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

Sarah Silverman performs for a cause: See Sunday.
Sarah Silverman performs for a cause: See Sunday.
Photo by Robyn Van Swank

fri 5/8

Amelia G and Forrest Black have made a career of covering subcultures, and their book California Deathrock is the culmination of years exploring a homegrown community that’s not quite goth. After the punk explosion, deathrock took shape in Los Angeles with bands such as Christian Death and 45 Grave, which gravitated toward darker sounds and themes. Decades later, the scene continues to thrive as clubs like Release the Bats in Long Beach champion wave after wave of new bands that relish that old-school sound. The portraits in this Kickstarter-funded tome capture more than spiked hair and elaborate makeup. They show the joy in a scene that’s often associated with doom. At this launch party, the photographers will be on hand to talk about the book and sign copies. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Fri., May 8, 7-10 p.m.; free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. —Liz Ohanesian

The sea contains untold mysteries, few of them so entertaining as the countless Jaws-inspired knockoffs that followed in the wake of Steven Spielberg’s genre-defining blockbuster. Chief among these is Piranha, the rare, ultimate edition of which Cinefamily is screening at midnight, on the sole 16mm print in existence. Joe Dante’s seafaring excursion is the Platonic ideal of such fare, transporting the watery terror of its unofficial source material from the ocean to the river and swapping out one very large shark for thousands of man-eating fish. This iteration of the film is technically an extended edit originally put together by a fan, incorporating footage that previously had been exclusive to the broadcast version seen on television. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., May 8, mid.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

Relive the end of Shirley Temple's glory days with The Little Princess. Regarded as the wunderkind's final success as a child, it stars Temple as a youngster sent off to a boarding school for girls after her father joins the war effort. (This being Victorian England, the conflict in question is the Second Boer War, which was contested in what's now South Africa.) Hindsight lends a bittersweet quality to much of Temple's oeuvre, which isn't to say that Little Princess lacks the singing and dancing that made her the top box-office draw in the country back in the 1930s. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri., May 8, 8:15 p.m.; Sat., May 9, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org. —Michael Nordine

EDM’s origins — the United Kingdom? Midwest? disco? — have always been debatable. In The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, music writer Michaelangelo Matos (Rolling Stone, NPR) includes all three of those possibilities as he chronicles the 30-year evolution of the movement’s arrival and popularity in the United States, from ’80s and ’90s warehouse raves to today’s moneymaking festivals. He dedicates chapters to the Internet, the biggest parties and the music’s history with drugs, and offers interviews with hundreds of top-name DJs and promoters, including Moby. Matos discusses his new book with fellow writer Simon Reynolds. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., May 8, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $25.99. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Siran Babayan

California Deathrock
California Deathrock
Courtesy of Amelia G. and Forrest Black

sat 5/9

The newest production on the horizon from Eclectic Company Theatre is Curious Conversations, eight short plays inspired by the imaginative fiction of Lewis Carroll. In anticipation of the show’s late-May opening, Eclectic is giving audiences a taste of what’s to come with Curious Cabaret. Not for kids, this program features puppet theater from Bunraku Ninja, as well as words from David Datz and comedy from the likes of Diane Chernansky and Merileigh Moen. Brandy Snifter and Leggy Lass Greenleaf perform burlesque, and Natasha Troop delivers a reading of “Jabberwocky” in beat-jazz style, with other special surprises. Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village; Sat., May 9, 9:30 p.m.; $12. (818) 508-3003, eclecticcompany?theatre.org/?portfolio=curious-cabaret. —Tanja M. Laden

Join the small-batch bunch for a weekend of all things artisanal at the Echo Park Craft Fair. Set at Mack Sennett Studios, the massive biannual fair is hardly your average scrappy DIY pop-up. An assortment of high-end independent retailers will offer everything from clothing and jewelry to holistic remedies, oils and candles. This year’s event will feature a wellness lounge, sponsored by Bash, where shoppers are encouraged to rejuvenate after a long day scouring racks, while drinks will be provided by the Spare Room. Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., Silver Lake; Sat., May 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., May 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $8 daily, $12 weekend pass. echoparkcraftfair.com. —Lucy Tiven

LitFest Pasadena returns for a fourth year, showcasing local authors and more. Taking place at multiple venues in and around Pasadena’s Playhouse District, the daylong schedule features readings and presentations by some 50 writers, including festival director Jervey Tervalon, Silver Lake–based young-adult author Cecil Castellucci and comedian/podcaster Jimmy Dore, as well as poetry, stand-up comedy and theater. The festival also boasts panels on topics ranging from “Adventures in Self-Publishing” to “Satire in the Time of Charlie Hebdo,” in addition to former L.A. Weekly food critic, Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Gold, discussing “the state of eating in Los Angeles right now.” Various venues in Pasadena; Sat., May 9, all day (see website for schedule); free. (626) 449-5320, litfest?pasadena.org. —Siran Babayan

Orson Welles would have turned 100 this year, and repertory theaters all across our fair city are celebrating in proper fashion. Among the rarest offerings is tonight's double feature of Chimes at Midnight and Othello at the Aero, where the Citizen Kane auteur's corpus is featured all weekend long. Welles stars in both Shakespeare adaptations, the former of the playwright's "War of the Roses" cycle and the latter of his timeless tragedy of the Moor. "If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie," he once said of Chimes, "that's the one I would offer up." Need we say more? Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., May 9, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

sun 5/10

One of the best-kept secrets for Mother’s Day, MOMentum Place takes over the pastoral environs of the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum for dance, music, aerial, circus and other festive arts. Think a rustic Cirque du Soleil. Curated by Lexi Pearl, the 17th edition begins with an optional brunch (noon to 1:30 p.m. for $30), or you can bring a picnic and sit in the gardens. Then the action moves into the theater built into the hillside for the performances. Casual clothes, walking shoes, sunblock and a cushion for the benches are advised. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sun., May 10, 2 p.m.; $25 in advance, $30 at door, $15 students, $10 children 12 & under. (310) 455-2322, theatricum.com. —Ann Haskins

UCLA's version of the early-bird special — better known as the free, weekly Family Flicks series — presents Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau in Hello, Dolly! She's an in-demand matchmaker, he's her wealthy client, and the rest is academic. Director Gene Kelly's adaptation of the Broadway musical won three Oscars (including Best Score) and was nominated for four more. Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., May 10, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Think outside the flowers-and-brunch box this Mother’s Day by sharing the gifts of laughter and empowerment at the Hollywood Improv’s Stand Up! for Girls. Arrive early for preshow cocktails and a silent auction, then enjoy the 7:30 p.m. show, whose lineup includes Key & Peele’s Keegan-Michael Key, Retta (Parks and Recreation), IFC’s Garfunkel & Oates, UCB regular Eliza Skinner and headliner Sarah Silverman. Proceeds benefit the REALgirl Foundation, which provides after-school programs, workshops and summer camps teaching tween and teen girls essential life skills through art, discussion, expert insight and group activities. Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Sun., May 10, 6 p.m. doors, 7:30 p.m. show; $50-$1,000; 18 and older. (323) 655-9050, hollywood.improv.com. —Julie Seabaugh

Hello, Dolly!EXPAND
Hello, Dolly!

mon 5/11

After two months of ’90s programming, the New Beverly lightens up with Boeing Boeing and Who Was That Lady? Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis star in the former, an aviation-themed comedy with Curtis as a journalist who keeps three flight-attendant girlfriends (all from different airlines, of course) and Lewis as an old friend whose sudden appearance threatens to end his mile-high scheme. Curtis is joined by Dean Martin and Janet Leigh in Who Was That Lady?, again as a philanderer desperate to get out of trouble. Can’t a guy commit adultery in peace? New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sun., May 10, 6:30 p.m.; Mon., May 11, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

tue 5/12

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide — and in praise of the artistic contributions of the Armenian diaspora — Eduard Topchjan leads the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra in works by composers with a shared history of political repression. Born near Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia, Aram Khachaturian was one of Armenia’s most acclaimed composers, as the sweeping drama of his 1956 slave-revolt ballet Spartacus Suite makes thrillingly clear. Also on the bill: classical and film composer Tigran Mansurian’s dark-hued Concerto for Violin and Strings, featuring violin virtuoso Anush Nikoghosyan, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue., May 12, 7:30 p.m.; $40-$137.50. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —John Payne

Upcoming Events

More Orson Welles, this time as part of LACMA's Tuesday Matinee program: Touch of Evil. Noir doesn't get much more noirish than in this crime saga set in a U.S./Mexico border town. Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh are newlyweds in the wrong place at the wrong time after a car bombing, and Welles himself plays the police captain tasked with sorting the bad from the good. It's moody as all hell, with one of the multihyphenate's finest performances. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., May 12, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

wed 5/13

Fans still crying over the news that Downton Abbey will end next year can commiserate with the cast members of the parody Westside Abbey as they transform the theater into Highclere Castle. Shaun Boylan, Jennifer Cowan, Joey Greer, Mary Gutfleisch, James Heaney, Miranda Shade and Cole Stratton will don their finest Edwardian drag and spoof the PBS series’ upstairs/downstairs drama but with a twist — the audience gets to decide the characters and story lines. Suggestion: Lady Edith bitch-slaps Lady Mary, and the two get all Joan Collins and Linda Evans. M.I.’s Westside Comedy Theater, 1323-A Third St. Promenade (in the back alley), Santa Monica; Wed., May 13, 8 p.m.; $5. (310) 451-0850, westsidecomedy.com. —Siran Babayan

Boeing BoeingEXPAND
Boeing Boeing

thu 5/14

If you’ve ever gone outside in L.A., you’ve seen a mural painted by Kent Twitchell. From the Chamber Orchestra group portrait above the northbound 110 through downtown, to the marathon runners, movie stars and ordinary folks who’ve kept watch over highways and byways all across the city since he started in 1971, Twitchell is perhaps our most recognized muralist. Now he joins forces with downtown nonprofit arts space and residency Art Share L.A. in a fundraising cocktail party and art show, along with a crosstown billboard-based survey of his most iconic works, already under way. Above the Streets honors Twitchell and Art Share’s 16-year mission providing a base for literary, theatrical and community programs, classes and exhibitions keeping the arts in “Arts District.” Art Share L.A., 801 E. Fourth Place, downtown; Thu., May 14, 6-10 p.m.; $50. (310) 926-6657, artsharela.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Concert-film aficionados, your passion is no longer confined to VH1. The Egyptian hosts a double feature of The Last Waltz and Cream's Farewell Concert tonight at 7:30, with the latter screening on 35mm. Such luminaries as Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Eric Clapton appear in Martin Scorsese's documentary on what was then The Band's final concert; Cream's Farewell Concert features, well, Cream. The Last Waltz in particular is acclaimed as one of the greatest films of its kind. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., May 14, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Fans of the long-running Everybody Loves Raymond remember Brad Garrett as the towering, perpetually jealous and unlucky-in-love older brother with mommy issues. Garrett went on to star in two other sitcoms, and he’s writing the pilot for an ABC show based on his first book. In his new collection of essays, When the Balls Drop, which he signs today, Garrett opens up about entering “life’s second half” as a divorced dad or, as he puts it in a YouTube promo, “middle-age crisis, erectile dysfunction, constipation and the occasional hooker.” Barnes & Noble at the Grove, 189 Grove Drive, Fairfax; Thu., May 14, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 525-0270, store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2089. —Siran Babayan

Some folks tell their mothers everything, while others, such as producer Nikki Levy, round up talented people and tell strangers their secrets in a live show. In this edition of the popular production Don’t Tell My Mother!, creator Levy delivers a tale of frozen embryos and her seven babies on ice at Olympic and Bundy. Other storytellers include Erin Gibson (Throwing Shade), Jen Kober (The Middle), Cybill Shepherd’s daughter Clementine Ford (The L Word), Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty) and Aida Rodriguez (Last Comic Standing). In honor of Mother’s Day, the show is sponsored by a sperm bank, which is giving away one free vial of sperm ... for real. Busby’s East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thu., May 14, 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show; $16 advance, $20 at door. (323) 525-2615, donttellmymother.com. —Tanja M. Laden

For more events visit laweekly.com/calendar.


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