20 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
LA Weekly's own Tacolandia — unlimited tacos! — returns on Saturday.
Our very own unlimited-taco extravaganza, a taping of Paula Poundstone's podcast, a screening of The Usual Suspects in a cemetery, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.
Oxnard has styled itself the "Strawberry Capital of the World," but it also grows a ton of other produce, especially leafy greens such as collards and kale. As part of its 25th annual Juneteenth celebration, Oxnard hosts the third Mess-O-Greens Festival, the highlight of which is a cooking competition. There's a $5 tasting fee for the Friday evening event, where all entries will be tasted — your opinion will help select the winner, who will be announced the next day, after eight finalists cook another round of greens. In between the cooking, there's a health and wellness panel, cooking demonstrations and food vendors on site Saturday morning. Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard; Fri., June 16, 6-8 p.m.; Sat., June 17, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free, $5 greens-tasting fee. mess-o-greens.com. —Katherine Spiers
Known for its expansive gardens, mesmerizing library and accessible art, the Huntington is not known for presenting dance. All the same, it's the setting for the only SoCal performance of Beijing-based choreographer Gu Jiani, who, with dancer Wang Xuanqi, arrives on a U.S. tour that includes San Francisco, Seattle and New York. Trained in both classical Chinese dance and Western modern dance, the two performers interweave their dual training in Gu's Right and Left, moving in and out of projected shadow and light to a patchwork of electronic music, compositions by Chopin and the experimental acoustics of Dawn of Midi. Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino; Fri.-Sat., June 16-17, 7:30 p.m.; $30. (626) 405-2100, huntington.org. —Ann Haskins
Once home to such L.A. landmarks as the Brown Derby and the Ambassador Hotel, Koreatown has evolved into one of the most densely populated and culturally significant neighborhoods in the City of Angels. The enclave's offerings are artfully embodied in the K-Town Night Market & Silk Show, which is equal parts Korean street-food festival, K-pop extravaganza and pop-up sample-sale bazaar. The two days of festivities boast more than 50 food vendors along with live music from the likes of Tune in Tokyo and Nylon Pink. It's a perfect way to celebrate the unique ways in which Koreatown has woven together past, present and future to become a vital part of the fabric of L.A. Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, 701 S. Catalina St., Koreatown; Fri., June 16, 4-11 p.m.; Sat., June 17, 2-11 p.m.; $5, $2 in advance. (424) 244-9789, ktownnightmarket.com. —Tanja M. Laden
Celebrated French director Bertrand Tavernier is in town to promote his new documentary, A Journey Through French Cinema (screening Thursday, June 15, at the Aero Theatre). As film noir figures prominently in his essay-film, he has curated a series of French crime dramas — some well-known, some obscure — to supplement the release. Tavernier's five-night series kicks off with a 1950s Jean Gabin double feature. In Razzia sur la chnouf, Gabin — sometimes called "the French Bogart" — plays a gangster who must navigate between the cops and the narcotics ring that employs him. In The Night Affair, he plays a police inspector who falls in love with a dope addict. Tavernier will introduce each program in the series, which runs through June 19. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., June 16, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell
Back in the 1950s, legendary puppeteer Bob Baker developed The Circus, a traveling musical marionette show replete with clowns, animals and everything else found under the big top, albeit under a much smaller top. The show was adapted to be performed at Baker's theater when it opened in Echo Park in 1963, but it eventually ran its course and hasn't been staged for audiences in its original form in 40 years. In the name of nostalgia, the theater is reviving The Circus beginning today. To make the experience as authentic as possible, the theater's staff is restoring puppets and backdrops and preserving the original soundtrack for posterity. Best part: no dodging PETA protesters at this circus. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Echo Park; Sat., June 17, 2:30 p.m. (runs through July 25); $15. (213) 250-9995, bobbakermarionettetheater.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Curated by Mexican food expert and "tacorazzo" Bill Esparza, L.A. Weekly's Tacolandia is the biggest dedicated celebration of tacos in L.A. And that's saying something. More than 120 restaurants, food trucks and bakeries (some from as far away as Mexico) set up to sling taco samples (and some other stuff, too) at this all-you-can-eat afternoon extravaganza at the Pueblo — it's the hottest foodie ticket of the whole year. (Arguably. But everything's arguable.) The event is 21-and-over, with no exceptions: no babies, no toddlers in strollers. That's because of the full bar on site. (It's a cash bar, so it's not a complete bacchanal.) But come ready to stuff your face with all manner of tortilla-wrapped delights. El Pueblo de Los Angeles, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, downtown; Sat., June 17, 3-7 p.m.; $45. tacolandia.laweekly.com. —Katherine Spiers
If you've laughed yourself to tears listening to actor John Roberts impersonate Michael McDonald on Bob's Burgers, or any of the countless other songs on the animated series, Sub Pop recently released The Bob's Burgers Music Album, a compilation of 107 short songs from all six seasons, including, "Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night," "Butts, Butts, Butts," "The Fart Song" and "The Diarrhea Song." Bob's Burgers Live!: Music and Comedy and Musical Comedy Review features music from the album, stand-up comedy and clips of upcoming episodes. Scheduled to perform are all the voices behind the Belcher family and other cast members — Roberts, H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, Dan Mintz and Larry Murphy — in addition to show creator Loren Bouchard, composers John Dylan Keith and Tim Dacey, house band El Vy, featuring The National's Matt Berninger, and special guests. The Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat.-Sun., June 17-18, 8 p.m.; $59.50-$79.50. (877) 677-4386, laorpheum.com. —Siran Babayan
Historically, the most popular Mexican beers have been light-bodied lagers, known more for their drinkability than for their complex flavors or stylistic diversity. That's beginning to change, however, as several Mexican microbreweries and independent producers have emerged to challenge bland, corporate Big Cerveza with a range of bold ales, stouts, porters and IPAs. During its daylong Mexican Craft Beer Festival, downtown beer bar Mikkeller will showcase five of the best new breweries south of the border: Cerveceria Insurgente and Border Psycho from Tijuana, Cerveceria Wendlandt and Cerveceria AguaMala from Ensenada, and Cerveza Fauna from Mexicali. Also on the menu: traditional Mexican dishes, including chorizo con huevos and sopes de birria de res made with adobo-marinated beef brisket — perfect for soaking up the hops. Mikkeller DTLA, 330 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Sat., June 17, 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Sun.; free. (213) 596-9005, mikkellerbar.com. —Matt Stromberg
Every film-loving Angeleno must attend Cinespia at least once lest their cinephile credentials be revoked. Each Saturday over the summer, the festival convenes at Hollywood Forever Cemetery to watch a film, usually a time-honored favorite, among the Hollywood dead. This Saturday will screen The Usual Suspects, Bryan Singer's 1995 thriller, which features a famous, rug-pulling twist. If you've somehow managed to avoid spoilers until now, this would be an opportune moment to meet Keyser Söze. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., June 17, 9 p.m. (gates open 7:15); $16. cinespia.org. —Nathaniel Bell
The K-Town Night Market & Silk Show returns this weekend.
We're all slaves to the screen, even children. The Autry Museum of the American West's latest exhibit, "Play!," is a nostalgic nod to a simpler, pre–mobile device era of classic and modern toys and games in the American West, dating back to the 19th century and featuring such well-known brands as Mattel, Milton Bradley and Disney, in addition to objects made by African-Americans and Native Americans. Among the more than 200 items organized into four thematic sections are bicycles, skateboards, kites, tea sets, air rifles, tin soldiers, vintage and modern video games, a 1959 Barbie and a 1930 Mickey doll, the first licensed Disney toy. The museum will host a series of events related to the display, including scavenger hunts, interactive dress-up stations, indoor games and film screenings. Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Sun., June 18 (through Jan. 7); $10. (323) 667-2000, theautry.org. —Siran Babayan
Toshio Matsumoto, who died in April at 85, was one of Japan's most prominent avant-garde filmmakers. His magnum opus, 1969's Funeral Parade of Roses, is an astonishing blend of documentary and art-house techniques that caused a stir in its native country for its frank depiction of homosexuality. A psychedelic, no-holds-barred plunge into the world of Tokyo drag queens, the film purportedly was an influence on Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Cinefamily will afford audiences an opportunity to rediscover this experimental landmark, freshly restored by Cinelicious Pics, for one week beginning Friday. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sun., June 18, 5 p.m. (also June 16-22, times vary); $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Nathaniel Bell
It took more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 for General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers to enforce the proclamation in Texas and free the remaining slaves on June 19, 1865, officially abolishing slavery. Though not a federal holiday, the date is commemorated all over the country. UCB's Juneteenth — An Emancipation Celebration!, however, isn't a history lesson but a sketch comedy that humorously imagines what might have happened to the slaves after they gained their independence. Cast members Jesse Esparza, Gerald Grissette, Ify Nwadiwe, Carl Tart and Melia Mills, who plays abolitionist and show host Harriet Tubman, perform — even sing spirituals and pop-song covers — in skits that involve a Miss Juneteenth beauty pageant, former slaves at a family reunion and an ex-slave who aspires to be a rapper. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., June 19, 7 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
Don't Knock the Rock music documentary festival returns with another showcase of films that marry sight and sound to make pop-culture babies of resounding insight. As part of the fest, Cinefamily is screening Janus Films' newly restored version of the 1968 documentary Monterey Pop, and director D.A. Pennebaker appears in person to add his personal perspective on what happened during that fateful weekend 50 years ago at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, which featured Jimi and Janis and Otis and Ravi. Films like Monterey Pop are precious in that they capture a freer time, when people lived for the moment and those moments just seemed so limitless. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Mon., June 19, 7:30 p.m.; $14, free for members. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner
In her latest book, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness, Paula Poundstone writes about her attempts to be happier by experimenting with various tasks and stunts, including exercising, getting organized, becoming more computer literate and driving a Lamborghini for a day. Poundstone applies that same scientific curiosity to her new podcast, Live From the Poundstone Institute, premiering July 8. Hosted by KPCC, the live tapings feature the comedian and her "head of research," Adam Felber (a regular panelist on NPR's game show Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!), discussing recent research studies on such bizarre topics as what kind of music dogs listen to, the fluid dynamics of coffee spillage and couples cheating on Netflix, aka "streaming infidelity." Each week includes audience participation, as well as call-ins from research experts and celebrities. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., June 20, 7-8:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan
Opening July 14, Sierra Madre Playhouse's jukebox musical The Marvelous Wonderettes takes place on prom night 1958, and features familiar hits from the 1950s and '60s, namely "Mr. Sandman," "You Don't Own Me," "It's My Party" and many others. Though it's technically past prom season, Pasadena's biggest bookstore hosts Vroman's Prom Night, featuring a listening party that includes many of those songs, prom-themed bingo and prom fashions from past decades modeled by acting students from the playhouse and volunteers, who'll also serve punch and cookies. Among the prizes are corsages and boutonnieres, and all visitors will receive a $5-off coupon for tickets to the show. Vroman's Hastings Ranch, 3729 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena; Tue., June 20, 6 p.m.; free. (626) 351-0828, vromansbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan
LACMA's Tuesday Matinees screens Little Women, the 1994 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's oft-filmed best-seller about four sisters buffeted by love and war. Australian director Gillian Armstrong demonstrates a fine eye for Victorian period detail, including some lovely Christmas scenes. The film subtly reinterprets the material for more feminist-friendly times while maintaining the veneer of a family classic. Winona Ryder got her second Oscar nomination in a row for playing Jo March, the role filled by Katherine Hepburn in the 1933 RKO version. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 20, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell
Little Women screens at LACMA for four bucks on Tuesday.
Memorial Day, the symbolic first day of summer, has come and gone, but June 21 is the official first day of summer, and Culver City is celebrating with tastings of the quintessential seasonally appropriate adult beverage: boozy lemonade. At the annual Spiked Lemonade Contest and Tasting, the city's sixth, participating businesses in downtown Culver City will put balloons outside to indicate there's lemonade for tasting inside. There also will be live music in the streets, a raffle and, yes, unspiked lemonade for kids. Culver & Washington boulevards, Culver City; Wed., June 21, 5-9 p.m.; free. downtownculvercity.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
The Los Angeles Conservancy's roaming film series Last Remaining Seats shows Wings in the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. William "Wild Bill" Wellman's 1927 drama about two young WWI flyboys (Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Richard Arlen) in love with the same girl (Clara Bow) took home the first Oscar for Best Picture. In addition to featuring some of the most thrilling aerial photography of its era (Wellman was a veteran fighter pilot), it's a surprisingly tender bromance. Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, downtown; Wed., June 21, 8 p.m.; $22. (213) 623-2489, laconservancy.org. —Nathaniel Bell
Former L.A. Weekly reporter Christine Pelisek signs her new book, The Grim Sleeper: The Lost Women of South Central. Between 1985 and 2007, Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was responsible for the murders — and one attempted murder — of at least 10 women whose bodies were found in South L.A. Eventually, with the help of new DNA testing techniques, Franklin was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to death in 2016. Now a People crime reporter, Pelisek broke the story of the serial killer, dubbed "The Grim Sleeper," in L.A. Weekly in 2008; her stories even inspired a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. In her account, Pelisek recalls how she uncovered the case, including details on the investigation, trial and the victims' families. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Thu., June 22, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan
Laemmle's Throwback Thursdays series, in partnership with Eat/See/Hear, screens Bob Fosse's Cabaret — undoubtedly the best musical to prominently feature Nazis since The Sound of Music. Liza Minnelli ignites the screen in an Oscar-winning performance as an American expat who finds freedom and ecstasy in 1930s Berlin amid the rise of the Third Reich. Michael York and Helmut Griem complete the edgiest love triangle of 1972, while Joel Grey (who also snagged an Oscar) commands attention as a mercurial Master of Ceremonies. Life is a cabaret, my friends. Come to the Cabaret. Laemmle NoHo, 5420 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Thu., June 22, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. –Nathaniel Bell
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