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

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Rocky Horror Picture Show

fri 10/30

The annual pop culture convention Stan Lee's Comikaze is a costume lover's paradise — you can come dressed for Halloween or check out the exhibit hall to find those last-minute odds and ends to complete your look. On Friday, hit up a cosplay panel for costuming tips, check out the latest in pop culture clothing with the Le Geek So Chic Fashion Show and catch comic book master Stan Lee onstage. On Saturday, enter your kids in the costume contest or check out the Cosplay National Championship. Look out for big guest appearances during the three-day show, including Carrie Fisher, who is set to appear on Saturday, plus comic book creator Grant Morrison, burlesque star Dita Von Teese, actors Summer Glau, Greg Grunberg and James Hong, and RuPaul's Drag Race judge Michelle Visage. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Fri., Oct. 30, 1-7 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 31, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $30-$75. (213) 741-1151, comikazeexpo.com. —Liz Ohanesian

As your non–Halloween-related options are essentially nil this weekend, the more horror-averse among ye might consider taking the comedic route with Ghostbusters. The all-female version will soon be upon us, which means this may be your last opportunity to see the original on the silver screen before getting irrationally angry at the fat cats in Hollywood for daring to alter another childhood favorite. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

As for those explicitly Halloween-themed events, the New Beverly is going hard with its eighth annual All-Night Horror Show. The precise identities of the six movies that comprise the program are a closely held secret that shan't be revealed until each one starts, but we have it on good authority (read: the theater's website) that they're of the utmost rarity. Also on the 12-hour program: a variety of trailers, cartoons and shorts to be played between the half-dozen features. We advise you not to wait until the night of to buy tickets, as they're expected to sell out in advance. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $20. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com—Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

sat 10/31

Get your creepy thrill on under the stars — or are those demons' eyes? — at the Hollywood Bowl screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas accompanied by a live musical performance. Composer Danny Elfman will sing the role of Jack Skellington, with conductor John Mauceri leading an orchestra, a full choir and loads of promised special guests. Enhance your 360-degree-pumpkinhead-spinning buzz by dressing in garishly ghoulish gear (a costume contest is promised). Or, for vintage-fright freaks, there's a screening of the 1920 silent classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Disney Hall, featuring Clark Wilson on the venue's big, scary pipe organ. The Nightmare Before Christmas at Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 31, 8:15 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m.; $29.50-$255. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. Halloween Organ With Film at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Oct. 31, 8 p.m.; $38-$68.50. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —John Payne

Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick has long been considered one of the greatest American literary achievements, and now composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer's musical adaptation is becoming part of the operatic canon. The English-language opera, which premiered in Dallas in 2010, comes to town for the first time, as L.A. Opera presents Leonard Foglia's visually dramatic presentation. Tenor Jay Hunter Morris, who previously performed the work with San Francisco Opera, State Opera of South Australia and San Diego Opera, reprises his role as Captain Ahab, the obsessed seaman looking for revenge against a mythical white whale. Joshua Guerrero plays Greenhorn, and Morgan Smith is Starbuck, in a production that evokes the grandeur of tall whaling ships and the open sea through a blend of sets by Robert Brill and projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, as well as Heggie's lush, romantic score. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.; runs through Sat., Nov. 28; $17-$290. (213) 972-8001, laopera.org. —Falling James

Summoning sweet transvestites from transsexual Transylvania: Prepare the transit beam to a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a screamtastically super setting in which to join Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Janet, Brad, Riff Raff and freaky friends doing the time warp again. Fans can picnic while enjoying a DJ set and explore a "Halloween circus" tent with contortionists, jugglers, magicians and more, as well as a photo booth with a custom-built Rocky Horror–themed set. A costume is required to enter the screening — you know the drill. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 31, 7 p.m.; $25, under 17 admitted only with parent or guardian. (877) 987-6487, cinespia.org. —John Payne

The holiday to which almost every repertory theater in town has tied an entire month of programming arrives at last, and what have we to show for it? UCLA's 35mm presentation of The Bat Whispers is a genuine treat. An understated chiller from 1930, this avowed influence on Batman makes inventive use of miniature sets and curious set designs; its protagonist, a masked killer called the Bat, is just as memorable. The feature will be preceded by a seven-minute interview with Bela Lugosi, also on 35mm, filmed at his home in Los Angeles. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

Or, for a more canonical experience, there's always The Shining. Few upper-echelon horror movies have earned their reputation quite like Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's novel, not that the author himself would agree. The Overlook Hotel is like a living, breathing organism that gets into your head and doesn't let go. Pay special mind to Shelley Duvall's underrated performance and ask yourself why one of the greatest actresses of her generation hasn't graced us with her presence in so many years. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

The Bat Whispers
The Bat Whispers

sun 11/1

The second screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas at Hollywood Bowl (accompanied by a live musical performance, with composer Danny Elfman singing the role of Jack Skellington and conductor John Mauceri leading an orchestra). See Sat., 10/31. The Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Sun., Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m.; $29.50-$255. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com

It begins with a feckless aristocrat's seduction of a lovely village maid, with tragic results, but Giselle's second act is devoted to vengeful undead females dancing male victims to death. Capturing the dualities of 19th-century romanticism, the ballet remains one of the oldest continually performed and deservedly popular ballets. Just in time for Halloween, Giselle launches Los Angeles Ballet's 10th season. No longer a scrappy startup, LAB confirms it has come of age, with Giselle just the opener of four challenging full-length romantic ballets set for its 2015-16 season. After the holidays and LAB's popular Nutcracker, artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary offer up a new production of Don Quixote and close with Frederick Ashton's Romeo and Juliet. UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Sun., Nov. 1, 2 p.m.; $31-$99. (310) 998-7782, losangeles0x200Bballet.org. —Ann Haskins

sun 11/1

A product of Spanish colonial influence on an ancient Aztec festival honoring the goddess of the underworld, Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico every Nov. 1 and 2 by visiting the graves of loved ones and making ofrendas (offerings), calaveras (skulls, usually of sugar) and pan de muerto (sweet bread). In Boyle Heights, Self Help Graphics & Art presents its 42nd Día de los Muertos festival, complete with performances by Brenton Wood and Barrio Stomp and dozens of food and arts vendors. SHG has collaborated with downtown's Grand Park to create a community altar, which stands alongside sculptures and installations exploring both the history of the holiday and current issues from gang violence to immigration reform. If you want to get a little closer to the dead, head to Santa Monica's Woodlawn Cemetery for a traditional celebration that includes a tour of the graves of famous Angelenos. The only museum in the world dedicated to contemporary Latin American art, Long Beach's MoLAA, presents a family celebration that features an altar exhibition as well as the opportunity to create your own crafts. Die-hard Día de los Muertos fans can watch Olvera Street's Novenario processions every night through Nov. 2, and Grupo Folklórico de UCLA keeps the party going until next week, with an annual performance showcasing dance styles from multiple regions of Mexico. Mendez Learning Center, 1200 Plaza del Sol E., Boyle Heights; Sun., Nov. 1, 4-10 p.m. (323) 881-6444, selfhelp0x200Bgraphics.com. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; through Mon., Nov. 2, all day (20-minute weekday lunchtime tours). (213) 972-8080, grandparkla.org. Woodlawn Cemetery, 1847 14th St., Santa Monica; Sun., Nov. 1, 1-4 p.m. (310) 458-8688, smgov.net. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Sun., Nov. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (562) 437-1689, molaa.org. El Pueblo Historical Monument, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, downtown; through Nov. 3, 7 p.m. (213) 625-7074, olvera-street.com. UCLA, Ackerman Union Grand Ballroom, Westwood; Sun., Nov. 8, 5:30-11 p.m. (562) 965-9476, happenings.ucla.edu. All events are free. —Sascha Bos

mon 11/2

Horror-film haters, your monthlong nightmare is over. Rick Bahto and Alee Peoples will appear at REDCAT for Small-Gauge L.A., a celebration of the filmmakers' work, with a particular focus on their 8mm and 16mm projects. Originally hailing from San Francisco and Oklahoma City, respectively, Bahto and Peoples are highly regarded members of our city's creative community. The program includes Bahto's Accretions, which makes use of multiple slide projectors, and the L.A. premiere of Peoples' Non-Stop Beautiful Ladies. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Nov. 2, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Michael Nordine

tue 11/3

Ever wonder why the Coen brothers named their Odyssean comedy O Brother, Where Art Thou? Watch Sullivan's Travels on 35mm at LACMA and find out. (Or look it up online. Either way is cool, but this method's way more rewarding.) "They don't make them like they used to" is an overused, rarely accurate and often silly complaint when it comes to the movies, but in the case of Preston Sturges it's all too true — Hollywood comedies have rarely risen to his level in the half-century since his death. In this classic, a director of comedies longs to make a more serious contribution to the world and goes to great lengths in order to do so. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Nov. 3, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

Artist-actress-author-comedian Charlyne Yi, known for her quirky and memorable supporting roles in Knocked Up and House, launches her new book, Oh the Moon. The collection of short stories is about characters wrestling with their varying levels of individuality, from giant babies to women who are only legs and a head. These tales of turmoil unfold alongside Yi's drawings. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $16.99. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —David Cotner

Canadian transplant and A.V. Club favorite Kliph Nesteroff's The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy has already been heralded by the likes of Steve Martin, Marc Maron and Leonard Maltin as the industry's definitive contextual timeline. For tonight's Grove Press book launch, in addition to signing and selling copies, Nesteroff welcomes huge surprise guests and presents rare vintage clips of Richard Pryor, Shelley Berman, Don Rickles, Fred Willard, Harry Einstein (father of Albert Brooks), Bill Cosby (lecturing kids on the evils of drugs) and more. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Tue., Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Julie Seabaugh

Renewed for a second season, NBC's The Carmichael Show has put Jerrod Carmichael on the map as the new face of millennial comedy in a #BlackLivesMatter era. The show revolves around the star and his opinionated and traditional North Carolina family as they clash on issues ranging from racial profiling and gun control to religion and healthy eating. Carmichael has been doing stand-up for years; in his 2014 Spike Lee–directed, Comedy Store–filmed HBO special, Love at the Store, he delivered wry insights on Obama, success, McDonald's, what makes a neighborhood poor and how our society pretends to care about tragedies like 9/11 and Sandy Hook. Though tonight's lineup is TBA, Carmichael's guests at Largo last month included Joe Mande, the Lucas Brothers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Chelsea Peretti. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Tue., Oct. 30, 8:30 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —Siran Babayan

Jerrod Carmichael
Jerrod Carmichael
David Lee/HBO

wed 11/4

Drew Barrymore signs her new memoir, Wildflower, which reflects on her early years, including the death of her father, John Drew Barrymore, plus the wanderlust of her adolescence and the pitfalls of both child stardom and baring her breasts for David Letterman. Barnes & Noble, 189 Grove Drive, Fairfax; Wed., Nov. 4, 7 p.m.; free, book is $28. (323) 525-0270, stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061719023-0. —David Cotner

thu 11/5

"Like a dog!" In one of those dream director/novel adaptations it's hard to believe actually happened, Orson Welles brought Kafka's The Trial to the screen in 1962. Most of the game-changing filmmaker's works were deeply personal affairs, but this was his first post–Citizen Kane project that allowed Welles something resembling creative freedom. He was quite pleased with the results, declaring The Trial "the best film I have ever made." The Magnificent Ambersons might have something to say about that, but this one is essential nevertheless. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Nov. 5, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine

Angels Flight, downtown's historic funicular railway that connects Hill Street with California Plaza, has been closed for two years, but this sad state of affairs could be resolved soon. Tonight's Angels Flight Railway Fundraiser is the brainchild of L.A. preservationists Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, and it aims to raise money to pay for the railway's cleaning, power and insurance bills. A screening of Joseph Losey's 1951 remake of M, which features Angels Flight, accompanies a lecture on Bunker Hill, along with an update on the mayor's report on how long until everything's up and running again. Million Dollar Theatre, 307 S. Broadway; downtown; Thu., Nov. 5, 7 p.m.; $35. (213) 373-1947, angelsflight.org. —David Cotner

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