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

The kiddees can get trippy at the New Bev's screening of Mad Monster Party on Sunday.
The kiddees can get trippy at the New Bev's screening of Mad Monster Party on Sunday.
Rankin-Bass Productions

fri 10/7

Brooklyn-based stand-up comedian Phoebe Robinson discusses her new book, You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain, with actress Michaela Watkins of Hulu's Casual. Robinson, who's worked as a consultant on season three of Comedy Central's Broad City, also hosts the podcasts 2 Dope Girls and Sooo Many White Guys; the latter is executive produced by Ilana Glazer, one of Broad City's co-stars. Robinson's essay collection tackles race and gender in the entertainment industry and society in general from the point of view of a millennial of color, one of the topics being the beauty and politics of black women's hair. "Outside of skin color, nappy hair is probably the biggest in-your-face reminder of blackness, of Otherness," she writes. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $16. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Siran Babayan

Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein's technique was inspired by commercial advertising and comic strips. The Skirball Cultural Center's "Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A." features more than 70 examples spanning four decades, showcasing how Lichtenstein and the pop art movement made visual art appealing to the public. Among the items on display are the rarely exhibited Ten Dollar Bill (1956) and famous pieces Sunrise (1965) and Shipboard Girl (1965); comic book works; and prints from Lichtenstein's longtime partnership with Los Angeles print workshop Gemini G.E.L., currently the subject of a 50th-anniversary retrospective at LACMA. The collection also includes an interactive re-creation of Lichtenstein's 1992 Bedroom at Arles, which is based on Vincent van Gogh's painting series Bedroom in Arles. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; opens Fri., Oct. 7; runs through March 12; $12, $9 seniors and students, $7 children, free under 2. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. —Siran Babayan

Delve into the Necronomicon at the Nuart, where the original Evil Dead screens on 35mm at midnight. Anyone familiar with the more tongue-in-cheek tenor that Sam Raimi's horror franchise eventually took may be surprised at the dead-serious tone of the original, which is less amusing but also more unsettling than its predecessors. Unlike those later installments, Bruce Campbell's one-liners don't lighten the mood here. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Oct. 7, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 10/8

After two seasons affirming its ability to stage ballet's full-length classics, Los Angeles Ballet shifts gears with a triptych of shorter works to open its 11th season. The newest is Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton's Untouched set to music by saxophonist/composer Curtis Macdonald, pianist Njo Kong Kie and Russian-born violist Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin. Dipping into its repertoire, LAB reprises George Balanchine's architectural and elegant Stravinsky Violin Concerto and the exuberant, tambourine-infused Tarantella and pas de six from August Bournonville's Napoli. After this week's opening in Glendale, the company continues its metro tour in Redondo Beach and then UCLA, beginning a new decade as L.A.'s own professional ballet company bringing great dance to Greater L.A. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.; $29.50-$84, discounts for children, seniors & military. (310) 998-7782, losangelesballet.org. —Ann Haskins

Back after a three-year absence, the Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair invites radical thinkers of all stripes — anarchists, anti-capitalists, anarcho-virgins — who are looking to learn, connect and push the same agenda: political and social change. This year's daylong, family-friendly event is themed "displacement, gentrification and ecological crisis" and features speakers, music by DJ Moondoughcorp and workshops on such topics as "Anarcha-Feminist Perspectives" and becoming an "Urban Soul Farmer." The book fair itself includes literature and zines from small presses, as well as representatives from organizations and community groups. Cielo Galleries/Studios, 3201 Maple Ave., Historic South-Central; Sat., Oct. 8, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. la.anarchistbookfair.com. —Siran Babayan

Much to the delight of night owls and genre fiends, New Beverly presents its annual All-Night Horror Show. The precise identities of the six movies that comprise the program are a closely held secret that shan't be revealed until each one starts, but we have it on good authority (read: the New Bev's website) that they're of the utmost rarity. Also on the 12-hour program: a variety of trailers, cartoons and shorts to be played between the half-dozen features. Tickets are sold out, so you'll have to face the horror of the standby line. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.; $25. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

Still the best in the series — désolé, Aliens partisans — the original Alien introduced H.R. Giger's iconic creature design and made a leading lady of Sigourney Weaver, whose Ellen Ripley at first appears to be a supporting character. If you've never witnessed the Nostromo drift through space, have never come into planet LV-426's orbit and don't know how "xenomorphs" (as they're semi-officially known) reproduce, here's a word you may not have heard before but are unlikely to forget after seeing Ridley Scott's sci-fi benchmark: chestburster. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 2930 Fletcher Drive, Glassell Park; Sat., Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m. (doors at 6:30); $10 lawn, $14 car, $60 VIP. (818) 653-8591, electricduskdrivein.com. —Michael Nordine

All due respect to Night of the Living Dead, whose influence on all subsequent zombie pictures is unparalleled, but George Romero's defining work remains Dawn of the Dead. Beyond Fest presents the U.S. premiere of the 3-D version, which was supervised by producer Richard P. Rubinstein — who happens to be introducing this not-so-thinly-veiled statement on rampant consumerism. Among its many other virtues, Dawn of the Dead can lay claim to one of the most chilling taglines of all time: "When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth." Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 8, 10 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

sun 10/9

The stop-motion specials Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass churned out in the '60s and '70s are most frequently associated with Christmas time: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, The Little Drummer Boy. But in 1967, the duo released the Halloween-time romp Mad Monster Party, a full-length feature starring Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Phyllis Diller as Frankenstein's party co-host (who's basically Phyllis Diller). With its frenetic pace and psychedelic musical numbers — there's a groovy band made up of skeletons with page-boy haircuts — it's long been a seasonal favorite of kids and LSD-heads alike. For the former, the New Beverly hosts a Kiddee Matinee this weekend. The New Beverly, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sun., Oct. 9, 2 p.m. (also Sat., Oct. 8); $6. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Few rivalries run as deep as those related to food, with regional adherents willing to fight and die for their local style of BBQ, chili or pizza. One of the longest-running competitions, however, is between the Pueblo and Oaxaca styles of mole, the rich and complex Mexican sauce with an origin that dates back hundreds of years. Moles can contain upward of 30 ingredients — chili peppers, chocolate, seeds, nuts and fruit — and comes in numerous varieties, from sweet to savory, green, red, black and yellow, to name a few. Long-held family recipes are guarded like national secrets. Billed as "The Largest Mexican Food Festival in the USA," La Feria de los Moles, or Mole Fair, returns to Olvera Street to let the public decide which regional taste they prefer. Alongside numerous vendors offering up mouth-watering mole dishes, there will be live music, folkloric dancing, even the crowning of a Ms. Mole. Olvera Street, downtown; Sun., Oct. 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (323) 246-6430, feriadelosmoles.com. —Matt Stromberg

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year, which this year begins on the evening of Oct. 11 and ends after the next day's sunset; it's observed with self-reflection, repentance and starving oneself. But before you start the 25-hour fast (and find ways to break it) and make amends for your sins (you know what you did), laugh at other sinners at UCB's annual Yom Kippur Show of Atonement. Hosted by performer-writer Jonny Svarzbein, who plays a rabbi named Judge Reinhold — no relation — the comedy show takes place near the Dead Sea and features a council of judges who decide whether to forgive fellow UCB cast members for their transgressions. Winners get to eat a corned beef sandwich at a deli, and losers are banished somewhere else with a gentile. UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Sun., Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, franklin.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

As you might have gleaned from the word itself, there's no noir like French noir. The Aero has been proving it all week with the aptly named The French Had a Name for It series. Said program concludes tonight with a double bill of Henri-Georges Clouzot's Golden Lion–winning Manon and René Clément's The Damned, the former on a 35mm print. As he has throughout the entire rarity-focused program, noir expert Don Malcolm will introduce the screening. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Phoebe Robinson explains why you can't touch her hair on Friday.
Phoebe Robinson explains why you can't touch her hair on Friday.
Mindy Tucker

Upcoming Events

mon 10/10

Two comics take the ultimate leap of faith in Alex & Jude: What a Time to Be Alive! — think whimsy and aggression kicked into one of those transporter pods that turned Jeff Goldblum into the Fly and you'll get the idea. Tonight's salon is equal parts stand-up and sketch comedy; the titular Alex (Hanpeter) and Jude (Tedmori) moved here last year from back East to pay their dues on their way to comedy Valhalla. Plumbing each other's psyches, the agony they'll dredge up and transmute into laughs is either your greatest entertainment value (the show is free) or a crushing test of their devotion. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 10, 10 p.m.; free. (323) 660-4540, thevirgil.com/calendar/2016/10/10/alex-jude-what-a-time-to-be-alive. —David Cotner

Pasadena's Union Station Homeless Services estimates that on a single night there are more than 40,000 homeless in Los Angeles and 3,000 throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Since 1973, the nonprofit has provided meals, housing, employment, medical and mental-health services to homeless and low-income adults and families. Among the agency's annual events is Evening for Union Station, an annual jazz concert, which in the past has included music and appearances by Jeff Goldblum, Hector Elizondo, Sergio Mendes and Sheila E. Last year, the fundraiser was revamped to become Evening for Union Station: Homelessness Is No Laughing Matter, bringing comic relief to a serious topic. This year's lineup features Nikki Glaser, Jackie Kashian, Ian Karmel, Drennon Davis, Phoebe Bottoms and host Ed Salazar. ArcLight Pasadena, 336 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Mon., Oct. 10, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; $40. (626) 240-4550, unionstationhs.org. —Siran Babayan

tue 10/11

The year 1983 was a weird time for monster movies. The slasher cycle was winding down, the real-life horror of Vic Morrow's death on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie cast a long shadow, and Disney released a dark and challenging Ray Bradbury adaptation into cinematic consciousness. Tonight's screening of Something Wicked This Way Comes pits Jonathan Pryce's sinister Mr. Dark against regretful Jason Robards amidst Dark's Pandemonium Carnival, where wishes are granted at a horribly depressing cost. It's a fable about abandoning your guilt trips and savoring life with as much joy as possible, because that's what tends to defeat the satanic and the parasitical. There will be puppets. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Echo Park; Tue., Oct. 11, 7 p.m.; $12. (213) 250-9995, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

Before Billy Idol there was Georges Franju, whose Eyes Without a Face more than lives up to the promise of its ominous, evocative title. The sight of Edith Scob in her expressionless mask is one of the most indelible images in horror cinema, and the mad-scientist narrative behind it will have you wondering what hath Franju wrought. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Oct. 11, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

wed 10/12

An overflowing cornucopia of moving images spills all over your orbitofrontal cortex when Flux, Fall 2016 unveils the latest in snazzy short films, mind-melting music videos and other strides made in short-form cinematic arts. Courtesy of creative studio Flux — a Venice-based catalyst for creative change spearheaded by Jonathan Wells and Meg Grey Wells — you'll see the essence of their curatorial labors distilled into this cavalcade of films created by their crack team of artists, writers and designers from around the world. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, flux.net/flux-screening-series-at-the-hammer-los-angeles-30. —David Cotner

thu 10/13

He's played a president of the United States, a Preparation H salesman (the early-'80s commercial is on YouTube) and, perhaps most famously, a math teacher turned ruthless drug manufacturer. Bryan Cranston has covered a lot of ground, and tonight he offers up his memoir, A Life in Parts (Scribner, $27), discussing it with Jay Roach, who directed him as LBJ in Broadway and HBO smash All the Way. From his off-kilter childhood to captivating turns in everything from Seinfeld to Malcolm in the Middle to his current position as pop-culture touchstone and all-around nice guy, Cranston bears out Aristotle's philosophy that the whole is, in fact, greater than the sum of its parts. Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School, 600 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Thu., Oct. 13, 8 p.m.; $45-$75. (310) 395-3204, livetalksla.org/events/bryan-cranston. —David Cotner

An initiative of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Dodging the Memory Hole 2016: Saving Online News aims to preserve the online news content that makes up our modern cultural memory. You'll hear how journalists, librarians and archivists are working to preserve online news content — and how you can help save years of history before future generations scorn us for our tragic love of Flash websites. Forgetting is the true pitfall of the memory hole, and there's scads of doom waiting out there for those who forget — or just can't read up on — their history. Charles E. Young Research Library, Main Conference Room 11360, 280 Charles E. Young Drive E., Westwood; Thu.-Fri., Oct. 13-14, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (310) 825-4732, happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/210780. —David Cotner

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. To commemorate the milestone, the Central Library's ALOUD lecture series hosts a panel discussion on the new book The Black Panthers: Portraits From an Unfinished Revolution, featuring its co-editor, photojournalist Bryan Shih, as well as former Black Panthers Ericka Huggins, Phyllis Jackson and Norma Mtume and Melina Abdullah, organizer of the L.A. chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Co-edited by historian Yohuru Williams, the anthology focuses less on the militant black organization's famous leaders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale and more on its little-known members, including women and Asian-Americans, and features 45 interviews paired with images by Shih, as well as essays by scholars. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Thu., Oct. 13, 7:15 p.m.; free, standby only. (213) 228-7500, lfla.org. —Siran Babayan

Robert Bresson's The Trial of Joan of Arc isn't a horror movie, but anyone hoping for light viewing will find that this really isn't their week. CSUN screens the French master's tribute to that most famous of martyrs as part of its semester-long retrospective celebrating his work. Bresson's shortest feature is also typical of his stripped-down aesthetic, which is marked by nonprofessional actors and dialogue transcribed from Joan of Arc's actual trial. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Oct. 13, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine

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