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

The dirtiest, filthiest guy gets dirtier and filthier on Saturday.
The dirtiest, filthiest guy gets dirtier and filthier on Saturday.
Photo by Greg Gorman

John Waters is dirtier and filthier, an inventive iteration of The Magic Flute is back on stage, A.O. Scott states the film critics' case and more awesome stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 2/12

Flip through or take home rare books, manuscripts, illustrations and photographs from more than 200 dealers at the 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. The three-day event includes seminars on collecting, a panel discussion moderated by the L.A. Times' Patt Morrison and a Book Fair Finds sections offering collectibles for less than $100. A highlight this year is an exhibit celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland, featuring items from the Cassady Lewis Carroll Collection at USC, including Carroll's manuscript, first editions and art. Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Fri., Feb. 12, 3-8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 13, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $15. (626) 795-9311, cabookfair.com. —Siran Babayan

Though it shares a name with a play that was written in 400 B.C., director Elise Kermani found more contemporary inspirations for her "hybrid performance" Iphigenia: Book of Change namely, Greek filmmaker Michael Cacoyannis' 1977 movie Iphigenia and memoirs of contemporary women who survived captivity. Combining choreography and dancing from Laurel Jenkins, Luis Tentindo and Kevin Williamson, plus puppets, film and music, the multimedia program follows a woman who survives her imprisonment by escaping into her imagination. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 12-13, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 14, 3 p.m., $20, $15 students, seniors and military. book-of-change.eventbrite.com. —Ann Haskins

Rare screening alert: Cinefamily's La Collectioneuse series presents Jean Eustache's not-available-on-DVD The Mother and the Whore on 35mm. A classic of the French New Wave, the 219-minute-long dissection of a love triangle was the filmmaker's debut feature. It won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, was named the best film of the 1970s by no less an authority than Cahiers du cinéma and has only grown in esteem since. This is the kind of event that film-obsessives talk about for months and years; miss it at your peril. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

Is Deckard a replicant? Ponder this and other unanswerable questions during the Egyptian's screening of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott's science fiction neo-noir. Harrison Ford is the hardboiled detective circa 2019, forced, as his sort so often are, to come out of retirement to find a gang of rogue robots indistinguishable from their human counterparts. Scott's vision of 21st-century Los Angeles is as striking now, as we approach the year in which it's actually set, as it was when Blade Runner premiered in 1982; ditto the famous "...like tears in rain" monologue. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Fri., Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

sat 2/13

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's final opera, The Magic Flute, has long been considered one of the Austrian composer's most delightful works. But in this visually dazzling production by Australian director Barrie Kosky and British theater group 1927, Emanuel Schikaneder's original romantic libretto about gods and mortals and sorcerers is taken to a new level of enchantment. L.A. Opera first presented this version locally in 2013, and its surreal blend of silent movie–style animation, fairy-tale imagery and German-expressionist artiness proved so popular that the company is bringing it back for six performances. Norwegian soprano Marita Sølberg makes her L.A. Opera debut as Pamina, joined by heroic tenor Ben Bliss, baritone Jonathan Michie, regal soprano So Young Park and the bewitching coven of Stacey Tappan, Summer Hassan and Peabody Southwell. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m.; through Sun., March 6; $20-$359. (213) 972-7219, laopera.org. —Falling James

John Waters: This Filthy World: Dirtier & Filthier is an updated version of the director's one-man show. In 2006's John Waters: This Filthy World — and the accompanying Jeff Garlin–directed movie — the legend behind the pencil-thin mustache and maker of some of filmdom's trashiest movies looked back on his life and career. Waters cited the earliest influences that led to his depravity: his Baltimore childhood, The Wizard of Oz, a slew of forgotten directors. He broke down his filmography, from Pink Flamingos to A Dirty Shame, and of course included fond memories of friend and muse Divine. Waters also talked about his current depraved interests, such as attending court trials and signing odd memorabilia from fans. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, East L.A.; Sat., Feb. 13, 8 p.m.; $40-$60. (323) 343-6600, luckmanarts.org. —Siran Babayan

Valentine's Day comes a night early to the Palace Theatre, where Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind screens on 35mm. There are certainly more conventional romantic dramas to celebrate with than this, written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry, but few are more original or evocative. This being a Cinespia event, the movie will be complemented by DJs, full bars and a photo booth for you and yours. (Alas, no memory-erasing procedures for the heartbroken.) Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Feb. 13, 9 p.m. (doors at 7:30); $25. (213) 553-4567, cinespia.org—Michael Nordine

sun 12/14

If you're going to bother with Valentine's Day, you might as well go all out. At Cinespia's annual screening of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, guests dress to impress as they treat themselves to the implied hedonism of this festive occasion amid the opulent grandeur of the Los Angeles Theatre. Cinespia is known for putting on a great show and this year should be no exception; besides the movie, there's the extra added spectacle of dancers, magicians, acrobats, musicians, DJs and those weird echoey acoustics in the basement ballroom. Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., Feb. 14, 7 p.m.; $35. (877) 435-9849, cinespia.org/event/moulin-rouge. —David Cotner

Celebrate the 31st Los Angeles Marathon with an on-foot journey that showcases L.A. in a unique way. Breeze through Chinatown, past the Hollywood Sign and all the way to the Santa Monica Pier in a matter of a few hours, all while breathing hard and pushing the body beyond its usual limitations. Of course, runners aren't the only ones who can take part — spectators will be cheering on the runners from any numbers of spots along the route, plus there's a Health & Fitness Expo, bands and the wonderful opportunity to just bask in the surreal glory of more than 600 cheerleaders at Mile 18 egging on the athletes from 55 countries. Starts at Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., Elysian Park; Sun., Feb. 14, staggered starts begin at 6:30 a.m.; $200. (213) 542-3000, lamarathon.com. —David Cotner

It's a brave new dating world, so this V-Day, DTLA's Beelman's Pub is hosting the Tinder Ball, a Tinder-themed party for singles looking to find love in a hopeless place and score a date by last call. Organizers suggest a casual meet-up and some convo (aka intellectual foreplay) at Spring St. Bar before heading over to Beelman's for a sweaty, sexy rager that will feature a Tinder-themed kissing booth, sex toy raffles and giveaways, a live date auction and drink specials such as a $6 D.T.F. punch and a $5 Hearts on Fire shot. You might as well call in sick on Monday in advance. Beelman's Pub, 600 Spring St., downtown; Sun., Feb. 14, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.; free. (213) 622-1022, facebook.com/events/912623765449722. —Garrett Snyder

If you're in the mood for something more upbeat, there's always Breakfast at Tiffany's. Based on the Truman Capote novella and starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, the romantic comedy is among the most chic and celebrated ever made. (Food for thought: It's not as heated as Blade Runner's replicant debate, but many have pondered the possibility that Hepburn's Holly is, in fact, a call girl.) Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

Iphigenia: Book of Change is a thing to see on Friday.
Iphigenia: Book of Change is a thing to see on Friday.
Photo by Taso Papadakis

mon 12/15

The Coconut Club describes itself as a "whimsical culinary and mixology adventure inspired by the exotic flair of a Tiki bar, seeking to elevate the tenets of tiki through a thoughtfully presented evening of imaginative cocktails paired with delicious food." If that wasn't enough of a mouthful, prepare to fill your maw with rum-punched tropical drinks — garnished with things like coconut shrimp — and a three-course dinner that's equally islandy as the roving supper club pops up in Highland Park for an evening. The 8:30 p.m. seating is sold out, but tickets are available for the 5 p.m. seating. The Hermosillo, 5125 York Blvd., Highland Park; Mon., Feb. 15, 5 p.m.; $100. thecoconutclubla.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Upcoming Events

Film critics aren't just pushy blowhards who bag on the movies you like. As you'll see in Everyone's a Critic, tonight's conversation between The New York Times' A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis (former L.A. Weekly film editor), criticism is an argument everyone wins for having learned something new. Scott's latest book is Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth. While most books about art can seem like they're trying to explain the difference between indigo and violet to a blind man, Scott's shows you that there is more to movie reviews than we might think. Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, 3131 W. Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Mon., Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.; $25. (310) 855-0005, writersblocpresents.com/main/ao-scott_manohla-dargis. —David Cotner

tue 2/16

Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts gathering in the world, and the critically acclaimed Joke Thieves is an annual must for comedians and comedy fans alike. Creator Will Mars has toured the hot-ticket show around the world, and tonight marks its L.A. debut. Hosted by Matt Kirshen, comics Baron Vaughn, Jamie Lee, Joe DeRosa and more will perform their own material, then each other's — and it's in these interpretations that individual artistry pervades. "There is no way of knowing what will happen next," Mars says. "Comedians don't know who they have to copy before the show starts, so they don't even know what will happen." Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Tue., Jan. 16, 7-8:30 p.m.; $8. nerdmeltla.com. —Julie Seabaugh

In his live shows and podcast Dale Radio, New York–based James Bewley performs as alter ego Dale Seever. Bewley, who's the senior program officer at the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, created the character of the bespectacled, suit-wearing talk show host with a comb-over in San Francisco in 2009 (he also trained here at UCB). Seever sits down with fellow comedians, artists, singers, musicians and other guests and interviews them about their areas of expertise. After a 2012 show, he returns to the Hammer Museum for Deep Night With Dale Seever, which features UCB co-founder Matt Besser, comedian Kate Berlant, TV composer Cyrus Ghahremani, USC medical librarian Megan Rosenbloom and DJ Nina Tarr. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Siran Babayan

Patricia Highsmith is among the most frequently adapted novelists to ever put pen to paper. The first of these is still the most famous: Alfred Hitchcock's production of Strangers on a Train. The two strangers are a tennis player and a charismatic sweet-talker, both of whom have someone in their life they'd rather do without. The charmer comes up with a plan: Each will kill the other's problem and never be suspected of the crime. So famous is the film that it (and not the novel on which it's based) has in turn been adapted time and again. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Feb. 16, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

Everyone is smiling so it must be early in the race — the L.A. Marathon is on Sunday.
Everyone is smiling so it must be early in the race — the L.A. Marathon is on Sunday.
Courtesy of Conqur Endurance Group

wed 2/17

Hosted by Book Soup, Dave Stewart discusses his new memoir, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life in Music, with KCRW's Gary Calamar. Stewart was the instrument-toting half of Eurythmics, but musically he's been all over the place. Stewart writes about his decades in the industry, from playing in a folk-rock band that was signed to Elton John's record label to meeting Annie Lennox to making synth-pop hits in the '80s. Stewart also looks back on collaborations with a long and varied roster of artists including Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Bryan Ferry, No Doubt and Mick Jagger, who wrote the book's foreword and with whom he formed an all-star band called SuperHeavy, which included Joss Stone, Damian Marley and A.R. Rahman. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda, Brentwood; Wed., Feb., 17, 8 p.m.; $29, includes book. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org/programs/readings-and-talks/dave-stewart. —Siran Babayan

thu 2/18

Fans know actor Jim Rash best for playing a sexually ambiguous community college dean in NBC's much-missed Community. Rash is also the Oscar-winning co-screenwriter of Alexander Payne's The Descendants and an alumnus of the Groundlings, where he performs in the staple show Cookin' With Gas. Among the theater's other recurring comedies is One!, which has included fellow Groundlings alumni Mitch Silpa, Edi Patterson, Jeremy Rowley and Stephanie Courtney. Alone, and for a whole hour, Rash will completely improvise a one-man show based on audience suggestions, including the show's title, actor's name and other characters in the story. The Groundlings Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Thu., Feb. 18, 10 p.m.; $10. (323) 934-4747, groundlings.com. —Siran Babayan

For the past six years, New York–based composer and engineer Scott Freiman has been lecturing about The Beatles to fans at theaters, universities and corporations including Google, Facebook and Pixar. Using audio and video clips (concerts, studio rehearsals, news footage, etc.), Freiman breaks down the musical production and lyrics of each of the Fab Four's 12 studio albums. For Thursday's program Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Deconstructing the Early Beatles, Freiman looks at the band's beginnings from the late 1950s to 1963. On Friday, for Say the Word: Deconstructing the Beatles' Rubber Soul, he moves on to the group's 1965 Christmas release, which includes the Grammy-winning song "Michelle" as well as "Drive My Car," "Nowhere Man" and "In My Life." The Crest Theater, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; Thu.-Fri., Feb. 18-19, 8 p.m.; $20, $18 for students. (310) 470-1508, crestwestwood.com. —Siran Babayan

Bob Fosse's penultimate film, All That Jazz was also the choreographer-writer-director's most autobiographical. Roy Scheider plays Fosse stand-in Joe Gideon, who's burning the candle at both ends by simultaneously directing a Broadway musical and editing his most recent film — a frenetic experience the filmmaker himself had endured just a few years earlier. The result is lavish and even hallucinatory, with a fantastical song-and-dance climax portraying the five stages of grief as only Fosse could. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.; $17. (323) 464-1478, arclightcinemas.com—Michael Nordine

CSUN's semester-long Andrei Tarkovsky retrospective continues with Solaris, the Russian auteur's "anti-2001." Tarkovsky is said to have abhorred Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterwork, crafting his adaptation of Stanis0x0142aw Lem's novel to be more human (and humane) than cold and clinical. Set on a space station above the eponymous planet — an oceanic, semi-sentient heavenly body that taps into visitors' psyches and projects physical manifestations of their deepest fears and regrets, in this case a cosmonaut's deceased wife — Solaris is the most cerebral, haunting film of its kind ever made. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Feb. 18, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine


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