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Hoopla Gets Serious, Then Decidedly Not So

How they represent in NYC. See Saturday. (Photo by Amy Arbus)

{mosimage}FRIDAY, March 9

Psyched on Bikes: Pedaling a Two-Wheeled Solution in the Capital of Cars is a talk by bicycle activist Monica Howe, who bikes it like she talks it. She’ll explain how “an urban bicycle culture will make this a better place to live.” Farmlab Salon/Under Spring, 1745 N. Spring St., dwntwn.; Fri., March 9, noon; free. (323) 226-1158.

Not sure if this is a good idea or not, but some of the folks who brought us the nightclubs Big Fat Dick and Trannyshack have put together a parody of the Joan Crawford campy cult classic Trog. You couldn’t pay me to go, but some of you hip camp-lovers may dig it. Cavern Club, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Fri.-Sun., March 9-18, 9 p.m.; $18, $15 in advance. (323) 969-2530.


SATURDAY, March 10

Amy Arbus takes stark portraits that will remind you of her late mother Diane’s work, minus the freak factor. Her new book, On the Street, should prove once and for all that only in New York City will you see such a collection of free-range hipsters. Witness the woman on the sidewalk flaunting a trench coat over a fur bikini. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., March 10, 5 p.m. (310) 659-3110. Cocktails and ’80s hits at the Standard Hotel Hollywood, 8300 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., March 10, 7-10 p.m. (323) 650-9090. Exhibit at Stephen Cohen Gallery (thru April 21). See Galleries.

If you’ve always dreamed of living the urban lifestyle complete with loft but shudder at NYC real estate prices and could really do without all the energetic street culture going on outside, plus you’d prefer to step over homeless people when you walk your dog, and you can really live without a grocery store, then The Downtown Living Weekend 2007 is for you. The Downtown Business Improvement District invites the public to lookie-loo through 16 different luxury developments. Sat.-Sun., March 10-11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; parking $6, VIP shuttle & parking $15. Register at www.DowntownLA.com.

SUNDAY, March 11

Quick — and without consulting imdb.com — what movie character is Sally Ann Howes known for? If you said Truly Scrumptious from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, you probably already have your tickets to the 23rd Annual S.T.A.G.E. Side by Side by Sondheim. The long-running benefit for AIDS Project Los Angeles features Shaun and Patrick Cassidy, Len Cariou, Nancy Dussault, Betty Garrett, Michael Nouri, Valarie Pettiford, Charlotte Rae, Cathy Rigby, Wilson Cruz and others, plus an appearance by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry and Judith Light. Wilshire Theater, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., March 10, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 11, 3 p.m.; $35-$220. (323) 656-9069 or visit www.stagela.com.


MONDAY, March 12

This American Life comes to town to talk down to us about the highbrow joys of lowbrow pastimes, namely, watching television. To paraphrase David Cross on Mr. Show, notice how I didn’t call it “TV,” because “TV” is a nickname. And nicknames are for friends. And television is no friend of mine. (Actually, it’s my best friend, now that I am experiencing Better Living Through High Definition.) Sarah Vowell, Dan Savage and host Ira Glass will spout off on TV topics in an entertaining style somewhere between a too-short Seinfeld episode and a Harper’s article that goes on way too long. Royce Hall, UCLA; Mon., March 12, 8 p.m.; $47.50-$55. (310) 825-2102.


TUESDAY, March 13

Who said, “I’ve never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xena, the warrior princess, comes from there.” If you answered Madeleine Albright, proceed to the Music Center Speaker Series. The Honorable Ms. Albright will share many more, less-embarrassing insights. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tues., March 13, 8 p.m.; $50 & $75. (213) 480-3232.


WEDNESDAY, March 14

What would you guess a show named Crystal and Pushups is all about? If you said it’s “the true history of the gay man... from history’s gay icons from gay patriot George Washington to lunatic pioneer Mary Todd Lincoln... and takes a forensic peek into such hot issues as lesbianism among the Amish, adoption among methadone users, the delicate art of cruising and cop uniforms. So gay.” Frank Hundley and Bryan Safi are the fellows comfortable enough with their own sexuality to write and perform. Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Wed., March 14, 8 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702.


THURSDAY, March 15

(Beware today.) If you’re the type who looks in other people’s trash and medicine cabinets, you’ll dig Richard Gilbert: Junk Drawers, a collection of photographs of people’s, yes, junk drawers. Gilbert writes in his bio that his inspiration “was a sudden pang of nostalgia for that place in the corner of my childhood kitchen where the detritus of our lives ended up — objects often of marginal consequence, but sometimes great importance, somehow too special to throw away, seldom animal or vegetable, and always, by necessity, smaller than a breadbox.” UnUrban Coffeehouse, 3301 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; thru March 20. (310) 315-0056.


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