Here are my top picks for events scheduled from Friday, April 4, to Thursday, April 10.
All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare tell me there's nothing to do in Pasadena!
You don't have to be a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to see the Academy Award-nominated film "American Hustle" (2013, R) there starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams Friday, April 4, at 1 p.m.
All the world's a stage... In celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, Impro Theatre will perform a brief playlet in the style of one of the bard's romantic comedies and then answer questions from the audience Friday, April 4, at 6 p.m. at Vroman's Bookstore.
Certified arborists from throughout the country will show off their tree-climbing techniques during the North American Tree Climbing Championship Saturday, April 5, at 8 a.m. at Brookside Park.
Safely dispose of old computers, keyboards, printers, scanners, fax machines, phones, TVs and other electronic equipment at the eWaste event Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot I at Brookside Park. You can also bring old batteries (vehicle batteries will not be accepted).
Contestants ages 60 and up in elegant evening gowns will vie for the title of Ms. Senior Pasadena Saturday, April 5, at 11:30 a.m. at the Pasadena Senior Center. The winner and first runner-up will continue on to the Ms. Senior California Pageant this summer in hopes of eventually becoming Ms. Senior America.
Take an in-depth look at the influential pianist and bandleader Sun Ra Saturday, April 5, at 2 p.m. at Allendale Branch Library. Born in 1914, he was one of the great music innovators of the 20th century, famously combining bop, blues, big band and electronic sounds. Dr. Adilifu Nama, professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University, will screen two films -- Space is the Place (1974) and Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (1980) -- and discuss Sun Ra's influence.
British-born actress and writer Diz White went on a roller-coaster quest to buy a 17th century cottage in Cotswolds as she scrambled between Hollywood and Gloucestershire. She'll share her story and show slides and video clips of the scenic, historic region Monday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Distant Lands.
Is Earth the only planet of its kind in the universe? The search for life within and beyond our solar system is one of today's most exciting directions in astronomy. Dr. Linda Elkins-Tanton, director of the Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, will present "Making Earth-like Planets: Five Great Mysteries" Monday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. at A Noise Within, kicking off Carnegie Observatories' 2014 Astronomy Lecture Series.
Owners and managers of small businesses are encouraged to attend the next workshop in the Art of Small Business Survival series titled "Customer Service Is Not a Department -- It's an Attitude" Tuesday, April 8, from 8 to 10 a.m. Register here.
Pasadena Presbyterian Church presents the Zhena Folk Chorus with songs from central and eastern Europe for the popular Music at Noon concert series Wednesday, April 9, from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m.
If you want to improve your conversational Spanish without a lot of boring classes and labs, drop by the Spanish Conversation Group Thursday, April 10, at 1 p.m. at San Rafael Branch Library. Whether you're a new Spanish learner or want to brush up on what you learned in high school, you'll enjoy this casual setting with lots of speaking practice with moderator Dr. Jose Recio standing by. This group takes place every Thursday at 1 p.m.SAVE THE DATE!
Tours of Tournament House are back! Take a tour Thursday, April 10, at 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. Owned by the City of Pasadena, the former Wrigley Estate is home to the Tournament of Roses Association. A docent will lead you through the 18,500-square-foot Italian Renaissance mansion built in 1906. In addition to 21 magnificent rooms, you'll see displays related to Rose Bowl Games, Rose Queens and their courts and plenty of historic memorabilia, from football trophies to tiaras. Then visit the adjacent Wrigley Gardens with 1,500 varieties of roses. Tours take place every Thursday through Aug. 28.
We're living longer and staying more active than ever before in history. Hey, 60 is the new 45! The Pasadena Conference on Aging Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will feature comedian/weathercaster Fritz Coleman as the keynote speaker ("Laughter is the Best Medicine") and workshops cover topics from romance after 50 to putting osteoporosis pain in its place. You can make the most of on-site tai chi, chair aerobics, Cane Fu, Zumba Gold and pickleball and an array of health screenings from blood pressure to cholesterol will be available on the Walgreens Wellness Bus. There's no cost to attend, but registration is required. Complimentary valet parking, continental breakfast and full lunch are included with registration.
Photo credits: IMDB, Ms. Senior California, PBS Nova, Columbia University, Country Cottages Online, Corbis One to One Spanish Lessons and Fritz Coleman.