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

Celebrate the first day of October with an outdoor screening of Edward Scissorhands.EXPAND
Celebrate the first day of October with an outdoor screening of Edward Scissorhands.
Twentieth Century Fox

A burlesque tribute to the '80s, an outdoor screening of Edward Scissorhands, a weird-sounding evening with Sean Penn and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 9/30

Inspired by the #DeafTalent hashtag movement, which began last year in protest over hearing actors being cast in deaf roles in film and TV, #DeafTalent & ASL Comedy showcases local deaf comedians proving that they can get their humor across to everyone. Hosted by Jodi Skeris and CJ Jones, the variety show has moved from UCB's Inner Sanctum room to its main stage, and features comics Joshua Castille, Hemi Perez, Tyrone Oraguzie, Dickie Hearts, Kailyn Aaron-Lozano, Justin Jackerson and Tommy Korn, all signing stand-up, sketches, improv and monologues. There will be ASL interpreters for hearing audience members. UCB Sunset, 5419 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

In the '80s, big stuff was in style: big hair, big shoulder pads and, ahem, big boobs. Burlesque performers celebrate the decade's over-the-top sex appeal at Victory Variety's Hour's Ride the White Pony, an '80s tribute. Strip-teasers Lemi Atom, James Bondage, Moonbow Brite, Dahlia Dimont and others perform to iconic tunes from Madonna, Hall & Oates, Motörhead and more. Dress up to participate in the costume contest, and stick around for the postshow dance party, DJ'd by longtime L.A. Weekly contributor Lina Lecaro. Los Globos, 3040 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Fri., Sept. 30, 8-11 p.m.; $10-$70. victoryvarietyhour.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

The curtain rises after a disaster crests and media attention has pivoted elsewhere. Invertigo Dance Theatre's nine dancers are joined by two musicians and a raft of blue trash bags to mourn the trauma and celebrate the resilience of a community grappling with an upended world. This company has a knack for taking an off-kilter viewpoint and creating insightful, contemporary dance theater tinged with wry humor. When it premiered, After It Happened became an extended, sold-out phenomenon. This engagement offers a second chance for anyone who missed out then. As 15th-anniversary commemorations of 9/11 continue, After It Happened seems more timely than ever. Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood Hills; Fri., Sept. 30, 8:30 p.m., $35-$75, $18 students, $15 children. (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org. —Ann Haskins

Bela Lugosi's dead, but his movies live on. The first of eight films pairing the actor with fellow horror icon Boris Karloff, The Black Cat finds the two engaged in a mental battle with satanic undertones in a remote Hungarian mansion during the interwar period. Director Edgar G. Ulmer would later go on to make Detour, a classic of low-rent noir; most of his filmography beyond these two genre standouts remains obscure. Like all Old Town Music Hall screenings, this one will commence with a sing-along on the pipe organ and a comedy short. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri., Sept. 30, 8:15 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org. —Michael Nordine

There exists a sharp divide between Alien enthusiasts: those who believe that the first film in the series is the best, and those who are wrong. Which isn't to say that Aliens, screening at the Nuart at midnight, isn't the perfect organism of sci-fi action. Released seven years after the more horror-steeped original, James Cameron's sequel is a breathless cavalcade of terrifying set pieces and tension-breaking one-liners. Game over, man. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Sept. 30, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 10/1

Snakes, spiders, lizards, tigers, lions and other inhabitants get into the spooky spirit at Boo at the L.A. Zoo, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens' annual, monthlong Halloween celebration, which is just creepy enough but not too scary for kids. Activities during the week feature dim caverns, animal feeding stations, a haunted gallery for photo ops and a cornstalk maze. Bonus attractions on the weekends include crafts, pumpkin carving, science demonstrations, roaming costumed characters, a puppet show hosted by a mad scientist and a block party with break dancers, DJs and games. Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, 5333 Zoo Drive, Griffith Park; Sat., Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (continues daily through Oct. 31); $20, $17 seniors, $15 children, free under 2. (323) 644-4200, lazoo.org/boo. —Siran Babayan

In a very funny 2013 column, Jezebel's Lindy West suggested that perhaps there's a shortage of female magicians because, you know, we burned them all to death in the 16th century. Or maybe the gap in pay just isn't worth it when you're sawing people in half. Either way, there are, in fact, female magicians out there — especially in L.A. — and some of them have organized. Angela Sanchez, Kayla Drescher, Mystiki and other she-illusionists perform in the Women Magicians Association Magic Show, taking women out of the box and letting them wield the wand and top hat. Sanchez, a UCLA grad and founder of the WMA, wrote her senior thesis on unsung women in magic. Book Show, 5503 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park; Sat., Oct. 1, 8-10 p.m.; $10. bookshowla.com/event/women-magician-society-magic-show. —Gwynedd Stuart

Before Irvine Meadows gets the wrecking ball, have one last laugh at the outdoor amphitheater with Funny or Die Presents Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival. For the past three years, the online video mecca has gathered heavyweight comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari and Marc Maron for the biggest touring comedy festival in the country. This year's headliners include Dane Cook, Gabriel Iglesias, Sebastian Maniscalco, John Oliver and Tracy Morgan, in addition to Ali Wong, Cameron Esposito, Tom Segura, Iliza Shlesinger, Kumail Nanjiani and Matthew Broussard. The lineup also features Big Jay Oakerson presiding over local comics on the IFC Slightly Off Comedy Stage. Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, 8800 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine; Sat., Oct. 1, 5 p.m.; $31.50-$125. (800) 653-8000, oddballfest.com. —Siran Babayan

The transition from critic to screenwriter to director isn't a common one. Even if it were, it's hard to imagine many doing it better than Paul Schrader. The Aero celebrates the filmmaker all weekend long, including a 35mm double bill of Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (which he co-wrote and directed) and The Last Temptation of Christ (which he wrote for Martin Scorsese). Schrader, whose Nicolas Cage–starring Dog Eat Dog premiered at Cannes earlier this year, will appear between films for a discussion. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Whether or not Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is the return to form we've been hoping for from Tim Burton, we'll always have Edward Scissorhands. Winona Ryder finally, rightfully being back in the spotlight thanks to Stranger Things makes this an especially fitting time to revisit what might be her greatest film — one of cinema's most enchanting blends of whimsy and melancholy. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 2930 Fletcher Drive, Glassell Park; Sat., Oct. 1, 7:45 p.m. (doors at 6:30); $10 lawn, $14 car, $60 VIP. (818) 653-8591, electricduskdrivein.com. —Michael Nordine

At Boo at the Zoo hippos eat pumpkins (and other stuff happens too).
At Boo at the Zoo hippos eat pumpkins (and other stuff happens too).
Jamie Pham

sun 10/2

"Sometimes I think people are sick of hearing me say any sentence that has the word 'pie' in it," Good Food host Evan Kleiman told L.A. Weekly a couple of years ago, in advance of KCRW's annual Good Food Pie Contest. Perhaps she underestimates the world's general enthusiasm for baked goods. This eighth annual competition features the flaky-crusted fruits of both at-home and professional cooks' labor. In the past, upward of 300 pies have been submitted for judging (and tasting by the public); this year organizers have assembled another impressive panel of taste testers, from journalists (including Jonathan Gold) to chefs (including Curtis Stone) to split their efforts and take bites of every one. Besides the opportunity to turn pie into a midday meal, the event features shopping, a cookbook swap and stuff for kids to do. UCLA, Royce Quad, 340 Royce Drive, Brentwood; Sun., Oct. 2, 11 a.m.; free. events.kcrw.com/events/8th-annual-good-food-pie-contest. —Gwynedd Stuart

Upcoming Events

Polynesian-kitsch lovers have always had a perfect home at Disneyland. Old-timey attractions like the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise sort of lend themselves to the tiki scene, and with Trader Sam's restaurant nearby, Tiki Day at the Park is a no-brainer. On Sunday, L.A.'s most colorful Hawaiian-garbed crews will gather for a day full of good vibrations, including photo ops at rides like Rivers of America, Pirates of the Caribbean and the bird-puppet paradise that started it all. Like other "unofficial" gatherings at D-land (Bats Day, Lolita Day and the biggest, the three-day LGBTQ extravaganza known as Gay Days, which overlaps with Tiki Day on Sunday), the park is aware of the event and often facilitates its activities, albeit in a sort of on-the-DL way. The happiest place on Earth can only get happier after a couple of mai tais. 1313 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim; Sun., Oct. 2, 1 p.m.; free with park admission. facebook.com/tikidayatthepark. —Lina Lecaro

Not to be confused with the Norwegian black-metal band of the same name, Satyricon, a fabulistic portrayal of pre-Christ Rome whose bizarre excess inspires (and in some cases even surpasses) Caligula. Cinefamily Everywhere presents Fellini's polarizing whatsit at Barnsdall Art Park, complete with a wine tasting and "food orgy" (their phrasing, not ours). As such, the event is 21+ — we mustn't emulate Roman opulence too closely, after all. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood; Sun., Oct. 2, 5:30 p.m.; $25. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.

Beyond Fest, a two-week series celebrating genre fare old and new, presents a Lucio Fulci double feature: The Beyond and The Gates of Hell. These are two of the giallo maestro's best-known exercises in gore, both of them concerning the apparently porous boundary between our world and the next. Fabio Frizzi will perform his score for The Beyond live, and Gates of Hell — which is also known as City of the Living Dead — screens on 35mm. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.; $20 (general), $45 (VIP). (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

mon 10/3

Writer Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl's 2015 young-adult book, Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History ... and Our Future!, listed the accomplishments of 26 notable historical and contemporary ladies in America, from Carol Burnett, Angela Davis, Billie Jean King, Patti Smith, Sonia Sotomayor and Isadora Duncan to such lesser-known figures as Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers; Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female Native-American chief. Schatz and Stahl discuss their companion book, Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History, which features biographies paired with cut-paper portraits of 40 additional, international and millennia-spanning females, including Frida Kahlo, Miriam Makeba, Josephine Baker, Venus and Serena Williams, and Malala Yousafzai. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Mon., Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $15.99. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Siran Babayan

Spend an evening with Sean Penn on Thursday.
Spend an evening with Sean Penn on Thursday.
Courtesy LACMA

tue 10/4

L.A.-based comedy shows were well-represented this summer on Comedy Central, with both Roast Battle and Goddamn Comedy Jam serving as tentpoles. On Tuesday the former's perennial judge/mentor Jeff Ross — whose new Jeff Ross Roasts Cops special is available now — performs stand-up, sings and most likely breaks out his guitar. Continuing to prove that "Every comedian wants to be a rock star" in its new home at the Roxy, Goddamn Comedy Jam also welcomes guests Nick Swardson, David Koechner and Jo Koy to perform both stand-up and their favorite cover song with a live band. The Roxy, 9009 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Tue., Oct. 4, 9 p.m. (doors 8 p.m.); $20-$25. (310) 278-9457, theroxy.com. —Julie Seabaugh

The worlds of classical and new music would seem to be light-years away from the often-tawdry and banal distractions of the upcoming presidential election, but Aron Kallay has decided to confront "the lunacy of our time" head on with this recital at REDCAT. The local keyboardist and teacher is calling tonight's politically themed program "I'm Worried Now ... but I Won't Be Worried Long," and it features arty, experimental works for piano, retuned keyboard and synthesizer. Joined at times by fellow pianist Genevieve Lee, Kallay will debut two newly commissioned pieces by Ian Dicke ("Counterpundit," an electronic commentary on the political process) and UCLA professor Laura Karpman ("Shrill," an allusion to media descriptions of Hillary Clinton's voice). REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Tue., Oct. 4, 8:30 p.m.; $35. (213) 237-2800, pianospheres.org. —Falling James

It's Shocktober at the New Beverly, which means that our most grindhouse-friendly repertory theater is about to become even more so. Case in point: The Helter Skelter Murders and Abduction, two exploitation films tackling the Manson Family and Patty Hearst, respectively, in what can safely be assumed is the most lurid manner possible. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Tue., Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

wed 10/5

Hidden treasures reveal themselves tonight when Lost & Found Video Club presents Videons: An Evening With Steve Beck. Beck — a veteran of forward-thinking spectacles who created light shows for Jimi Hendrix and worked in the experimental '70s film scene of Northern California — exemplified his life's work with the development of his direct video synthesizer system known as Videons. Blending music, performance art and poetry, the resultant marriage of soul and vision — a true synthesis — became a phenomenon he calls "illuminated music." Tonight he appears to expound upon the Videons, screening everything from early VR breakthroughs to breakdancing animation devised on an Apple II. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Wed., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

thu 10/6

Tonight's Evening With ... Sean Penn peels back yet another layer in the infinite onion that is the Sean Penn Consciousness when he stages a reading of absurdist comedic audiobook Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. The audiobook is by Pappy Pariah — who may or may not be Penn himself — and when Penn's finished reading, he'll talk about the book's genesis and let you luxuriate in the high weirdness of what you've just witnessed. It may be a lark, or it may be something in the grand tradition of conjured artists like B. Traven or Alan Smithee — there's only one way to find out. Bing Theater, LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thu., Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.; $25. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org. —David Cotner

Awareness Festival promises by name to deliver programming with substance — and indeed it does, featuring films concerning environmental, societal and wellness issues. It is put on by Heal One World, an organization primarily dedicated to connecting people with chronic illnesses, but films such as Pollination and Women Are the Answer focus on topics like the surrogate industry and population control, respectively. The fest also will premiere Pressure, a film that explores the complex realities of suicidal ideation, with a Q&A to follow. All net profits from the event will go to charity, including partner organizations. Now in its seventh year, the fundraiser/fest is a valuable contribution to L.A.'s activist community. L.A. Live Regal Cinemas, 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Thu., Oct. 6, 5 p.m. (runs through Oct. 16); $15-$149. (844) 462-7342, awarenessfestival.org. —Neha Talreja


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