FRIDAY, AUGUST 26Strippers are so much more appealing when they dont look like strippers, but like real, voluptuous women. The hotties of the Velvet Hammer shake and shimmy for the last time before an extended hiatus as founder Michelle Carr relocates to Berlin in her one-planet/one-burlesque-troupe conquest of the world. Of course, all the trapeze artists, musicians and wily comics will be there, too, and when the grinding grinds to a halt, you can console yourself that Los Angeles still has enough retro-burlesque shimmy-shakers to fill up the rest of the week. The El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd.; Fri., Aug. 26, 8 p.m.; $25. www.theelrey.com; www.velvethammerburlesque.com. SATURDAY, AUGUST 27 You thinkin about a plate o shrimp? The folks at Austins Alamo Drafthouse Cinema have loaded up their humongous inflatable screen for the Rolling Roadshow Tour, bringing 11 movie screenings to the locations in which they were shot. Here in Los Angeles, we get to sit in a vacant lot in a dicey part of downtown and drink generic beer while watching Repo Man (Roswell, New Mexico, gets It Came From Outer Space). Repo Man, Emilio Estevezs finest work, is one of the most quotable movies ever. Case in point: The more you drive, the less intelligent you are. Jimmy Buffetts even in it! And Rodney Bingenheimer and the Circle Jerks! Bring a chair for outdoor seating or you can also hang a pine-scented car deodorizer from your rearview mirror, watch in your car, drive-in style, and contemplate the lattice o coincidence. Director Alex Cox will be on hand, as will many members of the cast. Before the screening, a Repo Man Road Rally will be held, with the winner of a scavenger hunt getting a Chevy Malibu. Secured and fenced yard at E. Third & Santa Fe sts., downtown; Sat., Aug. 27, 8:15 p.m.; $18. Road Rally at 3 p.m. Info at www.originalalamo.com/online_tix/sigs.asp?id=34. SUNDAY, AUGUST 28 How slippery do you like your plate o shrimp? Extra lubricious? At this weekends Chinese Food Festival, you can sample dishes from a slew of restaurants, such as the famous Empress Pavilion, along with smaller joints even Jonathan Gold hasnt heard of (okay, thats stretching it). Besides chopsticking everything in sight, you can watch chefs sizzle shrimp, Chinatown Fear Factor kiddie games (the challenge: eat jellyfish and chicken feet) and Chinese acrobats. Central Plaza, 943-951 N. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Aug. 27, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., Aug, 28, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $10, $8 seniors, $6 ages 5-12 (admission includes two tastings).While you avoid painful Junctionitis caused by walking on the lava-ish Silver Lake asphalt, stay downtown for the famous Taiwanese Hsiao Hsi Yuan Puppet Theater, making its L.A. debut. Fortunately, all the talented dancers were given visas for their historic visit. These Chuanchow-style wooden puppets are inspired by the Peking Opera and, as you might imagine, go well with Peking duck. (And if you really must head to Silver Lake, check our Music section for full Sunset Junction listings.) Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 26, noon; Sat., Aug. 27, 8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 28, 3 p.m.; free.Speakeasy is a secret sect of social moths and caterpillars who send out occasional press releases and will gladly welcome you into their fold for the cost of a meal at Pinks. They tend to invite at least one smart, interesting literary type to their gatherings and will force guests to enjoy homemade cookies and lemonade while the literary type shows how entertaining he/she can be. This time its Aimee Bender, whose new short-story collection, Willful Creatures, is in the mail to me. Shell lead some sort of parlor game that promises its own rewards, which is the press releases way of saying, We have no idea. Also drinking the lemonade will be song makers the Santiago Steps and bookmark artist Nicole Russell. Mount Hollywood Underground, 4607 Prospect Ave., Los Feliz; Sun., Aug. 28, 8-10 p.m.; $7, bookmarks $10. (310) 572-7347 (call for password, which I know but wont tell). MONDAY, AUGUST 29 Its not easy to find something fun to do on a Monday night unless you have TiVo, in which case, why ever leave the house? For the TiVo-less, you could do a lot worse than heading to Taix restaurant, ordering the escargot and kir royal, and enjoying the très charmant musical stylings of Patria Jacobs. No, shes not French (Texan, actually), but she does have a nice song called Jacques Cousteau from her more-than-lovely CD Poison of the Sea. Taix, 1911 Sunset Blvd.; every Mon. in Aug., 10 p.m.; free. (213) 484-1265. TUESDAY, AUGUST 30 Its a bad night to go out to dinner. Illeana Douglas and Jason Bateman are among the judges of this months Manhattan Monologue Slam, which features a bunch of actors taking a night off from waiting tables to perform three-minute monologues. Ivar Theater, 6356 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Tues., Aug. 30, 9 p.m. (doors open 8:30 p.m.); free. (323) 465-4827. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31 Peter Case has known the highs and lows of the music biz. Yet after 25 years, he still gives and gives. His Last Day Saloon series at Molly Malones winds up with a swan song featuring his Peter Case Electro-Harmonic Roll Band and Phil Alvin. Last Day is a recognition of the state of the world right now, he says. I cant just party at the hoedown, with everything thats going on. The series is dedicated to our icons: Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski and Lenny Bruce. In case you havent treated yourself to one of these shindigs, youve missed sets by Stan Ridgway, Steve Wynn and Chuck Prophet. Im going back on tour it was nice being home while it lasted. Molly Malones, 575 S. Fairfax Ave.; Wed., Aug. 31, 9:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 935-1577 or (310) 578-5591, Ext. 2. Space is running out, but we cant recommend The Paul Lynde Show enough. Michael Airington out-Lyndes Lynde. Hes scary good. The Madrid Theater, 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park; Wed., Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m.; free, but resv. required at firstname.lastname@example.org. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 While Peter Case moves ahead of his poppy Plimsouls past, The Knacks Doug Fieger proudly says, Hey, I was popular once! and drags out My Sharona for the billionth time. With Shonen Knife, another cutesy band that sings about nothing whatsoever of importance. Santa Monica Pier, Colorado & Ocean aves.; Thurs., Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 458-8900 or www.santamonicapier.org.
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