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

YouTube dance sensation Lil Buck comes to town on Friday.
YouTube dance sensation Lil Buck comes to town on Friday.
Photo by Kyle Cordova

YouTube dance phenom Lil Buck goes classical, David Cross goes to town on Donald Trump, the Arroyo Seco museums go free for the day and more cool stuff to see and do in L.A. this week.

fri 5/13

Drag queen extraordinaire and Renberg Theatre regular Miss Coco Peru returns with A Gentle Reminder: Miss Coco Peru's Guide to a Somewhat Happy Life. The girl with the copper-brown flip 'do — a boy named Clinton Leupp — has hosted the Renberg's Conversations With Coco, featuring interviews with the likes of Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Liza Minnelli. Peru also has spent 25 years in film, TV and the stage. Having turned 50, Peru acts as life coach in her latest one-queen show, doling out wisdom and advice, and performing monologues and covers of David Bowie's "Heroes," The Beatles' "Blackbird" and other songs. Some of the proceeds benefit the L.A. LGBT Center. Los Angeles LGBT Center's Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., May 13-14, 8 p.m. (also Fri.-Sat., May 20-21, 8 p.m.); $25. (323) 993-7400, lalgbtcenter.org. —Siran Babayan

The title of NPR host Bob Boilen's new book is somewhat self-explanatory: Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, 35 Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It. For Boilen, who hosts All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts, that life-changing song was The Beatles' "A Day in the Life." In Boilen's interviews, nearly three dozen musicians reveal the songs that most affected them, among them David Byrne, who was inspired by James Brown's "Cold Sweat"; Michael Stipe by Patti Smith's "Birdland"; and Carrie Brownstein by The Replacements' "Bastards of Young." Boilen discusses and signs the book this evening. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., May 13, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $25.99. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Siran Babayan

It used to be that the way to get to Carnegie Hall was practice, practice, practice. Today the more accurate description may be YouTube, YouTube, YouTube — and Charles Riley, known as Lil Buck, is a poster child for the new route (although he clearly practices, practices, practices). The Los Angeles–based YouTube sensation, with his boneless Memphis street-dance genre dubbed "jookin'," gained serious classical cred improvising with cellist Yo-Yo Ma for an updated "Dying Swan" and an even more recent collaboration with the New York City Ballet (which some critics thought wandered out of his range as a choreographer). This concert pairs Lil Buck with cellist Mihai Marica, which augurs well for a reprise of "Dying Swan." The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., May 13-14, 7:30 p.m.; $40-$85. (310) 434-3200, thebroadstage.com. —Ann Haskins

If you keep irregular hours and have an affinity for slasher flicks, there's only one way to start your Friday the 13th: An All-Nighter on Elm Street. (A Friday the 13th marathon might have made more sense, but such is life.) The New Beverly screens all seven films in the original Freddy Krueger mythos, Wes Craven's dreamscape haunted by red-and-green sweaters, subconscious rumblings and blood-spewing beds. In addition to the likes of Freddy's Revenge and New Nightmare projected in 35mm, the genre-intensive repertory theater promises bonus surprises for the brave dream warriors in attendance. Do your best not to fall asleep halfway through due to the whole getting-murdered-in-your-dreams thing. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., May 13, 7:30 p.m.; $30. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com—Michael Nordine

UCLA is in the midst of celebrating a very different cinematic movement, namely the Iranian New Wave. Tonight's offering is The Cow, which many credit with ushering in the entire movement. Dariush Mehrjui's 1969 parable tells of a villager and his beloved bovine, which perishes without the man's knowledge. Intending to keep it that way lest the man experience the kind of heartbreak that only the loss of an animal friend can induce, his well-intentioned neighbors exacerbate an already trying situation. Hamid Naficy will sign copies of A Social History of Iranian Cinema beginning at 6:30 p.m. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., May 13, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

sat 5/14

In his last stand-up special, 2010's Bigger and Blackerer, David Cross riffed on topics ranging from date-rape drugs to health care to religion. "It's a treasure trove of chuckles," he said of the Bible. Since then, Cross has starred in the last season of Arrested Development on Netflix, the recently wrapped The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret on IFC and W/ Bob & David, also on Netflix. Following his Riot L.A. appearance at the Ace Theater in January, Cross brings his Making America Great Again! show to this slightly larger venue, where he'll no doubt take comedic shots at similarly prickly topics, including a certain Republican presidential candidate who inspired his tour's name. Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., May 14, 8 p.m.; $39.50. (800) 653-8000, ticket0x200Bmaster.com. —Siran Babayan

The 26th AdultCon — adult as in "pornography," not adult as in "you've got a thing with the boss at noon" — is a trade fair that features a plethora of stars and personas from all facets of the adult entertainment industry, including tried-and-true porn king Ron Jeremy, Japanese gravure model Marica Hase and ex-ballerina Abella Danger. The cornerstone of the con is the show floor, featuring products that could become the latest enhancements to your sex life, everything from the newest advancements in adult toys to VR smut to leather teddies. You know, if you're into that kind of thing. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Concourse Hall EF (inside West Hall), downtown Los Angeles; Sat., May 14, 1-8 p.m.; Sun., May 15, 1-5 p.m.; $40, $50 VIP, $60 weekend pass. (310) 859-6900, adultcon.com. —David Cotner

In the 10 years that Gustavo Dudamel has conducted the L.A. Philharmonic, he has never crossed the street from his usual headquarters at Walt Disney Hall to sit in with his Music Center neighbors the L.A. Opera Orchestra at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. But that will change in dramatic fashion when the local opera company finishes its Giacomo Puccini–themed current season with Herbert Ross' cinematically stylish production of the Italian composer's beloved La Bohème. The powerfully expressive Georgian coloratura soprano Nino Machaidze stars as Mimi, a seamstress who's part of a gang of young artists and musicians struggling to find their way in Paris. It should prove fascinating to compare the styles of guest Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci, who guides the orchestra for the first six performances, and the dynamically intuitive Dudamel, who takes over for the final two shows on June 10 and June 12. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave.; Sat., May 14, 7:30 p.m.; through Sun., June 12, 2 p.m.; $49-$339. (213) 972-8001, laopera.org. —Falling James

On the subject of influential genre pictures, what would the teen movie be without Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Cinespia launches its summer season with an outdoor screening of Amy Heckerling's high-school classic based on Cameron Crowe's book of the same name. If you've never seen Phoebe Cates emerge from that pool in slo-mo or experienced the acting magic that is Sean Penn as Spiccoli, some might go so far as to call you clueless. The screening will be both preceded and followed by a DJ set, beer and wine are permitted and there's even a free photo booth. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., May 14, 8:30 p.m.; $16. (323) 221-3343, cinespia.org—Michael Nordine

Things get sexy at AdultCon on Saturday.
Things get sexy at AdultCon on Saturday.
Photo by Nanette Gonzales

sun 5/15

In a city that feels as if it's forever evolving, Los Angeles has a remarkable amount of history around every corner. It's raring to be sought out at Museums of the Arroyo Day, during which all six of the Arroyo Seco's history-based museums open their doors free of charge. Among them: Heritage Square in Montecito Heights, a living history museum comprising Victorian homes from neighborhoods all over the city; the Los Angeles Police Museum in Highland Park, full of LAPD artifacts and memorabilia; and the Pasadena Museum of History; plus the Gamble House, the Autry's Mount Washington campus and Lummis Home & Garden. Seeing all six in one day isn't necessarily recommended, but taking the Gold Line definitely is. Various locations; Sun., May 15, noon-5 p.m. mota.dreamhosters.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Get funky with all things pickled and fermented at the first Grand Central Market Pickle Party. The daylong event will feature a pop-up marketplace filled with local pickle crafters, chef demos, menu specials from market vendors and a communal sauerkraut-making session led by fermentation guru and cookbook author Sandor Katz. Topics will include Asian and Latino pickles and condiments, "leaf-to-root" pickling and pickling with wild foraged edibles. Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., May 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (213) 624-2378, grandcentralmarket.com/events. —Garrett Snyder

L.A.'s venerable and totally admirable organization SASSAS (the Society for the Activation of Social Space Through Art and Sound) is, as its name might suggest, dedicated to a very important thing our little town could use a lot more of. Among its offerings is the series sound. at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, free public performances featuring site-specific modern music and visual art created by L.A.-based artists. This particular event invigorates the ions with a choicely curated crew of progressive performers including multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno (of Best Coast), cornetist Dan Clucas and dance visionary Simone Forti. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, 6300 Hetzler Road, Culver City; Sun., May 15, 4-7 p.m.; free. (323) 960-5723, sassas.org. —John Payne

Upcoming Events

mon 5/16

Laughing together onstage since 2003, comedians Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal implore you to take a dip with them in their Hot Tub, their weekly "wet jubilee" of a variety show that's all about comic warmth, with only a fraction of the mold. Square-jawed, nattily attired Braunohler and adorably dippy Schaal take self-deprecation and reference beyond the limits of ordinary comedy, working out new bits each week by themselves and with guests. Everyone from chortlesome cellist Nina Daniels to the incisively insightful Candy Lawrence has dropped by, marinating you in the egg drop soup that is this stand-up spa tub. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood; Mon., May 16, 7:30 p.m.; $5 pre-sale, $8 door. (323) 660-4540, thevirgil.com/calendar/2016/1/25/hot-tub-w-kurt-kirsten-2-dope-queens. —David Cotner

A bit of the old ultraviolence at ArcLight Hollywood, where you're invited to pry your eyes open for every single minute of A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick's most outwardly disturbing film, it follows a gang of wayward youths led by Malcolm McDowell as they rove across a dystopian near-future in which they're somehow not even the most frightening element around. The famously meticulous director's adaptation of Anthony Burgess' novel proved so controversial in the United Kingdom — it was even blamed for actual violence — that Kubrick himself had it withdrawn from theaters. Cue up the Ludwig Van, assemble your droogs and prepare for forced rehabilitation. ArcLight Santa Monica, 395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 330, Santa Monica; Mon., May 16, 7 p.m.; $13.75. (310) 566-2810, arclightcinemas.com—Michael Nordine

See Buyepongo at Taste of Boyle Heights on Thursday.
See Buyepongo at Taste of Boyle Heights on Thursday.
Courtesy the artist

tue 5/17

The Broad hosts The Un-Private Collection: Robert Longo and Henry Rollins. Launched in 2013, the series of art talks brings together cultural figures with artists whose works are a part of the Broad's collection. Past events have paired Jeff Koons with John Waters, Takashi Murakami with Pico Iyer and Eric Fischl with Steve Martin. For its latest installment, Rollins interviews Longo, a New York–based painter and sculptor known for his group of early-'80s charcoal and graphite drawings called "Men in the Cities." Longo also has directed videos for New Order, Megadeth and R.E.M., as well as the 1995 film Johnny Mnemonic, which featured Rollins. The Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway, downtown; Tue., May 17, 8 p.m.; $15. (213) 232-6200, thebroad.org/programs/un-private-collection-robert-longo-and-henry-rollins. —Siran Babayan

Experience a midcentury classic at midday courtesy of LACMA, where A Place in the Sun is this week's Tuesday Matinee. Perhaps the saddest of the semi-noirs, George Stevens' film stars Montgomery Clift as a poor young man whose ambition and romantic nature lead him down a tragic path involving co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters. A Place in the Sun won six Oscars (including Best Director for Stevens) plus the first-ever Golden Globe for Best Picture, and was hailed by no less an authority than Charlie Chaplin as "the greatest movie ever made about America." LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., May 17, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

Laemmle's Anniversary Classics presents The Seven-Per-Cent Solution in honor of the film's 40th anniversary. Herbert Ross' adaptation of Nicholas Meyer's best-selling novel finds Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin) and a cocaine-addled Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) in team-building mode as they join up to solve a most puzzling crime in turn-of-the-century Vienna. Los Angeles Film Critics Association president Stephen Farber will moderate a Q&A with Meyer (who adapted his own book). Laemmle's Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; Tue., May 17, 7:30 p.m.; $13. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com—Michael Nordine

wed 5/18

Not only is the FIGat7th shopping metropolis turning 30 this year, but so is noted cinematic recruiting poster Top Gun — and what better way to enjoy dinner and a movie than with tonight's 30th-anniversary screening? Even the dullest office drone can appreciate the power and the glory in the story of Navy fighter weapons school students competing to be the best of the best, inspiring everyone in the film's wake to play beach volleyball if not climb in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Also stirring: a live DJ and happy hour within the mall. FIGat7th, 735 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Wed., May 18, 6 p.m.; free. (213) 955-7170, figat7th.com/events. —David Cotner

thu 5/19

Founded more than 20 years ago, ELACC (East L.A. Community Corporation) advocates for economic and social justice in Boyle Heights and unincorporated East L.A. The group's fourth annual Taste of Boyle Heights is a benefit-type affair that is a wee bit pricey yet altogether worthy. The event features a huge and varied selection of savory comestibles, including fare created by local street vendors, plus performances by the excellent Eastside bands El Conjunto Nueva Ola, Buyepongo and Sin Color. There's also a DJ and spacious dance floor, a photo booth and merchandise for sale; ticket holders get an event swag bag, too. Casa del Mexicano, 2900 Calle Pedro Infante, East L.A.; Thu., May 14, 6-9 p.m.; $120. (323) 863-8040, elacc.org. —John Payne

One of the oldest film festivals in Los Angeles, PXL, now in its 25th year, features Pixelvision films made with the Fisher-Price PXL-2000 camcorder. Festival founder Gerry Fialka will explain his affinity for the toy, which uses cassettes as recording media to produce enigmatic, security-cam-quality images. You'll see 30 Pixelvision shorts, including LM Sabo's Dadaesque Ready Made Inertia, Luis Macias' Thomas Edison–inspired The Kiss and Nicole Zwerin's Watch When You Blink, which uses everything from cellphone footage to PXL visions to mine the subconscious with any number of mysterious images. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Thu., May 19, 8 p.m.; $5. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org/events/pxl-this-25. —David Cotner

A series of costly misfires ensured that the New Hollywood era will probably never return, but at its peak the director-driven studio system was releasing future classics at an astounding rate. The Egyptian zeros in on two highlights from 1976, Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver and John Cassavetes' The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Among the two auteurs' darkest and most rewarding efforts, the feverishly stylized crime dramas complement one another well but are different in key areas. Scorsese tracks a slow descent into untethered madness, while Cassavetes focuses on a much more premeditated crime — the eponymous murder is no accident. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Thu., May 19, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events


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