Lectures and Performances


Lectures and Performances

tongva5Speaking of History – Notable experts speak to a range of historic topics in RLC’s annual lecture series around a theme. This year’s lecture series is called Foodways of the West: Southern California’s Land Use.

  • Tongva TraditionsFebruary 25, 10 a.m.
    Craig Torres, Tongva descendant, will present a lecture on the cultural history of the Tongva, focusing on Spanish colonization and its impact on the indigenous peoples and plants of the area and how those factors continue to the present day in the continued degradation of the natural environment.
  • Victorian California: March 25, 10 a.m.
    Culinary historian Richard Foss will discuss cooking and dining in Victorian Southern California. Foss has served as California Curator for the Museum of the American Cocktail and Pacific Food & Beverage Museum.
  • From Cows to Concrete: April 29, 10 a.m.
    Los Angeles was the original wine country of California, leading the state’s wine production for more than a century. In fact, until the 1950s, Los Angeles County was the agricultural center of North America. So what happened? Where did the green go? Rachel Surls and Judith Gerber, co-authors of From Cows to Concrete, will discuss the rise and fall of farming in Los Angeles.
    Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students with a valid ID.

Mark Twain

History Comes Alive

The courtyard at Rancho Los Cerritos will be transformed into a plein air playhouse this spring and summer for a special series of theatrical living history performances.

  • May 20, 7-9 pm: Chuck Kovacic channels Will Rogers in a staged one-man show brimming with comedy, where he will riff on politics, the economy, and California history. After a brief intermission, theater-goers will step further back in time when John Muir, portrayed by equity actor and conservationist Michael Oates, will tell the story of his life.
  • June 24, 7-9 pm: None other than a young Mark Twain, played by Brian Rogalbuto, will visit Rancho Los Cerritos to offer side-splitting quips. He will be followed by Bruce Bounara as Jedediah Smith, a frontiersman who was among the first Americans to explore California.
  • July 15, 7-9pm: Actors Lane and Karla Burkitt will perform their original play, “John and Jessie,” about the unique partnership of John and Jessie Fremont: a marriage of two strong personalities that succeeded despite a turbulent life in the center of public events.

Tickets to each History Comes Alive performance cost $25 per person and can be purchased online starting in April.

The Crowd at a Summer ConcertSummer Concerts at the Rancho – Free concerts in the garden take place on selected Sunday evenings, June through August. Bring a picnic dinner and low chairs or blankets. No reservations are needed.

The 2017 line-up includes:

Native_AustralianPlantsStories of the Garden – Garden experts speak talk about gardening, history, and environmental issues in this lecture series. This year’s lectures are as follows:

Hypertufa planters

Art at the Rancho – Stay tuned for details about our new Rancho art program, aimed at an adult audience, debuting in 2017.