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

Johnny Depp plays a lachrymous greaser in John Waters' Cry-Baby, screening on Thursday.EXPAND
Johnny Depp plays a lachrymous greaser in John Waters' Cry-Baby, screening on Thursday.
Universal Pictures

The Most Interesting Man in the World talks about his book, the Suicide Girls return in a seductive show, local chefs try their hands at cooking vegan mac and cheese, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 6/23

The name Jonathan Goldsmith might not immediately ring a bell, but his TV persona — the "Most Interesting Man in the World" in a long-running series of commercials for Dos Equis — probably does. You know, the guy from the ads that claim "his charm is so contagious, vaccines have been created for it." On Friday, Goldsmith discusses his new book, Stay Interesting: I Don't Always Tell Stories About My Life, But When I Do They're True and Amazing. The 78-year-old writes that he was practically living out of his truck when he auditioned for the part of the suave, older man, which he landed by mimicking Fernando Lamas. Goldsmith played the role for 10 years and became so popular he was invited to President Obama's 50th birthday party at Camp David and had celebrity fans like Michael Jordan asking for his autograph. In his memoir, Goldsmith recounts how he spent decades as a struggling actor in Los Angeles and New York, his friendship with Dustin Hoffman, affairs with one of Groucho Marx's wives and Gilligan's Island's Tina Louise, and even that time he dated Judy Garland. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Fri., June 23, 8 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan

Tortured souls are among choreographer Boris Eifman's favorite subjects around whom to build sensual, even downright erotic ballets for his splendid dancers. On prior visits, Eifman and his Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg have focused on a Soviet-era ballerina who went mad; sculptor Claudine Claudel, muse/mistress of Auguste Rodin, who went mad; and other troubled souls including Anna Karenina, the Tolstoy protagonist who commits suicide. For this visit, the choreographer's subject is a historic Russian man. In Tchaikovsky, Eifman takes on the Russian composer whose life has previously been mined in pop culture such as Ken Russell's 1970 film The Music Lovers, a fever dream about the luscious music that emerged from the composer's troubled life, hellacious marriage and early death, possibly by compelled suicide. Whether or not Eifman is Russell's match, there's still all that swoony Tchaikovsky music. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri.-Sat., June 23-24, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 25, 2 p.m.; $34-$125. (213) 972-0711, musiccenter.org/eifman. —Ann Haskins

Upcoming Events

Everyone's heard of Woodstock, but if there was any justice in the world, the Monterey Pop Music Festival would be uttered in the same breath. This legendary concert, which spanned three days during the Summer of Love, featured the talents of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Ravi Shankar, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, among many others, and set the bar for virtually all rock gatherings to come. It was also photographed, in brilliant pop color, by a team headed by D.A. Pennebaker, who edited it into at least three reputable documentaries. The Aero screens the first and most famous of these, Monterey Pop, in a new 4K transfer, and it's a great way to kick the summer into high gear. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., June 23, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

Are you the cry-at-movies type? Here's a good litmus test. Try subjecting yourself to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the most famous family film outside the Disney stable. Few scenes can shred hearts like the one in which the gentle alien with the oval head and glowing finger is resurrected in the hospital room after undergoing an excruciatingly protracted death scene. (If your eyes still aren't moist after that, you may be an extraterrestrial yourself.) The Egyptian will show Spielberg's masterpiece of emotion in 70mm as part of its '82 Blowup series, highlighting some of the most memorable fantasy spectacles of that year. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., June 23, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sat 6/24

Assuming you didn't party too hard on Friday night or you just want to get your Saturday night started way early, Resident in downtown L.A. hosts daytime dance party Daft Brunch. While guest DJs spin a selection of French house, disco and, naturally, the music of masked electro duo Daft Punk, you can nosh on a burrito or scramble from KTCHN DTLA's all-day eggs menu and then dance it all away in time for dinner. Resident, 428 S. Hewitt St., downtown; Sat., June 24, 1-7 p.m.; $15. residentdtla.ticketfly.com/event/1495598-daft-brunch-los-angeles. —Gwynedd Stuart

By, for and about geeks, basically, the Suicide Girls reclaim the body for themselves and like-minded misfits everywhere. The parody of a parody known as Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque hits the stage to fill your eyes and ears with campy set pieces loaded with au courant pop culture references and a slamming indie soundtrack. This show gives adult girls and boys a somewhat politically correct opportunity to ogle the sensationally sexy choreography of a good-humored troupe whose piquantly pulsating pulchritude pays thematic tribute to Star Wars, Orange Is the New Black, Donnie Darko, A Clockwork Orange and more. 18 and up. Teragram Ballroom, 1234 W. Seventh St., Westlake; Sat., June 24, 9 p.m. (doors 8 p.m.); $26-$86. (213) 689-9100, teragramballroom.com. —John Payne

Studio Ghibli may not be a household name like Disney, but the Japanese animation studio has amassed legions of dedicated fans the world over with its combination of moving stories, fantastical characters and visual whimsy. These aren't your parents' cartoons, though. Beloved films like My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away have an emotional and narrative maturity that has made them popular with children and adults alike. "Cute culture" shop JapanLA is hosting a monthlong Studio Ghibli Pop-up featuring a wide array of Ghibli merch, plus limited-edition enamel pins and jackets. There's also a Totoro photo booth, so you can pose with everyone's favorite oval-shaped cat-owl-raccoon creature. Organizers recommend arriving well before the 11 a.m. opening time, as they will be giving out tickets to only the first 800 people in line. JapanLA, 7320½ Melrose Ave., Fairfax; Sat., June 24, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; free. (323) 934-5201, facebook.com/events/769244469910420. —Matt Stromberg

Every so often, lighting-witted improv comic Greg Proops records a podcast in front of a live crowd at Cinefamily, giving audiences a chance to hear him wax rhapsodic about a favorite movie, followed by a screening of that movie. Tonight the Greg Proops Film Club presents Hal Ashby's counterculture classic Harold and Maude. Time hasn't dulled its tweedy charms, and it remains the cinematic May-December romance to beat. Indeed, the film's dedication to individual expression has only gained currency since it first greeted the public in 1971, and the Cat Stevens soundtrack is guaranteed to hum in your ears long after the end credits roll. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sat., June 24, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Lethal Amounts brings an entire exhibit of pictures of Nick Cave smoking cigarettes to the Ace Hotel on Wednesday.
Lethal Amounts brings an entire exhibit of pictures of Nick Cave smoking cigarettes to the Ace Hotel on Wednesday.
Kennet Havgaard

sun 6/25

The first pinewood derby was held at a Manhattan Beach Cub Scout lodge in 1953, beginning a beloved American tradition of racing small, homemade wooden cars, originally made out of pine. This summer, Golden Road Brewing has come up with an adult twist on this event: the inaugural Golden Road Beer Can Pinewood Derby. For $25, entrants will receive a kit, a shirt and a six-pack of beer ($15 without the kit) from which to fashion their vehicle. Each car must feature elements of a beer can, so you may need to put back a few before you get it right. Prizes will be awarded for speed and style, so build the fastest or most original rig and you might just win a one-year beer club membership, a tasting and tour or a swag bag. It's not just about having a fun day at the races, however; it's also about giving back to the community, as 100 percent of the proceeds will go to My Friend's Place, a charity that supports homeless youth. Golden Road Brewing, 5410 W. San Fernando Road, Atwater Village; Sun., June 25, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. $15-$25 entry fee. goldenroad.la/events/2017/golden-road-pinbeer-can-derby. —Matt Stromberg

Do you love mac and cheese? Are you also a vegan? Well, you may just be in luck. Mac Down L.A. (which is actually in Pasadena) hosts eight cooks in its quest to create the best vegan macaroni and cheese on the planet. The contestants aren't all full-time chefs, but they're all known in the health/wellness/raised-consciousness arena. Attendees will get to taste the entries and vote for their favorite. It's a pretty good deal, pricewise, since vegan food vendors will be at the event, handing out free samples of their products. DJ Veg-O will perform. Shumei Hall, 2430 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., June 25, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; $8. eventbrite.com/e/mac-down-la-tickets-34872513627. —Katherine Spiers

The UCLA Film & Television Archive is in the middle of an extensive salute to John Huston, the peripatetic filmmaker responsible for one of the most varied and honored careers in the industry. Of the four dozen or so films in his oeuvre, The Misfits earns a place near the top. A powerful drama about a group of down-and-out cowboys, the film boasts a finely wrought screenplay by playwright Arthur Miller and some exceptional work from stars Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach. Gable and Monroe would never make another movie, which renders the downbeat story all the more poignant. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., June 25, 7 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Nathaniel Bell

mon 6/26

Since her book of essays, Bad Feminist, was released in 2014, Roxane Gay has shaped conversations on a variety of topics, from feminism to right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos. (Gay famously pulled the aforementioned book from Simon & Schuster when the publisher offered Yiannopoulos an enormous book deal.) In her new book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, Gay discusses her lifelong struggles with food in the wake of childhood sexual abuse and her own self-image. Tonight, she appears in conversation with Call Your Girlfriend podcast co-host Ann Friedman. Aratani Theater, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., Little Tokyo; Mon., June 26, 6:30 p.m.; $32-$55. (213) 628-2725, lfla.org/event/evening-roxane-gay. —David Cotner

tue 6/27

Since 2014, the Institute for Art and Olfaction has hosted an awards ceremony to recognize the pre-eminent names and organizations in new fragrance creation. Creations by perfumers from all over the world are available for sniffing at the IAO's Art and Olfaction Awards Finalists: Smelling Party. This year's winning concoctions have names such as Bruise Violet, Altruist and Fathom V. If the aromas aren't sufficiently intoxicating, there will also be beer and wine for quaffing. The Institute for Art and Olfaction, 932 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Tue., June 27, 6-8 p.m.; free. (213) 616-1744, artandolfaction.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Sofia Coppola made her directorial debut with the offbeat, aesthetically ambitious The Virgin Suicides, an enduring cult item that signaled the arrival of an exciting female voice. Set in Detroit in the 1970s, it recounts the rebellion of five sisters against their suffocatingly uncool parents (James Woods and Kathleen Turner) as witnessed by the smitten boys in their school. With its fastidious, almost worshipful attention to clothes, furniture, music and other cultural signposts, it established a template for future American indies. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., June 27, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

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

wed 6/28

One of the best characters created by famed Canadian comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall was Buddy Cole, a gay, ascot-wearing, cocktail-sipping raconteur with a blond pompadour, who claimed Oscar Wilde stole from him, and who sat on a barstool delivering bitchy monologues about everything from racism and gay marriage to the Great White North. ("Americans know as much about Canada as straight people do about gays.") More than 20 years after the series ended, actor Scott Thompson has periodically resurrected his alter ego in one-man shows; Kids reunions; a 1998 parody memoir, Buddy Babylon: The Autobiography of Buddy Cole; and, most recently, as a correspondent from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics for The Colbert Report, where he reported on Russia's anti-gay laws. Still bitter, Cole will be spilling his martini in Apres le Deluge: The Buddy Cole Monologues, where he'll no doubt rant about Trump and whatever else has him currently incensed. UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Wed., June 28, 8 p.m.; $7. (323) 908-8702, franklin.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

One exhibit, one night, one theme: Nick Cave smoking. "Lethal Amounts Presents Nick Cave Smoking" is a collection of photographs of goth's sharpest dressed man doing just that. Inspired by a blog post Lethal Amounts ran last year, and curated by gallery founder Danny Fuentes with Andi Harriman and Hannah Nance Partlow, the display features some 40 color and black-and-white images dating back to the late 1970s by 15 photographers. Shots by the likes of Ed Colver, Dave Corio, Polly Borland and David Arnoff capture the singer indulging in his favorite vice, whether he's onstage, surrounded by books or sitting in a bathtub. For fans not going to Cave's sold-out show at the Ace Theatre tonight, this will be like a secondhand thrill, or secondhand smoke, but without the health risks. Segovia Hall at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Wed., June 28, 6:30-10:30 p.m.; free. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/lethal-amounts-presents-nick-cave-smoking. —Siran Babayan

thu 6/29

Canada turns 150 on July 1. Before you express indifference, remember that our nonconfrontational northern neighbors have given us such comedic legends as Lorne Michaels, SCTV, The Kids in the Hall, Trailer Park Boys and half of Cheech and Chong. Yes, blame them. To celebrate, the Comedy Store's annual Canada Day show, the largest such event in town, hosts a special Canada's 150th Birthday Comedy Bash, featuring host Angelo Tsarouchas and fellow Canadian-born comics Russell Peters, Ara Basil, Kristeen Von Hagen, Darrin Rose, Lisa Gay Tremblay, Dylan Mendelson, Renee Percy, Eric Johnson, Tracy McDonald, Christina Walkinshaw and Jeremy Hotz, who once joked that Americans are the "most un-Canadian people you've ever met." The Comedy Store, 8433 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thu., June 29, 8 p.m.; $20. (323) 650-6268, hollywood.thecomedystore.com. —Siran Babayan

Chicanos created the lowrider on the Eastside as far back as the 1940s. The car style peaked in the 1970s and '80s in popular cruising zones from Whittier to Van Nuys, becoming as integral to Los Angeles' car culture as freeways. Following two similarly themed exhibits in 2000 and 2008, the Petersen Automotive Museum's "The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazon e Inspiracion" pays tribute to the art and culture of lowriders. The collection includes paintings, drawings, photographs, lithographs and sculpture, in addition to the customized vehicles themselves, such as a 1950 Chevrolet Sedan, 1963 and 1968 Chevrolet Impalas and 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe. The opening reception features light refreshments and KCRW DJ Raul Campos. Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thu., June 28, 7-10 p.m.; $45. (323) 930-2277, petersen.org. —Siran Babayan

Cry-Baby, John Waters' ribald send-up of 1950s rock & roll culture, came hard on the heels of his big mainstream breakthrough, Hairspray. While it doesn't quite attain the level of that gleeful hit, it's still a good deal of fun, played to the hilt by a game cast led by Johnny Depp. Laemmle's Throwback Thursdays series will screen it for one night only in partnership with Eat/See/Hear, which means a tasty catering wagon will be somewhere nearby. Laemmle NoHo, 5420 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Thu., June 29, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell


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