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

Tight and Nerdy bring their "Weird Al" Yankovic tribute back to Los Angeles on Friday night.EXPAND
Tight and Nerdy bring their "Weird Al" Yankovic tribute back to Los Angeles on Friday night.
Illume Allure


An art walk in Reseda, a lobster fest in Redondo Beach, a free magic show at a cool downtown bar, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 9/22

Harbor views and a bunch of lobster — seems like a nice way to spend a few hours. The Redondo Beach Lobster Festival serves up Maine lobster in various forms, though steamed and served with red potatoes and coleslaw is the most common and popular. Different ticket packages are available, so make sure you get one that actually includes a lobster. There's a surf 'n' turf option as well, if you feel like going big. Head over to the Lobster Bistro to try lobster guac, lobster quesadillas, lobster corn chowder and more. All eating will be accompanied by live music. Seaside Lagoon, 200 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach; Fri., Sept. 22, 6-11 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 23, noon-11 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 24, noon-8 p.m.; $15, $10 seniors/military, $5 kids (meals are $25-$45). lobsterfestival.com. —Katherine Spiers

Budd Friedman discusses the evolution of his live-comedy institution in his new memoir, The Improv: An Oral History of the Comedy Club That Revolutionized Stand-Up, with co-author Tripp Whetsell. Opened in New York in 1963, the Improv was originally an after-hours space for Broadway performers, most famously Bette Midler. After comedians took over the lineup, it expanded to Los Angeles in 1975 and would become one of the biggest "global brands of humor." Friedman recalls some of the legendary names — Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, Richard Pryor, Andy Kaufman, Rodney Dangerfield, Freddie Prinze, Robin Williams, Larry David — who've passed through the venue during its 50-plus years. The book includes interviews with former employees and a who's who of comics who've honed their skills in front of the club's famed brick wall, including Danny Aiello, Robert Klein, Dick Cavett, Jerry Stiller, Jay Leno, Al Franken, Lily Tomlin, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, Judd Apatow and Jimmy Fallon. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; free, book is $26.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

It's only fitting that the master of the parody would himself become the subject of a send-up. We're sure that Al-Stravaganza!, a burlesque tribute to "Weird Al" Yankovic, will be just as charmingly odd as the singer himself. San Francisco–based troupe Tight N' Nerdy are dedicating to reinterpreting Yankovic's works for the burlesque stage, and their latest tour hits Los Angeles tonight, when they join forces with local nerds of the tease Peepshow Menagerie. In addition to Al-Stravaganza! mastermind Pickles Kintaro and a host of traveling performers, the show will feature L.A. artists Brandy Snifter and event co-producer Miss Angie Cakes. Fais Do-Do, 5253 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Fri., Sept. 22, 9 p.m.; $15-$25. (323) 931-4626, peepshowmenagerie.com. —Liz Ohanesian

sat 9/23

Are you a bloody mary fan? Do you want to prove your devotion? The Bloody Mary Festival promises to serve all the most interesting bloodies in Southern California. The garnishes in particular are highlighted, so even though the event doesn't officially serve food, you'll be stuffed by the time you make it through all the samples. And probably tipsy, too, so take Lyft. A ticket gains you entry into one of two sessions, which seems fair: Two hours is plenty of time for guzzling everyone's favorite brunch tipple. Candela Taco Bar & Lounge, 831 S. La Brea, Mid-Wilshire; Sat., Sept. 23, noon-2 p.m. & 2:30-4:30 p.m.; $45. thebloodymaryfest.com/losangeles-ca-9-23-17. —Katherine Spiers

Last month, Continental Art Supplies in Reseda began the process of closing its doors after 57 years of keeping the Valley's artists, well, supplied. Steve Aufhauser's family business has long boosted the local art scene, and it continues that tradition by sponsoring live art by muralist Levi Ponce and others at Reseda Rising Artwalk & Night Market. Besides the art in progress, the one-night event, produced by the art collective 11:11, features several installations, a market with dozens of artists' work for sale, a drawing workshop and even a zine fest. Sister Mantos, Potato Hands and others provide a live soundtrack, while food trucks including Tackle Box, Phillyfornia, the Taco Chef and Spyros Gyros serve up eats. Sherman Way between Reseda Boulevard and Lindley Avenue, Reseda; Sat., Sept. 23, 5-10 p.m.; free. 1111acc.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

USC professor and author Josh Kun hosts Sonorama! Latin American Composers in Hollywood, a performance featuring the Mexican Institute of Sound, Sergio Mendoza, Alberto López and others paying tribute to the film and TV credits of Juan García Esquivel, Maria Grever, Johnny Richards and Lalo Schifrin. The latter, a six-time Oscar nominee, scored more than 100 films, including Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry and The Cincinnati Kid, and wrote the theme to TV's Mission: Impossible. The program is the first in Kun's "Musical Interventions," a series of live events, a sound installation, curated playlist and an accompanying album that are part of the Getty's citywide Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Sat., Sept. 23, 7-9 p.m.; free. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/sonorama.html. —Siran Babayan

Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 version of The Ten Commandments was one of the most lavish productions of the silent era. The Egyptian-themed set was so massive that when production wrapped, the producers, rather than dismantling and discarding it, simply decided to cover it with sand where it lay. The idea of a city buried somewhere along the California coast so tickled the imagination of filmmaker Peter Brosnan that he tried numerous times to excavate the ruin, fending off bureaucratic cease-and-desists for the better part of 30 years. The resulting documentary, The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille, tells the tale, and Brosnan, producer Dan Coplan and composer Steve Bauman will be present after the American Cinematheque screening for a panel discussion. Also participating are archaeologist Colleen Hamilton, Lisa Mitchell (who appeared in DeMille's 1956 remake of The Ten Commandments) and composer Peter Bernstein. Arrive early to enjoy a display of artifacts recovered from the film site. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 23, 2 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

Los Angeles was once a premier destination for Spanish-language cinema, its downtown venues packed with classic films from Mexico, Argentina and other Latin American countries. UCLA is launching an ambitious attempt to "re-create the Spanish-language film culture of downtown" with a series titled Recuerdos de un cine en español: Classic Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles, 1930-1960. The programming is rich and varied, encompassing multiple genres and territories. The first title to screen is Enamorada, a Mexican melodrama starring María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz, loosely based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Series passes cost a mere $50, a sweet deal considering the scope of the enterprise: 38 films stretched over three months. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Nathaniel Bell

Yuja Wang performs Mozart at Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday.EXPAND
Yuja Wang performs Mozart at Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday.
Norbert Kniat

sun 9/24

Gangly little aliens land onstage and vampires emerge from their coffins for the Bob Baker Marionette Theater's Halloween Spooktacular. The hourlong seasonal review features musical numbers from throughout the decades that, despite their age, are really delightful and will keep even a kid's attention for 60 minutes. After each show, audience members are invited to share refreshments with the puppeteers in the historic theater's restored party room. No strings attached. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Echo Park; Sun., Sept. 24, 2:30 p.m. (Fri.-Sun. through Nov. 5); $15. (213) 250-9995, bobbakermarionettetheater.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

As WWE's No Mercy goes down at Staples Center tonight, a couple of YouTubers talk pro wrestling at NerdMelt's Wrestling With Wregret Live Featuring Going in Raw. Since 2013, former pro wrestler turned manager Brian Zane has hosted Wrestling With Wregret, his web series that looks at the comical side of sports entertainment, particularly the WWE (bad matches, bad gimmicks, bad masks, bad music videos). Zane will be joined by comedian-writer Rob Fee and Steve & Larson (hosts of their own web series/podcast, Going in Raw), as they show clips from Tag Team, an unaired TV comedy pilot from 1991 starring Jesse Ventura and Roddy Piper as pro wrestlers who lose their jobs and become cops. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Sept. 24, 1-3 p.m.; $25. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

Upcoming Events

mon 9/25

Not only is L.A. native Sandra Tsing Loh an author and mother, she's worked as an art professor and hosted a variety of radio shows as well. As the voice of KPCC program The Loh Down on Science, Loh moderates writers Pope Brock and Alan Lightman in a discussion hosted by Red Hen Press at the Griffith Observatory. It's part of a launch party for Brock's latest publication, Another Fine Mess, which is all about colonizing the moon. If her past achievements are any indication, Loh just may be doing that soon, too. Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater, Griffith Observatory, 2800 E. Observatory Road, Griffith Park; Mon., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.; $25. (626) 356-4760, redhen.org/events/red-hen-press-at-griffith-observatory. —Tanja M. Laden

Take a break from your chronic patriotic misery tonight when Veep star Matt Walsh chats with author David Litt about his book Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years. Litt was lead writer on four White House Correspondents' Dinners, supplying jokes you probably laughed at in a gentler, simpler time when all we had to worry about was Ebola and the end of 30 Rock. Currently the head writer at Funny or Die in D.C., Litt's memoir is a soaring parable of innocence lost and cynicism gained. Ann & Jerry Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Mon., Sept. 25, 8 p.m.; $20, $40-$50 with book. (310) 855-0005, livetalksla.org/events/david-litt-matt-walsh. —David Cotner

According to the 2012 Sight & Sound poll, Quentin Tarantino's personal top-10 list includes Pretty Maids All in a Row, an oddball concoction of 1971 directed by French expat Roger Vadim and adapted from a Francis Pollini novel by Gene Roddenberry (his only feature writing credit). Its main draw, besides the pulchritudinous females referenced in the film's title, is an offbeat performance by Rock Hudson as the world's most cynical high school counselor. Tarantino's New Beverly Cinema pairs it with Revenge of the Cheerleaders, a raunchy sex comedy from 1976. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Mon., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

tue 9/26

Whether or not it's another nostalgic fad, cassette tapes, like vinyl records, are experiencing a resurgence, which director Zack Taylor explores in his new film, Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape. Taylor interviews Lou Ottens, the 91-year-old Dutch engineer who, while at Philips, helped develop the cassette and who, like many of us, is amused by the audio format's renewed popularity. The movie also includes reminiscences by Henry Rollins (seen picking through his shelves and shelves of saved tapes), Ian MacKaye, Thurston Moore, Daniel Johnston, Mike Watt, Damien Jurado, Rob Sheffield, members of the hip-hop community and others, who recall not only their favorite cassettes but also how making mixtapes in the pre-playlist 1980s was less a hobby than a carefully curated labor of love. The Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown; Tue., Sept. 26, 8:30 p.m. (doors 7:30); $15. (323) 284-5727, spacelandpresents.com/event/1549484-cassette-documentary-mixtape-los-angeles/. —Siran Babayan

L.A. Philharmonic is bringing out the big guns for opening night of its new season at Disney Hall. The esteemed and imposing Soviet-born, Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman matches wits and trades intense clusters of notes with the daring and ever-provocative Chinese keyboard stylist Yuja Wang as they put their heads and hands together for W.A. Mozart's Double Piano Concerto in E-flat major, K. 365. Over the next three weeks, conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the band will delve into music from the torrid final year of Amadeus' short but prolific life, but at tonight's black-tie event the focus is on early selections by the wunderkind Austrian composer, with soprano Anna Prohaska and countertenor Tim Mead reviving a 1773 motet and excerpts from Mozart's first opera (written when he was still an 11-year-old brat). Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue., Sept. 26, 7 p.m.; $99-$306. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James

Sidney Lumet was the unlikely director of The Wiz, the 1978 all-black remake of The Wizard of Oz. (But is he any stranger a fit than John Huston directing Annie?) Relatively unloved when originally released, the downbeat musical has several things going for it, including Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as Scarecrow and Richard Pryor as the Wiz. LACMA offers it up as part of its Tuesday Matinees series. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Sept. 26, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

wed 9/27

In the world of magic, women have been relegated to the role of "lovely assistant" for way too long. In a crafty bit of sleight of hand, more and more ladies are making inroads into the scene here in L.A., and you can count the duo Mystiki among them. Simone Turkington and Elizabeth Messick combine three of L.A.'s favorite things — magic, retro style and tiki — for a magic show that's as stylish as it is mysterious. For An Evening of Magic, Turkington and Messick invite magician Handsome Jack to be their guest, and the whole affair is free — how's that for a cool trick? The Edison, 108 W. Second St., #101, downtown; Wed., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; free. (213) 613-0000, edisondowntown.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

thu 9/28

The label "choreographer" has always been a bit of an understatement in describing Rosanna Gamson, who has drawn on literature in much of her work and incorporated text, lighting and other visual elements in a distinctive hybrid of dance and theater with a polish that reaches beyond most dancemakers. This round, Gamson takes the titles creative producer and dramaturge as she collaborates with author Carol Katz, two dancers and three actors in the dance play Daedalus' Daughter. Struggles with madness and suicide in her own family fueled Katz, who started from the idea that beyond his ambitious but ill-fated son Icarus, Daedalus had a daughter who also tried to fly and fell into the sea, and what happened after she survived. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Thu.-Sat., Sept. 21-30, 7-8:30 p.m.; $20. (213) 389-3856, bootlegtheater.org. —Ann Haskins

Producer James B. Harris and mega-auteur Stanley Kubrick partnered on three films in the late '50s and early '60s before amicably parting ways. Their collaboration is considered in a four-night retrospective at the Aero comprised of four Stanley Kubrick films and three directed by Harris. First on the docket is Paths of Glory, Kubrick's powerful WWI drama from 1957. Harris is slated to appear each night after the show to comment on the films and reflect on his close relationship with the master filmmaker. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Thu., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466 3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell


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