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

Photos of David Bowie exploring Mexico go on display on Friday.
Photos of David Bowie exploring Mexico go on display on Friday.
Fernando Aceves

An exhibit of David Bowie photos, a beer and food fest, a screening of a Todd Solondz classic with a new soundtrack and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 1/27

In 1997, Mexico City­–based rock photographer Fernando Aceves was contacted by a concert promoter and offered the chance to document David Bowie's first and only visit to Mexico. With Bowie's band along for the ride, Aceves photographed the legendary musician with a variety of cultural landmarks, from early Mesoamerican pyramids to Diego Rivera murals. Aceves' photos come to L.A. for the first time for the "David Bowie: Among the Mexican Masters." The exhibit at Forest Lawn Museum features 27 color images taken while Bowie was in Mexico for his Earthling Tour. Forest Lawn Museum, 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale; Fri., Jan. 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (runs through June 15); free. forestlawn.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Guest artists from Seattle's Radost Folk Ensemble join Los Angeles Ballet dancers with live music from the Varimezov Family Band. Since 1976, Radost has toured the Northwest presenting dance and music from Eastern European nations including Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia. For the past week, Ivan and Tzvetanka Varimezov have been in residence at LAB. Don't look for pointe shoes as the LAB dancers join in performing Eastern European dances for this party. "Radost" translates to "joy" in Slavic languages. Joy may be the goal, but fun is certainly on the menu. Los Angeles Ballet Center, 11755 Exposition Blvd., Sawtelle; Fri., Jan. 27, 7 p.m.; $15. facebook.com/events/1070712816407286. —Ann Haskins

Partially inspired by President Donald Trump's anti-Latino and -immigrant rhetoric, Second City combats all the hate with what it does best: comedy. Directed by Martin Garcia, the theater's latest sketch show, HisPanic Attack, mocks ethnic misconceptions about Hispanics, including the myth of foreigners stealing Americans' jobs, and blasts stereotypical film and TV roles, such as the nanny, janitor or fiery Latina. The cast, featuring Roxana Altamirano, Mario Barra, Jorge Berrios, David Luna, Jay Pichardo, Jennifer Polania Garcia and Xochitl Romero, even sings a parody of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid to spoof Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. Second City Studio Theater, 6560 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd floor, Hollywood; Fri., Jan. 27, 8 p.m. (also Fri., Feb. 3); $12. (323) 464-8542, secondcity.com/shows/hollywood. —Siran Babayan

Molly Haskell's recent book Steven Spielberg: A Life in Film points to an unexpected movie as the director's best: Empire of the Sun. An adaptation of J.G. Ballard's World War II novel, it introduced the world at large to Christian Bale and is, in Spielberg's own words, like "the opposite of Peter Pan." It thus marked something of a departure for the filmmaker, who was still better known for the likes of Jaws and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial than Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Color Purple — part of a cinematic adolescence that saw him grow into the director we now know. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

A new cult classic whose small but devoted following is still hoping against hope for a sequel, 2012's Dredd is, like a lot of dystopian sci-fi, the kind of movie whose vision of the future seems a lot less implausible now than it did on Nov. 7. Karl Urban takes over for Sylvester Stallone in this remake, which is ultraviolent but less concerned with merely serving as the prelude to yet another installment than most would-be franchise starters. I am the law! Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Jan. 27, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 1/28

With samples from 40-plus independently owned brewers from around Los Angeles County — they're representing more than 100 beers — the inaugural L.A. Beer & Food Festival may well be the best beer event in L.A. Among brewers represented at the event are Angel City Brewery, Arts District Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Mumford Brewing, Ohana Brewing, Iron Triangle Brewing, Timeless Pints and Boomtown Brewery. Entry buys you free samples from the restaurants at the event, all chosen to pair well with beer. Blue Palms Brewhouse, Eagle Rock Public House, Poppy + Rose, Sausal, Simmzy's, Stout and others will be on hand. Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., Silver Lake; Sat., Jan. 28, 3-6 p.m.; $60, $75 VIP. labrewersguild.org/labeerandfood. —Katherine Spiers

Curated by Elvis Mitchell, Bring the Noise is Film Independent at LACMA's latest movie series. For its first installment, the museum screens Welcome to the Dollhouse, Todd Solondz's 1995 cult classic about nerdy, bespectacled 12-year-old Dawn "Weiner Dog" Weiner (Heather Matarazzo), who's tormented in junior high and ignored at home, accompanied by an original score performed by Seth Bogart of L.A. band Hunx and His Punx. You may recall the original soundtrack featured the theme song "Welcome to the Dollhouse" by Daniel Rey, some classical music and — speaking of junior-high horror — Debbie Gibson's 1988 ballad "Lost in Your Eyes." Future screenings in the series feature live soundtracks played by T Bone Burnett, Michael Andrews, Yacht, Jack Antonoff of fun. and Bleachers, Warpaint's Emily Kokal, Kinky's Ulises Lozano, Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner and Bauhaus' Kevin Haskins and Daniel Ash. LACMA, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sat., Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m.; $50, $35 students and seniors. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org. —Siran Babayan

Produced to tout councilmember José Huizar's Bringing Back Broadway initiative, the third annual Night on Broadway is a radiant evening of art and music set along one of the oldest and most-loved movie theater rows in the world. Inside Broadway's classic theaters, music and art abound, from a tech-art-music showcase called "The Advent of the VJ" at the Orpheum to musical and stand-up comedy at the Palace (plus a psychedelic black-light installation downstairs). The art and music spill out onto the street, where you'll find a dodgeball cagematch, chess boxing, food trucks and more. Open to all ages, rain or shine. Broadway between Third Street & Olympic Boulevard, downtown; Sat., Jan. 28, 4-11 p.m.; free (registration requested). (213) 200-9974, nightonbroadway.la. —David Cotner

A big, new beer and food fest is coming to Silver Lake on Saturday.
A big, new beer and food fest is coming to Silver Lake on Saturday.
Sarah Bennett

sun 1/29

Recently, the L.A. City Council designated Hollywood's Earl Carroll Theatre at 6250 Sunset Blvd., home of Nickelodeon Sunset, a Historic-Cultural Monument. Built in 1938 by film and theater producer Carroll and designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann — the man behind the Los Angeles Times building, Hoover Dam, the Hollywood Palladium, Santa Anita Park and the Greystone Mansion — the art deco nightclub employed actresses Yvonne De Carlo, Mamie Van Doren and other starlets as showgirls, and had a neon sign above the entrance that read: "Through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world." The theater later operated under different names, including Moulin Rouge, Hullabaloo, Kaleidoscope and Aquarius Theater, which hosted Star Search, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and The Chevy Chase Show. At An Afternoon With Earl Carroll, Richard Adkins of Hollywood Heritage and Marc Wanamaker of the Bison Archives discuss the history of the venue and screen the Carroll-produced, 1940 Paramount musical A Night at Earl Carroll's. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Jan. 29, 1 p.m.; $12. (323) 461-2020, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Siran Babayan

Casey Schreiner has written one hell of a useful guidebook. Day Hiking: Los Angeles is packed with trails that span the county and range from beginner trails to treks for the experienced outdoors person. Schreiner, who founded the popular website Modern Hiker, rates trails according to difficulty, points out which ones are dog- and/or kid-friendly and keeps readers informed on great views and historical details. He's spending the weekend promoting the book and will be leading a Saturday hike at the Audubon Center at Debs Park. If you would rather read the book before hitting the trail, get your copy signed on Sunday, when he'll be talking about it with Curbed's Alissa Walker. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Sun., Jan. 29., 6 p.m.; free (books to be signed must be bought at the Last Bookstore). (213) 488-0599; lastbookstorela.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Los Angeles is home to a thriving Iranian community — the largest outside of Iran — where traditional Persian customs, music, art and cuisine are kept alive. The second biennial exhibition "Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video" presents the work of dozens of artists who explore Iranian culture and heritage. An international jury of citizen journalists, archivists and storytellers — who are connected to Iran by ancestry or simple admiration of its culture — selected work by emerging and midcareer artists to reflect the diversity of contemporary Iranian life. The resulting show presents a culture that is deeply connected to history yet constantly evolving and very much alive. Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; opens Sun., Jan. 29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (runs through May 7); $7; $5 students, teachers and seniors; free CAFAM members; pay what you can Sundays. (323) 937-4230, cafam.org/exhibitions. —Matt Stromberg

If you haven't seen North by Northwest, all you really need to know is that Alfred Hitchcock directed it, Bernard Herrmann composed the score and Saul Bass designed the title sequence. As tends to be the case when those three conditions are met, the film is a classic of suspense. Also very much of note: the screenplay by Ernest Lehman, who set out to write "the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures." North by Northwest doesn't lack for competition in that regard, but neither does it have much difficulty standing out among so many other masterworks. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Jan. 29, 5:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

We're all albino crocodiles in Werner Herzog's world, especially his 3-D documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. The one-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher will appear in person to discuss his film, which closes out The Inferno of Werner Herzog, a weekend series that includes Into the Inferno, Encounters at the End of the World and Fitzcarraldo. No two Herzog movies are weird in quite the same way, and this one finds him spelunking among the most well-preserved cave drawings on the planet. Watch for the coda, which contains one of the most mind-blowing insights of his entire career. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

mon 1/30

Before he died in 1987, essayist and social critic James Baldwin was working on a book called Remember This House, which summarized his memories of civil rights figures Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Tonight's screening of I Am Not Your Negro — director Raoul Peck's documentary encompassing the subject matter of Baldwin's memoirs — spans the breadth of those civil rights legacies, interweaving them with footage of its leaders, the Black Power movement and other milestones in race relations, all narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Peck will be present for a Q&A after the screening. Billy Wilder Theatre, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Mon., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

All too often, a small movie will receive a theatrical release in New York but never make it to the Best Coast for a proper run. MA almost falls in that category, just as it's almost fallen through the cracks: Celia Rowlson-Hall's debut feature is screening for one night only at Cinefamily with the director-star in person. A semi-silent reimagining of the Virgin Mary in which she wanders through the Southwest, the film has drawn attention for its dancelike movement and enigmatic narrative. If you want weird movies to come to Los Angeles, sometimes you have to go to them. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Mon., Jan. 30, 4:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

tue 1/31

When Luis Valdez's Zoot Suit premiered at the Mark Taper in 1978, it was nothing short of a sensation. The play, which centers on L.A.'s pachuco culture in the early 1940s — specifically the Sleepy Lagoon murder of 1942 — sold out in L.A. for almost a year before moving on to Broadway, and it brought a whole new audience to the theater. In 1981, it became a film starring Edward James Olmos, who also played the lead at the Taper. In honor of the Center Theatre Group's 50th anniversary, in association with El Teatro Campesino, it's reviving Zoot Suit, a play that's still seen as a landmark of Chicano theater. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue., Jan. 31, 8 p.m. (Runs through March 19); $25-$99. centertheatregroup.org/tickets/mark-taper-forum. —Gwynedd Stuart

Not about moderate Republicans (remember those?) but rather a bizarre love triangle, In Name Only finds Cary Grant as a well-to-do suburbanite who falls in love with a widow (Carole Lombard) long after he's fallen out of love with his wife (Kay Francis). His attempt to consciously decouple is rebuffed, however, as the missus openly admits to being with him only for his high rung on the social ladder. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Jan. 31, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to watch Goodfellas. Easily the best gangster movie to lose the Best Picture Oscar to Dances With Wolves, Martin Scorsese's mafioso masterwork glams up La Cosa Nostra before reminding us that even made men can end up living the rest of their lives like schnooks. Just don't call it funny. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m.; $15.75. (323) 464-1478, arclightcinemas.com. —Michael Nordine

wed 2/1

Cannabis and comedy go together like cannabis and Totino's Pizza Rolls. But stand-up comic Shane Mauss is more fond of joking about his use of psychedelics, including mushrooms, LSD and DMT. The Wisconsin-born Mauss has been a comedian for the past 12 years and a "psychonaut" for 20. He's appeared on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Comedy Central and Netflix specials, and hosts the podcast Here We Are, on which he interviews academics about science, psychology and philosophy. For his current tour, A Good Trip With Shane Mauss, which he describes as "part stand-up, part storytelling and part TED Talk," Mauss cracks wise about the positive effects psychedelics have had on his life and career. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Wed., Feb. 1, 7 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —Siran Babayan

thu 2/2

Remarkably versatile Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili joins the L.A. Phil and conductor Gustavo Dudamel for an evening of music apparently linked by sheer sonic joi de vivre. Batiashvili's highly regarded sensitivity and fire bring the passions to a boil in Tchaikovsky's rousing Romantic concerto. Sort of based on A Midsummer Night's Dream, Schnittke's (K)ein Sommernachtstraum is puckishly good-humored modern classical music at its most enlightening. In the selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet we hear a subtly modernistic take on Shakespeare's tale, whose timeless thrills are sold via plentiful supplies of sprightly dance tunes and a superbly widescreen tonal palette. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu., Feb. 2, 8 p.m.; $20-$176. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —John Payne

Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Tim Rice and Stephen Schwartz are behind some of the biggest musicals of all time, but they were also responsible for some Broadway fails — ever heard of Pipe Dream, Anyone Can Whistle or The Baker's Wife? Originally staged in 2013, Proof Doubt Closer theater company's "Carrie" That Tune: Hit Songs From Flop Musicals showcases tunes from ill-fated or forgotten productions that became successful after they were recorded by other artists, such as "Feeling Good" from The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd, "He Touched Me" from Drat! The Cat! and "One Night in Bangkok" from Chess, whose music was co-written by ABBA's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. Complete with props and costumes, the cast sings selections from other flop musicals, including 1988's Carrie: The Musical, which, after only five performances, was one of the Great White Way's costliest disasters. Au Lac, 710 W. First St., downtown; Thu., Feb. 2, 8 p.m. (runs through March 2); $10. proofdoubtcloser.com. —Siran Babayan


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