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, August 15
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Squeeze ploy: Jason Webley wields the worlds most feared instrument. See Friday.
After the harp and xylophone, the accordion is the “most feared instrument in the world.” (What did that hack Hendrix know?) After a few drinks, Safari Sam’s is going to feel like Octoberfest as the Monsters of Accordion — Mark Growden, Amy Denio, Duckmandu, Jason Webley and others — perform solos that sound nothing like your mother’s polka. Webley is known all the way in Siberia, and Duckmandu (birth name Aaron Seeman) has recorded Fresh Duck for Rotting Accordionists, the entire Dead Kennedys debut album done on solo accordion. Safari Sam’s, 5214 W. Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 15, 8 p.m. (323) 555-7267.
Saturday, August 16
Patton Oswalt is Colonel Sanders’ and Cirque du Soleil’s biggest fan. He’s described the long-running circus as everything that is “wet and French and gay and on fire at the same time.” And in perhaps his best-known routine, he’s called KFC’s Famous Bowls “a failure pile in a sadness bowl” that you should only have if you “eat them like a death-row prisoner on a suicide watch.” Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Aug. 16, 8:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 463-0204.
Spread out over nine days, Little Tokyo’s 68th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival is the “nation’s longest-running ethnic festival.” The first weekend boasts the crowning of the Nisei Week Queen, a car show, a sumo demonstration and a parade, while the following weekend includes a gyoza-eating contest, street dancing and the ever-popular and thunderous taiko drumming. Throughout Little Tokyo; Sat., Aug. 16-Sun., Aug. 24; most events free. (213) 687-7193 or www.niseiweek.org.
Sunday, August 17
Wear old clothes and bring a towel to Mud Mania at Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, an adobe home built in 1844 that now houses a museum on the history of Spanish, Mexican and American Californians. Make mud pies out of dirt that’s thousands of years old, then enjoy food and listen to live music. Some Muddy Waters, perhaps? Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, 4600 Virginia Rd., Long Beach; Sun., Aug. 17, 12:30-4:30 p.m.; $5, $3 children. (562) 570-1755.
Monday, August 18
Flutter over and say hello to more than 30 species of these free-floating creatures, including the swallowtail, monarch, American painted lady and California dogface, at Pavilion of Wings, a temporary landscaped exhibit at the Natural History Museum. Learn about various species of Lepidoptera, including the environmental challenges facing them, and even adopt one. Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd., L.A.; Mon., Aug. 18, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. (exhibit thru Sept. 1); $9, $6.50 seniors, children & students, $2 children 5-12, free 5 & under. (213) 763-DINO.
Tuesday, August 19
Hershey Felder, known for reincarnating Gershwin and Chopin in his previous one-man shows, returns with Beethoven, As I Knew Him: The Music of Ludwig van Beethoven, the last in a music trilogy that’s theater, classical-music concert and history lesson all rolled into one. The production, directed by Joel Zwick (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Fat Albert), is based on the book Memories of Beethoven: From the House of the Black-Robed Spaniards by Gerhard von Breuning, a longtime friend and pupil of the composer. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Wstwd.; Tues.-Sun., thru Oct. 5; $35-$74. (310) 208-5454.
Wednesday, August 20
Been waiting patiently for Jurassic Park IV? In the meantime, there’s Walking With Dinosaurs: The Live Experience, a traveling show featuring 15 life-size prehistoric creatures — including T. rex, Utahraptor, Stegosaurus and the largest of the beasts, the Brachiosaurus (36 feet tall and 56 feet long) — that walk and roar across the stage, depicting the dinosaurs’ 200-million-year evolution. Their dressing rooms must be tight. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim; Wed., Aug. 20, 7 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri., Aug. 21-22, 3 & 7 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 23, 11 a.m., 3 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 24, 1 & 5 p.m. (213) 480-3232.
Thursday, August 21
French guest conductor Lionel Bringuier, who’s all of 22, leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in a program titled Thibaudet Plays Khachaturian, which includes Aram Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto, in addition to Mikhail Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture, Zoltan Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs., Aug. 21, 8 p.m.; $1-$95. (323) 850-2000.
There will be family secrets, suicide, alcoholism, repressed homosexuality, spinster daughters, aging belles and sweaty brutes in tight T-shirts in Kind Stranger Presents: Improvised Tennessee Williams, where a host of actors — Jill Alexander, Nick Armstrong, Brandon Barrick, Zach Huddleston, Erin McGathy, Jessica Young and Steve Greene — get to improv their way through a play in the style of the Big Daddy of Southern writers. Ride the trolley and bring a fan. IO West Theater, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs., Aug. 21, 9 p.m.; $10. (323) 962-7560.