Drop everything (even the ukulele): Idle Hour is having a dog costume contest on Monday.
Drop everything (even the ukulele): Idle Hour is having a dog costume contest on Monday.
Ezzolo/Shutterstock

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

A Little Shop of Horrors live read, an evening with Marc Maron, a slew of Halloween goings on, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 10/27

Before there was the Broadway musical and before the musical was made into a film by Frank Oz, there was Roger Corman's 1960 camp-horror classic The Little Shop of Horrors, about an insatiable man-eating plant and the Skid Row florist who keeps it fed. For The Little Shop of Horrors: A Live Read, Bob Baker Marionette Theater enlisted Jennifer Tilly, Josh Fadem, Lauren Lapkus, Johnny Pemberton and John Ennis (and other surprise guests) for a reading of the original script. The evening also features highlights from the theater's Halloween Spooktacular, an Audrey Jr. photo booth and pumpkin IPA from Angel City Brewery. Basically, everything is icing on the hearing-Jennifer-Tilly's-voice-in-person cake. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Echo Park; Fri., Oct. 27, 8 p.m.; $20. (213) 250-9995, bobbakermarionettetheater.com/little-shop-of-horrors. —Gwynedd Stuart

Best known to the public for his Tony Award–winning choreography for Broadway's The Lion King, Garth Fagan's always passionate choreography is captured in a West Coast premiere and a tribute to another artist who also strode across the worlds of dance and theater. Fagan's acclaimed tribute Geoffrey Holder Life Fete ... Bacchanal celebrates the dancer-choreographer-director-designer-actor-painter, perhaps best known for filling most of those roles in Broadway's The Wiz. The premiere, In Conflict, is set to music by Arvo Part; the program includes another West Coast premiere from choreographer Norwood Pennewell, A Moderate Cease, set to William Walton's cello concerto. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City; Fri., Oct. 27, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 28, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 29, 3 p.m.; $25-$35, $20 students. (323) 964-9766, ebonyrep.org. —Ann Haskins

Old World's 21-and-over Oktoberfest celebration bills itself as the biggest party in Orange County — and if the organizers mean Oktoberfest specifically, they're probably right. It might even be the biggest in all of SoCal. The event takes place at the famed Huntington Beach German restaurant, so all the trappings of an Oktoberfest are already in place, from the decor (carved dark wood) to the beer (most of it imported from Germany). There will be German food available for purchase à la carte, but a ticket gets you a huge beer and a bratwurst on a roll. The restaurant brings in oompah bands from the old country, too. Old World German Restaurant, 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach; Fri., Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m.-1 a.m.; $20. (714) 895-8020, eventbrite.com/e/oktoberfest-at-old-world-friday-tickets-37224910710. —Katherine Spiers

The American Cinematheque is hosting a two-night tribute to Japanese director Ishiro Honda, the prolific and resourceful fantasist who introduced the world's most lovable oversized atomic lizard, Godzilla. Friday night's double feature includes Gojira, the original Japanese version, which doesn't include awkward inserts of Raymond Burr. The evening draws to a close with The H-Man, Honda's visually eclectic anti-nuke thriller. There will be a discussion between films with Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski (moderated by Steve Biodrowski), authors of Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa. Come to the pre-screening reception for a signed copy. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sat 10/28

Living in Trump's world isn't easy, which makes the return of the L.A. Anarchist Bookfair even more crucial. Once again, anti-authoritarians from different communities who share the same ideology of social and political change are invited to learn and network. This year's installment has two themes: "Red and Black October: Revisiting the 'Unknown' Anarchist Revolution of 1917 a Century Later" (which looks at the 1917 Russian Revolution and how it relates today) and "From the Media to the Streets: Against the Resurgence of the Alt-Right" (which examines the backlash against the far right). The event features a book fair with small presses, artists and local organizations selling radical literature, as well as poetry readings, discussions and workshops, such as "The Declining Rate of Profit and the Relevance of Marxism Today," "Why Is Authoritarian State Capitalism on the Rise Today?" and "White Nationalism: A Challenge for Anarchists." Leimert Park Plaza, 4395 Leimert Blvd., Leimert Park; Oct. 28 & 29; free. la.anarchistbookfair.com. —Siran Babayan

Forget Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. Oscar Montoya and Ruha Taslimi will be resurrecting the most epic rivalry from Hollywood's Golden Age at UCB's comedy show Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's Halloween Soiree! It's Halloween and Joan Crawford is hosting a bash at her Beverly Hills home, when who else but arch-nemesis Bette Davis crashes the party. Taslimi and Montoya will play the actresses as their characters from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (deranged former child actress with blond sausage curls "Baby Jane" Hudson and paraplegic older sister Blanche, respectively) and re-enact some of the camp classic's best scenes, including the one with the cooked pet bird and Davis singing "I've Written a Letter to Daddy." The two will be joined by UCB cast members performing as other famous horror-movie faces, such as Norman Bates and the Grady twins from The Shining. UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 28, 11:59 p.m.; $5. franklin.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

El vampiro negro is not a horror film, contrary to what the title might indicate. Rather, it's a tightly constructed and atmospherically photographed 1953 Argentine remake of Fritz Lang's classic thriller M. Nathán Pinzón stars in the role that made Peter Lorre famous, and Argentine superstar Olga Zubarry plays a cabaret singer who becomes a key witness. This rare screening of a 35mm print that played the Noir City film festival two years ago will be followed by Los tallos amargos, another noirish thriller from the same country and period. Both prints have been restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the Film Noir Foundation. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Oct. 28, 3 p.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.

Jennifer Tilly and others read the script for Roger Corman's original The Little Shop of Horrors at Bob Baker on Friday.EXPAND
Jennifer Tilly and others read the script for Roger Corman's original The Little Shop of Horrors at Bob Baker on Friday.
Roger Corman Productions

sun 10/29

Hollywood historian Karie Bible was born on Halloween night, so it's only appropriate that she ended up hosting spooky cemetery walking tours. Her Hollywood Forever Cemetery Walking Tour is a trek through the famous celebrity resting place, replete with stories and stops by the graves of everyone from Vampira to Alfalfa from Our Gang. Bible starts the tour at the graveyard's flower shop and brings the group around the pond and then into Cathedral Mausoleum, where Rudolph Valentino is interred. Wear comfortable shoes: the tour is 2½ hours long. Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Oct. 29, 11 a.m.; $15. cemeterytour.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Marc Maron is the undisputed king of podcasts, having spent nearly a decade chatting with a who's who of entertainment types, not to mention then-President Barack Obama. So it's only fitting the comedian has written a book about his show. With a foreword by John Oliver, Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live By From the WTF Podcast is essentially a collection of transcripts from interviews with nearly 160 of Maron's guests, including Bruce Springsteen, Mel Brooks, Robin Williams, Conan O'Brien, Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler, Rob Reiner, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ian McKellen, Judd Apatow, Sacha Baron Cohen and Lena Dunham. Organized around such topics as sexuality, addiction, mental health, parenting and success, the chapters feature some of the funniest and most profound moments from the podcast's history, whether it's former The Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac recalling his father's murder; Todd Glass and Melissa Etheridge remembering coming out; The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon talking about his battle with cancer; or Louis C.K. tearfully describing the birth of his first child on WTF's most memorable episode. Hosted by Live Talks Los Angeles, Maron discusses his book with Emmy-winning podcast producer Brendan McDonald. Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Sun., Oct. 29, 7 p.m.; $20, $45 with book. livetalksla.org/events/marc-maron. —Siran Babayan

Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête gets a fresh musical context with a new soundtrack by minimalist composer Philip Glass presented by L.A. Opera. The film's original audio (including dialogue) will be replaced with nothing less than a classical opera performed live by four vocalists along with the Philip Glass Ensemble, conducted by Michael Riesman. Cocteau's 1946 masterpiece, one of the most delicately beautiful of all cinematic fantasies, lends itself naturally to Glass's famous repetitive structures, and the result is by all accounts transformative. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Oct. 28, 8 p.m. (also Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. & Oct. 31 at 8 p.m.); $25-$129. (213) 972-8001, laopera.org. —Nathaniel Bell

mon 10/30

Dressing up for Halloween is fun, dressing up your kids is even more fun, but there is no greater form of autumnal joy than glimpsing embarrassed-looking dogs in Halloween costumes. Tonight, Idle Hour in North Hollywood hosts a Dog Costume Contest, full of good, good boys (and girls) dressed as superheroes, Star Wars characters and maybe even Donald Trump, although that probably should qualify as animal cruelty. Buy a ballot at the bar — proceeds go to the East Valley Animal Shelter — and vote on who gets to go home with a doggie treat bag (and a gift card for their owner, too). Idle Hour, 4824 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; (818) 980-5604, idlehourbar.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

CSUN is putting on a special Halloween screening of Fritz Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse hosted by senior professor and Hollywood historian John Schultheiss. One of the great accomplishments of the early sound period, Lang's 1933 film imagines the titular arch-criminal — a villain whose spirit remains ambulatory while his body rots in an insane asylum — as a precursor to Hitler. Minister of Nazi Propaganda Joseph Goebbels strongly suggested a re-edit; Lang fled the country and became a successful American studio director instead. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Mon., Oct. 30, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Nathaniel Bell

tue 10/31

If you believe Halloween is the devil's night, there's no better place to celebrate evil than at "Disobey: Anton LaVey" exhibit. The infamous founder of the Church of Satan made Satanism in Hollywood hip, thanks to a celebrity following in the 1960s that included Jayne Mansfield and Sammy Davis Jr. Twenty years after LaVey's death on Oct. 29, 1997, Lethal Amounts hosts this one-night-only display that assembles photographs, original art by LaVey and artifacts, including an organ, from the Black House, the Church of Satan's headquarters in San Francisco, as well as books, namely an original pressing of 1969's The Satanic Bible. The event features a meet-and-greet with filmmaker and LaVey friend Kenneth Anger, a Black Mass performance by artist and ordained minister of the Church of Satan Steven Johnson Leyba and DJ sets by Twiggy Ramirez and Matt Skiba. Black Rabbit Rose, 1719 N. Hudson Ave., Hollywood; Tue., Oct. 31, mid.; $50. store.lethalamounts.com/products/antonlavey. —Siran Babayan

Few things communicate a sense of dread as chillingly as a powerful soprano casting her quivering voice aloft and transmuting her full-bodied primal screams and soul-baring shrieking into eerily beautiful, delicately ghostly melodies. Pacific Opera Project presents a potentially spellbinding Halloween double bill of short operas, starting with Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti's 1946 fable The Medium, in which a fraudulent fortune teller (mezzo-soprano Maria Dominique Lopez) becomes unexpectedly haunted at her own fake séance. Even more intriguing, the program features the momentous yet poignant melodies of local film composer Brooke deRosa, who unveils her debut opera, The Monkey's Paw, based on the fatefully macabre 1902 short story by W.W. Jacobs. The Ebell Club of Highland Park, 131 S. Avenue 57, Highland Park; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 27-28, 8 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 31, 8 p.m. (also Nov. 3-5 at Miles Memorial Playhouse, Santa Monica); $20-$120. (323) 739-6122, pacificoperaproject.com. —Falling James

LACMA's Tuesday Matinees series finishes its tour of Universal's classic monster collection with Creature From the Black Lagoon. The eponymous amphibian — a piscine humanoid left over from a prehistoric age — is one of the best rubber-suit jobs Hollywood ever attempted, and his beauty-and-beast relationship with Julie Adams reaches its apotheosis in an eerie underwater duet. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Oct. 31, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Celebrate Halloween Roman Polanski style with two great films about going crazy in apartments. In Repulsion, ice queen Catherine Deneuve is a beautician terrified of men's touch. In The Tenant, Polanski himself plays a mousy Pole convinced that his neighbors are plotting something sinister against him. The former is one of the most persuasive visualizations of mental illness ever put on celluloid; the latter is a wicked black comedy about the mutability of identity, drawn from Polanski's firsthand experiences as an émigré. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Tue., Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

wed 11/1

The last time Ricky Gervais performed stand-up in Los Angeles in 2008 at the then–Kodak Theater, he riffed on everything from taboo topics, such as cancer victims and AIDS and the morality of nursery rhymes, to getting picked on for his weight by the paparazzi. (He recalled that after being photographed in L.A. one time, the headline in a British tabloid read: "Is Ricky Pregnant?") Nearly 10 years later and Gervais is not only thinner but he's become the snarky savior of awards shows and a comedic powerhouse: He created another comedy series, Derek, and a new Netflix film, Special Correspondents; he directed the mockumentary David Brent: Life on the Road, based on his iconic character from The Office; and four times ripped Hollywood a collective new one while hosting the Golden Globe Awards. Gervais brings his current tour Humanity to the Dolby for three nights, where he'll no doubt target Trump and Harvey Weinstein. Too soon? We wouldn't put it past him. Dolby Theater, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Nov. 1, 8 p.m. (also Oct. 28 & 30, 8 p.m.); $50-$79.50. dolbytheatre.com/events/details/ricky_gervais. —Siran Babayan

thu 11/2

Superior Donuts Comedy Night sees the stars of the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts — Rell Battle, Jermaine Fowler, Maz Jobrani and David Koechner — doing doughnuts on the stage with their comedy, leaving a room full of busted guts and split sides in their wake. Superior Donuts, which stars a cantankerous Judd Hirsch warding off gentrification's effects on his Chicago doughnut shop, is a timely tale of aging and the struggle to maintain a certain independence of spirit, and it's based on a 2008 play by the great Tracy Letts. The Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood Hills West; Thu., Nov. 2, 8 p.m.; $20, $17 in advance, $27 advance priority, $30 door priority. (323) 656-1336, laughfactory.com/clubs/hollywood/date/2017-11-02. —David Cotner

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