19 weekend culture picks: Liza turns 75, and Lily Tomlin and Nathan Lane help celebrate

Liza Minnelli performs at the Pantages Theatre on July 31, 1997.
Singer-actress Liza Minnelli will be feted in a star-studded birthday bash on Friday. (Perry C. Riddle / Los Angeles Times)
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Liza Minnelli's past stage and screen costars turn out to toast her 75th birthday, Missy Mazzoli’s adaptation of "Breaking the Waves" crashes ashore, a Nowruz comedy night marks Persian New Year, and more programs flow from Pasadena and Laguna playhouses, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Hershey Felder, among others. Here's our rundown of online concerts, theater, art and other programming for your viewing consideration, all times Pacific.

“A Love Letter to Liza Minnelli: 75th Birthday All-Star Tribute Celebration”

The Oscar, Emmy and three-time Tony winner is feted by a galaxy of famous faces in this livestream event. Minnelli’s “Cabaret” costars Joel Grey and Michael York will be stopping by, as will her "Arrested Development" costar Tony Hale, half-sister Lorna Luft and celebs including Joan Collins to Nathan Lane. Performers include Ben Vereen, Lily Tomlin, Michael Feinstein and Lea DeLaria. Also on tap: rare archival footage of the birthday girl herself. 5 p.m. Friday, with encore showings at 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. $30. stellartickets.com

“Breaking the Waves”

Los Angeles Opera streams a 2016 Opera Philadelphia performance. Composer Missy Mazzoli adapts the 1996 Lars von Trier film about a young Scottish woman whose husband becomes paralyzed in an oil rig accident. Available Friday through March 18 for L.A. Opera subscribers; March 19 through April 12 for the public. Free. laopera.org

“After It Happened”

The Ford Theatres’ “From the Ford” series returns with Culver City-based Invertigo Dance Theatre in a 2016 performance about a community in search of healing after natural disaster. 6:30 p.m. Thursday; on demand afterward. Free. theford.com, facebook.com, youtube.com

“Live From the Laugh Factory: Nowruz Virtual Comedy Night”

Maz Jobrani, Iliza Shlesinger and other funny folks take part in this live Persian New Year celebration that doubles as a fundraiser for the Midnight Mission. 6 p.m. Thursday. $25 suggested donation. eventbrite.com

“Another Day’s Begun: Exploring ‘Our Town’”

Pasadena Playhouse celebrates Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama with a live event that includes performances in English and American Sign language featuring Jane Kaczmarek and others. Kaczmarek also will be in conversation with author Howard Sherman. 6:30 p.m. Thursday; available on demand afterward. Free. Register at playhouselive.org.

“Close Quarters”

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s all-digital season continues with a visually enhanced performance of Stravinsky’s fantastical musical drama “L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale)” featuring actors from L.A.’s Robey Theatre Company. 6:30 p.m. Friday, with a pre-concert talk at 5:30; available on demand afterward. Free. laco.org, youtube.com, facebook.com

“Love Letter to L.A.”

LA Grooves, an all-female company made up of dancers and choreographers from Los Angeles Ballet, American Ballet Company and other local troupes, celebrates the City of Angels in a livestream rooftop performance featuring six new works. 5 p.m. Saturday; on demand afterward. $12. lagrooves.com

“The Importance of Being Earnest: A Radio Play”

Laguna Playhouse presents Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley of the music-and-comedy duo the Skivvies in a gender-bending, radio-style twist on playwright Oscar Wilde's 19th century rom-com. On demand through March 21. $20. lagunaplayhouse.com

“Pasadena Presents”

Pasadena Symphony’s spring season continues with works by Bach, Mozart and Puccini, plus Milhaud’s Sonatine for Violin and Cello featuring music director David Lockington on cello. 4 p.m. Saturday; on demand for 48 hours. Free. pasadenasymphony-pops.org, youtube.com

“Sustain the Scene”

L.A.-based duo Girlpool and musician and visual artist Vinyl Williams kick off this series of livestream concerts to support the Regent, the Lodge Room, El Cid and other local venues shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic. 8 p.m. Friday. Free; donations accepted. sustainthescene.com, twitch.tv. On demand afterward at youtube.com.

“Three Sides of Balanchine”

New York City Ballet wraps this series with a previously recorded performance of the legendary choreographer’s neo-classical ballet set to Stravinksy’s Violin Concerto. 5 p.m. Thursday; on demand through March 18. Free. nycballet.com, youtube.com

Taj Mahal

The veteran bluesman plays the first show in a three-concert livestream event from UC Theatre in Berkeley. Phantom Blues Band and John Cleary also perform. Co-presented by the Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo. 6 p.m. Saturday. $18, $25; series pass, $65, $85. soka.edu

“Hershey Felder, Puccini: Live From Florence”

The actor-pianist portrays the composer of "Madama Butterfly" and "La Bohème" in this mix of music and bio-drama. With baritone Nathan Gunn, soprano Gianna Corbisiero and tenor Charles Castronovo. 5 p.m. Sunday; available on demand through March 21. $55 per household, with proceeds benefiting arts institutions including the Wallis, Laguna Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre and Ensemble Theatre Company.

South Bay Chamber Music Society

The Lyris Quartet plays pieces by Britten, Shostakovich and Ennio Morricone. 3 p.m. Sunday; available on demand afterward. Free. sbcms.net


State Street Ballet surveys dance styles as diverse as hip-hop and tango set to music by Gershwin, Piazzolla, Ella Fitzgerald and others. The 2019 performance was recorded at Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Wednesday. Free. youtube.com

“Global Studios and Audiotopias”

REDCAT presents this live virtual event curated by producer, engineer and musician Emily Evans. It showcases musical performances from Ghana, Uganda, Colombia, Germany, Japan and the U.S. 8:30 p.m. Saturday. $8-$15. redcat.org

Merz Trio

The piano trio plays pieces by Haydn, Fauré and Schumann in this Santa Monica Symphony presentation. 2 p.m. Saturday. Free. smsymphony.org

“Truth in Photography”

This new interactive online platform examines the role of photography in driving social change, with new virtual exhibitions going up quarterly. Also includes recorded artist talks and a space for visitors to share their own photos. Available anytime. Free. truthinphotography.org

“Edendale Up Close Concerts”

Harpsichordist Maksim Velichkin and hurdy-gurdy player Curtis Berak perform baroque works by Chedeville and Corrette plus some improvisations in a live Zoom recital. 2:30 p.m. Friday. Free. edendalelibraryupcloseconcerts.blogspot.com

Our recurring coronavirus-era arts-viewing recommendations are posted every Thursday.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.