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

Lil Bub and other "feline influencers" appear at CatConLA on Saturday and Sunday.EXPAND
Lil Bub and other "feline influencers" appear at CatConLA on Saturday and Sunday.
Courtesy CatCon L.A.

The world's most famous cats descend on L.A., Moby discusses his new book, political junkies gather for their own fan con and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 6/24

Book Soup at the Skirball hosts Moby, who discusses his new book, Porcelain: A Memoir, with KCRW's Jason Bentley. The DJ-musician-producer achieved worldwide success with his 1999 record, Play, but Moby's biography focuses on the 10 years before he became one of electronic music's biggest stars. He writes about being a straight-edge, Bible class–teaching Christian while living in squalor and struggling as a DJ in New York clubs in the late 1980s and early '90s. There were career highs (1990's single "Go," meeting legendary artists, headlining European festivals) and lows (1996's album Animal Rights). Moby reminisces further about growing up poor in Connecticut, and how for him — like so many DJs — disco, in his case Diana Ross' "Love Hangover," was the music that changed his life. He also appears at Skylight Books on June 30. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Fri., June 24, 8 p.m.; $5, $30.52 with book. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. —Siran Babayan

As far as we know, there's no law that says participants in Sing-Along Sound of Music can't substitute the film's original lyrics with their own, perhaps more deeply felt thoughts and feelings, for instance: "DOUGH, a name, I call my cash, RAY, the creep who owes me some, ME, the guy, who needs it now, SO, hey fork it over, bum," etc. On the other hand, the film's diehard fans — who are legion — will take delight in warbling along with Maria and those plucky Von Trapp kids. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood Hills; Fri., June 24, preshow 6:30 p.m., film 8 p.m.; $12-$110. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —John Payne

Movies have been threatening to jump off the screen since at least 1903's The Great Train Robbery. That conceit is at the center of Demons and Anguish, two films with no official connections but a number of coincidental links: Made in 1985 and 1987, respectively, both horror flicks center around moviegoers who get more than they bargained for with the price of admission. The zombie-like action spills into the theater in Demons (produced and co-written by giallo master Dario Argento), while in Bigas Luna's Anguish, a transfixed viewer responds to a murderous character's commands as though they were being spoken to her. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., June 24, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu recently appeared together in Valley of Love, a cerebral take on mourning, set in Death Valley; the two icons of Gallic cinema first appeared onscreen together more than 40 years earlier in Bertrand Blier's Going Places, an explicit comedy whose original title is a slang term for testicles. Cinefamily screens the anti-establishment provocation on 35mm as part of La Collectionneuse, its monthly soiree devoted to Francophilia. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., June 24, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

sat 6/25

Politics and entertainment merge again at the second annual Politicon. Whether you're trying to make sense of the election or of recent tragic events, the two-day, nonpartisan convention offers interviews, panels, screenings, podcasts and comedy shows on topics ranging from "Misogyny & Sexism in Politics" to "Islam in the 21st Century" to the rhetorically titled "Is Trump a Psychopath?" Leading the discussions will be politicians and political commentators from all over the spectrum, including former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Sen. Barbara Boxer, former Mexican president Vicente Fox, Ann Coulter, James Carville, Glenn Beck and Larry Wilmore. Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Sat.-Sun., June 25-26, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; $15-$275. politicon.com. —Siran Babayan

Even with 100 precocious kittens on hand for adoption, real felines will be outnumbered by thousands of their clumsy human fans at the annual CatConLA. The lines between species will be seriously blurred when "top celebrity cat influencers" Lil Bub, Pudge and Nala the Cat appear alongside human luminaries such as Mariel Hemingway and seemingly ageless Catwoman icon Julie Newmar, not to mention the cos-playful wannabes who'll compete in the Furr-ocious Fashion Face-Off contest. Meanwhile, in the Escape Room, misbehaving humans can attempt to break out of a gigantic cardboard box. And for the first time, CatConLA founder Susan Michals joins forces with Will Braden, who will present the CatVideoFest (Sat., June 25, 6:30 p.m.) with host Andy Milonakis at the nearby Ace Hotel. The Reef, 1933 Broadway, downtown; Sat., June 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., June 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $24-$50 for adults, $15-$25 ages 5-12, $20 for CatVideoFest, $100 & $150 for meet & greets. catconla.com. —Falling James

One Saturday a month, from June through September, the Broad is hosting a series of late-night events collectively called Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings. The first one, titled "Magnificent Obsession," features music and performances inspired by the museum's current exhibit of Cindy Sherman's photographs, including music from Perfume Genius, Cindytalk and Lotic, and dance from feminist performance artist Narcissister; performance collective Mutant Salon will be on hand offering makeovers. Plus, it's an opportunity to check out the new exhibit under unusual circumstances — at night, with music. We'd like to think Sherman would approve. The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown, Sat., June 25, 8:30 p.m.; $35. (213) 232-6200, thebroad.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Acropolis Cinema, which has been bridging the divide between New York's and Los Angeles' art-house scenes with one-off screenings of cinephile favorites since January, co-presents the L.A. premiere of Right Now, Wrong Then. If it's anything like his best-known work, the latest film by Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo is likely to be rich in soju drinking, meta commentary on film itself and characters flailing their way through romantic entanglements. Stay after the screening of Hong's Golden Leopard winner for a soju reception on the patio. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sat., June 25, 4 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.

The Coen brothers have more perfect final scenes to their name than any other filmmaker, the most moving of which is the dream sequence that closes Raising Arizona. A screwball follow-up to the cinematic siblings' grim debut, Blood Simple, the earnest comedy stars Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter as two would-be parents whose quest for a little one puts them on the wrong side of the law. DJ Gaslamp Killer spins before and after Cinespia's outdoor affair. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., June 25, 9 p.m. (gates at 7:15); $16. (323) 221-3343, cinespia.org—Michael Nordine

Performance artist Narcissister contributes to the cool weirdness of the Broad's Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings on Saturday.EXPAND
Performance artist Narcissister contributes to the cool weirdness of the Broad's Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings on Saturday.
Courtesy the Broad

sun 6/26

Following up her stunning solo Mother.F*cker and ensemble piece Mother.Redux, choreographer Christine Suarez and her SuarezDance unleash the fifth in her "family" series. In Mother.Father, the subject is family-making and the starting point was interviews with lesbian moms, gay dads and LGBTQ parents. The choreographer and dancers Bernard Brown, Ilaan Egeland-Mazzini, Kai Hazelwood and Nguyen Nguyen take it from there in a church, somehow a most apt and welcoming venue. All Saints Episcopal Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena; Sun., June 26, 6:30 p.m.; $10 suggested donation. suarezdance.org. —Ann Haskins

You don't have to rough it to experience nature. Take a walk on the wild side and celebrate our city's ecology at the Natural History Museum's second annual L.A. Urban Nature Fest. Scientists lead tours of the museum's bird collection, and local nature organizations will be on hand. Additional weekend activities include storytelling, interactive music, snake-feeding demonstrations and other live animals, as well as workshops on taxidermy, photography and silk screening. And say "evolution" during photo ops with "Charles Darwin." Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; Sat.-Sun., June 25-26, 9 a.m.; $12, $9 seniors and students, $5 children, free for 2 and younger. (213) 763-3499, nhm.org. —Siran Babayan

Upcoming Events

Despite our friendly rivalry with the Big Apple, far be it from Angelenos to turn our noses up at something cool just because it originated on the East Coast. The huge weekly market Smorgasburg, a spinoff of Brooklyn Flea, has been wowing New Yorkers since 2011 (Mario Batali called it "the single greatest thing I've ever seen gastronomically in New York City"). Located on the site of the Alameda Produce Market, Smorgasburg brings together a massive number of food vendors — from Raindrop Cake to Donut Friend to Ramen Burger — plus furniture, clothing and housewares vendors too. Smorgasburg kicked off on June 19 and continues every Sunday. ROW DTLA, 777 S. Alameda St., downtown; Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. la.smorgasburg.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

After being closed for technical renovations for most of the month, the Egyptian Theatre opens its doors for a weekend series devoted to a master's final four films. Another Take on Kubrick closes with Barry Lyndon, the meticulous filmmaker's period piece adapted from William Makepeace Thackeray's novel. About an Irish rogue climbing the rungs of British society throughout the mid–18th century, the film is noted for eschewing traditional lighting in favor of candlelight for its many interior scenes — an arduous process resulting in arresting images and an Oscar for cinematographer John Alcott. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Sun., June 26, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine


mon 6/27

Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher are following in the footsteps of great comedy couples like Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman and Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, and they're sharing the inappropriate details of their romance in the Honeymoon Tour. Married last year, the two have appeared together in Comedy Central's turn-of-the-century spoof Another Period, recently renewed for a third season, and on Leggero's hilarious hot-tub talk show on YouTube, Tubbin' With Tash, in which she affectionately calls her hubby "Pig Bottom." Tonight they'll each perform stand-up and give out marital and relationship advice, which you may or may not want to take. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Mon., June 27, doors 7 p.m., show 8:30 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —Siran Babayan

tue 6/28

Just as mainstream intellectual curiosity withered in the throes of the Reagan years, a weekend variety program called Night Flight took off on the fledgling USA Network. A cornucopia of film, videos and animation, it was essential viewing for late-night weirdos who thrived on the grotesque and the profane. Tonight's screening of Night Flight: Born Again, with Night Flight founder Stuart Shapiro and actor Larry Hankin, is a celebration of the launch of subscription channel Night Flight Plus, featuring clips of Wendy O. Williams, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Divine, a tribute to Prince and other treasures from the basements of interesting culture. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Tue., June 28, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

Bette Davis turns in one of her many classic performances in Now, Voyager, screening on 35mm as part of LACMA and Outfest's Classically Queer: LGBTQ Directors in Hollywood's Golden Age. The helmer in question is Irving Rapper, who directed Davis in four other movies and, to the shock of few who knew the supremely talented thesp, later admitted that she wasn't always the easiest collaborator. Here she plays an unhappy spinster whose experiences with therapy and a married man she meets on a cruise give her a new lease on life, not always for the better. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 28, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

Urbanites like nature too — commune with them at the Natural History Museum on Sunday.
Urbanites like nature too — commune with them at the Natural History Museum on Sunday.
Courtesy Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

wed 6/29

Does the constant pursuit of material wealth — or at least stability and comfort — ever make your soul feel dirty? Come to terms with money and being a member of modern society when the Women's Center for Creative Work hosts a Spirituality and Money group discussion. Together with discussion leaders Liz Armstrong, Eliza Swann and Grace Kredell, attendees work toward answering the following question: "What do we think we truly need on the material plane and how can we better conceptualize our desires in accordance with a larger vision of collective financial health and well-being?" Does striving for wealth mean abandoning a greater good? The event is free but attendees are asked to bring a dollar for an energy ritual. Women's Center for Creative Work, 2425 Glover Place, Elysian Valley; Wed., June 29, 7-9 p.m.; free. facebook.com/events/582818621879693. —Gwynedd Stuart

George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn are set to appear at the Laemmle's 55th-anniversary screening of West Side Story, which even a musical agnostic like this writer can readily admit is more than worthy of its place in the canon. Stephen Farber, president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, will moderate the post-film Q&A; as the leaders of the warring Sharks and Jets, respectively, Chakiris and Tamblyn have the chance to make their uneasy truce official all these decades later. Ahrya Fine Arts Theater, 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Wed., June 29, 7:30 p.m.; $13. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Michael Nordine

thu 6/30

Tomorrow is Canada Day, the day the nation was officially born in 1867. No doubt you've been waiting all year to celebrate, but tonight you can pay tribute to the land of moose and Mounties at the Comedy Store's fifth annual Canada Day Comedy Show, the only such event in town. Past big-name guests include Harland Williams, Tom Green and Russell Peters. Canada's Angelo Tsarouchas once again hosts a secret lineup of fellow comics from the Great White North who'll prove that Canadians aren't too nice to be funny. The Comedy Store, 8433 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thu., June 30, 7 p.m.; $25. (323) 650-6268, thecomedystore.com. —Siran Babayan

Did people curse on the set of The Ten Commandments? Such questions may never be answered (at least not honestly), but archaeology is a more concrete concern — a concern addressed at tonight's program Excavating The Ten Commandments, a voyage into the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes where Cecil B. DeMille filmed The Ten Commandments in 1923. In 2012, after years of legends that the massive sphinxes and statues remained beneath the sands, those "antiquities" were finally discovered. Explorer Daniel R. Small and the Corning Museum of Glass' Jack Green will bring you up to date on where those artifacts stand — or lie buried, as the case may be. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Thu., June 30, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

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