For over 30 years, Grand Performances has offered a variety of performance events at California Plaza, for free. Their 2018 summer series kicks off on June 1, and continues through August 18. It’s a diverse array of programming, drawing from all musicals stylings, plus a bit of comedy, dance and social justice.
Performances are held at the WaterCourt Stage. It’s highly accessible via Metro Purple and Red lines, and, depending on which direction you’re coming from, might give you an excuse to take a ride on Angels Flight.
The lineup is below, (more info here):
Friday, June 1, 8 p.m.: Higher! The Psychedelic Soul & Genius of Sly and the Family Stone.
Saturday, June 2, 8 p.m.: The Secret Shine & Shimmer Show featuring Astrid Hadad, the Secret City House Band, the Secret City Chorus, and the Garfield HS Marching Band. Guests are encouraged to wear metallic silver and gold.
Wednesday, June 6, 7:30 p.m.: Good Things Happen When We Speak Up! Our Stories from the Frontline. Angelenos will speak about their personal struggles overcoming homelessness and how supportive housing helped.
Wednesday, June 6, 9 p.m.: L.A. Dance Party USA
Saturday, June 9, 8 p.m.: Ulali, a Native American vocal and percussion group, will perform alongside Southern Californian Indigenous poetry and storytelling.
Friday, June 15, 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 16, 8 p.m.: C.O.L.A. Night with performances from comedian Kristina Wong, poet/writer Peter J. Harris, and choreographer d. Sabela grimes.
Friday, June 22, 8 p.m.: French pianist Christophe Chassel will perform his “ultrascore” project, Indiamore.
Saturday, June 23, 8 p.m.: Music, comedy, stories, and short films from digital series The Secret Lives of Muslims.
Friday, June 29, 8 p.m.: Dave Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7 (jazz, reggae, Latin, ska) with The Delirians (soul, funk, Latin, ska, reggae)
Saturday, June 30, 8 p.m.: The Love Uninhibited Orchestra presents a sing-along featuring 60s and 70s love songs.
Sunday, July 1, 3 p.m.: First Nations Now: The Art of Rhymes and Storytelling with MC RedCloud, Jessa Calderon, Saginaw Grant, and Pat Vega.
Friday, July 6, 7 p.m.: Ginkgoa (jazz, electro); The Vignes Rooftop Revival performing the music of Django Reinhardt.
Saturday, July 7, 8 p.m.: Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic fame performs.
Friday, July 13, 8 p.m.: Now More Than Ever: Protest Songs Sing-Along. Lyrics will be projected on a screen behind the performers so the audience can join in.
Saturday, July 14, 7:30 p.m.: Gemma Castro, The Altons and The Steady 45s
Sunday, July 15, 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m.: Alphabet Soup: Performances and interactive activities for LGBTTQQIAAP (that’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) people and allies.
Friday, July 20, 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 21, 8 p.m.: Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance. Graham Reynolds and Mexican Theater collective Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol with “a bilingual, multimedia chamber rock opera that explores borders, battlefields, conflict, and culture through the life and mythology of the iconic José Doroteo Arango Arámbula aka Pancho Villa.”
Sunday, July 22, 3 p.m., 4: 30 p.m.: Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater, “Tale of the Mouth.” A family-friendly sock puppet show about the mouth.
Sunday, July 22, 8 p.m.: Canadian rapper Han Han and L.A. artist Gingee perform Filipino (pinoy) hip-hop.
Friday, July 27, 8 p.m.: Roger Guenveur Smith’s “Frederick Douglass Now,” featuring percussionist Marcus Miller. Via a release, “Douglass’ classic 19th-century texts inspire a radically remixed vision of the present American moment.”
Saturday, July 28, 8 p.m.: Dayramir Gonzalez Trio (Afro-Cuban) with special guests.
Sunday, July 29, 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m.: Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band perform family-friendly songs about healthy eating.
Friday, August 3, 8 p.m.: When Moons Become Stars. A panel discussion featuring five indigenous ballerinas—Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, Rosella Hightower, Yvonee Chouteau, Mocelyne Larkin—and moderated by Bonnie Oda Homsey.
Saturday, August 4, 8 p.m.: Fuzön (sufi rock) and Fuzön Disco (Pakistani disco)
Friday, August 10, 8 p.m.: HipHop/Electronic: First Peoples, New Voices. Via a release, “this evening will bring together Canadian artists Classic Roots (Anishinaabe/traditional music/electronic) and Natasha Fisher(Ojibway/Aboriginal-influenced electronic pop R&B) with Native American artist Nakotah Larance(OhKay Owingeh/Hoop and Hip Hop Hoop Dance Champion.)”
Saturday, August 11, 8 p.m.: Singer-songwriters El Vez and Phranc
Sunday, August 12, 8 p.m.: Los Angeles chamber orchestra Supernova performs a new four-movement work, “Suite for Los Angeles.”
Friday, August 17, 8 p.m.: La Marisoul Hernández of La Santa Cecilia presents The California Feetwarmers (New Orleans jazz/ragtime) and The Hermanos (modern Son Huasteco, Son Jarocho, and música Norteña)
Saturday, August 18, 8 p.m.: Persian hip-hop artist Sogand.