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

CatCon returns to Pasadena on Saturday and Sunday.
CatCon returns to Pasadena on Saturday and Sunday.
Nanette Gonzales


Cult classic Clue screens at the cemetery, a festival in Long Beach celebrates Oaxaca, magicians perform at a four-day fest, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A this week.

fri 8/11

Based on the board game, the 1985 movie Clue wasn't a big hit when it was released. Featuring Tim Curry, Lesley Ann Warren, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Eileen Brennan, Colleen Camp and Fear singer Lee Ving, the plot revolved around six guests involved in a murder mystery at a mansion. More than 30 years later, the whodunit screwball comedy has been reborn as a cult classic, replete with secret passageways, alternate endings, double entendres, jiggling breasts, Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's as a singing telegram girl and some of Kahn's best lines ("Life after death is as improbable as sex after marriage."). What's not to love? There's even a remake in development. As part of Los Angeles LGBT Center's outdoor summer film series, the Los Angeles Women's Network and Young Professionals Council host this screening, which includes a DJ and giveaways. Proceeds benefit the center's programs and services. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Aug. 11, 8:30 p.m.; $25. hollywoodforever.com. —Siran Babayan

A guilty pleasure and a high point of the 1980s sword-and-sorcery craze, Conan the Barbarian provided Arnold Schwarzenegger with one of his beefiest roles. Scripted by director John Milius and Oliver Stone from a series of pulp fantasy stories by Weird Tales scribe Robert E. Howard, the film is arguably too self-aware to qualify as camp, but that doesn't mean you can't have a chuckle at its expense. The Nuart is breaking out a 35mm print for its long-running Cine Insomnia series. There is no strict dress code, but animal skins and metal-studded leather bracelets are encouraged. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Sat., Aug. 11, 11:59 p.m.; $12. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sat 8/12

There are few creatures in the animal kingdom as indifferent to our collective existence as the domesticated cat — so it only makes sense that human beings would perpetuate the long-standing tradition of worshipping their every whisker. CatCon returns to the Pasadena Convention Center for the third year with more cat celebrities, another round of the CatCon Video Fest and, for the first time ever, the CatCon Awards, featuring awards like "Freshest Loaf" and "Biggest Newcomer" (hot guy Ian Somerhalder also appears). Meet-and-greets with Lil Bub, Pudge and Oskar the Blind Cat are sold out, but there are plenty of other celeb cats and catlike celeb humans (Julie Newmar, for instance) to visit with, plus seminars, 100 booths full of cat merch and, naturally, an adoption lounge full of cats who are ready to be fawned over and Instagrammed. Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Sat., Aug. 12, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $15-$100. catconworldwide.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Sales of vinyl albums have spiked in recent years because, among other reasons, people still value the aesthetics of buying music. "Cratedigger Vol. 2" is a nod to the art of the record sleeve. Last year's "Cratedigger" featured artistic renderings of album covers of both real and imagined bands and singers, including Michael Jackson, Prince, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Rihanna and The Notorious B.I.G. Particularly popular were covers of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols and The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads. Curated by Jason Ostro of Gabba Gallery, which recently displayed Val Kilmer's paintings, this year's exhibit gathers nearly 100 international artists who created more designs on 12-by-12-inch canvases that pay tribute to Pink Floyd, The Who, The Doors, Bob Marley and Tupac Shakur. DJ Jonathan Williams spins at tonight's opening reception. Gabba Gallery, 3126 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Sat., Aug. 12, 7-11 p.m. (runs through Aug. 26); free. (310) 498-2697, gabbagallery.com. —Siran Babayan

L.A.-based choreographer Raiford Rogers takes advantage of high-quality dancers on hiatus during the summer to assemble his Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet, including familiar faces from Los Angeles Ballet such as Kate Highstrete, Liz Walker and Chelsea Paige Johnston. Also returning is the commanding Bobby Briscoe. This time Rogers' architectural choreography enjoys live music from the Jacaranda Chamber Orchestra playing Stravinsky's Concerto in D for Strings, Zbynek Mateju's Still Life and a new work set to Mateju's Joshua Tree Symphony. Rogers has been on hiatus for more than a year. This concert is a welcome return for him and some striking dancers before a scheduled tour to the Czech Republic next year. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State University Los Angeles, 5151 State University Drive, East L.A.; Sat., Aug. 12, 8 p.m.; $40-$60, $25 students. (323) 343-6600, luckmanarts.org. —Ann Haskins

John Waters' legendary cult flick Pink Flamingos — about the contest for the title of the Filthiest Person Alive — virtually resists description. Like its star, the drag queen known as Divine, it must be seen to be believed, preferably at the stroke of midnight, when it was originally unleashed on an unsuspecting public in 1972. Luckily, Cinefamily has included it as part of its series The History of the Midnight Movie, so you can gag in unison with a large crowd at the Vista. Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Blvd., Los Feliz; Sat., Aug. 12, 11:59 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Nathaniel Bell

sun 8/13

On Sunday, the country's biggest open-roads bicycle (and scooter and skateboard) event unveils a brand-new route from Wilmington to San Pedro (and vice versa, depending on where you start). The 7-mile San Pedro Meets Wilmington CicLAvia ride has four hubs — Banning Park, Wilmington Waterfront, Port of L.A. and Pacific Avenue — and lots of restaurants and stuff to see along the way. The first hub is right near the Banning Residence, a Victorian mansion that's been turned into a history museum, and the Port of L.A. hub isn't far from the Los Angeles Maritime Museum and the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum. Exploring the city without having to look for parking is a truly beautiful thing. Banning Park Hub, 522 E. M St., Wilmington; Sun., Aug. 13, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. ciclavia.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

It's called the Land of Seven Moles, but the Mexican state of Oaxaca is actually divided into eight distinct regions: Sierra Norte, Sierra Sur, La Cañada, El Istmo, La Costa, Tuxtepec, Valles Centrales and La Mixteca. Explore all of them without crossing the border at the Museum of Latin American Art's A Day in Oaxaca. The all-day free fest celebrates the music, food, dance, poetry and, of course, art of the southern Mexican state, with performances by Banda Filarmónica Maqueos Music and Trio Mexicante, face painting, art workshops and demos, vendors selling Oaxacan crafts, and a docent-led tour of the museum's galleries. Colorful clothes encouraged but currency exchange not necessary. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Sun., Aug. 13, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (562) 437-1689, molaa.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Mário Peixoto was only 22 years old when he made Limite, a landmark experimental feature that offers an intensely subjective vision of two men and a woman lost at sea. It was the first Brazilian film of distinction and one of the hardest to see until the Film Foundation's recent restoration. Los Angeles Filmforum will screen this silent poetic reverie — perhaps for the first time ever in this city — at the Spielberg Theatre. Afterward, you may agree with Sergei Eisenstein's two-word assessment of it: "very beautiful." Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org. —Nathaniel Bell

John Huston had wanted to film The Man Who Would Be King ever since he was a young man, but only a seasoned pro could have brought out the world-weariness inherent in Rudyard Kipling's tale of a colonialist adventure gone awry. Huston's sagacity expands and enriches the story of two British soldiers (Sean Connery and Michael Caine, both at the top of their game) who embark on a mission to establish themselves as rulers of a remote civilization. This action classic will be followed by Sinful Davey, a bawdy comedy in the vein of Tom Jones (and one of the biggest flops of Huston's career). UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Aug. 13, 7 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Nathaniel Bell

Among the 250 comedians appearing at Flappers Comedy Club's fourth annual Burbank Comedy Festival are both veteran and emerging performers. Headliners Jeff Garlin, Kevin Pollak, Jamie Kennedy, Christopher Titus, Carol Leifer, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Hal Sparks, Jimmy Pardo and Jimmy Dore share the stage with up-and-coming comics throughout the weeklong festival, which features stand-up acts, podcasts and resident club shows with names like Jokes for Jews, Lame of Thrones and Chicks With Schticks. The schedule also offers afterparties at nearby venues; workshops on such topics as social media for comedians, writing for late-night TV and working the college market; and panels with industry insiders such as David Zucker, director of Airplane! and The Naked Gun. Flappers Comedy Club Burbank, 102 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Sun.-Sat., Aug. 13-19, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; prices vary. burbankcomedyfestival.com. —Siran Babayan

Do you believe in magic? Find out on Thursday.EXPAND
Do you believe in magic? Find out on Thursday.
Robert Hayman

mon 8/14

Jonathan Sun is a Ph.D. student at MIT and a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center. On Twitter, he's Jomny Sun, an "aliebn confuesed abo humamn lamgauge," with nearly a half-million followers. Sun's online alter ego inspired his new book, Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too, which he signs tonight. The story follows a confused, sad alien sent to study Earth, where he has funny, heartfelt, almost philosophical (and often misspelled) exchanges about loneliness, friendship and self-esteem with everything from stars, flowers and grass to animals and eggs. For example, a conversation with a tree reads: "A friend is anyone or anything that shares a life with u that you would never be able to experience without them." The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Mon., Aug. 14, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan

tue 8/15

By the time you go to Science Time With Alex Berg, science will have changed the world in more ways than you can notate scientifically, so brush up on the latest advances in our ever-evolving world with a comedian as your host. Berg — an improviser who can be seen in UCB shows Convoy, Sassy Bluff and Sentimental Lady — explains his latest passions and fascinations in the fields of biology, physics and the cognitive sciences. Genetic therapy for the common cold? Ant-lions in Namibia? Robots that develop their own language that their Google Translate programmers can't understand? You just never know. UCB Sunset, 5419 Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Tue., Aug. 15, 8:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com/performance/56366. —David Cotner

LACMA's Tuesday Matinees series continues its commitment to Golden Age Hollywood with a screening of Easter Parade. Shot in bright, splashy Technicolor, it was the biggest hit of both Judy Garland and Fred Astaire's careers. The nominal plot exists solely as a clothesline on which to hang a multitude of Irving Berlin numbers, including the memorable title song. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Aug. 15, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Legendary punk band X gets honored at the Dodger's game on Wednesday.EXPAND
Legendary punk band X gets honored at the Dodger's game on Wednesday.
Gary Leonard

wed 8/16

Like the Dodgers, punk band X are a longtime L.A. institution. Their songs of desperate living, late-night bus-stop assignations, restlessly sodden romanticism and blue-collar frustrations are a much more fitting soundtrack to life in Los Angeles than, say, Randy Newman's vacuously glib and overplayed tune "I Love L.A." The local quartet are celebrating their 40th anniversary with an upcoming Grammy Museum exhibit in October, and tonight they'll be saluted before the Dodgers' interleague game against the Chicago White Sox. X singer-bassist John Doe will intone the national anthem, and co–lead singer Exene Cervenka will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Perhaps the hot-hitting home team will even "pull it out in the bottom of the ninth," as Cervenka and Doe exhorted on their early anthem "The World's a Mess; It's in My Kiss." Dodger Stadium, 1000 Vin Scully Ave., Elysian Park; Wed., Aug. 16, 7:10 p.m.; $26-$900. (323) 224-1500, mlb.com/dodgers. —Falling James

If you hated Friends but absolutely love Matt LeBlanc on Episodes, you'll be disappointed to find out that Showtime comedy has been canceled. The Emmy-nominated series centers on married British TV writers (Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) who try to create an American version of their BAFTA-winning sitcom while suffering the indignities of working in the Hollywood industry, including LeBlanc, who's cast as the star and plays a womanizing, self-absorbed version of himself. (The actor won a Golden Globe for the role.) Before the show's fifth and final season premieres on Aug. 20, the Paley Center for Media hosts a screening and discussion, moderated by BuzzFeed senior editor Jarett Wieselman, with cast members LeBlanc, Kathleen Rose Perkins and Mircea Monroe, in addition to co-creators David Crane (Friends) and Jeffrey Klarik (Mad About You). Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills; Wed., Aug. 16, 7 p.m.; $30. (310) 786-1000, media.paleycenter.org. —Siran Babayan

Louis Malle's Murmur of the Heart, we are told, is the director's most autobiographical feature and one of his most successful here and abroad. It's a sensuous journey of self-discovery told from the perspective of a French adolescent of aristocratic stock, and the details of his sexual initiation are by turns playful and shocking. Overall, it's a sharply detailed and quietly involving coming-of-age story. It screens in Laemmle's Anniversary Classics simultaneously in three theaters. Laemmle Royal (also at the Playhouse 7 and Town Center 5), 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Sawtelle, Thu., Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell

thu 8/17

Over the course of four days, MagicMania delivers five performances with dozens of the best performers working in extreme juggling, levitation, prestidigitation and more. The show's creator and host, Albie Selznick, also created the critically acclaimed autobiographical show Smoke and Mirrors, along with a weekly variety act in Santa Monica, Magic Mondays. Feast your eyes as dozens of crafty conjurers converge in this magical extravaganza, performing everything from impressive illusions to skillful sleight-of-hand and beyond. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. Third St., Burbank; Thu.-Fri., Aug. 17-18, 8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 19, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 20, 3 p.m.; $35, $75 three-show pass, $110 five-show pass. (818) 558-7000, magicmaniala.com. —Tanja M. Laden


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