16 Cool Things to Do in L.A. This Week

Lucha VaVOOM: See Wednesday
Lucha VaVOOM: See Wednesday
Photo by Timothy Norris.

Friday, Feb 6

Have Comedians Make Fun of Your Tinder Profile

Playing the game of love can be rough, especially if you're single around Valentine's Day. Forget about meeting another would-be suitor at some bar and head over to The Tinder Games for a winning and wacky night instead, starring you, your phone and your real-life Tinder account. Brave volunteers' profiles are projected on a big screen for guest comedians to discuss, troll and offer advice. Then the hosts have fun with the popular dating app's swipe-for-likes feature and settings to see if they can really heat up your love life. If in-the-flesh suitors are more your speed, the night ends with The Wry Dating Game, modeled after the old TV show, hosted by comic actor Ryan "Wry" Mantione. Guests for this edition include bloggers/comic actors Maddox and Nihilist Gelo, burlesque performer Donatella MeLies and dating expert Erin Tillman. The Syrup Loft, 939 Maple Ave., dwntwn.; Fri., Feb. 5, 8 p.m.; $10. bit.ly/tindergames. —Lina Lecaro

See a Film Legend and His Undiscovered Masterwork

USC presents An Evening With William Friedkin and Sorcerer, the recently re-evaluated masterwork from 1977. The ambitious story of a ragtag group led by Roy Scheider (Jaws, All That Jazz) transporting big rigs full of volatile nitroglycerin across South America was an expensive flop at the time of its release, which came just a month after Star Wars. The phenomenal success of Friedkin's prior two films — The French Connection and The Exorcist — only made the disappointment sharper. Sorcerer has come to be appreciated in the years and decades since, in part because of the same unwieldy qualities that made it so hard to process in the first place. Friedkin will do a Q&A after the film. Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall, USC, 3507 Trousdale Parkway, University Park; Fri., Feb. 6, 7 p.m.; free, reservations required. visionsandvoices@usc.edu, cinema.usc.edu. —Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

Experience Dance as Self-Defense

Brazil imported 40 percent of the African slaves brought to the Western hemisphere to work the Brazilian sugar cane plantations, and in 1888 was the last Western country to abolish slavery. Capoeira reportedly began as a type of self-defense for Brazilian slaves, but since it was prohibited, capoeira was disguised as dance. Since 1977, artistic director Jelon Vieira and his New York–based DanceBrazil have displayed, honed and elevated capoeira's mixed heritage of dance and martial arts. Not surprisingly, the company's works often have a theme of the disenfranchised, such as Gueto (Ghetto), choreographed by Vieira to music of Marcos Carvalho, which is one of three scheduled works. Expect the strong, athletic dancers to do justice to both the modern dance and the high-flying acrobatics. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri., Feb. 6, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 7, 3 & 8 p.m.; $33-$99. (310) 746-4000, thewallis.org. —Ann Haskins

Learn About the History of Local L.A. TV

With a foreword by Tom Brokaw, and more than 200 images from the Museum of Broadcast Communications, Joel Tator's Los Angeles Television chronicles the evolution of local TV broadcasting dating back to 1931 and L.A.'s original seven TV stations. Tator, a 25-time Emmy-winning TV producer, will appear to discuss his book, which also uncovers several technological advances — such as the first TV helicopter — and discusses numerous TV personalities (including Johnny Carson, Betty White, Steve Allen, Liberace, Lawrence Welk, Regis Philbin, Bryant Gumbel and others) who began their broadcasting careers here. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., dwntwn.; Fri., Feb. 6, 5:30 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan

DanceBrazil
DanceBrazil
Photo by Andrea Mohin

Saturday, Feb. 7

Help Clean a Beach?...?or a Park?...?or?...

The premise behind the Do Good Bus is blissfully simple: Show up at a particular place and board the bus that will take you somewhere in Los Angeles to volunteer for a charity about which you have precisely zero foreknowledge. The organization offers rides for business groups, parties and other occasions, but its monthly Do Good Bus Community Ride is for everyone. The charities change with each ride — for this month the only hint is "Good Earth," meaning an environmental cause. Culver City Metro Lot, 8817 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sat., Feb. 7, 10 a.m.; $35. (323) 316-5208, dogoodbus.com. —David Cotner

Pretend to Be a Paparazzo

At GR2's Game Night, you won't be playing Monopoly. In Two Fighters, One Tablet, players go at it on an arcade-style device that's strapped to another's back. Paparazzi is a two-person, TMZ-fueled fantasy, where one takes on the role of a celebrity, the other a paparazzo. Paperbound is a video game for library nerds. Players travel, and fight, through the pages of The Book of Five Rings, Dante's Inferno, Journey to the Center of the Earth and more. There will be a panel discussion with the game makers at 8 p.m. GR2, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., W.L.A.; Sat., Feb. 7, 6-10 p.m.; free. (310) 445-9276, giantrobot.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Find the Intersection of Art and Porn

In Boogie Nights — which, for anyone keeping score at home, remains Paul Thomas Anderson's best film — Mark Wahlberg went a long way toward being taken seriously as an actor by playing porn sensation Dirk Diggler. This landmark of the late 1990s also features standout work from Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham and Oscar nominee Burt Reynolds. Anderson evokes smut's heyday with both fondness and longing, as Nights is set during the transition from film to video. The screening is preceded by a panel discussion on the overlap between art and pornography featuring curators and writers, in conjunction with LACMA's exhibit on L.A. photographer Larry Sultan. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Sat., Feb. 7, free panel at 4 p.m.; screening at 7:30 p.m.; $5-$10. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org/event/full-exposure. —Michael Nordine 

Boogie Nights
Boogie Nights

Sunday, Feb. 8

See Dancers Take Over Someone's House

You know that thing where a bunch of dancers and artists invade your home for three months of plotting, rehearsing and installing site-specific dance, sound and lighting? And then a bunch of strangers buys tickets? No? Then you haven't dealt with the avant-garde boundary-blurring that is the homeLA experience. This weekend's San Marino edition takes place at the private residence of a brave couple of arts patrons who have embraced the chaos and let the artists have free rein for their crossplatform experiment — and for the group's (separately ticketed) after-party, too. Let's dance, honey, I'm home! Private home, address provided with ticket purchase, San Marino; Sun., Feb. 8, 3, 5 & 7 p.m.; $15. homelasanmarino.brownpapertickets.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Monday, Feb. 9

Go Inside Wes Anderson's Head

If the storytelling of The Grand Budapest Hotel wasn't kaleidoscopic enough for you, listen to the stories behind the stories as best-selling author Matt Zoller Seitz discusses his new book, The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Abrams). Anderson's eighth feature film offers intrigue and absurdity in 1930s Europe, and the book includes in-depth interviews with Anderson, costume designer Milena Canonero, lead actor Ralph Fiennes and others. You'll come away with some smart things to say during your Oscar party, as Grand Budapest has nine nominations. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Mon., Feb. 9, 7 p.m.; free, book is $35. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner

Learn from One of the Country's Most Famous Scientists

Some people love astrophysicist/science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson for his work at the Hayden Planetarium, others for his hit show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. We're mostly impressed by the science rock star's hilarious Twitter feed and the fact that he bikes home from work every day. If you're tired of replaying his old witty interviews with Jon Stewart, catch the legend live tonight at the Pantages. We hope he'll discuss the plausibility of hoverboard invention within the next nine months, but whether or not he takes his Back to the Future Twitter bit onstage or not, you're bound to leave with a bigger brain and more than a few laughs. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Mon., Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $62.70-$145.15. (800) 982-2787, hollywoodpantages.com. —Sascha Bos

Tuesday, Feb. 10

See a Comic Book Historian

Cartoonist Scott McCloud has always made original comics, but it's as a historian and commentator on the scene that he's made his biggest mark. His books Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics all helped to give credibility and community to those who use dialogue bubbles to convey their ideas. His newest project is a return to fiction with the lengthy The Sculptor: A Graphic Novel, about an artist who makes a deal with Death that he'll die in 200 days in exchange for the ability to sculpt anything he wants. KCRW's Elvis Mitchell will moderate the conversation, with McCloud likely tackling superheroes, Ben-Day dots and hand cramps. Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Tue., Feb. 10, 7:15 p.m.; free. (213) 228-7000, lfla.org. —Sean J. O'Connell

Wednesday, Feb. 11

Experience Love-Themed Mexican Wrestling

Lucha libre is a kind of masked wrestling popular in Mexico, and for the past 12 years it's been a Los Angeles institution as well. The city's only spectacle with ringside seats, Lucha VaVOOM Valentine: Dangerous/Beautiful brings together villains and valentines for a special romance-themed edition of the popular variety show. Showgirls, aerialists, dancers and even a few crazy chickens gather at the Mayan for a nonstop, rousing display, which leaves both performers and audience members breathless. Liberace-esque wrestler Cassandro brings his plumage into the ring, along with a host of other luchadores and entertainers, all of whom breathe fire into already amorous affairs. Mayan Theatre, 1038 S. Hill St., dwntwn.; Wed., Feb. 11-Thu., Feb. 12, 8 p.m. show, 7 p.m. doors; $40-$75. (213) 746-4287, luchavavoom.com. —Tanja M. Laden

Hear From a First Date Expert

War is hell but dating might be comparable, as Mark Miller discusses in his new book, 500 Dates: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Online Dating Wars. In his essays, the stand-up comic/TV writer/dating columnist writes about the good, the bad and the ugly of trying to find love in the digital age. Miller shares his battle scars with fellow writer Beulah Sanchez and veteran comic Yakov Smirnoff, with singer Kevin Schwartz performing. Barnes & Noble, 189 The Grove Drive, Beverly Grove; Wed., Feb. 11, 7-8 p.m.; free, book is $16.95. (323) 525-0270, store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2089. —Siran Babayan

See famous photos mimicked by John Malkovich
See famous photos mimicked by John Malkovich
Sandro Miller at Fahey Klein Gallery

Thursday, Feb. 12

Meet the Love of Your Life Via His/Her Smell

A collaboration between artist Bettina Hubby and the Institute for Art and Olfaction, Love Potion No. 9 is equal parts interactive art project and speed-dating mingle for singles. It works like this: Each person gets a pseudonym, a scent and a participation form used to rate interactions with others according to a made-up Romantic and Sexual Potential Scale (RaSPS). There will be an overall Love Potion No. 9 based on the evening's interactions, but the best part is that everyone also leaves with his or her own scent inspired by the evening's encounters. The Institute for Art and Olfaction, 3023 W. Sixth St., Koreatown; Thu., Feb. 12, 7-10 p.m.; $20 cash donation or a drawing of what love smells like to you (online signup required). (213) 616-1744, artandolfaction.com/lovepotion. —Tanja M. Laden

See John Malkovich…a Lot

Sandro Miller's photography project "Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters" broke the Internet when selected images from the series debuted late last year. The premise is simple: to re-create a suite of the best-known photographs in history, particularly those with personal resonance for the artist, starring the eccentric actor John Malkovich as their protagonists. The cognitive dissonance is enhanced by the work's impressive production value and attention to detail. But as magical and creepy and witty as the results are, nothing prepares you for the experience of being surrounded by them — especially if the man himself makes his rumored appearance. Fahey/Klein Gallery, 148 N. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park; Thu., Feb. 12, 7-9 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through March 21. (323) 934-2250, faheykleingallery.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Listen to the High Fidelity Author Read From His Latest Novel

Author Nick Hornby struck a chord with solipsistic young men with his mid-'90s novel High Fidelity, and went on to become one of the most popular English writers in America. Nearly 20 years later, Hornby is still going strong. He adapted the screenplay for the recent Reese Witherspoon vehicle Wild and his novel About a Boy is now a TV show. For this Vroman's-sponsored event, Hornby will be talking with journalist Carolyn Kellogg about his newest project, Funny Girl: A Novel, about a television starlet in 1960s London. All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena; Thu., Feb. 12, 7 p.m.; $29. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Sean J. O'Connell


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