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

A photo posted by jiff (@jiffpom) on

See the dog with more than 1.4 million Instagram followers, this Sunday at BeautyCon

fri 7/10

The L.A. riots helped change police brutality. The Haymarket Square Riot helped establish the eight-hour work day. And the Shays' Rebellion helped implement tax reform. Co-presented by Zócalo Public Square and UCLA, "Can Urban Riots Cause Change?" looks at the history of civil unrest, from the Boston Tea Party to Ferguson, and whether it helps or hinders political and social improvements. Washington Post columnist and former L.A. Weekly editor Harold Meyerson leads this panel discussion, which includes California state senator Holly Mitchell, sociologist Max Herman and UCLA historian Robin D.G. Kelley. MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., July 10, 6:30 p.m.; free, reservation required. zocalopublicsquare.org. —Siran Babayan

The Egyptian presents an early contender for the most lascivious double feature of the year: Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom and Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Not for the even mildly faint of heart, Pasolini's brutal, oft-banned exploration of fascism serves as a corrective to the torture porn and empty spectacles so in vogue over the last decade, as well as a reminder that extreme subject matter can still be wedded to artfulness. Meyer wasn't one to shy away from controversy either, though his brand of sexploitation was considerably more lighthearted (not to mention a favorite of Roger Ebert). Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., July 10, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

In the same week, the Music Center welcomes an impressive roster assembled by two American Ballet Theatre luminaries (Herman Cornejo and Roberto Bolle) and then hosts four local troupes. Ballet Now brings international ballet stars, recruited for an off-season project, performing classical and contemporary excerpts. Friday, Bolle leads dancers from Europe, Saturday is Cornejo with Latin American dancers, and Sunday is a combo. On Monday, Moves After Dark opens as four local troupes take audiences from the Music Center plaza to the steps of Disney Hall and into the Chandler Founders Room. Mysteriously, the series is touted as four "up-and-coming" dance troupes. True, Ate9 Dance arrived only two years ago, but BODYTRAFFIC began in 2007, Contra Tiempo in 2005 and Lula Washington Dance Theatre has been an L.A. fixture since 1980. All four have national reputations and have more than arrived. Ballet Now at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., July 10-11, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., July 12, 2 p.m.; $60-$110. Moves After Dark, Mon.-Tue., July 13-14 & 20-21, 8:30 p.m.; $25. (213) 972-0711, musiccenter.org. —Ann Haskins

Ballet Now: See Friday.
Ballet Now: See Friday.
Photo by Lucas Chilczuk

sat 7/11

Bergamot Station has been through a lot of changes in the 20 years since its quasi-abandoned train depot was transformed into a gallery hub. With the new Metro rail station coming, it's the perfect time to remind everyone that Bergamot is alive and well. With collaborators including the Pennington Dance Group, Greg Christy, Lili Haydn, Victoria Looseleaf, Kate Crash and Michael Maio, "Kate Johnson: EVERYWHERE in BETWEEN" is the third in a series of "artist interventions" using video projections, dance, live music and high-minded, cross-platform hijinks to enfold the sprawling entirety of the property into a singular, site-specific environmental experience. Bergamot Station Art Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., July 11, 8-10:30 p.m.; free. (310) 453-3711, 18thstreet.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

The teen web hits the Reef when BeautyCon brings out the stars of Instagram and YouTube. The target audience for this daylong fashion and makeup extravaganza skews hip and young — there will be a "Parents Lounge" on-site. If you show up with pastel hair or a floppy black hat, you'll probably fit in just fine. Guests include style-savvy YouTubers whose school-year beauty routines and bedroom-decorating tips garner hundreds of thousands of views. Online shop Nasty Gal and makeup blogger fave NYX Cosmetics are among brands that will have a presence here. You can even see Jiff, the adorably fluffy dog with more than 1.4 million Instagram followers. The Reef, 1933 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., July 11, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $29.99-$269. beautycon.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Continuing the recent phenomenon of video game music concerts, Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions brings the sound of a beloved franchise to the Greek Theatre. It's been 20 years since Pokémon burst onto the scene and there's no sign that the little animated creatures will fade from the limelight anytime soon. The vast collection of quirky and powerful characters have starred in video games, anime series and manga, popped up on all sorts of merchandise and become muses for pop culture–centric artists. The kids who dreamed of becoming Pokémon trainers are adult players of the latest games. Now the musical fuel for Pikachu, Snorlax and the rest gets the orchestral treatment. Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Sat., July 11, 8 p.m.; $53.40-$119.05. (323) 665-5857, greektheatrela.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Highland Park's Avenue 50 Studio, founded in 2000, is a pillar of the burgeoning Northeast L.A. art scene. Its ever-expanding programs have focused on the depth and diversity of Chicano and Latino heritage and its contributions to L.A. culture. July's pairing of solo exhibitions perfectly encapsulates this goal, as "Roberto Gutierrez: Elegy to the Sixth Street Bridge" and "Louis Jacinto: Punk Meets Art" each explore our collective relationship to the city's past. Gutierrez offers a series of elegant paintings in interpretive homage to the gorgeous but unstable and soon-to-be-replaced Sixth Street Bridge connecting downtown to East L.A., while Jacinto exhibits photographs of striking moments from the golden age of punk that happened far from Hollywood nightclubs. Avenue 50 Studio, 131 N. Avenue 50, Highland Park; Sat., July 11, 7-10 p.m.; free. Exhibitions continue Tue.-Thu. & Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., through Aug. 1. (323) 258-1435, avenue50studio.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Fermentation Festival: See Sunday.
Fermentation Festival: See Sunday.
Photo by Ashley Gove

sun 7/12

Renegade Craft Fair, Chicago's famous DIY traveling bazaar, returns to L.A. Featuring hundreds of talented artisans, it's the ultimate pop-up purveyor of indie crafts, from woodworking to bookbinding and everything between. Local artist Jessica Ceballos creates custom poems as KXLU DJs play summer tunes, and the Magnolia Photo Booth offers props to help document the day. Expect hand-dyed yarn from the Yarnover Truck and yummy street food from local food trucks. And if the sun is too strong or you need a break from finding the perfect pet accessory or handmade housewares, kick back and relax in the Finders Keepers Vintage village. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown.; Sat.-Sun., July 11-12, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. renegadecraft.com. —Tanja M. Laden

Los Angeles Filmforum welcomes back a favorite with Beth Block: Successive Approximations to the Goal. Among the filmmaker's fascinations is the ability of digital photography to repeatedly capture the same image without a loss in quality, something she applies to bodies and objects in motion. In the 14-minute film from which tonight's event takes its name, Block filmed a game between Major League Soccer's L.A. Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps, afterward layering the images. What she found was, to her, a Sisyphean ordeal in which much effort was expended but little was accomplished. Also screening are three other works, including the West Coast premiere of The 108 Movements. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., July 12, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org. —Michael Nordine

Anyone who thought they were done being sad about Robin Williams need only visit the Aero to remind themselves just how much longer it'll take to get over his untimely passing. Robin Williams Remembered concludes with Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society, which may have done more to cement the beloved figure's legacy as a serious actor than any of his other fine efforts. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., July 12, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Kendrick Lamar made headlines in June for visiting a poetry slam at the New Jersey high school where his album To Pimp a Butterfly was used to teach Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye. But Brian Mooney isn't the only teacher using hip-hop in the classroom: The hip-hop education movement is gaining momentum nationwide as a way for students to explore complex themes in literature. Hip-Hop Logic: The Role of Hip-Hop in 21st-Century Education & Poetics celebrates this artistic intersection with performances and lectures by musicians, poets (including L.A. poet laureate Luis Rodriguez) and educators including California Teachers of the Year Alan Sitomer and Alex Kajitani. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., July 12, 3:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Sascha Bos

There'll be no sour grapes at the inaugural Fermentation Festival, just a pungent parade of kombucha, kimchi, pickles, beer, cider, sauerkraut and sourdough bread — and the means and training to help you make them at home. Presented by Cultivate Los Angeles, a catalyst for local growers throughout Southern California, the festival will unveil the secrets of this underrated craft with experts manning the Pickled Pavilion, the Fermentation Station and the 21+ Farm-to-Bar area. There's also a contest for those already in the know. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Sun., July 12, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; $45, $65 with admission to Farm-to-Bar area. (310) 822-3006, beyondbaroque.org, fermentla.org. —David Cotner

mon 7/13

Josh Adam Meyers knows every comedian wants to be a rock star. Helping his fellow comics achieve their musical dreams, the creator and host of The Goddamn Comedy Jam invites stand-ups to perform a set followed by the cover song of their choosing, backed by house band Elemenopy (Joel Rutkowski and Nick Liberatore). The raucous monthly event attracts big names and standing-room crowds, and the one-year anniversary is no exception. Bill Burr, the Sklar Brothers, Bryan Callen, Lil Rel and a surprise guest join the celebration before the show travels to Montreal's venerable Just for Laughs Festival later this month. Lyric Theatre, 520 N. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood; Mon., July 13, 9-11 p.m.; $12. lyrictheatrela.com. —Julie Seabaugh

Upcoming Events

If there's one thing documentaries have taught us over the years, it's that nearly every artist of note kept secret records of his or her private thoughts and correspondence just waiting to be unearthed. The Godfather himself was no exception, as demonstrated by Listen to Me Marlon. USC presents a free screening of the innovative doc ahead of its July 31 release. USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Mon., July 13, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu. —Michael Nordine

tue 7/14

Contemporary classical music roams far and wide, as the L.A. International New Music Festival shows. The Grammy Award–winning Southwest Chamber Music ensemble presents relatively little-heard works by composers from Asia, Latin America and the United States. The program features the SCM group in collaboration with Tambuco Percussion Ensemble of Mexico in performances of works from Japanese composers, including the great Toru Takemitsu, as well as premieres by modernist composers from the Pacific Rim. A final concert of West Coast premieres focuses on American composer Elliott Carter's last works, composed between the ages of 100 and 103. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Tue.-Wed., July 14-15, 8:30 p.m., concert previews at 8 p.m.; $25, $20 REDCAT members, students and CalArts faculty/staff. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —John Payne

A work by David Hockney
A work by David Hockney
Courtesy of LA Louver

wed 7/15

Tonight's Hammer Forum, Recent Rulings by the Supreme Court, will highlight how SCOTUS has profoundly affected modern American life over the last few weeks. While the bulk of the discussion between University of Pennsylvania law prof Tobias Barrington Wolff and Constitutional Accountability Center counsel Elizabeth Wydra will spotlight the court's decisions on Obamacare and LGBTQ rights, also up for grabs are abortion-clinic closures, how the Texas DMV can reject specialty Confederate flag license plates and how the EPA overreached on limiting emissions of mercury and other toxins from power plants. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., July 15, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

Despite the obvious misnomer, The Super Serious Show has been pairing indie comics (Paul F. Tompkins, Reggie Watts, Demetri Martin) with big-name stars (Sarah Silverman, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Amy Schumer) since 2010. The monthly staple has gone through various venues and traveled to festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and SXSW. For one night only, however, the stand-up/sketch/video hybrid returns to its home at Smashbox Studios for this fifth-anniversary special, featuring Julian McCullough, Marcela Arguello, Sam Simmons, Sklar Brothers, Rory Scovel, Karen Kilgariff, Drennon Davis and a film short by Joey Izzo. Arrive early and treat yourself to preshow music, drinks and food trucks. Smashbox Studios, 8549 Higuera St., Culver City; Wed., July 15, 7 p.m.; $10. (310) 579-6000, superseriousshow.com. —Siran Babayan

Art icon David Hockney not only blends painting and photography but also Britain and California. The compressed acrobatics of his saturated palette, ambient light, architectural space, unfurling landscapes and multipoint perspective have captured acclaim and instigated vigorous debate for decades already, but Hockney himself feels no need to slow his roll, remaining as prolific and pointed as ever. L.A. Louver and London's Annely Juda Fine Art are thus able to jointly offer "David Hockney: Painting and Photography," an exhibition of bright, bold, brand-new works, all made in the last two years, signaling a fresh examination of the evolving relationship between his two great loves. L.A. Louver, 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; Wed., July 15, 6-8 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; through Sept. 4, and Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through Sept. 19. (310) 822-4955, lalouver.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Emerson College assistant professor Miranda Banks discusses her 2014 book, The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild. Banks chronicles the business end of the Writers Guild of America, dating back to its founding as the Screen Writers Guild in 1933. The author looks at some of the union's key moments — the introduction of sound, television, McCarthyism, various strikes, new media. Banks also interviewed more than 50 screenwriters, including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Norman Lear, and features such memorabilia from the WGA Archive as photographs and scripts, drafts and storyboards for Alice in Wonderland, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Grey's Anatomy. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., July 15, 7 p.m.; free, book is $34.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

thu 7/16

A consortium dedicated to creative women, Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW) recognizes that creativity isn't just expressed with oils on canvas but also through technology. Open Tech Lab is a monthly event for anyone with questions about CSS, HTML, FTP or anything else related to the practical application of science in the name of art. A professional software engineer is on hand to offer advice for those using technology in their artworks or for anyone who just wants to know more about technology without being judged for their lack of knowledge. Women's Center for Creative Work, 2425 Glover Place, Frogtown; Thu., July 16, 6-10 p.m.; free. womenscenterforcreativework.com. —Tanja M. Laden

If you've ever wondered how Mad Men's Don Draper displayed flashes of soul amidst his overwhelming soullessness, series co-producer Josh Weltman is the reason. Tonight, Weltman discusses and signs Seducing Strangers: How to Get People to Buy What You're Selling (The Little Black Book of Advertising Secrets). Expounding on the concept, Weltman explains, "This book is for people ... who go to work and — using words, pictures, music and stories — are expected to make shit happen." It's the antithesis of the cynicism suffusing most ad campaigns, and it doesn't treat people as statistics or targets. Obviously, I'm sold! Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thu., July 16, 7 p.m.; free, book is $16.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner

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