Laugh Your Week Off!
I have a dream — that I will find a parking spot near Largo.
FRIDAY, January 13
Improv dance was invented by a 4-year-old stuck inside the house on a rainy day, and I have the video footage to prove it. However, if you want to appreciate the genre as performed by the avant-gardiest around, you’ll want to attend the Second Annual Improv Dance Festival at Highways, a week of movement workshops, performances and jams. The festival’s final event is Opening the Gates, two nights of performance by Daniel Lepkoff, Sakura Shimada, Gretchen Spiro, Steven Homsher, Simone Forti and many others. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Opening the Gates performs Fri.-Sat., Jan. 13-14, 8:30 p.m., $20, $15 students; free workshop with Lepkoff on Sun., Jan. 15, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; closing jam at 7 p.m. (310) 315-1459 or www.makingfacesproductions.org.
SATURDAY, January 14
From Akron to Agoura — dust off your energy dome, it’s Devo! When they appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1978 singing “Satisfaction” in those yellow radiation suits, they were way ahead of the geek-chic trend. Now that that trend is over, the Spud Boys are making a nice little comeback. Wonder what those suits smell like after all these years? Canyon Dinner Theater, 28912 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills; Fri.-Sun., Jan. 13-15, 9 p.m.; $75 & $62.50. (213) 480-3232.
Rock ’n’ Roe With Tenacious D —and that’s an order! The D headlines this benefit for Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, which means Jack Black gets paid NOTHING! Greg Proops hosts, with standup by Louis CK and Laura Kightlinger and hip melodies by Moris Tepper and Giant Drag. This is called a no-brainer. Henry Fonda Theater, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 14, 8 p.m.; $45. www.wrrap.org.
SUNDAY, January 15
How about a nice early show with 3 Blonde Moms? Comics Joanie Fagan, Maryellen Hooper and Helen Keaney don’t just celebrate the joy of being spit up on. Each brings her own motherly sense to her act. In interviews, Fagan has described herself as “the perky one — Katie Couric on speed.” Other times it’s “Martha Stewart on crack.” Well, which one is it? “The three of us represent someone you are, someone you know, or someone you’d like to kill, which is me because I’m too perky,” Fagan told some other paper. She calls colleague Keaney “edgy,” summing up the description with, “she’s married to a felon. I’m not really sure what he did, but it rhymes with hamslaughter.” Their act is clean, but you might want to leave the kiddies at home anyway. TheIce House, 24 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Sun., Jan. 15, 7 p.m.; $12.50. (626) 577-1894.
MONDAY, January 16
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Have a dream on me. In the crazy world of lefty alt weeklies, we have to work today. Lucky you if you have it off. In commemoration, Yolanda King, the reverend’s oldest daughter, will give the keynote speech at the largest MLK celebration in Southern California. The event, Westside: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, has the longest theme title in Hoopla history: “State of the Union: A Time for Love, Not Hate; for Understanding, Not Anger; for Peace, Not War.” After the speech and a program of readings, music and scholarship presentations, everyone will march two blocks for the dedication of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium in the new Santa Monica Public Library. SGI (Soka Gakai International) Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; Mon., Jan. 16, 9 a.m.; free. (310) 434-4003.
While we wait for Zach Galifianakis to call us back, let’s talk about the return of the Largo Comedy Show. This week it’s the aforementioned Zach Galifianakis & Friends. Galifianakis is a possible comic genius who will no doubt say things that will make you laugh, though you may not be sure why you laughed till later, if at all. And his friends are more interesting than your friends — you can count on that. Just go. Largo, 432 N. Fairfax Ave.; Mon., Jan. 16, 9 p.m.; $5. (323) 852-1073.
TUESDAY, January 17
This week is heavy on the comedy. Why? Because L.A. is truly a fantastic place to see live comedy in all kinds of venues. Case in point: You know him, you’ve seen him, he won’t go away — and he’s always funny (he was The Drake on Seinfeld). Ladies and gentlemen, Rick Overton! In an art gallery, no less. For this one-off gig, the Emmy-winning writer for HBO’s Dennis Miller Show unleashes New Liberal 2.5 for PC Mac Users, where he promises to “bitch slap you wimpy-ass fake lefty liberals into sex, drugs, rock & roll and the real revolution.” Sponto Gallery, 7 Dudley Ave., Venice; Tues., Jan. 17, 8 p.m.; free (yes, free!). (310) 306-7330.
WEDNESDAY, January 18
Before there was Brokeback Mountain, there was Swoon. Now that we’ve gotten your attention, there are really no parallels to draw between the two films, other than the chronology. And the whole gay thing. In glorious black and white, Swoon tells the story of gay lovers Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr., who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early ’20s. Craig Chester, who played Leopold, answers questions after the screening. Part of the American Cinematheque’s Hitchcock series (Hitchcock, you see, based Rope on the same murder case). Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.; $9. (323) 466-FILM.
THURSDAY, January 19
Brought to you by — take a deep breath — the UCLA Working Group on Hip-Hop Studies, the UCLA departments of ethnomusicology and musicology, and JUICE (Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy), it’s the first annual Hip-Hop Film Festival. Some of the films screening over four days include classics Style Wars, Wild Style and Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, plus debuts of Henry Chalfant’s From Mambo to Hip-Hop: Music and Survival in the South Bronx and Doug Pray’s Infamy. Since it’s on a college campus, there will be panel discussions throughout the festival. UCLA,Royce Hall, Rooms 314 & 306; Thurs.-Sun., Jan. 19-22, noon-10 p.m.; free. www.hiphopfilm festival.com.
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