21 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
L.A. Fetish Film Fest: See Saturday.
Photo by Lina Lecaro
Earlier this year, Pacific Opera Project reinvented a venerable Mozart opera by dressing the cast as characters from Star Trek; in September the madcap local company had its singers literally climbing trees to sing Falstaff outdoors at Forest Lawn in Glendale. Now the merry troupe closes its 2015 season with Gaetano Donizetti's rarely performed 1827 Viva la Mamma! Librettist Domenico Gilardoni's original Italian-language story is an opera-within-an-opera about a touring company struggling to produce a chaotic new opera, and it's been tweaked further via POP director Josh Shaw's irreverently translated supertitles. Soprano Katherine Giaquinto stars as the pouting prima donna, joined by Scott Levine, Ryan Thorn and Amy Lawrence. Pacific Opera Project at Ebell Club of Highland Park, 131 S. Avenue 57, Highland Park; Thu.-Sat., Nov. 12-14; Tue., Nov. 17; & Thu., Nov. 19, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 14, 2 p.m.; $20-$120. (323) 739-6122, pacificoperaproject.com. —Falling James
Despite the threat of closure earlier this year, Vidiots has reason to celebrate as one of the last remaining video stores in L.A. Vidiotsfest 30 will mark the treasured Santa Monica shop and nonprofit's 30th anniversary with a series of events: a Q&A with director Michael Mann, moderated by Variety's Kris Tapley (Fri., Nov. 13, 7 p.m.); an '80s-themed party with live music, DJs, cocktails, games and raffles (Sat., Nov. 14, 8 p.m.); screenings of '80s cartoons, including The Real Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Inspector Gadget and The Smurfs (Sat., Nov. 14, 10 a.m.); a discussion on "Politics & Film" with Scandal's Tony Goldwyn, moderated by NPR's Renee Montagne (Sun., Nov. 15, 1 p.m.); and live podcast taping of The Canon, with Elijah Wood, L.A. Weekly's Amy Nicholson and fellow film critic Devin Faraci dissecting The Goonies. (Sun., Nov. 15, 11:30 a.m.). Vidiots, 302 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; $5-$20 (cartoons free). (310) 392-8508, vidiotsfoundation.org. —Siran Babayan
Friday the 13th is here, which means you're morally bound to partake in the New Beverly's eight-film Friday the 13th marathon. Watching the bulk of a series like this brings a certain clarity to it, naturally, and the experience tends to be even more interesting when the movies in question are of varying quality. Jason Voorhees is an excellent slasher whose movies aren't always as interesting as he is, but there's little denying that watching him terrorize Camp Crystal Lake time and again has its moments. As your alt-weekly, we recommend that you buy your tickets in advance. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $20. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine
UCLA's monthlong This Is the City: Preserving Moving Images of Los Angeles series begins with Franco Rossi's Smog. For 50-odd years, the school's Film & Television Archive has been compiling and preserving cinematic artifacts documenting our fair city in a number of unusual ways, and the two-day symposium kicking off This Is the City features guest speakers (namely Harry Gamboa Jr. delivering the keynote address, "Forever/Never on a Smoggy Day"). Smog will be preceded by an excerpt from a 1955 newsreel, Los Angeles Seeks Remedy as Record Smog Covers City, whose title and implications are even more disheartening now than they were half a century ago. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $15 (symposium pass, good for all events Nov. 13-14). (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine
The admired Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and her company Rosas are in the midst of a four-performance visit, with each performance devoted to a single Keersmaeker work. Under the umbrella Rosas: Then and Now, two shows were devoted to signature early-career landmarks; this weekend's shows are U.S. premieres of newer works. It's unclear if Beyoncé (who ultimately admitted she was inspired by De Keersmaeker's choreography for her music video "Countdown") will be in the audience, maybe looking for new moves in Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) on Friday and Vortex Temporum on Saturday. UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 13-14, 8 p.m.; $19-$69. (310) 825-2101, cap.ucla.edu/rosas. —Ann Haskins
Two years ago, Kill Rock Stars released Kurt Braunohler's How Do I Land? It was the first comedy title from the label behind indie musicians Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith and The Decemberists. Kill Rock Stars has since expanded its stand-up roster with Cameron Esposito and Hari Kondabolu, and tonight celebrates another pair of debuts: Ground Floor series regular Emily Heller's Good for Her and The Late Late Show With James Corden writer Ian Karmel's 9.2 on Pitchfork. The dual Conan and L.A. Weekly "Comedy Acts to Watch" vets perform and welcome special guests Matt Braunger, Jamie Lee and Solomon Georgio. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., Nov. 13, 7 p.m.; $8-$10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Julie Seabaugh
Part of the Women's Center for Creative Work's Parlor at the Armory Residency, Studio Cooking explores the intersection of food, art and work. Artists Arden Ellis Surdam and Meghan Gordon have created a temporary kitchen using borrowed equipment from artists' studios, and guests are invited to eat from handcrafted ceramic bowls by Orr Herz while viewing performances. On Friday, Lisa Jugert conducts a live food-focused still life photo shoot. Amanda Katz hosts a "Studio Brunch" on Saturday, with a discussion of hosting, intimacy and labor. And on Sunday, Surdam and Gordon treat attendees to a three-course meal, performance and lecture. Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Fri., Nov. 13, 2-4 p.m., Sat.-Sun., Nov. 14-15, noon-5 p.m.; free, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org required. (626) 792-5101, armoryarts.org. —Sascha Bos
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker brings her company Rosas to UCLA: See Friday.
Photo by Herman Sorgeloos
L.A. Fetish Film Fest takes over Boardner's Saturday club night Bar Sinister, as the fifth annual showcase of NSFW art and performance comes to a climax with its award show. With former Amazing Race contestant and popular nightlife figure Kent Kaliber as MC, the event draws from various avenues of the fetish world and L.A. clubland. Theatrical rock outfit Timur and the Dime Museum are set to perform. Check out fetish videos and live performances such as Cat DeCuir's "Ode to Pain & Pleasure" and an aerial show from Lena Fumi. Fetish models Nylon Girls will be on hand as well. Get a two-day pass if you want to check out the Friday-night Syren Latex Fashion Show and more festivities at the Stockroom. Boardner's, 1652 N. Cherokee Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Nov. 14, 10 p.m.; $15, $25 for a weekend pass, including Friday-night activities at the Stockroom. (323) 462-9621, losangelesfetishfilmfestival.wordpress.com. —Liz Ohanesian
Take heed, dear readers, for the biggest cinephilic event of the moviegoing year is upon us: Jacques Rivette's 13-hour Out 1: Noli me Tangere screens at Cinefamily over two days and you'll regret it if you don't go. One of the French New Wave's rarest masterworks — and certainly the longest — the newly restored episodic opus, set in the Parisian theater scene, is especially relevant today, when long-form series constantly blur the line between film and television (for which Out 1 was made in 1971). It'll be an endurance test, sure, but one you won't soon forget. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sat., Nov. 14, 11 a.m.; Sun., Nov. 15, noon; $40 (general admission), $85 (VIP, including a couch seat). (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine
Comedian Margaret Cho has been tackling some unfunny issues recently, including tweeting about being a former sex worker and discussing surviving sexual abuse as a child. Following her Grammy-nominated 2010 comedy music album, Cho Dependent, Cho has launched a "12 Days of Rage" video campaign leading up to her new single, "I Wanna Kill My Rapist." But even while sharing the darker moments of her life, and in a year of celebrity rape scandals, Cho still knows how to bring the humor. On her PsyCHO Tour, Cho has been waxing funny about her love of the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, her favorite sex toys, wanting to have a child at 46 and how she's the only Korean who can spoof Kim Jong Un at the Golden Globes and not wind up in a labor camp. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown; Sat., Nov. 14, 8 p.m.; $35-$55. (800) 653-8000, margaretcho.com. —Siran Babayan
After premiering his new movie Junjun at the New York Film Festival early last month, Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) made the bold decision to have it available exclusively on Mubi, a highly curated streaming service geared toward the kind of cinephile for whom Netflix is woefully insufficient. But you can see his documentary, about Jonny Greenwood (guitarist of Radiohead and frequent PTA collaborator) on a spiritual and musical trek through northwestern India, at a screening the Ace Hotel downtown. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway St., downtown; Sun., Nov. 15, 7 p.m.; $16. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles. —Michael Nordine
A decade is a long time in the art world, so one of L.A.'s top nonprofit galleries has reason to celebrate with LAXART's 10-Year Anniversary Benefit and Auction. Having decamped from Culver City to Hollywood, the gallery is expanding its goal of fostering artists' grants and family art workshops — courtesy of a silent auction of works donated by 150-plus artists. Former Watts Towers Art Center director John Outterbridge is the man of the hour at tonight's soirée, which also honors Underground Museum artist Noah Davis, lost to cancer in August. LAXART, 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Nov. 15, 7 p.m.; $200. (323) 871-4140, laxart.org. —David Cotner
Get a head start on your holiday shopping by supporting local makers, rather than corporations, at Patchwork Show. Founded in 2008 by Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson, the biannual festival now makes stops in Long Beach and Oakland in addition to the original Santa Ana. But unlike some other craft fairs, Patchwork keeps its event small and curated, so that you can actually get a look at all that's on offer in one afternoon. An idyllic waterfront setting, plenty of food trucks and live music (Avi Buffalo performed at the last Patchwork) make this holiday mart a great alternative to the mall. Bring the dog, bring the kids and bring your bike for free valet. Marine Stadium, Appian Way at Bayshore, Long Beach; Sun. Nov. 15, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. dearhandmadelife.com. —Sascha Bos
Out 1: See Saturday.
Continue the cinematic exploration of the City of Angels with Rick Prelinger's Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles at REDCAT. A professor at UC Santa Cruz renowned for his work as a writer, archivist and filmmaker, Prelinger has amassed an extensive collection of ephemera and given similar presentations elsewhere in California. He draws on such varied sources as newsreels, home movies and educational films to provide a glimpse of L.A. as few have seen it before. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Nov. 16, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org.
This rowdy night of athleto-tainment mashes up arm wrestling and theater to benefit nonprofit orgs working with young girls to teach them strength and self-confidence. Presented by REALgirl and L.A. Lady Arm Wrestlers, Powerful Women Arm Wrestling for the Empowerment of Girls is a roller derby–esque bash, where the emphasis is on fun and laughs — but the arm wrestling is the real deal. The badass competitors are joined by celebrity judges, including Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele and GLOW Girl Roxy Astor. There's also a musical guest, plus a live auction. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Mon., Nov. 16, doors and bar open at 7 p.m., showtime 7:30 p.m.; $10 in advance, $15 at door, $25 ringside seat, $100 VIP tables. (323) 580-7048, facebook.com/LALadyArmWrestlers, ticketfly.com/event/981719. —John Payne
Archivist, filmmaker and UC Santa Cruz associate professor Rick Prelinger is the co-founder of Prelinger Library, an independent research library in San Francisco, which houses historical periodicals, maps and books. Having given lectures in San Francisco, Oakland and Detroit, Prelinger brings to L.A. his interactive "urban history" presentation, Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles, which uses vintage home movies, educational films, newsreels and other ephemera from his archive to discuss L.A.'s "socio-topographical" past and present through images. Hosted by Los Angeles Filmforum, Prelinger also screens his 2013 film, No More Road Trips?, which is comprised of clips from 9,000 travel movies dating back to the 1920s, at the Downtown Independent on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Nov. 16, 8:30 p.m.; $11, $8 students. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Siran Babayan
Dashiell Hammett's The Glass Key has been adapted for the silver screen twice: in 1935 and again in 1942. LACMA screens the latter film as its Tuesday Matinee, offering an opportunity to see Veronica Lake in all her glory. The plot centers around a corrupt politician's dispute with one of his fixers over (you guessed it) Veronica Lake. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Nov. 17, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
Inspired by her one-woman show, Brooklyn-based comedian and writer Sara Benincasa tackled her struggles with agoraphobia and panic attacks in her 2013 comedic memoir, Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom. Her new novel, D.C. Trip, is about three high school girlfriends running amok in our nation's capital. To launch her latest book, Benincasa hosts True Tales of High School Madness, a storytelling show in which she'll reminisce about growing up in New Jersey. Stand-up comedians Ryan Singer, Lindsay Adams, Edward Salazar, Andy Haynes, Andy Juett and Kristin Rand will recount their own high school stories. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Tue., Nov. 17, 7 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan
Rainn Wilson used to play Dwight Schrute on The Office. He also used to play bassoon in high school. Now he plays the part of author as he discusses his new memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith and Idiocy, with Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller. The book shares Wilson's thoughts on the meaning of acting, the transcendence of becoming a dad and how embracing his nerdiness turned out to be the coolest thing he ever did. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Wed., Nov. 18, 7 p.m.; $40, includes a copy of Wilson's book. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —David Cotner
Dalton Trumbo is currently getting the unsung-hero biopic treatment, with Bryan Cranston playing the blacklisted midcentury screenwriter responsible for the likes of Roman Holiday and Spartacus. To further honor his legacy, the Aero screens World War I drama Johnny Got His Gun (which Trumbo also directed) and Lonely Are the Brave. Trumbo had an affinity for veterans in trying situations, bringing sensitivity to situations that were more often treated with bravado. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Thu., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine
There can only be one Lady Day, but New York singer and drag artist Joey Arias' soulful performance might help you appreciate the legendary Billie Holiday in a new way. His Billie Holiday Centennial celebrates what would have been the jazz singer's 100th year with a full roster of her songs and costumes designed by Thierry Mugler. Arias starred in Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity for six years before returning to New York to create a one-man show featuring a cast of marionettes. Now he returns to the music of Ms. Holiday, which he has performed since 1986, when he took to the stage of the Limelight wearing a larger-than-life fabric gardenia. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Thu.-Sat., Nov. 19-21, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 22, 7 p.m.; $25-$30. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Sascha Bos
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.