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

Who do you love better? Morrissey or Morrissey? Find out this weekend.
Who do you love better? Morrissey or Morrissey? Find out this weekend.
Nate "Igor" Smith

FantaSea or Morrissey? Choose your own adventure. Here are 22 really fun things to do this week.

fri 4/8

Here's your chance to wish Hyaena Gallery in Burbank an unhappy birthday. For 10 years, owner Bill Shafer — he's the tall guy inside with the relaxed Mohawk — has been displaying horror-themed, dark and lowbrow art. (In the past, you may have caught tribute shows to John Carpenter, Wes Craven and Guillermo del Toro, or 2011's infamous "Winning: The Charlie Sheen Exhibit," which the actor himself visited.) Shafer hosts Hyaena Gallery's 10-Year Anniversary Party at the equally strange California Institute of Abnormalarts (CIA), featuring live music by Gene Loves Jezebel, The Hellflowers and The Slow Poisoner. Bizarro authors John Skipp and Laura Lee Bahr, live art and a raffle. Shafer also has organized a group exhibit, "A Decade of Scavenging and Sacrifice: The 10-Year Anniversary Show," with artists Jeremy Cross, Michael Kelleher, Kat Philbin, Big Tasty, Terry Bizarro, Lou Rusconi and The Creep, running at Hyaena through April 30. California Institute of Abnormalarts, 11334 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri., April 8, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; $10. (818) 221-8065 or (818) 972-2448, hyaenagallery.com. —Siran Babayan

The late, great, unspeakably vulgar comedian Rudy Ray Moore was one of our finest, funniest-ever rugged African-American individualists, and his classic 1975 blaxploitation trash epic Dolemite never wears out its welcome. The film, a vastly influential streetwise masterpiece about a vengeful pimp ("I'm so bad, I kick my own ass twice a day!") and his all-girl army of kung-fu killers, remains as dizzyingly brilliant and knock-down hilarious as ever. Featuring a newly restored print plus a post-screening Q&A with cast and crew members (including actor John Kerry and cinematographer Nicolas Von Sternberg), this screening is a can't-miss affair. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Fri., April 8, 7:30 p.m.; $11, $9 seniors and students, $7 members. (323) 461-2020, americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/dolemite-0. —Jonny Whiteside

The Academy of Magical Arts typically operates from within the confines of its storied Hollywood clubhouse, the Magic Castle. But this weekend, member magicians are taking their show on the road — or on the water, rather. FantaSea: Magic Festival is a weekend of performances plus all kinds of other cool stuff with fun names, like an "Abracadabra Brunch Buffet," or a "Hocus Pocus Parlor & Pub," where you can drink alongside magicians and catch shows. There's also a haunted tour of the ship and even magic training classes. Featured magicians include Murray Sawchuck, Jon Armstrong, Mike Caveney and Tina Lenert. The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach; Fri., April 8, 7 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sat., April 9, 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun., April 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; individual events start at $15, all-inclusive multiday pass $159. (800) 437-2934, queenmary.com/events/fantasea. —Gwynedd Stuart

Richard Linklater has made so many casually excellent movies throughout his career that it's hard to keep track of them all. Even so, the cumulative effect of Before SunriseBefore Sunset and Before Midnight is like nothing else in his or anyone else's body of work. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's characters meet, fall in love, drift apart, come back together again and always end on a perfectly ambiguous note that makes us wonder if the phase they're in will last. Spanning two decades so far, the trilogy has only become more moving and insightful as both it and its leads age. Few other filmmakers would have dared to continue the series after the first installment felt so perfect and self-contained; fewer still could have managed to keep improving on it. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., April 8, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

It makes a certain kind of sense that Paul Thomas Anderson, one of our most overpraised filmmakers, would have his best film in years go underrated. It also makes sense to put said film in the midnight-movie slot. The Nuart does just that with a 35mm print of Inherent Vice, a hazy descent into the Thomas Pynchon novel about a beachside private detective (Joaquin Phoenix) investigating who-knows-what as forces unseen conspire against him. It's borderline incoherent and pleasingly inconsequential, a sort of Big Lebowski noir with much to offer beneath the vagaries of its surface — the inverse of PTA's usual formula. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., April 8, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com—Michael Nordine

sat 4/9

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is the largest literary festival in the country, each year attracting 150,000 attendees who come to see big-name authors, celebrities and other performers. This year's star power is no exception, thanks to appearances by Buzz Aldrin, Stan Lee, Rainn Wilson, Padma Lakshmi, Marcia Clark, Taye Diggs, Henry Winkler, Duff Goldman, Tom Hayden, Joyce Carol Oates and Jonathan Gold. The weekend also offers panels on writing and publishing, workshops on traveling, cooking demonstrations, live music, poetry readings and family activities. The festival's L.A. Times Ideas Exchange Series features Carrie Brownstein and Arianna Huffington in conversation with, respectively, the L.A. Times' Lorraine Ali and Robin Abcarian. USC, Bovard Auditorium, 3551 Trousdale Pkwy., University Park; Sat., April 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., April 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free (certain events are ticketed). (213) 740-5656, events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks. —Siran Babayan

There are people who are fans of The Smiths. There are people who are fans of Morrissey. Were you to create a Venn diagram to illustrate the intersection of the two, the overlappy part would likely be pretty big. Still, the musical exploits of the cantankerous British rocker are worth celebrating individually. Therefore, the 2016 Smiths/Morrissey Convention Weekend is broken up into two days: Smiths Day (Saturday) and Morrissey Day (Sunday), each featuring cover bands like San Francisco's This Charming Band and England's The Smiths Indeed, plus convention staples such as collectibles and even an autograph signing with former Morrissey drummer Spencer Cobrin. BYOG (bring your own gladiolus). The Avalon, 1735 N. Vine St., Hollywood; Sat., April 9, 1-9 p.m.; Sun., April 10, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; $50 two-day pass. musicconventions.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

 has been presented in so many different versions that, nearly a century after it premiered in Weimar Germany, there remains confusion over which iteration is definitive. (For a more recent analog, think Blade Runner.) Cinefamily's monthly Silent Treatment series seeks to allay our confusion with a DCP restoration of the (almost) complete version that Fritz Lang originally intended to be seen — or as close as we're going to come anytime soon. A lavish, hugely ambitious undertaking, the sci-fi silent's production design is still being emulated today. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sat., April 9, 1 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

A robots-with-guns triple feature at the Egyptian, because why not: RoboCopThe Terminator and R.O.T.O.R. The first two, which both screen on 35mm, need no introduction, but their contemporary (whose title stands for Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research, obviously) isn't as well known. Less a classic than an exercise in wildly ill-advised camp, it's an update to the age-old "robot motorcycle cop prototype malfunctions and begins executing motorists for minor traffic violations" trope. This is classical storytelling at its finest, folks. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Sat., April 9, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

sun 4/10

Long Beach is home to the largest population of Cambodians in the country — and it has America's only Cambodian New Year Parade to prove it. Now one of the city's signature cultural events, the parade began 10 years ago as a local kickoff for the three-day-long Cambodian New Year, which starts April 13. Despite being canceled a few times due to low funds, the parade serves as a crucial celebration for a community whose rich traditions were nearly obliterated (along with 2 million people) by the brutal Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s. The wounds from that era still run deep, which explains why protests erupted last month when the parade's organizing committee announced it was inviting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's son, Hun Manet, to the festivities (Manet later canceled his plan to attend). This weekend, expect everything from traditional Khmer dancers to members of a Cambodian cycling club heading down the mile-long stretch of Anaheim Street that's officially known as "Cambodia Town." Then stay afterward for an all-day cultural festival at nearby MacArthur Park, where you'll be able to buy colorful sarongs, eat Cambodian-Cajun crawfish and peruse silkscreened T-shirts emblazoned with images of Khmer pride. Starts on Anaheim Street at Junipero Avenue and continues down Anaheim to Warren Avenue, Long Beach; Cambodian Town Culture Festival continues afterward in MacArthur Park; Sun., April 10, 9:30 a.m.; free. cam-cc.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

I don't know if Olive Dell Ranch in San Bernardino County actually has olives — but it definitely, for sure, has lots of naked people. Its Bare Burro 5K is no exception. The far-flung family nudist resort offers all sorts of clothing-optional activities, from swimming to tennis and, at least one day a year, distance running. Ever feel like your shorts chafe or your sports bra digs into your flesh? Leave that shit in the car and run, jog or walk alongside other people with pronounced runners' tan lines. It's a bit of a drive from L.A., but jogging naked in your neighborhood is generally frowned upon. Olive Dell Ranch, 26520 Keissel Road, Colton; Sun., April 10, 10:30 a.m. (registration begins at 8 a.m.); $40. (909) 825-6619, olivedellranch.com/bburro.htm. —Gwynedd Stuart

One of the best, most understated animated films of the last few years, Song of the Sea plays at UCLA. Tom Moore, who also directed The Secret of Kells, once again brings Irish folklore to vivid life, this time telling a story involving a lighthouse, fairies and a selkie (read: seal in the water, human on land). It's playing as part of UCLA's (free!) Family Flicks series, but as with most worthwhile animated fare, you needn't be a kid to appreciate this one's joys. Your time has come at last, Pixar agnostics. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., April 10, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

Multimedia artist M. Lamar — see him on Tuesday
Multimedia artist M. Lamar — see him on Tuesday
Photo Eric McNatt

Upcoming Events

mon 4/11

New York City's Abbi Crutchfield (Broad City), Kaytlin Bailey (SiriusXM), Carrie Gravenson (New York Underground Comedy Festival's Emerging Talent Stand-Up Competition winner) and recent L.A. transplant Erin Judge (Last Comic Standing) formed the Pink Collar Comedy Tour in 2012, seeking to subvert stereotypes concerning traditional "women's work" (nursing, childcare, secretarial). They've since hit more than 40 cities and this week kick off a six-date West Coast tour. Of the smart, story-driven and highly personal shows, Judge says, "It's a privilege to perform with three other comics who always kill it!" Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., April 11, 9 p.m.; $8. nerdmeltla.com. —Julie Seabaugh

Nathalia Holt discusses her new book, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars. In the 1940 and 1950s, before the advent of the desktop computer, the newly formed Jet Propulsion Laboratory recruited an all-female group of mathematicians to work as "human computers." Their calculations "powered early missiles, rocketed heavy bombers over the Pacific, launched America's first satellite, guided lunar missions and planetary explorations, and even navigate Mars rovers today." A Boston microbiologist and science writer, Holt interviewed surviving members of this team, who reflect on how they balanced their contributions to the American space program with marriage and motherhood. Buena Vista Branch Library, 300 N. Buena Vista St., Burbank; Mon., April 11, 7-8 p.m.; free, book is $27. (818) 238-5620, burbanklibrary.com. —Siran Babayan

tue 4/12

The crew behind Seoul Sausage Co. Little Tokyo will host chef Deuki Hong and journalist Matt Rodbard to celebrate the debut of the duo's cookbook, Koreatown: A Cookbook, which pays tribute to Koreatowns across the country and abroad. Hong and Seoul Sausage chef Chris Oh will be serving Korean street food dishes, and there will be soju and Korean-inspired cocktails. The ticket price includes a signed copy of the cookbook. Seoul Sausage Company Little Tokyo, 236 S. Los Angeles St., #G, downtown; Tue., April 12, 7-10 p.m.; $50. eventbrite.com/e/seoul-sausage-x-koreatown-a-cookbook-release-party-tickets-23069232696. —Garrett Snyder

Addressing the problems with the tyranny of the eye, multimedia artist M. Lamar talks with UCLA professor Uri McMillan about everything from the pornographic objectification of black male bodies to how black male agency can be reasserted through awareness and dialogue. McMillan, author of Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance, will confer with Lamar about the experience of constantly being hassled just for being oneself; Lamar also will discuss the concurrent Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition as well as his abiding fascination with "doom spirituals," gospel music designed for the endtimes. LACMA, Brown Auditorium, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., April 12, 7:30 p.m.; free, reservations required. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org/event/m-lamar. —David Cotner

Based on the perception you're likely to get from its title and the era in which it was made, 1948's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre may just be the most expectation-defying film of classic Hollywood. A dispiriting anti-adventure, John Huston's take on the B. Traven novel stars Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston (the director's father) as two itinerant Americans looking for work — and, after meeting a prospector, gold — south of the border. The fabled treasure, if it exists at all, is an end unlikely to justify the means these two desperate pilgrims go to in order to find it; the prospect of unimaginable wealth rarely brings out the best in people. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., April 12, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

wed 4/13

Under the tutelage of her father, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar learned both sitar playing of high technical prowess and the importance of her music's message in the world beyond the stage. She's folded this knowledge into a series of excellent solo albums that incorporate her sitar mastery into new realms that mix classical, jazz and electronic sonorities. Shankar's recent Land of Gold album is her musical response to the plight of displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty. Joining Shankar are Manu Delago, percussion and hang (tuned metallic drum); Tom Farmer, bass and keyboards; and Sanjeev Shankar on the oboe-like shehnai. UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Wed., April 13, 8 p.m.; $19-$69, UCLA students $15, UCLA faculty & staff $25. (310) 825-2101, cap.ucla.edu. —John Payne

There are divas, and then there's Anna Netrebko. The Russian soprano possesses a soul-stirring voice that unfurls with a rare combination of emotional poignancy, majestic power and luminously lulling tone. Netrebko appears regularly with New York City's Metropolitan Opera and at other leading companies around the world, but she hasn't performed locally since she alighted here for L.A. Opera's Manon in 2006. She finally makes her grand return with an evening of Italian arias and duets with her new husband, Yusif Eyvazov, the Azerbaijani tenor who was briefly seen last fall with L.A. Opera in the title role of Pagliacci. The newlyweds just got married in December in Vienna. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Wed. & Fri., April 13 & 15, 7:30 p.m.; $100-$225. (310) 434-3200, thebroadstage.com. —Falling James

thu 4/14

Many of L.A.'s best modern/contemporary dance companies spend most of their time on the road touring. And when they're in town, they're still performing all over the Southland. Troubled by the obstacles to seeing her colleagues' work, choreographer-producer Deborah Brockus found a solution. Now in its fourth year, the Los Angeles Dance Festival attracts an impressive number of L.A.-based dance troupes (30 this year) spread over four days in a relaxed and informal studio setting. Opening night includes performances by Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY, known for Danielle Agami's choreography as well as her work with L.A. Dance Project and Invisible Cities (the groups involved in Hopscotch, the opera with the limos); Union Dance Project, led by Brazilian-born Mariana Oliveira; Wax/Wane, helmed by Andrew Winghart, who has done commercial as well as concert choreography; and Brockus' own BrockusRED. Diavolo Dance Space, Brewery Arts Complex, 616 Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Thu., April 14, 7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., April 15-16, 7 & 9 p.m.; Sun., April 17, 6 & 8 p.m.; $40-$45 Thu. only; $25 advance purchase, $30 at door, $100 for a four-show festival pass. ladancefest.org. —Ann Haskins

Way back in 1980, The Buggles declared that video had killed the radio star — but maybe that's not so. At I Want My MTV!: A Talk With Terrence Butcher, the film studies MFA will discuss how the music channel David Bowie really wanted you to want saved the record industry, turned kids on to aspects of avant-garde cinema and made you wait for that one Gino Vannelli video that maybe had guys dressed like girls in it but you couldn't really tell through the scrambled signal. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Thu., April 14, 7:30 p.m., $5 suggested donation. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org/events/i-want-my-mtv-a-talk-with-terrence-butcher. —David Cotner

CSUN's semester-long Andrei Tarkovsky: His Films and His Legacy retrospective has completed the "Films" portion of its program and moved into the "Legacy" phrase. After screening Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life last Thursday, Lars von Trier's drastically different Antichrist is on the docket this week. The Danish provocateur's last few films have been misfires, but this dissection of two grief-stricken parents (Willem Dafoe as He, Charlotte Gainsbourg as She) finds the endlessly neurotic filmmaker at his best. Gainsbourg rightfully won Best Actress laurels at Cannes for her performance, but a certain CG fox should have been honored as well. Chaos reigns! CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., April 14, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine

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