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

Michelle Visage: See Monday.
Michelle Visage: See Monday.
Photo by Mathu Andersen

fri 11/6

Instead of the dark, depressed modern-dance stereotype, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago takes a lighter approach with help from comedy powerhouse the Second City. In The Art of Falling, the two acclaimed Chicago performance groups bring to life three storylines involving a same-sex relationship, using an innovative blend of choreography, comedy and improvisation. A great success in its hometown performances, the production now makes its debut outside the Windy City. Come early for the DanceTalks discussion one hour before curtain. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 6-7, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 8, 2 p.m.; $34-$125. (213) 972-0711, musiccenter.org. —Ann Haskins

Relive the glory days of Sylvester Stallone with a midnight screening of the confusingly titled Rambo: First Blood Part II, which continues the lone-wolf Vietnam vet's battle against governmental malfeasance. This time, he's released from prison and sent back to 'Nam under the guise of a mission to find and retrieve prisoners of war. If you've never seen the original, watch it at home and familiarize yourself with John Rambo's first go-round before heading to the Nuart — it's more low-key and serious than you'd think. Stallone is inclined toward flashes of genuine emotion in his violent spectacles, a trait for which he's rarely given credit. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Nov. 6, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

Music videos on MTV may have gone the way of the VJ, but the Los Angeles Music Video Festival returns for a fifth time to celebrate the art form of the mini movie. The three-day event is packed with screenings of hundreds of international submissions, a video contest, panel discussions with directors and other industry professionals and, of course, parties. Highlights include an artist spotlight on Grammy-winning singer Kimbra, who appears alongside directors Adam Sager and Guy Franklin, and additional screenings of vintage '80s videos that were shot on 35mm. Cine­family, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 7, 8:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 8, 8 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Siran Babayan

Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours commingles the curious in a night of DJs, music performances, synesthetic sights and scents spread out over four floors, including a sonic-architecture performance by singer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Lanois. William Basinski, Pink­courtesy­phone, Dntel, Matthewdavid, Anenon and many more provide provocative new sound-makers. The event also includes design exhibits, video and lighting installations, live edge-jazz radio broadcasts hosted by Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and others, a music/scent experience curated by the Institute of Art and Olfaction and a sound bath featuring multiple reel-to-reel tape machines self-generating music compositions. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Nov. 6, 11:30 p.m.-Sat., Nov. 7, 3 a.m.; free with RSVP; skip the line with a $20 donation; skip the line plus drink voucher with a $30 donation. (213) 972-7211, musiccenter.org/sleepless. —John Payne

sat 11/7

Cider, the beverage of choice for 19th-century Americans, is having a bit of a renaissance. A growing number of gluten-intolerant folks rely on the fermented apple beverage as an alternative to beer, and the craft-everything movement has spurred small producers to discover its deep flavor. Hard Core Cider Tour features local brewers such as 101 Cider House, whose wild yeast gives its cider a kombucha-like tang, as well as renowned out-of-towners like Portland Cider Company, Troy (made with apples from abandoned orchards) and Cider Brothers. (A portion of ticket sale proceeds benefits Enrich L.A.) Brookside Park, 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., Nov. 7, noon-4 p.m.; $45. (805) 319-4064, hardcorecidertour.com. —Sascha Bos

Hold hands with your bestie as you watch Thelma and Louise at the drive-in. Ridley Scott's road movie has Susan Sarandon behind the wheel, Geena Davis in the passenger seat and a feminist subtext that's still rare in major Hollywood productions nearly a quarter-century later. Night falls earlier now, which means you can enjoy Electric Dusk's moonlit backdrop during the movie and be home at a reasonable hour. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 1000 San Julian St., downtown; Sat., Nov. 7, 5:30 p.m. (doors at 4); $9 lawn, $13 car, $55 VIP. (818) 653-8591, electricduskdrivein.com—Michael Nordine

If you don't know where Paths of Glory lead, allow Stanley Kubrick and Kirk Douglas to fill you in (spoiler: It isn't an especially happy place). A stirring World War I drama, it concerns a French colonel (Douglas) who is court-martialed after refusing to continue an attack on ze Germans that surely would have led to the deaths of his men. The film will be preceded by News of the Day, a period-appropriate newsreel from 1957 touching on such hot items as a celebration in Moscow and Queen Elizabeth's trip to a movie theater; both will be shown on 35mm. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

Long Beach's sleek, renovated airport boasts an open design that is the perfect place to showcase special aircraft, including an F/A-18 supersonic combat jet, a vintage Stearman biplane, a Catalina Flying Boat DC-3 and more than 30 others. The LGB Fly-in is a rare opportunity to get a close-up look at aircraft we typically only glimpse as they soar by. The event also will include educational displays, food trucks and a beer garden. Appreciate the beauty of planes from somewhere other than a cramped coach seat. Long Beach Airport, 4100 Donald Douglas Drive, Long Beach; Sat., Nov. 7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free. (562) 570-2678, lgb.org. —Sascha Bos

Thelma and Louise
Thelma and Louise

sun 11/8

Remember a few years back when the Navajo Nation sued Urban Outfitters over its culturally appropriative panties? The message from Native Americans was: If you like our designs, buy directly from us — not corporations stealing our art. The Autry has made it possible to connect directly with Native creators for the past 25 years through its American Indian Arts Marketplace. Artists from more than 40 tribes will showcase their textiles, paintings, pottery, beadwork and more. While you're shopping, try fry bread, learn how to hoop dance and stick around for "We Are Family," a series of short plays by Native Voices. The Autry, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 7-8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free with museum admission ($12 general, $8 students and seniors, $4 children). (323) 667-2000, theautry.org. —Sascha Bos

mon 11/9

Here's a unique combination for you: an erotic romance directed by Roman Polanski, starring Hugh Grant and scored by Vangelis. Bitter Moon weirded out many upon its initial release in 1992, and though Fifty Shades of Grey may have normalized some of its subject matter it certainly didn't match this movie's unsettling mood. Author Neil Strauss will appear in person to introduce the film. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Mon., Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

Social butterfly and RuPaul's Drag Race judge Michelle Visage's new book, The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength and Sparkle Your Way to the Top, unveils 25 life lessons, including "Be Thankful You're a Misfit" and "Keep Your Shit Together." She'll chat with the show's sixth-season winner, Bianca Del Rio, on how to celebrate the weirdness and personal strength lurking within you. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; Mon., Nov. 9, 7 p.m.; $26.81, includes copy of book. (310) 659-3110, weho.org/wehoreads. —David Cotner

tue 11/10

Now that the horror hegemony has ceded at last, switch it up with some noir at LACMA. This Gun for Hire, a 1942 adaptation of the Graham Greene novel starring Veronica Lake, is this week's Tuesday Matinee. A hired gun played by Alan Ladd is caught in a conspiracy beyond his reckoning after what seems like a routine job; in addition to moody lighting and a femme fatale, said conspiracy also involves foreign agents. This Gun for Hire launched the career of Ladd, who was billed fourth despite playing the lead, and even the notoriously crotchety Bosley Crowther, longtime film critic for The New York Times, admired his performance. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Nov. 10, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

If you love Vidiots — and, as the Los Angeles–based soldier of cinema you no doubt are, you should — then it's in your best interest to attend the Aero's Vidiots Foundation Benefit, which revolves around a screening of Desperately Seeking Susan. The bond that develops between Rosanna Arquette and Madonna may not be as fraught as the one between Sarandon and Davis in Thelma and Louise, but it does yield its own rewards. A portion of the proceeds goes to an L.A. institution and director Susan Seidelman will be on hand for a post-film discussion. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Tue., Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

He's done acting and playwriting and been published in The New Yorker, so it's no surprise that Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) will read from his debut collection of short stories, Bream Gives Me Hiccups. Illustrated by award-winning French cartoonist Jean Jullien, these 44 meditations include subjects such as Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, posh mother-son bonding and the Bosnian genocide. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Nov. 10, 8 p.m.; free, book is $26 (ticket to signing line with purchase of book). (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —David Cotner

Jesse Eisenberg of The Social Network will read from his new book of short storiesEXPAND
Jesse Eisenberg of The Social Network will read from his new book of short stories
Screen shot

wed 11/11

Comedians Demetri Martin and Bo Burnham published books in recent years featuring visual humor, and 30 Rock cast member Judah Friedlander now joins their ranks with a pair of local events celebrating Hachette release If the Raindrops United: Drawings and Cartoons. Furthering the absurdist visuals of 2010 instructional spoof How to Beat Up Anybody, Raindrops includes the debut of Friedlander's mini-comic Gentrification Man. Stand-up show at Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Wed., Nov. 11, 8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.); $20 includes book. (323) 655-9050, hollywood.improv.com. Q&A/signing at Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $16.99. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Julie Seabaugh

'Tis the season to overeat. Inspired by the impending holidays and the Getty's current exhibits "The Edible Monument" and "Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Food in the Middle Ages" — which explore how people ate and the art of food in Medieval and Renaissance Europe — Zocalo Public Square hosts Can Gluttony Be a Virtue?, on the pros and cons of gluttony, especially during celebratory times. KCRW's Evan Kleiman moderates the panel discussion, featuring Francine Prose, author of the 2003 book Gluttony, plus UCLA medieval history professor Teo Ruiz and L.A. chef and restaurateur Eric Greenspan. Redondo Beach Historic Library, 309 Esplanade, Redondo Beach; Wed., Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m.; free, reservation required. zocalopublicsquare.org. —Siran Babayan

thu 11/12

Fox canceled his debut sitcom, Mulaney, after 13 episodes, but the titular performer and former Saturday Night Live writer bounced back with an hour of new material within months. Tonight he hosts an evening of stand-up, music and an advance screening of Netflix's John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid, his follow-up to 2012 Comedy Central breakout New in Town. Filmed in May at Mulaney's hometown Chicago Theatre, the special may address such domestic topics as marriage, babies and wacky real estate agents, but it's also his most tenacious, self-aware release yet. Largo, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Thu., Nov. 12, 8:30 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —Julie Seabaugh

In tandem with work on display at MOCA, Los Angeles Filmforum presents Action Movies: Kurt Kren & VALIE EXPORT. Kren was noted for his innovative editing techniques, which include quick cuts and a focus on fragmenting action, while EXPORT cut her teeth in the world of Viennese performance art. Programmed by Madison Brookshire, the evening's selections include a number of experimental 16mm shorts ranging from "ritualistic self-operation" to the history of nature. MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu., Nov. 12, 7 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org. —Michael Nordine

Actress Melissa McCarthy interviews Gloria Steinem about the latter's first book in more than 20 years, My Life on the Road. Steinem writes about being a lifelong road warrior well into her 80s, her wanderlust attributed to childhood cross-country trips with her family. She's traveled the world as a freelance journalist and feminist leader, accumulating stories about interactions with everyone from political leaders and activists to college students and cab­drivers. She made her first social activist trip to India in the 1950s and later participated in the March on Washington in 1963, the first National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977 and a memorial in rural Oklahoma in 1977 for Wilma Mankiller, her friend and first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Thu., Nov. 12, 7 p.m.; $34.50-$250, includes copy of the book. acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/ontheroad. —Siran Babayan

For more events visit laweekly.com/calendar.

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