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

Bowie Skate Night has become an annual occurrence; see Mon.
Bowie Skate Night has become an annual occurrence; see Mon.
Brian Feinzimer


A primer on resisting fascism with art, a cartoony twofer art opening at La Luz de Jesus, the Golden Girlz visit the Cavern Club, and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 1/6

Two exhibitions opening simultaneously at La Luz de Jesus Gallery unveil the unheralded nuances of cartoon consciousness. One is a retrospective of the work of Steve Rude, who exploded onto the scene in 1981 with his comic book series Nexus, a streamlined yet complex space adventure that recalled everything from '30s pulps to Hieronymus Bosch. The other is "CARtoons: The Art of America's Car Culture." CARtoons — a magazine dedicated to automotive cartooning, published in L.A. from 1959 to 1991 — featured original hot-rod and kustom car kulture art by contributors Tom "Fox" Marnick and the underrated Shawn Kerri, who later did flier art for Germs and Circle Jerks. La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood; Fri., Jan. 6, 8 p.m.; free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com/steve-rude-cartoons. —David Cotner

Two weeks before Donald Trump's inauguration, few movies titles capture the national mood quite like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Cinefamily inaugurates its All About Almodóvar retrospective with this melodrama about wild women and the men pushing them to the brink, which remains one of the Spanish auteur's most renowned works nearly three decades later; his latest, Julieta, closes the 20-movie tribute later this month. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., Jan. 6, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

A less disciplined writer than I might call it inconceivable that anyone has yet to see The Princess Bride. Those who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing the fairy tale's movie magic can do so at the Nuart, where Rob Reiner's classic screens at midnight. Lighthearted and endlessly quotable, it's exactly the kind of escape from reality that these strange times demand. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Jan. 6, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 1/7

We live in an age of oversharing, but exactly how much are you willing to reveal? Documentary filmmaker Nicholas Kraft hosts What's on Your Phone?, a sort of digital version of going through one's medicine cabinet. Brave audience members volunteer to have images of their phones projected onto a screen while a panel of guests — The Office's B.J. Novak, 2 Broke Girls co-creator Whitney Cummings and local writer Ali Segel — poke through everything on their mobile devices, including Google searches, photos, emails, voicemails, apps, playlists, even Uber scores. Fart apps and YouPorn videos are nothing to be ashamed of. Nickelback on your Spotify? Prepare to be ridiculed. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 7, 10:30 p.m.; $7. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

In Real Life, the Hammer Museum's ambitious, four-month-long free performance series, concludes with artists looking back at 1960s events in California and New York. Founded in Oakland in 1966, the Black Panther Party drew national attention for its paramilitary response to police violence in African-American neighborhoods but also for its community programs such as free lunches and health clinics. Those community outreach efforts inform Simone Leigh and Rizvana Bradley in an improvisational performance that considers black radical political, literary and artistic issues that continue to resonate. Next weekend (Sat.-Sun., Jan. 14-15), In Real Life concludes with Trajal Harrell, who looked to Greenwich Village's Judson Church, where postmodern dance began in 1962. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat.-Sun., Jan. 7-8, 2-4 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Ann Haskins

Emerging in the middle of the 20th century, pop artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg incorporated mundane objects and mass-media images into their paintings, prints and sculptures, blurring the boundaries between high and low art. At the same time, designers such as George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames and Ettore Sottsass shared their enthusiasm for the everyday, engaging in a fluid exchange of mutual inspiration with them. Featuring 50 works of art and 80 design objects, the ambitious exhibition "Pop Art Design" looks at the connections between these artists and their fellow designers, exploring aesthetic links among the fine art, furniture and graphic design of the period. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach; opens Sat., Jan. 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (runs through April 2); $10, $7.50 seniors & students, free members & children under 12. ocma.net/exhibition/pop-art-design-0. —Matt Stromberg

It's well known by now that D.W. Griffith intentionally followed The Birth of a Nation with Intolerance in reaction to the charges of racism leveled against the earlier film, but less well known is what he did next: Broken Blossoms. The story of a Chinese immigrant (Richard Barthelmess) who falls in love with a young, abused girl (Lillian Gish), it was released during a time of extreme anti-Chinese sentiment and intended as a corrective — not that every aspect will seem especially progressive nearly a century later. The Egyptian screens Griffith's film on color-tinted 16mm, with live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick, as part of Retroformat 2017. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

sun 1/8

Trump hasn't even been inaugurated yet and it already sounds trite: Art is more important now than ever before. Perhaps making art during capitalism wasn't ideal, but making art during fascism is going to be a challenging task. It will, however, be integral in provoking thought and stemming a tide of hate, prejudice and closed-mindedness that's already rearing its head. At Making Art During Fascism, a Sunday program that continues through the month of January, artists are invited to come together to create and share ideas while it's, you know, still legal. A free guide on speaking out when free speech seems imperiled is included. Women's Center for Creative Work, 2425 Glover Place, Elysian Valley; Sun., Jan. 8, 1-3 p.m. (and every Sunday in January); free. womenscenterforcreativework.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

What's better than hours of indulgence? Hours of indulgence in the name of a good cause. Los Angeles Chocolate Festival and Pastry Show is an extravaganza of sweets that features bites from the best chocolatiers and pastry makers in Los Angeles, including the ice cream experts at Choctal, the jewel-box creators at Bottega Louie and the ladies of Cake Divas. The event is all-ages but there is plenty of booze to sample, too. And all this sweetness is to benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research. Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, 251 S. Olive St., downtown; Sun., Jan. 8, 3-6 p.m.; $150 3 p.m. admission, $100 4 p.m. admission. indulgela.net/index.html. —Katherine Spiers

Comedian Doug Benson Interrupts the 74th Golden Globe Awards and not only is it four or five hours worth of caustic commentary and insults that really hit home — there's a potluck, too. Who will you root for? The unappealingly titled La La Land? The Pablo Neruda movie? Meryl Streep in her role as the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award winner? Whichever way you swing, Benson will provide the narration to this evening's soirée, saying all the things you wish you could say, channeling your inner esprit de l'escalier as he says exactly what everyone else is thinking. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sun., Jan. 8, 4 p.m.; free (first come, first served; register online). (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

There are, in this world, a number of unfortunate souls who harbor the delusion that Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is as good as — or, in some rare cases, better than — the masterwork that is Milo and Otis. Though I hesitate to enable such a wrongheaded notion, it is nevertheless my duty to inform these poor misguided citizens that their talking-animal movie of choice is playing for free at UCLA as part of the ongoing Family Flicks series. Rest assured I've already penned a strongly worded letter condemning the selection. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Jan. 8, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Elsewhere in anniversaries, Aladdin — aka the best Disney movie, don't @ me — celebrates its 25th at the Aero, also for free. RSVP in advance to guarantee your spot on the magic carpet to a whole new world, whose charm and heft exemplifies the Disney renaissance that eventually gave way to the Pixar era. Some apparently consider this an improvement, and to them I ask: How many Cars movies feature evil parrots voiced by Gilbert Gottfried and named after Shakespearean villains? Listening to Robin Williams voice the Genie is much more bittersweet than it used to be, but few animated films provide a better argument for wishes coming true. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., Jan. 8, 2 p.m.; free with reservation. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

BYOC (bring your own cheesecake) to The Golden Girlz Live on Thursday (don't really bring cheesecake).
BYOC (bring your own cheesecake) to The Golden Girlz Live on Thursday (don't really bring cheesecake).
Courtesy Mario Diaz

mon 1/9

The year of an unrelenting torrent of celebrity deaths began with the loss of one of rock music's greatest talents when David Bowie died 10 days into 2016. Now, on the eve of the first anniversary of his passing, fans will gather at Glendale's Moonlight Rollerway for the David Bowie annual Tribute Skate Night. Dust off your Jareth costume and get ready to roll. Rock out like Ziggy Stardust to the glam era. Catch the funky groove of "Young Americans" and glide to "Heroes." With a mix of hits and obscure tracks, this is bound to please both casual and hardcore Bowie fans. This is an 18-and-up event and the cover includes skate rentals. Moonlight Rollerway, 5110 San Fernando Road, Glendale; Mon., Jan. 9, 8 p.m.-mid.; $20. (818) 241-3630, moonlightrollerway.com. —Liz Ohanesian

tue 1/10

Do you like attending readings but occasionally find them pretentious? For more than two years, comedians and UCB regulars Colin O'Brien and Michael Wolf have been hosting Literati: A Comedy Show About the Greatest American Novels Never Written, a live show and podcast in New York, which pokes fun at the literary pastime by taking it out of bookstores and into comedy clubs. Guest comics — tonight's lineup features Nate Fernald, Clare O'Kane, John Milhiser, Emmy Blotnick and Josh Ruben — read excerpts of fake works of literature, everything from memoirs to sci-fi to cookbooks, while posing as either real or fiction authors/people (complete with costumes), which in the past have included Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Franz Kafka, David Sedaris and Barron Trump. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Jan. 10, 7-8:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

Some pre-Code romance at LACMA: One Way Passage, which pairs William Powell and Kay Francis as star-crossed lovers — he an escaped murderer sentenced to the gallows, she a terminally ill heiress — who meet in Hong Kong before boarding a trans-Pacific ocean liner en route to San Francisco. After falling in love at first sight, they discover each other's secrets — all in just 67 minutes of screentime, because that's how Hollywood did it way back when. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Jan. 10, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

The title of the New Beverly's latest double feature tells you almost everything you need to know about it: I Drink Your Blood and I Eat Your Skin. Said to be the first film to be MPAA-rated X due to violence rather than nudity, the former is grindhouse incarnate; together, they were originally marketed as 2 Great Blood Horrors to Rip Out Your Guts! despite not actually being connected. David Durston's cult classic Blood was recently restored in its uncut form — all the better to take in its bizarre plot mixing Manson-inspired hippie murderers and a rabies outbreak — while the black-and-white Skin was previously known as Voodoo Bloodbath and didn't achieve infamy until its second life as part of this double bill. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Tue., Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

wed 1/11

Last year, one of the biggest international art fairs in the country occupied more than 150,000 square feet at the L.A. Convention Center and attracted approximately 70,000 visitors. L.A. Art Show 2017 boasts even more impressive numbers: More than 90 galleries from 18 countries as far as South Korea, in addition to local institutions such as the Getty, LACMA, MOCA and MOLAA (Museum of Latin American Art). Following Wednesday's opening-night party, the four-day schedule continues with curated art shows, staged performances and a dialogue series. This year's focus is on Latin American and Latino art, and among the many highlights is a conference on the Getty's upcoming Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA in September, a laser installation by Marc Brickman and more talks, exhibits and performances about Cuban, Chilean and Asian art. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Wed., Jan. 11, 7-11 p.m. (runs through Sun., Jan. 15); $30, reception $125-$250. laartshow.com. —Siran Babayan

If La La Land has you nostalgic for movie musicals, listen to "Hollywood dance royalty" George Chakiris and Barrie Chase discuss the golden age of the medium. Chakiris won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks, in West Side Story. Chase partnered with Fred Astaire, with whom she performed in four TV specials and also dated. The two danced in other legendary films, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There's No Business Like Show Business, Brigadoon and White Christmas. Moderated by L.A. Times dance critic Debra Levine, the Hollywood Press Association and Hollywood Heritage present Evening @ The Barn — Masters of Dance offers a discussion with Chakiris and Chase, who reflect on their careers and lifelong friendship, as well as film and TV clips. Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood Hills; Wed., Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 874-4005, hollywoodheritage.org. —Siran Babayan

thu 1/12

We lost a lot of celebrities in 2016. But as long as nonagenarian Betty White is OK, we're OK. Drag tribute and Cavern Club favorite The Golden Girlz Live once again celebrates White and her castmates from one of the all-time greatest sitcoms about four elderly but young-at-heart Miami women, their shoulder pads and wicker furniture. Jackie Beat (cranky Dorothy), Drew Droege (ditzy Rose), Sam Pancake (wisecracking Sophia) and Sherry Vine (trampy Blanche) re-create two episodes from the '80s series: "Blanche and the Younger Man," in which Blanche dates an aerobics instructor, and "Dorothy's Prized Pupil," in which Dorothy tutors a boy — a young Mario Lopez — who's an illegal immigrant, played here by guest Mario Diaz. It's BYOC: Bring your own cheesecake. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Thu., Jan. 12, 8 p.m. (also Wed., Jan. 11; Fri.-Sun., Jan. 13-15); $25. (323) 662-4255, cavernclubtheater.com. —Siran Babayan


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >