21 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee picks a movie and plays a show at Cinefamily on Monday.
Photo by Jesse Riggins
As usual, there's lots of good stuff to do between Friday and Thursday, like a movie night with Waxahatchee, L.A. Zine Fest, a glamorous drag show downtown, a Pippi Longstocking celebration and lots more.
The episodic true-crime podcast Serial kicked off by investigating the case of Adnan Syed, who's serving life in prison for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, his former high school girlfriend. The episodic show tells a single story that unfolds over multiple installments, and that first season was downloaded more than 100 million times. Now in its second season, the national phenomenon is being turned into a TV show and was even spoofed on Saturday Night Live. In Binge-Worthy Journalism: Backstage With the Creators of Serial, Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, the two women, who are also producers of This American Life, give a behind-the-scenes look at how their podcast has become one of the most popular in the medium. USC, Bovard Auditorium, 3551 Trousdale Pkwy., University Park; Fri., March 4, 7 p.m.; $20, $15 USC alumni. (213) 740-0483, visionsandvoices.usc.edu. Also at Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., March 5, 8 p.m.; $35-$65. valleyperformingartscenter.org. —Siran Babayan
Drag shows are glamorous affairs. I mean, where else are you going to find that many sequins and that much brilliant facial contouring? So often, though, they're performed in divey gay bars and clubs, which have their charms but don't have the grandeur to do the performances justice. For the second time since October, Le Bal Drag takes over the grandeur-plentiful Theatre at the Ace Hotel for a celebration of the evolution of the performance art, featuring Detox, Trixie Mattel and Delta Work of RuPaul's Drag Race, plus season-three winner Raja Gemini. Trans superstar Candis Cayne (E!'s I Am Cait, ABC's Dirty Sexy Money) hosts. It won't be a drag. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri., March 4, 9 p.m.; $15-$40. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/le-bal. —Gwynedd Stuart
The Skirball Cultural Center's recent "A Path Appears: Actions for a Better World" was both an art display and a community engagement project. Guest curated by Neal Baer, a pediatrician and Emmy-nominated writer-producer of ER and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the exhibit looked at local and international organizations that are working toward solving various humanitarian issues, while encouraging visitors to make a difference. Inspired by the installation and Women's History Month, the museum hosts the all-female March Forth!: A Spoken-Word Celebration of Female Empowerment, featuring performances by Denice Frohman, Gina Loring, Arianna "Lady" Basco and Rhiannon McGavin, Marquesha Babers and Maia Mayor from the local nonprofit Get Lit Players, as well as music by alt-jazz ensemble Arielle Deem Band. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Fri., March 4, 8 p.m.; $15, $8 for students. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. —Siran Babayan
Alan Rickman was among the finest actors of his generation, imbuing supporting turns and lead performances alike with unmatched gravitas. The Aero pays tribute to the late thesp all weekend long, with a double feature of Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves being just one highlight. These are two of his most villainous turns, as well as some of his best — he's charismatic in a way that makes it difficult to root against him. Die Hard scribe Steven de Souza will appear for a discussion between films, presumably to make a case for Rickman as the best damn Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in Hogwarts history. RIP, Snape. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., March 4, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine
A forerunner to countless creature features, 1925's The Lost World can lay claim to a first of its own: No feature-length film had ever made such heavy use of stop-motion animation. Harry Hoyt brought Arthur Conan Doyle's novel to the silver screen in 1925, and the story it tells — an adventure to a prehistoric land of dinosaurs and other fantastical beasts — wasn't quite so familiar in the silent era as it's become in the 90-plus years since. (Didn't you ever wonder where the second Jurassic Park movie got its subtitle from?) Bill Field offers live musical accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri., March 4, 8:15 p.m.; Sat., March 5, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org. —Michael Nordine
Before collaborating with Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, Paul Thomas Anderson employed Jon Brion to create the music for his early films, including 2002's Punch-Drunk Love, the director's romantic comedy about the oddball love affair between a socially awkward toilet-brush salesman (Adam Sandler) and his overbearing sister's friend (Emily Watson). Wordless Music and Spaceland host this screening of the movie with a live score, featuring Brion in person. The musician, composer and record producer will join members of New York's Wordless Music Orchestra and L.A.'s wild Up, led by conductor Ryan McAdams and percussionists Yuri Yamashita-Morales and Wilson Torres. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., March 5, 8 p.m.; $39-$79. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/punch-drunk-love. —Siran Babayan
As L.A. sizzles with record-breaking summer heat in February and El Niño offers uneven relief, choreographer Laurie Sefton's newest work, desiccated earth/California, takes on a gnarly front-page issue. Under the banner "Aridity," Sefton and her Clairobscur Dance Company consider drought in forms climatic, intellectual and emotional in this premiere, plus three other works. Sefton is a thoughtful, intelligent choreographer, and her strong dancers are unafraid of tough topics such as Alzheimer's and the politics of water use. Expect insightful perspectives of light and shadow on the chosen topics, a hallmark of this troupe named for the 17th-century art form chiaroscuro, referring to light falling unevenly on an object. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; Sat., March 5, 8 p.m.; $25. (323) 964-9766, facebook.com/events/109712986079750. —Ann Haskins
Another animation/live-action blend, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? screens at the Palace Theatre in 35mm courtesy of Cinespia. Robert Zemeckis' cartoon noir doubles as a look at the birth of the freeway system we all know and love today. This being a Cinespia event, the movie is only part of the entertainment: Full bars, a free photo booth (costumes encouraged) and record-spinning DJs also will be present. Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., March 5, 9 p.m. (doors at 7:30); $18. (213) 553-4567, cinespia.org. —Michael Nordine
Bob Hoskins and an animated rabbit hang around at Palace Theatre on Saturday night.
Even in a vast, user-generated resource such as Wikipedia, gender imbalances exist. Two years ago, Art + Feminism emerged to correct that problem. The now-annual Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon brings together volunteer editors at locations across the globe to build and update entries related to female artists. In Los Angeles, collaborators will meet up at LACMA, where arts publication East of Borneo is leading a workshop. No previous Wikipedia editor experience is needed to participate, as there will be training sessions at noon and 2 p.m. You will need to bring a laptop. Editors can bring sources with them or use the Balch Art Research Library catalog for reference. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Sun., March 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; free (online registration required). (323) 857-6000, lacma.org/event/art-and-feminism-0. —Liz Ohanesian
At the fifth annual L.A. Zine Fest, printed matter still matters, especially if it's self-printed. Here, you can shop, swap or flip through stories, art, comics and all manner of periodicals by more than 200 national zine makers and small-press publishers with names like #SNATCHPOWER, ASSWIPE and Suicidal Goldfish. Better yet, you can take part in workshops and learn how to be a DIY publisher yourself. The schedule also offers panels on various topics and readings at the Last Bookstore featuring returning guests V. Vale, writer, publisher and former member of psych-hard rock band Blue Cheer; and Alice Bag, punk-rock singer and feminist activist. The Majestic Halls, 650 S. Spring St., downtown; Sun., March 6, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. lazinefest.com. —Siran Babayan
The long-awaited Los Angeles branch of the Alamo Drafthouse chain is still a ways away, so in the meantime we'll have to make do with a curated residency at the Regent Theater. The new series, which is set to take place on the first Sunday of every month, launches with Pigtails & Pirate Ships: A Pippi Longstocking Celebration. In addition to a selection of short films and a costume contest, the evening centers around a rare 16mm screening of 1970's Pippi in the South Seas. The Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown; Sun., March 6, 7 p.m.; $9.50-$15. (323) 284-5727, theregenttheater.com. —Michael Nordine
Ireland's Troubles have inspired any number of difficult but essential films, from well-known classics (The Crying Game, In the Name of the Father) to lesser-seen curios (Elephant). As is its wont, Los Angeles Filmforum provides a showcase for even more obscure approaches with Jesse Jones and Seamus Harahan: Irish Artists on Northern Ireland. Mariah Garnett, who spent most of last year working in Belfast, will be at the screening to discuss the vastly different works on display and how they show the conflict's lingering effects on Northern Ireland. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., March 6, 7 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org. —Michael Nordine
Cinefamily's beloved series A Band & a Movie seeks to celebrate the web of inspiration between film and music. This month, Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee has chosen to screen Days of Heaven before she plays a live set. Terrence Malick's 1978 film tells the story of two lovers traveling through the Texas Panhandle to trick a dying farmer with a vast fortune into a sham marriage. Waxahatchee is named for a creek in Alabama near Crutchfield's parents' house — the film's Southern story fits nicely with the homely qualities of Crutchfield's latest, endearingly quiet record, Ivy Tripp. The weekday show is after her Saturday night show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery; don't miss the chance to see the indie darling in a more intimate setting. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Mon., March 7, 7:30 p.m.; $20. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Neha Talreja
Action, Anarchy and Audacity: A Seijun Suzuki Retrospective continues at UCLA with Kagero-za. Once referred to as his "finest achievement outside the constraints of genre filmmaking," the second entry in Suzuki's loose, surreal Taisho Roman Trilogy concerns a fateful train ride en route to an illicit tryst that may prove deadly. A unique stylist, the Japanese auteur here uses his eye-catching aesthetics to plump the inner workings of a lost soul's psyche rather than the criminal underworld. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Mon., March 7, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine
Pack your piping bag for the All-Star Chef Classic on Wednesday.
Photo by Capra Photography
Fall in love all over again with the beautiful weirdness of the English language at Strange Sounds From the Bookshelf, a multimedia live-action event that will leave you at a loss for words. The evening pairs Nico Muhly and Maira Kalman's illustrated 2005 version of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style with a special Oxford English Dictionary–inspired piece, "A-Zythum" (zythum being an ancient wheat-based Egyptian beer) from L.A. composers Anne LeBaron and Scott Worthington, as interpreted by new-music collective wasteLAnd. Expect eggbeaters, typewriters and guests such as cinematic artist Tacita Dean, comedian Patton Oswalt and KCRW traffic reporter Kajon Cermak. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., March 8, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner
In the 1940s and '50s, Lili St. Cyr was one of the best known striptease artists in the world, but it turns out that her life offstage was even more interesting than what she was doing on it. Last year Leslie Zemeckis — author, director and wife of filmmaker Robert Zemeckis — published the biography Goddess of Love Incarnate, which details St. Cyr's tempestuous love life and many marriages. On Tuesday, Leslie Zemeckis hosts Boobs, Books & Burlesque, which features burlesque performers, including April Showers and Maxi Millions; a swing-era band; a book signing; and food and drinks — naturally, the boob-centric evening will raise money for breast cancer research. Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Tue., March 8, 7-10 p.m.; donations suggested. lesliezemeckis.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Olivia de Havilland turns 100 in a few months. If you've yet to acquaint yourself with the oldest living Oscar winner's vast body of work — including a supporting performance in Gone With the Wind, for which she received her first Academy Award nomination — you could certainly do worse than to start with The Strawberry Blonde at LACMA. Raoul Walsh's musical romance also stars James Cagney, Jack Carson and Rita Hayworth as the other points in a love rectangle. This was the second adaptation of James Hagan's play One Sunday Afternoon; the third, released seven years later in 1948, was likewise directed by Walsh. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., March 8, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
Reality television cooking show aesthetics meet fine-dining pop-up dinners at All-Star Chef Classic, a four-day extravaganza that brings 45 top-name chefs from around the world to a converted parking lot at L.A. Live for multicourse meals, tasting sessions, cooking classes and more. Signature events — including Thursday's Noche de Masters Dinner (featuring five Latin American chefs from Baja's Diego Hernández to José Andrés) and Friday's American Masters Dinner (spotlighting James Beard Award–winning chefs like Naomi Pomeroy, Sean Brock and Wylie Dufresne) — take over an in-the-round "restaurant stadium," which includes a live host and kitchen-side seating for 250. Nearly 20 L.A. chefs are in on the food-centric party; catch names like Josiah Citrin, Jessica Koslow and Ludo Lefebvre at Friday's Grand Global Tasting or Saturday's Grill & Chill, the latter dedicated to showcasing the versatility of open-flame cooking. L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Wed.-Sat., March 9-12, various times; $85-$350. allstarchefclassic.com. —Sarah Bennett
For one night only, iO West brings some of late night TV's best writers out of the writers room and into the spotlight for an evening of original stand-up at the Late-Night Writer Spectacular. The featured writers hail from talk shows past and present — Conan, Chelsea Lately, Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Pete Holmes Show and Arsenio — with a reputation for no-holds-barred raunch and absurdity. With a lineup that includes Primetime Emmy and WGA nominee Andres du Bouchet (Conan) and Chelsea roundtable regular Annie Lederman (Chelsea Lately, We Have Issues), iO lets late night loose from its network restraints. iO West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., March 9, 9-10 p.m.; $10. (323) 962-7560, ioimprov.com/west. —Neha Talreja
A concert experience for the eyes and ears, Eve Egoyan: Earwitness is the Toronto piano maestro's multimedia performance in which she plays compositions specially commissioned for piano and visuals. The program features Surface Tension, a collaboration with artist David Rokeby written for Yamaha Disklavier, an acoustic grand piano with a MIDI interface, which translates Egoyan's touch-based inputs into projected imagery. Also on the bill: John Oswald's Homonymy, an homage to Michael Snow's silent film So Is This, with MIDI-linked video playback; and Nicole Lizée's David Lynch Etudes, where Egoyan's playing interacts with scenes and characters from the director's films. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Thu., March 10, 8:30 p.m.; $20, $16 members/students, $10 CalArts students/faculty/staff. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —John Payne
Darryl Charles is a stand-up comedian. Dr. Timaree Schmit is a podcaster and columnist with a Ph.D. in human-sexuality education. Together, the two host DTF: Darryl & Timaree Fun Hour, a monthly comedy panel show in Philadelphia, where they invite guests to discuss dating, relationships and the latest in sex education, everything from oral sex to transgender issues. It's also interactive. So if you have a burning question about fisting, feel free to ask. They're not shy. For their first L.A. event, Charles and Schmit will join comedian Thomas Fowler and sex educator Sandra Daugherty, aka Sex Nerd Sandra. NerdMelt Showroom, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., March 10, 7-8:30 p.m.; $8. nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan
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