I Am Better Than Picaso (2015), an archival ink on acid-free paper by Dapper Bruce Lafitte, who is represented by M+B gallery. Lafitte's work is featured in Art Los Angeles Contemporary, running Jan. 25-28.EXPAND
I Am Better Than Picaso (2015), an archival ink on acid-free paper by Dapper Bruce Lafitte, who is represented by M+B gallery. Lafitte's work is featured in Art Los Angeles Contemporary, running Jan. 25-28.
Image courtesy of M+B and Art Los Angeles Contemporary

17 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week

One big contemporary art show continues in Santa Monica, another one pops up at The Kinney in Venice, Night on Broadway fills downtown, the L.A. County Museum of Art hosts The Music of East L.A., and the Original Farmers Market and the Grove celebrate the Year of the Dog, albeit a tad early (the lunar new year is Feb. 16). Here are 17 fun and engaging things to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 1/26


A Global Perspective

The ninth edition of Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) offers an eclectic, wide-ranging perspective on the galleries and artists that help define L.A. as a capital of the contemporary art world. More than 65 galleries are participating this year, including exhibitors from Latin America, Asia and Europe. And 33 of them hail from the City of Angels. Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; Thu., Jan. 25, 7-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 26-27, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 28, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $25. (323) 851-7530, artlosangelesfair.com. —Richard Chang


Start It Up

Who needs a gallery? stARTup Art Fair jettisons the middleman by inviting contemporary artists to display and sell their own work during a three-day festival that transforms Venice's Kinney hotel into a warren of artist-run exhibition spaces. Adapting to the mobile age — in which many artists are engaging and selling directly to their social media followers — organizers offer sanctioned space for 50-plus artists to continue that practice en vivo, all overseen by a prestigious council of artists and, well, esteemed middlemen. The event includes conversations on public art, side hustles and the current "future is female" moment; food and wine; installations; and performances. Bonus: The Saturday party for L.A. photographer Parker Day features a meta-exhibition of her work inside a suite remodeled in the image of her "ICONS" series. The Kinney, 737 W. Washington Blvd., Venice; Fri., Jan. 26, 2-10 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 27, noon-9 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 28, noon-7 p.m.; $15 advance, $20 door; students/seniors $10/$15; three-day pass: $30/$40; VIP $100. startupartfair.com/la/visitors/. —Beige Luciano-Adams


Chuck Wagons: The First Food Trucks

Today’s food trucks, with their Korean barbecue tacos, gourmet burgers and vegetarian and vegan options, have come a long way since the humble lunch trucks selling wrapped sandwiches. The Autry Museum’s Chuck Wagons: The First Food Trucks looks at the mobile restaurant as a tradition dating back to 1866, when Charles Goodnight carried food in his wagon to feed cowboys working cattle drives in Texas. As part of the museum’s Flavors series, this program features presentations by chefs and food experts and, of course, tasting stations serving both classic and modern chuck wagon-inspired food, including sourdough biscuits, jalapeno cornbread, slow-roasted pork belly and peach rice pudding. Autry Museum, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Fri., Jan. 26, 7 p.m.; $65, reservations suggested. (323) 667-2000, theautry.org. —Siran Babayan


My Country 'Tis of Thee

It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art is a collection of short fiction by 30 famous authors — each of whom donated his or her proceeds to the ACLU — including Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Cunningham, Neil Gaiman, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Theroux and Alice Walker. Their works address immigration, racism, women's rights and civil liberties, which are all being questioned under Trump's presidency. The pieces are accompanied by original art, from paintings and charcoal drawings to photographs and cartoon strips, including Eric Orner's hilarious "The Ugliest American Alphabet." Tonight's discussion features editor Jonathan Santlofer, contributing artist Mimi Pond and Viet Thanh Nguyen, who wrote the book's foreword and was winner of 2016's Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his debut novel, The Sympathizer. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Siran Babayan


Move With a Purpose

In the wake of the outcry over the latest racist rants from the White House, 10 top companies arrive here for the 30th annual meeting of the International Association of Blacks in Dance. Unlike most conferences, when the daytime sessions end, these participants take the stage to perform. The scheduled performers read like a who's who of African-American dance companies, including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Kyle Abraham and Philadanco, plus L.A. host company Lula Washington Dance Theater. A series of late-night showings during the conference at the Sheraton Gateway LAX, which hosts the conference, culminates in three concerts with 10 IABD founding companies on Saturday, Jan. 27, and other member companies on Friday, Jan. 26. This is L.A.'s fourth time hosting the annual conference, and each time it has proven an unparalleled opportunity for dance fans to enjoy well-known troupes and discover high-powered dance companies that seldom tour here. For details, check out lulawashington.org. Marsee Auditorium, El Camino College, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance; Thu.-Sat., Jan. 25-27, 7:30 p.m.; $15-$35. elcaminotickets.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event.asp?id=556&cid=45. —Ann Haskins

sat 1/27


Born in East L.A.

Proper appreciation of art sometimes takes decades to attain. That's why LACMA's The Music of East L.A. — an art and music happening with Hawthorne's very own other favorite son (besides Brian Wilson), Chicano singer Chris "Let's Dance" Montez, alongside documentarian and DJ Melissa "Lil Smiley" Dueñas — is so crucial in the here and now. Dueñas will play records from East Side Story, her Kickstarted 12-volume compilation of obscure East L.A. pop songs that hearken back to both lifestyles and lifetimes that seem worlds away by now. She'll also screen a preview of her documentary, East Side Story Project. A discussion of '70s and '80s music follows with Dueñas, Montez and musician Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, moderated by artist Vincent Ramos. And Montez will perform with his band. Bing Theater, L.A. County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sat., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.; $15 general, $12 seniors, $10 students. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org/event/music-east-la. —David Cotner


Number 9, Number 9, Number 9 ...

"Revolution 9" from The Beatles' White Album often gets cited as The Fab Four's most disliked song. It's doubtful their experiment in musique concrete gets covered in Beatlemania touring companies, but the modern contemporary classical ensemble Alarm Will Sound perform it live in their historical hypothetical 1969, based on a planned meeting between John Lennon and avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen that never took place. The band also performs Stockhausen's anti-anthem Hymnen and other music onstage, all conducted by Alan Pierson. Actors play the protagonists and blend with video and photographs and create a fascinating collage of the era that proves you didn't have to live through the '60s to remember it. Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Sat., Jan. 27, 8 p.m.; $29-$59. (310) 825-2101, cap.ucla.edu. —Michael Simmons


Lenny's Merry Opus

This year marks the centennial of Leonard Bernstein's birth, and L.A. Opera is among the numerous companies worldwide celebrating the work of the prolific composer. At tonight's opening of Candide, actor Kelsey Grammer (in two roles, as both Voltaire and Pangloss) and singer-actor Christine Ebersole (as Old Lady) provide the theatrical glitz in director Francesca Zambello's staging of Bernstein's merry opus, which splits the difference between operatic tradition and Broadway showiness. Based on Voltaire's satirical novel, Bernstein's adaptation of Candide is infused with memorable tunes ("Glitter and Be Gay," "I Am Easily Assimilated") and a plethora of sly lyrical bon mots supplied by a tag-team army of stellar librettists, including Lillian Hellman, Richard Wilbur, Dorothy Parker, Stephen Sondheim and Bernstein. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Jan. 27 & Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Feb. 8 & 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 11 & 18, 2 p.m.; $29-$299. (213) 972-0777, laopera.com. —Falling James


Queer and Proud

A surprisingly fabulous spawn of L.A. Councilmember José Huizar's 10-year plan to restore glory to downtown's crumbling historic Theater District, Night on Broadway is now a legit arts and music festival that bills headliners such as the B-52s and La Santa Cecilia — as well as a mosaic of smaller performances staged throughout the ghostly temples of the city's golden age. Suggestion: Head straight for the glitter at DTLA Proud's Block Party, where drag queens, dance music, art installations, "fierce swag" from queer-friendly vendors, a beer garden and photo booth all await. Local/global parties (Puteria, Daddy Issues) and Rasputin's Marionettes also are on the bill. Proud DTLA produces its own "all-inclusive" festival in August, celebrating Downtown's diverse LGBTQ+ community. This should hold you over until then. In front of Precinct, 357 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Jan. 27, 3 p.m.-mid.; free. instagram.com/dtlaproud or nightonbroadway.la. —Beige Luciano-Adams

sun 1/28


Year of the Dog

The Original Farmers Market and the Grove welcome the lunar new year with a Year of the Dog event, featuring performances, craft activities, cooking demonstrations, red envelope giveaways, social media contests, decor installations and activities just for dogs. The Farmers Market's own Dog Bakery will unveil a custom-made, life-size Year of the Dog cake, and all pooches are welcome to enjoy a slice. Those looking to add a new pet to the family can stop by the Michelson Found Animals and Wags & Walks dog adoptions near the Clock Tower. Lion and dragon dances, traditional Beijing opera, martial arts and K-pop dance performances also are scheduled, emceed by Aaron Yang. The actual lunar, or Chinese, new year is Feb. 16. Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. Third St., and the Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Fairfax; Sun., Jan. 28, noon-5 p.m.; free. farmersmarketla.com or thegrovela.com. —Richard Chang


A Homegrown Affair

Nearly 10 years in, the Leimert Park Art Walk is a rare community-driven engine both expanding contemporary artistry and preserving a historic African-American cultural center in the age of gentrification. "We felt if we have a live and thriving community, it could make it into the next step of paying for itself," says organizer, Renaissance man and KAOS Network head Ben Caldwell, who advocates creating micro-businesses around crowds drawn to Leimert Park's dense arts community. This Sunday is a tribute to a "father of sustainability, green and growth," George Washington Carver. Expect art for sale, food, youth activities, DJs, an all-day open mic where seasoned performers sharpen their skills — and a comedy/variety show after sundown. Pro female percussionists initiate at noon, but thereafter the drum circle welcomes all who feel its polyrhythmic pull. Graffiti artist EnkOne features works for sale. Leimert Park Plaza, 3333 43rd Place, Leimert Park; Sun. Jan. 28, 1-8 p.m.; free. facebook.com/events/1636518719747624/. —Beige Luciano-Adams


An Old L.A. Landmark

When it opened in 1929, Bullocks Wilshire was one of the first examples of an art deco building in America. Built by John and Donald Parkinson, who also designed City Hall, Union Station and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the luxury department store was famous for its 241-foot, patinated green tower, tea room and celebrity customers. It closed in 1993 and was later purchased by the Southwestern Law School, which preserved the architectural integrity of the property, even opening its doors to the public for tours one weekend every summer. Co-hosted by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and the American Cinematheque, today's Bullocks Wilshire History Presentation looks at the origins of the structure with a talk featuring Margaret Leslie Davis, author of the 1999 book Bullocks Wilshire, and fine art and fashion illustrator Gregory Weir-Quiton. That will be followed by a screening of George Cukor's 1939, all-female dramedy The Women, the original chick flick, starring Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine and Paulette Goddard. Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Sun., Jan. 28, 2 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Siran Babayan

mon 1/29


Get Down With the Real Crews

If you're going to brave Hollywood and an actual nightclub on a Monday, do it for the Carnival Choreographers Ball. This selective monthly showcase attracts the best hip-hop and industry dance crews and choreographers for one mind-blowing night at the Avalon. You'll see talent that make Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and J.Lo look good, plus low-key genius freestylers breaking it down. Expect the latest music, from Cardi B to Afrobeats. This Monday Carnival celebrates its 19th anniversary with choreographer Tricia Miranda atop the bill. If you have a soul, Miranda's musicality will make you weak in the knees. L.A. favorites Wildabeast Adams, Janelle Ginestra and Matt Stefanina also will showcase their work. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. and usually winds down around 2 a.m. So pace yourself, and keep an eye out for your IG dance crush. Avalon, 1735 N. Vine St., Hollywood; Mon., Jan. 29, doors open at 9 p.m.; $25; 18-plus. (323) 462-8900, choreographerscarnival.com. —Beige Luciano-Adams

tue 1/30


His People Suffered

It's a tormented path in more ways than one, growing up Mormon and gay, getting cancer and then converting to Judaism. But tonight's Latter Day Jew Live encapsulates these struggles — and all the triumphs that implies — with comedian H. Alan Scott. As if he didn't have enough trouble in his life, he had to prepare himself to be bar mitzvahed at the ripe old age of 35. Hear Scott's stories and reflect upon your own battles with existential uncertainty as you experience one of the finer moments of perspective at any comedy club this year. NerdMelt, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Jan. 30, 7:45 p.m.; free. (323) 851-7223, holdmyticket.com/event/304171. —David Cotner


LACO Does Mozart

L.A. Chamber Orchestra marks its 50th season this year since forming in 1968. The ensemble is in a state of flux following the retirement last year of longtime music director Jeffrey Kahane; his replacement hasn't yet been named, but visiting Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard will lead LACO through the stirring passages of W.A. Mozart's Symphony No. 41 (the so-called "Jupiter" symphony) and his own orchestrations of pieces by Johannes Brahms. Even better, 93-year-old Israeli-American pianist Menaham Pressler — a native of Germany who escaped the Holocaust with part of his immediate family and went on to flourish as a performer in postwar Palestine and the United States — dials up the candied melodies of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 with diplomatic restraint. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Tue., Jan. 30, 8 p.m.; $27 & up. (818) 243-2539. Also at Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Wed., Jan. 31, 8 p.m. (310) 825-4401, laco.org. —Falling James

wed 1/31


Rebel With a Curse

One thing rarely pointed out about the whole "sensitive man" phenomenon in Hollywood during the '70s and '80s is that the actors who were those sensitive men usually had a metric shitload of trauma left over from various terrible upbringings. To wit: Nick Nolte discusses Rebel: My Life Outside the Lines ($29, William Morrow). Oscar nominations, romances and divorces, scandal and addiction — they're all here, and Nolte talks about them in a tone that is measured yet passionate, reflective yet passionate, philosophical yet passionate (he's a passionate guy) in this, one of the last great actor memoirs. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Wed., Jan. 31, 8 p.m.; $29 & $38 (includes book). (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com/event/book-soup-skirball-presents-actor-nick-nolte-discussing-and-signing-his-memoir-rebel-my-life. —David Cotner

thu 2/1


Through a Latinx Lens

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Junot Díaz will give a lecture that ties into "Adelante! Latinx Activism in California," a spring 2018 campuswide series of events exploring key moments in regional history and important issues affecting the Latino community. A MacArthur fellow, Díaz won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Díaz will stick around to sign books after his talk. University Theatre, Cal State Dominguez Hills, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson; Thu., Feb. 1, 5:30-8 p.m.; free, tickets required. (310) 243-3322, csudh.edu. —Richard Chang


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