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

A Tom of Finland Party at Lethal Amounts on Friday? Yes, please.EXPAND
A Tom of Finland Party at Lethal Amounts on Friday? Yes, please.
Star Foreman


Late erotic artist Tom of Finland launches a line, a magazine comes to life at the Ace Hotel, International Documentary Association hosts an Oscars doc binge fest, and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 2/24

Pop-Up Magazine is an evening of multimedia storytelling created for the stage in which contributors — at past events including luminaries of politics, food, art, design, sports, business and science — speak and/or perform their stories accompanied by illustrations, animation, photography, film and/or original scores. Among performers scheduled to take part tonight are Kelly McEvers (co-host, NPR's All Things Considered), Kelley L. Carter (Emmy Award–winning writer now on ESPN's The Undefeated), Jazmine Hughes (associate editor, New York Times Magazine), Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib (Pushcart Prize–nominated poet and essayist, MTV News) and Laurel Braitman (New York Times best-selling author and writer-in-residence at Stanford School of Medicine). The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., doors 6:30 p.m.; $32. (213) 623-3233, popupmagazine.com. —John Payne

Tom of Finland's NSFW hunks have long been a part of Los Angeles. In 1978, the artist had his first U.S. solo show in the city he would later call a part-time home; his work went on to be shown at MOCA and LACMA. So, it's fitting that the late artist's brand would collaborate with Westlake art gallery/boutique Lethal Amounts on a new merchandise collection. Where Tom of Finland rose to cult acclaim through the muscle magazines of the 1950s, Lethal Amounts has dedicated its space to celebrating the underground and transgressive with past shows covering everything from early L.A. punk pics to the works of filmmaker Bruce LaBruce. The Tom of Finland x Lethal Amounts collection includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, prints and a zine that's limited to 50 copies. Friday night's launch party, sponsored by Silver Lake bar Eagle L.A., includes costumed guys and special guests to be announced. Lethal Amounts, 1226 W. Seventh St., Westlake; Fri., Feb. 24; 7-11 p.m.; $5. (213) 265-7452, lethalamounts.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Looking for a greater understanding of cannabis? A high-end marijuana pairing dinner is a great place to start. Purple Dandelion Collective hosts Tree Lounge — A Guided Cannabis Tasting Experience, dinners of three mini-courses of sweet and savory bites created to match with different strains of cannabis. You'll be given all kinds of different strains to try — but you can't buy any, as the weed is classified as a gift for the purposes of this event. An expert will explain the qualities and purposes of each strain, and after the tasting you can join the dance party, with music by DJ Professor Moses. Location disclosed with reservation; Fri., Feb. 24, 8 p.m.; $39-$59. eventbrite.com/e/tree-lounge-a-guided-cannabis-tasting-experience-tickets-31465800055. —Katherine Spiers

Wanda marked Barbara Loden's debut as writer-director, but it was also a kind of swan song: The actress — who also played the title role — died 10 years later without ever making another feature. That's a loss we're still feeling nearly half a century later, as her landmark of independent cinema ranks alongside Night of the Hunter as one of the greatest one-off directorial efforts ever. Taking place in and very much informed by rural Pennsylvania, Wanda centers around a dissatisfied housewife setting out on her own with what could generously be described as mixed results. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Feel the rhythm of the night at Cinefamily, where Beau Travail screens on 35mm as part of La Collectionneuse. Claire Denis' loose adaptation of Billy Budd retains the spirit of Herman Melville's novella but is very much its own creature. One of the most acclaimed films of the late '90s/early aughts, Beau Travail also features one of the best endings of all time — the kind you won't see coming but, once the credits roll, will leave you unable to imagine any other closing scene. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

Of all The Big Lebowski's hilarious lines, who knew that the most relevant one 19 years later would be "Donny, you're out of your element"? (Also acceptable: "Nazis? Fuck me..." and, of course, "Donny, shut the fuck up.") Since dwelling on our current state of affairs is very un-Dude, enjoy a White Russian and the Nuart's midnight screening instead. The cult classic to end all cult classics, the Coen brothers' noir-inflected comedy is among the few movies that genuinely gets better with each successive viewing. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Feb. 24, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 2/25

We're living in an era when the truth seems stranger than fiction, which means documentary filmmaking is going to be more important than ever. Still, documentaries have a tendency to get short shrift when it comes to box office accessibility. In advance of the 2017 Oscars, the International Documentary Association hosts DocuDay L.A., a daylong marathon of screenings of all the Oscar-nominated documentary features and shorts. The day kicks off at 8:45 a.m. with I Am Not Your Negro, a doc that envisions an unfinished James Baldwin novel, and wraps up with a 10:20 p.m. screening of O.J.: Made in America, ESPN's documentary on the controversial football player turned high-profile murder suspect. Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills; Sat., Feb. 25, 8:30 a.m.; $14 per screening, $70 all-day pass. eventbrite.com/e/docuday-la-2017-tickets-31109100156. —Gwynedd Stuart

Decades have passed since you first saw The Birds, yet your heart still starts to beat a little faster when you see a feathered flock sitting on a telephone wire. Similarly, the last time you had a window seat on a plane, you probably spent the entire flight watching for a gremlin on the wing. Few people could tap into fear as eloquently as Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling did. Now, it's time to confront those nightmares for the sake of art. Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Tribute Art Show features more than 40 artists — including Chet Zar, Clint Carney and others known for creating creepy visions — paying homage to these two touchstones of terror. Bearded Lady's Mystic Museum, 3204 Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Sat., Feb. 25, 8 p.m.; $5. (818) 433-7530, facebook.com/themysticmuseum. —Liz Ohanesian

Before he was head writer on Saturday Night Live and later director of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Other Guys and the Oscar-nominated The Big Short, Adam McKay was a comedian who honed his chops at iO Chicago. McKay also is a co-founder of the improv juggernaut Upright Citizens Brigade and, with creative partner Will Ferrell, of online comedy content giant Funny or Die. Tonight, fellow UCB founder Ian Roberts (executive producer of Key & Peele, TV Land's Teachers) hosts Adam McKay and Friends with McKay, who discusses his career and performs improv scenes. iO West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Feb. 25, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 962-7560, ioimprov.com/west/. —Siran Babayan

Before Lindsay Lohan there was Hayley Mills, whose remarkable first few years as a young actress included dual roles in The Parent Trap. (Released the same year, much less well known and worth seeking out: the fabulistic Whistle Down the Wind, in which she plays a girl who discovers in her barn a vagrant who claims to be Jesus.) The New Beverly presents the original Disney comedy on an I.B. Technicolor 35mm print as a $6 kiddee matinee, so take the young'uns while they still have the chance to experience actual film stock. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., Feb. 25, 2 p.m.; $6. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

Of all the drive-ins in all the towns in the world, Casablanca screens at Electric Dusk. One of those rare classics whose sterling reputation is wholly deserved, Michael Curtiz's Best Picture winner is not only as good as you've always heard but also the source of countless lines you've heard quoted over the years. If you don't believe me, round up the usual suspects and head downtown to the drive-in — it could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 2930 Fletcher Drive, Glassell Park; Sat., Feb. 25, 7 p.m. (doors at 5:30); $10 lawn, $14 car, $60 VIP. (818) 653-8591, electricduskdrivein.com. —Michael Nordine

A bit of the old ultraviolence at the Aero, where you're invited to pry your eyes open for every single minute of A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick's most outwardly disturbing film, it follows a gang of wayward youths led by Malcolm McDowell as they rove across a dystopian near-future in which they're somehow not even the most frightening element around. The famously meticulous director's adaptation of Anthony Burgess' novel proved so controversial in the United Kingdom — it was even blamed for actual violence — that Kubrick himself had it withdrawn from theaters. Cue up the Ludwig Van, assemble your droogs and prepare for forced rehabilitation. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Yup, that's a little tree (see: Sunday).
Yup, that's a little tree (see: Sunday).
Courtesy The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Upcoming Events

sun 2/26

While celebrities are primping, preening and starving themselves on Oscars Sunday, regular folks in not-so-regular gear flood Universal Studios for Old Hollywood Day. The unofficial meetup encourages fans of Hollywood's classic era to dress up as their favorite celeb — from Clark Gable to Clara Bow — although dressing as one of the celebs whom paid impersonators play at the park, like Lucille Ball or Marilyn Monroe, is discouraged. It's all pretty loose, but costumed participants can keep up with one another and photo ops by following @OldHollywoodDay on Instagram. Best part about being a regular person on Oscars Day? You can actually eat. Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City; Sun., Feb. 26, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; free with park admission. facebook.com/events/1852382701709873. —Gwynedd Stuart

Bonsai is the Japanese art form of landscaping miniature trees in shallow containers. The Huntington Library's bonsai garden holds hundreds of juniper, elm, pine and other such trees, some more than 1,000 years old. The museum's annual Bonsai-a-Thon invites visitors to both admire and learn about its bonsai collection over two days. Saturday includes a beginner's workshop (advance registration required), while Sunday features a behind-the-scenes tour of the bonsai nursery. Both days offer a bonsai exhibit, guided tours, demonstrations led by experts, live auction, raffle and vendors selling tools, pots and trees. Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino; Sat.-Sun., Feb. 25-26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $25, $21 seniors & students, $10 children, free children under 4. (626) 405-2100, huntington.org. —Siran Babayan

mon 2/27

Overcoming fear has a lot to do with talking about precisely what spurs the fear of "the Other," which can seem at times as if it's devouring our society. In today's Muslim Women Speak symposium, the proceedings begin with a social hour before lunch. Later, you'll hear from Aminah Bakeer Abdul-Jabbaar of the department of Pan-African studies at CSULA; Soraya Deen, founder of the Muslim Women Speakers Movement; Aziza Hasan, founding director of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change; Crystal Keshawarz, director of communications for Muslims for Progressive Values; Edina Lekovic of the Muslim Public Affairs Council; and Suroor Raziuddin, organizer of "Meet Your Muslim Neighbor" — neighborliness being rather the point of the whole day today. The Ebell of Los Angeles, 741 S. Lucerne Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Mon., Feb. 27, 11:30 a.m.; $25-$40. (323) 931-1277, ebelleventtickets.com. —David Cotner

Watch a magazine come to life at Pop-Up Magazine on Friday.EXPAND
Watch a magazine come to life at Pop-Up Magazine on Friday.
Jon Snyder

tue 2/28

Joyce Carol Oates has long been one of this country's most celebrated writers, and in her latest novel, A Book of American Martyrs, she reveals how the lives of two families are forever altered when a devout Christian acts on his beliefs to murder a small-town doctor who provides abortions. Unlike the cryptic and often-impenetrable James Joyce, this Joycean stylist unfolds her timely parable of the vast cultural and spiritual divide in the United States with clean, starkly revelatory prose that treats both sides in the abortion debate with dignity and respect. Following a short reading, Oates discusses the current state of our disunion with poet Henri Cole. The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Feb. 28, 8 p.m.; $25-$43.(323) 424-4939, hollywoodforever.ticketfly.com/event/1423814-joyce-carol-oates-los-angeles. —Falling James

Tim Drake is a Second City alum, stand-up comic and writer who has contributed to Funny or Die and the satirical news website Robot Butt. Since 2013, he's hosted from Salt Lake City his comedy and entertainment podcast On the Mic With Tim Drake, conducting call-in interviews with fellow comedians such as Tracy Morgan, Pete Holmes, Steve-O, David Koechner, Kurt Braunohler, the Sklar Brothers and the Katydids, as well as actors, filmmakers and musicians, including Edward James Olmos and New Found Glory. For his 100th episode, Drake sits down with local comics Barbara Gray, Brandie Posey and Tess Barker, who host their own podcast, Lady to Lady. The live taping also features stand-up by Christopher James and podcast regular panelists Austin Grant and Jesse Knight. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Feb. 28, 7-8:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

No one mastered the screwball comedy quite like Preston Sturges, whose The Lady Eve is one of many all-timers from the writer-director (see also: The Palm Beach Story and Sullivan's Travels). Starring Barbara Stanwyck as a con artist and Henry Fonda as a snake-loving heir, the film starts with the worst of intentions but can't help blossoming into something romantic and fleet of foot as the two realize they've found the apple of their eyes. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Feb. 28, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

wed 3/1

In recent months, the Dakota Access Pipeline conflict has become both an environmental and a cultural hot-button issue. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other Native Americans, environmentalists and even veterans object to the construction of the 1,172-mile-long oil pipeline — which would cost nearly $4 billion and carry 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois — claiming the project will contaminate drinking water and damage sacred burial sites. Shedding light on the protest, the Hammer Museum hosts panel discussion Standing Tall for Tribal Rights. KPFK's Ian Masters moderates UCLA law professors Carole Goldberg and Angela R. Riley and activist Melanie K. Yazzie as they address "what tribal sovereignty and Indian rights look in today's United States as well as in activism more broadly." Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., March 1, 7:30 p.m.; free. hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2017/03/standing-tall-for-tribal-rights. —Siran Babayan

thu 3/2

Over the past few years, the Dance Resource Center has partnered with the Bootleg to showcase new choreography works, usually from a trio of L.A.-based companies and often assembling troupes from different parts of the dance spectrum. This edition of Home Grown @ Bootleg continues that tradition. Choreographer Nicole Berger works in both the commercial and concert arenas with her Company Rhome, blending contemporary dance with ballet. A product of UC Irvine's excellent dance program, Shirine Rehmani explores modern dance idioms with her all-female Roots and Wings Dance Project. Experienced performer and flamenco teacher Katerina Tomás completes the lineup with her Mojácar Flamenco. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Thu.-Sat., March 2-4, 7:30 p.m., $18-$20. bootlegtheater.org/theater. —Ann Haskins


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