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

Yes, it is scary. Monsterpalooza comes to Pasadena this weekend.
Yes, it is scary. Monsterpalooza comes to Pasadena this weekend.
Photo by Simone Paz

Cats with skills, a pair of Netflix-famous defense attorneys, a movie-monster extravaganza and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 4/22

Considering the human race spends 365 days a year obliterating the planet, from the outer reaches of the atmosphere to the deepest depths of the sea, it's only fair that we should spend one of those days behaving like we give a shit. Join fellow contrite beings in Grand Park for the city's annual Earth Day celebration. Activities include yoga and a tour of the park's sustainable landscaping, plus electronics recycling and composting; there are even opportunities to learn about how to be less of a blight on the environment each and every day. It's literally the least you can do. Grand Park, 200 Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., April 22, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; free. grandparkla.org/event/earth-day-la. —Gwynedd Stuart

One of the SoCal music education system's greatest triumphs has been the Los Angeles Master Chorale's High School Choir, a rigorous program that includes teacher-led training, rehearsals and master classes for students and choral directors, guided by members of the L.A. Master Chorale. The Los Angeles Master Chorale's High School Choir Festival shows off 1,000 choir students from 31 local schools, joined in song under the baton of LAMC artistic director Grant Gershon and guest Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, conductor of American Public Media's The Radio Choir. Additional performances by the LAMC Chamber Singers and the Festival Honor Choir. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., April 22, 1 p.m.; free (first come, first served). (213) 972-7282, lamc.org/hscf. —John Payne

Coming to Pasadena from Burbank for the first time, Monsterpalooza: The Art of Monsters never fails to stupefy. The annual horror con is a roundup of FX, make-up artists, fan art, vendors, film screenings (don't miss The Green Fairy, starring Roddy Piper as Oscar Wilde), celebrity guests (Linda Blair!) and the always mind-ripping "museum," a collection of lovingly rendered tableaux, memorabilia and actual movie monsters; years past have featured life-size King Kong, Jaws and Robby the Robot. The event reliably instills such a rabidly enthused, overstimulated passion in its fanatic attendees that the air itself crackles with an absolutely electrifying atmosphere. Fabulous visuals and great ghastly fun abound. Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Fri., April 22, 6-11 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., April 23-24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $30 daily, $70 three-day pass. (626) 793-2122, monsterpalooza.com/spring. —Jonny Whiteside

A week of sci-fi and noir classics commences at midnight with The Thing, the jewel in John Carpenter's illustrious crown. That's saying a lot of the filmmaker responsible for the likes of HalloweenEscape From New York and Assault on Precinct 13, but the genre master's foray into body horror is an exemplar of slow-burning suspense and paranoia with few peers. Set in Antarctica, where an all-male scientific outpost led by Kurt Russell has been infiltrated by an unseen alien entity that takes over its host with literally zero outward signs, it's the rare effects-driven film that only improves with age. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., April 22, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com—Michael Nordine

sat 4/23

Worldwide, cats have outpaced dogs as the most popular domestic pet. Cat fancier or not, you'll marvel as the Amazing Acro-Cats leap into L.A. Samantha Martin's troupe — all former orphans, rescues and strays — walk tightropes, skateboard and perform astounding feats of agility. The hour-plus show also features the world's only "all-cat rock band," and the Acro-Cats' infamous tour bus doubles as a mobile fostering unit; a portion of ticket sales go to feline rescue efforts. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Sat., April 23, 3 & 7 p.m. (also April 22, 24, 28 & 30 and May 1); $27-$36. (818) 508-4200, elportaltheatre.com/acrocats.html. —Skylaire Alfvegren

In 2013, L.A. comedian Quincy Jones achieved his ambitious goal of performing 1,000 shows in a year. Last summer, the 32-year-old Seattle native was diagnosed with terminal peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and was given a year to live. Jones' dying wish? To star in his own stand-up special. His friends launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised more than $50,000 to fund the project. Jones also got plenty of support from big-name comics, including Ellen DeGeneres, who helped him land an hour special on HBO, Quincy Jones: Burning the Light, which taped this month at the Teragram Ballroom and will air June 2. In the meantime, support one of L.A.'s own as he fights the good fight. Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Sat., April 23, 8 p.m.; $15. (323) 651-2583, hollywood.improv.com. —Siran Babayan

The Superhero and His Charming Wife takes flight as what may be the first dance theater/comic book combo. Created by Aaron Henry and choreographed by Michelle Broussard, this romp stars Diavolo alum Jones Welsh as a career superhero whose wife, played by Joanna Bateman, develops the power to transform herself into other women. The disturbance in the cosmic forces creates turmoil in their world and marriage. Expect something Marvel-ous. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., April 22-23, 8 p.m. (also every Fri. & Sat. through May 14, and Sun., May 8 & 15, 3:30 p.m.); $20-$30. (310) 315-1459, highwaysperformance.org. —Ann Haskins

A disastrous triple feature at the Aero: AirportAirport 1975 and Airport '77, all three on 35mm. The trio screens as part of a tribute to the late George Kennedy, the only actor to appear in all four installments of the trendsetting franchise. After the first film's massive success — which included beaucoup bucks at the box office and 10 Academy Award nominations — a wave of lesser imitators followed. Your mileage may vary with the sequels, but hey: At least they're not playing The Concorde ... Airport '79, whose financial failure grounded the series for good. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., April 23, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

ARRAY @ the Broad, an ongoing series guest-curated by Ava DuVernay and co-presented by REDCAT, returns with Nothing But a Man. About the difficult marriage of a railwork worker and a preacher's daughter of higher social standing, Michael Roemer's neorealist drama received the most limited of releases in 1964 and hasn't been widely seen since. Newly restored on 35mm by the Library of Congress and Cinema Conservancy, this look at a small town in Alabama during the civil rights era sounds just as relevant now as it was 50 years ago. A discussion with as-yet-unannounced guests will follow the screening. Broad Contemporary Art Museum, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sat., April 23, 7:30 p.m.; $20. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org—Michael Nordine

The Amazing Acro-Cats bring their flea circus to town this weekend and next.
The Amazing Acro-Cats bring their flea circus to town this weekend and next.
Courtesy Polly Smith

sun 4/24

Forget The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Since Making a Murderer launched on Netflix in December, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos' documentary series has become a global binge-watching phenomenon. The show tells the story of Steven Avery, a man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who served 18 years in prison for sexual assault, and was released in 2003 after DNA evidence exonerated him. Avery sued local officials for $36 million for wrongful incarceration, but while that lawsuit was in progress, Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were arrested for the murder of Teresa Halbach; both men were found guilty and sentenced to life terms. The 10-part series and its did-he-or-didn't-he twists looked at the legal process and police misconduct in a small town. At tonight's A Conversation on Justice, Avery's now-famous defense attorneys in the murder trial, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, discuss the investigation, their thoughts on the show and the possibility of a season two, and take part in a Q&A. The Theater at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., April 24, 8 p.m.; $49.50-$95. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/losangeles/theatre. —Siran Babayan

The L.A. experience can lead to exhaustion or exasperation — "Let me be, Los Angeles!" — but Will Erokan and Gerry Fialka see it differently. Their psychedelic art party, Let Me Be Los Angeles, brims with musicians, poets and dancers, as well as avant-garde projections splashed across three huge video projection screens. It's what they call a "phantasmagoRIA" ("Resonant Interval Algorythmns"; I know, just go with it) and it channels the energy that issues forth from L.A.'s creative continuum in waves of inspiration, flowing through everyone from Maya Deren to John Cage to Rod Serling. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd.; Venice; Sun., April 24, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 822-3006, facebook.com/events/1560698134253810. —David Cotner

Upcoming Events

Noir City ends tonight, so avail yourself of the film noir festival's rare offerings while you still can. One of the most compelling of these is the little-seen Too Late for Tears, which tells of a malicious housewife whose monomaniacal fixation on a bag of cash she acquired via nefarious means is such that she'll kill in order to hold onto it. Arrive an hour early for a cocktail party celebrating the DVD/Blu-ray release of several titles screening at the festival before enjoying another 35mm print. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Sun., April 24, 5 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

To commemorate the one-year anniversary of La Collectionneuse, its monthly cine-salon devoted to all things Gallic, Cinefamily screens its namesake on 16mm: Éric Rohmer's La Collectionneuse. A late-era standout of the French New Wave, Rohmer stayed behind to serve as editor of the massively influential Cahiers du cinéma while several of his peers were establishing themselves as filmmakers. His career started a bit later, but works such as his Six Moral Tales — of which La Collectionneuse, about a woman who collects lovers, was the third to be released — are no less celebrated. Also on the docket: a party with DJ set by DJ Pierrot from Décadanse Soirée. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sun. April 24, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

mon 4/25

Is the Internet Turning Kids Into Zombies? That's the question tonight's Zócalo salon asks, and you'd probably get some really interesting answers from the legions of grieving mothers and fathers whose children have been lost to Minecraft and Periscope. Instead the audience will hear from Yalda Uhls, senior researcher at UCLA's Children's Digital Media Center; High Tech Los Angeles principal Marsha Rybin; and RAND education policy wonk Lindsay Daugherty, who'll discuss concerns over children whose lives are increasingly given over to this latest version of the plug-in drug, and what that means for happiness and productivity in general. RAND Corporation, 1776 Main St., Santa Monica; Mon., April 25, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 393-0411, zocalopublicsquare.org. —David Cotner

tue 4/26

Tomorrow is nonprofit Peace Over Violence's annual Denim Day, a national jeans-sporting campaign introduced to California in 2003 that seeks to educate on the prevention of — and protest misconceptions surrounding — sexual violence. Kicking things off tonight, POV advisory board member Ali MacLean hosts the benefit Laughter Over Violence at the Improv. With a lineup including Greg Behrendt, Laurie Kilmartin, Ali Wong, Ahmed Bharoocha, Rachel Bloom and sketch group 2-Headed Dog, the comedy promises to be inclusive and savvy, and the cause worth exploring and supporting. Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Tue., April 26, 8 p.m.; $25. (323) 651-2583, hollywood.improv.com. —Julie Seabaugh

Sara Benincasa is a comedian and author of four books, including 2013's Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, about her struggles with agoraphobia, panic attacks and depression. Her latest, Real Artists Have Day Jobs: (And Other Awesome Things They Don't Teach You in School), is 52 essays of practical advice for artists in all mediums that are "inspired by my 35 years of flaws, fuck-ups, failures and occasional good choices," Benincasa writes. Topics include family, sex, masturbation, self-esteem, cleanliness, pets and even hygiene, as well as an entire chapter on Benincasa's idol ,Amy Poehler, and another one titled "A Vagina Is Not a Time Machine." Benincasa signs her book and performs as part of a comedy show, hosted by Allen Strickland Williams and featuring fellow comics Andy Haynes, Marcella Arguello, Solomon Georgio, Lauren Brown and Alexandra Fox, who'll share their own day-job horror stories. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., April 26, 7:30 p.m.; free (resv. suggested). (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe made their last silver-screen appearances in The Misfits, John Huston's tale of a divorcee and two latter-day cowboys. (Rounding out the main trio is Montgomery Clift, whose own untimely end came a few years later.) Largely unsuccessful upon its initial release but now considered essential viewing, The Misfits is one of those movies whose legacy threatens to overshadow what's on the screen — at least until you actually watch it. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., April 26, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

Game over, man. Aliens, the perfect organism of sci-fi action, screens in the Theatre at the Ace Hotel as part of Alien Day. Taking place on 4/26 because the eponymous xenomorph is first discovered on the fictional planet LV-426, said holiday is being celebrated nationwide by the Alamo Drafthouse chain, which is co-presenting this event ahead of the opening of its DTLA location. In addition to James Cameron's movie, fan-serving gifts abound: T-shirts, artwork, etc. Your mommy may have always said there were no monsters — no real ones — but there are. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway St., downtown; Tue., April 26, 7:45 p.m.; $15-$30. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles. —Michael Nordine

Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, aka the only thing good about watching Making a Murderer come to the Ace Hotel on Sunday.
Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, aka the only thing good about watching Making a Murderer come to the Ace Hotel on Sunday.
Courtesy Daniel Andera

wed 4/27

British comedian-writer Marty Feldman, famously identified by his protruding eyes, had a notable career that included working with members of Monty Python and David Frost, among many others. He's best known to American audiences for playing Igor in Mel Brooks' classic Young Frankenstein. The actor died in 1982 in Mexico City, and is buried here in L.A. Some 30 years after Feldman's death, Largo owner Mark Flanagan discovered his memoir, which was published last year in the U.K. Largo hosts the U.S. publication of eYE Marty: The Official Autobiography of Marty Feldman with a discussion featuring friend Eric Idle, who wrote the book's foreword, and Jeff Garlin. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Wed., April 27, 8 p.m.; $30 (includes copy of the book). (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —Siran Babayan

thu 4/28

Is there a better pairing than local cheese and local cider? MiniBar Hollywood tonight hosts a Super Cheesy Dinner Party with Westlake Village's 101 Cider House and Compton's Sierra Cheese. The casual, open-seating dinner will feature three cheese dishes from Little Dom chef Brandon Boudet, each matched with a tart, dry California cider. MiniBar Hollywood, 6141 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Thu., April 28, 7 p.m.; $25 (resv. suggested; email minibar0x200Bhollywood@gmail.com). (323) 798-4939, minibarhollywood.com. —Garrett Snyder

Now in its seventh year, TCM Classic Film Festival brings viewers a slew of iconic films the way they were meant to be seen: on the big screen in the heart of Hollywood. This year's programming goes right for the gut with black-and-white high dramas and inspirational epics, and some more recent surprises such as Boyz n the Hood and Field of Dreams. The fest opens with a 40th-anniversary screening of All the President's Men and continues with unique offerings such as Ivan Tors' 1954 science-fiction mystery Gog in 3-D and a program of early sound shorts. Unfortunately, beloved TCM host Robert Osbourne is unable to attend due to health issues, but the festival never fails to deliver star power. Francis Ford Coppola's hand-and-footprint ceremony will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, and Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould and Anna Karina are among luminaries who'll attend. Various locations, Hollywood; Thu.-Sun., April 28-May 1, times vary; filmfestival.tcm.com. —Neha Talreja

Drawn from MOCA's permanent collection, the exhibit "Don't Look Back: The 1990s" at MOCA (thru July 11) revisits key trends and events in that decade that shaped the art world. Six themed sections — Installations; The Outmoded; Noir America; Place and Identity; Touch, Intimacy and Queerness; and Space, Place and Scale — reintroduce works by Catherine Opie, Cady Noland, Sarah Sze, Paul McCarthy, Sam Durant and others. In conjunction with the show, Zócalo Public Square hosts Were the '90s L.A.'s Golden Age?, a panel discussion that examines the decade as a "time of great creativity, high aspirations and civic growth" in L.A., featuring moderator and Zócalo Public Square publisher Gregory Rodriguez, MOCA chief curator Helen Molesworth, American Prospect executive editor (and former L.A. Weekly columnist) Harold Meyerson, USC cinema professor Dr. Todd Boyd and Fernando Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu., April 28, 7 p.m.; free with resv. (213) 621-2766, moca.org. —Siran Babayan


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