By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
FRIDAY, December 8
“Sometimes one must address the snails” may not make it into the vernacular of classic film quotes as indelibly as “Here’s looking at you, kid,” but actor and now director Crispin Glover — make that Crispin Hellion Glover — has definitely made his mark as a filmmaker you can’t ignore with What Is It? Involving a cast of actors with Down syndrome, snails, naked women with elephant heads, people in black face, um, more snails .?.?. the film is just really weird. In a good way. And Mr. Glover will present a slide show of images from his books that lead into the film, which will be followed by a Q&A session in which he makes sense of it all in a very articulate way. Unlike here. American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sun., Dec. 8-10, 8 p.m.; $18, $15 students. (323) 466-FILM.
SATURDAY, December 9
Who quipped, “I spent seven hours in a beauty shop .?.?. and that was for the estimate”? If you said Phyllis Diller, you know your bewigged, sequined, self-deprecating comedy legends. After 50 years of show biz, Diller’s no longer performing live, but she will sign her new documentary DVD, Goodnight, We Love You: The Life and Legend of Phyllis Diller, and if you’re lucky, you may get to hear that famous cackle up close and personal. Borders Westwood, 1360 Westwood Blvd., Wstwd.; Sat., Dec. 9, 2 p.m.; free. (310) 475-3444.
Because they keep trying to get it right, McSweeney’s once again present The World, Explained. This installment features Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), David Rakoff (still not David Sedaris), John Aboud of Best Week Ever, Arrested Development’s Michael Cera and Francesca Beauman, who penned The Pineapple: King of Fruits — and has the tattoo to prove it. She may be my new idol. Money raised goes to benefit 826LA, which provides tutoring to young wannabe snarky writers. The Barnsdall Theater, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.; $25. www.tix.com.
SUNDAY, December 10
Street Angel Diaries “explores the issues of homelessness through first-person accounts and multimedia, including live as well as recorded music, poetry, soundscapes, storytelling, projections and movement.” Creator and composer Mary Lou Newmark collected stories from homeless people and enlists a cast of actors to play them out. It certainly sounds like something we can all learn from, or at least feel bad about. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Thurs.-Sat., Dec. 7-9 & 14-16, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 10 & 17, 2 p.m.; $25, a portion of ticket sales goes to Union Station Foundation. (626) 683-6883.
MONDAY, December 11
Tonight’s a good night to take in the mile-long Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival. And here’s a novel idea: Why not walk the route? Try it! Along Crystal Springs Dr., Griffith Park; nightly thru Dec. 30.
TUESDAY, December 12
Slava’s Snowshow makes its L.A. premiere amid a hailstorm of praise and awards. Adults and kids alike are sure to be enthralled by “alternative clown” Slava Polunin, whose antics Simon Callow of London’s Daily Express called “the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen in a theater in my life.” Slava, widely considered by the clown cognoscenti as the best in the biz, re-creates a fantasy-like snowstorm after beguiling the audience with miniature houses, blinding fog, giant beach balloons and “enough confetti to stock several ticker-tape parades.” UCLA Live at Royce Hall, Wstwd.; Tues.-Sun., Dec. 12-Jan. 7 (call or see Web site for thoroughly confusing schedule); $32-$55. (310) 825-2101 or www.snowshowusa.com.
WEDNESDAY, December 13
It wouldn’t be Hoopla without vodka, and this week we raise our chilled glasses to Vodka Latka: Festival of Rights. For 10 years, this event has offered everything we love in one holiday party: Local social-justice activists, folk/punk rockers Golem, a social-justice menorah-lighting ceremony with Mayor Villaraigosa, and genuinely smunny (that’s smart and funny) writer Jill Soloway reading a Hanukkah tale, plus DJs, latkas and our fave iced, colorless, odorless beverage. El Rey Theatre, 3133 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Wed., Dec. 13, 8 p.m.; $15. (213) 480-3232.
To appreciate just what kind of comic genius Charlyne Yi is, go to her “Man on the Street” video on YouTube.com (do we really need to tell you how to do that?). I’ll wait .?.?. See? Don’t you just love her to death? Though one of our colleagues responded, “I’d punch her out.” Jeez. The Xmas Doo Doo Show features Charlyne and pals Michael Busch, Wyatt Cenac, Chad Fogland, Stephen Hale and more. Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Wed., Dec. 13, 8 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702.
THURSDAY, December 14
Tables of five or more at UnCabaret get two free CDs of comedy that’s been called “funny.” This time, it’s Julia Sweeney, Andy Kindler, and Randy and Jason Sklar providing the funny, along with host Beth Lapides. M Bar, 12563 N. Vine St., Hlywd.; Thurs., Dec. 14, 8 p.m.; $15. (323) 993-3305.
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