21 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Spend Cinco de Mayo with luchadores and sexy ladies on Thursday.
Photo by Timothy Norris
Will Ferrell teams up with his RHCP lookalike, Bob's Burgers gets live, luchadores ring in Cinco de Mayo and more fun stuff to do in L.A. this week.
Will Ferrell and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith are famous, they look alike and they both play drums. What started as a drum-off in 2014 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has led to Will Ferrell and Chad Smith's Red Hot Benefit Comedy + Music Show, featuring comedy and musical performances by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Devo, Jim Gaffigan and Nick Offerman. It's also an excuse for Ferrell, who, as far as we know, isn't Hispanic, to have a belated quinceañera. Proceeds go to nonprofits Cancer for College and the Silverlake Conservatory for Music, the latter founded by RHCP's Flea. Shrine Auditorium, 665 W. Jefferson Blvd., University Park; Fri., April 29, 7 p.m.; $75-$250. funnyordie.com/redhotbenefit. —Siran Babayan
Known for his work on the film Across the Universe, Cirque du Soleil's Love and the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, Daniel Ezralow's rep was built on his insightful, often humorous contemporary choreography. Two years ago his new company, L.A.-based Ezralow Dance, debuted with much hoopla at the Ford Amphitheatre but then essentially disappeared from local view while touring. Ezralow and his company return to L.A. with their newest work, Open, the calling card of recent NYC performances. An array of classical music excerpts provides the soundtrack for the dancing. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri.-Sat., April 29-30, 8 p.m.; $39-$99. (310) 246-3800, thewallis.org. —Ann Haskins
Bob's Burgers Live! began in 2013, though the tour skipped the West Coast last year. This year, the cast of the kooky Fox animated series Bob's Burgers, about a family-run and perpetually imperiled burger joint, comes back home to celebrate the series' 100th episode. Scheduled to appear are creator Loren Bouchard and all the actors who voice the Belchers, including H. Jon Benjamin (patriarch Bob), John Roberts (wine-loving mom Linda), Kristen Schaal (troublemaking daughter Louise), Dan Mintz (sullen sister Tina) and Eugene Mirman (artsy brother Gene). The show includes stand-up and musical performances, a script reading, Q&A and special guests. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown; Fri.-Sat., April 29-30, 8 p.m.; $49.50-$69.50. bobsburgerslive.com. —Siran Babayan
As part of Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in Hollywood, UCLA screens The Hard Way and What Price Hollywood? on 35mm. Emily Carman, who teaches film studies at Chapman University, co-programmed the series named after her book. Hard Way stars Ida Lupino, whose stifling Warner Bros. contract inspired her to form her own production company in 1949; What Price Hollywood? star Constance Bennett's tenuous relationship with fan magazines is reflected in George Cukor's unflattering view of the film industry. Bennett likewise went on to become a freelancer, going so far as to say, "Hollywood taught me to fight for my rights." UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., April 29, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine
In another celebration of female screen icons, Women of Cinefamily presents An Evening With Anna Karina. The Danish-French luminary will be on hand for a conversation prior to a 35mm screening of A Woman Is a Woman, one of several films she made with collaborator (and one-time husband) Jean-Luc Godard. Karina won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her performance as an exotic dancer in the "neorealist musical," which was the French New Wave stalwart's first foray into both color and CinemaScope. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., April 29, 7:30 p.m.; $25 (general admission) or $45 (VIP seating and private pre-reception). (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine
Ron Funches, one-time L.A. Weekly Comedy Act to Watch and current co-star of NBC sitcom Undateable, recently dropped more than 100 pounds. He's looking good, feeling good and will be dressing damn good at the debut of his monthly show at the Roxy. Co-produced by Riot L.A. founder Abbey Londer, Midnight Merriment With Ron Funches features the besuited host providing old-school Hollywood glamour and musical accompaniment courtesy of Comedy Central/Adult Swim composer Cyrus Ghahremäni. This weekend's debut includes Natasha Leggero, Moshe Kasher, Marcella Arguello and Funches' Undateable co-star Chris D'Elia. The show returns the last Saturday of every month. The Roxy, 9009 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Sat., April 30, 11:59 p.m.; $15-$49.50. (310) 278-9457, theroxy.com. —Julie Seabaugh
Not all poetry is flowery, dull or nauseatingly romantic — especially when it's being delivered and enhanced by high school slam poets. Get Lit's fifth annual Classic Slam, which bills itself as the "largest youth classic poetry festival in the world," brings together 300 students from 50 schools throughout L.A. County to recite poems by heavyweights such as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Pablo Neruda, adding their own spoken-word responses. The quarter- and semi-finals take place Thursday and Friday; at the finals on Saturday, judges Andrea Gibson, Patricia Smith, Nate Parker, Jessica Oyelowo, Rory Pullens and Luis Rodriguez narrow it down to just one winner. It'll be the first time since college that poetry actually gives you chills. Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., April 30, 7-10 p.m.; $15, $5 18 and under. getlitclassicslam.org. —Gwynedd Stuart
As part of Book Soup's daylong Indie Bookstore Day, Jim Colucci signs his new book, Golden Girls Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind the Lanai. Following his 2006 The Q Guide to The Golden Girls, Colucci's latest thank-you to the '80s comedy about four senior spitfires living in Miami traces its evolution from inception to enduring legacy (you're welcome, Sex and the City and Girls). This retrospective on the "Wicker Wonderland" features episode synopses, hundreds of photographs and Harvey Fierstein's tribute to Estelle Getty, plus interviews with producers, directors, writers and three of the Girls, Betty White, Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan, as well as with some of the sitcom's guest stars, namely Mario Lopez, Debbie Reynolds and a certain Pulp Fiction director who played an Elvis impersonator. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Sat., April 30, 3 p.m.; free, book is $35. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com/event/indie-bookstore-day. —Siran Babayan
The Aero completes its George Kennedy tribute with all three Naked Gun movies: From the Files of Police Squad!, The Smell of Fear and The Final Insult. Kennedy's role in the action spoofs is certainly vital, but the series really belongs to star Leslie Nielsen, whose slapstick antics busted many a gut over his long, prolific career. If you've never seen any of these films, don't let the likes of Scary Movie give you the wrong impression — genre parodies used to actually be funny. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., April 30, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine
Ron Funches has a new monthly show at the Roxy — it kicks off on Saturday.
Photo by Ryan Orange
Hollywood 25 years ago was very different than Hollywood is today. Besides being sort of seedy, it was a food desert with a dearth of places to buy good, healthful eats closer than driving distance. Then in 1991, the Hollywood Farmers Market came along. This Sunday — and the following four Sundays — the market celebrates a quarter century of bringing fresh produce into the 'hood with music, cooking demos and book signings. Beginning at 9 a.m., bands hit the Amoeba-sponsored stage (at Cahuenga and Ivar), while chefs including Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger of Mud Hen Tavern and Susanne Tracht of Jar show off their culinary techniques. Oh, and there will be lots of fruits and vegetables for sale, too. Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Street, Hollywood; Sun., May 1, 8:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; free. hfm.la. —Gwynedd Stuart
Without harping on the ideology — or lack thereof — behind an individual's dietary choices, let's just say that two very different events are going head to head on Sunday: the vegan-eats extravaganza VegFest L.A. and the pork-products extravaganza L.A. Bacon Festival. For vegans and vegetarians it's a no-brainer — VegFest features upward of 40 food vendors, a beer and wine garden and speakers on animal activism, and admission is free. But for omnivores with a taste for that sweet, smoky meat, things can get tricky. This year's Bacon Festival also features more than 40 vendors, from restaurants to farms, serving both sweet and savory dishes. It all depends what you're in the mood for, I guess. VegFest L.A., Woodley Park, 6350 Woodley Ave., Sepulveda Basin; Sun., May 1, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; free. Vegfestla.org. L.A. Bacon Festival, L.A. Center Studios, 1201 W. Fifth St., Westlake; Sun., May 1, noon-3 p.m. or 4-7 p.m.; $64.29. labaconfest.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
The long-awaited DTLA outpost of Austin's famed Alamo Drafthouse is still forthcoming, so in the meantime we'll have to make do with the theater chain's monthly residency at the Regent. Its latest offering is Selena, a moving biopic about the barrier-breaking pop star who (spoiler alert) died tragically young. Jennifer Lopez has never been better than she was in the title role, giving nuanced expression to the singer's voice, personality and legacy. Arrive early for a dance party and costume contest. The Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown; Sun., May 1, 7 p.m.; $10–$15. (323) 284-5727, theregenttheater.com. —Michael Nordine
Honor killings — murders within the family of those who have in some perceived way brought "shame" to the "honor" of the family — are the focus of this screening of In the Name of Honor, followed by a conversation with director Pawel Gula and human rights activist Lubna Dawany. It's a seething and necessary look at filicide, fratricide and uxoricide, which will open your eyes to a world of pointless misery stretching from India to Palestine. Short-term injustices such as institutional apathy and jailing victims (!) are offset by activists and officials doing their damnedest to dismantle this abjectly shitty tradition. Albert & Dana Broccoli Theatre, George Lucas Bldg., USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Mon., May 2, 7 p.m.; free with RSVP. cinema.usc.edu. —David Cotner
REDCAT presents Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema, persuasively described in the program notes as "a ravishing treasure trove of hand-colored cinematic visions and wonders from more than a century ago." These digital restorations of early applied color on film will be accompanied by live music, and two of the book's authors, Tom Gunning and Jonathon Rosen, will introduce the screening. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., May 2, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Michael Nordine
Vintage tattoo flash gets its day in the sun on Tuesday.
From Vintage Tattoo Flash by Jonathan Shaw, published by powerHouse Books
David Sedaris has been delighting American and international audiences with his stories in countless New Yorker essays, beloved books and NPR segments for more than three decades now. His mass appeal is indisputable — Sedaris' most recent book, 2013's Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, was his seventh immediate best-seller and was nominated for a Grammy Award — so we're sure we won't have to convince you that An Evening With David Sedaris will be a hit. Instead, here's one of the bigger questions asked in Owls: "If you stepped out of the shower and saw a leprechaun standing at the base of your toilet, would you scream, or would you innately understand that he meant you no harm?" Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Tue., May 3, 8 p.m.; $56-$96. cap.ucla.edu. —Neha Talreja
The new book and pop-up exhibit Vintage Tattoo Flash: 100 Years of Traditional Tattoos From the Collection of Jonathan Shaw celebrates the samples of lurid designs that lined the walls of every old-school tattoo shop. These are the dreamlike iconography of our cultural underworld: skulls, serpents, roses, hearts and daggers, diaper-clad cartoon devil Hot Stuff, "Born to Lose," "Death Before Dishonor," "Mother," Lady Luck, mermaids, Indian maidens, representing a critical iconographic Americana that, ironically, has been all but lost in the turn-of-the-century tat-and-piercings boom. Expect a lovely dose of lowbrow eye candy. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Tue.-Wed., May 3-4, 6-9 p.m.; free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. —Jonny Whiteside
Since launching in 2014, Cambridge, Massachusetts–based podcast collection Radiotopia has grown to more than 10 million downloads per month, with shows on topics ranging from true crime to design and architecture to storytelling. For its first Radiotopia Live, the network gathers the hosts behind 10 of the podcasts, including founder Roman Mars' 99% Invisible, Criminal, Song Exploder, The Memory Palace, Mortified, The Kitchen Sisters, Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything and The Allusionist. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S Broadway, downtown; Wed., May 4, 8 p.m.; $25-$200. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/radiotopia-live. —Siran Babayan
Laemmle's Anniversary Classics offers Breakfast at Tiffany's for your viewing pleasure. Based on the Truman Capote novella and starring Audrey Hepburn, the rom-com is among the most chic and celebrated ever made. Ginny and Monica Mancini — the wife and daughter, respectively, of composer Henry Mancini — will appear before the screening for a Q&A with Stephen Farber, president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Ahrya Fine Arts Theater, 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Wed., May 4, 7:30 p.m.; $13. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com/theaters/25. —Michael Nordine
The rather insane burlesque 'n' wrestling blowout known as Lucha VaVoom Cinco de Mayo rears its incredibly strange and hilarious head in celebration of this tequila-rich holiday. This crazy carnival of the damned traditionally features only the finest quality transvestite wrestlers and nearly nude high-wire acrobats; this year's sensational selection of masked maniacal marvels includes the LVV debut of Guerrero Maya Jr., the audacious return of Mexican meanie Magno, Extreme Tiger, Doctor Maldad, Marawa the Amazing and Piñatita! Also folkloricos Grandeza Mexicana, Aztec dancers and mariachis and tamales and cerveza and crazy chickens. What more could one possibly ask for? Nada! Mayan Theatre, 1038 S. Hill St., downtown; Thu.-Fri., May 5-6, doors 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.; $48.50. (213) 746-4674, luchavavoom.com. —John Payne
It has long been assumed that the ever-expanding universe of science fiction is best evoked through the magic of movies, if only because of film's inherent visual potential and relatively sophisticated special effects. But theater producers Michael Blaha and Lee Costello and actor David Dean Bottrell (Boston Legal, Mad Men) rely instead on the power of words — via inventive storytelling, actual character development and intimate staging — in their third annual Sci-Fest L.A., a festival of one-act plays. This year's lineup, which alternates weekly, features short works by such luminaries as Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman alongside speculative fantasies by unexpected playwrights such as songwriter Janis Ian. ACME Comedy Theatre, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; Thurs., May 5, 8 p.m.; through May 29; $27 & $37. (323) 525-0202, sci-fest.com. —Falling James
CSUN's semester-long tribute to Andrei Tarkovsky trudges toward its end with The Turin Horse. Béla Tarr retired from filmmaking after completing this existential endurance test, which at 2½ hours is among the Hungarian auteur's shorter works — his Sátántangó, a stone-cold masterwork made in 1994, clocks in at just under 7½ hours. Loosely inspired by the story of a horse being whipped in the streets of Turin, supposedly the event that drove Friedrich Nietzsche mad, the black-and-white film is genuinely moving if you can get on its wavelength. Tarr makes this easier than you might think: The opening sequence, a six-minute shot of a windswept horse-drawn cart accompanied by a dirgelike string arrangement, is haunting. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., May 5, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine
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