Lauren Lapkus and Jon Gabrus celebrate ’90s pop culture at UCB Sunset on Monday.EXPAND
Lauren Lapkus and Jon Gabrus celebrate ’90s pop culture at UCB Sunset on Monday.
Robyn Von Swank

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


Pop culture website Vulture hosts its first-ever L.A. festival, the Doo Dah Parade rolls through Pasadena, Manuela hosts a ceiling-optional Thanksgiving dinner and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 11/17

Ready or not, the holidays are here, and with them the usual opportunities to "get lit" have arrived: tree lighting ceremonies, ugly Xmas sweater soirees, etc. The Nutcracker ballet remains a popular, traditional outing for the whole family too, but a new show opening in Hollywood promises to add some contemporary appeal to the seasonal staple. The Hip-Hop Nutcracker brings the classic tale of Clara and her favorite toy-come-to-life to modern times, remixing Tchaikovsky's fantastical music with a funky flair that incorporates kickin' choreography (by award-winning director-choreographer Jennifer Weber) and costumes, rhythmic vibes and wondrous word flow. With none other than hip-hop founding father Kurtis Blow ("The Breaks") opening the show with a short set of rap classics, it'll be a jolly joint indeed. Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Nov. 17, 8 p.m.; $45-$85. (323) 308-6300. dolbytheatre.com/events/details/the_hip_hop_nutcracker. —Lina Lecaro

From William Wellman's Track of the Cat and André De Toth's Day of the Outlaw to The Revenant and The Hateful Eight, the "snow Western" has carved an indelible niche in this most American of genres. To this elite group add Sydney Pollack's Jeremiah Johnson, a rough and rugged epic that follows Robert Redford's frontiersman through the Rockies as he forms an uneasy alliance with the Crow tribe and pits himself against nature and the elements. The New Beverly is pairing it with The Indian Fighter, in which Kirk Douglas defends a group of Sioux against a hostile wagon train. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 17-18, 7 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sat 11/18

Becoming an art collector totally seems like a thing only rich people do. That's not the case at Wishlist Affordable Art Show, Gabba Gallery's fifth annual exhibit of art that's on sale for $1,000 or less (many pieces are less than $200). Voted Best Art Gallery by L.A. Weekly readers in 2017, Gabba Gallery has wrangled dozens of artists, from Alex Achaval to Essi Zimm and every Mr. Melty, Spacegoth, Wrdsmth and Mimi Yoon in between. Every time a piece is sold and carried out by the purchaser, another piece will go up in its place, so people who aren't buying can watch the show evolve before their eyes. At Saturday's opening reception, DJ Jonathan Williams spins and Fort Point Beer Company and Original New York Seltzer sponsor the bar. It's a good opportunity to chuck the mass-produced Ikea wall art and start fresh. Gabba Gallery, 3126 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Sat., Nov. 18, 7-11 p.m. (through Dec. 16); free. (323) 604-4186, gabbagallery.com/wishlist-5. —Gwynedd Stuart

An annual festival hosted by pop-culture website Vulture.com, Vulture Festival L.A. makes its Los Angeles debut at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The weekend-long hat-tip to the dizzying world of entertainment includes panels with the likes of Sofia Coppola, Lena Dunham, Natalie Portman, Owen Wilson and others. Listen to a discussion about Stranger Things' sophomore season with the show's creators and new cast members, or witness a reunion with the cast of Bored to Death. As if all that weren't enough, there's also a tour of the Broad with art critic Jerry Saltz, and a sneak peek at the upcoming Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya. No word whether the eponymous antiheroine will triple axel down for an appearance, but we can dream, can't we? Hollywood Roosevelt, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood (and select off-site locations); Sat.-Sun., Nov. 18-19, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; free-$150, $495 for weekend passes. vulturefestival.com/la. —Tanja M. Laden

Rarely seen in the United States, Mexican docudrama Los Pequeños Gigantes retells the true story of the 1957 Little League World Series, which made headlines for including the first team from outside North America. The squad from Monterrey, Mexico (the titular "little giants"), won the title with a perfect game — the only such occurrence in Little League championship history. AMPAS is showing a rare archival 35mm print as part of a special family screening. A panel of guests will include several of the original players, schedule permitting. Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., Nov. 18, 2 p.m.; $5. (310) 247-3000, oscars.org. —Nathaniel Bell

The modern dance company Momix always brings a high dose of theater and a wicked sense of humor to the stage, especially in works by founder-choreographer Moses Pendleton, such as Opus Cactus, the calling card this visit. Originally created for Ballet Arizona, the two-act creation pays tribute to the astonishing light and extraordinary landscape of the American Southwest and some of its iconic residents, including slithering lizards and the title's namesake cacti. Delicious previews at momix.com. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State University Long Beach, 4200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Nov. 18, 8 p.m.; $45. (562) 985-7000, web.ovationtix.com/trs/pesptpm/10156912/1081486. —Ann Haskins

Feastown is a regular pop-up market in the shadow of a new mixed-use building in Hollywood. It's free to get in, which is good, because once inside you will absolutely be tempted by the various food vendors. Norigami Tacos has a stall serving its delicious, unlikely fried sushi tacos; Helados Pops serves ice cream in tiny coconuts. There's a do-gooder element to Feastown, too: The live music is provided by Los Angeles College of Music students (it gives them a chance to perform for an audience!) and it raises money for the nonprofit Center at Blessed Sacrament Church. Eastown, 6201 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Nov. 18, 1-6 p.m.; free. feastown.co. —Katherine Spiers

As Sally Rogers, the perennially unlucky-in-love gag writer, Rose Marie gained TV immortality as part of the legendary ensemble cast of The Dick Van Dyke Show. But that role only scratches the surface of one of the longest careers in show business. A new documentary, Wait for Your Laugh, throws a well-deserved spotlight on the gifted performer who, at 94, has only recently slowed her output. A discussion will follow Saturday evening's screening with the doc's director, Jason Wise, and interviewees Dick Van Dyke (still spry at 92) and TV writer Dan Harmon. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Nov. 18, 5 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

From 5,000-year-old rituals to modern flash, you'll find it at the Natural History Museum's "Tattoo: An Exhibition" (see: Sunday).
From 5,000-year-old rituals to modern flash, you'll find it at the Natural History Museum's "Tattoo: An Exhibition" (see: Sunday).
Brynne Palmer

sun 11/19

Thirty-five years ago, Steven Spielberg directed E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, one of the all-time family classics, about a lost alien who's befriended by a little boy and his siblings. You probably still tear up whenever you watch Elliott's bicycle lift up into the sky and ride across the moon or when E.T. leaves Earth in his spaceship. What nearly all of Spielberg's work — including Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the Indiana Jones series, has in common is the music of John Williams. With a whopping 50 Academy Award nominations and five wins, Williams is the second-most Oscar-nominated artist in history, behind only Walt Disney, and his soundtrack to the 1982 E.T. won an Oscar and a Grammy. Led by Carlos Izcaray, the 100-member American Youth Symphony (AYS) conducts a live score to this screening, preceded by a discussion, moderated by Variety writer Jon Burlingame, with musicians and fellow composers Ralph Grierson, Katie Kirkpatrick, and David Newman, who has conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic and played violin on the E.T. soundtrack. UCLA Royce Hall, Westwood; Sun., Nov. 19, 4 p.m.; $15. (310) 470-2332, aysymphony.org. —Siran Babayan

At the 40th Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade, there isn't find a rose, chrysanthemum or galloping horse in sight. An anti—Tournament of Roses holiday tradition in the neighborhood since 1978, the Doo Dah is just wacky and tacky enough for adults but still fun for kids. So park your beach chair along Colorado Boulevard and wave at the thousands of floats, art cars and marchers, including perennial favorites the Lawn Chair Drill Team, Flying Baby Homerun Border Crossing, Radioactive Chickenheads, Howdy Krishna, Count Smokula and, of course, Secret Santa in a conga line. This year's parade will be led by Queen Imani Phoenix — tryouts were appropriately held at the American Legion Bar — while 86-year-old community activist Marty Coleman is the grand marshal. East Pasadena along Colorado Boulevard; Sun., Nov. 19, 11 a.m.; free. (626) 590-7596, pasadenadoodahparade.info. —Siran Babayan

The Natural History Museum's "Tattoo: An Exhibition," a touring display first seen at the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris in 2014, explores the history, art and culture of body ink dating back 5,000 years, whether it's part of a tribal, religious, military or gang affiliation or just a form of self-expression. Among the 125 objects organized into thematic sections are photographs, clay figurines, textiles, videos of tattoo ceremonies, interviews with tattoo artists and lifelike tattooed silicone body parts, as well as tools and technology, including a 250-year-old ink pad from Jerusalem. The collection singles out Los Angeles' tattoo history, especially tattoo destinations such as the Pike in Long Beach and East L.A., even featuring a re-creation of Long Beach's Bert Grimm's World Famous Tattoo (now Outer Limits Tattoo), the oldest continuously run tattoo parlor in America. Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; Sun., Nov. 19, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (runs through April 15); $24, $21 seniors & students, $11 children. (213) 763-3466, nhm.org. —Siran Babayan

On the surface, the story of a bashful talking pig and his adventures on an Australian farm sounds like yet another saccharine family film lining the bargain bins at Walmart. Except that it isn't. At least not in the hands of director Chris Noonan and producer George "Mad Max" Miller. Emotionally sophisticated and genuinely hilarious, Babe became a runaway hit in 1995, garnering seven Oscar nominations, including a nod for James Cromwell (winsomely underplaying it as Farmer Hoggett). UCLA is offering free admission to see a 35mm print of this barnyard charmer, recommended for ages 6 and up. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Nov. 19, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Nathaniel Bell

mon 11/20

Remember Singled Out, Rugrats and Supermarket Sweep? Jon Gabrus and Lauren Lapkus do, which is why they're combining their collective memories and nostalgia for late '80s and '90s TV and pop culture to co-host Raised by TV. Both in their 30s, the two met five years ago while performing at UCB's resident improv night, Asssscat, and have appeared on various podcasts, including Comedy Bang! Bang!; Gabrus and Lapkus also host their own podcasts, High and Mighty and With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus. On their joint podcast, which premiered on Earwolf this month, Gabrus and Lapkus reminisce with encyclopedic knowledge — no Googling for them — about vintage sitcoms, cartoons, talk shows, game shows, dating shows, anything on MTV, theme songs and even snacks. (Do you think we'll remember with fondness The Jersey Shore and Teen Mom the way we remember the early seasons of The Real World? Probably not.) So far they've been joined by such names as Paul Scheer, Scott Aukerman and Betsy Sodaro. For their first taping of Earwolf Presents: Raised by TV Live! in Los Angeles, Gabrus, Lapkus and guests will discuss special Thanksgiving-themed episodes. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.; Mon., Nov. 20, 7 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

The creeping, power chords of Link Wray's 1958 "Rumble," banned from several radio stations in America for inciting juvenile delinquency, constitute one of the greatest guitar instrumentals of all time. Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana's new documentary, RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, examines not only the work of guitarist Wray, born to Shawnee parents, but other Native American musicians and their influence on rock, blues, jazz, country and hip-hop. The film, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival, looks at contributions by artists with indigenous ancestry including Charley Patton, Howlin' Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, Redbone, The Neville Brothers, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo and others; it features interviews with Martin Scorsese, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler, Slash, Steven Van Zandt, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Jackson Browne, Robbie Robertson, George Clinton and Metallica's Robert Trujillo. Following the screening, Grammy museum executive director Scott Goldman moderates a discussion with director Bainbridge and executive producers Stevie Salas and Christina Fon, in addition to Black Eyed Peas' Taboo, The Cars' Elliot Easton and Wayne Kramer, who also appear in the movie. Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown.; Mon., Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (213) 765-6800, grammymuseum.org. —Siran Babayan

tue 11/21

Just like that Star Trek episode in which Abe Lincoln was resurrected to fight alongside Captain Kirk, Historical Roast: 3 Years of History is an opportunity to celebrate three thematically pristine years of yelling at historical figures with absolutely no fear of payback. Thrill as you see some of your favorite comedians — Scout Durwood, Brad Gage, Dave Ross and more — in a different light with tonight's hard-won victory over time. From Hitler to Disney to the theoretically un-roastable Helen Keller, they're all gathered together by the eldritch power of stand-up comedy, turning the historical into the hysterical one more time. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Nov. 21, 9 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —David Cotner

LACMA continues its three-week hat tip to Latin movie star Lupe Velez with Mexican Spitfire, the second and most profitable of the B-comedies in which she stars as a mercurial Mexican bride. Designed by RKO as second features, the films — eight in all — provided hearty laughs to American audiences immediately before and during World War II. For Velez, who died tragically by her own hand in 1944, they granted her eternal life on the silver screen. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Nov. 21, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

19 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Courtesy Turkey Trot L.A.

wed 11/22

As holidays go, Thanksgiving can be a tough sell. You don't get any presents but you have to spend time with family members who somehow still talk about Benghazi and think being gay is a "lifestyle choice" (and that's not to mention the holiday's gross glorification of native genocide). That said, it usually means a solid four-day weekend, and that calls for some righteous Thanksgiving Eve celebrating. For the ninth year in a row, Akbar hosts PIE: A Thanksgiving Eve Tradition, a canned food drive and pie sale with music and dancing and drinking. Ambrosia Salad and Sarah Problem will be selling pies whole or by the slice — pumpkin, pumpkin cheesecake, pecan or pecan cheesecake — and people who bring a nonperishable food item get $1 off their pie purchase. Joshua James, Mike Albrecht and Chris Bowen DJ. Akbar, 4356 W. Sunset, Silver Lake; Wed., Nov. 22, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.; $3. facebook.com/events/1944229722531502. —Gwynedd Stuart

thu 11/23

For five years running (pun intended), Angelenos have been encouraged to get their buns out of bed early on Thanksgiving morning for Turkey Trot Los Angeles, an annual 5K and 10K through downtown L.A. The 5K course starts at City Hall and ventures around Grand Park past all the sights on Grand Avenue before darting down Spring Street. The 10K course is similar but has added mileage on Grand, Hope, Olive and lower Grand. Best part: The race benefits the Midnight Mission, a charity that aims to help people out of homelessness. Course begins at L.A. City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., downtown; Thu., Nov. 23, 7:45 a.m.; $40-$60. turkeytrot.la. —Gwynedd Stuart

There are plenty of L.A. restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinners, but few will be served outdoors. Thanksgiving at Manuela has the advantage of a gorgeous, urban indoor-outdoor space downtown that combines murals with chicken coops for a very SoCal experience. The meal will be served buffet-style ($60 for adults) and will include turkey, pork belly, squash, green bean casserole and cornbread stuffing, as well as three desserts made under the aegis of pastry chef Rose Lawrence, who does fantastic work. And if you don't want to sit outside, the restaurant has indoor tables, too. Manuela, 907 E. Third St., downtown; Thu., Nov. 23, noon-6 p.m.; $60. (323) 849-0480, manuela-la.com/events. —Katherine Spiers

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