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From goth history and a bevy of goth artists to a celebration of the Afrolatinidad experience in L.A., here are the 10 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.

fri 2/21

ART

Orpheus the Time Traveler

If the past few months of opera, film, poetry and art have taught us anything, it’s that the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is a material fertile enough for endless inspiration and interpretation. The great 20th-century artistic polymath Jean Cocteau was no exception; he made a whole cinematic trilogy on the subject, and the Norton Simon Museum is screening them. On Friday, February 21, it’s his 1950 opus Orpheus, set in Paris’ Left Bank bohemian scene and starring Jean Marais; then on Friday the 28th, it’s the 1959 time-travel version Testament of Orpheus, which features Marais along with cameos from Pablo Picasso and Yul Brynner. Norton Simon Museum, 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Fri., Feb. 21 & 28, 6 p.m.; free w/ museum admission, $15. nortonsimon.org/about/press/news-archive-2020/cocteaus-orphic-trilogy. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Jean Cocteau’s Testament of Orpheus

afroLAtinidad at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

sat 2/22

ART

Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa

Walter Thompson-Hernández and Mariah Berlenga-Shevchuk curate a truly unique installation at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes for their contribution to the Black History Month discourse, looking at the rich history, traditions and lived experience of the Afrolatinidad perspective in Los Angeles in afroLAtinidad: mi casa, my city. Going beyond art and photography, the exhibition recreates an Afro-Latinx home L.A. style, complete with family-room objects and personal touches that bring the culture to life in an immersive but intimate encounter. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; opening reception: Sat., Feb. 22, 5-7 p.m.; exhibition through July 22; free. lapca.org/exhibition/afro-latinidad-mi-casa-my-city. —Shana Nys Dambrot

CULTURE

Oh My Goth

As the collective freakout over the upcoming Cruel World festival made clear, dark new wave and moody post-punk remains a Generation X musical passion. In L.A., things got even darker with the rise of death rock, which for better or worse is referred to as “goth” these days. Phantoms: The Rise of Deathrock from the Punk Scene chronicles the scene and its growth in L.A. in the ’80s with an assortment of interviews and archives attempting to explore the popularity of this gloomy music, fashion and lifestyle. Lethal Amounts gallery hosts the book launch with a signing by author Mikey Bean and Q&A, followed by an afterparty at the Monty Bar next door featuring black-swathed faves including Fat and Fucked Up, Gitane Demone Quartet GDQ, Kommunity FK, The Wraith, Nervous Gender Reloaded, Only Theatre Of Pain (with members of Christian Death), Witness (featuring Ron Athey), Snowsnake Orchestra (featuring Don Bolles) and Paul Roesller. DJ Dave Bats (Release The Bats) spins. Lethal Amounts, 227 W. 7th St., Westlake; Sat., Feb. 22, 7 p.m.; free, afterparty $20. link.dice.fm/ODYaIyEj72—Lina Lecaro

bridgette bianca (Courtesy of the artist)

sun 2/23

LITERATURE

Changing the Lexicon

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined,” the late Toni Morrison wrote in Beloved, her 1987 novel about a mother who escapes slavery. The line holds special meaning to Shonda Buchanan, the local writer (Black Indian: A Memoir) and L.A. Weekly contributor who is hosting A Celebration of Toni Morrison. “Morrison taught us that we get to define who we are and what our role in this world will be and become: We get to define and reimagine ourselves as whole, human and woman,” Buchanan writes. The group reading “is a chance for Los Angeles’ black women authors, readers and fans to pause in our lives and give homage to someone who changed the lexicon of what it meant to be a black woman in America.” Featured readers include Rhonda Mitchell, Bridgette Bianca, Asha Grant, Sanura Williams, S. Pearl Sharp and Melanie Luja. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Sun., Feb. 23, 5 p.m.; $10. (310) 822-3006, beyondbaroque.org. —Falling James

CULTURE

House of Horrors

Created for Halloween lovers, yard haunters, home haunters and pro creepsters, Haunt X is a trade show and expo featuring everything one might need to host your own haunted house or maze, but it’s also a place to simply score some horrific decor. Featuring workshops and DIY presentations on how to create props and pop-ups, the gathering grew out of a 2002 event called “DeathFest” and underwent a name change and move to Reno before the current organizers took over and brought it back to L.A. This installment features special effects people, a monster museum, panels, classes and even a costume party after the day events, all proving once again that Ministry was right — every day is Halloween. Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona; Sat., Feb. 22, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. $20-$55. hauntx.com—Lina Lecaro

Fallen Fruit Supershow (Shana Nys Dambrot)

ART

Shake the Tree

It’s the closing day of Fallen Fruit’s mega-fruity SUPERSHOW at the PDC Gallery this weekend, after months of saturated and welcoming flamboyance in sculpture, design, wallpaper, editions, photographs and more — all centered on the themes of universal beauty, appetite, desire, luxury, jam-making and the ethos of neighborly sharing. Now it comes to a close with one more party, tarot, tea, cake, conversation and another of the duo’s famous fruit tree adoptions. Folks ready to commit to a couple years of diligent watering and talking to your tree and subsequent fruit-sharing with friends should RSVP ahead of time to become a part of the Endless Orchard. Everyone else, feel free to just come for the cake. PDC Gallery, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Sun., Feb. 23, 1-4 p.m.; free. fallenfruit.org/author/fallenfruit. —Shana Nys Dambrot

The Black Version

mon 2/24

COMEDY

Back in Black

In this presumably enlightened modern era, people of color are often invisible in films beyond being portrayed with the usual hoary stereotypes, and remain seriously underrepresented (especially behind the camera). But a decade ago, the brilliant minds behind The Black Version began repopulating the silver screen with their riotously absurd African-American parodies. The concept is quite simple: “The audience suggests the title of a popular film, and a cast of all-black comedy actors improvise the black version of it,” according to the Groundlings website. Directed by Karen Maruyama, the cast features Jordan Black, Daniele Gaither, Phil LaMarr, Gary Anthony Williams, Cedric Yarbrough and Nyima Funk. Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Mon., Feb. 24, 8 p.m.; $20. (323) 934-4747, groundlings.com—Falling James

tue 2/25

FOOD&DRINK

A Peak Behind the Curtain

Ever wonder how chefs dream up their next best dish? Find out during Resy Off The Menu Week, running from Monday, February 24-Sunday, March 1, and get access to the inner workings of your favorite restaurants. Instead of the standard  prix-fixe meal deal,  it’s all about culinary creativity: from a showcase by superstar line chefs at Rustic Canyon to radical new dishes in development at Maude and iconic eateries. Neighborhood mainstays will serve their experimental concepts and off-menu hits — all auditioning for a spot on the main stage. Chefs can interpret the idea of “off menu” however they wish, the only criteria is that they add a minimum of four new items. Fundamental DTLA is serving up a savory yeasted waffle with shiitake crème fraîche, and Maude will serve dishes actually in R&D for their next quarter’s menu. Other participating restaurants include Lasa, APL, Lukshon, Elephante and Yapa. Various locations; Feb. 24-March ; prices varies. blog.resy.com/2020/01/resy-presents-off-menu-week-los-angeles-american-express/ —Michele Stueven

wed 2/26

DANCE

A to B

When the ballet Agon premiered in 1957 with African-American Arthur Mitchell partnering white ballerina Diana Adams in a central pas de deux, the barrier-breaking integrated pairing was highly controversial, yet choreographer George Balanchine resisted pressure to recast Mitchell. Photos of that Mitchell/Adams pairing became iconic and the controversy faded over the decades, leaving the ballet to join other Balanchine masterpieces on its considerable merits. Not every ballet company can perform Agon or other Balanchine ballets without permission from the Balanchine Trust and the presence of a repetiteur who ensures the quality of the casting and performance. Colleen Neary was personally selected by Balanchine as a repetiteur to stage ballets like Agon which she has done for American Ballet Theater, Mariinsky Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and L.A.’s own Los Angeles Ballet, where she is co-artistic director. In the second offering of LAB’s 2019-2020 season, Agon joins two other Balanchine touchstone ballets Concerto Barocco, set to Bach, and Apollo, which like Agon, has music by composer Igor Stravinsky. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Wed.-Thu., Feb. 26-27, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 28, 6 p.m.; $68-$114. losangelesballet.org/balanchine-black-and-white. —Ann Haskins

Joy Harjo (Paul Abdoo)

thu 2/27

POETRY

Homeward Bound

If there’s a musicality in Joy Harjo’s poetry, it might be because the Oklahoma poet plays alto saxophone and flute with her band Arrow Dynamics in addition to her extensive career as a writer and teacher. Last year, the member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was anointed as the U.S. poet laureate — the first Native American writer selected in that role. “May we all find the way home,” Harjo offers in her new collection, An American Sunrise. She takes the tragedy of the Trail of Tears — caused when President Andrew Jackson instigated the Indian Removal Act, in which indigenous people “were forcibly removed from their homelands by government forces” — and reclaims that history by mixing in the personal stories of her family. Harjo also draws parallels between the Trail of Tears and immigrant refugees trying to escape oppression in Central America. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Thu., Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Falling James

Post updated February 21.

LA Weekly