Spring & Summer Sounds and Places to Visit

Local musical performances you won’t want to miss and cool places to check out.

May 13

For fans of oldies but goodies, Just Like Heaven at Brookside at the Rose Bowl features an era-defining lineup of indie artists from the 2000s, including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Empire of the Sun, and MGMT, who will be performing their 2007 debut album Oracular Spectacular in full for the first time ever. Tickets $189–$649


May 28

Period instrument ensemble Tesserae Baroque and Pasadena’s Gamble House join together in Early Music as Arts and Crafts: Exploring the Dolmetsch Heritage. Musicians will be placed throughout the Gamble House and the audience is invited to go from room to room to experience the link between early music and the Arts and Crafts architectural movements. Tickets $35


May 24, June 21–22 

Member-supported performing arts nonprofit MUSE/IQUE kicks off its series at the Huntington Library with upcoming shows The Duke, an homage to Duke Ellington, followed by The UnAmericans, which delves into the infamous Hollywood blacklist of the 1940s and ’50s and how music rose above propaganda to define the true American sound. Membership starts at $100


June 3, 10, 17, and 24

Dance the night away in the courtyard at One Colorado’s Summer Concerts every Saturday night. Grab a friend or two and be sure to visit the courtyard beer and cocktail garden. Free


June 9–11

Sondheim’s muse takes to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for Bernadette Peters in Concert, an evening of song from Peters’ Broadway shows and Grammy-winning albums. Tickets start at $72


June 24

Conductor Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena Pops return to the Los Angeles County Arboretum with Divas Through the Decades, a show that spotlights the powerful Black women who shaped the American songbook, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Tina Turner. Tickets $10–$99 


Lighting Up

Candle company Trudon collaborated with world-renowned Yu Hui Tseng, the only female tea master working outside of China, to launch a candle collection that celebrates the world of tea and its 5,000-year history. The Maître Tseng x Trudon Collection: The Journey of Water features a trio of fragrances, including L’Esprit de l’Eau (the Spirit of Water), Sous un Ciel de Pétales (Under a Sky of Petals), and Terre à Terre (Earth to Earth). $145/candle 


BIPOC Bookshop

Pasadena resident Nikki High recently opened Octavia’s Bookshelf, located on N. Hill Ave. at E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena’s first Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) bookstore. Named after science-fiction writer and Pasadena native Octavia Butler, it highlights literature from classic and contemporary authors such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Roxane Gay, and Elizabeth Acevedo, and the shelves are stocked with genres ranging from graphic novels and children’s books to cookbooks and art books. “I’ve lived in Pasadena for 45 years,” says owner Nikki High. “I had so much support [while I was] growing up in Pasadena. I wanted to honor that and put it in Pasadena so that people like me, readers, would have a place to go and be in community.”


Hot Shops

This year, a new lineup of brands will round out the latest tenants at Old Pasadena’s One Colorado shopping district. Along with its studio-to-street-inspired styles, Los Angeles-based activewear label Alo Yoga will offer in-store community events like yoga and breathwork. For ethically sourced jewelry you can feel good about wearing without compromising quality or conscience, Brilliant Earth will offer a selection of fine jewelry and trend-setting engagement rings and wedding bands. Sustainably made activewear brand Vuori will open later in 2023 and join its fellow eco-minded neighbors Allbirds, Rothy’s, and Patagonia.


A New Era

After being closed for almost three years, Ice House Comedy Club has reopened and undergone a transformation by new owner Johnny Buss, eldest son of late Lakers owner Jerry Buss. One of the country’s oldest comedy clubs, the legendary Pasadena venue celebrated its grand reopening on March 24 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony organized by the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. When updating the facade and interior, Buss maintained the same layout and kept some original decor intact, such as the vintage brick, while giving it a fresh look and feel. In addition to expanding one of the showrooms to fit more seats (now offering space for 259), the front door was moved from the alleyway to the front of the building, awning lights and frontage signs were added to create a sense of Broadway excitement, and ice melting on the corners of the building was lit up for a whimsical appearance.

Highlights of the upcoming season include Michael Yo, Marc Maron, Matt Iseman, Luenell, Jason Mewes, and Dave Attell. Besides comedy shows, the club will also host live music and other events, and guests can enjoy a quality menu of simple foods and premium alcohol at reasonable prices.

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