20 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Drew Barrymore starts fires with her brain in Firestarter, screening as part of a Stephen King triple feature on Saturday.
A weekend-long anime film festival, an evening with the Future Ladies of Wrestling, family night at Alpine Village's Oktoberfest, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.
Fans of Broken Lizard are no doubt familiar with Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme. The five-member comedy troupe is behind such cult hits as 2001's Super Troopers, about Vermont state troopers running amok on the highway; that was followed by even more crudely over-the-top bro-themed films, including 2006's Beerfest. (You might still be traumatized by the image of Cloris Leachman stroking a sausage.) For the past six years, Heffernan and Lemme have been teaming up at comedy clubs, mixing stand-up with behind-the-scenes stories of their movies; they've also appeared in a Comedy Central stand-up special and co-host the Nerdist podcast, Chewin' It With Kevin and Steve. In Heffernan Lemme Live, the two will discuss the newly released trailer and making of Super Troopers 2, which will fittingly be released next year on April 20 and will include a love scene between Heffernan and Lemme. Ice House, 24 N. Mentor Ave., San Gabriel Valley; Fri.-Sat., Sept. 15-16, 8 & 10 p.m.; $20. Icehousecomedy.com. —Siran Babayan
This year, Demetri Martin made his directorial debut with the Kevin Kline–starring comedy-drama Dean. But fans of Martin know him best as a comedian, whose onstage, large-pad drawings are as much a part of his stand-up as his jokes. The first of three books, Martin's 2011 This Is a Book is a collection of both goofy and erudite short stories, essays, doodles, charts, crossword puzzles and lists with such chapters as "Socrates' Publicist," "Optimist, Pessimist, Contortionist" and "Honors & Awards (for Which I Would Qualify"), the latter of which includes "Gold medal in sucking at each and every sport that could make someone popular in high school." Tonight Martin discusses If It's Not Funny It's Art, his latest book of illustrations and jokes. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $15.99. skylightbooks.com. —Siran Babayan
The most frenzied, freaky mutant television show in the entire galaxy is Telefantasy Enterprises' Future Ladies of Wrestling, the sensational smackdown series serving up interspecies wrestlers battlin' for the title of "Ultimate Multi-Universal Warrior." F.L.O.W. premieres new episodes of the show prior to the main event: an all-star live wrestling variety show featuring F.L.O.W. stars the badass likes of Candy Pain, Chemtrails, Lisa 5000, Diva Colada, Valibu Tina, Eruptia and Flesh Eating Corpulous. It's hosted by these dangerous dames' even more threatening manager, Diana Dzhaketov. Human Resources L.A., 410 Cottage Home St., downtown; Fri., Sept. 15, 8-11 p.m.; free. humanresourcesla.com/events/list. —John Payne
Given the popularity of the yearly Anime Expo, it's a little surprising L.A. doesn't have a way to recognize the art of anime itself. With the debut of the Los Angeles Anime Film Festival (LA-AFF), that's about to change. For three days, LA-AFF presents nothing but anime, from fan favorites to brand-new flicks. Organized by Rydgen Inc. and Azoland Pictures, the festival not only screens more than 20 anime films but also includes a roster of Q&As with filmmakers. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of anime in Japan with a weekend-long birthday party honoring the enduring art of Japanese animation. Regal L.A. LIVE, 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Fri.-Sun., Sept. 15-17; $8-$30. La-aff.com. —Tanja M. Laden
A slew of PST: LA/LA exhibits opens tonight, but the Hammer Museum's Radical Women Celebration is among the coolest. The party rings in the opening of the exhibit "Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985," which, according to the Hammer's site, serves to "reappraise the contribution of Latin American women artists and those of Latino and Chicano heritage in the United States to contemporary art." The pieces are bodily, personal and beautiful (of particular interest: a 1974 video piece that features artist Leticia Parente sewing the words "Made in Brazil" into the bottom of her foot). Besides the chance to be among the first to see the exhibit, the evening features music by Jungle Fire and DJ sets by Chulita Vinyl Club, plus restagings of pieces by artists Martha Araújo, Mónica Mayer and Regina Silveira. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Sept. 16, 8-11 p.m.; free with RSVP. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2017/09/radical-women-celebration. —Gwynedd Stuart
Though it's billed as a vegetarian event, the California Vegetarian Food Festival is actually entirely vegan. The event has all the usual food-fair accoutrements: music, activities for kids, free food samples and thematic meals to purchase. But it also offers guided meditations, Q&A sessions about the "plant-based lifestyle" and talks with titles such as "Redefining Masculinity Through Veganism." Cocktails and vegan wine and beer are available for purchase. Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $20. (888) 960-3456, cavegfoodfest.com. —Katherine Spiers
The American Cinematheque continues its extensive hat-tip to horror master Stephen King with a one-week series at the Aero. Saturday's program offers the most bang for your buck with a triple feature of early, high-profile King adaptations, each dealing with the theme of unwanted supernatural powers. In Firestarter, 8-year-old Drew Barrymore employs her "pyrokinesis" to do more than toast bread at breakfast. In Brian De Palma's Carrie, the earliest and most famous of King's page-to-screen translations, Sissy Spacek strikes back against her high school tormentors on prom night. In David Cronenberg's The Dead Zone, Christopher Walken is a saintly clairvoyant beleaguered by visions of the past, present and future. Mark L. Lester, director of Firestarter, will appear for a discussion after the second feature. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell
Think Tank Gallery hosts a true crime-themed dinner as part of "Drinkin' Smokin' & West Coastin'" on Thursday.
If you hadn't noticed from the sheer volume of coverage in this issue, on our website and elsewhere, the Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative is a pretty big deal. Stretching from Santa Barbara to the Inland Empire and down all the way to San Diego, the massive initiative seeks to explore what Latin American art is and means and what it looks like when it's placed in the context of Los Angeles (which may or may not be part of Latin America, depending on whom you ask). The exhibits feature everything from an examination of Día de Los Muertos in L.A. (at Self Help Graphics in Boyle Heights) to a massive exploration of the meaning of "home" (at LACMA) to nude self-portraits by a born-and-bred Angeleno who makes her form look like a geological feature. On Sunday, 50-plus institutions are waiving the cost of admission so everyone can take in the displays that speak to them most, for free. Various locations; Sun., Sept. 17, times vary; free. pacificstandardtime.org/es/events/event/view/free-day. —Gwynedd Stuart
College is the first big step into adulthood, but it can be a minefield, especially the first year. Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin's I Hate Everyone but You is a YA novel consisting of emails and tweets between characters Gen, a journalism major at Emerson College, and Ava, an aspiring screenwriter at USC, who help each other survive their first semester, particularly bad roommates, dating, drugs, mental illness and coming out. Though Dunn and Raskin didn't know each other in school, their book is semiautobiographical; since 2014, the BFFs have co-hosted their YouTube sketch comedy channel, Just Between Us, which has more than 750,000 subscribers. They've also created content for BuzzFeed, and Dunn hosts the podcast Bad With Money. As part of their book tour, the two will read excerpts, perform stand-up, tell stories and screen videos. The Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown; Sun., Sept. 17, 7 p.m.; $15-$80. spacelandpresents.com. —Siran Babayan
You don't have to tell me a single damn thing about the past nine months of your life, and I can still tell you that you've earned a bigass stein full of German beer. Southern California's oldest Oktoberfest celebration has descended on Alpine Village in Torrance, with more brats, Bavarian pretzels and brews than you can shake your butt at while doing the chicken dance. Fridays and Saturdays are 21+, but Sundays are Family Days when all ages are invited to gorge themselves, even if they can't imbibe. The Dine and Stein Front of the Line Package features a meal at the Alpine Village Restaurant, a commemorative ceramic stein filled with beer and no-wait entry. That deal is for adults only, but kids 12 and under get into the festivities for free. Bavarian attire (and designated drivers) encouraged. Alpine Village, 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance; Sundays through Oct. 28, 1-6 p.m.; $10, free for kids. alpinevillagecenter.com/oktoberfest. —Gwynedd Stuart
Filled to the brim with confidence thanks to the success of The Muppet Movie, the Jim Henson Company assembled the same creative team to make The Great Muppet Caper. This time out, Kermit and Fozzie Bear are reporters assigned to cover a jewel robbery, leading to some mildly zany hijinks and an inevitable array of guest stars. With photography by Oswald Morris and sets designed by Harry Lange, it's an uncommonly prepossessing movie, and a funny one to boot. The New Beverly Cinema will show this sparkling Champagne bubble of a family flick as part of its kiddie matinee series. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sun., Sept. 17, 2 p.m.; $6. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell
The American Cinematheque teams up with the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles for a program titled "History of the Soda Fountain." Ice cream provider and film historian Cary Farnsworth will present an illustrated history of the soda fountain in motion pictures, followed by a screening of Harold Lloyd's silent comedy classic Speedy. The event kicks off with an ice cream social to be held in the courtyard from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Sept. 17, 5 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell
The events described in Kelly Grey Carlisle's new book read like the plot of a fantastic, improbable novel: A 3-week-old girl is found in a dresser drawer in a motel room by a police detective after her prostitute mother is strangled to death in the mid-1970s. Raised by a grandfather who owns an adult-video store, the female narrator grows up on a run-down boat in a decidedly unglamorous part of L.A. Harbor amid a milieu of johns and drug users before eventually trying to solve the cold-case murder of her mom. But the coming-of-age story that Carlisle reveals in We Are All Shipwrecks: A Memoir is true, as the noted essayist struggles to understand the mother she never knew. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Mon., Sept. 18, 7 p.m.; free, book is $24.99. booksoup.com. —Falling James
You know why kids say the damnedest things? It's because they tell you the unfiltered, uncomplicated truth, and because adults are so steeped in bile and guile that they usually dismiss such uneasy truthfulness. But A Little Advice: Love and Life Advice From Kids, hosted by Noelle Lara, is your chance to consult with the children — Gia Davis, Bailey Rae Fenderson, Toby Grey, Devin Weaver, Kingston Wells — about the problems and power trips through which you're currently suffering. But don't just think of these kids as little Magic 8-Balls; their advice will be thoughtful, engaging and revealing. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., Sept. 18, 7 p.m.; $6. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com/performance/57077. —David Cotner
The Future Ladies of Wrestling appear for a new episode premiere and wrestling variety show at Human Resources on Friday.
Jennifer Juniper Stratford/Courtesy Telefantasy Studios
Even the Hawaiian Punch guy knows that you can't equivocate when it comes to Nazis — and tonight's Nazi Punch Party is unequivocal in being vocal against the current fascist menace insinuating itself into various levels of society today. So leave the fruit punch at home and indulge in what fascists hate most: being laughed at. A comedy benefit for both the victims of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the community organizing work at the NAACP, tonight's lineup features Marcella Arguello, Guy Branum, Chris Fairbanks, Erin Foley, Solomon Georgio, Nikki Glaser, Sam Jay, Langston Kerman and your hosts, Caitlin Durante and Jenny Zigrino. NerdMelt, 7522 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Sept. 19, 9-10:30 p.m.; $15 advance, $20 door.(323) 851-7223, holdmyticket.com/event/290166. —David Cotner
Blake Edwards' cross-dressing burlesque Victor/Victoria receives a dignified slot in Laemmle's Anniversary Classics roster. The frothy, sophisticated farce turns 35 this year. The production, set in 1934, is a handsome one and the cast is full of charmers: Julie Andrews as the Parisian singer turned female impersonator, James Garner as the man who develops complicated feelings for her, and Robert Preston, stealing his scenes as her gay manager. Lesley Ann Warren, who snagged an Oscar nomination as a mobster's bubble-brained moll, is scheduled to appear for a Q&A. Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre, 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Tue., Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell
From its start as a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale to life as a legendary ballet film, The Red Shoes' story of a ballerina torn between her passion to dance and her love for a composer continues to fascinate. This isn't the first dance or theater effort, but this incarnation, Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes, pirouettes into a new retelling in the hands of the celebrated choreographer. As the man who populated Swan Lake with male swans in feathered knickers and revealed Sleeping Beauty to be a vampire story, expect Bourne and his New Adventures company to bring a similar, highly theatrical fever dream to the stage, the first endeavor in a new partnership between Bourne and Center Theatre Group. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; opens Fri., Sept. 15, 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; thru Sun., Oct. 1; $30-$130. centertheatregroup.org. —Ann Haskins
More and more women are embracing their inner witch. Belle, Book & Candle has billed itself as an event "produced by witches, for witches," combining burlesque and psychic performances, from tarot readers and mediums to rune gazers and energy healers. Produced by professional dancers and real-life witches Pleasant "Princess Farhana" Gehman and Shana "Venus De Lilo" Leilani, the night features a series of shows and interactive rituals. And L.A. Weekly's own Lina Lecaro DJs. It's sure to cast a spell. El Cid, 4212 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Wed., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.-mid.; $11.11-$25. facebook.com/events/1572317082790554. —Gwynedd Stuart
To Live and Di(n)e in L.A. is an immersive culinary adventure presented in the exhibition Drinkin' Smokin' & West Coastin' by the intriguing art gallery, event space and collective known as Think Tank. While it's true that curiosity has been known to kill cats, nevertheless intrepid human guests will sit down for tasty treats with the ghosts of the most infamously "scoundrelous" characters in Los Angeles' true-crime history. Hungry innocents shall trek through our city's gruesomely sleazy past –– there's a lot of that gnarliness hereabouts –– via a four-course meal created by chef Felix Barron, strong cocktails (you might be needing them) and cabaret-type performances. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., downtown; Thu., Sept. 21, 7 p.m.-1 a.m.; 21 and over; $165. (916) 670-3801, drinkinsmokinwestcoastin.com. —John Payne
CSUN revives its Thursday Nights at the Cinematheque series with a Buster Keaton retrospective programmed by professor Tim Halloran. This Thursday pairs Sherlock, Jr. with The Navigator, two of Keaton's most conceptually brilliant features. In the former, he's a movie projectionist who dreams himself into a detective film. In the latter, he plays a millionaire marooned on an ocean liner with his girlfriend. Silent clowning — and cinema in general — doesn't get much better than this. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Sept. 21, 7 p.m.; free (daily parking permit is $8). (818) 677-1200, csun.edu/mike-curb-arts-media-communication/cinema-television-arts/thursday-nights-cinematheque. —Nathaniel Bell
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