THE HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES – Wouldn’t you know it? Hot Club takes off only two Mondays per year at the Cinema Bar, and one of them was Memorial Day (and my birthday), when I was going to invite y’all to join me there for a great show. So now, you have 50 other Mondays to choose from, but don’t put it off. Life is uncertain – eat dessert first, is a good rule. Hot Club’s brand of virtuoso, sometimes breakneck Django-style 1930s gypsy swing jazz is found nowhere else and even if it was, it couldn’t possibly be better than this. These guys are masters, individually and collectively. They manage to record and play high-profile gigs and still show up every Monday night here, for years. Aren’t we lucky? Mon 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover.
TONIGHT!– RICK SHEA – is a SoCal country treasure, an exceptional songwriter who can sell a song both quietly or raucously. I like his quieter, introspective, wise, great pickin’ seductive singing side best. Put a drink in front of you and go with it. Next Thurs 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover.
Ruskin Group Theatre, “PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE” – Read carefully. It’s an “absurdist comedy.” By the inarguably absurd comic Steve Martin. I laughed, but it is not intended to have you in stitches the entire time. It is the absurd and thought-provoking fantasy that Picasso and Einstein may have hung out together in a Paris cafe in the early 20th century, before either was famous. What might they have been like? Who else might have passed through? No one knows so Martin could go anywhere. One place he went was to make the “ordinary” women involved sound smarter than those two wise guys. People are diggin’ this show – it’s been extended for a third time. But some shows are selling out, so…. Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, Santa Monica Airport, $20-35.
DAN NAVARRO – I claim no shame for taking a while to get Navarro on my always-recommended lists. And it’s no reflection on him either. Music is like that. Sometimes it hits you between the eyes within seconds, and other times it may take years for you to get it. No judgments. But if you have finally added another song or album or band or performer to that cosmic landscape that moves your soul, just celebrate it. And keep searching for the next ones. It is an unlimited universe, you know, writhing, expanding and exploding from those seven notes. Navarro is all in on his vocals and playing and even his body language, and he tells some great little stories. It’s pretty hard not to be drawn in. Sat 8 pm . McCabe’s, Santa Monica, $28.
50TH YEAR OF GREAT THEATRE! IN THE CANYON, IN THE WOODS! TAKE A BOW!
THEATRICUM BOTANICUM: “MACBETH ”’ – As you can see from the column headline, and subhead, above, this is an event I am excited about. How can it ever get old watching outstanding actors right in front of you on a stage, doing the great works of the Bard plus plays from authors you may never heard of – who blow your mind? First off – “Macbeth”? “Macbeth”?! Go get your tickets right now, then write me a thank you note after the performance.Sat 7:30 p.m., Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $15-48.
LIBRARY GIRL, “THIS IS WHAT POETRY LOOKS LIKE WITH YOUR EYES OPEN” – Don’t overthink the title, just go, because unless the Universe has cracked, this will be another satisfying excursion into the world of images and feelings that will probably make you laugh and/or even cry. You’re not going to find that in front of your screen. Going on 14 years of real emotion from real good wordsmiths, and you don’t even have to drive across LA for an hour. In fact: free parking, and free dessert to top it off, plus live music by blueswoman Janiva Magness, with John Schroeder.. Right here in good ol’ Santa Monica, possibly … the creative center of the planet? There is an argument for that, and Library Girl and the Ruskin would be key pieces of that assertion.. Sun 7 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $20-35.
THEATRICUM BOTANICUM: “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM’ – see “MACBETH” above. Sun 3:30 p.m., Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $15-48.
TOLEDO DIAMOND – Unique, riveting, first class act. There’s nothing like it, it is high performance art and great fun. Degeneracy is rarely so well disciplined. Could be the most memorable 12 bucks you ever spent. Sun 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, $12.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: “PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE,” Ruskin Group Theatre, 6/16, 17; ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS /IMPOSTERS, NICK LOWE, LOS STRAITJACKETS, Greek Theatre, 6/16; JACARANDA Benefit Concert, 1st Pres Church of SM, 6/17; HOLLYWOOD BOWL JAZZ FESTIVAL, 6/17, 18; “MACBETH” Theatricum Botanicum, 6/17, 25, “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM,” Theatricum Botanicum, 6/18, 25, TOLEDO DIAMOND, Harvelle’s, 6/18, 25; HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES, Cinema Bar, 6/19, 26; KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD, Hollywood Bowl, 6/21; MAKE MUSIC DAY SM, LA, International, 6/21; JAKE SHIMABUKURO, Saban Theatre, 7/8; HAPPY TOGETHER TOUR with TURTLES, Little Anthony, others, Saban Theatre, 7/9; “QUEEN MARGARET’S VERSION OF SHAKESPEARE’S WAR OF THE ROSES,” Theatricum Botanicum, 6/24;.LYLE LOVETT, Saban Theatre, 7/6; JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT, Greek Theatre, 7/14,
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 37 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at Charles Andrews