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Pencil This In: James Conlon Talks Romantic Opera, a Victory Lap Variety Show, Robert Burns Discussion and a George Michael Bio

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We found a number of literature events and book readings tonight in LA, including a program on Robert Burns' environmental influence; a lecture series with James Conlon of the LA Opera and a Victory Lap variety show. Read on for all the details.

MUSIC LECTURE
Maestro James Conlon, Richard Seaver Music Director of the LA Opera, is giving the first of three lectures at the Hammer Museum tonight at 7:30 pm. In the series Romantic Opera in Three Acts: Struggle, Success, and Mastery in the works of Verdi and Wagner, Conlon provides musical examples in honor of the 200th anniversaries of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner—the two greatest opera composers of the 19th century. Part II is Thursday and Part III is scheduled for March 7 at 7:30 pm. Parking is available under the museum for $3 after 6 pm.

VARIETY
Victory Lap, a new variety show of "comedy, music, magic and feats of strength" is at the Virgil tonight at 9 pm. Hosted by Seth W. Owen (Movie Night @ The Roosevelt) and Stuart Jenkins (Associate Producer, BBC America’s The Nerdist) it’s an evening of “slightly unhinged entertainment” with a lineup that includes musician and actor Brendan Hines and comedians Kaite Crown and Jerrod Carmichael. There’s no cover, and the Virgil has great $5 premium cocktails. There’s valet so you don’t have to worry about finding a parking space in this neighborhood.

ROBERT BURNS
Tonight at 7:30 pm, the Chautauqua Series at Temescal Gateway Park in Pacific Palisades, presents the program Scottish Hearts Moved by Nature. Robert Burns, one of Scotland's great poets, inspired conservationists like John Muir and Enos Mills in efforts to preserve America's natural places. Dr. Neil McLeod discusses Burns’ writing and the influence Scottish culture has on today's environmental movement. There will be traditional Scottish music and a Highland dancer, too.

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LITERATURE
It’s a night of lit and performance with Indelible Ink at Cafe Bizou in Pasadena tonight at 7 pm. On the program tonight are: poet Jim Tilley; author Pearl Sharp; songwriter Will Hawkins; classical singer Allisonne Crawford; and Christian Elder, a writer, performer and producer of spoken word events. Admission: $15 ($10 students). Park in the Marriott Garage for $6 with restaurant validation.

READING
Two book readings piqued our interest tonight: Andros Georgiou discusses and signs Rock: The Luckiest Man in Pop at 7 pm at Book Soup. Georgiou writes his cousin’s George Michael’s life story, including how their relationship was changed forever when Michael ran afoul of the law a few years back for lewd conduct. Over at Vroman’s, G. James Daichendt discusses and signs his book Stay Up!: Los Angeles Street Art, a look at the “global phenomenon of street art.”

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).