Who doesn't love butter sauce? Find out at Original Lobster Festival (see Fri.)
Who doesn't love butter sauce? Find out at Original Lobster Festival (see Fri.)
Susan Slade Sanchez

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


Long Beach's crustacean celebration returns, comedian's ring in Gloria Estefan's 60th birthday, cello legend Yo-Yo Ma stops by the Hollywood Bowl, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 9/8

Long Beach's annual Original Lobster Festival is upon us, an event that always sells out and is always a complete bacchanal. No, the lobsters are not local (they're from Maine), but there's butter dippin' sauce, so no one cares. The ticket price itself does not include the feast — check the website for different packages if you'd like to deal with that ahead of time. You can get either a 1.25- or 2.25-pound lobster, along with coleslaw, a roll, watermelon, lemons and the aforementioned dippin' sauce. There are food trucks at the festival selling non-crustacean foods too, plus kids' activities and live music. Rainbow Lagoon Park, 400-403 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach; Fri., Sept. 8, 5-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., Sept. 9-10, noon-10 p.m.; $5 Fri., $13 Sat. & Sun.; $20 Fri. VIP, $40 Sat. & Sun. VIP. originallobsterfestival.com. —Katherine Spiers

The death of Jeanne Moreau in July tore an existential hole in the cinema universe. The American Cinematheque — in partnership with the French Film and TV Office and the Consulate General of France, Los Angeles — remembers this intelligent, refined, unpretentiously glamorous French star with a six-film weekend tribute. Friday night showcases two of her most famous films. In La Notte, directed by the perennially jolly Michelangelo Antonioni, she plays the wife of a famous author who comes to terms with the materialistic void at the center of their marriage. In Luis Buñuel's puckish masterwork Diary of a Chambermaid, she is a Parisian servant who takes a new job in a country house full of fetishists and murderers. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

sat 9/9

Formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art, ICA LA — Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles — is opening its 12,700-square-foot, Kulapat Yantrasast–designed facility in the Arts District with a weekend's worth of free festivities themed to its inaugural exhibitions. One of the three exhibits, which is part of the Getty's massive PST: LA/LA initiative, explores the mythic, masterful work of Martín Ramírez, a Mexican immigrant who spent 30 years in California mental institutions. The weekend's events include a workshop in creating art from found materials like Ramírez, a concert to celebrate day laborers and a bilingual tour of the exhibition. ICA LA, 1717 E. Seventh St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., Sept. 9-10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. theicala.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Gloria Estefan, an original crossover artist who paved the way for other Latin-pop divas, turned 60 on Sept. 1. More than two dozen performers at UCB are celebrating her in the most UCB-ian way: with a comedy show. Hosted by Libby Doyne and Claire Slattery, Queen Gloria Estefan's 60th Birthday Bash: The Glorification of Gloria features resident teams Improvisos Peligrosos, Musical Mashup Team: The Glorious Estefuns and Star Trek–themed team the Improvised Generation mixing sketches written by Dana Vreede, Ellie Race-Moore and Julian Gonzalez with improv inspired by the singer. Adding to the tribute will be "queens" Blake Wilding, Ryan Parz and Kyle Sheppard from the RuPaul-style competition UCB's Drag Race, singing Estefan and Miami Sound Machine covers, including "Conga," "Get On Your Feet" and "Turn the Beat Around." And no birthday party would be complete without the birthday song and cake. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 9, 10:30 p.m.; $7. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

In 2000, Sara Velas founded the Velaslavasay Panorama in order to bring back various forms of pre-cinematic entertainment, which includes surrounding viewers with a 360-degree work of art. In 2005, the quirky venue moved from its original location at Hollywood and Western to University Park, just south of the 10, where it remains today. What's not going to remain, however, is the current Arctic-inspired panoramic painting in the historic Union Theater's rotunda. In order to help raise funds for a new rendering (Shengjing Panorama), the Panorama is hosting a goodbye party. Featuring a variety show with 15 five-minute acts, The Last Arctic Show bids a final farewell to Effulgence of the North, which has attracted and intrigued visitors for more than a decade. 1122 W. 24th St., University Park; Sat., Sept. 9, 8 p.m.; $35, $30 members. (213) 746-2166, panoramaonview.org/events/last-arctic-show. —Tanja M. Laden

Paramount's recent restoration of The Covered Wagon is a major event for classic-movie buffs. The 1923 epic has been available only on VHS and laserdisc (remember those?), and it's a significant contribution to the development of the Western, adding sweep and realism to this most American of genres. U.S. President Warren G. Harding was sufficiently impressed to call it his favorite film. With live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick, it should be an authentically transporting experience. Paramount archivist Jeff McCarty will introduce the screening. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sat., Sept. 9, 2 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Matt Cimber has led a colorful life, and it isn't over yet. A favorite filmmaker of Quentin Tarantino, Cimber married Jayne Mansfield, directed Orson Welles in Butterfly and created the smash 1980s TV series GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. His rare foray into horror, The Witch Who Came From the Sea, is a video-nasty masterpiece — a psychedelic shocker about a housewife's spiral into madness and murder. The American Cinematheque will show it as part of its ongoing Cinematic Void series. It will be followed by Lady Cocoa, one of Cimber's contributions to the blaxploitation genre. Cimber and Witch co-stars Millie Perkins and John F. Goff will appear between films for a discussion. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

Natalie Wood stars in Gypsy, screening at Laemmle Royal on Tuesday.EXPAND
Natalie Wood stars in Gypsy, screening at Laemmle Royal on Tuesday.
Mervyn LeRoy Productions

sun 9/10

The U.S.-Mexico border is more than the space between one thing and another — it's its own realm altogether. For years, since at least the 1990s, the border has been a site where artists have staged a variety of interventions to comment on issues including immigration and identity. The PST: LA/LA show "The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination and Possibility" at the Craft & Folk Art Museum features art that exists in dialogue with the border and all that the border represents. Throughout the show's run (through Jan. 7), the museum is hosting a variety of family workshops, beginning today with a Piñata Making Party. L.A.'s own Piñata Design Studio, an outfit that specializes in handmade, custom piñatas, will coach participants in traditional techniques as well as some newer ones, and everyone will craft their very own work of art. Beating it with a bat afterward is optional. Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sun., Sept. 10, 2:30-4:30 p.m.; $7, $5 for kids. (323) 937-4230, cafam.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

The unstoppable force known as Pacific Opera Project slams headlong into an immovable object — the tragic Italian opera Lucia di Lammermoor. The merry pranksters at POP are well known for their irreverent makeovers of classic operas, such as relocating Gaetano Donizetti's farcical The Elixir of Love to a 1950s American soda shop or reinventing W.A. Mozart's The Abduction From the Seraglio as a Star Trek fantasy. But Donizetti's morbid portrayal of the betrayed, insanely homicidal Scottish bride in Lucia is anything but lighthearted, and sopranos Jamie Chamberlin and Bevin Hill will alternate in the scarifying, vocally challenging title role while trying to remain poised amid POP's usual madcap antics. The spectacular outdoor setting atop a hill in Glendale's Forest Lawn cemetery adds to the macabre spirit. Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale; Sat.-Sun., Sept. 9-10, & Fri.-Sun., Sept. 15-17, 7 p.m.; $25-$150. pacificoperaproject.com. —Falling James

For 20 years, Kirk Whisler and actor Edward James Olmos' nonprofit Latino Literacy Now has promoted reading in the Latino community with various annual events, including the Latino Book and Family Festival, which is held in different cities. Just in time for back-to-school, more than 50 authors will be presenting their books and taking part in panels. The daylong schedule also features live music, ballet folklorico, kids activities and workshops on such topics as "Living La Vida Latina: Stories of Modern Chicas," "Overcoming Domestic Violence" and "How to Write a Children's Book." LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Sun., Sept. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (888) 488-8083, lbff.us. —Siran Babayan

mon 9/11

New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik and his wife-to-be, Martha, moved from his native Montreal to New York City at the very beginning of the 1980s and began their boho existence in a basement apartment as the decade of excess was just beginning to ramp up. It's a time Gopnik recalls fondly, and in detail, in At the Strangers' Gate: Arrivals in New York, a new book of essays about the 30-plus years since he left Canada for paved pastures. For Adam Gopnik: A One-Man Show From The New Yorker Festival, Gopnik offers a Moth-style performance of his recollections. Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Mon., Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.; $20, $37 with book. writersblocpresents.com/main/adam-gopnik. —Gwynedd Stuart

The Velasavasay Panorama is raising funds for a new panoramic mural (see Sat.)
The Velasavasay Panorama is raising funds for a new panoramic mural (see Sat.)
Star Foreman

tue 9/12

After a summer at the Hollywood Bowl populated by several large orchestras, massive choirs, multiple fireworks displays and at least one marching band, tonight it all comes down to one man, one cello and six pieces of music by Johann Sebastian Bach. Yo-Yo Ma is probably the most celebrated cellist in the world. The French-born Chinese-American musician is the founder of the Silk Road Ensemble and has long been a restless explorer of multiple genres, from classical and chamber music to jazz, pop, bluegrass and tango. Ma is famous enough to have portrayed himself on The Simpsons, The West Wing and Sesame Street, and this evening he ambitiously wrings out the expressive dark tones from all six of Bach's suites for solo cello. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood Hills; Tue., Sept. 12, 8 p.m.; $1-$154. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —Falling James

Unusable doesn't mean unlovable, and tonight's Unusable comedy salon is a chance to see jokes and routines that expired almost immediately after the comedy shows for which they were originally intended. Eclipse jokes? Sure! Celebrity roast jokes from a year ago? Why not?! A concept within a concept, this show from the fevered and chortlesome mind of host Zach Sherwin is a cornucopia of otherwise amazing songs, sketches and stand-up routines that deserve one last laugh before they wither and rot away forever. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Sept. 12, 8:45 p.m.; $10, $8 in advance. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —David Cotner

Stormy Weather, the classic 1943 musical based loosely on the life of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, makes a great follow-up to last week's screening of Cabin in the Sky. Showcasing some of the best African-American talent of the time (Lena Horne, Fats Waller, Ada Brown, Cab Calloway), the film is a high-speed comic revue that opened up new opportunities for black performers in Hollywood. No less an authority than Fred Astaire considered the "Jumping Jive" sequence to be the greatest musical number he'd ever seen. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Sept. 12, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Laemmle celebrates the 55th anniversary of Gypsy with a screening of the 1962 Broadway adaptation. Rosalind Russell stars as Mama Rose (a part originated onstage by Ethel Merman), the mother of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee (Natalie Wood), in a handsome Technicolor production typical of its era. With music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the film is as much a delight for the ears as for the eyes. Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Tue., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.; $13. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell

wed 9/13

Coinciding with the Getty's SoCal-wide initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the Annenberg Space for Photography's latest exhibit, "Cuba Is" (Sept. 9-March 4), explores various subcultures of contemporary Cubans "both on and off the island," from wealthy kids to young punks known as "Los Frikis" to "Chonga" girls in Miami. The more than 120 new and archival images are accompanied by a documentary, a virtual reality experience on Cuba's modern street-music scene and an additional outdoor display, "Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs From Cuba." Among the nearly two dozen photographers is Cuban-born Leysis Quesada Vera, who, as part of the Annenberg's Iris Nights Lecture Series, discusses her work. Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City; Wed., Sept. 13, 6:30-8 p.m.; free. (213) 403-3000, annenbergphotospace.org. —Siran Babayan

thu 9/14

In conjunction with the American Library Association's annual Banned Books Week, held every September, Beth Lapides hosts Lenny at the Library, a panel discussion on one of the most controversial comedians of all time, Lenny Bruce. Lapides, creator of the comedy and storytelling series UnCabaret, will muse on the outlaw stand-up comic with fellow comedian Andy Dick, as well as Paul Krassner, editor of Bruce's 1965 autobiography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People; Merrill Markoe, co-creator of Late Night With David Letterman; Kliph Nesteroff, author of the 2015 book The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy; and Robert Weide, director of the excellent 1998 Oscar-nominated documentary Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth, which featured Krassner as well as Bruce's ex-wife, Honey, and daughter, Kitty. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Thu., Sept. 14, 7-8:30 p.m.; free (RSVP suggested). (213) 228-7000, lapl.org/whats-on/events/lenny-library. —Siran Babayan

Now in its fifth year, the BlakTina Dance Festival continues to spotlight established and emerging black and Latina/o choreographers. This edition includes seven local, mostly contemporary choreographers plus two from Phoenix, to which the festival expanded this year. SoCal participants include Anthony Aceves of Akomi Dance, Sofia Carreras of Intersect Dance Theatre, Mallory Fabian of Fabe and Irishia Hubbard of Hubbard Collective. Phoenix-based Ashley Lorraine Baker, along with the duo Taimy Miranda and Joan Rodriguez, represent BlakTina Phoenix, which debuted with a mix of L.A. and Arizona companies, realizing festival founder-director Licia Perea's vision of expanding the event into a regional representation of the vibrant black and Latin dance scene. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Thu.-Sat., Sept. 14-16, 7:30 p.m.; $20. (213) 389-3856, bootlegtheater.org. —Ann Haskins

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