Big hats and big appetites rule at Brunch at the Races on Sunday.
Big hats and big appetites rule at Brunch at the Races on Sunday.
Anne Fishbein

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


Our annual brunch blowout at Santa Anita Park, a trans film fest, David Lynch's second annual music and art fest, and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 10/13

Following last year's inaugural event, transgender artist and Transparent co-producer Zackary Drucker once again hosts the TransNation Festival, a three-day celebration of features, documentaries and shorts about and made by members of the trans community. Among the highlights are David France's 2017 The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, which looks at the mysterious 1992 death of the New York drag performer/activist; a trilogy of films featuring legendary San Francisco avant-garde theater troupe the Cockettes, accompanied by Kristian Hoffman's live score; and a midnight screening of Michael Sarne's infamous 1970 Myra Breckinridge, starring Raquel Welch as the titular trans female heroine. And no LGBT-themed festival would be complete without a nod to RuPaul, namely a series of low-budget short movies that aired on Atlanta public access TV called Starrbooty, in which she played a supermodel-turned-government spy. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit St. John's Well Child & Family Center's Transgender Health Program. Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Fri., Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.-mid.; Sat., Oct. 14, 4 p.m.-mid.; Sun., Oct. 15, 3-9:30 p.m.; $12-$14. transnationfestival.org. —Siran Babayan

Expanded from its original opening date in June, the Grammy Museum finally unveils its latest exhibit, "X: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles." A tribute to L.A. music torch-bearers Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake, the collection assembles photographs, instruments, clothing, handwritten lyrics by Cervenka and Doe, artwork by Cervenka and concert flyers. The display also includes screenings of W.T. Morgan's excellent 1986 documentary, X: The Unheard Music. Part portrait collage, part musical bio, the film features interviews with all four band members (as well as producer Ray Manzarek and Rodney Bingenheimer) discussing X's formation in 1977, in addition to home movies, live and studio performances and some of their best songs off their first four albums, namely "Los Angeles," "White Girl," "Soul Kitchen," and "Johnny Hit & Run Paulene." Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; runs through March 31; $12.95, $11.95 students and seniors, $10.95 children. (213) 765-6800, grammymuseum.org. —Siran Babayan

While Desert Daze presents plenty of face-melting psych-rock bands, one of the fest's most otherworldly experiences will be unleashed by multimedia artist Cristopher Cichocki, whose Circular Dimensions project channels the psychedelic spirit influenced by the Joshua Tree site. After all, host location the Institute for Mentalphysics was started by a far-out guy by the name of Edwin John Dingle, an Englishman who wandered China and Tibet in the early 1900s, changed his name to Ding Le Mei and launched the spiritual center in the Mojave after a green light in the sky told him to. Much like those celestial lights, Cichocki's installation illuminates in the interior of the Institute's Sanctuary, which was built by Frank Lloyd Wright's son, Lloyd, casting Technicolor hues and ambient sound throughout sculptures in the hallowed space. Various musicians and performers will stop by the installation throughout the weekend, too. Institute for Mentalphysics, 59700 Twentynine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree; Fri.-Sun., Oct. 13-15; $99-$149 single-day passes, $229-$450 weekend passes. desertdaze.org. —Drew Tewksbury

The American Cinematheque launches German Currents, a festival celebrating some of the choicest films to emerge from Germany over the last year. Things get rolling with a red-carpet gala presentation of Tiger Girl, the story of a young wallflower (Maria-Victoria Dragus) who gets schooled by a street-tough gal named Tiger (Ella Rumpf). Masquerading as security guards, they embark on a vigilante spree that soon gets out of hand. There will be a discussion afterward with director Jakob Lass, followed by a reception. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sat 10/14

David Lynch's second Festival of Disruption melds together a curiously resonant blend of artists, musicians and writers to demonstrate the proper fertilization and watering of our hearts and minds through creativity. The festival raises funds and awareness for Lynch's charitable foundation, dedicated to conquering post-traumatic stress through transcendental meditation. Bon Iver, TV on the Radio, DJs Moby and Shepard Fairey and others supply the sounds; talks feature artist Ed Ruscha, actors Bill Pullman and Sheryl Lee, and several Twin Peaks collaborators; film screenings include Lynch's Lost Highway and rare Lynch shorts. The two-day event also features William Eggleston and Lynch exhibits, and a meditation area bathed in Brian Eno's Reflection. Theatre at the Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat.-Sun., Oct. 14-15, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; $249-$999. festivalofdisruption.com. —John Payne

An earworm is a tune that gets stuck inside your brain, like "We Will Rock You," "Macarena" or "It's a Small World," and James DeLorean has written an entire musical about the phenomenon called Earworm the Musical: Live. The story follows Danny, a geeky, 30-something film and TV sound editor who's driven mad by a catchy piece of music that sounds similar to 1980s ELO. After visiting the doctor, he learns he has an actual earworm in his head threatening to take over his brain and has only a week to find a cure. Written, directed and starring DeLorean, the cast features Rachel Benezra, Erin Alexis, Wade Ryan, Michael Gutierrez, Shelly Snellman and a surprise guest, who sing along to original songs, some performed live, replete with keytar shredding. The Lyric Hyperion, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Sat., Oct. 14, 6-7:30 p.m.; free with registration. (323) 928-2299, lyrichyperion.com/calendar-of-events/2017/10/14/earworm-the-musical-live. —Siran Babayan

Andrei Rublev, Andrei Tarkovsky's magisterial 1966 biopic about the famous icon and fresco painter, is one of the few films that truly feels medieval. The black-and-white images — except for the extended epilogue, which blazes with color — appear to be transmitted from some nearly forgotten past. Perhaps the greatest movie ever made about the role of the artist in religious life, it was cut significantly and denied a wide release for years, only to be reclaimed as a key work by one of Eastern Europe's most important filmmakers. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sun 10/15

On the average Sunday, you wait in line for brunch and all you get is one stinking meal. At L.A. Weekly's own Brunch at the Races, attendees can sample a multicultural, sweet-and-savory array of brunch items from more than 30 restaurants, including Korean eats from Kobawoo House, Italian from Little Dom's and good, old-fashioned American breakfast classics from Cindy's and Fred 62. And brunch wouldn't be worth its weight in waffles unless booze was involved, so Effen vodka and Maker's Mark will be on hand to serve up cocktails to sip while you take in the first horse races of the season. Feel free to wear a big, Derby-style hat and definitely bring a big appetite. Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia; Sun., Oct. 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; $30-$65. brunchattheraces.laweekly.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Red Bull Music Academy Festival presents the debut L.A. action of Japanese minimalist composer Ryoji Ikeda's A [for 100 cars]. Ikeda continues his exploration into the frequencies of note A, a sonic wonderland that in eons past became so muddled that a general musical tuning standard of A=440 Hz was devised. Today, Ikeda teams up with 100 automobile owners to create the world's largest synth orchestra. The cars will pump out many different (but specific) frequencies of note A to create a sound bath like no other — somewhere between "more bounce to the ounce" and "more hertz for the dirt." RBMA L.A., 131 S. Olive St., downtown; Sun., Oct. 15, 3 p.m.; free, first come, first served (RSVP does not guarantee entry). la.redbullmusicacademy.com/event/ryoji-ikeda-a-for-100-cars. —David Cotner

Part store, part clubhouse, the Garage Lounge & Skate Shop in Boyle Heights is a place where anyone can stop by to purchase decks and wheels and where youth can do their homework before jumping on their boards. The Garage hosts the Día de los Muertos Sk8 Festival with competitions, art and entertainment for the whole family. Activities start at 10 a.m. with a skate class for the 8-and-under crowd and continue in the afternoon with competitions among the older kids. Check out live music, comedy and painting throughout the day while browsing the booths from local vendors. The Garage Lounge and Skate Shop, 1852 E. First St. (street closure between Boyle and State); Sun., Oct. 15; free. (323) 268-2383, thegarageboardshops.com, facebook.com/events/127190058009296. —Liz Ohanesian

For his chilling depiction of the atrocities of war, Russian director Elem Klimov chose to filter WWII history through the eyes of a teenage Belarusian boy (the unforgettable Aleksey Kravchenko, who ages visibly as the film progresses). The result is a drama like no other, in which the accumulation of horrors achieves a kind of negative transcendence, or holy void. The American Cinematheque screens Come and See as part of its Landmarks of Soviet Cinema series. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

David Lynch is still an arbiter of cool.
David Lynch is still an arbiter of cool.
Timothy Norris

mon 10/16

Fans of The Smiths and Morrissey have long gazed at the group's album artwork, and now they can view it all in person during the final days of These Days L.A.'s "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish: The Smiths & Morrissey Collection." Donated by an anonymous collector, the nearly dozen 40x40 posters include those for Smiths singles "Shoplifters of the World Unite," "Girlfriend in a Coma" and "Sheila Take a Bow"; the band's tours; their final studio album, 1987's Strangeways, Here We Come, and Morrissey's debut solo record, 1988's Viva Hate. They feature iconic images of Elvis, Truman Capote and Andy Warhol actress Candy Darling, and were originally displayed in British subways and independent record stores for promotional purposes. The collection also features additional unframed posters, VHS tapes, Morrissey bobblehead dolls, a Ouija board and back issues of two zines — Morri'Zine and Louder Than Bombas: On Raza, Morrissey and The Smiths — some of which are for sale. These Days Gallery & Store, 118 Winston St., downtown; through Sun., Oct. 22; free. thesedaysla.com. —Siran Babayan

You can't spell "catharsis" without "har," and in Tales of a Juvenile Delinquent, actor-comedian Pam Murphy — who's appeared on a slew of television shows, from Adam Ruins Everything to Conan — recounts her angsty teenage misdeeds in a way that makes it OK to laugh. By the time she was sweet 16, Pam had been busted multiple times, been strip-searched, hid a couple of ounces of coke from the cops, had guns drawn on her, was detrimentally boisterous and rowdy, and survived the violence of being a passenger in a gnarly drunk-driving accident. The show is directed by Brian Finkelstein — but seriously, who would have ever dreamed that Pam Murphy could be directed by anyone? UCB Sunset, 5419 Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 16, 7 p.m.; $6. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —David Cotner

tue 10/17

One of the benefits of L.A. Philharmonic's annual fall migration from the sprawling Hollywood Bowl to its indoor season at Walt Disney Concert Hall is that the orchestra can take more musical chances inside the smaller venue. Mexican conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto leads L.A. Phil New Music Group, a compact and more adventurous version of the orchestra, tonight in New Music From Mexico, a program of world premieres of experimental music by Mexican composers that's part of the CDMX festival; it also launches L.A. Phil's provocative Green Umbrella series. Prieto unveils new works by Édgar Guzmán, Felipe Waller, Alejandro Castaños, Ivan Naranjo and the arty, shape-shifting vocal collages and chamber-music twists of singer-composer Diana Syrse. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111. S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue., Oct. 17, 8 p.m.; $20-$59. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James

We often think of poetry as something that exists exclusively on printed pages in dusty old books, but in the '50s, '60s and '70s, artists defied that expectation by creating graphic, sometimes three-dimensional poems — standing poems and block poems, for instance — as part of the "concrete poetry" movement. The Getty's concrete poetry exhibit closed in July, but curators Nancy Perloff and Zanna Gilbert host the discussion The "Concrete" in Poetry and Art to tie together that exhibition with the Getty's current exhibit "Making Art Concrete," which features works made in Argentina and Brazil between 1946 and 1962. The curators discuss the connections between the two "concrete" movements and shifting interpretations of the word "concrete" in general. The Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Tue., Oct. 17, 7 p.m.; free with advance ticket. getty.edu/visit/cal/events/ev_1926.html. —Gwynedd Stuart

Popular and iconic yet somehow underrated, 1932's The Mummy is one of the most memorable films of the early sound era. Apart from the genuinely spooky opening sequence ("He went for a little walk!"), Karl Freund's direction emphasizes the romantic aspects of its undead protagonist. Boris Karloff's sensitive portrayal, augmented considerably by Jack Pierce's brilliant makeup design, is at once intimidating and delicate, his devotion to his princess proving stronger than death itself. LACMA's Tuesday Matinees series invites you to fall under its spell. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Oct. 17, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

If you're going to Desert Daze, be sure to check out Cristopher Cichocki's Circular Dimensions.EXPAND
If you're going to Desert Daze, be sure to check out Cristopher Cichocki's Circular Dimensions.
Lance Gerber

wed 10/18

Dance takes over a movie soundstage as Akram Khan and his Akram Khan Company perform Until the Lions in the round. Even before he won his many awards, Khan was a breakthrough choreographer, blending his background in India's classical kathak dance with contemporary dance elements for his own dance company as well as for national and international dance companies. He even paired up for a star-turn tour with French superstar ballerina Sylvie Guillem. Khan's extraordinary skills and vision are the opening salvo of Music Center on Location, with the Music Center venturing to present outside its downtown campus. After presenting two dance programs at the Ford over the summer, this time downtown goes west with Until the Lions, Khan's retelling of a segment of the Mahabharata, with this male choreographer audaciously approaching the endeavor from a female point of view. Culver Studios, 9336 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Wed.-Sat., Oct. 18-21, 8 p.m.; $20-$117. (213) 972-0711, musiccenter.org/lions. —Ann Haskins

thu 10/19

This spring marked the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising (otherwise known as the L.A. riots), several days of civil unrest that resulted from what were widely perceived to be race-related miscarriages of justice. The ninth installment of Echo Park Film Center's ongoing film series Race and Space in Los Angeles centers on the riots via a program of grassroots films produced by Michael Zinzun, a co-founder of Coalition Against Police Abuse. Yusef Omowale and Michele Welsing of the Southern California Library curated the films, and they'll be present for a discussion about challenging race and oppression. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Thu., Oct. 19, 8 p.m. (doors at 7:30 p.m.); free. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org/events/race-and-space-in-los-angeles-ix. —Gwynedd Stuart

Laemmle's Throwback Thursdays series continues its jaunt through international horror with the Norwegian neo-classic Trollhunter. True, the jittery, handheld aesthetic has been done-to-death, but never in this particular context. The tall-as-oaks creatures that stomp through the picture are genuinely weird creations: butt-ugly CGI things that seem to have leapt from the pages of an ancient book of fairy tales. Hans Morten Hansen delivers a strong performance as the title tracker, deadpanning to the audience so convincingly that you begin to buy the whole premise. Laemmle NoHo, 5420 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, Thu., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell

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