Sat. Jul 13th, 2024


By meerna Jul11,2024


Before I first went there last week, I didn’t know much about Nashville, the country music capital of the past, but what kind of country music? Fifty years ago, they began to embrace the “pretty boy/girl” commercial brand that has produced some of the greatest performers— Waylon and Willie, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, more, as outsiders, “outlaws.” Willie went back to Texas and never looked back, people like Dwight Yoakam dug into the Merle/Buck Owens Bakersfield story, and here we are, with a fractured but family-oriented country music still based in Music City. Nashville can’t be ignored, even by purists, and I found a ton of great history AND music there. Which I’ll have to tell you more about next week. Come on, everybody!


THEATRICUM BOTANICUM – Founder Will Geer’s Daughter Ellen Directs “The Winter’s Tale,” One of Willie the Shake’s Last Filmsa tragicomedy in five acts. TB has been known for more than half a century for Shakespeare and the production of “Midsummer” in its first season and every year since, and this year the director is Willow Geer, Will’s granddaughter. There is no more perfect stage for this classic than the woods of Topanga. “Wendy’s Peter Pan,” also directed by Ellen, sounds like a lot of fun just from the title. “Tartuffe” Sat 7:30 p.m.,“Winter” Sun 3:30 PM, “Peter Pan” Sunday 7:30pm, $15-60.

PETER ERSKINE TRIO + BOB MINTZER – It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I’ve written about jazz drummer Peter Erskine and his extraordinary trio, with Darek Oles on bass and Alan Pasqua on piano, together for decades, so many times that if you haven’t seen them, especially in a jazz room as elegant as Sam First, so close to Santa Monica, then I haven’t done my job properly and I simply don’t know what else to say. Add to that the saxophone master Mintzer at these shows, and that’s sky high. If I had a category for AWESOME SUPER SUPER DUPER RECOMMENDED, I’d use it for these two nights. Fri, Sat, 7:30, 9:30 PM, Sam First, LAX, $30.

ROLLING STONES – No, they’re not as great as they were when I saw them on their best tour, with Mick Taylor in the band and Stevie Wonder as support, in 1972, but who is, half a century later? But they’re not that far off, and that’s the amazing thing. They have so many great songs that they can’t possibly play them all in a few hours. The Glimmer Twins, Mick and Keith, are 80 years old, and I promise that won’t detract from their performance. But we know they won’t be around forever. So… go. Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sofia Stadium, Inglewood, $81-1832.

HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES — You can go to Cinema Bar every Monday night from 9-11:30 for over a decade and hear these hot musicians play Django Reinhart style 1930s jazz. This amazing band is a treasure, just across the border from SM. Monday 9:00 PM, Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover charge.


ALL GERSHWIN, LA PHIL — My only “improvement” on this beautiful evening under the stars with our exciting, world-class LA Philharmonic Orchestra: I would have saved “Rhapsody in Blue” for the finale, because I think it’s one of the best compositions of the last few centuries. But that’s just me. (There’s a pretty good story behind it, check it out.) Thursday, 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $14-$165.

“THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE” – It’s always exciting when the Ruskin Group puts on a new production, because their track record is exceptional. Over the past 20 years, they’ve built a reputation for attracting top talent in the form of actors, directors, writers and musicians. More importantly, a reputation for presenting an evening of theater that is thought-provoking and moving, sometimes deeply. This production stars Rob Morrow and Marcia Cross, both of whom have extensive and award-winning careers in theater, film and television. Go soon, you might want to come back and bring your friends. Thursday (preview), Friday, Saturday 8:00 p.m., Sunday 2:00 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $25-$40.

“WILD THINGS ARE HAPPENING: THE ART OF MAURICE SENDAK” – Now you can see them much larger than a page in a book. This is the first complete retrospective of his art since his death in 2012, encompassing his work in many artistic fields. 7/11-9/1, Skirball Museum, admission? Parking fee – call for information and hours.

LIQUID KITTY PUNK ROCK BBQ – The dark, oh-so-hip Liquid Kitty on Pico is long gone (’96-’16), but this resurrected, now SM tradition has been rocking Sunday afternoons at Harvelle’s for years. You’ll get five bands, with many legendary punks, including San Pedro’s Mike Watt. Sunday 1-6pm, Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, free admission, free hot dogs.

“THE DOORS,” 70mm — I know our venerated, historic, 85-year-old movie palace is known for its art of filmmaking, and Oliver Stone’s attempt to capture the short life of charismatic singer Jim Morrison, full of drugs and mayhem, falls short of expectations, but the soundtrack of 25 Doors songs, heard through Aero’s excellent sound system, should make the trip worth it. Monday, 7:30 p.m., Aero Theatre, Santa Monica, $12-$17.

UPCOMING ATTRACTIONS (we also recommend): All Gershwin, Hollywood Bowl, 7/11;“Wild Things Happen: The Art of Maurice Sendak,” Skirball, 7/11-9/1; Peter Erskine Tio + Bob Mintzer, Sam First, 7/12. 13; Rolling Stones, Sofia Stadium, 7/13; Slash, Samantha Fish, Warren Haynes Band, Eric Gales, Greek, 7/13; Theatricum Botanicum – “Tartuffe-Born Again” 13/07, 20, 27 – “The Winter’s Tale” 14/07, 19, 28 – “Peter Pan Wendy” 14/07, 21, 2; Liquid Kitty’s Punk Rock BBQ, Harvelle’s, July 14; Hot Club of Los Angeles, Cinema Bar, July 15, 22, 29; Big Band Night, Hollywood Bowl, July 17; “THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE”, Ruskin Group Theatre, July 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, September 1: Ziggy Marley, Bellwether, July 20; Mozart Under the Stars, Zubin Mehta, Pinchas Zuckerman, Hollywood Bowl, July 23; “Apocalypse Now” 70mm, Aero Theatre, July 23; “Zoot Suit” 70mm, Aero Theatre, 24/07; All-Beethoven, LA Phil, 25/07; X, Regent Theatre, 25/07, 26; Michael Franti and Spearhead, Greek, 26/07; Dwight Yoakam, Mavericks, Greek, 7/27; Lake Street Dive, Greek, 27/07; “Lawrence of Arabia”, 70 mm, Aero Theatre, 27/07, 28; Outlaw Fest: Willie, Bob, Mellancamp. Hollywood Bowl, 31/07; UB40, English Beat, Inner Circle, Greek, 31/07; Schumann and Bruch, LA Phil, Hollywood Bowl, 01/08; Mavis Staples, Norah Jones, Greek, 04/08; Reggae Night XXII: Damian and Stephen Marley, Hollywood Bowl, 04/08; Hives, Foo Fighters, BMO Stadium, 09/08; Jon Batiste, Greek, 8/10; Wailing Souls, Levitt Pavilion, 8/10; Alanis Morisette, Joan Jett & Blackhearts, Kia Forum, 8/10; Pretenders, Foo Fighters, BMO Stadium, 8/11; Herbie Hancock “Head Hunters” 50th, Hollywood Bowl, 8/14; 10CC, Theatre at Ace Hotel, 8/15; Lila Downs, Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series, 8/17; All-Dvořák with Midori, LA Phil, Hollywood Bowl, 8/20; Gary Clark Jr., Hollywood Bowl, August 21; Ghostland Observatory, Teragram Ballroom, August 24; Ash Grove Alumni, McCabe’s, August 25; Dudamel and Yunchan Lim, Hollywood Bowl, August 29.

Charles Andrews has listened to many types of music, including over 3,000 live concerts. He has lived in Santa Monica for 38 years and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world. Seriously. Send love and/or hate mail to:

By meerna

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