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

Maybe the ghost of Bob Ross will make another appearance at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (see Monday).
Maybe the ghost of Bob Ross will make another appearance at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (see Monday).
Star Foreman


A Halloween costume carnaval in West Hollywood, a music and comedy fest curated by Tenacious D., a screening of Silence of the Lambs at the drive-in and more fun stuff to do and see this Halloween weekend.

fri 10/28

There's no doubt you'll see a healthy number of Deadpools and Harley Quinns at Stan Lee's Los Angeles Comic Con (formerly Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo), but there's more to this three-day convention than cosplay. Festivities begin Friday evening, giving attendees a few hours to stock up on new comic books and fan art before the events hit full swing on Saturday and Sunday. Want to learn how to sword fight from Highlander's Adrian Paul? You can do that. Want to meet the voices behind Pinky and the Brain? You can do that, too. The activities here are nearly nonstop, from contests to dances to autograph sessions. (Be aware that some events and autograph signings may cost more.) Nerds with kids should head here on Sunday, when the show floor becomes a trick-or-treat destination. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Fri.-Sun., Oct. 28-30; $25-$670. (213) 741-1151, stanleeslacomiccon.com. —Liz Ohanesian

The story goes that Lillian Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett met in a professional ballet class when one walked over to tell the other how impressed she was with her dancing —­ and discovered the feeling was mutual. Since combining their talents as artistic directors of the contemporary troupe BODYTRAFFIC, they have attracted dancers of similar high caliber who, in turn, have drawn internationally known choreographers to create on the L.A.-based troupe. Recently, BODYTRAFFIC has been busy in impressive company, performing at the Hollywood Bowl alongside Ate9 and Benjamin Millepied's L.A. Dance Project, followed by the Laguna Dance Festival alongside San Francisco's Lines Ballet and Philadelphia's Ballet X. Those gigs offered only a taste of the company's depth and range. This concert presents BODYTRAFFIC alone in three recent additions to the repertoire from choreographers Arthur Pita, Richard Siegal and Anton Lachky. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Thu.-Sat., Oct. 27-29, 7:30 p.m.; $40-$90. (310) 434-3200, thebroadstage.com. —Ann Haskins

Rob Schrab is Dan Harmon's writing partner, the director behind everything from The Lego Movie Sequel to episodes of Childrens Hospital and, when he puts on a wig of ginger ringlets, he's Miniature "Mini" Coffee, an antebellum Southern damsel and horror movie hostess. For this installment of his live show, Rob Schrab's Shock Feature Theater, Schrab (as Mini) screens a pair of B-horror flicks sure to, at the very least, baffle the audience: Mosquito, a 1994 feature about flying insects that grow enormous when they feed on extraterrestrial blood, and Moontrap, a 1989 robot-alien gem featuring Bruce Campbell. Even if you don't scream, you're sure to laugh. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Fri., Oct. 28, 10:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Before he was designing visual effects for The Empire Strikes Back and Jurassic Park, nine-time Oscar winner Dennis Muren made Equinox. Produced for a mere $6,500 while the director was studying at Pasadena City College, this low-rent creature feature follows a group of teenagers who happen upon an ancient tome and accidentally loose otherworldly beasts upon the world — if that premise sounds familiar, it's because Equinox is an avowed influence on The Evil Dead. Muren and other guests will appear in person. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri. Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.; $14. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

sat 10/29

Just in time for Halloween, it's Dark Shadows' 50th anniversary. Debuting in 1966, ABC's daytime Gothic saga, set in the spooky fishing village of Collinsport, Maine, followed the dramatic goings-on of the Collins family, including the very imposing, 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, not to mention ghosts, werewolves, zombies and witches. To mark the series' half-century milestone, the Dark Shadows Festival hosts appearances by original cast and crew members, namely actors Lara Parker, John Karlen, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Roger Davis, Nancy Barrett, James Storm, Lisa Richards and James Hall. The convention's activities feature a costume party, memorabilia market, autographs, photo ops, contests and the launch of Parker's new novel, Dark Shadows: Heiress of Collinwood. Among the charity auction's items is brunch with Scott and a visit to Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, where the 1991 NBC Dark Shadows miniseries and never-aired 2004 WB pilot were filmed. Women's Club of Hollywood, 1749 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 29, noon-midnight; $20. darkshadowsfestival.com. —Siran Babayan

Tenacious D rockers Jack Black and Kyle Gass ask that you not be a "dill weed" or a "douchenozzle" and buy tickets to their fourth annual Festival Supreme. This year's fest is space-inspired and promises to take attendees out of this "global shitstorm." The more than two dozen comedians and musicians — and some who are both — performing in the Shrine Auditorium's three spaces are Tenacious DJ, Flight of the Conchords, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Patton Oswalt, Mac DeMarco, Sarah Silverman, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Nancy Whang, Eric Andre Live!, composer Craig Wedren and cast members performing the Music of Wet Hot American Summer, Tim Heidecker, Jenny Slate, The Vandals, Garfunkel and Oates, Gelmania, Michael Carbonaro, DJ Douggpound, Brent Weinbach, Fufobb featuring Kyle Newacheck, IHEARTCOMIX Supershow and Jonathan Toubin. And since this year's event is going galactic, the festival also features a space-themed retro arcade, rides and slides. Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall, 665 W. Jefferson Blvd., University Park; Sat., Oct. 29, 3 p.m.; $99.50. (888) 929-7849, festivalsupreme.com. —Siran Babayan

L.A.-based artist collective Mutant Salon practices radical self-care and transformation through its wildly experimental and interactive performances. In the spirit of honoring the mutant, marginalized and fabulous ancestors who paved the way, the group has organized Festival de Las Muertas, a two-day series of happenings, music, poetry and zines from members of its queer, trans, racially diverse and radically inclusive community. Performers include Ciriza, Jasmine Nyende, Project Rage Queen, Kim Ye, Wampum, Jeepneys and others. The Salon will offer a range of beautification and empowerment services, from makeup and nails to tarot readings and bodywork, but be sure to RSVP to secure a spot for a haircut from founding member Marvin Astorga. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat.-Sun., Oct. 29-30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2016/in-real-life/mutant-salon-festival-de-las-muertas. —Matt Stromberg

Would you watch The Silence of the Lambs? I'd watch The Silence of the Lambs. I'd watch it hard. Jonathan Demme's take on the Hannibal Lecter mythos didn't actually start the series of films based on pop culture's best-known cannibal — that would be Michael Mann's Manhunter, which came out five years earlier and is well worth your time — but it did define it. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 2930 Fletcher Drive, Glassell Park; Sat., Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m. (doors at 5); $10 lawn, $14 car, $60 VIP. (818) 653-8591, electricduskdrivein.com. —Michael Nordine

For its 11th annual All Night Horrorthon, the Aero presents seven films in a row: The Blob, Devil Fetus, The Entity, Phantasm II, Humanoids from the Deep, Hell Night and Brain Damage. All but Humanoids will be screened on 35mm, and the nocturnal festivities will also include trailers, short films, free food and coffee in between movies, giveaways courtesy of Scream Factory and more. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $25. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Expect to see a lot of Deadpools at Stan Lee's Comic Con (see Friday).
Expect to see a lot of Deadpools at Stan Lee's Comic Con (see Friday).
Hannah Verbeuren

sun 10/30

Entertainment Weekly's inaugural EW PopFest is a two-day film, TV, comedy, literary and podcast star-a-thon that's an embarrassment of riches and proves L.A. is truly the entertainment capital of world. The schedule features an advance screening of Doctor Strange; sneak peeks at Stephen King's The Dark Tower and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with Eddie Redmayne; a 20th-anniversary screening of Scream; the casts of This Is Us, Grey's Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Supernatural and Office Christmas Party, with Jennifer Aniston; live readings with the casts of Happy Endings and Bob's Burgers; performances by Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe and Tove Lo; appearances by James Corden and Ryan Murphy; improv performances hosted by UCB co-founder Matt Besser; book readings by Anne Rice, Kathy Griffin and Terry McMillan; podcast tapings with Anna Faris, Kevin Smith, Younger's Nico Tortorella and Hilary Duff and Too $hort; and much more. The Reef, 1933 S. Broadway Ave., downtown; Sun., Oct. 30, noon-8 p.m. (also Sat., Oct. 29); $46-$188. (800) 586-8124, ewpopfest.com. —Siran Babayan

Louis C.K., Lucille Ball and Buster Keaton on the same stage? Not really, but for the past nine years in their native New York, Matt Ruby and Mark Normand have been hosting Schtick or Treat, in which fellow stand-up comics impersonate comedic legends, dead or alive. (A recent event was filmed to air Oct. 27 on Seeso, NBCUniversal's all-comedy streaming channel.) They not only dress as them but perform in character or do original material. For their L.A. debut, Ruby and Normand gather more than 40 local comics, who'll imitate their favorite famous comedians — and one animated character, MTV's Daria — including Andy Kaufman, Bob Newhart, Joan Rivers, Johnny Carson, Jerry Seinfeld, Pee-wee Herman, Ellen DeGeneres, Bernie Mac, Roseanne Barr, even Sonny and Cher. After enough drinks and too much Halloween candy, you'll almost be convinced. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood; Sun., Oct. 30, 7-10 p.m.; $12. (323) 660-4540, thevirgil.com. —Siran Babayan

Upcoming Events

'Member Ghostbusters? The Aero 'members Ghostbusters. If you took this summer's all-female reboot as a personal affront to your sensibilities and/or childhood, allay your misplaced anxieties and return to your comfort zone with a 70mm screening of the original. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis and Slimer remain a formidable ensemble in this paranormal comedy — even if a vocal subset of their fans have proven poor emissaries. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Family is forever in Rob Zombie's Halloween and Halloween II, which capture the spirit of John Carpenter's genre-defining slasher flicks more fully than any of the sequels. The musician-turned-director psychologizes the masked, hulking Michael Myers in his remake, showing the troubled little boy behind those dead eyes and reminding us that he's in (almost) as much pain as his victims. Though Zombie doesn't have the benefit of Jamie Lee Curtis as the ultimate final girl, his vintage aesthetic and intuitive understanding of horror makes him a worthy steward of the franchise. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sun., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

mon 10/31

F.W. Murnau's 1922 silent classic Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror was cinema's first vampire film, and the visage of its star, Max Schreck, as the twisted, tortured, bulging-eyeballed bloodsucker looms ever large in the history of fanged filmic fiends, unequaled, some say, even by the great Bela Lugosi. L.A. Opera presents a screening of the film at downtown's sumptuously restored — and, fittingly, kinda creepy — Theatre at Ace Hotel, for which L.A. Opera artist in residence Matthew Aucoin has created and conducts a new score for chamber orchestra, incorporating his own original material and music of composers of Murnau's time. Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown.; Mon., Oct. 31, 8 p.m. (also Sat., Oct. 29, 8 p.m.); $59-$99. (213) 972-8001, laopera.org. —John Payne

Last year's surprise performer at the annual, oversized block party known as the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval was Boy George, and such stellar figures as Rihanna, Lisa Vanderpump, Ryan Seacrest and, most fittingly, Queen Latifah have been crowned in the past as the iconic Queen of the Carnaval. The headliner this year wasn't announced by press time, but the real stars at this li'l street soiree are the hundreds of thousands of people who show up in their own elaborately creative and often boldly lascivious costumes. It's easy to get swept away in the massive throng of walking zombies, dazed ghouls, multigendered Wonder Women, space robots and randy political parodists, so try to find an oasislike perch at an outdoor café where you can survey the endless, informal parade with relative calm. Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive & La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 31, 6-11 p.m.; free. (323) 848-6503, visitwesthollywood.com/halloween-carnaval. —Falling James

It's probably impossible at this point, but seeing Psycho without the slightest bit of foreknowledge of its many twists is a genuinely unsettling experience. The movie it becomes is not at all the movie it starts out as, and Alfred Hitchcock's subversion of viewers' expectations was rarely more masterful than in his foray into the Bates Motel. So much of what the film does has been endlessly imitated and co-opted that it's easy to forget how revolutionary it was, but seeing it on the big screen might help. ArcLight Sherman Oaks, 15301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Mon., Oct. 31, 7:30 pm.; $14. (818) 501-7033, arclightcinemas.com. —Michael Nordine

For a more classic horror experience, consider The Wolf Man at your choice of three different Laemmle theaters: the Playhouse 7, NoHo 7 or Monica Film Center. This version, made in 1941 and soon to be remade once more, stars Lon Chaney Jr. as the poor soul whose lycanthropic transformation has proven enormously influential in the creature-feature genre. They don't make monster movies like Universal used to, not that many (including and especially Universal) haven't tried. Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica; Mon., Oct. 31, 8 p.m.; $13. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Michael Nordine

The spooky hamlet of Collinsport, Maine, celebrates 50 years at Dark Shadows Festival (see Saturday).
The spooky hamlet of Collinsport, Maine, celebrates 50 years at Dark Shadows Festival (see Saturday).
Dan Curtis Productions

tue 11/1

Do you think your boss doesn't appreciate you? Are you feeling more than a little subhuman on this All Saints' Day? Are you tired of your tears simply going to waste? Then come on down to Collage and Cry! This community collage night is your chance to transmogrify your misery and create something beautiful out of all your pent-up hostility. Book Show provides the materials — magazines, scissors, glue, nonjudgmentalism — and you provide the vision. Should you feel the need, bring booze to get your creative juices flowing so that you may experience the comforting catharsis that creativity brings. Book Show, 5503 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park; Tue., Nov. 1, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; $5 suggested donation. (213) 438-9551, bookshowla.com/event/collage-and-cry. —David Cotner

Smart, Funny and Black is NYC comedian Amanda Seales' monthly game show, an interactive live experience where your favorite funny people have their knowledge of black pop culture tested. This month's L.A. iteration features the breakout stars of HBO's Insecure, a delightful depiction of a black female experience outside of the confining black tropes of Hollywood. The show's creator-star, Issa Rae, and showrunner Prentice Penny (previously a producer on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and writer on Girlfriends, among others) take the hot seat while Yvonne Orji, Rae's onscreen best friend, shows off her stand-up chops. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Nov. 1, 9-10:30 p.m., $10, $8 in advance. nerdmeltla.com. —Neha Talreja

wed 11/2

Today's a day to remember and honor the dead, which sounds as if it could be kind of dull and maudlin, but not at Self Help Graphics' Dia de Los Muertos Celebration. For the 43rd year, the Boyle Heights gallery and nonprofit hosts the free event, which features music from Chicana punk legend Alice Bag, ska band The Paranoias and Latina record collective Chulita Vinyl Club. There's also a traditional ceremonial blessing, food and craft vendors, kids activities and, naturally, face painting. Calaca garb is encouraged. Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School, 1200 Plaza Del Sol, Boyle Heights; Wed., Nov. 2, 5 p.m.; free. (323) 881-6444, selfhelpgraphics.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

thu 11/3

Spaceland and Alamo Drafthouse present this 25th-anniversary screening of Shakes the Clown with Bobcat Goldthwait in person. In his 1991 directorial debut, Goldthwait plays Shakes, a depressed, boozing, birthday-party clown from the fictional town of Palookaville, who's framed for his boss's murder. He's surrounded by similarly dysfunctional clowns, who hang out at a bar called the Twisted Balloon, do drugs and harass mimes. The film is really a satire of the stand-up comedy world, which put Goldthwait on the map in the 1980s, so it's no coincidence it features cameos by several big-name and soon-to-be big-name comics, including Adam Sandler, Julie Brown, Kathy Griffin, Blake Clark, Sanford and Son's LaWanda Page and Tom Kenny, the future voice of SpongeBob SquarePants, not to mention Robin Williams, who plays a caustic mime instructor by the name of Marty Fromage. The Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown; Thu., Nov. 3, 7 p.m.; $10-$15. (323) 284-5727, theregenttheater.com. —Siran Babayan


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