A Beer-slugging, Flag-waving, Double-Wilder Week of Fun

Two quick things: Did anybody notice that Nicollette Sheridan, portraying a realtor, pronounced it “real-a-tor” in Sunday’s

Desperate Housewives

season closer? And: We get it already: “Sith” is an


of a naughty word.


“Wilder’s chilling use of shadows and deep focus ...” Many of us who went to film school can vouch that it may take years to recover from writing papers on classic cinema. Fortunately, there will be no homework as part of American Cinematheque’s Billy Wilder double feature of Sunset Boulevard and Double Indemnity. Bask in some of the greatest movie lines ever: “We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces.” As Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson had eyes even crazier than that runaway bride’s. Mae West was considered for the role, but it’s tough to imagine anyone other than Swanson swirling around that decrepit Bel Air mansion. And in Double Indemnity, look for the Hollywood Bowl, where Fred MacMurray’s Walter Neff meets Lola Dietrichson; Neff’s Chateau Marmont apartment; the Glendale train station; and the “death house,” which still stands at 6301 Quebec St. in the Hollywood Hills. At the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., May 27, 7:30 p.m.; $9. (323) 466-FILM.


Memorial Day weekend means finding a good spot on the ground at a local outdoor music festival. And porta-potties. Of all the outdoor music festivals we’ve been to, Topanga Days is the grooviest (with all due respect to June’s Bayou Fest, which also rules). There must be something in Topanga Canyon’s water that makes everybody . . . just . . . so . . . laid-back. The setting’s pretty, the music is way better than average, it’s not too crowded, there’s lots for kids, and the beer lines aren’t oppressive. That’s really all we ask from our summer music festivals. This year is a country theme, with performances by John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Colin Hay, Venice (why, we’ve never understood), Cecilia Noel & the Wild Clams and many more, including Kingsizemaybe on Monday, whom we know and can honestly say deserve to be on the big stage. At Topanga Community House Grounds, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sat.-Mon., May 28-30, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $12, $6 seniors (cash only).

Hi, my name is Butterfly Karma
Doobie. I live in Topanga
Canyon. I am 72 years old.
See Saturday.

The other musical festival, coming in at a good 10 degrees hotter, is

Pasadena Summer Fest.

It’s jazzier, yet also contempo-smooth, Afro-Cuban, Latin/salsa and not afraid of R&B. It’s also free, with a Sports Zone, an art fest, a carnival and walking-around food. At the Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena; Sat.-Mon., May 28-30, 10 a.m-8 p.m.; free. (626) 797-0421.


Do not panic if you notice fewer cars on the streets today. Many Angelenos are out of town for the holiday weekend. They are in their cars ruining other people’s weekends in Santa Barbara or Ensenada or Las Vegas and will return by the time you need to leave for work on Tuesday morning. Take advantage of the lighter traffic and hit the Skirball Center for the final day of the Einstein exhibit. (Or see the nearby article on barbecuing.) And don’t forget the ice! 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.; ends May 29; special ticketed admission $12, $8 students & seniors, children under 12 free. (310) 440-4500 or (866) 468-3399.


Are Canoga Park and Montrose the only two communities that actually care about our veterans? Wave your flags at The 16th Annual Valley of the Stars Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade; begins at Sherman Way & Owensmouth Ave., 11 a.m. Or go to Ocean View Blvd. & Honolulu Ave., Montrose; 8 a.m. (818) 957-9964.

(Pssst, today is the day Kingsizemaybe plays Topanga Days. See Saturday.)


Architect Daniel Libeskind was once asked, “What is the best moment of the day?” to which he responded, “When suddenly you’re surprised by something, which is all the time.” Hear him talk about his designs, which include the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Atelier Weil in Mallorca. At Walt Disney Concert Hall, First St. & Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tues., May 31, 8 p.m.; $45-$90. (213) 480-3232.


It took filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle 17 years to make Villisca: Living With a Mystery, a documentary on the 1912 brutal murders of the six members of Iowa’s Moore family and two visiting children, which have long gone unsolved. The film screens two nights, along with a lobby display of historical photographs, the real Villisca ax, a pre-screening magic-lantern slide show and a Q&A with the Rundles. At the New Beverly, 7165 Beverly Blvd.; Wed.-Thurs., June 1-2, 7:30 p.m.; $9. (323) 938-4038.


For some reason, many of you loved Raymond. If so, enjoy this Writers Guild event titled Secrets of a #1 Sitcom: Inside the Writers’ Room with Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal and his crop of now-out-of-work writers. The Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills; Thurs., June 2, 7:30 p.m.; $25, $15 students. (323) 782-4692.

Everyone should love Kristin Hersh, whose blissfully raucous band 50 Foot Wave tear the roof off the Knitting Factory in celebration of their debut album, Golden Ocean. With the Slow Signal Fade. At 7021 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs., June 2, 8 p.m.; $8. (323) 463-0204.

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