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, January 19
“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” Who said that? If you answered Dorothea Lange, you are correct and may proceed to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for Photo L.A.: The 16th International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition, where photographers, curators and the public gather to appreciate some of the best photographic work happening in darkrooms and digital labs in the land. Dozens of top galleries will show work, and there will be a discussion on how crappy that Diane Arbus movie with Nicole Kidman was. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 19-20, noon-7 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 21, noon-6 p.m.; $20, $30 three-day pass, $10 per lecture. (323) 937-4659 or www.artfairsinc.com.
SATURDAY, January 20
All you men who like to dress up like women — what is wrong with you? That discussion is for another time. But it’s hard to believe that it was 14 years ago that you first wedged your toes into high heels, crudely applied false eyelashes, shimmied into a thrift-store ’50s frilly dress and teetered to your car to drive off to Dragstrip 66, the drag club created by DJ Paul V. and Gina Lotriman that has stuck to its famous “no lip-synching policy.” The club celebrates its sweet 14 with a “Wild Kingdom”–themed bash, so bring on the wild prints, zebra stockings and lioness headdresses. Special guests include a virtual who’s what of local drag royalty, including Varla Jean Merman, Kay Sedia (where’s Jacques Amoleh?), Bridgette of Madison County and real girl Tammy Faye Starlite. Safari Sam’s, 5214 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Jan. 20, 9 p.m.; $15. (323) 969-2596.
SUNDAY, January 21
They started in 1959, and now, nearly five decades later, their mom still likes — which one was it? — one of them best. Ladies and gentlemen, The Smothers Brothers! Masters of straight man–dumb guy patter, the S-Bros. are far more than goofy shtick. When Dick and Tom shut up and play music, you forget they’re comedians. And come on, how often do you get to hear folk songs played with a standup bass? One question: Do you think they still have those cardigan sweaters? Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos; Sun., Jan. 21, 3 p.m.; $30-$69.50. (562) 467-8818.
When are an Olympic ice-skating pair going to choose Jethro Tull’s “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day” for their routine? I can just see them gliding and twisting to “Meanwhile back in the year one — when you belonged to no one/You didn’t stand a chance son, if your pants were undone/’cause you were bred for humanity and sold to society/One day you’ll wake up in the present day/A million generations removed from expectations/Of being who you really want to be/Skating away — skating away — skating away on the thin ice of the new day.” In the meantime, there’s 2006-07 Smucker’s Stars on Ice, with such luminaries as Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, Alexei Yagudin, Todd Eldredge and many more in a production subtitled “Double Exposure: The Many Lives of Figure Skaters.” Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; Sun., Jan. 21, 4 p.m.; $25-$125. (213) 480-3232.
MONDAY, January 22
Do you like your comedy with wasabi mashed potatoes and artsy drinks like a Pink Lily (sake, coconut syrup and pomegranate liqueur)? Comics Melinda Hill, Maria Bamford and Natasha Leggero bring us What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, a comedy show in a restaurant. “Maria Bamford generally hosts it and does brand-new stuff every Monday, so her fans dig it and show up just for that,” Hill says. Special guests this week include Howard Kremer, Aaron Lee, Jordan Rubin and Jen Kirkman, all testing your tolerance for fresh, untried funny business. Tiger Lily, 1745 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Mon., Jan. 22, 8 p.m.; no cover. (323) 661-5900.
TUESDAY, January 23
Yodeling while eating Cheez Whiz is only the beginning of the many talents of Varla Jean Merman. She would have made a great Bond Girl — well, maybe except for one thing — all brassy, sassy Shirley Bassey with red locks to boot. Ms. Merman’s back with a new show, Varla Jean Merman Is Anatomically Incorrect, so act up accordingly. Ultra Suede, 661 N. Robertson Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Tues. & Thurs., 8 p.m.; Jan. 23-Feb. 22. For tickets, www.groovetickets.com.
WEDNESDAY, January 24
Guess which of the following is being screened during Outfest: (a) Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford; (b) Walk on the Wild Side, starring Laurence Harvey, Jane Fonda, Capucine and Barbara Stanwyck. If you said (b), you are correct and probably went to film school. If you said (a), you should have been correct and probably went to Varla Jean Merman at Ultra Suede last night . . . Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? screens at AFI at ArcLight, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed., Jan. 24, 8 p.m.; $11. (323) 464-4226.Walk on the Wild Side screens at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed., Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-FILM.
THURSDAY, January 25
Don’t drink and daub — but do go to Rock & Roll Bingo, where the balls are flying and you never know who’s going to call “O 69!” You might even win a prize of a box of chocolates with half of the pieces already eaten for you! This month’s bingo caller is Nick Oliveri (not to be confused with Oliver!) from Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, who will rock the patio with his band Mondo Generator. Crane’s Hollywood Tavern, 1611 N. El Centro Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs., Jan. 25, 6 p.m.; free admission, bingo cards $5 each, proceeds go to Stray Cat Alliance. (323) 467-6600.