Small stringed things make a lot of noise in Torrance on Saturday.
Small stringed things make a lot of noise in Torrance on Saturday.
Courtesy Craig Chee

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


Beyond Fest takes over the Egyptian, a daylong festival celebrates the most delicious of Mexican sauces, Stranger Things gets a live musical tribute, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 9/29

Horror! Action! Comedy! Beyond Fest brings together new and classic genre films for 12 days of programming at the Egyptian Theatre. The film festival, now in its fifth year, salutes cult favorites from Suspiria to The Running Man and Napoleon Dynamite to The Room, while also bringing audiences a smattering of new flicks from some old favorite filmmakers (like the world premiere of Tommy Wiseau's long-awaited follow-up to The Room, Best F(r)iends). It all starts Sept. 29 with West Coast premieres of Brawl in Cell Block 99, from director S. Craig Zahler and starring Don Johnson and Vince Vaughn, and the director's cut of Takashi Miike's 2001 flick Ichi the Killer. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 29-Tue., Oct. 10, showtimes vary; free-$15. (323) 461-2020, beyondfest.com. —Liz Ohanesian

An innovative touring exchange program pairs locally based L.A. Contemporary Dance Company with the Bay Area's FACT/SF. The contemporary troupes shared the stage in San Francisco two weeks ago in PORT: LA/SF, receiving very strong reviews, and reprise the show here this weekend. LACDC contributes a new work by company member Nathan Makolandra and excerpts from a new work from artistic director Genevieve Carson. FACT/SF provides two works by Charles Slender-White. While both SF and L.A. have vibrant dance scenes, there are few opportunities for Angelenos to see SF troupes, and vice versa. This effort allows audiences in both cities to become more familiar with the other's dance companies without having to go through airport security. L.A. Theater Center, 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Sept. 29-30, 8:30 p.m.; $25, $20 students. lacontemporarydancecompany.org. —Ann Haskins

Music, art, classic cars and craft beer are just a few reasons to head out to Van Nuys tonight. The San Fernando Valley neighborhood is holding its inaugural Van Nuys Arts Festival at the local civic center, and the folks of the 818 are getting involved. CSUN is bring in art, as is local muralist Kristy Sandoval. 818Arts is holding an art book fair, and Valley Relics Museum and Museum of the San Fernando Valley are hosting pop-ups. Plus, Los Angeles County Brewers Guild is bringing together a selection of Valley-made craft beers. Check out music from Mark de Clive-Lowe, Maria del Pilar, Cutty Flam and SFV Acid, plus a silent disco, zine workshops and more. Van Nuys Civic Center, 14410 Sylvan St., Van Nuys; Fri., Sept. 29, 6-10 p.m.; free, RSVP suggested to vnaf2017.eventbrite.com. (818) 756-8121, facebook.com/vannuysarts. —Liz Ohanesian

sat 9/30

Professional ceramicists aside, lots of us don't get the chance to mess around with clay after we've finished grade school. Clay L.A. at the Craft and Folk Art Museum is a ceramics sale and showcase, but the two-day event also features air-dry clay activities for attendees, sponsored by Laguna Clay (fun fact: That's the same outfit that supplied the clay for the wet clay sculptures in Anna Maria Maiolino's current exhibit at MOCA). Also look for works by Alyson Iwamoto, Betsey Carter, Jen Kuroki and many other talented artists, as well as pop-up shops from local brands A Question of Eagles, Beckon Shop and Miwak Junior. Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sat.-Sun., Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free with museum admission. (323) 937-4230, cafam.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

The third annual Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival celebrates the small, four-stringed instrument and the artists who make melodious music with it. You can watch performances by Lil Rev, Honoka & Azita, Kalei Gamiao, Victoria Vox, Ukulenny, Cynthia Lin, Jody Kamisato, Fred Sokolow, Mitch Chang and Fulure_Pad, or, better yet, take part in strum-alongs or in workshops that teach players of all skill levels various ukulele techniques and musical styles, including reggae, blues and pop. The day also features hula classes, plus ukulele and food vendors. Torrance Cultural Arts Center, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance; Sat., Sept. 30, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; $45, $20 students, free for kids 12 and under. (800) 595-4849, kalakoa.com/ukulele/index.html. —Siran Babayan

Before David Chase dreamed up the landmark series The Sopranos, he wrote a potent little horror film called Grave of the Vampire, based on his unpublished novel. The premise — something to do with a half-human, half-vampire college student taking revenge on his undead dad — is strange enough to merit a closer look from genre buffs. The New Beverly Cinema has disinterred a 35mm print of unknown quality and paired it with Jailbait Babysitter on a double bill. The only link between them is the director credit, John Hayes. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sun 10/1

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Feria de los Moles, an all-day event celebrating one of Mexico's most important culinary contributions to the world: mole. Hosted for the first time at downtown's Grand Park, this year's edition will feature at least 13 different varieties of the sauce, from sweet to spicy. Food also will be available to purchase, mostly dishes made to pair with mole. It's not just an eating event, though — it's also meant to educate Angelenos about the pre-Columbian roots of the dish, and how it was affected by trade and immigration. You'll also learn about the battle for mole dominance between two Mexican states, Puebla and Oaxaca. Grand Park, 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sun., Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. feriadelosmoles.com. —Katherine Spiers

For nine years, the Japanese American National Museum has hosted the Kokoro Craft Boutique, a volunteer-organized craft fair with Asian flair. There will be jewelry and other handmade items from more than 50 vendors, plus merch from Giant Robot, clothing made from kimono fabric, clothing made especially for dogs, origami, ceramics and more. Bonus: Shoppers who spend more than 20 bucks get a coupon for 10 percent off at participating Little Tokyo restaurants. Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., downtown; Sun., Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; pay what you wish. (213) 625-0414, janm.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

The brave new Angel City Jazz Festival is our burg’s most prestigiously progressive music event, an always far-sighted series that showcases the cutting-edgiest of new jazz and related sounds. To kick off this year’s events (which run Oct. 1-15 at various L.A. venues), Monk Centennial Celebration presents Monk’s Afro-Cuban Dream, an all-star unit featuring vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater and a piping hot horn and rhythm section. Monk DJ Style opens with a dice-slice run through Mr. Monk’s miraculous mind as interpreted by DJ Logic, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Deantoni Parks and Steve Lehman. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood Hills; Sun., Oct. 1, 6-9 p.m.; $20-$70. angelcityjazz.com. —John Payne

Josh Gondelman (left) and Jeffery Self want to know if you can even (see: Monday).
Josh Gondelman (left) and Jeffery Self want to know if you can even (see: Monday).
Courtesy Jeffery Self

mon 10/2

Millennials are the tech-savviest generation but many seem to lack basic life skills, like reading a printed map, changing a tire or cooking a meal without the help of Blue Apron. Jeffery Self and Josh Gondelman's comedy game show Can You Even? puts millennial-age audience members in the hot seat and tests their "essential practical and cultural knowledge" with such games as "Grammy's Awards," "Name That Tool" and "Keep It Clean." Self is an actor and author who appears on TBS' Search Party, while Gondelman is a stand-up comic who just won an Emmy for outstanding writing for a variety talk series for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 2, 7:30-8:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

Brian Slagel was 21 years old when he founded Metal Blade Records out of his mother's garage in the Valley. In 1982, the label released Metal Massacre, a compilation that featured the first recording by then-unknown Metallica, among other local heavy metal groups. Drummer Lars Ulrich writes that Metallica's first break was thanks to Slagel in the foreword to Slagel's new book, For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records, which the author discusses tonight with Joey Vera, John Bush and Betsy Bitch, in addition to Eddie Trunk and Don Jamieson, former co-hosts of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show. In the book, Slagel chronicles his life and career, which for the past 35 years has included signing and working with such bands as Slayer, Gwar, Corrosion of Conformity, Cannibal Corpse and King Diamond. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 2, 7 p.m.; free, book is $14.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

Alfonso Cuarón's international hit Y Tu Mamá También broke new ground in 2001, exploring with candor the relationship between sex, politics and nationalism. The road trip shared by two male teenagers (Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna) and an older married woman (Maribel Verdú) is fraught with implications about class, gender and friendship at the turn of the millennium. Sexually frank and queasily humorous, it marks a high point in the New Mexican Cinema. The Academy will screen a 35mm archival print in the beautiful and spacious Samuel Goldwyn Theater, with panelists to be announced. Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Mon., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.; $5. (310) 247-3000, oscars.org. —Nathaniel Bell

tue 10/3

In a male-dominated medium like podcasting, more women are getting behind the microphone. Previously held in New York, WNYC Studios' Werk It: A Women's Podcast Festival hosts three days of workshops, conversations, networking sessions and cocktail parties led by dozens of podcast hosts and producers and other presenters, including actress-writer Lena Waithe, who just made history when she became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for outstanding writing for a comedy series for Master of None. New this year is a Podcast Bootcamp for novice producers, as well as live tapings of the podcasts 2 Dope Queens, with guest Naomi Ekperigin; Death, Sex & Money, with Niecy Nash; and Another Round, with Amber Rose. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Tue.-Wed., Oct. 3-4, 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 5, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; $200-$500, $25-$100 for live tapings. werkitfestival.com. —Siran Babayan

Can't wait for Stranger Things to return Oct. 27? Stranger Things: The Musical Tribute takes you back to 1983, the year when the small Indiana town in Netflix's sci-fi/horror drama is turned upside down thanks to supernatural creatures, disappearing kids and a bald, telekinetic little girl. But you won't have to binge-watch this show and interrupt your shut-eye. Written by Conor Hanney, with music composed by Lee Huff, the musical comedy features cast members Dahlya Glick, Gabe Greenspan, Sylvia Kolb, Madison Lanesey, Callie Ott and Dane Troy, who re-enact the series' entire first season, with its 14 major characters, and sing a dozen original songs inspired by the 1980s in only 75 minutes. El Cid, 4212 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Tue., Oct. 3, 8 p.m. (Tuesdays through Oct. 31); $30. (323) 668-0318, elcidsunset.com. —Siran Babayan

Before Andrew Lloyd Webber was a glint in his father's eye, there was Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera. Early screenings of Universal's 1925 blockbuster reportedly were so intense that ambulances waited outside in case members of the audience experienced fainting spells. Indeed, the scene in which Chaney's hideous yet sympathetic "phantom" is unmasked rates among the greatest shock moments of the silent cinema. The film is closer in spirit to melodrama than horror, but its central pantomimic performance and general opulence makes this a must-see on as large a screen as possible. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Oct. 3, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Koko Craft Boutique (see: Sunday) is now in its ninth year.EXPAND
Koko Craft Boutique (see: Sunday) is now in its ninth year.
Richard Murakami

wed 10/4

If you're wondering how a counterculture kook could somehow transform into a counterculture cook, watch Alice Waters in conversation with L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold about her upcoming memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook. Waters — founder of Berkeley's Chez Panisse and a big fan of farmers markets — discusses staying true to a larger vision and what she learned from her experiences in the tumultuous '60s amidst all the war, protests and going to jail. The reception includes dishes prepared from Waters' recipes, making the night one to remember on multiple levels. Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Wed., Oct. 4, 8 p.m.; $20-$95. (310) 855-0005, livetalksla.org/events/alice-waters. —David Cotner

thu 10/5

Many songwriters manage to cobble together one moderately catchy hit record while they're still in their 20s and then spend the rest of their careers performing it endlessly on the oldies circuit. But Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — as pop-minded as any of the classical composers of his era — was still creating some of his best work virtually up until the minute he died at age 35. As part of L.A. Philharmonic's season-opening series Mozart 1791, conductor Gustavo Dudamel guides soprano Julia Bullock, tenor Paul Appleby, baritone Elliot Madore, soprano Jessica Pratt and soprano Vanessa Becerra through enchanting selections from The Magic Flute after Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst winds through the delightful byways of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A major. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu., Oct. 5, 8 p.m.; $20-$205. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com/tickets/mozart-1791. —Falling James

For those who have a knack for puzzles, Timecrimes is a carefully wrapped gift. Nacho Vigalondo's deliriously complex yet rigorously logical thriller ponders the spatial-temporal implications of time travel while serving up a suspenseful whodunit. Laemmle shows the film as part of its Throwback Thursday series co-presented by Eat/See/Hear. Laemmle NoHo, 5420 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Thu., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell

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