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

You've always wanted to watch Mean Girls in a cemetery so now you can do that on Saturday.
You've always wanted to watch Mean Girls in a cemetery so now you can do that on Saturday.

A star-studded live The Little Mermaid sing-along, a pride celebration in Venice, a Masters of the Universe con and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 6/3

On Friday, Venice lights up the letters of its iconic sign at Pacific and Windward to celebrate gay pride. There are six letters in Venice, one for each color of the rainbow (well, minus indigo, but no one cares about indigo anyway). Coincidence? Maybe, but what the hell — it's an excuse to party. In advance of the lighting of the sign, Venice Pride hosts a block party featuring dancing in the streets to the sounds of DJ Victor Rodriguez on the turntables. Surprises are said to be in store, too — and at a pride celebration, you can bet they're probably pretty good. Windward Avenue and Pacific Avenue, Venice; Fri., June 3, 7 p.m., lighting at 8:15 p.m.; free. venicepride.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Disney's film The Little Mermaid, now 27 years old, has more than proved its longevity, making it a cash cow in every new form it takes. The last big incarnation was the 2007 Broadway adaptation. This month, the Hollywood Bowl presents a concert production featuring singers from the stage version, as well as a slew of celebrity leads, performing live with a 71-piece orchestra and 12-person choir led by Michael Kosarin alongside a screening of the animated classic. On Friday and Saturday, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles will sing the part of Ariel, Rebel Wilson takes on the role of Ursula, Tituss Burgess plays Sebastian, Darren Criss is Prince Eric and John Stamos voices Chef Louis. On Monday, Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in the film, takes over for Bareilles. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 Highland Ave., Hollywood Hills; Fri.-Sat., June 3-4, and Mon., June 6, 8 p.m.; $32-$583.75. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —Neha Talreja

The term "Hitchcockian" is used to describe thrillers so often that it has practically lost its meaning, but few have earned it quite like Brian De Palma. That he's also transcended the label is evident in films such as SistersCarrie and Blow Out — few have melded highbrow and lowbrow sensibilities like De Palma, whose works operate (and satisfy) on multiple levels at once. The Aero plays tribute to the writer-director in the lead-up to a members-only screening of Noah Baumbach's upcoming documentary about him, with tonight's offering of Body Double (on 35mm) and Femme Fatale representing sleaze at its most high-minded. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., June 3, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

If you've never watched House on a scratchy old print at midnight, you've never really seen Hausu. If you've never seen it at all, brace yourself for something wholly original (not always in a good way): Nobuhiko Obayashi's cult classic is the platonic ideal of bizarre late-'70s horror, the kind of movie most of us could never dream up on our own but that somehow seems inevitable in hindsight. A schoolgirl brings six of her classmates to her aunt's home in the country, where all manner of supernatural nastiness awaits. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., June 3, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com—Michael Nordine

sat 6/4

For people feeling deeply nostalgic for the Saturday morning cartoons of the '80s and the corresponding toys that were available at any given Gemco, Zody's or TG&Y, Power-Con: The He-Man and She-Ra Toy & Comic Book Experience is the place to be. Since 2011, Power-Con has brought together fans to experience up-close-and-personal encounters with the people behind the scenes of Filmation studio's animated galaxy of wonders. Guests include original voice actors Melendy Britt (She-Ra) and Alan Oppenheimer (Skeletor), Mattel toy designer Martin Arriola and many other icons of that simpler, more magical time. Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach Hotel, 3635 Fashion Way, Torrance; Sat., June 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., June 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $25 a day, free for kids 12 and under. (310) 316-3636, thepower-con.com. —David Cotner

Long before Jack Kerouac went On the Road in the 1950s, Charles Fletcher Lummis, a journalist, early activist for Native American rights and proponent of historic preservation, chronicled walking across the United States in 1884 as his first assignment for the L.A. Times. In 143 Days, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre pays homage to Lummis, condensing his 3,500-mile cross-country walkabout into 12 acres and one hour. The six dancers from this celebrated site-specific ensemble are accompanied by musician Chris Garcia on an array of indigenous instruments. The event is part of the Lummis Day festival. Autry Museum of the American West, Mount Washington Campus, 234 Museum Drive, Mount Washington; Sat., June 4, 4 p.m.; $40, $25 students & seniors. bit.ly/hddt143days. —Ann Haskins

Judging by the parking situation at some of L.A.'s more popular barcades on weekend afternoons, vintage video games are in high demand. For one night only, the news and culture website Hop.media — founded by Cooper Hefner, son of publishing magnate Hugh Hefner — hosts the pop-up Hop's Hidden Arcade at Think Tank Gallery. Expect classic arcade games (no quarters necessary), '80s tunes and an open bar. It may not exactly be hidden — at least not anymore — but maybe the parking will be easier. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., Suite 200, downtown; Sat., June 4, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.; $40 (tickets sold only in advance). hop.media/event/hidden-arcade-hop-hangout. —Gwynedd Stuart

Bring your burn book to Hollywood Forever for an under-the-stars screening of Mean Girls, which to date holds the unfortunate distinction of being Tina Fey's only genuinely good movie role. (She also wrote the screenplay, ensuring that "fetch" did indeed happen.) One of few post-2000 reminders that teen movies can still be worthwhile, the Lindsay Lohan star vehicle navigates its heightened version of the high school ecosystem with unusual humor and insight. This being a Cinespia event, all the normal rules apply: Beer and wine are allowed, a DJ is present and use of the famous photo booth is encouraged. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., June 4, 9 p.m. (gates at 7:15); $16. (323) 221-3343, cinespia.org—Michael Nordine

Angel City Chorale's version of Toto's "Africa" isn't to be missed. So don't miss it this weekend.
Angel City Chorale's version of Toto's "Africa" isn't to be missed. So don't miss it this weekend.
Courtesy of Moloshok Photography

sun 6/5

Celebrating its 23rd year, the Angel City Chorale is a very cool enterprise that presents eclectic music programs featuring a bunch of people who get together for the best of reasons: They love to sing together. Led by artistic director Sue Fink, the multicultural ensemble of 150 men and women presents its spring concert, Rhythm Planet, a globe-trotting expedition highlighting good things like diversity and humanity. The program features the music of Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin along with pieces by Aaron Copland, Moses Hogan and Eriks Esenvalds, and a full orchestra with lots of percussion. Their cover of Toto's Africa is worth the cost of admission on its own. Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sat.-Sun., June 4-5, 7 p.m.; $30-$75. (310) 943-9231, angelcitychorale.org. —John Payne

There was a time when the city and its various departments, from Public Works to the LAPD, shot miles of film strictly for in-house study, training and analysis. This is Los Angeles — Movies Made By and About the City plunders this huge archive of historical film, essentially the city's own home movies, to show them for the first time; spanning the 1920s through the 1990s, none of it has ever been seen by the public. This free matinee screening and lecture by city archivist Michael Holland is bound to be a fascinating look back at how our crazy burg developed and grew. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Sun., June 5, 2-4 p.m.; free. (213) 228-7000, lapl.org/whats-on/events/los-angeles-movies-made-and-about-city. —Jonny Whiteside

The No Kid Hungry foundation, a nonprofit that works to ensure that kids have access to healthy food whether they're at home or at school, hosts its annual Taste of the Nation in Culver City, featuring food and drinks from some of L.A.'s biggest restaurants. Look for bites from Hanjip, Guerrilla Tacos, Terrine, Wexler's Deli, Madcapra, Salt and Straw and many more, as well as craft cocktails and tasty desserts. The highlight — well, besides the food — is the event known as the Waiter Races, in which local servers do things like sprint down the street while balancing wine glasses on trays. It's like Sunday brunch on steroids. Media Park, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Sun., June 5, 1-4 p.m.; $110-$160, kids $25. ce.nokidhungry.org/losangeles. —Garrett Snyder

Upcoming Events

Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing turns his attention to a decrepit mental hospital in his little-seen 'Til Madness Do Us Part, which Los Angeles Filmforum and UCLA co-present for free. With a characteristically long runtime of nearly four hours, the film was made possible by a high level of access to an institution housing "unfathomable behaviors" and "mysterious phenomena" that few others are likely to capture in the same way — Wang is among the world's most revered documentarians. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., June 5, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org—Michael Nordine

Speaking of Baumbach, you could reasonably argue that 2005's The Squid and the Whale remains his best work — and not because more recent films like Frances Ha and especially Mistress America aren't great. Cinefamily screens the Brooklyn-set tale of a dysfunctional family as part of its Deeper Into Movies series, which invites authors to present and discuss movies that mean a great deal to them personally. A conversation with Emma Straub will follow the film, and copies of her new book, Modern Lovers, will be available for purchase. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sun.June 5, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

mon 6/6

Noah Hawley tells a good story. And he's got the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics' Choice and Golden Globe awards to prove it. The creator of the TV show Fargo has penned a thrilling new novel set in the aftermath of a plane crash with only two survivors. Hawley will discuss Before the Fall with none other than his esteemed colleague and Fargo actor Bob Odenkirk, who is also known for his incredible comedy career as David Cross' partner in crime on Mr. Show. The breadth of talent between the two is sure to make for an incredible discussion. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Mon., June 6, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $26. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Neha Talreja

UCLA is spending the month of June with Marquee Movies: Movies on Moviegoing, tonight offering a 35mm print of Splendor. A sort of lesser-known cousin to Cinema Paradiso, Ettore Scola's winsome drama stars Italian screen legend Marcello Mastroianni as the owner of the eponymous theater. His business coming to an end, Mastroianni reflects on a life lived in the comforting glow of the silver screen (hopefully with less saccharinity than Paradiso). UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Mon., June 6, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

What did Robert Mapplethorpe teach us? Find out on Wednesday.
What did Robert Mapplethorpe teach us? Find out on Wednesday.
Courtesy the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Wtue 6/7

No, Insane Clown Pussy isn't an Insane Clown Posse cover band but rather comedic actress and Cavern Club regular Nadya Ginsburg's latest variety show. Fans know Ginsburg as the greatest Madonna tribute artist since Julie Brown, and creator of the web series Madonnalogues. Tonight, she'll impersonate the Queen of Pop, as well as Cher (while reading Cher's Twitter feed), plus perform original characters, stand-up and music. She'll be joined by fellow theater fixture John Cantwell as "Love, Connie," burlesque dancer Diamondback Annie and drag performer Halle Peña Pappas. Juggalos need not attend. Cavern Club, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Tue., June 7, 8 p.m.; $20 in advance, $25 at the door. (323) 662-4255, cavernclubtheater.com/nadya.html. —Siran Babayan

In collaboration with Outfest, LACMA's Classically Queer: LGBTQ Directors in Hollywood's Golden Age series commences with Sylvia Scarlett. An early rom-com led by Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, it's one of the most notoriously unsuccessful films of its kind: A test screening is said to have gone so terribly that Cukor and Hepburn offered to make their next film for free if producer Pandro Berman agreed not to release Scarlett at all. Hepburn and Grant would later redeem themselves with the likes of Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia StoryLACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 7, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

wed 6/8

Straight from Victorville Film Archives Pictures comes Deckercon 16, the latest and quite possibly greatest fan convention to date. You'll see new episodes of Adult Swim's espionage masterpiece Decker with star Tim "Decker" Heidecker, and Gregg "Kington" Turkington. CIA agent extraordinaire Decker fights Dracula, the Taliban and other evils that would destabilize our nation as we know it — and you get to be the proud beneficiary of the freedom Decker brings. You'll also get gifts, a Q&A with the stars and a night of incredible adventure. Sure, the production values may look cheap, but the spirit of Decker is priceless. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Wed., June 8, 7:30 p.m.; free (first come, first served). (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org/films/special-events-june-2016/#adult-swim-presents-deckercon-16. —David Cotner

In conjunction with the concurrent exhibits "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium" at the Getty and LACMA (both thru July 31), Zócalo Public Square and the Getty co-host the discussion "What Did Robert Mapplethorpe Teach Us?" Writer William Poundstone of arts blog Los Angeles County Museum on Fire moderates the panel, which features Getty curator Paul Martineau, photographer Catherine Opie, LACMA curator Britt Salvesen and painter and Yale art historian Jonathan Weinberg discussing how the controversial photographer's portraits, still lifes of flowers, nudes and notorious depictions of sex influenced photography as an art. City of West Hollywood Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., June 8, 7:30 p.m.; free with reservation. (323) 848-6460, zocalopublicsquare.org/event/what-did-robert-mapplethorpe-teach-us/. —Siran Babayan

British artist and writer Jess Thom has Tourette's syndrome, a neurological condition that causes her to say the word "biscuit" as many as 16,000 times a day. Thom is co-founder of Touretteshero.com, a website that "celebrates the humor and creativity of Tourette's," and where she's adopted a superhero alter ego called Touretteshero. The company's first theater production is Backstage in Biscuit Land, which, after premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014, is traveling across the pond. The two-person show, featuring co-star Jess Mabel Jones, incorporates comedy, puppetry and songs geared for kids 14 and older. And because Thom is "neurologically incapable of staying on script," every show is unique. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Wed.-Thu., June 8-9, 8 p.m.; $20. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. —Siran Babayan

thu 6/9

The Hollywood Fringe Festival is Los Angeles' largest celebration of the performing arts, spanning 18 days at various theaters, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and a number of more obscure, makeshift venues. This year, in addition to traditional performance practice, the festival opens with exciting programming on virtual reality's role in the future of theater. Theater careerists will find workshops on Money & Promotion, Marketing, and Venues extremely useful not only for information but networking purposes. Attending as a spectator? Don't forget to check out a nontraditional form or two — a number of impressive solo shows deal with challenging issues such as domestic violence, while innovators in physical comedy are on stand-by for lighter fare. Various locations; Thu., June 9-Sun., June 26. hollywoodfringe.org. —Neha Talreja


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