By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
FRIDAY, May 26
Nothing can squash your love of movies more than taking courses in film appreciation. Some suited professor attempting to explain comedy’s “rule of three” or some such nonsense and then having you write a paper on it can quickly make you want to change your major to anything else. Fortunately there’s no suited professor for the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Round Up the Usual Suspects!: Hollywood’s Classic Character Actors, which illustrates old Hollywood’s reliance on familiar faces when it came to supporting roles. Tonight it’s two classic comedies, The Devil and Miss Jones(1941) and Destry Rides Again (1939). Extra credit for identifying Una Merkel. James Bridges Theater, UCLA, Westwood; Fri., May 26, 7:30 p.m.; $7. (310) 206-FILM.
SATURDAY, May 27
Break out the white shoes and belt — the summer season is here. And though we’re supposed to commemorate our country’s men and women who have died in military service, that can wait till Monday. Until then, it’s party time, and by far the grooviest party in town is Topanga Days Country Fair, where no one will laugh at you for twirling barefoot on the grass in your peasant skirt. There’s top-notch music over three days — including Maria Muldaur & Her Red Hot Blueisiana Band, John Densmore’s Tribaljazz, Hot Buttered Rum — plus an expansive kiddie area, belly dancers, Hula-Hoopers and dudes with beards and sunburns. Oh — and a parade on Monday. Topanga Community House Fair Grounds, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sat.-Mon., May 27-29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $15, $7 children & seniors, under 5 free. www.TopangaDays.com.
Too hippie-dippie for you? Here’s the anti-Topanga Days. Resistant Culture is one loud, angry jackhammer of a rock band. They will rage against the man along with other like-minded musical groups, including Life in Exile, Alternate System, Socialized Crucifixion, Chosen By God . . . you get the idea. There will be spoken word, most likely of the politically charged variety, plus angry food and even angrier info booths. Self Help Graphics, 3802 Cesar E. Chavez Ave., East L.A.; Sat., May 27, 6 p.m.; $6. www.myspace.com/resistantculture.
SUNDAY, May 28
Brush up on your Groundskeeper Willy accent, or Shrek, if you prefer, for The Scottish Festival. Yes, there will be haggis, and other Scottish food, which Mike Myers says was “created on a dare.” Entertainment is provided by 60 clans, fiddlers, Royal Scottish Country Dancers and harpists, folk singers, rock bands and loads more. All kinds of manly Scottish games, including a caber toss, will demonstrate how a man in a skirt can still be macho. Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona; Sat.-Sun., May 27-28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $18, $16 seniors & children 5-12. www.unitedscottishsociety.com
MONDAY, May 29
Brave soldiers died so that others could lift heavy objects and make their biceps look like a bag of oranges. Honor them at The Muscle Beach Venice International Classic Bodybuilding and Figure Contest. Fighter planes will fly over the action. God bless America. Venice Beach Recreation Center, 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice; Sun., May 29, 10 a.m.; Mon., May 29, noon (finals Mon. at noon); free, $50 to compete. (310) 399-2775.
TUESDAY, May 30
LACMA hosts a special preview screening of Robert Altman’s film version of Garrison Keillor’s radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion. It should be, if nothing else, profoundly homespun. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; Tues., May 30, 7:30 p.m.; $9. (323) 857-6010.
WEDNESDAY, May 31
“Ain’t no black and there ain’t no white/Ain’t no darkness and there ain’t no light/It’s all just illusion/In these different shades of life.” Can you believe those are the words of Steven Seagal, who is now a blues singer? And dig these lyrics to “She Dat Pretty”— “She got nice skin/And she got nice hair/She look so good she lovely everywhere/Ain’t she pretty.” Combine the strained warble of Keith Richards with the watered-down blues of an even wimpier Robert Cray, and you have the latest celebrity to pull a Kevin Bacon. Luckily for me, Anthony Pellicano is behind bars and can’t leave a dead fish on my car. El Rey, 5515 Wilshire Blvd.; Wed., May 31, 7:30 p.m.; $19. (213) 480-3232.
THURSDAY, June 1
We get letters, like this: “Hi Libby — It’s Brad Stewart again. I run the standup comedy show every Thursday night called No Name Comics. We were just wondering how we make the cut for your Hoopla section. I noticed you’ve had Comedy Death Ray in there. We have a lot of the same comics in our show that they do and A LOT they don’t. I’m also pretty sure they don’t really need the advertising as badly as we do at this point. We may not be on the hipster radar yet but we believe our show is just as valid and we think people will agree.” This week’s no-names that will surely one day be name-names: Dan Mintz, Ruby Wendell, Shawn Carlow, Darrick Richardson, Adam Richmond, Ethan Pavone and Willis Turner. Room 5 at Amalfi, 143 La Brea Ave., Hollywood; Thurs., June 1, 10:30 p.m.; no cover. (323) 938-2504.?