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

Watch out for flying fruit at this weekend's Guelaguetza Festival.EXPAND
Watch out for flying fruit at this weekend's Guelaguetza Festival.
Courtesy Regional Organization of Oaxaca


Free ice cream in WeHo, a Oaxacan festival in Lincoln Heights, a zine fest in Long Beach, and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 8/4

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Salt & Straw brings a little more flair to the local ice cream scene. With flavors such as tomato water, Ojai olive oil sherbet, and avocado and strawberry sherbet, this is definitely not your grandmother's ice creamery. Everything for the Los Angeles shops is made from scratch at Salt & Straw's kitchen in Boyle Heights, and the chain is having a party to launch its new WeHo location. For the Salt & Straw West Hollywood Celebration they'll be serving free scoops all day, with free waffle cone upgrades from 9 to 11 p.m. (a promotion that continues through Labor Day), as well as live music and a brand-new selection of flavors. Salt & Straw, 8949 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., Aug. 4, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; free. eventbrite.com/e/salt-straw-west-hollywood-celebration-tickets-36424054327?aff=es2. —Katherine Spiers

This rare chance to see dance at Grand Performances' al fresco summer series bears a weighty title: No Side Now: Dance That Abandons Boundaries. Curated by Los Angeles Performance Practice, a group with deep roots in producing at CalArts, REDCAT, UCLA and Center Theater Group, the event assembles a quartet of contemporary choreographers. Milka Djordjevich, d. Sabela grimes, Amy O'Neal and Micaela Taylor are significant choreographers in L.A.'s vibrant dance scene who are usually found in venues far from downtown's spotlight. Each has an individual voice, but all four freely and frequently cross the borders between contemporary dance and hip-hop, club and other styles of street dance. Grand Performances, 350 Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 4, 8 p.m.; free. grandperformances.org. —Ann Haskins

Upcoming Events

Cast yourself back to the days of wine and cirrhosis at the Getty's Drinking in the Past: Medieval Microbrews salon. Families in medieval Europe brewed all sorts of beers, ales and meads, as did the Chinese before them and the ancient Egyptians before them. Since modern beers are better suited to the modern palette, curator Bryan C. Keene and beer expert Mark Keene weave together a lesson in beer with a lesson in medieval art — tied to the exhibit "Illuminating Women in the Medieval World" — with a tasting of modern craft beers on the terrace after the talk. After all, they didn't have to negotiate the 405 in medieval times. Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Fri., Aug. 4, 6-9 p.m.; $65 (includes appetizers); 21+. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu. —David Cotner

It's a generally accepted proposition that the 1970s witnessed the last great burst of creativity in mainstream American cinema. Every self-respecting film student could submit as evidence The Godfather, Taxi Driver or The Deer Hunter. But what about that period's "shadow cinema" — those neglected gems that bypassed critical attention but may in fact speak more truthfully of the era's folkways and mores? Charles Taylor's Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-in Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American '70s is a collection of essays that throws a spotlight on those under-seen and underappreciated gems. Taylor will be at the Billy Wilder Theater to sign copies of his tome, followed by a screening of Michael Ritchie's savage satire on men, money and meat, Prime Cut. Afteward, Taylor and L.A. Times film critic Justin Chang will convene for an onstage discussion. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu.

Cinefamily pays homage this week to Ben Barenholtz, former owner of Manhattan's Elgin Theatre, who distributed El Topo and in doing so invented the phenomenon known as the Midnight Movie. An extensive retrospective will harvest some of the choicest B-movies ever to play at that late hour. Barenholtz will take the stage to talk about the legacy of cult cinema, followed by a screening of Martin, George A. Romero's inventive horror film about a teenager who may or may not be a vampire. It's a fitting tribute to Romero, a legendary independent, whose death in July left the horror community in mourning. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.

sat 8/5

Los Angeles is home to the largest Oaxacan community outside of Mexico, and L.A.'s annual Guelaguetza Festival, now in its 30th year, is arguably the most vibrant celebration of its kind north of the border. Organized by the Organización Regional de Oaxaca, the Guelaguetza highlights the region's rich and diverse indigenous culture, which has incorporated European and Catholic contributions. The two-day festival features colorful folkloric dance, Oaxacan brass bands and a wide selection of traditional crafts and food, including the famed mole oaxaqueño and pizzalike tlayudas. The name Guelaguetza is derived from the Zapotec word "guendalezaa" meaning "exchange or offering," so keep an eye out for flying pieces of fruit, which are often tossed into the audience after performances. Lincoln Park, 3501 Valley Blvd., Lincoln Heights; Sat., Aug. 5, noon-9 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 6, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; free. guelaguetzaoro.com. —Matt Stromberg

Pole dancing used to suggest strip clubs. But at the U.S. National Pole Championships, you won't find any strippers, only real dancers and fitness experts displaying the artistic and athletic side of pole dancing without the nudity or flying dollar bills. Hosted by Pole Sport Organization, the event is the largest professional and amateur pole dance competition in the world. Over the course of two days, more than 200 female and male performers from around the country will demonstrate their balancing, spinning, flipping and dropping techniques in five skill levels, categories and ages ranging from 18 to 50-plus. Cheer them on as they vie for the national title and more than $10,000 in prizes, all while keeping their dignity intact. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (amateurs) & 7:30-10 p.m. (professionals); Sun., Aug. 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (amateurs); $33, $80 weekend pass, $90 VIP. (818) 508-4200, elportaltheatre.com/polechampioinships.html. —Siran Babayan

Jean-Pierre Melville may have been the coolest of all postwar European directors, blazing a trail for the French New Wave. On the occasion of his centennial, the American Cinematheque will screen several Melville classics on 35mm and digital. Le Samourai, a well-chilled and impeccably styled ode to American crime cinema, is perhaps the most iconic of Melville's masterpieces. Alain Delon's ascetic assassin — clad in a fedora and trench coat — left a lasting impression on John Woo, Michael Mann and Quentin Tarantino, among others. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

The best pole dancers in the country compete in the national championship on Saturday.
The best pole dancers in the country compete in the national championship on Saturday.
Courtesy Alloy Images

sun 8/6

Since the L.A. Zine Fest launched six years ago, local zine events have been popping up everywhere, proving that the DIY art form is thriving, possibly in your neighborhood. Hosted by the Museum of Latin American Art, the third annual Long Beach Zine Fest gathers more than 100 zine makers and small-press publishers from all over California and other states who create art, stories and comics. If you like music while you're reading, the schedule includes performances by Rudy De Anda, King King, Big Bad Rooster, BREATHERRR, The Hawkline Monster, SeeK the FreeK and DJ Dennis Owens. And if you want to learn how to print and disseminate your own ideas someday, there are workshops and panels, too. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Sun., Aug. 6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. lbzinefest.com. —Siran Babayan

Sponsored by delicatessen Nate 'n Al, the fifth annual PickleFest at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market features a contest for the "Best Dill Pickle in Beverly Hills." For picklers wanting to branch out from the traditional cucumber, there's "I Can Pickle That!" — a category in which entrants can compete with pickled versions of any fruit or vegetable grown in California. Nate 'n Al will award $200, $100 and $50 gift cards to the first, second and third place winners in each of the two categories. Do it for the free deli eats or do it for the sheer honor of appearing in the Commemorative PickleFest Cook Book. Beverly Hills Farmers Market, 9300 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills; Sun., Aug. 6, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; free. beverlyhills.org/exploring/farmersmarket/picklefest. —Katherine Spiers

The American Cinematheque pays tribute to Robert Mitchum on the 100th anniversary of his birth with a weekend retrospective. The six-film series concludes with a double bill featuring a soulful, saturnine Mitchum. In The Friends of Eddie Coyle, the solid-as-an-oak actor is at the top of his game as a small-time hood turned police informer. In The Yakuza, he's an aging private eye who gets sucked into a bloody rescue mission involving the Japanese underworld. Both are highlights of a long and distinguished career, and of American '70s cinema in general. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

Although obscure in this country, Joyce Wieland remains a towering Canadian artist whose work encompasses several media. As an avant-garde filmmaker of the structural school, her technique included the physical manipulation of film stock, and her themes reflected a strong feminist consciousness. In one of those felicitous twists of fate, she married Michael Snow, another master experimentalist, and lived with him in New York throughout the 1960s. Los Angeles Filmforum handpicked some of Wieland's best short films for a rare retrospective, offering local audiences a chance to get familiar with her work. Laura Howes, executive director of the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, will introduce the screening. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org.

mon 8/7

New books by F. Scott Fitzgerald don't show up every day, especially because the celebrated American writer of The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night died in Hollywood in 1940. Two years ago, the trustees of the Fitzgerald estate asked editor Anne Margaret Daniel to gather a final assortment of the author's missing work, and the result was I'd Die for You and Other Lost Stories (Scribner), which was released in April. The collection includes three screenplays and various short stories, most previously unpublished, including seven pieces that were discovered among the family's papers in 2012. Daniel discusses how Fitzgerald explored atypical themes and mused about his bittersweet sojourn in L.A. in this career-spanning compilation. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Mon., Aug. 7, 7 p.m.; free, book is $28. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Falling James

Local pickle makers duke it out in Beverly Hills on Sunday.
Local pickle makers duke it out in Beverly Hills on Sunday.
Courtesy PickleFest

tue 8/8

The Getty's two-part exhibit "Happy Birthday, Mr. Hockney" (which runs through Nov. 26) celebrates the artist's recent 80th birthday, and features self-portraits and photographs, including paintings, prints, Polaroids, photo collages and iPad drawings. In conjunction with the display, Lawrence Weschler leads Happy Birthday, David Hockney, a conversation with physicist Charles Falco and artists Ramiro Gomez and Tacita Dean, who screens her 2016, short 16mm film on Hockney, Portraits. Weschler is the author of the 2008 book True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations With David Hockney. Weschler also discusses Hockney's interest in Father Pavel Florensky, an early–20th century, Russian Orthodox priest and intellectual. The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Tue., Aug. 8, 7 p.m.; free with RSVP. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu. —Siran Babayan

Some of the most famous comedians are also the most controversial, and with comedy getting only raunchier, clean comedy sounds like an oxymoron. But for the past seven years, the Clean Comedy Challenge has been encouraging comedians to keep it clean. Host Leslie Norris Townsend started the contest in 2010 in Ohio before taking it to other cities, gathering fellow comics to perform material that's still adult-oriented and edgy but free of profanity and sexual explicitness. For three nights, more than 20 comedians will compete in front of a panel of judges, including Andy Kindler, Jimmy Brogan, Erica Rhodes, Dennis Regan, Kerri Pomarolli, Ice House owner Bob Fisher and others, some of whom will also perform. The winner receives $750 in cash, and all the contestants are invited to take part in seminars and networking opportunities. The Ice House, 24 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Tue.-Wed., Aug. 8-9, 8:30 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 10, 8 p.m.; $10. (626) 577-1894, icehousecomedy.com. —Siran Babayan

It's almost impossible to remember what the absurdist comedy landscape was like before Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! premiered on Adult Swim. What rules were we following before Dr. Steve Brule came along? Did music sound less sweet before we were introduced to the dulcet tones of David Liebe Hart? It's been 10 years since two guys made television a little weirder, and in celebration of the milestone, they're traveling with the Tim & Eric 10 Year Anniversary Awesome Tour. Expect fan-favorite sketches and characters, plus some new stuff too. L.A. is the last stop, so insert your Diarrheaphragm and get ready to laugh. Theatre at Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, downtown; Tue., Aug. 8, 7 p.m.; SOLD OUT. acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/goldenvoice-presents-tim-eric-awesome-show-10-year-anniversary. —Gwynedd Stuart

Early African-American cinema grew out of a concern over the scarcity of black roles in Hollywood and as an answer to movie theaters marked by segregation. These "race films" gave rise to several regional initiatives with all-black casts and afforded an opportunity for filmmakers of color to represent themselves on screen. The California African American Museum is showcasing several key works from this neglected chapter of film history with an emphasis on the contributions of women. At least one of them, Oscar Micheaux's The Symbol of the Unconquered, is a direct response to D.W. Griffith's controversial The Birth of a Nation. The films, curated by Tyree Boyd-Pates, will play on a loop during the museum's hours of operation through Oct. 15. California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park; Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (213) 744-7432, caamuseum.org. —Nathaniel Bell

wed 8/9

Donald Trump's promise to crack down on immigrants in America, especially the undocumented, is one of the most divisive issues of his administration. Zócalo Public Square's latest lecture, What Does Trump Mean for Immigrant L.A.?, looks at Trump's war on immigration, from the travel ban to his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, and how it affects Los Angeles, where immigrants make up more than a third of the population. Moderated by New York Times correspondent Jennifer Medina, the panel discussion features L.A. Times reporter Cindy Carcamo, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, World Trade Center Los Angeles president Stephen Cheung and USC Tomas Rivera Policy Institute director Roberto Suro. National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 N. Central Ave., downtown; Wed., Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.; free. zocalopublicsquare.org. —Siran Babayan

thu 8/10

For your summer's eve contemplation under the stars, longtime L.A. Philharmonic associate conductor and big fan fave Nicholas McGegan batons a program of Vivaldi works spanning the style of the late Italian Baroque. The Pacific Chorale, as well as sopranos Sherezade Panthaki and Justine Aronson, join the Phil in the best-known version of the Gloria, a very old piece of music composed as early as 1715 and whose words possibly date from the fourth century. Also on the program: the impossibly beautiful Stabat Mater, featuring the excellent countertenor Tim Mead, and the Violin Concerto in G major and the Violin Concerto in A minor. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Thu., Aug. 10, 8 p.m.; $8-$116. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —John Payne

Carla Delaney's name may not be recognizable but her voices are. A Groundlings alum, Delaney is a voice-over artist whose celebrity impersonations have appeared on Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Dana Carvey's First Impressions and a Snickers commercial. In her one-woman show, Voices, which debuted last year at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and won two awards, the actress imitates the voices of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton, Betty White, Drew Barrymore, Sofia Vergara and characters from The Simpsons. But beyond sounding like famous people, Delaney delves into her personal life, tracing the roots of her talent for mimicry and how the other voices in her head function. Directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, Delaney inhabits more than 30 characters, from family members to inanimate objects, including her brain, heart, respiratory system and even a French horn. She also opens up about having Hashimoto's disease and how the thyroid condition affects her career. The Groundlings Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Thu., Aug. 10, 10 p.m.; $10. (323) 934-4747, groundlings.com. —Siran Babayan


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