5. See Nick Kroll
Stand-up comedian/writer/actor Nick Kroll landed his big TV break playing shameless lawyer Ruxin on FX's The League. Last year, the comedian became a bona fide star, thanks to Kroll Show, his very own, pop culture - skewering sketch show on Comedy Central, where Kroll and a cast of regulars inhabit characters ranging from ditzy PR girls to trust-fund kids to Canadian teens, not to mention everyone's favorite quintessential, Ed Hardy - wearing L.A. douchebag - and one of Kroll's earliest Internet incarnations - Bobby Bottleservice. The series' first season included guest spots by Fred Armisen, Ed Helms, Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz and comic Maria Bamford in a skit about a human/dog dating service. This year, expect even bigger star power courtesy of Zach Galifianakis, Seth Rogen, Will Forte, Katy Perry and Kroll's real-life love, Amy Poehler. But don't take our word for it. LACMA screens the first two episodes of Kroll Show's second season, followed by a discussion with the funnyman himself. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri., Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m.; free, resv. required. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. - Siran Babayan
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4. Learn About the Tijuana Drug Trade
Editor's Note: Unfortunately, this event has been canceled as of Friday morning. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Former heroin trafficker Chris Bava, who now is reformed, has become a photographer, documenting the lives of drug addicts, sex workers, homeless people and deportees living on the fringes of society in a place called "El Bordo" in Tijuana. The documentary Exile Nation: The Plastic People examines both Bava's life and the lives of his subjects inhabiting the brutal no man's land between Mexico and the United States, with special attention to the titular "plastic people." They're the ones who come to the United States as kids and live their lives as Americans, only to be sent back because their parents entered the country illegally. But since many have been in the States so long, they also lack Mexican papers and often don't even speak Spanish - so Mexico turns its back on them, too. Exile Nation is a close-up look at a group of people without passports who have slipped through the cracks of not just one system but two. The Los Angeles premiere of this emotionally powerful and provocative new documentary is followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. This event has been canceled; see exilenation.org for more info about the film. - Tanja M. Laden
3. Indulge Your Obsession With Westerns
An amazing thing about L.A.: You can be obsessed with a TV miniseries for 25 years, and then all of a sudden you're presented with the opportunity to have a casual lunch with some of its stars and creators. You know, no biggie. As part of the Autry's Cowboy Lunch series, which takes place on the third Wednesday of every month, the greatest made-for-television Western of all time, Lonesome Dove, will be honored on its 25th anniversary. The miniseries stars Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Diane Lane and Anjelica Huston, among others, in the epic tale of two ranchers attempting to move cattle across the country. Past Cowboy Lunch guests have included the filmmakers, producers, stunt coordinators, actors, writers and even makeup artists who perfected the dusty (and rich) silver-screen dramatics. And there's always a surprise guest or two to join producer Rob Word for "A Word on the Westerns" group discussion after you've finished your smoky BLT, fry-bread tacos or grilled Angeleno burger from the recently renovated Crossroads West Café. You can even grab yourself a sarsaparilla - just don't call it "root beer" in front of the special guests. Crossroads West Café at the Autry National Center of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Wed., Jan. 15, 12:30 p.m.; free, cost of lunch not included. (323) 667-2000, theautry.org. - Rena Kosnett
2. See an Awesome Graphic Designer's Work
The artistic value of graphic design has been established, with the world's most talented draftspeople finally enjoying the respect they have long deserved. Indeed, the boundaries between "high," "low" and "commercial," along with posters' prevalence in street art, have all helped raise graphic design's profile. Enter the Skirball's "To the Point: Posters by Dan Reisinger," which aims to introduce new audiences to one of the world's - if not America's - best-known graphic designers of the last 50 years. Reisinger works in media other than graphic design, most notably painting and architectural installations, but it is the yin/yang highlights of his 1972 El Al Airlines campaign and his most famous political graphic, "Again?" - a swastika nestled inside the Star of David - for which he is most widely name-checked. For the Skirball exhibition, a survey of 50 years of his poster designs is augmented with a newer series inspired by the architectural profile of Tel Aviv. Aside from the historical significance of the decades comprising his amazing career, this is a chance to see what slick retro-cool looks like on the other side of the world. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Tues.-Fri., noon-5 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; through April 20; $10 (free Thursdays). (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. - Shana Nys Dambrot
1. Learn About Latino Pop Music History
Before the British Invasion effectively segregated American rock & roll, there was plenty of vibrant, fertile cross-pollination between races - particularly here in L.A. Local R&B stars like Big Jay McNeely drew huge, racially mixed crowds, but the inevitable results (including, in McNeely's case, a multi-agency police clampdown that banned him from performing in this county) consistently forced such alliances underground. When the American Sabor Speaker Series presents Black & Brown Interaction in Los Angeles Latino Popular Music History, we'll get a long-overdue examination of the phenomenon, and the participation of Ruben "Funkahuatl" Guevara guarantees plenty of penetrating, richly anecdotal truth-telling. After all, in his R&B/doo-wop youth, Guevara appeared on TV dance party Shindig shouting "Can Your Monkey Do the Dog?" alongside Tina Turner and Bo Diddley, just one highlight in a long career in rock & roll, performance art, poetry, film and theater that affords him an invaluable perspective. This panel discussion, including Cuban-born rapper Mellow Man Ace, historians Gaye Theresa Johnson and Luis Alvarez, and moderator Victor Hugo Viesca, is certain to be a high-voltage look at a severely underappreciated aspect of American pop culture. Cal State L.A. Music Recital Hall, 5151 State University Drive, El Sereno; Thurs., Jan. 16, 3 p.m.; free. (323) 343-4060, cal?statela.edu. - Jonny Whiteside