22 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Get some of that griddled ground beef at Burgers & Beer on Saturday.
Our very own Burgers & Beer event, dance performances on the Santa Monica Pier, the tale of a fake black metal band, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.
No one really reads anymore, so co-promoters Goldenvoice and Red Light Management are presenting an evening in which a virtual magazine opens its pages and does the reading for you, in the form of Werd: A Live Magazine Celebrating Music & Activism. The event corrals disparate personalities from widely varying eras in a benefit for the local arts-education organization P.S. Arts. Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros frontman Perry Farrell engages in a conversation with artist-provocateur Shepard Fairey about the ever-evolving nexus of music and art, and Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson unleashes her notoriously fearless and defiant opinions in an onstage interview with former Doors drummer John Densmore, before the soiree closes with an all-star jam. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.; Fri., April 28, 7:30 p.m. (doors 6:30 p.m.); $33.50-$55. (213) 235-9614, theatre.acehotel.com. —Falling James
Less than a year after it opened its doors in 2016, Hollywood's pay-what-you-can Pack Theater hosts Packchella, its inaugural, three-day festival dedicated to musical comedy that doesn't require wandering a desert polo field in the sweltering heat. Dozens of solo artists and groups, whose credits include UCB, Second City, iO West and Laugh Factory, skillfully perform both comedy and music that involve improv, sketch or character monologues. Among the well-known names are Rick Overton, Adam Ray, Scout Durwood, Eliza Skinner and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom — in addition to some of Pack's in-house shows, namely Bill & Ted's Excellent History Report — who may inspire you to become the next Mel Brooks, "Weird Al" Yankovic or Garfunkel & Oates. The Pack Theater, 6470 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., April 28, 9-11 p.m.; Sat., April 29, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., April 30, noon-mid.; pay what you can. (424) 442-9450, packtheater.com. —Siran Babayan
Ah, to be young and in a Richard Linklater movie. Our premier chronicler of laid-back youth is at his best in Dazed and Confused and School of Rock, which play at the New Beverly on 35mm. The writer-director's last-day-of-school saga may be the definitive "hangout movie," an overused term of late but one that perfectly describes this banter-heavy ode to youth. School of Rock, meanwhile, features the definitive Jack Black performance. Linklater grew a lot as a filmmaker in the decade that separates these two films, but both make it clear that, in good times and bad, you just gotta keep L-I-V-I-N. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri.-Sat., April 28-29, 7 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine
"A pig that doesn't fly is just a pig." That's just one of the truisms offered by Porco Rosso, Hayao Miyazaki's animated adaptation of his own watercolor manga. About a former World War I pilot who's been transformed into a pig (don't you hate when that happens?) in 1930s Italy, the film isn't among Studio Ghibli or Miyazaki's best-known efforts, but it is another examination of the lingering effects of war from anime's most celebrated auteur. Dub-hating purists, rejoice: This is the original subtitled version. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., April 28, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine
L.A. Weekly's Burgers & Beer is back, and this year it's bigger than ever. You'll get unlimited sliders from more than 20 of L.A.'s best burger joints and beer pours from at least 40 of the greatest craft breweries in the state. Look for beefy bites from Belcampo Meat Co., Button Mash, Macheen, Slater's 50/50 and many more (plus cheesecake from Chef Turok), and liquid refreshment from Angel City, Boomtown Brewery, Homage Brewing, Kombucha Dog, Golden Road and lots more. That's a lot of good stuff vying for valuable stomach space. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 3911 S. Figueroa St., Exposition Park; Sat., April 29, 4-7 p.m.; $55, $75 VIP. burgersandbeer.laweekly.com. —Katherine Spiers
Just in case anyone needs a reason to head to the beach to watch beautiful bodies in motion, there's a new, live performance component to the preeminent dance film festival as L.A.-based Dance Camera West launches To the Sea: Dance Concerts on the Pier. Curated by former skateboarder, Venice Boardwalk street dancer and local dance power player Jacob Jonas, the new series is a mix of artistic and commercial dance troupes plus some filmed dance. Announced performers include Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Tony Testa, Cirio Collective, the Seaweed Sisters, Andrea Schermoly, Andrew Winghart and host Jacob Jonas The Company. West end of the Santa Monica Pier, Colorado Blvd. at Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; Sat.-Sun., April 29-30, 6 p.m.; free, reservation required. tothesea.eventbrite.com. —Ann Haskins
The 1992 L.A. uprising was a pivotal event in our city's — and nation's — history. The immediate spark was the acquittal of four police officers accused of beating Rodney King; however, the unrest reflected profound anger and frustration with decades of systemic injustice and structural racism. In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the uprising, a coalition of South L.A.–based community organizations has planned a rally, march and festival to reflect on its legacy and celebrate the neighborhood's resilience and transformation. At the intersection of Florence and Normandie — where it all started — the event will begin with speeches by community leaders and activists, followed by a march to 81st and Vermont. There, at 1 p.m., Future Fest will kick off, featuring performances by Mariachi Arcoiris, trumpeter Josef Leimberg, bilingual hip-hop artists Los Rakas and many more. March route: Florence & Normandie to 81st & Vermont, Vermont Knolls/South L.A.; Sat. April 29, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. southlaisthefuture.com/events. —Matt Stromberg
All animated films are equal, but some animated films are more equal than others. Anyone who read Animal Farm in high school but never saw this 1954 adaptation can correct that Orwellian oversight courtesy of Cinefamily; as an extracurricular activity, this screening will be held offsite at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and be preceded by a puppet show. Britain's first feature-length animated film brought the alarming allegorical novel to the screen in memorable fashion, not least because the CIA financed the production as part of its Cold War efforts. The more things change.... Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Echo Park; Sat., April 29, 7:30 p.m.; $14. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine
Bill Paxton was a favorite of James Cameron. The Aero screens two of their collaborations as part of its tribute to the late actor: Aliens and True Lies. Released seven years after the more horror-steeped original, Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's sci-fi/horror benchmark is a breathless cavalcade of terrifying set pieces and tension-breaking one-liners (most of them delivered by Paxton). Once hilarious, the most famous of these — "Game over, man!" — has taken on new significance since the actor's untimely passing earlier this year. Remember him as you shout it at the screen in unison with his perfect delivery. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., April 29, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine
Cinespia, our fair city's hippest screening series, returns with The Godfather Part II in a genuine movie palace. The Los Angeles Theatre will be transformed into a '50s-style Vegas resort for the evening, with five bars on as many floors and a ballroom, powder room, fountains and balconies to explore before the movie itself; that precludes anyone who isn't of legal drinking age from attending, and there's a dress code as well. If you can abide by this organization's strict rules, however, you'll be a made man (or woman). Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway St., downtown; Sat., April 29, 8:30 p.m. (doors at 7); $25. (323) 221-3343, cinespia.org. —Michael Nordine
Looking to commune with a higher power without having to set foot in a church? The Master Chorale presents Wade in the Water, a program of music that centers on spiritual renewal. Spirituals — which often appear only at the end of vocal programs — are presented in concert with traditional American folk music, a contemporary Korean selection and a pair of choral pieces from 20th-century Europe. In particular, listen for composer Moses Hogan's arrangement of "Wade in the Water" performed by soprano Zanaida Robles; Robles is a composer and conductor, and her arrangement of "Lift Every Voice" also will be featured. We could all use a little renewal right about now. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sun., April 30, 7 p.m.; $29-$129. lamasterchorale.org/wade-in-the-water. —Gwynedd Stuart
The definition of "Eastside" is debated all over L.A., always acrimoniously. But even if you think the name of the one-day food festival Taste of the Eastside is a lie, at least you can go to it and eat some of L.A.'s most interesting food. This year the event will be held at the rather beautiful Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, where ticket holders can try eats from Belle's Bagels, Tsubaki, Red Herring, McConnell's, Momed, FrankieLucy Bakeshop, Pazzo Gelato and more. There are plenty of beer, wine and spirits vendors as well. Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, 570 W. Avenue 26, Cypress Park; Sun., April 30, 4-8 p.m., $55 day of event ($45 in advance), $85 VIP ($75 in advance). tasteoftheeastside.com. —Katherine Spiers
Maybe you remember the first time you heard L.A. radio DJ Richard Blade play The Smiths. Your ears perked as you heard Morrissey wail that he knew "how Joan of Arc felt." You knew in that moment that this band was everything to you. Perhaps you soon learned that your New Favorite Band had already split, but that didn't matter. You could still catch their former lead singer live. You could still memorize every lyric in their small but substantial catalog. Now, it's time to put your fanaticism to work as Richard Blade hosts the 2017 Smiths/Morrissey Convention. The annual event is made for diehard fans (and, maybe their kids too, as it's all-ages). "Sing Your Life" during karaoke sessions, dance to your favorite Moz jams or stake a spot in front of the stage to catch one of the three tribute bands — This Charming Band, Strangeways and Maladjusted. Avalon, 1735 Vine St., Hollywood; Sun., April 30, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; $25 (presale), $30 (door). (626) 914-5267, musicconventions.com. —Liz Ohanesian
Dave Hill presents the story of his fake metal band Witch Taint on Wednesday.
Courtesy Scott Johnson
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, the legislation that prompted the Japanese internment, a dark and disturbing period in American history (especially given today's political climate). Institutions all over the city have staged programs and exhibits honoring the city's Japanese-American population, and for Asian Pacific Heritage Month, the L.A. Public Library is keeping it up with a display entitled "Japanese-American History of 'Sawtelle Japantown' Neighborhood." Since the early 1900s, Sawtelle — which was its own city before it was absorbed by L.A. in the '20s — has a long, rich Japanese history that predated the internment and survived it as well. The Sawtelle branch library will have a display on the neighborhood's history up for the month of May. West Los Angeles Regional Library, 11360 Santa Monica Blvd., Sawtelle; opens Mon., May 1, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (through May 31); free. (310) 575-8323, lapl.org/whats-on/events/japanese-american-history-sawtelle-japantown-neighborhood. —Gwynedd Stuart
The week's most challenging event may also be the most rewarding. REDCAT brings the short films of Pawe0x0142 Wojtasik to Los Angeles for the first time with Cruel Radiance: Moving Image Work. The Polish artist will appear in person for the event, which showcases documentaries set in such glamorous locales as autopsy rooms, pig farms and sewage-treatment facilities. Among the works on display are Pigs Still, The Aquarium and Below Sea Level. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., May 1, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Michael Nordine
Say what you will about her politics (or her family, for that matter), but Caitlyn Jenner remains one of the most fascinating public figures of the decade. Her transition from male to female is a journey countless others have embarked upon, but few (if any) have done so squarely in the gaze of the public eye. As part of the L.A. Times' Ideas Exchange, Jenner appears alongside Buzz Bissinger, co-author of her new book The Secrets of My Life, for a conversation with columnist Patt Morrison. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, downtown; Tue., May 2, 7:30 p.m.; $20-$100. (213) 235-9614, theatre.acehotel.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Since 2012, Roger Guenveur Smith has been touring Rodney King, his one-man show in which he recounts the crucial moments of King's life, as well as some of the other victims involved in the 1992 civil unrest. On April 28, Netflix premieres Spike Lee's film adaptation of Smith's theater piece, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the court acquittal of the four LAPD officers who beat King in 1991. This isn't the first collaboration between actor and director; Smith has appeared in Lee's School Daze, Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, in addition to 2001's A Huey P. Newton Story for PBS, based on another of his stage performances. The UCLA Department of History and UCLA Interdepartmental Program in Afro-American Studies co-present this screening, followed by a discussion with Smith and Lee, moderated by UC Santa Barbara professor Stephanie Batiste, in addition to a reception and DJ set with the movie's composer, Marc Anthony Thompson. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., May 2, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Siran Babayan
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers paired up for the first time in Flying Down to Rio, a 1933 pre-Code musical that promised viewers would always remember the Carioca, a Brazilian dance that was driving the world "melody mad." Still fondly recalled for the song of the same name, the picture stars Dolores del Río as a magnetic beauty and Gene Raymond as the bandleader who follows her from Miami to Rio de Janeiro. Drive down to LACMA for some movie magic and dance along. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., May 2, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
Dave Hill is a New York–based comedian, radio host, author and musician who created Metal Grasshopper, a hilarious 2014 web series in which Hill learns the ways of heavy metal with help from mentor and former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo. Back in 2004-05, Hill began emailing a Norwegian black-metal record executive named Saiitham while posing as Lance, a 19-year-old kid from Gary, Indiana, who was a member of a fictitious, one-man black-metal band called Witch Taint. More than 10 years later, Hill has turned that correspondence into Witch Taint: The Black Metal Dialogues Live!, a touring, staged reading, featuring fellow musician Phil Costello, complete with corpse paint, gauntlets and stage smoke — think of it as the 2008 documentary Until the Light Takes Us meets The Vagina Monologues. The two also will play as Witch Taint. Hosted by genre website Metal Assault, the evening includes additional performances by support acts Grand Lord High Master and Vile Descent. No goats will be sacrificed or pentagrams burned during the making of this show. The Viper Room, 8852 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., May 3, 8 p.m.; $10. (310) 358-1881, viperroom.com. —Siran Babayan
The much-missed Parks and Recreation ended in 2015, but the spirit of Nick Offerman's TV alter ego, the mustachioed, meat-loving, whiskey-drinking public servant and woodworker Ron Swanson, is all over Full Bush. The actor has been touring his not-so-subtly-titled stand-up/storytelling/music hybrid since 2014; that same year he appeared on Conan, where he called his lower region "nature's billboard" and manscaping an "abomination of the English language." In his one-man show, Offerman tells stories, shares nuggets of wisdom and sings folk- and country-flavored songs, while playing either a guitar or ukulele (handmade, of course). The event is a fundraiser for the documentary Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. Largo, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Thu., May 4, 8:30 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.); $30-$100. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —Siran Babayan
Now in its 15th year, Lucha VaVOOM continues to wow with its potent mixture of violence, sex appeal and hilarity. Who is more macho: Rey Escorpion or Laredo Kid? Or perhaps the great Rey Horus? Find out at Lucha VaVOOM's Cinco Cinco de Mayan, the biggest Mexican party of them all, aside from Día de los Muertos and several local quinceañeras. Besides the usual combo of wrestling, burlesque and comedy, this Cinco de Drinko extravaganza features Mexican electro-punker Silverio, lowriders, authentic Aztec dancing and, naturally, plenty of tequila. The Mayan, 1038 S. Hill St., downtown; Thu.-Fri., May 4-5, 7 p.m.; $48.50. (213) 746-4287, luchavavoom.com/tickets/cinco-de-mayan-may-4-5-la. —David Cotner
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