21 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
A "Bootleg Bart" exhibit takes place this weekend
Aside from maybe winning the lottery, there's nothing better in this world than a midsummer concert under the stars and moonlight at the one-and-only Hollywood Bowl. This weekend's Tchaikovsky Spectacular features the L.A. Philharmonic and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel performing a selection of the composer's greatest hits, including Symphony No. 5, selections from Swan Lake and The Nutcracker and an explosive fireworks finale with the 1812 Overture, with help from the USC Trojan Marching Band. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., July 24-25, 8 p.m.; $13-$177. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —John Payne
Mariachi isn't just for the hombres. At ¡Viva la Mujer! Celebrating Women in Mariachi, Leonor X. Perez, founder of the Mariachi Women's Foundation, discusses the women performing the Mexican folk-music style. Then L.A.'s mariachi queens, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, rock the stage of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. A screening of Que Caramba Es la Vida, the 2014 documentary that highlighted the struggles of female mariachi performers in a macho world, closes out the night. Can't get enough mariachi? Catch LAPCA's exhibit "Corazón de la Comunidad: Mariachi in Los Angeles," on view through Nov. 13. La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Fri., July 24, 7 p.m.; free. (888) 488-8083, lapca.org/content/viva-la-mujer-celebrating-women-mariachi. —Sascha Bos
Not a lot of people have spent more time documenting L.A.'s music scene than Penelope Spheeris, whose Decline of Western Civilization trilogy cast a light on the burgeoning punk movement and helped sound hair metal's death knell. The Egyptian kicks off the weekend by screening Part III of the series, in a new 2K restoration, as well as Suburbia (on 35mm). Shot in and around abandoned tract housing near the 605 freeway, Spheeris' first feature after the original Decline stars a young Flea and other real-life skaters and punks. Part III, meanwhile, shifts the focus of her defining work to the gutter punks of late-'90s L.A. Spheeris and other to-be-announced guests will appear for a discussion between the two films. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Fri., July 24, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.
Though instantly recognizable to moviegoers of today for his roles in the Star Wars prequels and The Lord of the Rings, Christopher Lee's enduring legacy among old-time horror buffs is his status as the most prolific Dracula actor of all time. In tribute to the icon, who died last month at the age of 93, Cinefamily's Friday Night Frights program presents two of his nine embodiments of Transylvania's most famous export: Horror of Dracula and Dracula A.D. 1972, both on 35mm. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., July 24, 10:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.
National Choreographers Initiative: See Saturday.
courtesy of National Choreographers Initiative
Molly Lynch has become a go-to each summer for choreographers and dancers on hiatus from professional ballet companies. As artistic director of National Choreographers Initiative, Lynch selects four choreographers and 20 dancers to participate in a coveted, three-week dance exploration. The one-night, end-of-the-experiment results are invariably compelling, and many have gone on to full realization with major ballet companies. This year's choreographer quartet is Jimmy Orrante, Nicolas Blanc, Norbert De La Cruz III and Sarah Tallman. Stick around after the performance for a Q&A with the choreographers. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine; Sat., July 25, 8 p.m.; $32-$60, $20 students. (949) 854-4646, thebarclay.org. —Ann Haskins
UCLA's Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986 continues with an evening centered around writer-director-editor-producer William Greaves. The centerpiece is his landmark Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, a metatextual docu-fiction about the very act of making movies. The feature will be preceded by two shorts: Black Faces, a minute-long montage of Harlem residents' faces circa 1970, and From These Roots, a montage film by Greaves delving into the thriving arts and culture of that same neighborhood earlier in the 20th century. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., July 25, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.
Be Street is a great urban art, fashion and music magazine in France, with seven years of glossy, gorgeous issues covering the gamut of street styles in Europe and beyond. This summer, Be Street officially rolls out its first U.S. edition by coming straight to L.A. — kicking off with something a bit more unofficial. It invited 70 artists from around the world to participate in "Bootleg Bart," its first public L.A. event. It's a soft launch with a giant party, and an illicit homage not only to The Simpsons but also to the '90s, when artists appropriated Bart's likeness for their own subversive purposes, and to right now, when a new generation of artists is using the character to have a cow of its own. HNYPT, 212 W. 12th St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., July 25-26, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. (213) 769-8040, be-street.com/en/bootlegbart. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Multiplatinum-selling comic Jim Gaffigan has to his name two Grammy nominations, two books and four specials exploring the ever-compounding aspects of loving food, raising five kids and contending with his Edward Cullen–caliber paleness. This month he stars in new TV Land series The Jim Gaffigan Show and his nationwide Contagious tour stops at the Greek Theatre, of which he enthuses via email, "I've been studying Greek and eating gyros daily for the past year in preparation for this show." Meaning the venue's Mediterranean picnic baskets are gonna be right up his alley. Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Sat., July 25, 7:30 p.m.; $45-$65. (323) 665-5857, greektheatrela.com. —Julie Seabaugh
The 11th annual Tiki Night is more than just a film screening at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre. Festivities start at noon, when the Tiki Marketplace opens in the courtyard. Shop for vintage clothing, tiki art and even lei-inspired bath products before the evening performances begin. King Kukulele and the Friki Tikis' grass skirt–wearing frontman is guaranteed to get the crowd in the luau spirit with ukulele-driven tunes. The Polynesian Paradise Dancers also offer a special performance. Authors Luis I. Reyes and Ed Rampell will sign copies of Hawaii Movie and Television Book: Celebrating 100 Years of Film Production Throughout the Hawaiian Islands. At 7:30 p.m., watch South Seas Adventure, a restored Cinerama travel jaunt narrated by Orson Welles. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., July 25, noon (festival), 7:30 p.m. (screening); $9-$13. (323) 466-3456, egyptiantheatre.com. —Liz Ohanesian
Tenor saxophone thunderstorm Kamasi Washington made huge waves with his recent The Epic, a three-CD concept album stewing the wildly varied strains of black and other progressive musics past, present and future. The album's jazzy, funky, hip-hoppy and electronic reference points grew out of the rocky political times in which these musical styles were born. With 65-92: The Rhythm Changes but the Struggle Remains, Washington brings his local crew to address the sound and fury of L.A.'s racial struggles as part of Grand Performances' Los Angeles Aftershocks series, focusing on the effects of L.A.'s game-changing events of 1965 and 1992. Grand Performances at California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., July 25, 8 p.m.; free. (213) 687-2190, grandperformances.org. —John Payne
It can be easy for viewers enamored of Charles Laughton's sole directorial effort, The Night of the Hunter, to gloss over how prodigious a force he was in front of the camera. This does not include the folks at Old Town Music Hall, who are playing The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Sunday-friendly matinee form. Laughton is the Quasimodo to Maureen O'Hara's Esmeralda in this 1939 take on Hugo's novel, from which Disney borrowed heavily in the animated version that followed nearly 60 years later. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri.-Sat., July 24-25, 8:15 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., July 25-26, 2:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org.
Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood has been a mecca for experimental fashion and Japanese youth culture for decades, but there was no official Harajuku Fashion Walk before Junnyan, creator of popular street-style blog Harajuku Kids, set the celebration in motion. With an adorable YouTube video, he's invited communities all over the world to participate in the first International Harajuku Fashion Walk Day. The Little Tokyo contingent will be strutting its stuff this afternoon — so grab your most kawaii outfit and channel that rainbow-haired icon, or come to watch the spectacle. Parade departs from Weller Court, 123 Astronaut E.S. Onizuka St., downtown; Sun., July 26, 4:30 p.m.; free. (213) 680-1032, facebook.com/events/500245646808241. —Sascha Bos
An example of Harajuku fashion
Photo by Shannon Cottrell
Shane Hartline doesn't believe in quiet admiration. The comedian is so eager to act alongside Chris Pratt, he named his show The Hopefully Chris Pratt and Shane Hartline Show 2. As the premise goes, Hartline is so busy being obsessed with Pratt that he missed his own wedding, the birth of his child and other milestones. Hartline resembles the actor and has reached out to him on social media. He first staged his homage last month at iO West and is planning to return monthly until you-know-who shows up. If U2 can play with their own cover band, Jurassic World guy can perform at a small club with his biggest fan. iO West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., July 27, 8 p.m.; $5. (323) 962-7560, ioimprov.com. —Siran Babayan
They truly don't make paranoid thrillers like they used to, "they" being Hollywood and the golden age in question being the 1970s. Faye Dunaway and Robert Redford lead the way in one of the best, Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor, at the ArcLight Hollywood. Redford is a CIA employee who, after lunch one day, receive a most unpleasant digestif: Everyone in his office is dead. Dunaway is the civilian who comes to his aid when all official channels prove less than helpful. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., July 27, 7:30 p.m.; $14. (323) 464-1478, arclightcinemas.com.
See how we're doing in our never-ending campaign to conquer other worlds when Jet Propulsion Lab historian Erik M. Conway chats about his new book, Exploration and Engineering: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Quest for Mars. Even as the public goes nuts for flavor-of-the-week Pluto, JPL doggedly pursues its decades-long mission to traverse and chronicle the data coming out of various plucky little rovers motoring across the Red Planet. Yet these triumphs were not without setbacks: Cuts in funding, missing missions and managerial twaddle tested the patience of even the most pragmatic minds among them. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Tue., July 28, 7 p.m.; free, book is $34.95. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —David Cotner
If you prefer your musicals free of disturbing undertones, LACMA's screening of Mary Poppins is your speed. Anyone who's free to go to the movies at 1 o'clock in the afternoon should already be in a good mood, but surely Julie Andrews chilling with some penguins could only add to the midday bliss. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., July 28, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
Gary Hart will present his latest thoughts on our modern democracy when he discusses his new book, The Republic of Conscience. Having served in Congress from 1975 to 1987 and currently working as U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Hart outlines how big business, spy agencies and plain old inertia have bent the original principles on which America was founded into something that probably would make the Founding Fathers look in the mirror and cry. Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, New Roads School, 3131 W. Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Wed., July 29, 8 p.m.; $20 general, $30 reserved, $43 reserved with copy of Hart's book. (310) 855-0005, livetalksla.org. —David Cotner
The Gamble House Upstairs Downstairs Tour, a 90-minute overview of the servants' quarters, returns to this architectural marvel starting today, for a limited time. The servants were like white blood cells in the body of the house, tirelessly keeping it beautiful even in the face of endless entropy. The laundry! The coal room! The basement! Yes, all these Greene & Greene–designed hits and more will be unveiled unto you as you see the house that all that Procter & Gamble soap and Crisco money built. The Gamble House, 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena; Thu.-Sun., on the hour, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., July 30-Aug. 16; $20. (626) 793-3334, gamblehouse.org. —David Cotner
REDCAT's annual New Original Works Festival presents nine performances by L.A. dance, theater, music and multimedia performing artists over three weeks. Week one features choreographers Nguyên Nguyên and Maria Gillespie's Bloom, a dance/theater/new-media work exploring themes of home and dislocation, in collaboration with video artist/astrophysicist Fabio Altenbach. Sheetal Gandhi, Ulka Mohanty and Mark Gutierrez's In|Expiration explores "contrapuntal" dance and vocalizations blending Kathak, Bharatanatyam and contemporary dance forms. Singer Zac Pennington (of Parenthetical Girls), composer Jherek Bischoff and choreographer Steven Reker's Crying tells the story of an androgynous, messianic pop idol in a four-song suite. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Week 1: Thu.-Sat., July 30-Aug. 1, 8:30 p.m.; $20, $16 REDCAT members, $14 students, CalArts faculty/staff. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —John Payne
Museum as Retail Space (MaRS) presents a series of garden parties with performance art and video screenings at its hybrid gallery and design space downtown. For the next four Thursdays, Regional, International & Extraterrestrial sets up a new way to encounter contemporary art. Curated by Lisa Jugert to examine issues of domesticity, history and outsideness, the works of these diverse artists seem particularly well suited to the space's mission. The videos are on view during MaRS' regular hours (Tue.-Sat., 12-7 p.m.), but the addition of on-site performance art enriches an already lively experience. Museum as Retail Space, 649 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights; Thu., July 30, Aug. 6, 13 & 20, 7-10 p.m.; free. (323) 526-8097, marsgallery.net/summerseries2015. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Emmy-winning ESPN producer Justine Gubar writes about the ugly side of sports fandom in her new book, Fanaticus: Mischief and Madness in the Modern Sports Fan. After a firsthand account of being shamed online by Ohio State University fans, Gubar began examining the psychology and history of violence among sports followers, from ancient times to Bryan Stow. Gubar looks back on some of the most notable riots, mainly in college athletics and among notoriously violent soccer hooligans in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Gubar also interviews athletes, industry insiders, historians and scientists, and questions the role alcohol, parents and social media play in unsportsmanlike conduct. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thu., July 30, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan
For more things to do this week, see our stage, arts, film and music pages and visit laweekly.com/calendar.
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Los Angeles.