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The Week in Culture: Heavy Metal Film Fest, Yo Yo Ma, Picasso and Dodger Baseball

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011, at 09:37AM
Burn This Craig Schwartz

Zabryna Guevara and Adam Rothenberg in Lanford Wilson’s “Burn This” at the Center Mark Taper Forum

Spring steps into full stride in a week that has heavy metal headbangers coming out of their late winter holes for a film festival. Also, Yo Yo Ma brings the silk road to Grand Ave and Picasso will be portrayed on Spring. But for many Angelenos, it is not Spring until they hear the voice of Vin Scully tell Los Angeles to pull up a chair, because “It’s time for Dodger baseball.”

That is poetry.


The Los Angeles Dodgers will host their rival, the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day. That alone should rile up Dodger fans in the All-You-Can-Boo Pavilion. And now that the Giants are defending their World Series crown, expect to hear extra jeers. The opening day pitcher is 23-year-old left-hander Clayton Kershaw, the youngest to take the hill on Dodger Opening Day since 22-year-old Fernando Valenzuela back in 1983. The National Anthem will be performed by a 12-time Grammy winner, the right-hander Placido Domingo. Thu Mar 31 5:05pm / Dodger Stadium

The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Dallas Mavericks. When the Lakers last played Dallas, it was a road game and they were 1 1/2 games behind the Western Conference No. 2 seed Mavericks. The Lakers won, despite Kobe Bryant spraining an ankle. Now the season series with Dallas will be decided Thursday, and a victory means home court advantage during the NBA playoffs. Thu Mar 31 7:30pm / Staples Center / 1111 S. Figueroa

Art Share L.A. hosts an evening with Darryl Van Leer, a singer who adds storyline to his impersonations of Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, Little Richard and others. The one-man show transforms the stage into The Roadhouse, a club waiting for preservation that has soul artists “dropping by” to help save the historic joint. Opens Thu Mar 31, Runs Fri April 1 and Sun Apr 2 at 7pm / Art Share Los Angeles / 326 S. Hewitt

My Run is a documentary about Terry Hitchcock, the 57-year-old man who ran 75 consecutive marathons in 75 consecutive days. The critically acclaimed documentary, narrated by Billy Bob Thornton, will have a nationwide one night premiere event Thursday. Thu Mar 31 7pm / Regal Cinemas / 1000 W. Olympic

Heavy Metal Film Fest: The inaugural––and perhaps the first ever anywhere––film fest dedicated to metal bands and their fans will open March 31 with the L.A. premiere of Las Marimbas del Infierno (Marimbas From Hell), Julio Hernandez Cordon’s 2010 film. Thu Mar 31 through Apr 3 9pm / Downtown Independent Theater / 251 S Main

Oro Solido is a 14-piece merengue band from New York led by Raul Acosta, also known as “El Presidente del Merengue,” Thu Mar 31 8pm / The Conga Room / 800 W. Olympic

Wabich and Wahid: Avant-garde jazz musician Chris Wabich and Dimitris Mahlis form WAHID, a jazz ensemble skilled at fusing the oud and frame drums, two folk instruments often used for classical ensembles. Thu Mar 31 9pm / Blue Whale / 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka


Jagermeister Country Tour featuring Dierks Bentley: Outlaw country music star Bentley rides his popularity from four respected country albums (and a progressive bluegrass album) to headline a tour that includes Josh Thompson and Miss Willie Brown. Fri Apr 1 8pm / Nokia Theatre / 777 Chick Hearn Ct

Aspects of Adès I: “In Seven Days” is a piano concerto that mixes hi-tech imagery by Tal Rosner with Adès’ music. This rendition of the familiar Creation story is a commission from Walt Disney Concert Hall and the South Bank Centre (London). Nicolas Hodges conducts. Fri Apr 1 8pm (and Sat Apr 2 8pm, Sun Apr 3 2pm) / Walt Disney Concert Hall / 111 S. Grand

Shawn Pelofsky: Pop culture observations by the USC grad, a self-described sibling from a family “of ten Jews in Oklahoma.” Fri Apr 1 (and Sat Apr 2) 9pm / Downtown Comedy Club / 114 W. 5th


From Newsprint to New Media: Media upheaval has forced many Nikkei community newspapers to shut down. However, as seen from the recent crisis in Japan, those remaining are a vital link between the U.S. and Japan. A panel will discuss the history and future of Nikkei community newspapers. Sat Apr 2 2pm / Japanese American National Museum / 369 E. 1st

The 6th annual REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival picks up from last week’s opening weekend with a full afternoon slate. All Creatures Great and Small is “a selection of short films filled with cuddly animals, sweet music and gentle stories” (12pm); Indigenous Showcase spotlights “emerging talents from indigenous communities” (1:30pm); Round the World and Home Again is a global look of the “plans, schemes and dreams of reel-life kids in seven different countries.” (3pm) Sat Apr 2 / REDCAT / 631 W. 2nd

Broadway 100: The U.S. premiere of “Tempest: Without a Body” renowned New Zealand director and choreographer Lemi Ponifasio. Created by Ponifasio for his company MAU, this “visually stunning work entwines formally precise dancing with elements of theater, ritual, and social activism.” Sat Apr 2 (8:30pm) and Sun Apr 3 (7:30pm) / Million Dollar Theatre / 307 S. Broadway

The Colburn Chamber Music Society closes their season with guest Menahem Pressler in a presentation of Dvořks Czech folk music inspired Piano Quintet in A Major. Sat Apr 2 8pm / Zipper Hall at The Colburn School of Performing Arts / 200 S. Grand


More REDCAT Toons: Sunday’s list of programming at the International Children’s Film Festival includes “Into the Woods and Under the Sea” environmentally program (12pm); “Once Upon an Adventure” feats of derring-do, invasions and escapades (1:30pm); and Goosebumps Galore’s “spooky chills and thrills” that includes a curator note warning parents “We’re not kidding, some of these films are scary!” (3pm) Sun Apr 3 / REDCAT / 631 W. 2nd

Hogoz's first five episodes will be screened, then discussed with creator John Powers. The online comedy series, which made its debut on September 2010, is a satirical view of life in a fictional interment camp––which has never been done. Certainly there was Hogan’s Heroes, the TV show loosely patterned after Stalag 17, but a camp that holds citizens is new ground. Opinion of taste and appropriate content may be split between older and younger generations of Japanese-Americans. Sun Apr 3 2pm / Japanese American National Museum / 369 E. 1st

At The Smell, Black Elephant, Pangea, Heller Keller, and Fatty Dearest perform to benefit The Orphan Sponsorship International; hosted by Caring is Cool. Sun Apr 3 8pm / The Smell / 247 S. Main

Hattitude: Spring means donning extravagant hats, a tradition that the California African American Museum documents as form of social networking. Hattitude touches on the long history of the church-going people from South L.A., (and elsewhere) who take their Sunday bonnets very, very, seriously. After the quiet dignity of afternoon high tea, hat-wearers will hit the runway and become one with their hat’s personality and attitude. This annual Easter time affair will feature music, and spoken word. There will be prizes in categories for men, women and children. While the event is free, parking at 39th and Figueroa is $8. Sun Apr 3 Museum opens at 11am. Event begins at 1pm / California African American Museum / 200 State Drive at Exposition Park


The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo Yo Ma is a tour inspired by instruments found in cultures along the historic silk road, the main trade route between Asia to the Mediterranean, African, and Europe. With the use of traditional and folk instruments, the ensemble performs modernized versions of traditional music and new cross-cultural music it has commissioned. Mon Apr 4 8pm / Walt Disney Concert Hall / 111 S. Grand

A Weekend with Picasso supporting the West Coast premiere of the Herbert Siguenza-written “an Evening with Picasso." Siguenza also plays the lead role. The pre-show reception will be a night of tasting Spanish wines, cheeses, olive oil while roaming through an “exclusive exhibition and silent auction of original Picasso art works presented by the Andrew Weiss Gallery, Beverly Hills.” Todd Salovey directs. Mon Apr 4 8pm / Los Angeles Theater Center / 514 S. Spring


Center Theater Group's production of Lanford Wilson’s "Burn This" opens at the Mark Taper Forum April 5. As the production was in previews, the Pulitzer-prize winning playwright died on March 24 at the age of 73. The Center Theater Group will dedicate this run of “Burn This” in memory of Wilson. Nicholas Martin directs. Previews until April 2. Opens April 5. Runs through May 1. Tue Apr 3 7pm / Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper

ALOUD with Jane Hirshfield and Sean M. Carroll: Through "On the Nature of Observation,” Hirshfield, a poet; and Carroll, a theoretical physicist, discuss different (and perhaps similar) point of views about observation and metaphor. Does a poet view time differently? For that matter, how does a physicist see words? Apr 5 7pm / Central Library / 630 W. 5th

An Evening With The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was first founded to preserve the New Orleans’ jazz gumbo-mix of Dixieland and sass. Some may know them for providing the soundtrack for Woody Allen’s Sleeper (1973). The history goes deeper than that. PHJB is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Tue Apr 5 8pm / Grammy Museum / W. 800 Olympic


Aloud In “The Use and Abuse of Literature” with Marjorie Garber, Harvard English professor and David L. Ulin, book critic for the Los Angeles Times, Aloud explores how reading became a “revolutionary act” in the digital age and how to restore literature as the center of our lives. Wed Apr 6 7pm / Central Library / 630 W. 5th

Redwood Bar and Grill Benefit for Japan features Sassafras’ mix of blues, punk and metal; Plus Kamikaze, Brainspoon, Sex Wolf, and Roman Candle Wars. Proceeds will go to Japan Red Cross. Wed Apr 6 9pm / Redwood Bar & Grill / 316 W. 2nd


The L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival opens Thursday April 7 at the Downtown Independent Theater.

Big Willie’s Burlesque appears at The Edison Thursday, April 7.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to The Music Center for ten performances Friday April 8 through Sunday April 17. The Opening Night cocktail reception following the performance is sold separately.

John Mellencamp "No Better Than This Tour" reaches Nokia Theatre Friday April 8.


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