16 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Key and Peele will take part in PaleyFest's salute to Comedy Central
Photo courtesy of Comedy Central
The "-palooza" suffix is epically overused in modern slang, but when it comes to lowbrow emporium La Luz de Jesus and its annual open-call group show, Laluzapalooza, it's spot-on times a million. Last year's call resulted in some 16,000 submissions and an exhibition featuring "only" a few hundred of them. The gallery sorted through this onslaught in search of the best of the fresh for this 29th edition, embracing the unique curatorial opportunity to show some of the contemporary urban-art movement's biggest names in post-illustration, pop surrealism, and innovative mixed media alongside a new generation of indie outsider stars. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Fri., March 6, 8-11 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m., through March 29. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Thanks to PaleyFest 2015, you get to spend the week hanging out with freaks, teen wolves, a Washington crisis manager, a CIA agent and a knocked-up virgin. The Paley Center for Media hosts discussions with the cast and crew of some of the boob tube's biggest sitcoms and dramas: Homeland (March 6); The Good Wife (March 7); Girls (March 8); Scandal (March 8); Teen Wolf (March 11); Outlander (March 12); Glee (March 13); Arrow and The Flash (March 14); Modern Family (March 14); Jane the Virgin (March 15); and American Horror Story: Freak Show (March 15). Judd Apatow and Jimmy Kimmel are among the panel moderators, and the lineup's highlight is the March 7 salute to Comedy Central, which honors the funny men and women behind Key & Peele, Workaholics, Broad City, Kroll Show and Review. Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., March 6-Sun., March 15, times vary; $30-$80. (800) 745-3000, paleyfest.org.—Siran Babayan
The 14th annual DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books is a two-day, multimedia showcase of independent musicians, filmmakers and writers. The theme is "For Mature Audiences Only," but it's not what you think. Rather than describing X-rated content creators, the motif refers to creative people over the age of 30. This year's convention explores the challenges they face in industries that value cheap, young labor over that of seasoned professionals, despite the fact that the latter's ideas often reflect a priceless perspective. The convention features free panels on social media and marketing, as well as "war stories" about the DIY world. There's also the ticketed DIY Film Festival and DIY Music Festival and the yearly DIY Book Festival East Meets West Awards. With any luck, someone will answer the question: "When did 30 start to mean 'mature'?" DIY Music Festival: Bardot, 1737 Vine St., Hlywd.; Fri., March 6, noon-2 p.m. DIY Film Festival: Lyric-Hyperion Theatre & Cafe, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Fri., March 6, 3-7 p.m. DIY Book Festival East Meets West Awards: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., March 7, 7-10 p.m. Tickets to all three are $125. Panel discussions: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., March 7, 1, 2:30 & 4 p.m.; free. (323) 665-8080, diyconvention.com. —Tanja M. Laden
It's like leaving the high school A/V Club in the hands of the class clowns. Comedians curate the lineup at the fourth annual Wayne Federman International Film Festival, which began March 5. For instance, tonight at 7:30 p.m., Doug Benson and his comedian friends provide running commentary over Breakfast at Tiffany's (make sure you're stoned when Mickey Rooney's Mr. Yunioshi hits the screen). Also scheduled: Paul Scheer presents Ghostbusters (tonight, 10:30 p.m.), Chris Hardwick with Fletch (Saturday, 7 p.m.), Will Forte with his own MacGruber (Saturday, 10:15 p.m.), Lauren Lapkus with Big (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.) and Kumail Nanjiani with Neil Marshall's The Descent, about a caving expedition gone wrong. Many of those introducing films also will engage in post-screening Q&As. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; March 5-8; $14, free for members. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Anthony D'Alessandro
Celebrate Dance! festival: See Saturday.
Photo by Tim Agler
The premier SoCal dance festival, Celebrate Dance! shows what local dance can look like with the right resources: a major theater with a sizable stage, top-notch technical staff, professional production values and a savvy producer such as Jamie Nichols. The mix of established and emerging troupes each year reflects her curator's eye. For the 10th anniversary, nine companies will perform works they premiered at Celebrate Dance! over the years, in addition to Nichols' latest finds. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., March 7, 8 p.m.; $18-$38, $12 children with an adult. (818) 243-2539, alextheatre.org. —Ann Haskins
March Madness takes on new meaning at the third annual Spook Show, an all-day, outdoor, Halloween-themed festival helmed by the La Mirada creepateria known as Halloween Club. October is just too long to wait for fans of all things fiendish, freaky, gothy and ghoulish. From clothing and jewelry to collectibles and crafts to props and toys, vendors will be haunting you with spooky stuff. In addition to massive selections of macabre merch, the spooksters are conjuring a freak-show environment with music and contests. Dark denizens are encouraged to wear creepy and carnivalesque costumes and getups. Halloween Club, 14447 Firestone Blvd., La Mirada; Sat., March 7, noon-7 p.m.; free with RSVP. (714) 367-0859, bitly.com/laweeklyspook. —Lina Lecaro
Combine African-American feminism, historic South Central and the riot grrrl movement, and you've got the inaugural Blk Grrrl Book Fair. Inglewood writer/activist Teka-Lark Fleming and Skira Martinez, owner of CIELO galleries/studios, co-host this book fair, art show and film festival in the gallery's 9,000-square-foot space. The daylong schedule includes readings by Natashia Deon, Lisa Teasley and Donna Murch; a spoken-word portion honoring the late Watts-born poet Wanda Coleman; a film fest with screenings by black filmmakers; community organizations; an open mic; and workshops on everything from running for political office to bookbinding. CIELO galleries/studios, 3201 Maple Ave., South L.A.; Sat., March 7, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; free. email@example.com, blkgrrrlshow.com. —Siran Babayan
Photo by Anne Fishbein
OK, it's our turn for a plug: L.A. Weekly's annual event The Essentials, timed to this very issue, features samples from 55 of L.A.'s top restaurants, including Pot, ink., Mozza, Guelaguetza, Providence, Sqirl, Petit Trois, Kogi, Bestia, Animal, Mélisse and Spago. There will also be beer, wine and cocktail samples and great views of downtown L.A. Make sure to pace yourself, and drink responsibly. California Market Center, 110 E. Ninth St., dwntwn.; Sun., March 8, 2-5 p.m. (VIP entry at 1 p.m.); $65-$90. laweekly.com/essentials.
Wikipedia, for all its flaws, is pretty helpful for general research, and thanks to its legion contributors around the world, it's also seen as fair and democratic. Here's the problem: Less than 13 percent of its contributors are women. As the organizers of an ongoing series of Art + Feminism Edit-a-Thons observe, "The reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, but the practical effect of this disparity is not. Wikipedia's content is skewed." Today, bring your laptop and your thirst for equality to LACMA's Art + Technology Lab to help fix the problem. Happening on International Women's Day weekend, the event helpfully offers training for beginning editors every hour on the hour. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Sun., March 8, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6010, eastofborneo.org/unforgetting. —Shana Nys Dambrot
"What did he know and when did he know it?" It's a question as much for disgraced presidents as it is for readers of alt-weekly calendar sections, and it'll be answered today, when former White House counsel John Dean signs his latest book, The Nixon Defense. Even if you think Watergate has been done to death, Dean's book reveals unnoticed aspects of the Nixon tapes and in-depth transcripts of thousands of hours of Nixon's conversations on the situation. It's the definitive chronicle of a moment that irrevocably changed American life, written by one of the last living men who worked behind the scenes. Chevalier's Books, 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., Larchmont; Sun., March 8, 2 p.m.; free. (323) 465-1334, chevaliersooks.com. —David Cotner
In 2012, New York comedians Dan Klein, Kelly Hudson and Arthur Meyer created a fake menu for a fake restaurant called FUDS, which offered "a journey in food-taste from mouth to toilet," and included such items as "Facebook fries," "Shitty Chicken" and "Two-bean dickbread wrap." It was a sendup of today's pretentious foodie culture, which could easily apply to L.A. In fact, Klein and Hudson currently live in L.A. and work as comedy writers. Inspired by FUDS' viral success, the two unveil FUDS: A Complete Encyclofoodia From Tickling Shrimp to Not Dying in a Restaurant, a cookbook and lifestyle book with a real foreword by the real Mario Batali. Now you can make "tiny turd meals" at home. UCB Theatre Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Mon., March 9, 8:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
Everything old is new again: Today's opening of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition marks the largest showing of the scrolls ever mounted outside of Israel, some never seen in the United States. Israel owns the bulk of the Old Testament artifacts, found in 1947 in the West Bank, and there will be more than 600 ancient artifacts related to the scrolls on display. Exhumation, divination, exaltation and preservation — it's all here in a multimedia extravaganza, which may not be seen again for ages. As a bonus, see National Geographic's Jerusalem 3-D movie, also at the exhibit — Benedict Cumberbatch narrates. California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park; opens Tue., March 10, 10 a.m.; $12.75-$19.75. (323) 724-3623, californiasciencecenter.org. —David Cotner
In light of the mayor's announced demolition of the crumbling Sixth Street Viaduct, there's no better time to appreciate the transience of L.A.'s humble treasures than at tonight's presentation by Lauren Bon and Jeremy Rosenberg of Under Spring: Voices+art+Los Angeles. Winner of the first California Historical Society Book Award, it discusses how, from 2006 to 2013, artist Bon and her Metabolic Studio transmogrified the underpass into a creative space encompassing everything from public art to community gardening, a collection of creative activity the likes of which the city has rarely seen. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Tue., March 10, 7 p.m.; free, book is $20. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner
As part of ALOUD at Central Library, Justinian Jampol, founder/executive director of the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War in Culver City, moderates The War in Ukraine: Propaganda and Reality. Author and Yale University professor Timothy Snyder and Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen discuss political tensions in the Ukraine between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists and Russia's involvement, which escalated last February when protests led to the removal of Russia-friendly Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Snyder and Gessen will discuss how we in the West have processed the news through a "haze of propaganda" and why the Ukraine is important. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Tue., March 10, 7:15 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 228-7000, lfla.org. —Siran Babayan
If you don't know about Everything Is Terrible! by now, you definitely should. The website is dedicated to finding, preserving and laughing at the best of the worst 20th-century film and television relics on VHS. To celebrate Everything Is Terrible!'s own ongoing, ever-increasing cult stardom through regular postings on its website, as well as six of its own films, the good folks behind the wild and woolly endeavor are staging another wonderfully weird production, Everything Is Terrible: Legends, which features the best of EIT's cumulative cultural contributions, if you can call them that. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Wed., March 11, 7:30 & 10:15 p.m.; $12, free for members. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Tanja M. Laden
In the grand tradition of Any Answers? and Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!, The Infinite Monkey Cage BBC4 radio show — and now live roadshow — presents scientists and comedians as they explore how science relates to the world and vice versa. Ricky Gervais friend/victim Robin Ince and particle physicist Brian Cox co-host the program, which will have the theme "Science Meets Hollywood: Science Fact Meets Science Fiction." Guests will include David X. Cohen (Futurama), comedian Joe Rogan, physicist Sean M. Carroll and a special performance by Eric Idle (Monty Python's Spamalot). Montalbán Theatre, 1615 Vine St., Hlywd.; Thu., March 12, 7:30 p.m.; $65.55. (323) 871-2420, themontalban.com. —David Cotner
Correction: The original version of this post had the wrong neighborhood for Blk Grrrl Book Fair. It's actually in South L.A.
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