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

A Dr. Seuss exhibit comes to Beverly Hills: See Friday.
A Dr. Seuss exhibit comes to Beverly Hills: See Friday.
Trademark & © 2014 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

fri 4/24

Named after the French translation of chiaroscuro (the shifting effect of light falling unevenly on an object), L.A.-based Clairobscur Dance Company has garnered attention and awards for artistic director Laurie Sefton's intricate choreography exploring multiple perspectives on tough topics such as bullying. This time out, her world-premiere Memory Lapse, with a score by Bryan Curt Kostors, considers shared memory as well as memory loss; the award-winning Obviam Somes looks at privacy versus security; and the local premiere of Werk Work riffs on the business world's hustle and bustle. Diavolo Performance Space, 616 Moulton Ave., downtown.; Fri.-Sat., April 24-25, 8 p.m.; $25, $20 students. (323) 225-4290, clairobscurdance.bpt.me. —Ann Haskins

In space no one can hear you scream. In the Egyptian everyone will be screaming with you. The Space Invaders: Sci-Fi in the Arcade Age series begins in Hollywood with back-to-back screenings of Alien and Aliens, as well as behind-the-scenes materials between the two movies and guests TBA. Among the best and most influential films of their kind, Ridley Scott and James Cameron's entries in the xenomorph saga provided a blueprint for countless sci-fi works to follow. Ellen Ripley's working-class heroism, the claustrophobic locales and H.R. Giger's singular creature design remain genre benchmarks all these decades later. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., April 24, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 461-2020, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Known simply as Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel was neither a doctor nor a conventional writer-illustrator. He had an inimitable style that extended beyond his oeuvre of more than 45 children's books and into his wardrobe, namely his impressive hat collection. In honor of the 75th anniversary of his sophomore publication, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, "Hats Off to Dr. Seuss!" features jaunty and dramatic selections from Dr. Seuss' never-before-seen hat collection. Also on display are items from his "secret art" collection, a series of works adapted from Geisel's prized original drawings, paintings and sculptures. EC Gallery, 229 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills; Fri., April 24, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; free, online RSVP encouraged. Exhibition continues Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; through Sun., May 10. (310) 278-7117, chaseart.com/hatsoff, ecgallery.com. —Tanja M. Laden

sat 4/25

After six years' work, artist-filmmaker Matthew Barney's River of Fundament is ready to be seen — or is it? Juxtaposing Norman Mailer's novel Ancient Evenings (a story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of death) with the rise and fall of the American car industry, Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler's shocking and chillingly beautiful (at least in its 18-minute YouTube segment) filmic spectacle melts down sculptural narrative, live performance and opera in a multifarious and often deliberately revolting experience that probes in unforgiving detail our prickly relationships with our bodies and our own sometimes strange creativity. Featuring performances by Paul Giamatti, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elaine Stritch and Salman Rushdie. Running time is six hours with two 30-minute intermissions. UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Sat., April 25, 5 p.m.; $39, UCLA students $15, UCLA faculty & staff $25; 18+ (contains explicit material). (310) 825-2101, cap.ucla.edu. —John Payne

Another weekend, another classic musical at Old Town Music Hall. This time around it's the 1953 version of The Desert Song, shot on three-strip Technicolor, starring Kathryn Grayson and Gordon MacRae. Director H. Bruce Humberstone's film was the third adaptation of Oscar Hammerstein Jr. and Sigmund Romberg's operetta about a professor in disguise assisting freedom fighters in Arabia. We'll leave it to you to decide whether the third time was indeed the charm, and you have two screenings to choose from. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Sat., April 25, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org. —Michael Nordine

Join America's most beloved brewmasters for unlimited pours and pong at Hops & Hopes Craft Beer Fest, as hundreds of top breweries take over the Coliseum. L.A.'s most epic beer festival also features a homebrew contest for the DIY crowd, and will include local favorites such as Angel's City, and non-Californian beers like Bell's, which hails from Ohio. Per the "Brew good, do good" mantra, the festivities will benefit autism research and promote sustainability and brewery employment for the disabled, a cause championed by beer historian Lance Rice, who inspired Hops & Hopes. The day's events also will be filmed for an upcoming documentary about Rice's cross-country brewery tour. Cheers! Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 3939 S. Figueroa St., Exposition Park; Sat., April 25, 11 a.m.; $49.95 general, $99 VIP. hopcourage.com. —Lucy Tiven

The Brewery Art Colony is home to hundreds of studios occupied by artists, designers, printmakers, performers, exhibition spaces and other art-world lifers. It claims to be the largest residential arts complex in the world — but whether that's true or not, it's absolutely the biggest one in L.A., something of an architectural icon and a beacon of local visual culture for decades. This weekend, the complex throws open its doors for the Brewery Art Walk and invites the public in to see how the bohemian half lives, with studio sales, special installations (including Debi Cable's 3-D gallery, also appearing at Artopia on April 30), book signings and random spontaneous happenings throughout. Brewery Art Colony, 2100 N. Main St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., April 25-26, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (323) 638-9382, breweryartwalk.com. 0x000A—Shana Nys Dambrot

Brewery Art Walk: See Saturday.
Brewery Art Walk: See Saturday.

sun 4/26

As part of UCLA's Celebration of Iranian Cinema, Shahram Mokri's Fish & Cat screens in the Billy Wilder Theater. About two serial killers/cannibals who've focused their attentions on a group of lakeside students, the 134-minute film was shot in a single black-and-white take by Mahmoud Kalari, who also served as cinematographer on the great A Separation. Mokri's attention-grabbing second feature played New Directors/New Films (in New York) and our own AFI Fest last year but left the festival circuit without stateside distribution — which is to say, this may be your last opportunity to see it on a big screen for the foreseeable future. Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., April 26, 7 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Watch LACMA's collection grow with "50 for 50: Gifts on the Occasion of LACMA's Anniversary." In celebration of Los Angeles County Museum of Art's golden jubilee, trustees Jane Nathanson and Lynda Resnick led a gift-giving effort that will bring in works from Lichtenstein, Warhol and more. These promised pieces, along with selections from the bequest of entertainment tycoon A. Jerrold Perenchio, including works by Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec, will be on exhibit through September. Members can check out the art as early as April 20, but the public opening is Sunday, April 26, which is also the Community Free Day at the museum. Tickets are free, but exhibition visits are limited to 30 minutes. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Sun., April 26, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Liz Ohanesian

The Craft & Folk Art Museum's annual Vintage Marketplace is a sort of best-kept secret among aficionados of handmade arts, design objects and fashions with a global-village flair. Proceeds support CAFAM's expansive and engaging exhibitions and public programs, and local, fair-trade, bicycle-powered ice cream by Peddler's Creamery feeds your sugar and shopping habits. Plus the exhibitions "Focus Iran: Contemporary Photography and Video" and the critically and popularly acclaimed "Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters" are both on view inside (through May 3) and well worth the visit in their own right. Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Sun., April 26, noon-5 p.m.; free. (323) 937-4230, cafam.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

mon 4/27

Journalist, documentary filmmaker and playwright Phelim McAleer and the company Theatre Verité Collective are putting up a four-day run of Ferguson, a crowdfunded play that's billing itself as a staged re-enactment of the Aug. 9, 2014, Darren Wilson shooting of Michael Brown. The script includes verbatim witness testimony, as told to the grand jury. Note: McAleer's documentaries tend to be on the conservative side, challenging liberal docs such as An Inconvenient Truth on climate change and Gasland on fracking. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.; Sun., April 26, 7 p.m.; Mon.-Wed, April 27-29, 8 p.m.; $65. (310) 477-2055, ext. 2, fergusontheplay.com. —Zachary Pincus-Roth

Before Spike Lee and Charles Burnett there was Spencer Williams, one of the first black independent filmmakers. Though most recognizable for his work as the latter half of Amos 'n' Andy, Williams also is hailed for his 1941 film, The Blood of Jesus, showing tonight at REDCAT. One of more than a dozen films Williams directed with all-black casts, it was shown in church basements and eventually thought to be lost until a number of prints were discovered in a Texas warehouse some 30 years ago. University of Chicago professor Jacqueline Stewart, an expert on African-American cinema in general and Williams in particular, will be present for a discussion. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., April 27, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

tue 4/28

Guillermo del Toro has always had an affinity for the bizarre and macabre; blockbuster budget notwithstanding, Pacific Rim was far from the Pan's Labyrinth director's first foray into genre territory. Any fans of the singular Mexican auteur who've yet to acquaint themselves with his early work would do well to visit the New Beverly for a double feature of Cronos and Mimic. The two films showcase del Toro's early days in Mexico and his Hollywood breakthrough, respectively, and show signs of the greatness to follow. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Tue., April 28, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

Gone are the days of airy French trifles at LACMA, dear readers. This week the coveted Tuesday Matinee slot goes to Repulsion, an early exercise in psychological thrills from Roman Polanski. Frequent collaborator Catherine Deneuve stars as a traumatized manicurist living in London with her sister; things quickly spiral downward as she relives past torments. Preceding both Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant, this is the first entry in Polanski's Apartment Trilogy, all of which are musts for fans of cerebral horror. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., April 28, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

wed 4/29

Actor-playwright-novelist Eric Bogosian visits SoCal's Armenian heartland, Glendale, with a Live Talks L.A. reading of his latest book, Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot That Avenged the Armenian Genocide. Bogosian lost family in the genocide, and in his first nonfiction work, he probes the assassination plot involving one of the massacre's masterminds, Talat Pasha. Pasha, the Turkish leader of the Ottoman Empire, was killed in Berlin in 1921 by Soghomon Tehlirian, who was part of a covert group of Armenian revolutionaries called Operation Nemesis. 0x000AHe was acquitted in Germany and later lived in San Francisco. Bogosian also is at Book Soup (April 27), Barnes & Noble at the Grove (April 28) and Glendale's Abril Bookstore (April 30). If you want to attend one event commemorating the centennial of the Armenian genocide, one of these readings is your best bet. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Wed., April 29, 8 p.m.; $23-$95. (310) 659-3100, livetalksla.org—Siran Babayan

Mud Baron's #FlowersOnYourHead project, coming to Artopia
Mud Baron's #FlowersOnYourHead project, coming to Artopia

thu 4/30

Artopia is L.A. Weekly's own celebration of cutting-edge L.A. visual and performance artists. The event features Victor Wilde and the Bohemian Society's live body-painting performance. Mud Baron, an artist, teacher and farmer, will bring his photography project #Flowersonyourhead, in which he gets strangers to pose for photos with, yes, flowers on their heads. You can also experience live painting from graffiti artist Mikael B., performance art from Amy Kaps and Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, beats from KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole and creations from many other participants. Not to mention beer, wine, cocktails by mixologists François Vera of Pour Vous and Ben Scott of Harlowe, the Grilled Cheese Truck, Kogi and Border Grill truck. The Artisan Village will include vendors selling handcrafted art and gifts. The Container Yard, 800 E. Fourth St., downtown; Thu., April 30, 8-11 p.m.; $30-$35, includes drinks; 21 and over only. (877) 987-6487, laweekly.com/artopia.

The 10th edition of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival begins at the Saban Theatre with the L.A. premiere of The Outrageous Sophie Tucker. William Gazecki's documentary on the once-famous, now-overlooked performer examines the life of the "Last of the Red Hot Mamas," who had an enormously successful career on Broadway, in Hollywood and elsewhere for several decades. Producers Sue and Lloyd Ecker will be on hand to discuss the film, and their accompanying book. More than 20 films comprise the festival's program, which runs through May 10 across the city at venues including several temples, four Laemmle theaters and the ArcLight Sherman Oaks. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thu., April 30, 7 p.m.; $40. (323) 655-0111, lajfilmfest.org. —Michael Nordine

Art Share L.A.'s recurring word night, The Best Poetry Hour, gets a little red carpet this month, welcoming featured poets Amber Tamblyn and Derrick Brown. Tamblyn is best known as a brilliant comedic actress from Joan of Arcadia, but before that — aka for her entire life — she's been a damn serious poet. The author of several acclaimed books and a hypnotic spoken-word artist, Tamblyn is on a mini book tour in support of Dark Sparkler, her most personal and unsettling work to date. It's about dead actresses, and David Lynch and Marilyn Manson made art for it. Brown is not only Tamblyn's frequent stage partner (as is Beau Sia, who is part of tonight's opening set) but also a prolific publisher, world-class poetry slammer and engaged social critic who isn't afraid to get real, fast. Art Share L.A., 804 E. Fourth Place, downtown; Thu., April 30, 8 p.m.; $8. (213) 687-4278, artsharela.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

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