ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER: A world-renowned troupe -- so renowned, in fact, that an Ailey group just performed for President Obama and his family at the Kennedy Center -- leaps into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for five nights of amazing performances. The dances change nightly, with some repeating; check out the full schedule for details. On the roster is Anniversary Highlights, as well as the dances Go in Grace and Revelations and Suite Otis. Wednesday, March 18-Sunday, March 22. 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles. 213-365-3500
KEN BURNS: Hellooo, history. Seems like a few years ago history was too often relegated to the cobwebbiest corners of our attentions. And then along came documentary-maker extraordinaire Ken Burns, who turned photos and letters and other documents lost to time into gripping storytelling devices. Whether you were riveted by his look at the Civil War, or baseball, or jazz -- we're particularly keen to see the series he's working on now, which focuses on the national parks -- this Distinguished Speakers evening promises to be highly informative. Wednesday, March 18. Pasadena Civic, 300 E. Green Street, Pasadena.