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

Corgis are sure to smile at the Wiggle Waggle Walk in Pasadena on Sunday.
Corgis are sure to smile at the Wiggle Waggle Walk in Pasadena on Sunday.
Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA (PHS)


Gorge on Italian food in Hollywood, hang out with a bunch of dogs in Pasadena or embrace your literary side in Little Tokyo — the possibilities are endless this week.

fri 9/23

A family festival celebrating Italian culture, music and food, the Galbani Italian Feast of San Gennaro is held annually the last weekend of September in Hollywood, behind El Capitan Theatre. (That's where Jimmy Kimmel shoots his show, and he's a big San Gennaro booster.) The festival is meant to honor the patron saint of Naples and "propagate unity and cooperation among Italian-Americans." There are live music performances plus a lot of games and rides (it's very kid-friendly), as well as a parade, but the main focus is on the food. Italian restaurants and purveyors are well represented here. The festival is free, but the food is not. Behind El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 23, 5 p.m.-mid.; Sat., Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-mid.; Sun., Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; free. feastofla.org. —Katherine Spiers

The Getty Center exhibit "London Calling" features two paintings by Lucien Freud of Leigh Bowery, a performance artist and staple of the London club scene known for his flamboyant, avant-garde costumes. Bowery had an influence on everyone from Boy George to Alexander McQueen before his death from AIDS in 1994. In order to illuminate Freud's work, the museum is screening video artist Charles Atlas' 2002 biographical documentary The Legend of Leigh Bowery, as well as the short film Teach, which features Bowery doing a performance to an Aretha Franklin song. Atlas himself hosts the whole thing. Harold M. Williams Auditorium, the Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Fri., Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m.; free. getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/london_calling_filmseries.html. —Gwynedd Stuart

The Nuart begins the weekend with some late-night anime in the form of Akira. Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 sci-fi drama is often pointed to as the genre's high-water mark, its dystopian vision of 2019 Tokyo having long ago garnered a cult following that persists to this day. Loyal devotees may never see the long-rumored live-action adaptation, which has been in one stage of development or another for more than a decade now, but at least the original isn’t going anywhere. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., Sawtelle; Fri., Sept. 23, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 9/24

From the innovative building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, to its collection of 2,000 postwar and contemporary works of art, The Broad provides a truly blockbuster museumgoing experience. There's more to it than just the objects, however, as the aptly titled Non-Object(ive): Summer Happenings performance series suggests. The fourth edition, Shifting Horizon Exploding Star, Underground and Rave Cultures, presents a diverse selection of dance floor–centric music, film and theater. Performers include frenetic pianist Lauren Bousfield, infectious electronic-pop producer SOPHIE and JD Samson of legendary electro-feminist trio Le Tigre. A live video mix from influential filmmaker Charles Atlas will accompany Julianna Barwick's lush vocal compositions, while Elysia Crampton's audiovisual play presents a radically progressive vision of the future. The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Sept. 24, 8:30 p.m.; $35 (includes museum admission). thebroad.org/programs/summer-happenings-sophie-jd-samson-charles-atlas-julianna-barwick-lauren-bousfield-elysia. —Matt Stromberg

It would have been a real bummer of a missed opportunity had Catalina Island neglected to take a cue from the 2008 Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy Step Brothers and host a real-life Catalina Wine Mixer. Back for a second year, the weekend-long fan event features a screening of Step Brothers, a Step Brothers–themed costume party and a performance by The Dan Band (you know, the cursing wedding band from Todd Phillips' movies) as well as Kongos. Attending all three days is a display of extreme dedication to an almost decade-old comedy — but then again, it's the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer. Descanso Beach Club, 1 St. Catherine Way, Catalina Island; Fri.-Sun., Sept. 23-25; $69-$399. visitcatalinaisland.com/event/catalinawinemixer. —Gwynedd Stuart

The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center highlights the accomplishments of Asian-American authors at its first Little Tokyo Book Festival. Following opening remarks, daylong activities include signings and readings by nearly two dozen writers, a reception and small-press vendors, as well as panel discussions on the topics "Past," "Community" and "Identity/Self," hosted, respectively, by Naomi Hirahara (former editor of Japanese-English daily newspaper the Rafu Shimpo), Traise Yamamoto (associate professor of English at UC Riverside) and Oliver Wang (writer, DJ and former L.A. Weekly music contributor). JACCC, 244 S. San Pedro St., downtown; Sat., Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; free with reservation. (213) 628-2725, jaccc.org/ltbf. —Siran Babayan

The first annual Art House Theater Day is underway across the country. To celebrate, the New Bev is giving away Time Maps to the first 100 attendees of Time Bandits. One of Terry Gilliam's more lighthearted works, the fantasy film has been described by the Monty Python mainstay as one of three in a trilogy about the "craziness of our awkwardly ordered society and the desire to escape it through whatever means possible," the other two being Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., Sept. 24, 2 p.m.; $6. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

Cinefamily's exhaustive, essential Frederick Wiseman retrospective presents Basic Training on 16mm. Recently awarded a long-overdue Honorary Academy Award, the 86-year-old master of the documentary form here takes his observant camera to Fort Knox circa 1971, with dozens of boot camp novitiates preparing for a potential Vietnam employment. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Sat. Sept. 24, 4 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

Among the films most frequently cited as the greatest of all time — Vertigo, Citizen Kane, 2001 — one has always seemed especially worthy of the title: The Rules of the Game. Jean Renoir's tragicomic masterpiece (one of them, at least) screens alongside The River as part of a 35mm double feature dedicated to the French luminary. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

@midnight tries 9 p.m. on for size on Monday.
@midnight tries 9 p.m. on for size on Monday.
Courtesy Comedy Central

sun 9/25

One of the nicest things about the 18th annual Wiggle Waggle Walk is the flexibility. Included in the cost of registration is a one-mile or three-mile walk by the Rose Bowl and some dog-friendly swag. Those without four-legged friends are welcome to attend and support the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA (PHS), which takes care of almost 12,000 animals annually with the help of this event. Pooches and their people can navigate various vendors and visit PHS' booths to collect stamps for a fun parting gift. There's a Canine Couture Costume Contest, Bow Wow Boot Camps, plus agility and K9 demos. Shelter dogs lead the walk to the tunes of the band Champagne and its "doggie ditties." The best part is that it's all over by noon, guaranteeing a doggone dozy afternoon. Brookside Park, 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., Sept. 25, 8 a.m.-noon; $25. (626) 792-7151, wigglewagglewalk.org. —Tanja M. Laden

Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's legendary Oblique Strategies (Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas), a deck of cards in which each contains a challenge meant to unlock creativity, inspired the latest from contemporary choreographer Jessica Kondrath and her company, The Movement. Known for combining modern dance and ballet idioms, Kondrath and her dancers employed the aphorisms contained in the card deck to develop two dances outside traditional methods. The resulting three works — Feed the Material Back Out of the Machine; In total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly; and Infinitesimal Gradations — are on view in DIPTYCH/TRIPTYCH, a shared concert with Santa Barbara–based Weslie Ching Dance, which brings three works exploring physical and metaphysical cosmology. ARC Pasadena, 1158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., Sept. 25, 2 p.m. (also Sat., Sept. 24, 8 p.m.), $20. jktm-wcd-ticketing.brownpapertickets.com. —Ann Haskins

Upcoming Events

Dinosaurs come alive again at the Natural History Museum's inaugural Dino Fest, a weekend-long celebration of all things Jurassic with fun and educational activities organized into themed areas. Highlights include listening to paleontologists' stories; discovering real fossils and using the tools that keep them clean; and touring the museum's collections and Dinosaur Hall, where you'll find the world's only Tyrannosaurus rex growth series, which features baby, juvenile and sub-adult T. rexes, plus the current exhibit "Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs." And if you like learning about dinosaurs from pop culture, meet Buddy the Dinosaur from PBS' Dinosaur Train as well as Jack Horner, a paleontologist and technical adviser on films, who discusses "The Making of Jurassic Park" and shows famous movie props. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; Sun., Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (also Sat., Sept. 24); $12, $9 seniors and students, $5 children, free under 2. (213) 763-3466, nhm.org/site/activities-programs/dino-fest. —Siran Babayan

mon 9/26

While Jeopardy! it ain't, @midnight With Chris Hardwick's seemingly off-the-cuff contestant responses actually emerge via collaborative writing, and the minds amassing those answers remain some of the quickest in comedy. Assorted staff writers, top winners and general favorites of the globally trending Comedy Central game show perform stand-up and more when @midnight @nerdmelt @9pm host Blaine Capatch welcomes Ron Funches, Allie Goertz, Calise Hawkins, Jesse Joyce, Jordan Morris, Ify Nwadiwe, Dan Telfer, Dave Thomason and Brendon Walsh to Hardwick's own Nerdist Showroom. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., Sept. 26, 9 p.m.; $8. nerdmeltla.com. —Julie Seabaugh

When Selma director Ava DuVernay signed on to direct the forthcoming adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, she became the first black woman to helm a $100 million film. Her latest project, Queen Sugar, an original television series that premiered on Oprah's OWN network earlier this month, is groundbreaking in its own right, as it is employing only female directors. The show follows the return of Dawn-Lyen Gardner's character to her family's sugarcane farm in Louisiana — and the inevitable shock to the system that follows. Join DuVernay, Gardner, executive producer Oprah Winfrey and actors Rutina Wesley and Kofi Siriboe for this special screening and Q&A co-presented by the New York Times Film Club. LACMA Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Mon., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.; $20 for members, $25 general public. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Neha Talreja

Speaking of nonfiction masters, Kartemquin Films' 50th anniversary is being toasted at UCLA. The 10-day retrospective comes to a close with Steve James' The Interrupters, a look at ground-level attempts to curb violence in Chicago. The Hoop Dreams director focuses on three members of the CeaseFire movement whose efforts are a means of reckoning with their own violent pasts. UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Mon., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

He's Brian Fellow. See Tracy Morgan on Thursday.
He's Brian Fellow. See Tracy Morgan on Thursday.
Paul Mobley

tue 9/27

Perhaps the word "celebration" is a bit chipper when it comes to observing freedoms being trampled upon and artists being pilloried — then again, what else can you call the continued triumph of freedom of expression but a celebration? Tonight's Night of Silenced Voices: A Banned Books Week Celebration sees Skylight partnering with other bookstores as they present such wonders as the Banned Books Week Open Mic, the Blind Date With a Banned Book sale and guests like Zero Fade author Chris L. Terry; L.A. Review of Books noir editor and author Steph Cha; and Grace author Natashia Deón. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —David Cotner

After spending the summer grazing in the hills of Hollywood, L.A. Philharmonic migrates to its fall home, Walt Disney Concert Hall, to open its new season tonight. Out in the wilds above Hollywood, the orchestra had to contend with such unnatural predators as low-flying helicopters and the endless refrain of wine bottles tumbling down the Bowl's concrete steps, but there are no such distractions in L.A. Phil's acoustically superior Disney Hall habitat. Back in July, conductor Gustavo Dudamel reveled in George Gershwin's rhapsodic instrumental melodies with the sizzling pianist Yuja Wang, but this evening he revives the great American composer's songs with stellar Broadway vocalists Megan Hilty and Brian Stokes Mitchell in a jazz-minded program that also includes tunes by Cole Porter and Duke Ellington. Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue., Sept. 27, 7 p.m.; $105-$175. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James

An anthology film that apparently frightened a young Guillermo del Toro enough to include it in his Fuel for Nightmares series, Kwaidan is this week's Tuesday Matinee. Masaki Kobayashi's Oscar-nominated oddity is comprised of four discrete tales (the title translates to "strange stories") — "The Black Hair," "The Woman of the Snow," "Hoichi the Earless and In a Cup of Tea" — running a total of three hours, presented here on 35mm. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Sept. 27, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

wed 9/28

Comedian-filmmaker Negin Farsad looks at comedy from the perspective of an Iranian-American female who holds a dual master's degree in African-American studies and public policy. Tonight she'll do stand-up and discuss her new memoir, How to Make White People Laugh, in which she draws on her childhood growing up with immigrant parents in Palm Springs, visiting her ancestral homeland, pursuing comedy and the challenges of online dating for women of color. "It's hard to date when you're an ethnic lady," she writes. "Women of color are like day-old sandwiches — you pick one if all the fresh sandwiches are taken." Farsad also has co-directed two documentaries, including 2008's Nerdcore Rising, about the nerdcore genre of hip-hop, and 2013's excellent The Muslims Are Coming!, which followed Muslim-American comics touring in post-9/11 America and featured interviews with Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, Janeane Garofalo, Colin Quinn, Rachel Maddow, Aasif Mandvi and Maz Jobrani. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Wed., Sept. 28, 7:30-9 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan

thu 9/29

In his last Comedy Central stand-up special, 2014's Bona Fide, Tracy Morgan riffed on everything from Paula Deen and partying at Prince's house to his love of big women and even bigger love of oral sex. "If eating vagina causes throat cancer, I'm a dead man walking," he said. That same year, the former 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live star survived a car crash in New Jersey that left a fellow comedian dead and Morgan in a coma for eight days with a traumatic brain injury. Since then, the funny man has guest hosted on SNL, which garnered him an Emmy nomination. In his new, aptly titled Picking Up the Pieces tour, Morgan will no doubt look back on the accident and his recovery, but he's still promising to get all the ladies pregnant. The Novo by Microsoft, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Thu., Sept. 29, 8 p.m.; $34.50-$149.50. (888) 929-7849, thenovodtla.com. —Siran Babayan

Cartoonist-filmmaker Riad Sattouf was born in Paris to French-Syrian parents. He contributed to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for 10 years (before its office was the target of terrorist attacks, which killed 12 people, in 2015), and has directed two films, including 2012's Jacky in Women's Kingdom, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg. Last year, he published The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984, a graphic memoir translated into 15 languages, chronicling his early life, from his parents meeting at the Sorbonne University to the six years he spent as a child in Libya and Syria. As part of Central Library's ALOUD series, Sattouf discusses with KCRW host Elvis Mitchell the sequel, The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984-1985, which focuses on his youth and schooling in Syria under president Hafez al-Assad's regime. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Thu., Sept. 29, 7:15 p.m.; free with reservation. (213) 228-7500, lfla.org. —Siran Babayan

Robert Bresson is one of the most revered auteurs ever to step behind the camera. Even among an oeuvre that includes masterworks like Au hasard Balthazar and Pickpocket, A Man Escaped has always been especially acclaimed. His adaptations of French Resistance fighter André Devigny's memoirs begins inside Montuc prison, from which our hero is (you guessed it) trying to escape. As ever with Bresson, though, a plot synopsis can't hope to fully convey the experience of watching A Man Escaped — his films are all about the grace in small moments. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., April 3, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

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

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

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

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >