FRIDAY, September 15
Away from the beach and teen-infested Third Street Promenade is the Santa Monica Arts Festival, where wall-to-wall vendors will try to sell you wind chimes as well as fine art, sculpture, photography, jewelry and fashion among 15,000 original works. A highlight is the hourly Art Alive! demonstrations on such fun diversions as pottery, watercolors and shawl weaving. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica; Fri., Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $7.50, $6.50 seniors, children under 12 free. www.americanart festivals.com.
If the opening of Brian De Palma’s Black Dahlia next week isn’t exciting enough to satisfy the conspiracy theorist in you, take a seat on the Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus tour to uncover some of the myths and facts surrounding one of Los Angeles’ most notorious unsolved murder mysteries. Aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found cut in two and disemboweled in a vacant lot in 1947, and suspects have included everyone from Norman Chandler and Orson Welles to drifters and “crazed lesbians.” Your guides Kim Cooper and Nathan Marsak take you to more than two dozen crime scenes and provide some interesting tidbits about ye olde Hollywood. Warning: For their Halloween Horrors tour, they suggest you BYOBB (bring your own barf bag). Fri., Sept. 15, 1-6 p.m.; $47. For location info., call (323) 223-2767.
SATURDAY, September 16
The Bee Gees may have been thought of as a joke that got the whole world crying, but you didn’t see that the joke (10 U.S. hit singles, to be exact) was on you, oh no. So if in your heart of hipster hearts you can’t admit “How Deep Is Your Love” is the most breathtaking melody ever written, then you’re full of jive talkin’ and that’s just a tragedy. Backed by a five-piece band, Michael Clift (Barry), Wayne Hosking (Maurice) and David Scott (Robin) have been imitating the Brothers Gibb in their Stayin’ Alive: The Australian Bee Gees Tribute since 1997, and if they don’t know how to mend a broken heart, no one does. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos; Sat., Sept. 16, 8 p.m.; $21-$41. (562) 916-8500.
The American Cinematheque has organized a Monty Python Weekend of biblical proportions: First up on the Aero’s double-feature bill is the cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which follows Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Jones, Palin and Idle on their medieval crusade as Knights of the Roundtable who dance when’er they’re able (we can just hear the banging of coconuts that sound like horse hooves), followed by Life of Brian, in which Chapman plays the reluctant prophet born in a stable on Christmas next to what’s-his-name. Sunday serves up the troupe’s last full-length feature film, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, featuring sketches on birth, death and sex, and the “greatest musical number about birth control in film history,” continuing with And Now for Something Completely Different, an anthology of Python’s earliest Flying Circus sketches. Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m.; $9, $7 seniors & students. (323) 466-FILM.
SUNDAY, September 17
Sure, they lost the World Cup, but if all your country’s women looked like Gisele Bundchen you’d still be celebrating at the 11th Annual Brazilian Street Carnival of Long Beach. Food, two stages of samba music, capoeira dancers, a tribute to local Bahian legend and Olodum group founding member Lula Almeida. Two Rio-style parades will feature half-naked women in dental-floss bikinis wildly gyrating to percussive music. 210 Promenade North, Long Beach; Sun., Sept. 17, noon-9 p.m.; $15 in advance, $20 day of, children 12 & under free. (562) 508-4504.
MONDAY, September 18
James Denton, Samantha Mathis, Bill Nighy, Talia Shire, Dermot Mulroney, Elizabeth Perkins, CCH Pounder and others lend their voices for this night of spoken-word and musical performances, Acts of Love: Dreams, benefiting Cure Autism Now, a nonprofit that has given more than $31 million to funding scientific research. The Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Wstwd.; Mon., Sept. 18, 7 p.m.; $100 (includes after party). (888) 8-AUTISM.
TUESDAY, September 19
How many times have you wanted to hop a bus to New York, work as a taxi dancer and gang up on a gold-toothed pimp in a dance-a-thon? Now you can hit Pat Benatar with your best “Love Is a Battlefield” moves (shoulder shimmy and jazz hands, jazz hands) live and in person when she plays the Canyon Club. And it looks like our heartbreaker is kool again with the kids, starring in those vintage Candies shoe ads for Kohl’s department stores with new tween pop singer Cheyenne. She’ll be another notch in Benatar’s lipstick case in no time. Canyon Club, 28912 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills; Tues., Sept. 19, 9 p.m.; $58.50. (818) 879-5016.
WEDNESDAY, September 20
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The Tony Award–winning San Francisco Mime Troupe — they call it mimicking, not pantomime — unveil their new musical comedy Godfellas, a political satire on the separation of church and state. The troupe, which performs free shows in parks around the Bay Area and throughout California, was founded in 1959, and not only counts Bill Graham and Peter Coyote as former members, but also had the Grateful Dead play a benefit concert in the ’60s. The Actors’ Gang Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Wed.-Fri., Sept. 20-22, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 23, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 24, 2 p.m.; $25, $20 students & seniors, Thurs. pay-what-you-can. (415) 285-1717.
THURSDAY, September 21
Forty restaurants and eateries take part in Taste of Downtown Burbank’s culinary street festival, including Pomodoro Cucina Italiana, Picanha Brazilian Grill, Cold Stone Creamery and NYPD Pizza; plus, a beer-and-wine garden and live music. But if the area’s recently opened Zankou Chicken and its famous garlic paste that Mother has tried to re-create at home many, many times are nowhere in sight, a food fight may break out. Proceeds benefit the Burbank Community YMCA. Between Magnolia Blvd. & Orange Grove Ave., Burbank; Thurs., Sept. 21, 5:30-10 p.m.; in advance $25, $35 with beer and wine, $10 children 12 & under; day of $30, $40 with beer and wine, $15 children 12 & under. (818) 238-5180.
When not surfing the Web for porn, the geekoid masses will gather at Video Games Live: 2006, a night of video-game music from Halo, Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Arcade Classic and more performed by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and hosted by video-game music composer Tommy Tallarico. And then they’ll go home and look for more porn. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; $7-$60. (323) 850-2000.?