Lucha VaVOOM's annual Valentine's Day show is sure to be sexy as ever (see Thu.)
Lucha VaVOOM's annual Valentine's Day show is sure to be sexy as ever (see Thu.)
Timothy Norris

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

A tiny house-building workshop, a Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown, a tribute to Daria Morgendorfer's best friend Jane Lane and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 2/3

Tiny homes are the latest real estate trend for buyers who have no use for open-concept living spaces or man caves. If you think that smaller is better, the Craft & Folk Art Museum's Tiny House Pre-Build Party and Building Workshop will help you downsize. Friday features a party and talk by Derek Diedricksen, host of HGTV's Tiny House Builders, as well as demonstrations by fellow micro-builders Michelle Boyle, Andrew Odom, Marty Skrelunas, Jedediah Voltz, Palo Coleman and Diedricksen's brother, Dustin, plus a cash bar and food. On Saturday and Sunday, Derek Diedricksen leads workshops on how to "build a small dwelling from salvaged materials." If you want to win a tiny house, the museum will raffle off a micro-cabin custom-built by Diedricksen and his team on site at CAFAM (winner TBA March 18). Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri., Feb. 3, 7-10 p.m.; $30 (workshops are $295). (323) 937-4230, cafam.org. —Siran Babayan

The Natural History Museum's annual discussion and live music series First Fridays, this year themed "Serving Up Science: The Dish on Food," looks at the science behind how food evolves. Its kickoff event starts with a guided tour on "Food for Thought" led by the museum's Jessie Jennewein, followed by a discussion about "Your Plate & Your Gut" with UCLA assistant professor Dr. Elaine Y. Hsiao, USC professor Dr. Craig Stanford and author Mark Schatzker, moderated by L.A. Times columnist and radio host Patt Morrison. Musical performances include Dawn, Mndsgn and Oddisee, in addition to KCRW's DJ Anne Litt and DJ Aaron Byrd. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; Fri., Feb. 3, 5-10 p.m.; $18. (213) 763-3466, nhm.org. —Siran Babayan

Care to see the most moving final scene of all time? Then get thee to the Aero's Modern Times/City Lights double feature. The two Charlie Chaplin classics will screen on 35mm, and to maintain the element of surprise I won't tell you which features the closing scene in question. In the latter film especially, we see the multihyphenate's rare ability to imbue his humor with pathos (and vice versa); the Tramp is often hilarious, but at his best he's also deeply sympathetic. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Elsewhere in alluring double bills put on by the American Cinematheque, the Egyptian screens David Lynch's Mulholland Drive alongside one of its chief influences: Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard. Few movies inspire such frenetic theorizing as Lynch's noirish dreamscape — the director himself included 10 clues to unlocking its secrets for the DVD release — which is another way of saying that few movies reward repeat viewings as much as it does. Sunset Boulevard comes close even without being a mystery, and there's a good chance you've quoted it without even knowing it. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Why are you wearing that stupid man suit? Donnie Darko asks this and other crucial questions, like what might happen if a moody teenager played by Jake Gyllenhaal were to discover that time travel is real and how, exactly, one sucks a fuck. And fret not, fans of the original: This isn't the director's cut, which inexplicably replaced Echo and the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon" with INXS' "Never Tear Us Apart" in the opening sequence. Should you miss the Nuart's midnight screening, I'll have no choice but to doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Feb. 3, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 2/4

The two-week-long Lunar New Year celebration that kicked off on Jan. 28 is in full swing. How appropriate that the Year of the Rooster coincides with a bright orange cock's entry into the White House! Celebrate our city's diversity while it's still a thing at the 118th Golden Dragon Parade. Floats, marching bands, dignitaries and more colorful dragons than you can or should shake a stick at weave their way through Chinatown (beginning on Hill at Temple, cutting right on Bernard, right on Broadway and back to Temple). According to the parade's site, "1.5 million persons of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese descent in Southern California" celebrate the Lunar New Year. Sounds like they're on to something. Chinatown (Hill Street, Bernard, Broadway); Sat., Feb. 4, 1 p.m.; free. lagoldendragonparade.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Despite having weather the rest of the world envies, SoCal winter sometimes argues for a cozy night by a warm fire and Santa Monica happily complies with Fireside at the Miles, the midwinter series of dance, music and other performances. The couches are comfy. The candles cast flattering light. The snacks and beverages are organic. This week's event spotlights a trio of contemporary dance companies — locally based Angela Todaro, Rebekah Brown's H20 Dance Company from San Diego and Pressology Dance Company. There is even free validated parking. Reservations recommended. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Sat., Feb. 4, 8 p.m.; $10, $5 seniors & 18 years & under. (310) 458-8634, smgov.net/Departments/CCS/MilesPlayhouse/content.aspx?id=26314. —Ann Haskins

Often referred to as "the Moroccan Blues," Gnawa music is the captivating, hypnotic music of Morocco's black ethnic minority, the Gnawa, whose roots lie in sub-Saharan Africa. One of the central rituals of the Gnawa is the Lila, a dusk-to-dawn participatory performance, which involves dance, color, incense and, of course, music, which is played on the lutelike sintir and percussive qarqaba (castanets). Featuring performances from New York City–based band Innov Gnawa with master Gnawa musician Hassan Ben Jaafar, Spirit of Gnawas offers a rare opportunity to experience this immersive, communal event in Los Angeles. Wanderlust Hollywood, 1357 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Feb. 4, 8:30 p.m.; $80, $70 in advance. spiritofgnawas.com. —Matt Stromberg

As part of What a Difference: Women and Film in the 1970s and 1980s, UCLA celebrates Donna Deitch with three shorts and a feature. A new digital restoration of 1986's Desert Hearts will be preceded by She Was a Visitor (1970), Berkeley 12 to 1 (1968) and Memorabilia (1969), with all three shorts screening on 16mm. Deitch — who will appear at the event — made her feature debut with Desert Hearts, a sapphic romance set in late-'50s Reno. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

sun 2/5

It's soup and bowl when mouthy comedian Doug Benson has a potluck and watches football on the Cinefamily's large-ish screen at Doug Benson Interrupts the Super Bowl. A welcome distraction from whatever shenanigans the president is up to at the time, the 2017 Super Bowl (edition LI, for those of you who follow ironic homophone fans), pits Patriots against Falcons in an audacious display of seething athleticism. When you bring a dish for the potluck, you can't half-ass it and bring chips or something — you actually have to cook or bake a dish for everyone to share. Do it for the team! Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Sun., Feb. 5, 2 p.m.; free with RSVP, first come, first served. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

Kids will love the Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown on Saturday.
Kids will love the Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown on Saturday.
Levan TK

mon 2/6

The Grammy Museum commemorates Sire Records' 50th anniversary with a panel discussion that looks back on its history and roster. Grammy Foundation and MusiCares vice president Scott Goldman moderates a panel featuring Sire chairman Seymour Stein, The Cult's Billy Duffy, director Brett Ratner (onetime manager/executive producer for Sire-signed B.M.O.C.) and chairman of the Beggars Group Martin Mills. Co-founded by Stein in 1966 as a label for underground British acts, Sire went on to become the home of some of the biggest pop, punk, new-wave and hip-hop artists, including The Ramones, Talking Heads, Pretenders, The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Seal, Ice-T, Wilco, Tegan & Sara and Madonna, by far the label's biggest star. Stein appeared at the museum last year for a 40th-anniversary tribute to The Ramones' debut album in conjunction with current exhibit "Hey! Ho! Let's Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk." Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Mon., Feb. 6, 7 p.m.; $20. (213) 765-6800, grammymuseum.org. —Siran Babayan

Fast food for dinner? Drugstore chocolates? Date was a no-show? If you've ever been a fatality of Cupid's arrow on the most romantic day of the year, UCB's Valentine's Day Singles Mixer wants to hear from you. Cast members Ronnie Adrian, Lilan Bowden, Alex Fernie, Dan Gregor, Anne Lane, Betsy Sodaro, Deborah Tarica and Paul Walsh perform improv scenes based on brave audience members' stories of Valentine's Days gone wrong, even if they scare away your date or spouse. UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Mon., Feb. 6, 11 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, franklin.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

The violin and the viola are among the most traditional-sounding stringed instruments, but in Mark Menzies' hands they become secret portals into a mysterious sonic dimension. As he draws his bow slowly and judiciously over the strings, the New Zealand native and longtime music professor at the California Institute of the Arts evokes the eerie moans of faraway cetaceans in a murky void before he breaks the icy soundscape with a series of crazed yet intricately detailed rumbles of thunder. Tonight he weaves together the bracing melodies of such disparate composers as Béla Bartók, György Ligeti, Elliott Carter and Carolyn Chen into a program he's christened "from the islands ... to fragments." REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Feb. 6, 8:30 p.m.; $20. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Falling James

tue 2/7

Take John Bonham's epic drum solo from Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick," multiply it by 10, and you might get something close to the ferocious intensity of Japanese drum ensemble Kodo. Formed in 1981, the group is one of the most well-known practitioners of Japanese taiko drumming, which combines raw, physical power, skilled coordination and graceful movement to produce a mesmerizing spectacle. Performers nimbly switch between pounding out polyrhythms on drums the size of small cars, to more delicate percussion on hand drums. Translated as "Men Drumming," Kodo: Dadan 2017 is a restaging of one of their continually evolving performances, which features only male members of the group. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue., Feb. 7, 8 p.m.; $41-$105; (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Matt Stromberg

wed 2/8

The benefit meal Winter Harvest — A Farm-to-Table Dinner is put on by Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), an organization that provides restaurant-work training to disadvantaged youth. The restaurant where it's held, James Republic, is the latest from Dean James Max, a farm-to-table–obsessed chef who converted a dingy Courtyard Marriott–attached diner into his new luxurious Long Beach home. This event will include cocktails, local craft beer, fancy wine, an auction and a multicourse farm-to-table feast to support C-CAP's work in the Los Angeles region. James Republic, 500 E. First St., Long Beach; Wed., Feb. 8, 5:30 p.m.; $195. ccapinc.org/events/winter-harvest-farm-table-dinner. —Katherine Spiers

Margaret Cho loves to sing about her vagina. "My Puss," off her 2010 debut music album, Cho Dependent, was an answer to rapper Mickey Avalon's "My Dick," while "Fat Pussy," from 2016's American Myth, is an ode to thick girls. Cho is nominated for a fourth time for best comedy album at this year's Grammy Awards alongside Amy Schumer, Patton Oswalt, David Cross and Tig Notaro. With co-writer/musician Garrison Starr and her band, Cho performs her entire current record, on which she tackles oft-joked-about topics such as family, racism, feminism and sexuality, especially on "I Wanna Kill My Rapist" (about surviving sexual assault), "Ron's Got a DUI" (about an aging gay friend who dies of AIDS) and "We So Worry" (featuring her Korean-American parents), as well as "Anna Nicole," a tribute to her late friend, who died 10 years ago in February. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Wed., Feb. 8, 7 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —Siran Babayan

It Happened One Night has as much claim to the title of greatest romantic comedy of all time as any other exemplar of the genre. In a rare feat, Frank Capra's lovely film won all five major Oscars (Best Picture and Director for Capra, Actor for Clark Gable, Actress for Claudette Colbert and Screenplay for Robert Riskin), which was all the more impressive considering it deserved them all. Gable and Colbert play a reporter and a disenchanted heiress, respectively, brought together by necessity and kept together by, well, you know. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Feb. 7, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

thu 2/9

In the past, local pop culture collective Vis-à-VHS has hosted screenings of witchy '90s staple The Craft alongside an episode of the much fluffier Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Pieces of April alongside eps of Gilmore Girls. Then last October, the collective hosted a tribute to the ultimate disaffected '90s teen girl, Daria Morgendorffer, of the MTV animated series (and Beavis and Butt-head spinoff) Daria. As a follow-up to that event comes Daria Anti-Social: Sweet Jane, an evening dedicated to Daria's equally angsty best friend, Jane Lane. Along with two Jane-centric episodes of the show, Vis-à-VHS screens the movie-length Daria feature Is It Fall Yet? What better time to embrace the alternative teen that lives within us all. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Thu., Feb. 9, 8-10 p.m.; $5 suggested donation. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org/events/vhs-social-daria-anti-social-sweet-jane. —Gwynedd Stuart

The slamming spectacle of American burlesque and Mexican wrestling known as Lucha VaVOOM presents Twisted Valentines. The event's 15-year anniversary show offers outrageously outlandish and fearfully farfetched masked and/or transvestite wrestlers who swan-dive from a third-story balcony to pin their opponents to the floor, plus naughtily nearly naked high-wire acrobats spinning high above the merry madness below. Acts — sorry, competitors — include superstar CMLL luchador Relampago vs. masked mayhem-meister Magno, and the terrible trio of Dirty Sanchez, Joey Ryan and Dama Fina. Also the Crazy Chickens, singer Prince Poppycock, comedian Ron Funches and Guinness World Record–holding Hula Hoopist Marawa the Amazing. Plus, Wednesday only, Dan Harmon joins comic cohosts Blaine Capatch and Jeff Davies. This event is 21 and up. Mayan Theatre, 1026 S. Hill St., DTLA; Wed.-Thu., Feb. 8-9, 8 p.m.; $40. luchavavoom.com. —John Payne

If you're not in a repertory mood, USC's ongoing Outside the Box [Office] series has a sneak preview for you: A Cure for Wellness. The film is Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski's first since the ill-fated Lone Ranger of a few years back, and it boasts what's easily the strangest premise of his career: It concerns a wellness spa in the Swiss Alps whose treatments include bathtubs full of snakes, rituals involving deer masks and — perhaps most troublingly — noted Death Eater Lucius Malfoy heading the proceedings. The screening is free, but to ensure your spot in the spa you'll need to RSVP online. USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Thu., Feb. 9, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu. —Michael Nordine

When choosing a favorite David Fincher movie, there are a few different approaches. If you go with your heart, you'll likely land on The Social Network or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (désolé, haters!). But if you go with your brain, the only answer is Zodiac. Starring a grown-up Donnie Darko and a soon-to-be Iron Man, it may be the most cerebral, involving procedural ever made — a descent into obsession that serves as a stirring reminder that one needn't die at the hands of a serial killer in order to lose one's life to him. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Thu., Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

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