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

Labyrinth Masquerade Ball: See Friday.
Labyrinth Masquerade Ball: See Friday.
Photo by Brian Erzen

fri 8/14

From The Muppets to Mickey Mouse, the D23 Expo is the one place where all the various holdings of the Walt Disney Company can be experienced in what's billed as the largest Disney fan event in the world. Among others, you'll see eternally sunny archivist Charles Phoenix's old-time Disneyland slide show, a conversation about the emotional range depicted in Inside Out, a sneak preview of coming Pixar films hosted by John Lasseter, a retrospective of 60 years' worth of Disneyland Jungle Cruises and the Technicolor wonder of assorted Silly Symphony short cartoons. Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim; Fri., Aug. 14-Sun., Aug. 16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; $54-$216 (online presales only). (714) 765-8950, d23.com. —David Cotner

Long considered lost, Frank Borzage's After Tomorrow was eventually returned to the land of the living after an archivist at Fox happened upon the sole remaining nitrate print in one of the studio's mysterious vaults. It was handed over to UCLA for preservation and, along with Song O' My Heart, is screening tonight as part of its Borzage retrospective. Made during (and largely about) the Depression, After Tomorrow concerns an engaged couple trying desperately to save enough money to tie the knot and start a new life. In the second half of the double bill, an Irish singer who retired after heartbreak finds his voice again. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Aug. 14, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Unleash your inner faerie or goblin this weekend at Labyrinth Masquerade Ball XVIII. More gala than simple costume party, the annual event is done in the tradition of grand masquerades. In other words, formal attire with a mask is a must if you aren't planning to wear your most fantastic costume. This year, the party has moved to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, where you can expect that the crew will transform every corner of the spectacular downtown venue into a playground for adults who still love fantasy. In addition to musical guests such as The Band That Fell to Earth and Bad Wolf, look for puppets and dancers and other assorted performers throughout the weekend. Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 14-Sat., Aug. 15, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.; $49 (Friday), $62 (Saturday). (213) 624-1011, labyrinthmasquerade.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Upcoming Events

sat 8/15

Whether you look Dali-esque or ZZ Top–ian, the L.A. Facial Hair Society's third annual Beard & Moustache Competition invites guys who never met a razor they liked and are proud of it. Russ Meyer actress Kitten Natividad, National Facial Hair Champion Steve Scarpa and other judges will evaluate men sporting all kinds of facial hair topiary in more than a dozen categories, including mustache, beard, goatee and best in show, as well as rounds for kids and women who make creative use of fake hair. The organizers also are holding a charity raffle for Dawg Squad animal rescue, which benefits hairy beings of the four-legged kind. The Avalon, 1735 Vine St., Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 15, 3 p.m.; $15, $10 kids, $25 competitors; lafacialhair.com. —Siran Babayan

Los Angeles Filmforum's Mush! to the Movies series comes to a close with Eskimo and Northern Lights Over Mount Halde. Still never released on DVD, Eskimo can lay claim to many firsts: W.S. Van Dyke's melodrama was the first feature narrative shot in Alaska and the first in the Inupiat language, and it was the recipient of the inaugural Academy Award for film editing. Northern Lights, an eight-minute short made in Norway two years ago about the ever-alluring aurora borealis, will be shown in 3-D. (Note: This screening will be held at the Velaslavasay Panorama.) Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 W. 24th St., University Park; Sat., Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org.

Sure, double features are cool and all, but what about triple features? The Aero endeavors to do just that tonight, first presenting an early screening of Bernard Rose's upcoming Frankenstein adaptation before delving into his back catalog with Candyman and Paperhouse. Mary Shelley's woeful tale gets moved to the present with Danny Huston and Carrie-Anne Moss as Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein in Rose's new take on an old classic, which won't be seen in theaters again until January. Rose's earlier efforts, meanwhile, remain distinct among the horror movies of their day (that is, the late '80s and early '90s) for a cerebral moodiness sorely lacking among the slasher flicks that dominated the era. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Sure, triple features are cool and all, but what about triple features under the stars? Cinespia's fifth annual Movies All Night includes a photo booth, DJs, free snacks and even a few movies sure to rile up any '90s kids: Can't Hardly Wait, Scream and Cruel Intentions. The festivities begin at 7:15 p.m. and last until 4 a.m., so bring a blanket and pillow. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 15, 7:15 gates, 9 p.m. movies; $14. (323) 221-3343, cinespia.org. —Michael Nordine

Brandon Biggins
Brandon Biggins
Photo by Jeffrey Moustache

sun 8/16

On the eve of what would have been Charles Bukowski's 95th birthday, his adoptive city of San Pedro presents Bukowski: The Laughing Heart, a brief paean to the man and all his works in various venues in San Pedro that are but a sunny stumble from the Warner Grand, at which will screen the 2005 film Factotum. Also on the schedule: L.A. poet laureate Luis J. Rodríguez and others read Bukowski, a panel with special guests connected to Bukowski's life and, of course, booze enough to keep your own heart laughing throughout. The Grand Annex, 434 W. Sixth St., San Pedro; Sun., Aug. 16, 3 p.m.; $15, $30 special passes. (310) 447-5011, spiffest.org. —David Cotner

The teen-movie nostalgia tour doesn't end there, as the Crest goes back even further in time with The Breakfast Club to close out the weekend. Reacquaint yourself with the brain, athlete, basket case, princess and criminal as they impart life lessons upon one another during the course of one very fateful day in detention. The strikingly beautiful theater located a stone's throw from UCLA is paying tribute to John Hughes all month, so this won't be your only chance to recall Molly Ringwald's heyday. The Crest, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Aug. 16, 5 p.m.; $12. (310) 470-1508, crestwestwood.com—Michael Nordine

Also from the '80s but much less cathartic is the Egyptian's double feature of Chopping Mall and Night of the Comet. Part of the Night of the Living '80s: A New Wave of Horror series, the double feature will include a discussion featuring cast and crew between films. Night of the Comet is perhaps the finest apocalyptic horror comedy set in the Valley, a much stranger and more rewarding movie than its component parts might suggest. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

Having studied with dance visionaries William Forsythe and Alonzo King, choreographer Kenneth Walker approaches contemporary ballet with an open mind on movement, music and footwear. When his Kenneth Walker Dance Project takes the stage, sometimes there are pointe shoes, sometimes not, but the dancers always arrive taking risks without leaving the audience behind. For this celebratory 10th-anniversary concert, KWDP unveils two new works, one with a Latin theme and the other with an Irish flair. The program also reprises several audience favorites from the repertoire, including a sly take on the Mad Men–era housewife. Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theatre, Cal State Long Beach, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach; Sun., Aug. 16, 2:30 p.m.; $6-$19. kwdanceproject.brownpapertickets.com. —Ann Haskins

Night of the Comet
Night of the Comet

mon 8/17

In his new book, Word Nerd: Dispatches From the Games, Grammar and Geek Underground, John D. Williams Jr. spells out the 25 years he spent as executive director of the National Scrabble Association, which included overseeing more than 200 national Scrabble clubs and nearly 300 tournaments. Williams chronicles the board game's invention in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts, and the beginning of his career as a freelance writer for Scrabble News. He looks back on some top-scoring games, run-ins with overzealous players and dealings with celebrity fans including Martha Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel and Jack Black. Williams also lists an appendix of the banned words from the official Scrabble players' dictionary, including "bazooms," "jism," "stiffie" and "willie." Vroman's, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Mon., Aug. 17, 7 p.m.; free, book is $25.95. (626) 449-5320,  vromansbookstore.com —Siran Babayan

Now that Jon Stewart has officially left the building, you can ease your post-departure blues by seeing Lizz Winstead. Before Stewart made The Daily Show a political and pop culture touchstone, Winstead was the show's co-creator and head writer until 1998. She started her pre-TV career as a stand-up comic in Minneapolis, which she chronicled in her 2012 book of "messays," Lizz Free or Die. Winstead is also co-founder of Air America Radio, and helps run Lady Parts Justice, an organization that uses comedy to fight for women's reproductive rights. Winstead's Bang the Dumb Slowly show is her first headlining gig in L.A. in three years, and she'll no doubt be giving her two cents on next year's election and The Daily Show's future. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Mon., Aug. 17, 8:30 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —Siran Babayan

tue 8/18

Far be it from the genre mavens at the New Beverly to forget about the dearly departed Christopher Lee. The Oblong Box and The Return of Captain Invincible are the latest in their tribute to the late actor, whose work in low-rent fare predates his Lord of the Rings and Star Wars work by many decades. Lee shares the screen with Vincent Price in Oblong and Alan Arkin in Invincible, so you'll be in good company all evening long. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Tue., Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

California reduced its water use by 27 percent in June. Isn't that nice? What more can we do besides levy fines and guilt? Can We Engineer Our Way Out of the Drought? is the question asked at this evening's Zócalo salon, which tackles multiple proposed solutions to the crisis, from desalination and rainwater capture to William Shatner's notion of a water pipeline to Seattle. Clearly, we're desperate — and desperate times call for desperate measurers, including Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority general manager Celeste Cantú; Water Planet CEO Eric M.V. Hoek; Trussell Technologies chairman R. Rhodes Trussell; and Madelyn Glickfeld, assistant director of UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, downtown; Tue., Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.; free. (424) 229-9487, zocalopublicsquare.org.—David Cotner

Grab your science fiction–loving friends and a picnic basket, because tonight the Hollywood Bowl is the place to nerd out over monoliths and computers with feelings. The Bowl's Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey brings in Los Angeles Philharmonic to amp up every bit of musical drama in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film. Feel the anticipation as you wait for Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra to kick the film into motion. Waltz in an aisle as Blue Danube guides you through space. Don't forget to take in every gorgeous design element. You know you've been wanting those pink space station chairs for your living room. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tue., Aug. 18, 8 p.m.; $15.25 and up. (323) 850-2000, 0x000Ahollywoodbowl.com. —Liz Ohanesian

wed 8/19

In May, Phillip Washington was appointed CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Originally from Chicago, Washington served in the U.S. Army for 24 years and later become CEO of Denver's Regional Transportation District. As head of L.A.'s $36 billion transportation infrastructure program, Washington will oversee various construction projects, including five new rail lines, the widening of the 5 freeway and a bike-share program. Co-presented by Zócalo Public Square and Metro, NBC4 reporter Conan Nolan moderates a discussion with Washington: What Is the Future of L.A.'s Transit? El Pueblo de Los Angeles, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, downtown; Wed., Aug. 19, 7 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 628-1274, zocalopublicsquare.org. —Siran Babayan

thu 8/20

Author and L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik presents his latest opus, Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention That Launched the Military-Industrial Complex. It's the story of scientist Lawrence and how his Nobel Prize–winning invention, the cyclotron, changed the nature and momentum of scientific research. Ever since the resultant atomic bombs led to science becoming shackled to industry and government, the world continues to labor over the tensions of that singular change. Chevalier's Books, 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., Windsor Square; Thu., Aug. 20, 7 p.m.; free, book is $30. (323) 465-1334, chevaliersbooks.com. —David Cotner

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