/19, 26: ELIZA GILKYSON, NINA GERBER, McCabe’s, 9/16; I SEE HAWKS IN LA, Gandara Park concerts, 9/18; REGGAE NIGHT XX: UB40, THE WAILERS, Hollywood Bowl, 918; TINARIWEN, Fonda Theater, 9/20; REDMAN-MEHLDAU- MCBRIDE-BLADE, The Soraya, 9/22; BONNIE RAITT with MAVIS STAPLES, Greek Theater, 9/24; LITTLE WILLIE G, Gandara Park concerts, 9/25; GRACE JONES, Hollywood Bowl, 9/25; ROGER WATERS, Crypto.com Arena. 9/27, 28; ROXY MUSIC, ST. VINCENT, Kia Forum, 9/28; HERBIE HANCOCK, Hollywood Bowl, 9/28; PORCUPINE TREE, Greek Theater, 9/30; LAKE STREET DIVE, JACK JOHNSON, Hollywood Bowl, 10/1, 2; MUSE, Wiltern, 10/4; MAHLER, DUDAMEL, Disney Hall, 10/6, 7, 8, 9; MARCUS KING, Wiltern, 10/7; RICK SHEA, , TONY GILKYSON, CINDY BERRYHILL Songwriters Showcase, McCabe’s, 10/30; CHAKA KHAN, Disney Hall, 10/30; JEFF BECK, Orpheum Theater, 11/6; RHIANNON GIDDENS, Disney Hall, 11/12.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 3,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 36 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com

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