Celebrate St. Patrick Swayze day with a Road House-Point Break double feature on Friday.EXPAND
Celebrate St. Patrick Swayze day with a Road House-Point Break double feature on Friday.
Silver Pictures

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

A St. Patrick Swayze Day double feature at the Egyptian, an Andy Dick doc screening, a vintage paperback book show, and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 3/17

First things first: Tam O'Shanter is a Scotland-themed restaurant. But we can't fault a business for trying to make money, and every year it capitalizes on St. Patrick's Day madness. Ah well ­— West Coast St. Paddy's celebrations aren't all that authentically Irish anyway. There will be green beer, of course, and all the usual menu items in the restaurant and bar. In addition, the large parking lot will be tented, the better to party no matter the weather. You'll be able to eat, drink and join raffles out there. Look for the kegs of Guinness, too, and enjoy the live music. 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village; Fri., March 17, noon-mid.; free. lawrysonline.com/tam-oshanter/events. —Katherine Spiers

Did you know that Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future? Or that the movie was almost titled Spaceman From Pluto? Or that Doc Brown's pet dog, Einstein, was supposed be a pet chimpanzee? Whether you're a die-hard or moderate fan, you can ask the mad scientist himself any burning questions you have about the making of the movie trilogy at Christopher Lloyd Goes Back to the Future. This screening of the 1985 sci-fi comedy about time travel is followed by a Q&A with the actor, who discusses how he landed the part, whom he based the character on and which of the films in the franchise is his favorite. Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Fri., March 17, 7:30 p.m.; $36-$131. (805) 449-2787, civicartsplaza.com. —Siran Babayan

Celebrate St. Patrick Swayze Day with two of the dearly departed star's best movies, Point Break and Roadhouse, both on 35mm. A brief, incomplete list of the rad activities Swayze engages in in these films: robbing banks in a Ronald Reagan mask, skydiving, ripping out a dude's throat with his bare hands, riding way-gnarly waves. Most of the crimes his Bodhi commits in Kathryn Bigelow's surfing/crime drama Point Break are regrettable, but at least he's got a Zen philosophy to inspire co-star Keanu Reeves with: "If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love." Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., March 17, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

The Hateful Eight didn't have quite the impact of either Inglourious Basterds or Django Unchained, which is a shame — Quentin Tarantino's chamber drama is his best work since at least the Kill Bill cycle. It's also a curiously intimate showcase for the now-rarefied 70mm format, which is how the Aero is screening it during a series dedicated to new movies shot on ultra-wide film stock (also included: Interstellar, Inherent Vice, The Master). Watching the ensemble cast whittle itself down — there are nine main characters to start with, despite the title — and figure out which of them aren't who they say they are gives new meaning to the term "process of elimination." Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., March 17, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Among the highest-grossing Japanese productions in history, Howl's Moving Castle is also Hayao Miyazaki's favorite of his own films — high praise from the revered anime auteur responsible for the likes of Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Miyazaki adapted (and made significant changes to) Diana Wynne Jones' novel in his allegorical response to the Iraq War, centering the story around a young girl who joins up with a wizard after being transformed into an old woman by a witch. (Fret not, purists: This is the subtitled version, not the dubbed one.) Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., March 17, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 3/18

Wanna feel old? (Does anyone say yes to that question?) The first Harry Potter book, The Philosopher's Stone, came out in 1997, which means that the 10-year-olds who read it are now 30. Suffice it to say, J.K. Rowling's series of young-adult fantasy books and their subsequent film adaptations have a lot of grown-ass fans. On Saturday, L.A.'s most fervent "Pottheads" gather for PotterCon Los Angeles, a fan event that features a Hogwarts-style "Sorting Ceremony," a costume contest, trivia and specialty cocktails. And — wait, let me guess — butterbeer. Pour some out for Alan Rickman. 18 and up welcome. Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; Sat., March 18, 2-8 p.m.; $15. potterconusa.com/tickets.html. —Gwynedd Stuart

Interact with nature and wildlife in the big city at the Natural History Museum's third annual L.A. Nature Fest. The museum's Nature Gardens will be jammed with staff, authors and more than 30 exhibitors and representatives from organizations on hand to answer questions, including folks from the L.A. Zoo, UCLA, National Park Service and Modern Hiker. Each day begins with a nature hike led by an NHMLA bird expert, followed by feedings and presentations on animals — including L.A.'s famous mountain lion P22 — and demonstrations on taxidermy, canning and coffee roasting, plus storytelling, painting, a scavenger hunt and other activities for kids. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; Sat.-Sun., March 18-19, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; $12, $9 seniors and students, $5 children, free under 2. (213) 763-3466, nhm.org/site/activities-programs/la-nature-fest. —Siran Babayan

Only a select few companies receive permission from the Balanchine Trust to present a George Balanchine ballet, let alone three ballets in the same program. But Los Angeles Ballet's artistic directors, Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen, have deep roots with Balanchine. Neary was personally selected by Balanchine to set his ballets on companies all over the world (recently at the Paris Opera Ballet). Three different faces of Balanchine's genius take the stage as LAB's 11th season continues. Mr. B.'s classical inclinations are illustrated in Divertimento No. 15, an LAB premiere set to Mozart. The dramatic Prodigal Son dates from Balanchine's time with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the only time Balanchine worked with composer Sergei Prokofiev. The joyfully jazzy finale Who Cares?, set to some of George Gershwin's most beguiling tunes, harkens back to Balanchine's time choreographing for Hollywood movies in the 1930s. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach; Sat., March 18, 7:30 p.m.; $31-$99. (Also at UCLA's Royce Hall, Sun., March 26, 2 p.m.) (310) 998-7782, losangelesballet.org. —Ann Haskins

Kaneto Shindo made nearly 50 movies in his 100 years on Earth, none of which have endured like Kuroneko and Onibaba. Two of the best, most unsettling horror films ever to emerge from Japan, both take place during centuries-old civil wars and feature vengeful spirits exacting revenge after being brutally murdered (Kuroneko) and women murdering the soldiers who happen upon their meager home (Onibaba). Shindo evokes the anger of the dead and destitute but also the mournful sadness — his characters are impossible to demonize, even the actual demons. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., March 18, 7 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

21 Best Things to Do in L.A. This WeekEXPAND
Courtesy PotterCon

sun 3/19

Bizarre and lurid stories about Andy Dick are as familiar in Hollywood as urban myths involving Richard Gere and a gerbil and Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen body, which is why Cathy Carlson directed the documentary Everybody Has an Andy Dick Story. A friend of the actor-comedian for almost 35 years, Carlson looks at the man behind the rap sheet as she interviews 40 fellow comics and celebrities, including Ben Stiller, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Steve-O, Pauly Shore and Dr. Drew Pinsky, who recount personal run-ins with Dick. Tonight's fundraiser for the soon-to-be-released film features stand-up, storytelling and music performed by Moby, Dana Gould, Greg Fitzsimmons, Laura Kightlinger, Mike Catherwood, PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews, Lady Bunny and host Kira Soltanovich, nearly all of whom are featured in the movie, as well as Dick. Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Sun., March 19, 9:30 p.m.; $25. (323) 651-2583, hollywood.improv.com. —Siran Babayan

Long before the internet, bored Americans got their rocks off from tawdry tales in cheaply bound books printed on crappy paper. Dime-store novels, trade paperbacks and pulp magazines often featured vibrant covers, racy titles and lurid literature — a perfect storm of page-turning, easily digestible text with a friendly cover price. Operating for more than 35 years, the Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Show features close to 100 vendors, dozens of authors and illustrators, and thousands of books celebrating an erstwhile stalwart of entertainment. It's the largest pop-up vintage paperback marketplace in the world. Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale; Sun., March 19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $5. (818) 548-2787, la-vintage-paperback-show.com. —Tanja M. Laden

The term "Hitchcockian" is used to describe thrillers so often that it's practically lost its meaning at this point, but few have earned it quite like Brian De Palma. That he's also transcended the label is evident in films such as Sisters, Carrie and Dressed to Kill; few have melded highbrow and lowbrow sensibilities like the filmmaker, whose works operate (and satisfy) on multiple levels at once. Adam Curtis would appear to agree, as the documentarian will appear in person at Cinefamily to discuss Blow Out, which stars John Travolta as a sound-effects technician who overhears something he shouldn't. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sun., March 19, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

mon 3/20

Nearly 20 years ago, Candace Frazee and husband Steve Lubanski opened up the Bunny Museum in their home, in order to share their extensive collection of rabbit-related items — dolls, furniture, books, games, even bunny bushes from former Rose Bowl floats. They've also got a few real rabbits that scamper freely around the house, apparently trained to use a litter box. Their collection, which was appraised by Guinness at 8,437 objects in 1999, has now swelled to more than 31,000 items, outgrowing its original site. Celebrating the museum's new Altadena home is the Grand Hoppenin' Party, for which bunny-themed attire is recommended. While the proprietors will gladly accept bunny gifts to add to their collection, they ask that you leave any live bunnies at home. The Bunny Museum, 2605 Lake Ave., Altadena; Mon. March 20, 6:30-9 p.m. $15 (includes $8 general admission to museum, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.); free, members and kids under 4. (626) 798-8848, thebunnymuseum.com. —Matt Stromberg

What's worse than books written by celebrities? Books written by pop stars. Emmy-nominated writer-performer Eugene Pack and award-winning playwright Dayle Reyfel developed Celebrity Autobiography almost 20 years ago in L.A. after they were inspired by Vanna White's 1987 memoir, Vanna Speaks. Now based in New York, the touring show features actors and artists interpreting star-penned autobiographies that are simultaneously earnest, boastful, trivial and unintentionally funny. For Celebrity Autobiography: The 2017 Music Edition, Pack and Reyfel will be joined by Tony Hale, Jennifer Tilly, Steven Weber, Fred Willard, Sherri Shepherd, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Laraine Newman and Peter Asher as they read the priceless ruminations published by Zayn Malik, Celine Dion, Barry Manilow, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Michael Bublé, Dolly Parton, Kenny Loggins, Elvis Presley's girlfriend Linda Thompson and Justin Bieber, who, at the ripe old age of 23, has already released two books. Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Mon., March 20, 8 p.m.; $45. (213) 765-6800, grammymuseum.org. —Siran Babayan

tue 3/21

Writer, director and Second City graduate Eva Ceja tries to both shatter and spoof Muslim and Middle Eastern stereotypes in the theater's new sketch comedy show, Turban Outfitters. It's a send-up of religious and cultural misrepresentations, complete with burkas, hijabs and skits that involve everything from a Jewish girl falling in love with a Muslim boy and an actor auditioning for a role as a terrorist to what ISIS would look like if it was rebranded as a cosmetics company. Ceja and fellow cast members Zoe Farmingdale, Venk Potula, BJ Lange, Jack Zullo, Paula Dulla, Brent Wirfel, Armen Pogosyan, Kim Marie Mulligan and Shireen Hakim even throw in a few pop-song parodies, such as "Material Girl," "I Got You Babe" and "California Love." Second City Studio Theater, 6560 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd floor, Hollywood; Tue., March 21 (also Tue., March 28), 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 464-8542, secondcity.com/shows/hollywood. —Siran Babayan

You'll dial "femme" for murder when you see tonight's cabal of women comics annihilate Fantasyland at the Fictional Roast of Disney Princesses. With equal parts disappointment, scorn and perspective, stand-ups Kim Congdon, Scout Durwood, Andy Erikson, Heidi Heaslet, Leah Kayajanian, Atsuko Okatsuka, Kate Quigley, Riley Silverman and Candice Thompson set their sights on Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Aurora and maybe even Merida — dressing as those self-same princesses and roasting one another. What ordinarily would be a paradise of Disney fairy tales instead becomes a night of real people taking these magical dreams, folding them into a tiny square with sharp points and jamming it. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., March 21, 9-10:30 p.m.; $10, $8 in advance. (323) 851-7223, holdmyticket.com/event/276704. —David Cotner

Sydney Pollack won an Oscar for directing Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in the Best Picture–winning Out of Africa, an adaptation of Danish author Karen Blixen's memoirs. It benefits from the fact that most people don't know what a Danish accent sounds like, but if you're enamored of sweeping literary adaptations there are certainly worse ways to kill an afternoon. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., March 21, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

wed 3/22

From 2011 to late 2016, the debauched, vaudeville-burlesque-circus extravaganza Absinthe called a tent at Caesar's Palace home. It eventually will move to the Cosmopolitan, but in the meantime, master of ceremonies the Gazillionaire, his assistant Penny Pibbets and their cast of acrobats, dancers and other performers are posting up at L.A. Live for a five-week run of the show that's kept Vegas crowds entertained for five years. The New York Times described it thus: "Imagine Cirque du Soleil as channeled through Rocky Horror Picture Show. ... A blend of skill, erotic innuendo and zaniness. The memorable moments make a jaded audience literally gasp." The show warns audiences in advance about coarse language and some nudity — so sign us up. L.A. Live Event Deck, 1005 Chick Hearn Ct., downtown; Wed., March 22, 7 p.m. (runs through April 23); $49-$119. absinthela.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Named after the street location of its home base in New York City, the Wooster Group is an experimental theater company that has gained a reputation for staging groundbreaking multimedia works that challenge the boundaries of creative expression. The company's latest project is a stage adaptation of Town Bloody Hall, a documentary by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker about a 1971 feminist panel moderated by Pulitzer Prize–winning thinker Norman Mailer. The Town Hall Affair is directed by Wooster Group founding member Elizabeth LeCompte and features impassioned performances that offer a fresh perspective on the advocacy of women's rights today. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Wed., March 22-Sat., April 1, 8:30 p.m. (no performance Mon.); $50-$55. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org/event/wooster-group-town-hall-affair. —Tanja M. Laden

UCLA's annual Festival of Preservation brings two underseen standouts from the '90s back to the big screen: Kelly Reichardt's River of Grass and Cheryl Dunye's The Watermelon Woman. Both debuts marked the arrival of significant talents, and though Dunye hasn't been as prolific as Reichardt — whose most recent film, Certain Women, was among the best of 2016 — The Watermelon Woman could hardly be more appropriate for the festival. A faux-documentary about a video-store clerk (Dunye, who also wrote the script) obsessed with learning more about a fictional black actress, it's a celebration of cinema worthy of being celebrated itself. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., March 22, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

thu 3/23

If the people making the all-female Ocean's 8 caper film have any sense, they'll rip off the Wild Horses "Heist" sketch on Funny or Die until there's nothing left but husks of raw videotape. Incisively, hilariously nuanced, Wild Horses is the comedy troupe that, like a quality cocktail, is greater than the sum of its parts. Four best friends — Stephanie Allynne (One Mississippi), Mary Holland (Blunt Talk), Lauren Lapkus (Jurassic World) and Erin Whitehead (Animals) — chat about the issues of the day in their onstage show The Perspective, blab with surprise celebrity guests, then do improv and drink. Largo, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Thu., March 23, 7 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com/event/1432148-wild-horses-los-angeles. —David Cotner

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 >