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

Listen to music from Mulholland Drive and other David Lynch movies: See WednesdayEXPAND
Listen to music from Mulholland Drive and other David Lynch movies: See Wednesday

fri 3/27

Last we saw of Amy Schumer on Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer, she went to the prom, contracted herpes and was visited by God — played by Paul Giamatti — who reprimanded her for getting herpes. Schumer has been the potty-mouthed, younger-sis-of–Sarah Silverman heroine for the Girls generation since appearing on NBC's Last Comic Standing in 2007. This year Schumer stars in the Judd Apatow–directed Trainwreck, hosts the MTV Movie Awards and, for a third season, produces her hit sketch-comedy show. If you don't want to wait until then, the comedian returns to her stand-up roots to talk about her favorite topics: sex, relationships and vagina. Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri., March 27, 7:30 p.m.; $36.50. (877) 677-4386, laorpheum.com. —Siran Babayan

After a glitzy screening of The Sound of Music on March 26, TCM Fest begins in earnest today. The weekend-long celebration of classic cinema is one of our fair city’s premier events devoted to the art of motion pictures, as evidenced by the throngs of out-of-towners who fly in to partake. Highlights from today’s schedule include Lenny, the inimitable Bob Fosse’s Lenny Bruce biopic starring Dustin Hoffman; Woody Allen’s tragicomic The Purple Rose of Cairo, one of the writer-director’s best outings; and Orson Welles’ Shakespeare-inspired Chimes at Midnight. All screenings are in the Hollywood and Highland area, namely the TCL Chinese Theatre, El Capitan, the Egyptian and the Chinese 6 multiplex. TCL Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., March 27, various times. (323) 461-3331, tcm.com/festival. —Michael Nordine

Czech That Film takes over USC for the next five days and proves that Czech Republic–related puns remain charming and hilarious. Andrea Sedlácková’s Fair Play gets pride of place as the opening-night selection tonight at 7. Set in the 1980s, when the Central European nation was still known as Czechoslovakia and under the thrall of the U.S.S.R., it tells of an aspiring Olympic runner faced with a moral quandary in the form of anabolic steroids. After the movie, which was its country’s Oscar submission this year, Sedlácková will participate in a Q&A. Also worth going to is Sunday’s 4 p.m. screening of the excellent miniseries-turned-film Burning Bush, which is definitely worth...czeching out (sorry). USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Fri., March 27, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu. —Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

At Monsterpalooza, the weirdly witty world of ghouls, demons and slime-dripping beasts comes to "life." This year's shebang boasts 200-plus vendors, a monster museum, makeup demonstrtions by a gigantor list of horror specialists and a big cast of super scary guests, including director George Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Creepshow) and actors Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill, The Street Fighter), Yaphet Kotto (Alien), Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein) and Linda Blair (The Exorcist). Marriott Burbank Hotel and Convention Center, 2500 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank; Fri., March 27, 6-11 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., March 28-29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $30 per day, $70 three-day pass, children under 10 free when accompanied by adult. monsterpalooza.com. —John Payne

Holly Johnston and her intriguingly named dance troupe, Ledges and Bones, have been a force on the local dance scene for more than a decade, with a distinctive take on contemporary choreography that is intense and primal and at the same time thoughtful and vulnerable. Johnston has been absent while gaining a master's degree out of state, but her new show, Unbecoming Woman, promises to prove she is back with exclamation points. The concert reunites Johnston with longtime collaborator Sarri Sanchez and her favored venue. Diavolo at the Brewery, 616 Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Fri.-Sat., March 27-28, 8 p.m.; pay-what-you-can donations at door. ledgesandbones.org. —Ann Haskins

For 30 years, Barney Frank fought indolence and arrogance in the House of Representatives, standing fast for everything from gay rights to financial reform. Here's your chance to see his cantankerous mojo up close when Vroman's presents the congressman discussing and signing Frank: A Life in Politics From the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage. It's not all about politics, of course — there's material in here about finding love with his husband, Jim Ready, as well as his latter-day atheism. But there's likely a lifetime of barbs leveled at those in power who'd rather sit or quit than make society a better place. South Pasadena Library Community Room, 1100 Oxley St., South Pasadena; Fri., March 27, 12 p.m.; $30, includes copy of Frank's book. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —David Cotner

Monsterpalooza
Monsterpalooza
Photo by Steve Jennings

sat 3/28

There’s no one like Ralph Bakshi in today’s Pixar-dominated animation landscape. If you don’t believe me, have your mind blown by the Aero’s 7:30 double feature of Lord of the Rings (1978) and Wizards (1977). The transgressive animator condensed Tolkien’s epic trilogy into a svelte two hours, eliding much and infusing his trademark oddity into the tale of mystical jewelry and the madness it inspires. Wizards is even stranger, injecting Nazi iconography into a conflict between two magic-sensitive brothers. The result is a movie that would never, ever get made by a major studio today. Between the two films, Bakshi will field questions from the audience. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., March 28, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

UCLA’s Festival of Preservation continues with the long-forgotten Spring Night, Summer Night, a dark Appalachian drama from 1967. A number of screenings and essays have brought writer-director J.L. Anderson’s only feature to greater attention these last few years, with tonight’s event (made possible by the restoration of the filmmaker's own 35mm print) poised to cement its status as a reclaimed classic. Anderson will be on hand to discuss Spring Night, whose portrayal of small-town USA sounds positively Lynchian. Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., March 28, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

The costumes might just be the best part of going to the opera. But where do those extravagant pieces go once the season is over? They're not burned up, Marie Antoinette–style — they stay at the L.A. Opera's Costume Shop, which is preparing to move. The Costume Shop Moving Sale — only the third open-air sale in the company's history — will offer costumes from productions such as The Grand Duchess and Cinderella at prices from $25 to $650 for entire ensembles (you can snag accessories for $2 to $20). With deals like those, who needs a fairy godmother? L.A. Opera Costume Shop parking lot, 330 S. Alameda St., downtown; Sat., March 28, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. laopera.com. —Sascha Bos

If you like spending lazy Saturday afternoons reading a book under a tree at Grand Park, make sure to show up this weekend — there'll be hundreds of people joining you. The third annual Downtown Bookfest mainstage features 2014 Los Angeles poet laureate Luis J. Rodriguez, plus L.A. writers doing readings in other languages and young-adult readings. The Music Center's Artizen Lab boasts kids storytelling, poetry and crafts, while the Family Pavilion includes more readings for young'uns, bilingual English/Spanish sing-alongs and a preview of the Ahmanson Theatre's upcoming Matilda the Musical. And if you're looking to take home more than sunburn, Writ Large Press' pop-up shop offers books, graphic novels and other souvenirs. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., March 28, noon-5 p.m.; free. grandparkla.org. 0x000A—Siran Babayan

The Buried Giant, the seventh novel by writer Kazuo Ishiguro, is set in a mist-choked, mystical medieval England brimming with dragons, faeries, an ancient man and wife and their quest to find their son in a distant place. In the latest installment of Writers Bloc's always-excellent creativity salons, Ishiguro appears this evening with Glee and American Horror Story writer Ned Martel and both will discuss the perils of memory, previous books of his like The Remains of the Day and the power of myth. Laemmle Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., March 28, 5 p.m.; $20. (310) 478-3836, writersblocpresents.com. —David Cotner

Seriously, you haven't seen Heat?
Seriously, you haven't seen Heat?

sun 3/29

Sometimes it feels as if humans have never been greedier than in today's supercapitalist society — but it's all just history repeating. In the second century, Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus penned The Pot of Gold, which revolves around one man's obsessive guarding of a literal pot of gold he found buried under his house. Inspired by Mexico's Rumberas noir films, the Latino Theater Company adapts Plautus' classic into La Olla, the tale of a struggling entertainer in 1950s Los Angeles who stumbles across a large amount of money, which turns his life upside-down. The Getty Villa hosts a one-weekend presentation of the work in progress. Getty Villa Auditorium, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; Fri.-Sat., March 27-28, 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., March 28-29, 3 p.m.; $7. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu. —Sascha Bos

You should feel at least a little guilty if you've never seen Heat, which is among the greatest action movies of all time, but you should also be excited to experience it for the first time. Your dereliction of moviegoing duty may be remedied tonight at 7 p.m. and/or tomorrow at 8 p.m., thanks to the tireless efforts of the New Beverly's monthlong program of '90s classics. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro go head to head as cop and criminal in this most epic of genre exercises, which sees action auteur Michael Mann expand against the backdrop of our own Los Angeles. Heat is one of those rare films that instantly reshapes your conception of the entire genre to which it belongs — like something you've always been waiting for without fully realizing it. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sun., March 29, 7 p.m.; Mon., March 30, 8 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

The L.A. Open Domino Tournament is coming on Monday
The L.A. Open Domino Tournament is coming on Monday

mon 3/30

Get your regional experimental cinema on at REDCAT with Transforming Spaces: New Films From L.A. Filmmakers. Several Los Angeles, United States and world premieres comprise the program, which explores the many approaches L.A. filmmakers have taken to conceptualizing and making sense of this most cinematic city. Included in that fine company are Janie Geiser’s The Hummingbird Wars, Julie Murray’s End Reel and Abigail Severance’s Kinesthesia Series. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., March 30, 8 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org.

The Universal Domino League, billed as the world's biggest, hosts the L.A. Open Domino Tournament, which spans six mind-melting, spine-shattering hours. You'll see the best players in the region competing for up to $5,000 in prizes and the coveted championship belt — and no, it is not made entirely of dominoes. Hosted by longtime domino enthusiast and Married ... With Children actor David Faustino, it may be the one time in your life when experiencing the domino effect is a good thing. West Coast Hooters, 1248 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Mon., March 30, 6 p.m.-mid.; free to watch, $100 for participants. (213) 222-9464, universaldominoleague.com. —David Cotner

tue 3/31

If screenings of the entire Antoine Doinel saga didn’t give you your fill of François Truffaut, allow LACMA to satiate your craving with a 1 p.m. screening of Jules and Jim on 35mm. Perhaps the French New Wave icon’s greatest film, it has all the verve and style associated with that period — in spades. The story of two friends whose friendship is tested when they fall in love with the same woman is by turns tragic and endearing. A bizarre love triangle indeed, as well as one of the most moving films of its era. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., March 31, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

Writers, artists and performers fill the lineup for Sister Spit: The Next Generation at the Hammer tonight. A continuation of the touring, spoken-word crew formed by Sini Anderson and Michelle Tea in the 1990s, the current show is hosted by Virgie Tovar, the body-image activist behind the hashtag #losehatenotweight. This tour features authors Myriam Gurba (Dahlia Season), Thomas Page McBee (Man Alive) and Kate Schatz (Rad American Women A-Z), as well as artist Miriam Klein Stahl and drag performer Mica Sigourney. Special guests include Weetzie Bat author Francesca Lia Block, writer Nikki Darling (whose work has been featured in L.A. Weekly) and artist Zackary Drucker. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., March 31, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Liz Ohanesian

As baseball season starts, USC takes a scientific look at the sport with Velocity and Vulnerability: Baseball Pitchers and the Limits of Human Performance. Representing the players will be Robb Nen, of the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins, and Tom House, an Atlanta Braves pitching legend and USC alum. The scientists will be Keck School of Medicine orthopedic surgeon Seth Gamradt and USC Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering professor Jill McNitt-Gray. Among the questions raised: Has the human body reached its limit when it comes to pitching? Is a 120mph fastball something we'll ever see? And what do the catchers think about all this? Dedeaux Field, University Park Campus, 1021 Childs Way, University Park; Tue., March 31, 6 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-0483, visionsandvoices.usc.edu. —David Cotner

Christian Bale in Newsies, centerEXPAND
Christian Bale in Newsies, center

wed 4/1

Rare is the filmmaker who uses music in such a way that it becomes inseparable from his identity as an artist. Dario Argento and Werner Herzog are notables in this vein; another is David Lynch. Tonight you'll witness this revered aspect of his films in The Music of David Lynch. Admirers including Moby, Karen O, Wayne Coyne, Sky Ferreira and Duran Duran appear with Lynch collaborators Angelo Badalamenti (Blue Velvet), Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks) and Rebekah Del Rio (Mulholland Drive) in a dreamlike evening of performance, reinterpretation and revival. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit David Lynch Foundation, whose goal is to bring Transcendental Meditation to at-risk humans with PTSD. What, no Toto? The Theater at Ace Hotel, 929 Broadway, downtown; Wed., April 1, 8 p.m.; $45-$1,000. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com. —David Cotner

Hollywood and Broadway collide at the El Capitan's screening of Newsies, the 1992 Hollywood movie (based on the New York City newsboys strike of 1899) that inspired the 2012 Tony-winning musical of the same name. In attendance will be special guests to be announced from both the film and the Broadway show, which — you guessed it — is on tour in L.A. at the Pantages until April 18. And if any New Yorkers try to assert their Broadway superiority, just remind them that Hollywood's version of the story stars Christian Bale. El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., April 1, 9:30 p.m.; $20. (800) 347-6396, elcapitantickets.com. —Sascha Bos

thu 4/2

Lakers Hall of Famer Jamaal "Silk" Wilkes discusses and signs Memoirs of the Original Smooth as Silk, which includes the forward's beginnings at UCLA with coach John Wooden, two NCAA Championships and an 88-game winning streak, plus the 1975 Lakers' championship season. Silk — who entered the Hall in 2012 — has had a storied life, doing everything from starring in the film Cornbread, Earl and Me to becoming a popular motivational speaker. His jersey may be retired, but Wilkes is anything but retiring. Eso Won Books, 4327 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park; Thu., April 2, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 290-1048, esowonbookstore.com. —David Cotner

For more events see the art, stage, film and music sections, and visit laweekly.com/calendar.


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