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

The Satin Dollz are going to kick up their heels at the Roaring Twenties Street Jam this weekend.EXPAND
The Satin Dollz are going to kick up their heels at the Roaring Twenties Street Jam this weekend.
Photos With Class/ Dave Welch

Between an April Fools Day show with Opposite Bob Dylan, a screening of The Shining in an abandoned zoo and the grand opening of Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there's all sorts of fun stuff to do this week.

fri 4/1

Up for a spooky spring? The team behind the Haunted Hayride and the Great Horror Campout dutifully dole out small doses of Halloween with every film in their Great Horror Movie Night Outdoor Screening Series. Tonight they follow last month's screening of Poltergeist with Stanley Kubrick's classic The Shining at the Old L.A. Zoo in Griffith Park. And if the film's ghosts aren't enough to keep you on edge, where better to spot a real lingering creature of the night than the abandoned zoo? Let the weather warm up the chills down your spine! Food and picnics are allowed, but no alcohol. Old L.A. Zoo in Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Griffith Park; Fri., April 1, 7:15 p.m.; $15. (310) 993-8289, greathorrormovienight.com. —Neha Talreja

Before you see Bob Dylan live in June, you might want to check out what could be the oddest tribute ever to the troubadour. In Opposite Bob Dylan's Unfunny Non—April Fools Day Show, Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Craig Rowin (UCB, Adult Swim, @midnight, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire) impersonates Dylan, except he says and sings everything in reverse. So if you're familiar with the Dylan albums Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, you'll probably be able to follow along to Rowin's Highway 16 Visited for the Very First Time and Brunette Off Brunette. For April Fools Day, Rowin gathers fellow UCB cast members, including Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch, Saturday Night Live alum John Milhiser, plus Jon Gabrus, John Gemberling and Jenn Bartels, who'll each perform their own comedic routine, which may or may not involve punking the audience. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., April 1, 10:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

Although Prohibition was in effect for the entirety of the decade, the 1920s turned out to be a pretty good time. Fueled by high-octane illegal booze, the era's partiers put on feathers and fringe and developed crazy, kicky dances like the Charleston to keep their minds off ham-fisted cultural hegemony and the impending national financial disaster. Relive that carefree-ish time at the Roaring Twenties Street Jam, a dance-centric weekend full of performances, classes and music from the era. The festivities kick off Friday with a self-guided tour of the Hollyhock House and a party in Barnsdall Park with entertainment by the Satin Dollz. On both Saturday and Sunday, professional instructors teach period-appropriate dance classes at Mack Sennett Studios, where there also will be a gala on Saturday night. And on Sunday, Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys play jazz at the Griffith Park Carousel. Various locations; Fri.-Sun., April 1-3; individual classes start at $20, weekend packages start at $175. roaringtwentiesstreetjam.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

In 1965, Samuel Beckett made his sole foray into moving pictures: Film, a 20-minute short starring an aging Buster Keaton. Fifty years later, Ross Lipman made a self-described "kino essay" about the absurdist playwright's transition from live theater to movie theater. NOTFILM was never intended as such; Lipman, an archivist, was at work restoring what he now considers the craziest chase film in existence when its utter strangeness compelled him to delve deeper into its making and meaning. The two works will screen together, with Los Angeles Filmforum's Adam Hyman hosting a discussion with actor James Karen following the feature. Even if you can't go on, go on. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., April 1, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

The Aero's 35mm double feature of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Stalking Moon is officially occasioned by what would have been Gregory Peck's 100th birthday on April 6, but we won't tell anyone if you go to commemorate Harper Lee instead. The cloudy circumstances surrounding (and mixed reaction to) last summer's publication of Go Set a Watchman may have muddled the author's legacy for some, but go right ahead and repress all those unpleasant memories as Atticus and Scout warn against the evils of racism. Robert Mulligan directed both films, the latter an overlooked Western. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., April 1, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

One of the most famous musicals of the pre-Code era, Gold Diggers of 1933 is the most revered adaptation of Avery Hopwood's play of almost the same name for a reason. Lewd subject matter, Busby Berkeley's direction of the iconic musical sequences and playful performances combine to make the self-proclaimed "show of a thousand wonders" a distinctly enjoyable song-and-dance act. Sequels followed, none of them attaining the same cultural cachet. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri., April 1, 8:15 p.m.; Sat., April 2, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org—Michael Nordine

sat 4/2

Among the many off-site events taking place during the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference & Bookfair (AWP) is the third annual Rock and Roll Reading. Created by Kansas State University associate professor Daniel Hoyt, and previously held in AWP host cities Seattle and Minneapolis, the reading series invites writers to present fiction and nonfiction works, each lasting the average length of a rock song and each inspired by a rock artist; in the past, subjects of the works have included Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Prince, Kurt Cobain and Jon Bon Jovi. Some of tonight's dozen-plus L.A.-and-beyond writers — Alice Bolin, Stephen Burt, Melissa Chadburn, Jerry Gabriel, Eleanor Henderson and more — are also musicians and singers, and they'll perform music during their readings. The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; Sat., April 2, 4 p.m.; free. (213) 413-8200, theecho.com. —Siran Babayan

For people who don't really like to run, there are only a couple of things that can make it tolerable. First, call it a "fun run" — I'm having fun just saying it. Second, serve beer. Beer makes everything better. The National Beer Mile, a traveling race/excuse to pound alcohol, has both of those covered. The mile-long fun run is broken up by four opportunities to guzzle beer — and options abound. You can shotgun the beer and then jog. You can sip the beer, then run. You can spill the beer all over the front of your shirt and then walk on your hands to the finish line. Costumes are encouraged because, why not? Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 3911 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Sat., April 2, noon; $35-$60. nationalbeermile.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

sun 4/3

In 49 Days: Women Who Count, choreographer Donna Sternberg and visual artist Doni Silver Simons combine their talents and shared interest in time, memory, ritual and cultural identity. Inspired by Omer, a seven-week-long (49 days — get it?) Jewish counting ritual, the dancers employ an art gallery to explore the human instinct to count, keep calendars and otherwise be conscious and unconscious about the passage of time. Over three decades Sternberg has presented thoughtful dances considering the intersection of science and humanity. With Simon's multimedia talents, Sternberg has forged a new alliance for this latest exploration. Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica Municipal Airport, 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., April 2, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., April 3, 6 p.m.; $17-$25. 49days.bpt.me. —Ann Haskins

Edited by Suzanne Lummis, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond is a 2015 compilation of poems written by more than 100 well-known names ­— including Amy Uyematsu, Carol Muske-Dukes, Luis J. Rodriguez, Sesshu Foster, Cecilia Woloch and Amber Tamblyn — who offer personal insights about our city and other places. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Skirball, Beyond Baroque and Los Angeles Poetry Festival host readings of the anthology by actor Wes Bentley and book contributors Erika Ayón, liz gonzález, Ron Koertge and Florence Weinberger. Poets Lynn Emanuel, David Lazar and Tim Seibles also will read from their respective works. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Sun., April 3, 2 p.m.; $12, $10 for students. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. —Siran Babayan

Aside from marrying someone for love and then finding out they're a billionaire, what could be better than a Sunday afternoon performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony? Not much, except perhaps if the concert were free — which this one is. Ludwig Van's most popular meisterwerk, along with his Leonore Overture No. 3, are tackled by world-class massed forces including the Colburn Orchestra conducted by David Zinman, Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Vox Femina Los Angeles and the Northridge Singers. Note that this excellent venue makes a commendable point of offering free cultural events of a similarly high caliber throughout its seasons. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sun., April 3, 3 p.m.; free with reservation. (818) 677-3000, valleyperformingartscenter.org. —john Payne

Hollywood's worst-kept secret circa the early 1960s was the mutual enmity between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, much of which can be seen in their onscreen rivalry in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Davis stars as an embittered former child star, Crawford as her wheelchair-bound sister who's not so willingly sharing the same mansion. Curiosity as to how well the stars were able to keep their dislike of one another at bay helped make the film a massive success, including an Oscar nomination for Davis; the fact that Crawford wasn't also honored did little to restore goodwill between them. Cinefamily's 35mm screening is part of its Hangover Matinees series, so arrive at noon for cocktails on the patio and a live set by DJ Mr. Mean Mustard. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sun. April 3, 1 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

The ongoing, citywide tribute to Chantal Akerman continues with Sud (South) at L.A. Filmforum. Akerman was already planning to make a film about the American South when James Byrd Jr. was murdered by white supremacists in Jasper, Texas, in 1998; the grisly details of the crime and ensuing media attention shaped the scope of Akerman's film. Sud explores the silence, natural environment and weight of history that haunts this region of the country in a way that perhaps only a documentary made by a foreigner could — Akerman was troubled and enthralled by it. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., April 3, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org—Michael Nordine

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles comes to Hollywood on Wednesday
The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles comes to Hollywood on Wednesday
Pan Nalin

Upcoming Events

mon 4/4

Top Chef season 12 winner and former ink. chef Mei Lin is currently planning to open her own restaurant in L.A., but in the interim she's found time to drop by Century City's Hinoki & the Bird for a special guest chef pop-up dinner. Lin's five-course tasting menu will draw inspiration from her Chinese heritage, including dishes like spring pea flan with Dungeness crab, wonton "ramen" in ginger broth and tea-smoked duck with foie gras. Reservations are required, so contact the restaurant to grab a seat. Hinoki & the Bird, 10 W. Century Drive, Century City; Mon., April 4, 6 p.m.; $95. (310) 552-1200, hinokiandthebird.com. —Garrett Snyder

Within the grimy walls of a classic "grindhouse" theater, you were likely to find a slew of equally grimy films. These sorts of exploitation movies were characterized by relentless depictions of sex, violence and gore decorated with an abundance of twisted humor. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's deconstructed homage to the genre brought it back into the mainstream in 2007, and the Groundlings' finest reinvent it yet again for the stage with The Naut, an over-the-top, postapocalyptic musical extravaganza for all you scum-of-the-earth types. It's written and directed by and starring Chicago Tribune– and A.V. Club–lauded puppeteer/improviser Colleen Smith, with an original soundtrack by Ian Smith. Groundlings Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave, Fairfax, Mon. April 4, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 934-4747, groundlings.com. —Neha Talreja

More Akerman, you say? REDCAT presents two of the late Belgian filmmaker's short films and one of her features. Contre l'Oubli/Against Oblivion, the program's namesake, was commissioned by Amnesty International in 1991 to commemorate the life of a murdered union activist; I Am Hungry, I Am Cold follows two runaways eking out an existence on the streets of Paris. Feature La Captive is an adaptation of the fifth volume of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Akerman jumped between narrative and documentary, short form and feature-length with ease, and these selections give a sampling of her unique range. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., April 4, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org—Michael Nordine

tue 4/5

Some countercultures take years to find their intended audience. Case in point: tonight's screening of Positive Force: More Than a Witness, a documentary that exhaustively chronicles the 30-year history of punk activists Positive Force D.C. Filmmaker Robin Bell weaves archival footage of bands including Bikini Kill, Fugazi, Rites of Spring and many others with contemporary interviews with Positive Force co-founders Mark Andersen and Jenny Toomey, along with Ian MacKaye, Jello Biafra and many more. Bell appears tonight with special guests to offer even more perspective on those tumultuous times, the problems of which still remain. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Tue., April 5, 8 p.m., free. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org/events/positive-force-more-than-a-witness. —David Cotner

For the TCM set, there's always LACMA. This week's Tuesday Matinee is The Maltese Falcon, John Huston's adaptation of the Dashiell Hammett novel — not to mention his directorial debut. Humphrey Bogart is the private eye and Mary Astor is the femme fatale in this film-noir classic, which concerns multiple parties searching for the same thing: a priceless, centuries-old statuette. MacGuffins of this sort tend to bring out the best in people, which often makes for the best movies. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., April 5, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane screens on SundayEXPAND
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane screens on Sunday
Warner Bros.

wed 4/6

Filmmakers, actors, industry players and cinema enthusiasts from India and beyond descend on Hollywood for the 14th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. The IFFLA opening-night gala and screening kick off an exciting program of features, shorts, Q&As, special programs and the opportunity to mingle with an international community of filmmakers at the world-class ArcLight Hollywood. The gala begins with a screening of festival audience favorite Angry Indian Goddesses, followed by a reception featuring music and dance performances and Indian culinary favorites. The event brings together two of the largest film industries in the world to promote art, understanding and a crossover of culture. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Wed.-Sun., April 6-10, 7:30 p.m.; $75. (323) 464-1478, indianfilmfestival.org. —Neha Talreja

If you've ever wanted to scream at the screen without having to suffer through MST3K-style comedy, tonight's edition of the Lost & Found Film Club: The Gong Show is the place you should be. The Club's curators pick through a grab bag of 16mm short films and screen them for either your delectation or your scorn, pushing their projectionist to the brink as the golden gong heralds a swift descent into the cinematic storm sewer. You never know just what you'll see at Lost & Found Film Club, and it's that kind of disorientation that has the greatest entertainment value. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Wed., April 6, 10:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

thu 4/7

Harold Lloyd's most notable silent movie was Hal Roach's 1923 Safety Last!, which included the famous scene of Lloyd dangling off a clock overlooking downtown L.A. Prior to that film, Lloyd had a long career of silent shorts and features that included other characters, namely the Charlie Chaplin–inspired "Lonesome Luke." Hosted by Randy Haberkamp, the Hollywood Heritage Museum's Evening @ the Barn: The World of Harold Lloyd features the actor's granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd, sharing some of his early work, home movies and 3-D photography. The program includes an exhibit of Lloyd memorabilia. Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Thu., April 7, 7:30 p.m.; $15, $7.50 Hollywood Heritage members. (323) 874-4005, hollywoodheritage.org. —Siran Babayan

The last Harry Potter film came out in 2011, completing the adaptation of the beloved novel series that saw its final book published nearly a decade ago in 2007. But the legacy of the franchise is far from dead. After a successful first incarnation in Florida, the West Coast version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Studios Hollywood, complete with the Hogwarts Express, Hogsmeade, Hagrid's cabin and a highly immersive ride through the towering Hogwarts Castle. The multiple Potter-themed lands popping up at Universal Studios theme parks around the world prove the momentum is strong, not that there's any doubt Harry has lasting power in Hollywood. After all, both universes grant kids and adults the ultimate fantasy: the existence of magic. Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City; opens Thu., April 7. (800) 864-83, universalstudioshollywood.com. —Neha Talreja

Correction: This article has been amended to reflect that the band Frances Gumm will not be playing the Rock and Roll Reading event on Saturday.

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >