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

You won't wanna be sedated at the 13th annual tribute to Johnny Ramone on Sunday.
You won't wanna be sedated at the 13th annual tribute to Johnny Ramone on Sunday.
Lina Lecaro


A Marilyn Monroe-themed pool party, a tribute to Johnny Ramone, the return of Politicon, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 7/28

Under the banner BalletNOW, New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck curated this assemblage of dancers from Britain's Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, the tap ensemble Dorrance Dance, television's So You Think You Can Dance and the indescribable Bill Irwin. The program has short excerpts from 20th century masters like George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, along with contemporary ballets from Christopher Wheeldon, Justin Peck, Ulysses Dove, Michelle Dorrance and Irwin, whose duet with Peck was a hit at the Vail Dance Festival. Major national and international dance companies are on hiatus during the summer, allowing for high-grade pick-up troupes like this one, as well as the recent Misty Copeland-led ballet excerpts at the Hollywood Bowl. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., July 28-29, 7:30 p.m. & Sun., July 30, 2 p.m.; $38-$138. (213) 972-0711, musiccenter.org. —Ann Haskins

The Emoji Movie, the latest example of how smartphones inspire dumb film ideas, is out today, and Matt Apodaca and Edgar Momplaisir are already certain it stinks. In We Demand Answers: The Emoji Movie, the UCB cast members do just that. The two take an investigative approach as they interview Steven Wright, James Corden, Anna Faris and Sofia Vergara — as impersonated by James Adomian, Mookie Blaiklock, Haley Mancini and Carla Valderrama — who are among the voices behind the emoji characters, and ask them some hard-hitting questions. For instance, why is Vergara once again relying on Latina stereotypes for laughs? And why is Patrick Stewart, a classically trained Shakespearean actor and Jean-Luc Picard himself, the voice of poop? UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Fri., July 28, 11:45 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, franklin.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

Upcoming Events

According to legend — or at least to Charles Bukowski — Barbet Schroeder threatened to cut off his own fingers one by one if Cannon Films pulled the plug on his long-gestating project, Barfly. Bukowski wrote the screenplay and the eponymous character, played with tremendous, scene-chewing swagger by Mickey Rourke, is probably the most romantic incarnation of professional drunkenness in modern cinema. The American Cinematheque has prepared a special retrospective of Schroeder's work in anticipation of the French-born filmmaker's newest film, Amnesia. Reversal of Fortune, Schroeder's taut legal thriller based on the infamous Claus von Bulow case, rounds out the double feature. The director himself will appear in between films for a discussion. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Friday., July 28, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sat 7/29

Last year, we were preparing for the election. This year, we're dealing with the fallout, which means there'll be even more to talk about at the third annual Politicon. The two-day, non-partisan convention, which marries politics with celebrity and media, features interviews, podcast tapings, live comedy and panels on topics including "The Obama Legacy," "Weed Nation" and "LGBTQ in the 21st Century." Leading these discussions will be politicians, talking heads and comedians, including Anne Coulter, James Carville, Paul Begala, Leslie Stahl, Dennis Prager, Ed Asner, Chelsea Handler, America Ferrera, Greg Proops, Adam Carolla and Clay Aiken, as well as Rob Reiner, who hosts two special panels: one on his upcoming Lyndon Johnson biopic, LBJ, the other on our relations with Russia. Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena; Sat.-Sun., July 29-30, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; $50. (626) 795-9311, politicon.com. —Siran Babayan

Ever heard the story behind Danny Trejo's trademark tattoo of a girl wearing a sombrero? While Trejo and a childhood friend were locked up together in California, the friend began the tattoo and finished it over the course of two years, as the two served time together in three different state penitentiaries. So it makes perfect sense that the famously tattooed actor co-hosts the third annual Tatuaje (Spanish for tattoo), with Culture Clash member Richard Montoya and Bernadette Macias of the CMT reality series Tattoo Titans. Produced by artist Antonio Pelayo and tattoo artist Freddy Negrete, the tattoo festival includes more than 100 tattoo artists, a tattoo competition, art exhibit, fashion show, DJs, screening of the 1979 low-rider film Boulevard Nights and a concert headlined by Los Lobos. And if you're bold enough, you can even be tattooed on the spot. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit community arts venue Plaza de la Raza. Plaza de la Raza, 3540 N. Mission Road, Lincoln Heights; Sat., July 29, 7 p.m.-1 a.m.; $30-$300. eventbrite.com/e/los-lobos-at-3rd-annual-tatuaje-festival-hosted-by-danny-machete-trejo-tickets-31662313833. —Siran Babayan

Following a hellacious, haunting day at the Halloween-and-horror fest Midsummer Scream, taking place at the Long Beach Convention Center, don your spooky, scary best to join the ringmaster's minions at Dark Harbor's Sinister Circus. Touted as the first-ever haunted summer costume ball aboard the Queen Mary, Sinister Circus rewards cutting-edge creativity, with the top three best costumes awarded prizes including $250 for the first-place winner. Dance your beastly butts off under the stars as you ogle like-minded ghosts, ghouls, serial killers and other creepy types making appearances during the party. No masks allowed — and no chainsaws, either. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach; Sat., July 29, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.; $34, $29 in advance; 21 and over. queenmary.com/events/sinister-circus or midsummerscream.org. —John Payne

Arnold Schwarzenegger's semi-retirement from film acting in 2003 left a perceptible hole in American blockbuster cinema. When "The Governator" began taking starring roles nearly a decade later — looking a little tired after too many tussles in Sacramento — there was something inescapably poignant about the spectacle. In a supreme show of affection, the New Beverly Cinema will ring in the movie star's 70th birthday with an Arnie all-nighter, featuring a "secret lineup" of Schwarzenegger's films. Nostalgia will be the guiding principle, "fun" the operative word. Perhaps there will be a few wry smiles in remembrance of a time when the Austrian-born star's muscles bulged a little bigger and one-liners were the common vernacular. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., July 29, 7:30 p.m.; $30. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

Live your childhood fantasy of dancing with Jared on Tuesday.EXPAND
Live your childhood fantasy of dancing with Jared on Tuesday.
Jim Henson Company

sun 7/30

Before it airs on HBO on Aug. 7, LACMA screens Lisanne Skyler's documentary, Brillo Box (3 Cents Off), followed by a discussion with the director. Skyler traces the journey of the Andy Warhol Brillo Box pop-art piece her parents, Martin and Rita, bought in 1969 for $1,000. After they sold it a few years later, the same sculpture was resold at Christie's in 2010 for $3 million, and again in 2014 for $1.7 million. The Brillo Box is among the more than 120 paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture and other items on display in "Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971" (through Sept. 10), LACMA's current exhibit on the history of Virginia Dwan's famed gallery, which opened in Westwood in 1959 and in New York in 1965. LACMA, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sun., July 30, 1 p.m.; free. lacma.org. —Siran Babayan

In the last few years, comedy has become as big an attraction at festivals as music. Although it only launched in 2014, Los Angeles-based record label Danger Collective Records has managed to book some well-known stand-up comics for its first Concerto Con. Hosted by Pierre Concerto, the lone comedian on the label's roster, the music-comedy hybrid features comedians Brent Weinbach, Matt Braunger, Baron Vaughn, Rachel Scanlon, Jay Weingarten, Max Baumgarten, Ellory Smith, Sydney Feyder and others performing at the festival's Weiner Den, and mostly label bands — Jerry Paper, Boyo, C Roy, Momma, Brutus VIII, Wild Wing and Astral Mary — as well as DJs playing on the Schnitzel Stage. (You may have noticed the event's logo is similar to Wienerschnitzel's.) Of course, a great festival is also about location, and the Lincoln Heights Victorian-era house where the con takes place is a registered historical landmark. HM 157, 3110 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights; Sun., July 30, 6 p.m.; $15. concertocon2017.brownpapertickets.com. —Siran Babayan

It all started with a furious "1, 2, 3, 4 ..." and now it's 13! For 13 years and counting, the annual Johnny Ramone Tribute at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, has celebrated The Ramones and punk rock in general, becoming one of its most popular screening events in the process. This year's event, presented by Linda Ramone, features a speech by Vincent Gallo along with celebs including Fred Armisen, Rosanna Arquette and more TBA, plus Ramones memorabilia from Johnny and Tommy Ramone's personal collections in the mausoleum and art by Shepard Fairey, Lucas David and Shag. Billy Idol and Steve Jones will perform Ramones covers, acoustic-style; a Chris Cornell tribute is planned; and DJ Howie Pyro spins throughout the event. Food trucks and photo ops galore (Johnny's statue at the cemetery being the most popular) make for a shindig under the California sun that rocks into the night. A portion of the proceeds go to the Johnny and Linda Ramone Foundation, which provides funding for cancer research at USC. Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.; Sun., July 30, 6:30 p.m.; $25, $20 in advance, free kids 12 and under. hollywoodforever.ticketfly.com/event/1506472-johnny-ramone-tribute-2017-los-angeles. —Lina Lecaro

mon 7/31

If there's even the slightest chance you can become successful by osmosis, aspiring bigwigs should have the 2017 WORLDZ conference on their agendas. The so-called "cultural marketing summit" gathers current and future business leaders for a weekend-long brain trust. More than 150 CEOs and founders and EVPs will be on hand to share tips and teach seminars, from Girlboss founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso and self-help guru Deepak Chopra to Fox president and COO Randy Freer and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. The price of admission is steep, but as your asshole Republican uncle always said, you've gotta spend money to make money. Same goes for rubbing shoulders. Loews Hollywood Hotel, 1755 Highland Ave., Hollywood; Mon.-Tue., July 31-Aug., 1; $1,650-$4,650. worldz.us. —Gwynedd Stuart

Summer gets spooky at Dark Harbor's Sinister Circus.EXPAND
Summer gets spooky at Dark Harbor's Sinister Circus.
Star Foreman

tue 8/1

We're only 17 years in, but the 21st century is shaping up to be a real fuckin' bummer. Step back in time with the Victorian Tea & Dance Society, a club of manners that (among other things) hosts Tuesday dance classes that harken back to the tastes of the turn of the last century. On Tuesdays throughout the month of August, they're hosting Labyrinth of Jareth Historical Dance Classes, which fuses the 1880s and one of the best/weirdest kids' movies of the 1980s, Jim Henson's David Bowie vehicle Labyrinth. Attendees will learn the rotary waltz, which Sarah dances in the masquerade ball scene. Who knows, you might meet the Goblin King of your lusty pre-teen dreams. Pasadena Scottish Rite, 150 N. Madison Ave., Pasadena; Tue., Aug. 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m.; $8. victorianteaanddance.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

The folks who run the L.A. Phil early on recognized the startling potential of Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, selecting the relatively unknown Lithuanian native as assistant conductor of the orchestra in 2014 before promoting her to associate conductor the following year. Since then, she's been anointed as music director of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England, although she continues to work with the L.A. Phil. Whether she's unlocking the intricately tricky puzzle boxes of atonal 20th-century avant-garde composers or — as she'll do tonight — summoning forth the more melodic and billowing swells of Claude Debussy's La Mer, the 30-year-old conductor coaxes out the most subtle tonal nuances with a balletic flair. Another young phenom, 24-year-old Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, ignites Tchaikovsky's stirring Piano Concerto No. 1. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood Hills; Tue., Aug. 1, 8 p.m.; $1-$154. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —Falling James

Before a certain Broadway musical reframed her as the victim of a smear campaign, the Wicked Witch of the West was, for many, the personification of evil. But she is only one character of several that branded themselves on the brains of innumerable impressionable tots. Looking back at The Wizard of Oz from the perspective of a grownup, especially if you haven't seen it in a while, may open up an appreciation of just how utterly peculiar it all is. The discerning viewer may detect a strong current of surrealism submerged beneath the gallons of MGM paint (Exhibit G: the blue-faced, bellboy-attired flying monkeys). LACMA will show this critic-proof studio chestnut on 35mm as part of its Tuesday matinees series. How brave are you? LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Aug. 1, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Philip Baker Hall's virtuoso one-man performance as Richard Nixon was given masterful screen treatment by Robert Altman in 1984. The result, Secret Honor, is one of the most concentrated attempts to understand a politician — his personality, outlook, and mannerisms — ever put on film. Cinefamily is featuring it on 35mm as part of its Impeach the President: Watergate on Film series. Hall will take the stage after the movie for a conversation with Sam Fragoso. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Tue., Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.; $14. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Nathaniel Bell

As an example of film noir, Out of the Past stands out like a lustrous diamond, hard-edged in its particulars and yet dreamy in style. The reason for that has to do with the grace that its director, the French-born Jacques Tourneur, brings to the pulp subject matter. As the ex-private eye that gets pulled back into the criminal underworld that he long ago left behind, Robert Mitchum—barrel-chested and mournful of countenance—cuts a poignant figure. Make it a Mitchum double with Cape Fear, in which the star plays an ex-con with a vendetta against the lawyer (Gregory Peck) who wronged him. Both will be featured in three Laemmle locations in celebration of Mitchum's centennial. Film historian Jeremy Arnold will introduce the program at the Ahrya only. Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre (also at the NoHo and Playhouse 7), 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Thu., August 1, 5:10 p.m.; $13. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell

wed 8/2

In three days, it'll be 55 years since Marilyn Monroe died. Today's Immortal Marilyn Pool Party — presented by the world's staunchest Marilyn Monroe fan nexus, Immortal Marilyn — is but one of many events commemorating her untimely (when are these things ever timely?) death. The hourglass-shaped pool in question, located at the former Beverly Carlton, where she did a Life photoshoot, is the rallying point around which the events take place. Drinks, a raffle and a buffet are included, and '50s-style swimsuits are recommended. Avalon Hotel, 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills; Wed., Aug. 2, (310) 277-5221, 3 p.m.; $80. immortalmarilyn.com/2017-immortal-marilyn-memorial-week-plans-all-the-latest. —David Cotner

The Spirit Guild is one of the few spirits distilleries in L.A. County — and one of four in downtown Los Angeles. The employees here focus only on vodka and gin, both made with Southern California clementines. In fact, they're grain-free, so the gluten-intolerant can get blitzed. During the Spirit Guild Tour, you'll get to visit not only the artsy communal spaces but also the back rooms where the huge copper kettles cook up all that delicious booze. The program lasts around 45 minutes and includes a tasting; the admission price includes a $5 discount toward the purchase of a bottle. The Spirit Guild, 586 Mateo St., downtown; Wed., Aug. 2, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; $10. thespiritguild.com/tours-and-tastings. —Katherine Spiers

thu 8/3

The quinceañera marks a girl's journey into womanhood at the age of 15, not unlike the Latin-American version of a sweet sixteen or bat mitzvah. Lucha libre, meanwhile, refers to an energetic form of Mexican wrestling in which the "luchadores" (i.e. wrestlers) wear colorful masks. Combine the two and you get 15 years of Lucha VaVOOM, a performance spectacle that's become an L.A. institution. Lucha VaVOOM Quinceañera features all the show's regular burlesque dancers in an elaborate pageant, along with performances from Michelle L'Amour, Leigh Acosta and Marawa the Amazing, and a "battle royale" for best comedian. Poofy dresses optional. The Mayan, 1038 S. Hill St., downtown; Thu., Aug. 3, 7 p.m.; $40-$75. (213) 746-4674, luchavavoom.com. —Tanja M. Laden


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