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

Bring a friend to feed you at LA Weekly's Essentials party on Sunday.
Bring a friend to feed you at LA Weekly's Essentials party on Sunday.
Anne Fishbein

Revelers dance the Trump away at a disco party, we host the biggest food event of the year, Moshe Kasher tests his new Comedy Central show on an audience, and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 3/24

In February, DJ Groupchat and Satellite booker Jennifer Tefft hosted the inaugural Funk Trump, a disco dance party/protest in the name of a president who's devoid of soul in more ways than one. The night was such a success, they're making it a monthly thing and giving the money to charity. This month, Planned Parenthood gets the door proceeds plus a cut of the bar, and revelers get a chance to dance to funky tunes and forget, if only for a few hours, that we're all at the will of a madman. The Satellite, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; Fri., March 24, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; $5 minimum donation. thesatellitela.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

No doubt you've attended concerts, theater and dance at the Music Center in the past, but have you ever experienced one of downtown's biggest cultural institutions late at night through the early morning hours? The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and adjacent venues host Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours, a multimedia event for night owls that includes, among other things, oceanic projections and ambient music by Sean Hellfritsch at the Music Center Plaza; a vine forest designed by Martin Vallejo in the Pavilion's Stern Grand Hall; a dance party with Dub Club in the Pavilion's Founders Room; performance by professional whistlers led by Molly Lewis; and workshops on making origami and floral crowns. If, however, you need to take a disco nap, you can nod off on one of the beanbags. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., March 24, 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m.; $30, $20 in advance. (213) 972-0711, musiccenter.org. —Siran Babayan

Upcoming Events

You may not know the name Josef Leimberg, but odds are you've heard his music. The virtuoso trumpeter and composer appeared on Kendrick Lamar's Grammy Award–winning LP To Pimp a Butterfly, and has produced or collaborated with Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Funkadelic, Thundercat and Dr. Dre, among others. Last October, the L.A.-based artist released his dazzling debut album, Astral Progressions, a fusion odyssey that blends cosmic jazz with soul, R&B and hip-hop. This Friday, Leimberg and his Astral Progressions Ensemble will be performing not one but two free sets in Union Station's iconic ticketing hall, the perfect setting for his innovative and expansive jazz vision. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown; Fri., March 24, 8:30 & 9:30 p.m.; free. unionstationla.com/happenings/metro-art-presents-josef-leimberg-and-the-astral-progressions-ensemble. —Matt Stromberg

Put yourself to the fullest possible use — which, as any HAL 9000 unit can tell you, is all any conscious entity can ever hope to do — by experiencing 2001: A Space Odyssey on a brand-new 70mm print. In a rare special engagement, the Aero screens Stanley Kubrick's 1968 masterwork all this weekend and next. Silver-screen sci-fi reached its heady zenith with this exploration of all manner of life (whether primate, artificial, extraterrestrial or otherwise) on Earth and beyond; Solaris, Star Wars, Alien and The Thing are all grand, but Zarathustra only spake once. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., March 24, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

Is Deckard a replicant? Will this fall's sequel starring Ryan Gosling be any good? Ponder these and other unanswerable questions during the Nuart's midnight showing of Blade Runner (the final cut), Ridley Scott's sci-fi neo-noir. Harrison Ford is the hardboiled detective circa 2019, forced, as his sort so often are, to come out of retirement and track down a gang of rogue robots who are indistinguishable from their human counterparts. Scott's vision of 21st-century Los Angeles is as striking now, as we approach the year in which it's actually set, as it was when Blade Runner came out in 1982; ditto the famous "...like tears in rain" monologue. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., March 24, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

sat 3/25

Teaching by example is the order of the day when acclaimed American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland unveils Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger and More Graceful You ($30, Grand Central). Copeland brims with tips on how to grow strong, robust bodies in this health-and-fitness book, which proves there's more to wellness than just eating proper fats and steel mace training. Health is also largely mental, and Copeland covers that with wisdom on motivation and the importance of finding a mentor to guide you through life, because loneliness can make you feel incredibly unwell. Eso Won Books, 4327 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park; Sat., March 25, 12:30 p.m.; free. (323) 290-1048, esowonbookstore.com/event/misty-copeland-booksigning-ballerina-body. —David Cotner

Regarded as a signature dish in Mexico's Yucatán, poc-chuc is a simple and simply divine layering of charcoal-grilled pork with grilled onions and a habanero salsa to counter the citrus marinade. Poc-Chuc is also the title of Alfonso Cervera's adventurous fusion of Mexican folklorico and modern dance. Cervera's goal is to create a new and distinctive multilayered dance idiom from the two different dance traditions. As with other Pieter events, the venue's nonmonetary admission is a nonperishable food item or beverage for the free bar, or items of clothing or wares for the free boutique. Pieter, 420 W. Avenue 33, Lincoln Heights; Sat., March 25, 8:30 p.m.; nonmonetary donations accepted. pieterpasd.com/events/poc-chuc. —Ann Haskins

One hundred years after he first appeared onscreen, stone-faced comic performer Buster Keaton is still considered an entertainment-industry pioneer. Of his countless shorts, theatrical films, talkies and late-career TV appearances, the 1927 film The General remains one of the iconic comedian's crowning achievements. The story of a Civil War soldier who steals a train, it was one of the most expensive films to be made during the silent era. With music prepared by organist Dennis James and conducted by native Angeleno Richard Kaufman, The General with a live score by the New West Symphony shines a spotlight on Keaton's brilliance while offering a fresh take on an old classic. Actor Jamie Farr will take part in a discussion of "film, comedy and Keaton." Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., March 25, 8 p.m.; $28-$48. (818) 677-8800, valleyperformingartscenter.org/calendar/details/the-general. —Tanja M. Laden

There comes a time in every '90s kid's life when he's forced to decide between Little Big League and Rookie of the Year, easily the decade's finest films about kids getting their shot in the big leagues. In Rookie, which the New Beverly presents on an archival 35mm print courtesy of 20th Century Fox, an arm injury leaves 12-year-old Henry Rowengartner with the ability to launch 100 mph heaters. As there's nothing in the rule book that says a kid can't pitch in the majors, this naturally leads to a contract with the Cubs. We may never know what "funky butt-loving" actually means, but we're all the better for having heard it. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., March 25, 2 p.m.; $6. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

Why oh why might Cinefamily be screening All the President's Men, which immortalizes the two Washington Post reporters who helped bring down a paranoid president back when blatant corruption was actually enough to force the commander-in-chief out of office? We'll leave that to you, dear reader. Cinefamily's Fight the Power series continues with Alan Pakula's classic starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, an exemplar of the paranoid-thriller trend that helped make Hollywood great again back in the '70s. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sat., March 25, 6:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

Director Richard Kelly shows up for a screening of Donnie Darko on Sunday.
Director Richard Kelly shows up for a screening of Donnie Darko on Sunday.
Pandora Cinema

sun 3/26

If you're reading this in print, chances are you noticed that this week we're celebrating what we consider to be the 99 Essential Restaurants in L.A. — the must-try places for anyone eager to get a taste of the heart and soul of L.A.'s food scene. As a companion to that project, on Sunday we're hosting The Essentials, a chance to sample food from more than 50 of the 99 restaurants on our list, plus wine from local and national wineries. This year's roster includes Spago, Night + Market, Chengdu Taste and many more. Critic Besha Rodell, who curates the 99 Essentials, says, "I think it's quite safe to say that there's no cheaper way to get a taste of such a wide range of L.A.'s very best cooking." California Market Center, 110 E. Ninth St., downtown; Sun., March 26, 2-5 p.m.; $65. essentials.laweekly.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

There are two types of people in Los Angeles: those who drive and those who have to rely on public transit. Storyteller Scott Schultz's spoken-word series BUSted! celebrates its third anniversary today with a reading that focuses on the myriad encounters and surreal exchanges that occur daily on buses, trains and other forms of transportation. The tales range from the whimsical to the poignant, such as Katya Duft's portraitlike observations of various extremes of human behavior (a handsome bus driver being hit on by female passengers, or a mother and her young violinist daughter scolded by a curmudgeon on a train). Tanya White opines that BMW drivers are assholes, while Horus RA portrays thieves who use the bus to get away after robbing a Taco Bell. Stories Books & Café, 1716 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Sun., March 26, 5-8 p.m.; free. (213) 413-3733, storiesla.com. —Falling James

A lady never reveals her age, but Jackie Beat and Sherry Vine are no ladies. In Battle of the Bitches, the drag-queen divas, both known for their vulgar musical spoofs, celebrate 25 years as friends and performing together in theaters and clubs. (You may have caught them playing the senior gals of Miami in Golden Girlz Live at Silver Lake's Cavern Club.) Refereed by actor Alec Mapa, they pull topic suggestions out of a hat or bucket and sing crude parodies, usually to the tune of a pop song, to see who's the biggest bitch. Think ABBA's "Mamma Mia" rewritten to rhyme with diarrhea and gonorrhea. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Los Angeles LGBT Center's Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood; Sun., March 26, 7 p.m.; $30. (323) 860-7300, lalgbtcenter.org. —Siran Babayan

mon 3/27

Whole Foods has struck up a partnership with Roy Choi, the L.A. chef most famous for kicking off the whole food-truck trend when he started Kogi, the Mexican-Korean mashup on wheels. Almost 10 years later, Kogi is opening permanent locations in Whole Foods supermarkets. The El Segundo location has just been remodeled, and part of the expansion is a new Kogi. To celebrate, Choi will be stopping by to sign copies of his book, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food. Ticket price includes drinks and some Kogi snacks plus, of course, a chance to meet Choi. Proceeds from the event go to Women of Watts, an anti-violence organization. Whole Foods, 760 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; Mon., March 27, 5-7 p.m.; $10. (310) 333-1900, wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/elsegundo. —Katherine Spiers

tue 3/28

In 1968, Cheech Marin moved to Vancouver to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War; there he met a topless-bar owner named Tommy Chong and the rest is far-out history. Marin writes about how he formed one of the greatest partnerships in comedy and became one of the most famous stoners in the world in his new memoir, Cheech Is Not My Real Name ... But Don't Call Me Chong! Born Richard Marin to — ironically — an LAPD officer in South Central, the actor recalls growing up in the San Fernando Valley, his brief stints as a singer and music journalist, performing improv with Chong and making the Citizen Kane of marijuana movies, 1978's Up in Smoke. Marin also recalls his other film and TV roles and discusses his extensive and renowned collection of Chicano art. As part of Central Library's ALOUD lecture series, Marin discusses his book with singer Marisol Hernandez of band La Santa Cecilia. (Also at the Broad Stage with Carolina Miranda on Thu., March 30, 7:30 p.m.) Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., downtown; Tue., March 28, 7:30 p.m.; $25-$45. (213) 680-3700, lfla.org. —Siran Babayan

That Carrie Fisher is still being memorialized onscreen three months after her untimely passing is testament to the singular impression she left on the world. The latest tribute comes in the form of Postcards From the Edge, Mike Nichols' adaptation of the actress/scribe's semi-autobiographical novel; Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine play the Fisher and Debbie Reynolds surrogates, respectively. Daughter moves in with mother after a stint in rehab, an arrangement neither is thrilled about but both need. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., March 28, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

wed 3/29

Secret City offers guided food tours of neighborhoods, and this super-specific tour, Taste of Grand Central Market, walks guests through downtown's historic market, an establishment that started as a grocery and is now a world-class food hall. The 90-minute experience coincides with dinnertime on purpose: though you'll only be getting relatively small bites at each vendor, enough are participating that those bites will, collectively, be a rather heavy meal. The tour meets at the Hill Street entrance and then weaves through the market's 38 stalls, 23 of which opened within the last three years. Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, downtown; Wed., March 29, 6:30-8 p.m.; $50. eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-grand-central-market-tickets-32344584523. —Katherine Spiers

The Pasadena Museum of History's latest exhibit, "Art in the Street: 25 Years of the Pasadena Chalk Festival," traces the evolution of one of the city's most popular annual attractions. Founded in 1993 by Pasadena nonprofit arts organization Light Bringer Project, and named the largest street-painting festival in the world in 2010 by Guinness World Records, each year the event brings together 600 artists from around the country who create concrete murals that draw in more than 100,000 visitors over two days in the summer. The retrospective features photographs, video and artists' biographies, as well as artist demonstrations and interactive events throughout the display's run. Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena; Wed., March 29, noon-5 p.m. (continues Wed.-Sun. through Aug. 13); $7, children under 12 free. pasadenahistory.org. —Siran Babayan

thu 3/30

What happens when you find out that your purpose in life actively involves your own death? Meaning and time coincide when you meditate on that at tonight's screening of the newly restored Donnie Darko with director Richard Kelly in person. Hamstrung both by the events of 9/11 and a confused public when it was barely released in theaters in 2001, Donnie Darko remains a weird, darkly fascinating fable involving pre-buff Jake Gyllenhaal and his adventures with a 6-foot-tall, prognosticating rabbit named Frank, navigating the whirlpools of adolescence even as he struggles to handle rifts in time and star-crossed love. Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Drive, Los Feliz; Thu., March 30, 10 p.m.; $14, free for members. (323) 660-6639, cinefamily.org/films/donnie-darko/#donnie-darko-off-site-at-vista-with-richard-kelly-in-person. —David Cotner

If you're a fan of Moshe Kasher, you're probably familiar with The Hound Tall, the stand-up comic's monthly podcast taped live at UCB, where experts and fellow comedians, including wife Natasha Leggero, discuss various topics that in the past have ranged from Scientology and Brexit to the history of raves. So it's no surprise the actor has landed his own talk show on Comedy Central, Problematic With Moshe Kasher, which he describes as a Donahue for millennials that will tackle all things internet, especially social media, trolling, fake news and the like. (Kasher co-executive produces the network's costume-drama spoof, Another Period.) In anticipation of its April 18 premiere, Kasher recently hosted a test run at UCB that included Buzzfeed investigative reporter Jason Leopold and comedians Nicole Byer and Joe DeRosa. Tonight Kasher hosts another teaser show, featuring a panel of TBA guests. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., March 30, 7 p.m.; free with reservation. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

Everything you've heard about how great John Cassavetes was is true, and yet none of it will fully prepare you for the depth of feeling in his wrenching body of work. That's as true of Minnie and Moskowitz as it is of any of his films, which is saying a lot. The romantic drama stars Gena Rowlands (the writer-director's wife and constant collaborator) alongside Seymour Cassel, another Cassavetes regular; their love affair, like those in most of Cassavetes' films, is painful in its authenticity. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., March 30, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine


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