Carmageddon: L.A.'s cultural institutions plan to hunker down
Cultural institutions around Los Angeles are bracing themselves for "Carmageddon," the 405 freeway closure on Saturday and Sunday, with a number of museums, theaters and performance spaces either closing or altering their schedules to accommodate the anticipated impact on traffic.
Venues located near the 405 will experience the most disruption this weekend. The Getty Center in Brentwood will be closed to the public and most staff on Saturday and Sunday due to the demolition of the Mulholland Drive Bridge. The museum is set to reopen to the public on Tuesday. (The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades will be open for normal business hours.)
The Hammer Museum in Westwood will close one hour early at 6 p.m. on Friday to give visitors and staff ample time to travel home. The museum will be open normal hours on Saturday and Sunday, and is offering free admission on those days. "We want to encourage those in the area who can walk or bike to visit the museum," said a spokeswoman.
The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Westwood has canceled Friday evening performances of its two productions, Federico Garcia Lorca's "Blood Wedding" and Len Jenkin's "Margo Veil." But performances will resume as scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
"We're certainly feeling the pressure from it," said Ron Sossi, the company's artistic director. "But the show must go on." He said ticket sales for Saturday and Sunday seem normal so far, and that the company will monitor the road situations over the weekend and notify ticket holders of any extenuating circumstances.
The Skirball Cultural Center will be closed Saturday and Sunday. L.A. Theatre Works, which holds its live radio-theater series at the center, has rescheduled its weekend matinee performances of David Ives' "New Jerusalem" to Thursday and Friday at 2:30 p.m., with reduced ticket pricing.
The Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga has canceled its Creative PlayGround Family Fundays performance on Saturday. The company's repertory productions this weekend will go on as scheduled.
Even venues located far from the 405 are bracing themselves for Carmageddon.
The Bowl has three performances scheduled this weekend -- concerts with Sarah McLachlan on Friday and Saturday evenings, and a concert performance of Puccini's "Turandot" with the L.A. Philharmonic on Sunday evening.
A spokeswoman for the L.A. Phil said that the freeway closure may impact sales at the Bowl this weekend but so far sales are tracking normally.
Bowl organizers said that park-and-ride buses will leave at their scheduled departure times, but may arrive at the Bowl later than usual. They advise riders to choose an early departure time, purchase bus tickets in advance and arrive at the lot ahead of the scheduled departure.
-- David Ng, with reporting from Karen Wada
Photo: The 405 freeway. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times