Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA goes live, a chocolate tasting and talk at the Getty, and ways to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday. Here are 21 fun and engaging things to do and see in L.A. this week.
PST: LA/LA Goes Live
The next two weeks are jammed with live movement and dance performances as the Getty and collaborators all over Metro L.A. launch Pacific Standard Time: Live Art LA/LA, the festival's live-performance component. The number and scope of events is stunning, nearly 30 of them, some running over several days or weeks and almost all free. Downtown at REDCAT, a Chilean artist works with local choreographers for a performance that involves giant hands, a volcano and other assorted mammoth structures. At Hollywood's LACE, a group from Mexico installs a video kiosk for a week, inviting locals to contribute dance moves to a video archive with a final al fresco screening of the result. East L.A.'s Ascot Hills Park hosts ritual processions and folk dances. In Monterey Park, the Vincent Price Art Museum is where five L.A. artists separately respond to a photography exhibition and also collaborate on a final performance ritual. Plus at a secret outdoor location, a Peruvian American is conducting an "encounter." Various locations; Fri.-Sun., Jan. 12-21; most events free. Find a full lineup, venues and other details at redcat.org/festival —Ann Haskins
Time travel and a ruined future figure prominently in the opening of Catherine Opie's exhibition and film The Modernist. The Los Angeles artist has for decades examined outliers such as the brutality of freeways, the LGBTQ+ community and icehouses of the Midwest. The Modernist uses similar themes as a focus to strike up a metaphysical dialogue with artist Chris Marker's 1962 film, La Jetée. Both Opie and Marker share a fascination with the emotional radioactivity of time travel and the threat of nuclear annihilation, so here's a rare chance for you to feel both terrible and cultured at the same time. Regen Projects, 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Jan. 12, 6 p.m.; free. (310) 276-5424, regenprojects.com/exhibitions/catherine-opie9. —David Cotner
Funny or Die
Despite its name, no blood will be spilled at Poetry Deathmatch Cabaret. It's just 11 nights of victimless fun marrying dueling slam poetry with improv. Hosted by Melrose Poetry Bureau — a collective that regularly stages events with poets who work on manual typewriters — Brian Sonia-Wallace, Aman Batra, Bobby Gordon, Nayeli Knudsen, Linda Ravenswood and James Gangl will take topic suggestions from the audience, bang out their poetry on typewriters and then recite their work. After four rounds, the crowd picks a winner. Interspersed between the readings, burlesque dancer Erin Bridges will add some throwback sauciness to the competition. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 12-13; Thu.-Sat., Jan. 18-20 & 25-27, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 14, 21 & 28, 2 p.m.; $20, $40. (213) 389-3856, bootlegtheater.org. —Siran Babayan
In four short years, Jacob Jonas has emerged as a significant player on the L.A. dance scene. Growing up in Santa Monica, as a teen he frequently joined a street-dance group performing at Venice Beach, eventually going on tour with them; he then spent time in Seattle with respected choreographer Donald Byrd before starting his own troupe, Jacob Jonas the Company. Jonas draws on dance styles ranging from hip-hop to ballet, gymnastics to modern dance. Perhaps more important, the individual dancers represent that range of dance styles and one of Jonas' skills is melding those different trainings and body types into a cohesive whole. Beyond the company, Jonas has gained local and national attention for his imaginative use of film, photography and social media in ways that reach new audiences for dance. The influential Dance Magazine recently included Jonas among its 25 to Watch in 2018. This informal performance offers an early look at the troupe's newest. The Side Door, Los Angeles Ballet Center, 11755 Exposition Blvd., Sawtelle; Thu.-Sat., Jan. 11-13, 8 p.m.; $25. eventbrite.com/e/jacob-jonas-the-company-side-door-series-tickets-37320364214. —Ann Haskins
Master of the Mouse House
Violinist Itzhak Perlman remains a towering musical presence in concert, even if he has to maneuver around the stage on crutches or a scooter and performs seated as the result of suffering polio when he was a child growing up in Tel Aviv. This weekend, the 72-year-old Israeli-American reveals his lyrical touch as the soloist on J.S. Bach's poignant Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, but he will also simultaneously conduct as L.A. Philharmonic moves through Johannes Brahms' Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn and encounters the diverse personalities who shaped and inspired the distinct sections of Edward Elgar's melodramatic Enigma Variations. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Jan. 12, 11 a.m.; Thu., Jan. 11 & Sat., Jan. 13, 8 p.m.; $20-$220. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James
After the turmoil of last year, 2018 is being anointed the Year of the Woman. Though it remains to be seen, Angels Flight Literary West is celebrating that proclamation at Year of the Woman: Writing for Change. Launched in 2016 and named after downtown's landmark railway, the literary journal publishes fiction, nonfiction and poetry by local authors and beyond and hosts free monthly salons at Clifton's. Tonight's gathering, which is "focused on female empowerment and change through writing," features women authors Sylvia Brownrigg, Yennie Cheung, Natashia Deón, Liska Jacobs, Kerry Neville, Eva Recinos, Carla Sameth, Solvej Schou, Laura Warrell and Aruni Wijesinghe. There's also a reception, signings, T-shirts and "hand-knit pussy hats" for $20, with proceeds benefiting the magazine. The Last Bookstore, 452 S. Spring St., downtown; Sat., Jan. 13, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan
Just as comedy gives us small laughs that suggest greater truths, tonight's Judd Apatow & Friends Benefit for Represent.Us sheds a slight sliver of sunlight on the current political climate — one that's either swimming or drowning in money, depending on whom you ask. An avowedly nonpartisan movement to combat the corruption that comes from money in politics, Represent.Us casts its fortunes behind former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter's "American Anti-Corruption Act" — developed with reform leaders and constitutional attorneys on both sides of the aisle — to once again breathe life into that hope that is democracy's lifeblood. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Sat., Jan. 13, 7 p.m.; $50. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com/event/1618898-judd-apatow-friends-los-angeles/. —David Cotner
Whether you're a fan of cereals like Runny Nut Cheerios, Czechs/Micks (for cannibals) or Post Nasal Drip, you'll finally be part of a balanced breakfast when Cold Cereal Show starts your day. Expect copious amounts of cereal, mimosas and cartoons before launching into a full set of stand-up from comics Marcella Arguello (@midnight), Lizzy Cooperman (occasionally of Not Safe With Nikki Glaser), Matt Ingebretson (Comedy Central's Corporate co-creator), Corie Johnson and Frankie Quinones (of the NBC Universal–produced YouTube channel Más Mejor), hosted by Olivia Aguilar. It's like having a whole new bunch of cereal mascots to set your life by. Junior High, 5656 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 13, noon-2 p.m.; $5 suggested donation. welcometojuniorhigh.com/calendar/2017/11/18/cold-cereal-monthly-comedy-show-c36bb. —David Cotner
Magical Mystery Tour
In Raymond Chandler's novels and short stories, an evocative sense of place and moody emotional atmosphere are often far more important than the petty plotlines of a typical mystery. The author's archly cynical yet darkly poetic descriptions of Los Angeles still resonate today, especially in neighborhoods that haven't been gentrified yet and still look the same as they did when Chandler's fictional protagonist Philip Marlowe prowled these shadowy streets. The historically minded local company Esotouric presents In a Lonely Place: Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles, a bus tour of some of Chandler's and Marlowe's favorite haunts, which starts downtown before heading west to the remaining seedy corners of Hollywood. Starts at Daily Dose Cafe, 1820 Industrial St., downtown; Sat., Jan. 13, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; $58. (213) 915-8687, esotouric.com. —Falling James
Chocolate for the Brain
For all you chocolate lovers out there, today's Cacao: The Story of Chocolate talk and tasting brings together ArtBites historian Maite Gomez-Rejón, USC food justice teacher Sarah Portnoy and bean-to-bar ChocoVivo baroness Patricia Tsai to plumb the delicious depths of cacao consciousness. You'll see how the history of cacao winds its way through its origins as a necessary aspect of ancient Mesoamerican societies to the Renaissance courts of Europe to that chalky brown garbage you throw away before you get halfway done eating it. Afterward, you'll experience a full complement of cacao beverages, wine pairings, chocolate-inspired desserts and artisanal chocolates. Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Sun., Jan. 14, 4:30-7:30 p.m.; $45/$65 with wine pairing. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu/visit/cal/events/ev_2055.html. —David Cotner
We Got the Punk
"Most bands get their ideas from the petting zoo of cute faces and commercially viable melodies, but not this Gun Club," Terry Graham muses in his new memoir, Punk Like Me: Liner Notes for a Revolution That Almost Happened (Lost Word Press). As the original drummer of Hollywood punks The Bags and the often-shambolic blues-punk ensemble Gun Club, as well as an occasional member of The Cramps and a close associate of The Go-Go's, the Texas native was well positioned to document a side of the local scene that's been overlooked in other punk histories. "Through a labyrinth of inexplicable influences and forgotten riffs, I hear thunderstorms billowing over my head while skeletons dance on a tin roof," Graham writes in a prose style that's simultaneously punchy, pulpy, extremely sarcastic, unsentimental and gratuitously sex-crazed — much like the bands he played in. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Sun., Jan. 14, 3 p.m.; free, book is $40. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Falling James
Day of Service
"We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope," Martin Luther King Jr. once said — a sentiment that's deeply appropriate in this place and at this time during today's MLK Jr. National Day of Service. Both OG N Service Association (addressing issues on Skid Row for more than 20 years) and the Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League encourage participants to bring to Gladys Park everything from nonperishable food and fresh produce to clothes and shoes to blankets and hygiene products — especially feminine hygiene products — on this crucial day of entertainment and counsel for the homeless. Gladys Park, Skid Row, 808 E. Sixth St., downtown; Mon., Jan. 15, 10 a.m.; free. (323) 644-6661, facebook.com/events/137359313640543/. —David Cotner
Nearly 50 years after his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr.'s regal, melodic voice remains one of our great cultural artifacts — an aural invocation of peaceful resistance and resounding inspiration to global human rights struggles. This MLK Day, celebrate with a multimedia immersion at the California African American Museum. Drop in for family crafts assembled with MLK quotes and collage, or show up for more formal panels and readings with influential artists, academics, politicians and activists. There is a speech marathon for the diehards. Women get their due with a panel exploring how their "pivotal roles," often overlooked, helped shape the movement. While you're there: CAAM's 4,000-piece-strong permanent collection is shaped by a mission to "think expansively" about the cultural contributions of African-American artists — and the rose garden is a few steps away. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park; Mon., Jan. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. caamuseum.org/programs/current/martin-luther-king-jr-day-celebration. —Beige Luciano-Adams
Shake It Like a Cuban
You plan to see Havana before it's paved with Starbucks and Hiltons — but please learn to dance a little first. Ebullient Afro-Cuban choreographer Kati Hernandez welcomes drop-ins at her rumba intensive. Revered among L.A. Cubaphiles, Hernandez teaches weekly "Oricha Therapy" at Downtown Dance & Movement, as well as community salsa jams and workshops from Leimert Park to San Francisco. But today it's all about la rumba, the "soul of Cuban music," and "la clave" — the key — of Latin dance. Live music, history and nuanced expression make it a cultural experience, explains Cuban-born Hernandez. For the full immersive experience, bring a handkerchief or scarf, which has its own curious folklore in this slyly salacious courtship dance. Open to all levels. Universal Dance Design, 6009 W. Olympic Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Jan. 16, 7:40-9:20 p.m.; $20 to drop in. (323) 938-6508, facebook.com/events/173752466706770/. —Beige Luciano-Adams
You Had Me at Pumpkin Cupcakes
Food is as much a staple topic of live comedy as sex and pot. On Mouth Feelings, comedians talk about not only food but the feelings it elicits. Foods like brown butter shortbread, Shoofly pie and pumpkin cupcakes. Launched in October, the podcast is hosted by Upright Citizens Brigade castmates Mel Cowan, Johnny Meeks, Julia Meltzer and Joel Spence, as well as friend and Emmy-winning Modern Family actor Ty Burrell. They discuss recipes, read Facebook comments and share personal stories about some of their favorite beverages and dishes, whether it's Burrell reminiscing about his father drinking aperol spritz or Meltzer remembering making buffalo chicken dip in college. Tonight's first Mouth Feelings live recording will feature a guest and Q&A with the audience. UCB, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.; Tue., Jan. 16, 8:30 p.m.; $7. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
Classic Rock Stance
In 1968, Robert M. Knight began photographing bands like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck Group. In 1990, Knight captured Stevie Ray Vaughan during his last performance in Wisconsin before he was killed in a helicopter crash. Knight shared those and other pivotal career moments in his 2008 tome, Rock Gods: 40 Years of Rock Photography. With a forward by Slash, Knight's book features hundreds of images of legendary performers he's both collaborated with and befriended, including The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Alice Cooper, B.B. King, Little Richard, James Brown, Ray Charles, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow and Green Day, many of whom he's shot for Guitar Center's RockWalk induction ceremonies. Mr. Musichead Gallery hosts this exhibit and release for the forthcoming updated version of Knight’s book, Rock Gods: 50 Years of Rock Photography, with live music by Lyric Dubee and Jacob Reese Thornton. Mr. Musichead Gallery, 7420 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.; Wed., Jan. 17, 7-10 p.m.; free, reservations required. (323) 876-0042, mrmusichead.com. —Siran Babayan
We’re Friends Now!
For more than a decade, frenemies and actor/writers Ilyse Mimoun and Matt Price have hosted The Great Debate, a series of comedy debates at UCB, Comedy Central Stage and Nerdmelt, where they match wits and argue opposing views on such topics as “Revenge of the Nerds: Morality Tale or Affront to Civilization?,” “Ferris Bueller: Hero or Sociopath,” “Girls vs. The Golden Girls: Who Empower Us and Who Are a Bunch of Stunted Oppressed Degenerates?” and more recently, “Don Draper vs. Donald Trump: Who Will Definitely Destroy America?” But after the chaos of last year, the two want to play nice and settle years of beef. So for their latest show, Mimoun and Price will use audience suggestions, as well songs and dancing, to debate a round of new subjects – Hamilton, Stranger Things, internet trolls – in a healthier, cleansing way. Comedy Central Stage; Jan. 17, 8 p.m.; free, reservations required. (323) 960-5519, comedycentralstage.com —Siran Babayan
Afshin Shahidi discusses his new photography book, Prince: A Private View, which includes a forward by Beyoncé. The Iranian-born, L.A.-based photographer grew up in Minneapolis, where he met the singer in 1993 while contributing to his music videos. Shahidi would spend the next 20 years working with Prince as his photographer and cinematographer. Shahidi, who is the father of Black-ish actress Yara Shahidi, shares 250 images of the late pop icon both on and off the stage, from Prince on tour and performing at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and Grammys with Beyoncé to Prince posing with his ex-wife, Manuela Testolini, and at his famous, celeb-filled "3121" parties in L.A. Vroman's, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Wed., Jan. 17, 7 p.m.; free, book is $35. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan
What if King Henry VIII and his final wife, wealthy widow Katherine Parr, lived in the 21st century? The Last Wife reimagines the Tudors, Katherine and her active role as stepmother to Henry's three surviving children, Edward, Mary and Bess. Edward is the heir apparent, but Katherine acts to have Mary and Bess added to the line of succession. Oh, she also has been having an affair with nobleman and soldier Edward Seymour. Given King Henry's track record with wives, will Katherine's head remain on her shoulders? Toronto native Kate Hennig is the playwright, and L. Flint Esquerra directs this Los Angeles premiere. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills; Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; runs through Feb. 18; $30. (310) 364-0535, theatre40.org. —Richard Chang
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On Sept. 9, 1971, inmates at the Attica Correctional Facility gathered to agitate for better treatment of their fellow prisoners. One thing led to another and ultimately 39 prisoners and jailers lay dead in the wreckage. Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (Pantheon) — which won the Pulitzer Prize in history last year for author Heather Ann Thompson — gives you the lowdown on the uprising from protest to payback and beyond. She'll discuss the book with Kelly Lytle Hernandez, director of the UCLA Bunche Center for African American Studies. Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Thu., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $35. (213) 228-7500, lfla.org/event/blood-water-attica-prison-uprising-1971-legacy/. —David Cotner
The Most Important Meal of the Day
The Grammy Museum screens HBO’s If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast. Narrated by producer George Shapiro’s uncle, Carl Reiner, the documentary follows other famous figures in their 90s, including Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Stan Lee, Tony Bennett, Betty White and a very graceful and nimble Dick Van Dyke – as well as ordinary folks – who wax poetic about the aging process and how they’ve managed to stay vital. The movie also features 101-year-old Kirk Douglas and 102-year-old Ida Keeling, who, in 2016, made history as the first female to complete a 100-meter run at the age of 100. Following the screening, museum executive director Scott Goldman moderates a discussion with Shapiro, director Danny Gold, executive producer Aimee Hyatt, composer Terry Wollman, Van Dyke, his wife, Arlene, and Alan Bergman, who wrote the film’s song, “Just Getting Started.” Grammy Museum; Thu., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.; $20. (213) 765-6800, grammymuseum.org.