GETTING OUT: The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra has generally been as agoraphobic as we are, preferring to stay in its cozy home at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center and letting the brash and wildly extroverted Long Beach Opera do all the gallivanting around town, putting on performances in everything from garages to swimming pools.
Well, that's changing now. LBSO is taking its show on the road, with at least four performances of its breakout Chamber Players staging concerts in some notable buildings around town in a series called Sounds & Spaces.
The series opens Sunday at 4 p.m. in the glorious Farmers & Merchants Bank's main atrium on Third Street at Pine Avenue, with subsequent concerts at the Ebell Club, the new Rancho Center at Rancho Los Alamitos and the Belmont Shore firehouse.
The Chamber Players, led by Gary Bovyer and Julie Feves, aren't just pulling pieces and places out of a hat. The group will be playing works that match the look and age of the venues, and each performance will include architectural commentary.
For Sunday's performance, for instance, the musicians will be performing Joseph Hayden's Quartet in D, written by Hayden while he was supervising the music in a palace near Vienna, a fine match, we're told (you don't think we know all this stuff, do you? If it was up to us we'd be playing a bunch of rock tunes with "Money" in the title.) with F&M's Italian Renaissance Revival style.
Future match-ups include a Baroque and Beyond performance on April 14 at the Spanish Renaissance- style and Baroque-bedecked Ebell Club, 290 Cerritos Ave.
All shows begin at 4 p.m. and they're all free, although reservations must be made. You can reserve your spot at www.lbso.org. Click on the Sounds & Spaces link.
FISH FRIDAYS: This Lenten business of abstaining from meat on Friday is turning into a real First World sacrifice. Seriously, how many consecutive Fridays must we be give up bologna and ham, leaving us with nothing but platters of crab, lobster and oysters? What? Easter's not here till March 31? All right, then, we guess we'll go with the Chilean sea bass and grilled swordfish, but if we see one more plate of barbecued prawns or halibut smothered with artichoke and olive caponata, we're going to have to take a serious look at what the Unitarians have to offer.
Many local Catholic churches get into the restaurant biz this time of year, offering fish fries on Fridays throughout Lent at prices a lot lower than our usual houses of abstention such as King's Fish House, the Original Fish Co., Parkers' Lighthouse and Gladstone's.
Here's a sampling of places around town where you'll find fried fish, typically conducted by the highly secretive Knights of Columbus.
St. Barnabas Church, 3955 Orange Ave., is doing your basic fish fry dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at $9 a throw. Our Lady of Refuge, 5915 Stearns St. (note to our future biographers: We were baptized here on a bright spring morning in 1955) is hosting its fry for just $5 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria.
A bit more deluxe (though therefore of slightly less penitential value, we might imagine), St. Pancratius Catholic Church, at 3519 St. Pancratius Place (near South Street and Downey Avenue) in Lakewood, offers fresh fish, fish tacos and a mess of sides for $8.50 (large) and $6.50 from 5-7 p.m.
And, at the Knights of Columbus council hall at 9847 Artesia Blvd., in Bellflower, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., there's a rather full-ish menu that includes hand-battered cod, baked cod, shrimp dinner, fish tacos, New England clam chowder, macaroni and cheese, and a fried-fish child's plate at prices ranging from $3 to $9.