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

Chelsea Clinton appears at Vroman's on Wednesday
Chelsea Clinton appears at Vroman's on Wednesday
Courtesy of Vroman's Bookstore

fri 10/2

Halloween is upon us, which means it's zombie season. How will you survive the zombie apocalypse? Legend has it that in the woods near Lake Arrowhead, an infection has turned humans into zombies. Panic Mountain: The Ultimate Halloween Zombie Nightmare challenge features obstacle courses, mazes, paintball battles, ziplining and panic rooms for groups of 12 to 16 who can escape the cannibals and find a cure. Competitors can buy tickets for the mission only or get an overnight package, which includes a Survivor's Bash, dinner, breakfast and cabins. Pali Adventures, 30778 Route 18, Running Springs; Fri.-Sun., 6 p.m., through Sun., Nov. 1; $52.19 challenge only, $174.22 overnight. (909) 867-5743, panicmountain.com. —Siran Babayan

You don't have to be featured on an episode of MTV's Cribs to appreciate Scarface, but you do need to visit the Aero if you want to see it on the silver screen this weekend. One of Brian De Palma's most ostentatious outings, the story of Tony Montana's meteoric ascent and sharp decline has become such an ubiquitous presence on DVD shelves and dorm room walls that some may have forgotten what a strange and ambitious movie it is. Also: Michelle Pfeiffer. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Having recently restored The Red Shoes with the assistance of such luminaries as Janus Films and the British Film Institute, UCLA has taken it upon itself to make the film available for public viewing. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's visually breathtaking dance movie is a favorite of many filmmakers, including De Palma. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

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"Through Communication and Sharing, We Become One" is the tagline for the four-day-long 42nd Los Angeles Korean Festival, which officially kicked off yesterday. The slogan represents both the tech obsession rampant from Seoul to L.A., and the festival's long-standing mission to bring Korean history and tradition to the United States. Expect a celebration of Los Angeles' Korean community ranging from K-pop to traditional drumming and folk songs, and dozens of Korean street food vendors. There's no better way to experience the fusion of American and Korean culture than with a plate of bulgogi fries. Seoul International Park, 3250 San Marino St., Koreatown; Thu., Oct. 1, 3-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 2-3, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; free. (213) 487-9696, lakoreanfestival.org. —Sascha Bos

Last year, Isango Ensemble brought an astonishing presentation of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, which the South African troupe recast as a modern-day Cape Town fable, inventively rearranged for an octet of marimbas and infused with colorful costumes and traditional African folkloric dancing. Tonight, the company returns to the Broad Stage with uCarmen, its transformation of Georges Bizet's beloved opera, led by music director Pauline Malefane, a soprano whose fiercely searing vocals stole the show in The Magic Flute. Inspired by Isango Ensemble's 2005 film U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, the opera takes Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy's original libretto about a headstrong temptress and moves the action to the streets of a tense African township. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Oct. 2 & 9, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 3 & 10, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 4, 2 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m.; $60-$80. (310) 434-3200, thebroadstage.com. —Falling James

The Devils
The Devils

sat 10/3

October is upon us, and with it comes a torrent of horror movies old and new. Old Town Music Hall goes deep into the back catalog with The Flying Serpent, a 1940s obscurity released by Producers Releasing Corporation. PRC was one of many so-called Poverty Row studios, which often financed only a single production on a budget before closing down forever, but it outlasted several of its competitors. In this apparent standout, a mad archaeologist happens upon the mythical Quetzalcoatl, which ends up not being especially well-suited to life in 20th-century America. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri., Oct. 2, 8:15 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 3, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org—Michael Nordine

Once a year, comic artists from around the world attempt to create a 24-page story in one 24-hour period. In Manhattan Beach, the Comic Bug has been opening its door for 24-Hour Comics Day since 2004. Over the years, pros including Spider-Gwen co-creator Robbi Rodriguez and 24-Hour Comics Day founder Nat Gertler have stopped by to work on their projects at the store. Some of the stories that come out of this event, such as Tanya Bjork's Havenhurst, go on to be published. The store welcomes participants of all ages and skill levels. While you spend 24 hours working, the store staff will provide coffee and head out on a few food runs. They're also hosting a "Pick Me Up" sale, with deep discounts offered between 2 and 4 a.m. The event is free, but call to reserve a spot, as space is limited. The Comic Bug, 1807½ Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach; Sat., Oct. 3, noon-Sun., Oct. 4, noon; free. (310) 372-6704, thecomicbug.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Brews, brats, and ... vegans? Determined to celebrate this gluttonous pseudo-German holiday without harming animals, Vegan Oktoberfest has put together a lineup with dozens of vegan vendors (Sage, Donut Friend, the Springs) and plenty of breweries, including Angel City, 21st Amendment and Bison Organic Beer. A general-admission ticket gets you unlimited pours of more than 50 animal-friendly beers, with a slice of the proceeds going to Expand Animal Rights Now. Expect the Bavarian folk music and lederhosen of your typical Oktoberfest shindig, but this time you won't have to worry if there's egg in your pretzel. L.A. Center Studios, 450 S. Bixel St., Westlake; Sat., Oct. 3-Sun., Oct. 4, 1-5 p.m.; $45 ($20 nondrinking), $55 VIP. veganoktoberfest.com. —Sascha Bos

Geometry, light and art history inform the work of Venezuelan artist Magdalena Fernández. L.A. audiences may have caught her installation 2iPM009 when it appeared at the Museum of Latin American Art in 2012. This time she'll bring a full exhibition — six videos and one installation — to MOCA's Pacific Design Center. It's the first show of its kind in the United States for Fernández and will certainly be of interest to those looking for an immersive art experience. The show will feature 2i015 (Luciérnaga), an LED installation that rises up along a museum staircase. The public opening is Oct. 3, but check back the following day for a talk with Fernández and curator Alma Ruiz. MOCA Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. Exhibit runs through Sun., Jan. 3. (310) 289-5223, moca.org. —Liz Ohanesian

sun 10/4

First came the books, then 2014's Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour. Now comes the graphic novel about Edward Snowden, the infamous former computer programmer and government whistleblower. Ted Rall, a political cartoonist whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Village Voice, signs his new book, Snowden. The title character made headlines in 2013, when, after working for the National Security Agency, he leaked top-secret documents to the press, detailing the NSA's spying activities on Americans. The U.S. Department of Justice charged him with stealing government property and espionage. Rall's cartoons render the pivotal moments of Snowden's life, from his upbringing in Maryland to working at the CIA and NSA to fleeing to Hong Kong and Russia, where he currently lives. Diesel, 225 26th St., Brentwood; Sun., Oct. 4, 3 p.m.; free, book is $16.95. (310) 576-9960, dieselbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan

mon 10/5

The Hammer Museum hosts a conversation with Steve Martin and The New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik in conjunction with its latest exhibit, "The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris" (Oct. 11-Jan. 24). The actor curates this first major U.S. retrospective of the Canadian modernist artist (1885-1970) featuring more than 30 of his landscapes. The exhibit is co-organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, where Martin and the Canadian-American Gopnik took part in a discussion earlier this year. Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Mon., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.; free, tickets required. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Siran Babayan

Shepard Fairey appears with Moby on Tuesday
Shepard Fairey appears with Moby on Tuesday
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff

tue 10/6

At Skylight Books, L.A. Times book critic David L. Ulin explains his new book, Sidewalking: Coming to Terms With Los Angeles. Ulin tells of striding through the urban landscape on foot with many questions at hand, grappling with preconceptions about L.A. and contemplating his relationship with the city. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $16.95. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —David Cotner

In Shepard Fairey's new book, Covert to Overt: The Under/Overground Art of Shepard Fairey, he acknowledges he's one of the most controversial names in street art. Fairey emerged out of the skateboarding scene, wheat-pasting his graphic designs on walls like any rebellious RISD student. He went on to launch clothing company OBEY and design the iconic Obama "Hope" poster. The Los Feliz resident has come under fire for his failure to attribute his work and for co-opting underground and racial movements. Tonight he will be interviewed by Moby, the mega-selling electronic musician whose most recent venture is a vegan café in Silver Lake. Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre, New Roads School, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Tue., Oct. 6, 8 p.m.; $20-$95. livetalksla.org. —Sascha Bos

For a more classic horror experience, consider The Wolf Man at LACMA. This version, made in 1941 and screening on 35mm, stars Lon Chaney Jr. as the poor soul whose lycanthropic transformation has proven enormously influential in the creature-feature genre. They don't make monster movies like Universal used to, not that many (including, well, Universal) haven't tried. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Oct. 6, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

wed 10/7

You don't have to be a president's daughter to effect positive change in the world — but it sure helps. Chelsea Clinton presents and signs It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!, and it's packed with facts, anecdotes and schematics that chart out the world's problems — along with strategies that any average person can use to think globally, act locally and enjoy thoroughly. Everything from poverty to epidemics is covered between the covers of this book, which doubles as both a defense against hopelessness and a wellspring of New Year's resolutions. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Wed., Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m.; free, book purchase required ($18.99). (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —David Cotner

Elsewhere in free sneak previews, USC presents Dukhtar with debuting writer-director Afia Serena Nathaniel appearing via Skype for a post-screening Q&A. Pakistan's official submission for the Foreign-Language Film Oscar tells of a woman and her 10-year-old daughter attempting to escape from their remote, mountainous village after the girl is promised in marriage to a tribal leader. USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Wed., Oct. 7, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu—Michael Nordine

Desdemona at UCLA Freud Playhouse: See Thursday.
Desdemona at UCLA Freud Playhouse: See Thursday.
Photo by Mark Allan

thu 10/8

Like its home city of St. Petersburg, the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra has suffered ongoing renaming — it was the Imperial Russian Ballet and then the Kirov Ballet, and now it's the Mariinsky Ballet after its home theater, which hopefully will stabilize its identity a bit. Compared with Moscow's boisterous Bolshoi Ballet, the Mariinsky is justly considered the repository of classical Russian ballet, with polished stars exuding impeccable technique and an incomparable corps de ballet that fields dozens of dancers who move as one. After presenting the seldom-seen Raymonda last week in Orange County, the ballet dancers and the orchestra launch the Music Center's 12th annual dance series with choreographer Alexei Ratmansky's Cinderella, set to the elegant Prokofiev score and relocated to the 1930s. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu.-Sat., Oct. 8-10, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., Oct. 10-11, 2 p.m.; $34-$138. (213) 972-7211, musiccenter.org. —Ann Haskins

Writer-poet Toni Morrison gives a new voice to Othello's radically independent female lead in Desdemona, a musical concert/theatrical production directed by Peter Sellars and featuring the superb Malian singer Rokia Traoré as Barbary, the nurse who raised Shakespeare's Desdemona (played by Tina Benko) on African stories and songs. The idea, Morrison says, is to explore the African side of the character. UCLA Freud Playhouse, 405 Hilgard Ave., Westwood; Thu., Oct. 8, 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 9-10, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 11, 2 p.m.; $69-$89, UCLA students $15, faculty & staff $25. (310) 825-2101, cap.ucla.edu. —John Payne

Beyond Fest continues at the Egyptian with The Devils on 35mm. Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed star in Ken Russell's highly controversial, oft-banned account of a notorious witchcraft trial that took place in 17th-century France. Bernard Rose will introduce the film, which originally received an X rating. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., Oct. 8, 10 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

As part of the L.A. Central Library's ALOUD lecture series, Egyptian-American writer and activist Mona Eltahawy discusses her new book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, with NPR correspondent Kelly Mc­Evers. Eltahawy, who has contributed to The Washington Post and The New York Times, has drawn criticism for her outspokenness on sex and sexism in the Middle East and North Africa, namely her 2012 article for Foreign Policy, "Why Do They Hate Us?" Eltahawy's book chronicles her upbringing in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and London, which led to her feminist awakening. Her book is also a "condemnation" of religious and political oppression of Muslim women, drawing on many cases of abuse at the hands of men from Lebanon to Yemen. L.A. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Thu., Oct. 8, 7:15 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 228-7500, lfla.org. —Siran Babayan

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