FRIDAY, September 14
Back when they could barely fit on the tiny Largo stage, you knew Pink Martini was something special. You could forgive them for taking seven years before putting out their second album because the first album, Sympathique, was not just amazing but quite possibly the most versatile record ever. Latin jazz, cabaret, French pop, classical, Brazilian — you could put it on for any occasion (yes, even a bris or a memorial service or a combination of the two). The band’s three-night stand at the Hollywood Bowl is titled Fireworks Finale: Pink Martini at the Cocoanut Grove and includes an appearance by the still-knockout bombshell Carol Channing; a tribute to Merv Griffin, who first sang “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” at the Cocoanut Grove; French crooner Henri Salvador (who sings on Pink Martini’s new CD, Hey Eugene!); and MarchFourth, described as a “35-person Fellini-esque performance ensemble of musicians and dancers, which draws inspiration from an eclectic range of worldwide influences such as Eastern European Gypsy brass, samba, funk, Afro-beat, big band, jazz and rock music, as well as television, film, circus and vaudeville.” For your Hollywood Bowl supper, may we suggest a pink-nic, with pink champagne, pink tartlettes (just add a little pink beetroot juice to the dough), pink cupcakes . . . um . . . pigs’ feet? Hollywood Bowl, Fri-Sat., Sept. 14-15, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., ?Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.; $7-$111. (323) 850-2000.
SATURDAY, September 15
With a title like Puppets After Hours, you can guess that this isn’t one for the kiddies. The folks at Farmlab — folks who seem to be well worth getting to know — “host a fully immersive [sic] evening of adult-themed cabaret theater, interactive performance art and live music featuring the best and brightest in puppetry arts in the greater Los Angeles area. Come watch puppets sing, dance, perform sketch comedy and engage in avant-garde art installations. Walk among giant fish in our puppet aquarium. Pick up a drum and jam with the percussion performance art group Glank. Join in three-part harmony with our Praying Mantis doo-wop girl group.” Not sure what they mean by “immersive,” but I would stay at least 20 feet away ?from the puppets. Farmlab, 1745 N. Spring St., dwntwn.; Sat., ?Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 226-1158.
SUNDAY, September 16
“It’s the Rolling Stones Meets Sesame Street when the Dirty Socks Funtime Band plays for the pre-school set” promises the press release. Hmmm, there are just way too many cheap shots to take at this subject line, but we can’t stoop to that kind of humor when there are little ones in dirty socks involved. Suffice — and you can never have enough suffice — it to say, these guys add ska, hip-hop and bluegrass to the rock mix and have some pretty cute titles in “The Clowna Nagila” and “The Mystical Science Librarian.” Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr, Cerritos; Sunday, Sept. 3 p.m.; $20, $14. (562) 467-8818.
Normally we’d say something encouraging about the Emmy telecast, but we’ve been forced to boycott them this year for a sea (Crest) of reasons. Wonder what Laura Kightlinger — whose high-larious show, The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman, is the currently the funniest show on the tee-vee — is doing tonight? Emmy broadcast, Fox 11, 8 p.m.
MONDAY, September 17
For one night only, you can see Chess the Musical, with a slew of Broadway talent, in a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Though The New York Times’ Frank Rich wrote, “The evening has the theatrical consistency of quicksand,” the show, written by Tim Rice and ABBA mates Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, has a bit of cult following. And who hasn’t thought that the world of competitive chess playing wouldn’t make a great musical? Bonus: Sharon Ellen Burtman, the 1995 United States Women’s Chess Champion, will conduct a simultaneous chess exhibition, playing 10 boards at a time, and offer expert tips on the game on the Ford plaza before the event. She will also host an informal talk about her experiences playing in the Soviet Union and the psychology of chess before the show. The John Anson Ford Amphitheater, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East; Mon., Sept. 17, ?8 p.m.; $35-$200. (323) 461-3673.
TUESDAY, September 18
Comics T.K. and William Hale are the funny brains behind the first-annual California Comedy Festival, kicking off today with preliminary rounds. Over the next week and a half, there will be competitions in such categories as “Fresh Faces,” “Comedy From the Edge” (as opposed to the flat middle?) and “Ladies Only.” Ladies only? What is this, 1979? Even Last Comic Standing pits comics against each other with no regard to gender. Jeez, guys. Still, with $5,000 at stake, the up-and-comers will be bringing their best stuff. Events take place at comedy clubs around town. See Comedy for listings. First round: The Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave.; Tues., Sept. 18, 8 p.m. (Fresh Faces) and 10 p.m. (Comedy From the Edge); $13. (323) 651-2583.
WEDNESDAY, September 19
You’ll see why they call it The Black Sea: The Greatest Undersea Museum in the World after you watch underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard’s visual presentation. Ballard will shed Black Sea light on some amazing uncovered and preserved ancient history. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 Sepulveda Ave.; Wed., Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $18. (800) 595-4TIX.
THURSDAY, September 20
Do you feel more Audrey Hepburn or Vivien Leigh? Princess Anne or Blanche DuBois? Vespa or streetcar? Marlon Brando or Gregory Peck? Free or $11? Alfresco or al comfychairo? Decisions, decisions. Both Roman Holiday and Streetcar Named Desire screen on Thurs., Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. Roman Holiday: Santa Monica Pier West Parking Deck; get tickets at 1400 Ocean Ave. or the cart on the Third Street Promenade; free; (310) 458-8900. Streetcar Named Desire: ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; $11. (323) 464-4226.