21 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
See why Alabama thinks Clarence is "so cool" at a screening of True Romance on Friday.
Morgan Creek Productions
An art show with free chocolate, a ball for bloodsuckers, a symposium on the healing power of television, and more to do and see in L.A. this week.
It's safe to say that arts patronage in Los Angeles and elsewhere would be better if all gallery shows had chocolate fountains. The idea behind Chocolate & Art Show Los Angeles is as straightforward as it sounds: There's art to look at and free chocolate to eat while you do it. The organizers aim to give exposure to early-career artists while serving up a night that's flashier and more caloric than the average art exhibition. Just don't let the body-painting demonstrations discourage your chocolate consumption. The Vortex, 2341 E. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 17-18, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; 21+; $15. chocolateandartshow.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Founded by alums of Cirque du Soleil, 7 Fingers (Les 7 Doigts de la Main in its Montreal home base) has evolved into its own distinctive and entertaining blend of dance, circus and spoken word. This visit adds a functional onstage kitchen as the performers take on competitive cooking shows, in Cuisine & Confessions. Two years ago, this Canadian ensemble was presented as a special event in the Music Center's dance season and, in a separate event, helped hundreds of L.A. schoolchildren enter Guinness World Records with the largest ribbon dance in history. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Fri., Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 18, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; $50-$95. (310) 434-3200, thebroadstage.com. —Ann Haskins
Don't condescend to True Romance, man. It'll fucking kill you, man. Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, the early-'90s cult classic has made its way into the hearts of shootout-loving hopeless romantics via endlessly quotable dialogue and grisly violence acted out by a formidable cast: Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette are the lovers/partners in crime at the fore, with everyone from Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson to James Gandolfini and Brad Pitt rounding out the ensemble. If you've seen the film, you already know the merits of a good midnight movie. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., Feb. 17, 11:59 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine
Even a Studio Ghibli agnostic like me (I know, I know) will admit that Princess Mononoke is something special. At one time the highest-grossing film in its native Japan, where it grossed nearly $150 million (a sum surpassed by Titanic just months later), Hayao Miyazaki's masterwork is as fantastical as it is historical. The Nuart celebrates the film's 20th anniversary by screening it in the original Japanese with English subtitles, which is good news for anyone who likes their anime unsullied by dubbing but bad news for fans of Billy Bob Thornton's voice-acting skills. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Feb. 17, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine
Eat cake at Wikipedia Day Los Angeles, just one of many worldwide events celebrating the 16th birthday of the online encyclopedia, which launched on Jan. 15, 2001. The schedule begins with the presentation "Facts Are Not White Noise," by author and UCLA professor Peter Lunenfeld, followed by panel discussions on "Alternative Facts, Wikipedia and Post-Truth" and "Art + Feminism," the latter of which organizes the annual Art + Feminism edit-a-thons that address the gender gap on Wikipedia. The day also features "lightning talks" for attendees who'd like to lead brief talks about Wikipedia topics. Ace Hotel, Segovia Hall, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free with RSVP. acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/ace-x-wikipediadayla. —Siran Babayan
In his 2016 HBO comedy special, Faces and Sounds, Pete Holmes riffed on everything from going to an Enrique Iglesias concert by himself to feeling uncomfortable at strip clubs to Starbucks baristas who talk too fast. "I don't drink coffee; I run on anxiety," he said. The podcaster and Largo regular returns to the network in his new semiautobiographical comedy, Crashing, in which he plays a guy who, after being dumped by his wife, starts a new life as a stand-up comic in New York with the help of fellow comedians/guest stars Sarah Silverman, T.J. Miller and others. Prior to the series premiere on Feb. 19, Holmes embarks on a five-date stand-up tour with the show's executive producer and director, Judd Apatow, plus co-star Artie Lange and others. The Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown; Sat., Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m.; $29.50-$59.50. (323) 284-5727, theregenttheater.com. —Siran Babayan
Contrary to what doctors say, sugar is good for you and you can have as much of it as you want at L.A. Cookie Con 2017. The West Coast's largest baking and pastry convention will be chockablock with exhibitors offering samples and sales of cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream and beverages — even the healthy kind — in addition to TV and internet cooking personalities, including chef Dara Yu, Elise Strachan, Olivia Sanabia, Rosanna Pansino, Ryan Wilson, Sarah Lane and the Food Network's Duff Goldman. The two-day event features classes and demonstrations for both advanced bakers — want to learn to make peonies out of gum paste or glow-in-the-dark sugar cookies? — those who don't know the difference between frosting and fondant. If you're a real pro, there's a decorators showcase and other contests. New this year will be an appearance by Burt Ward, who played Robin on the 1960s TV series Batman, discussing his dog-rescue nonprofit, Gentle Giants. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., Feb. 18-19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $12-$59.95. lacookiecon.com. —Siran Babayan
From upcycling to adaptive reuse, creative people are finding new and innovative ways to make old things not only useful again but also easy on the eyes. In this spirit, Festival of (In)appropriation #9, presented by Los Angeles Filmforum, showcases a range of short films fashioned from found footage, all culled from unlikely sources and handcrafted into the movie version of assemblage or collage. This year's edition of the annual fest features more than a dozen films, including Ryan Murray's Every Feature Film on My Hard Drive, 3 Pixels Tall and Sped Up 7000%; Ricardo Salvador's Ektoplasmic Vision; and the Star Wars–inspired Official Teaser #2 Reaction!!! by Kevin McCarthy. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 461-2020, lafilmforum.org/schedule/winter-2017/the-festival-of-in-appropriation-9. —Tanja M. Laden
At Los Angeles Vampire Ball 2017, an anti–Valentine's Day celebration hosted by professional "fangsmith" Father Sebastiaan, declare your deathless cynicism and sink your teeth into Cupid's rosy little buns. DJs and dancing, ritual and rigmarole, formal attire and primal fear — it's all here. The evening also features spectacles such as made-to-measure fang manufacturing; a group howl to kick off the proceedings; a costume contest; a fetish play area; chanteuse Rachele Royale accompanied by acrobats and aerialists; Auracle Dance and Bagoas doing belly and/or tribal dances; and a bar that really puts the "sin" back in "absinthe." Globe Theater, 740 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., Feb. 19, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.; $25-$666. (213) 489-1667, endlessnightvampireball.com/losangeles. —David Cotner
If you've seen Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey without knowing why they play Twister with Death, it's high time you got around to viewing The Seventh Seal. Time is very much of the essence in Ingmar Bergman's landmark of world cinema, after all, which is celebrating an anniversary of its own: the big 6-0, an occasion the Aero is marking with a 35mm print. The biblical passage from which The Seventh Seal takes its name refers to a half-hour in which all is silent in heaven, which should give you a sense of the film's solemn atmosphere — if not its quietly enthralling urgency. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine
Twenty-six years after it went off the air, Twin Peaks is finally returning for a final sendoff this spring. Prepare yourself for that grand event by revisiting the underrated Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which the Egyptian is screening alongside Lolita as part of Pie and Coffee — David Lynch Plus. The filmmaker has cited Stanley Kubrick in general and his adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's novel in particular as favorites, and Fire Walk With Me is screening on 35mm. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine
Celebrate Wikipedia's Sweet Sixteen at the Ace on Thursday.
Courtesy Creative Commons/Vassia Atanassova
Since the early 1970s, Self Help Graphics has been a massively important force in L.A.'s Chicano art scene. To continue the community's legacy of printmaking into the next generation, the print shop and community art center is hosting the Inaugural Chicana/o Latina/o Printmaking Summit. "At Self Help Graphics & Art," organizers say, "we understand and value the role of the Master Printer in creating a trusting and nurturing environment that can develop important relationships between the printer and artists." The seven-day event features daily workshops with master printmakers, roundtables on topics like diversity and inclusion, and an exhibit of prints produced by Self Help's master printmakers. All of the events are free with registration, but priority will be given to printmakers if the programs fill up. Self Help Graphics, 1300 E. First St., Boyle Heights; Mon.-Sun., Feb. 20-26, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; free with registration. (323) 881-6444, selfhelpgraphics.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Hammerstein Bavarian Musik are the only Bavarian band in the greater metropolitan Los Angeles area you need in your life right now. Seen last year in those Der Wienerschnitzel Oktoberfest ads, the quartet — singer Andreas Beckett, tuba player Blake Cooper, drummer Mike Deutsch and accordion diva Gee Rabe — translates today's latest hits into peppy Deutscher Schlager. While the concept might seem a bit strange, there are already similarities between Bavarian music and banda, tejano and norteño. Expect lederhosen, yodeling, lots of waltzes, the thrilling spectacle of slapdancing, and possibly selections from their cavalcade of bangers, Alpen Über Alles. L.A. Times Central Court, LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Mon., Feb. 20, 12:30 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —David Cotner
REDCAT will present several local premieres during True Places Never Are: New Videos by Peggy Ahwesh, with Ahwesh in person. Among the new-to–Los Angeles works: Lessons of War and The Blackest Sea, which repurpose news reports, and the visual essays Alluvium and Kissing Point. These latest pieces from the experimental-media stalwart come from her time living in the West Bank. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Feb. 20, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Michael Nordine
Published by the University of California Press since 2011, Boom: A Journal of California highlights work by students, journalists, academics, artists and other creative professionals about the sociocultural landscape of the Golden State. Sadly, this winter it published its final print issue, titled "Seeing California." At the Boom California Winter Reading, the Last Bookstore hosts a lineup of contributors reading from the last issue of the beloved publication, with California poet laureate Dana Gioia and Boom editor Jason Sexton among those scheduled to appear. Plus, as thanks to the community for its support, copies of Boom's final print issue are free with the purchase of any book by one of its contributors. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Tue., Feb. 21., 7:30 p.m.; free with RSVP. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Tanja M. Laden
Can Television Bring America Together? is an initiative to see what positive, progressive qualities TV possesses that can unite this divided nation once again. It doesn't help that there are a zillion channels to watch and ignore, but finally people are getting together to see what can unify all the audiences, be they black or white, poor or wealthy. Part of the Smithsonian/Zócalo "What It Means to Be American" series, this panel discussion features former Modern Family executive producer Dan O'Shannon; Jane the Virgin showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman; and Gloria Calderon Kellett, co-showrunner of the new version of One Day at a Time. Martin creator John Bowman is the moderator. Landmark Theatres, 10850 W. Pico Blvd., Rancho Park; Tue., Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 470-0492, zocalopublicsquare.org/event/can-television-bring-america-together. —David Cotner
There's a good chance you already wish your life were Roman Holiday, so why not step away from work for an early-afternoon matinee of William Wyler's breezy classic? Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are as winsome as rom-com pairs come, not least for the melancholy shades the film takes on as reality sets in on their impossible courtship. Hepburn won her only competitive Academy Award for her performance as the princess of an unnamed country. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Feb. 21, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
While the stars of Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Fences are all up for major awards this year, it was only last year that the lack of nominated actors of color at the Academy Awards was a controversial issue. Inspired by the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, UCB's #OscarsSoWoke tackles Hollywood's age-old prejudice with humor. Hosted by Cynthia Kao and Charity Miller, the cast features UCB comedians of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim and Native American descent, including Sasha A. Ali, Ronnie Adrian, Marshall Givens, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mike Lane, Jiavani Linayao, Londale Theus Jr. and Robert Vestal. They'll perform stand-up, storytelling and improv poking fun at both the historical and the ongoing struggles with race in film. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Feb. 22, 10:30 p.m.; $7. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
Everyone says print is dead. Not so. Now in its fifth year, Printed Matter's L.A. Art Book Fair is a massive celebration of artists' books, works of art that take the form of a book or pamphlet. The free fair kicks off on Friday (and continues through Sunday), but tonight the Geffen Contemporary hosts a preview party with music from Seth Bogart and Kembra Pfahler & Christian Music from The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. The $10 admission fee includes an edition by graphic designer Mike Mills that points to Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote. Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N Central Ave., downtown; Thu., Feb. 23, 6-9 p.m. (fair continues through Sun., Feb. 26); $10.laartbookfair.net. —Gwynedd Stuart
David Kukoff discusses Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine with some of the book's contributors, including Luis J. Rodriguez, Matthew Specktor, Lynell George and former L.A. Weekly editor Joe Donnelly. Kukoff, a film and TV producer, edits the anthology, which features 29 essays and photographs by journalists, authors, politicians, filmmakers and music producers, who share personal stories and historical accounts of L.A. in that era. Drummer John Densmore writes about the release of The Doors' L.A. Woman; adult-film director Bob Chinn about working with legendary porn star John Holmes; Rick McCloskey about cruising Van Nuys Boulevard; and Samantha Geimer about meeting Roman Polanski for the first time in her San Fernando Valley home before he drugged and raped her at age 13. Whittier College Library, 7031 Founders Hill Road, Whittier; Thu., Feb. 23, 7 p.m.; free. rarebirdbooks.com/rbevents. —Siran Babayan
New Hollywood had more than its fair share of great director/actor duos, among them Robert Altman and Elliott Gould. Not as well known as their The Long Goodbye but no less essential is California Split, which co-stars the one-time Philip Marlowe alongside George Segal. They enable one another's gambling habits, a destructive addiction that takes them from Los Angeles to Reno to Tijuana — not places you typically associate with feel-good plots. An uncredited Steven Spielberg helped screenwriter Joseph Walsh with his script, which was based on his own life. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Thu., Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine
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