The nicest HOOPLA ever! All learning! All growing! All sharing! All family-friendly! All becoming a nicer, smarter, better, funnier person who uses only clean language in 2006, like me! *
FRIDAY, January 6
Billy, don’t be a hero — but if you insist on repeatedly telling us about your childhood and your loving, crazy family in your Tony Award–winning one-Billy-Crystal-man show 700 Sundays, we’ll all feel better about our crazy families and maybe even appreciate them more. Of performing the intimate stories over and over again for a live audience, Crystal has said, “You know, it’s a big hug. It’s a big hug from a lot of strangers that feel like family when we finish.” Thank you, Billy Crystal. Wilshire Theater, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Jan. 6-Feb. 18 (see Theater listings for confusing show schedule); $32.50-$192.50. (323) 468-1770 or (213) 480-3232.
SATURDAY, January 7 What’s the latest in metaphysical and alternative health? How much healing do I need? Can I meditate while watching Desperate Housewives? Is there cocktail hour in the afterlife? How much should I tip my astrologer? Find out how empty and toxic your life really is from more than 100 exhibitors and lecturers at the Body, Mind & SpiritExpo. Seminars include “Deep Trance Channeling,” “Listen To Your Animals Talk” and “Remove the Roadblocks to Success.” May I suggest another topic? “How To Not Stress Out in L.A. Parking Structures.” LAX Hilton, 5711 W. Century Blvd.; Sat., Jan. 7, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 8, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $10. (541) 482-3722.
SUNDAY, January 8
“It’s always important to maintain self,” he’s been known to say, along with: “Everything’s within you — you are the person. Talk yourself into believing you can.” Are those the words of a self-help guru? Not exactly. It’s good old Bill Cosby, who, despite his not-so-nice image in 2005 after he scolded low-income African-Americans, is back to his lovable topics on family life — and all without a single curse word, dammit. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos; Sun., Jan. 8, 3 & 7 p.m.; $40-$70. Info: (562) 916-8501. Tickets: (800) 300-4345 or (562) 916-8500.
MONDAY, January 9
Think you have a story about your life that could make you the next Cosby or Crystal? StoryCorps Mobile Boothhits town today. In partnership with KCRW, the recording studio on wheels is looking to collect 250,000 stories: “Memorable moments, tragic moments and joyous ones all make up the human drama that StoryCorps helps memorialize,” reads the press release. Third Street Promenade, Wilshire Blvd. & Third St., Santa Monica; Jan. 9-Feb. 5. Make a reservation at www.storycorps.net.
TUESDAY, January 10
What is a seminar by Sumner Redstone doing in the nicest HOOPLA ever? What special thing has the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Viacom, one of the largest entertainment conglomerates in the world, done to make the world a better place? Nothing that we know of, but his quotes include “Possessions don’t count. Achievement counts. Winning counts.” And, “Success isn’t built on success; it’s built on failure, frustration and sometimes catastrophe.” Also, in 2005 he was ranked No. 42 on Forbes’ list of the hundred richest people in the world, with an estimated worth of $8.8 billion. So he’s doing something right and might even have words of wisdom to share with the rest of us. Variety editor in chief Peter Bart moderates the John H. Mitchell Seminar: Sumner Redstone.The Museum of Television & Radio, 465 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; Tues., Jan. 10, 7-8:30 p.m.; $15. (310) 786-1091.
WEDNESDAY, January 11
True, we can’t all be like Bill Cosby or Sumner Redstone. The least we can ask is that we not be like Travis Bickle. Travis Bickle bad. Go see Taxi Driver, then go home and don’t be anything like Travis Bickle, ever. Part of AFI’s “100 Years . . . 100 Movie Quotes” series. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Jan. 11, 8 p.m.; $11. (323) 464-4226.
THURSDAY, January 12
“Remember! Celebrate! Act!” is the credo of the UCLA Black Faculty and Staff Association’s 38th Memorial MLK Anniversary Celebration: In the Spirit of Unity and Service, the longest-named Martin Luther King Jr. event in town (see Politics for more). Speaking at this luncheon will be John W. Mack, president of the Los Angeles Urban League since August of 1969. Ackerman Union Grand Ballroom, UCLA, Westwood; Thurs., Jan. 12, noon-1:30 p.m.; $30. (310) 206-1932.