From live music series to musicals to world premiere theatrical works to paintings classic and modern, the arts organizations in the Pasadena area are rolling out artistic works designed to comfort, challenge and entertain this fall and winter.
With the world a different place than it was even two years ago, arts organizations are inviting audiences in to take in art and to ask the questions great and small while connecting with others.
Here are some of the events taking place between now and the end of the year.
A Noise Within
3352 E. Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena
After the musical version of George Orwell’s “An Animal Farm” closes on Oct. 2, A Noise Within is returning to August Wilson’s 10-play American Century Cycle, with the final installment, “Radio Golf,” from Oct. 16 to Nov. 13. Set in the 1990s, it examines the high price we pay for progress as Pittsburgh’s first Black mayoral candidate is faced with choices between his integrity and his personal aspirations.
Then from Dec. 3 to Dec. 23 the theater’s co-artistic directors will bring back a Pasadena favorite — Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
216 N. Brand Boulevard, Glendale
818-243-ALEX (2539), alextheatre.org
Alex Theater brings various shows to its stage from music to comedy to opera to musicals. This fall, they’re launching their programming with Lokillo Florez on Oct. 1 followed by the Domination Tour featuring Gigi de Lana and the Gigi Vibes on Oct. 15.
Come November, they’ll be home to four events. Nov. 5 will see the Wild Honey Foundation and Jody Stephens presenting “Big Star #1,” a benefit celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Big Star “#1” album that will support the Autism Healthcare Cooperative. Performers include Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and Mike Mills of REM
On Nov. 12, the Asian Hall of Fame will induct new members including Hiroshima, Olympian Chloe Kim, Daniel Ho and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, among others.
Then the Musical Theater Guild will present “Brigadoon” on Nov. 14, the musical about a mystical land that only appears once every 100 years for a single day. On Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 there will be a tribute concert to singer and composer Hayko.
December heads east with The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles presents “A Motown Holiday” on Dec. 17 and Dec. 18.
Antaeus Theater Company
110 E. Broadway, Glendale
What happens when a modern playwright riffs on 15th century morality plays? Find out with “Everybody” through Oct. 17 at Antaeus Theater Company, a troupe that explores classics and new takes on classics. In it, five of the actors don’t find out what their roles are until a lottery takes place at the beginning of the play. In October they will also release a free podcast with three of their actors performing, “Changeling,” by Jennifer Rowland.
Boston Court Pasadena
70 N. Mentor Avenue, Pasadena
Whether you want theatre, music or film, Boston Court Pasadena is the place to be this fall. They are developing two new works on their stages, both in workshop stage. The first is “Escapegoat: A Workshop Presentation” from Oct. 27 to Nov. 6, which has three actors playing humans, tortoises and goats in an eco-parable set on Galapagos Islands.
Then on Nov. 12 and Nov. 13, they will host “Dojyoji: A New Opera Workshop” exploring the tragic Japanese love tale newly conceived by Kentaro Kameyama and featuring piano, two singers and Kameyama’s fashion designs.
Their live music series includes world-class cellist Anita Graef on Oct. 15 and the Nolan Shaheed Quintet on Dec. 3. Boston Court is also hosting a series of National Theater Live film screenings of British theatrical performances. Oct. 1 features Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”) starring in Shakespeare’s “Henry V,” Oct. 6 is “Jack Absolute Flies Again” by Richard Bean, and Oct. 15, Oct. 22, Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 is “Frankenstein” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who switch off the roles of monster and creator (Boston Court will alternate shows of Version A and Version B).
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
The Huntington has had a lot to celebrate this fall with the return of “The Blue Boy” by Gainsborough, one of its best-known pieces which is now being paired with Kehinde Wiley’s modern interpretation of it. Also showing throughout the fall is “Gee’s Bend: Shared Legacy,” made up of quilts and prints celebrating the work of the Alabama Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers’ Collective. Another temporary exhibit on display throughout the fall is “Method and Material: Tempera Painting in Focus” that looks at the history of tempera.
Two new exhibitions open this fall. On Oct. 22, The Huntington will open “Crafting a Garden: Inside the Creation of Liu Fang Yuan,” which explores the intricacies of Chinese gardens through models, photographs, tools and videos. On Dec. 10, they’ll welcome the traveling exhibition “Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts” which explores Walt Disney’s fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in Disney films and theme parks.
Luckman Fine Arts Complex
Cal State LA, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles
At the gateway to the San Gabriel Valley, The Luckman Fine Arts Complex sees the Yamma Ensemble visit on Oct. 2. The internationally renowned musical group plays an array of music that sticks with the Middle East.
Singing fado — a traditional Portuguese genre — Mariza “embraces the new while never forsaking the old.” She comes to town Oct. 7.
Legendary actress Isabella Rossellini brings her one-woman show, “Darwin’s Smile,” to the complex Oct. 8 and Oct. 9. The performance is said to “reconcile two worlds that are often at opposite ends: art and science.”
Diva Gloria Gaynor will offer a career-spanning set, including her Grammy-winning hit “I Will Survive,” on Nov. 5. She has scored a hit in five decades.
CocoRosie blends indie, hip-hop, pop, blues, opera and electronica to develop an avant-garde sound. They perform Nov. 19.
Finally, Dionne Warwick will bring her hits — among them “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Walk on By,” “Say a Little Prayer,” “A House is Not a Home,” “Alfie,” “Heartbreaker” and Déjà Vu”—on Dec. 17.
300 E. Green Street, Third Floor, Pasadena
An organization that travels Los Angeles to pioneer new musical experiences through curated live music events and outreach programs, its only show in Pasadena this fall will feature “Grand Avenue” at The Huntington on Oct. 6 in a concert that explores the worldwide influences of Downtown Los Angeles’ earliest days to now.
Norton Simon Museum
411 W. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
From the masters to the moderns, Norton Simon Museum has memorable exhibitions planned for this fall. On loan from LACMA, Paul Gaugin’s “The Swineherd” will be on view until Nov. 14 along with other pieces of post-Impressionist art. Opening Oct. 14 and running through Feb. 13 are the work of six women lithography artists working in ink, stone and paper. All six women visited Los Angeles in the 1960s on a two-month fellowship to study lithography.
From Oct. 21 to Jan. 30, “a” brings together for the first time (on loan from London’s National Gallery) Pablo Picasso’s “Woman with a Book” next to the painting that inspired it — Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ Madame Moitessier.
Open Fist Theater Company
Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles
A company that has worked to spread social awareness through art since its founding in 1990, Open Fist presents a “This Week This Week” sketch show about the week’s news every Thursday through November. Starting Oct. 1 and running through Nov. 5, they will present the world premiere of Catherine Butterfield’s “To the Bone” about the “hard girls” in high school — 20 years later when the party is over. Combining family, genetics and baseball, this is a dark comedy about the vagaries of life.
39 S. El Mollino Avenue, Pasadena
The season opener, a new play by Martyna Majok, continues until Oct. 9. “Sanctuary City” explores the American Dream from the viewpoint of those who were brought here in their youth and must fight to become citizens in the only land they know.
Pasadena Symphony Ambassador Auditorium
131 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena
Indoors and out, the Pasadena Symphony has a diverse menu of symphonic classic and pop music this fall, culminating in the ever-popular Holiday Candlelight Concert on Dec. 17 at All Saints Church.
Leading up to that is the Symphony Series featuring Mozart and Saint-Saens on Oct. 22 and Tchaikovsky and Sibelius on Nov. 12.
On Dec. 3 and Dec. 4, the Women’s Committee of the Pasadena Symphony Association will host the 55th annual Holiday Look in Home Tour, showcasing tours of the architecture and gardens of four homes with symphony musicians providing live holiday music in the background.