Fireworks, holiday museum openings, Rolling Stones and the best of L.A.’s art and culture this week.

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Geoff McFetridge's "I’d Love to See You," 2024, acrylic on paper.
Geoff McFetridge’s “I’d Love to See You,” 2024, acrylic on paper, 30.75 by 39.75 inches.
(Geoff McFetridge / Rusha & Co.)

Welcome to an explosively artistic (and patriotic) edition of this week’s Essential Arts Newsletter — Fourth of July edition. While there are plenty of reasons to go outside today and look up at the fireworks, there are just as many to go out and enjoy the freedom of expression created by L.A.‘s most amazing creative minds. Take a look at what’s on tap this week and save some barbecue for us at the cookout.

Best bets: What’s on our radar this week

Nehemiah Cisneros stands by his ink and pencil "Cover Girls," part of a show celebrating 30 years of Juxtapoz magazine.
Nehemiah Cisneros stands by his ink and pencil “Cover Girls,” part of a group show celebrating 30 years of Juxtapoz magazine.
(David A. Keeps)

1. “I’d Love to See You”
From pop surrealism to manga, anime, graffiti, surf, skate, tattoo and graphic art, the three decades-old Juxtapoz “champions and chronicles undervalued art forms and the California aesthetic,” says L.A. native Nehemiah Cisneros, whose work graces the summer 2024 cover of the art quarterly. Cisneros’ painstakingly detailed ink and pencil mash-up “Cover Girls” — 6 feet wide and nearly 8 feet tall — commands center stage in a new show paying homage to the magazine’s history. Co-curated by Juxtapoz editor-in-chief Evan Pricco and street art specialist Kim Stephens, this show features works on paper by 42 artists, including local luminaries Shepard Fairey, Geoff McFetridge, Raymond Pettibon, Mark Ryden, Ana Valdez, Senon Williams, Juxtapoz co-founder C.R. Stecyk III and the late Corita Kent. It’s a range of styles that employ paint, ink, pastels, charcoal, ballpoint pen, ash and rust — yes, rust — all in 1914 former firehouse.
Through Aug. 14. Rusha & Co., 244 W. Florence Ave., L.A.
— David A. Keeps

Helder Guimaraes
Helder Guimarães
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

2. “The Hope Theory”
If the Biden-Trump debate or the Supreme Court rulings has you frustrated about the state of our country, do yourself a favor and get a ticket to “The Hope Theory.” In the one-man show, Portugal-born magician Helder Guimarães recounts his experience immigrating to the U.S. at age 29 — a story shared in an intimate Geffen Playhouse space with stunning sleight-of-hand tricks. I entered the theater defeated but left dazzled by the magic and moved by the narrative. (Fun fact: The twice-extended production is directed by Frank Marshall, legendary producer of the “Indiana Jones” and “Jurassic Park” franchises.)
Through July 14. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood.
— Ashley Lee

File photo of the Hollywood Bowl, its shell glowing white during an early July concert last year.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

3. “Scheherazade”
The Los Angeles Philharmonic begins its summer symphony concerts Tuesday with the Hollywood Bowl debut of Chinese conductor Elim Chan. It’s a typical Bowl opener: Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concert (Augustin Hadelich is the soloist) and “Scheherazade” as the featured works. But convention stops there. Rather than a typical Gustavo Dudamel first night, we have a former Dudamel fellow and a rising star. Ten days later in London, she leads the news-making first night of the Proms. As music director of the Antwerp Symphony, she is said to be on the short list for a number of other music director openings, L.A. included.
July 9, Hollywood Bowl, 2301 Highland Ave, Hollywood.
— Mark Swed

4. Museums open for the Fourth of July
Maybe you’re seeking an artistic escape from the week’s headlines. Maybe you just need some AC. Either way, a scattering of SoCal museums will be open for the Fourth of July holiday. Among them: The Broad in downtown L.A., the California African American Museum in Exposition Park, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Peterson Automotive Museum in Mid-Wilshire and the the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is technically open, but unless you already have reservation, you may have trouble scoring tickets.

5. Fireworks shows
Yes, for better or worse, the entire city becomes a pyrotechnics extravaganza on the Fourth of July. If you want to skip neighbor Joe’s backyard noise fest, you can see The Times’ guide to professional SoCal fireworks shows here.

The Rolling Stones have announced a 2024 North American tour that finds its way to SoFi Stadium in July.
(Kevin Mazur / Getty Images)

6. Rolling Stones at SoFi Stadium


How does Mick Jagger find the little local haunts for his infamous photo series on tour? Does he have an advance recon team alerting him that the good people of Charlotte, N.C., deeply love a dive bar called the Thirsty Beaver? This silly hype-building ritual is nonetheless a sign of that band, whose members are now into their 80s, is still deeply curious and adventurous after a life defining the upper bounds of rock ’n’ roll possibility. As the Stones haul back out the road for their latest LP, “Hackney Diamonds,” they are without the late, irreplaceable drummer Charlie Watts, whose inimitable shuffle and swing gave the band its bedrock groove. Yet “Hackney Diamonds” kept up a the band’s admirable, career-long ethic of adapting to modernity while never losing its louche, riffy essence, with young rock-devoted producer Andrew Watt (a favorite of Post Malone and Ozzy Osbourne) helming a few tracks. Elton John, Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder show up to pay their respects, but it’s as true now as it was in the 1960s — nothing else sounds like the Stones, and even today, no one puts on a better rock and roll show.

7:30 p.m. July 10 and 13, SoFi Stadium, 1001 Stadium Drive, Inglewood. SoFi Stadium
— August Brown

The week head: A curated calendar


July Fourth Fireworks Spectacular Harry Connick Jr. and his band join the L.A. Phil for music and pyrotechnics.
7:30 p.m. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood.


Yves Saint Laurent: Line and Expression An exploration of the French fashion designer’s drawing practice — pencil-on-paper sketches that evoke his luxuriant choice of materials, including chiffon, silk and velvet.
Through Oct. 27. Orange County Museum of Art, 3333 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa.

“Last Summer” Léa Drucker stars in director Catherine Breillat’s tense, lusty drama about a woman who embarks on a dangerous affair with her troubled 17-year-old stepson.
Through Thursday. Landmark Nuart, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A. Starts Friday, Laemmle Glendale, 207 N. Maryland Ave., Glendale.


New Kids on the Block NKOTB’s Magic Summer tour hits town with guests Paula Abdul and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
7 p.m. Friday. Kia Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood.

Steven Yeun in the movie "Nope."
(Universal Pictures)

Ultra Cinematheque 70 Fest 2024 From classics such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Lawrence of Arabia” to more recent titles including “Nope” and “Oppenheimer” — not to mention the curio “Howard the Duck” — the American Cinematheque rolls out an extensive display of big-screen artistry in all its 70-millimeter glory.
Through Aug. 4. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.


Beck The L.A. Phil performs symphonic arrangements from the singer-songwriter’s eclectic catalog before he plugs in for a set of electric hits.
8 p.m. Saturday. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood.

Beck, performing in Hollywood in 2021
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Blink-182 The band tours behind “One More Time …,” the third No. 1 album in its 30-year career.
7 p.m. Saturday, SoFi Stadium, 1001 S. Stadium Drive, Inglewood.

Run Travis Run Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker hosts a fitness and wellness event before the band’s show at SoFi.
9 a.m. Saturday. Kia Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood.


Design for Living Bart DeLorenzo directs this revival of playwright Noël Coward’s dark, freewheeling 1932 romantic comedy about a love triangle spinning on passion, treachery and betrayal.
Through Aug. 25. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.

Sawdust Art Festival Laguna Beach’s annual cultural celebration features 180 artists, three live music stages, free art classes and plentiful food and drink.
Through Sept. 1. Sawdust Art Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.


Peter Pan A new adaptation by playwright Larissa FastHorse updates the Broadway musical based on J.M. Barrie’s play.
Through July 28. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.

Milos Forman Double Feature The 1999 Andy Kaufman biopic “Man on the Moon,” starring Jim Carrey, marks its 25th anniversary alongside the director’s 1971 U.S. debut, “Taking Off.” “Moon” screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski will be in attendance Tuesday.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles.


L.A.’s biggest culture news

David Medalla's erupting soap-bubble sculptures, "Cloud Canyon."
David Medalla’s erupting soap-bubble sculptures, “Cloud Canyon,” were first shown in 1964.
(Christopher Knight / Los Angeles Times)

Art critic Christopher Knight reviews Filipino artist David Medalla’s curiously absorbing exhibition at the UCLA Hammer Museum featuring erotic soap-bubble sculptures — yes, you read that right.

Classical music critic Mark Swed writes about a seismic shift in San Francisco’s classical music scene and how it mirrors change afoot in L.A. With leadership turnover, could existential changes alter the city’s cultural life?

In another review, Knight melts this sprawling but bloodless new exhibition at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art that takes on the unfolding environmental catastrophe in front of us using ice sculptures.

Staff writer Ashley Lee reports on a new production of “Unbroken Blossoms” at L.A.’s East West Players that explores the complicated history of early filmmaker D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” follow-up, including the hiring of Chinese consultants to help a white actor play a Chinese man.

More culture news, briefly ...

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The Center for the Art of Performance UCLA has announced its 2024-25 season. This marks the first season under the purview of the organization’s new executive and artistic director, Edgar Miramontes. The season of multimedia programming features more than 80 artists representing 10 countries and 30 projects to be presented at six venues, including the newly renovated UCLA Nimoy theater, Royce Hall and the United Theater on Broadway in downtown L.A. Highlights include the Elevator Repair Service theater ensemble’s wild reading of James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” the collaborative collective Piehole’s murder mystery dinner party “Disclaimer” and celebrated jazz vocalist Ceclie McLorin Salvant.

The Ebell Los Angeles has announced its 2024-25 season, including arts and music programming, seminars, discussions and free events. The nonprofit dedicated to the advancement and inspiration of women in arts, culture and education will host events at its historic theater on its Wilshire Boulevard campus, which dates to 1927. Events include a community open house, music by the Ebell’s Chorale and conversations with female leaders in the arts, including Music Center Chief Executive, Rachel Moore.

Just in time for summer’s festive Hollywood Bowl happenings, the Hollywood Bowl Museum has opened a new exhibition called “Building the Bowl,” which explores the first 15 years of the iconic venue through the details and ephemera of those most involved in its creation.

The historic John Rowland Mansion in the San Gabriel Valley is getting ready for its grand reopening on July 20. Built in 1855 by the eponymous settler, the mansion is the oldest surviving brick structure in Southern California. It has been closed for the last four years, longer than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with support from the L.A. Conservancy, Neon Cowboys and Ballet Folklorico Popurri, the historic landmark is poised for a return to public life, with a celebration in collaboration with the conservation organization House Museum.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has hired Diana Nawi as curator of contemporary art. Her new job begins this month. Nawi’s resume includes curatorial positions at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She was also recently a guest curator and curatorial adviser for the Contemporary Austin in Texas.

And last but not least

Travis Kelce traded in his football cleats for a top hat last weekend to join Taylor Swift onstage during the Eras tour — and the whole thing was his idea.