From art made from driftwood and a mind-melting performance to a divine trifecta for Valentine’s Day, here are the 10 best things to do in L.A. this week.

fri 2/14


See Creatures

Echo Park studio and gallery iam8bit operates at the intersection of futurism and nostalgia, analog experience and technological opportunities. And so, in a way, does artist and designer Amanda Visell. Known for her background in animation and editioned art toys, Visell also works diligently in the visual arts, from her new home on the Oregon coast. That’s where she picked up her love for driftwood — and literally picking up the knotty, gnarly, wave-tossed bits and limbs themselves. In her new show DRIFT, she transforms the wood into humans and creatures both animal and mythological with the help of pigment, tools and her own imagination. iam8bit, 2147 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; opening reception: Fri., Feb. 14, 7:30-10 p.m.; exhibition on view Fri., 5-9 p.m., Sat., 1-9 p.m., Sun., 1-5 p.m., through February 23; free.—Shana Nys Dambrot

Amanda Visell, Drift (Courtesy of the artist)

Aaron Axelrod, Melting Rainbows sequence (Courtesy of the artist)


Melt With You

Do what you can to prepare your mind and body for this weekend’s performances of Aaron Axelrod’s Melting Rainbows. A high-energy, immersive, psychedelic live-painting situation is augmented with photography, video, VR, music, drinks and, ahem, etc., as you lay back in Wisdome’s giant glowing canopy and allow your eyes and mind to just take it all in. The never-ending transformations of shape, light and color never create the same experience twice, as Axelrod conducts the chromatic orchestra live on stage from a glowing sci-fi globe as the delight and wonder are amplified in shared experience. Wisdome L.A., 1147 Palmetto St., downtown; Fri.-Sat., Feb. 14-15, doors 6 p.m., performance 8 p.m.; $25. —Shana Nys Dambrot


A Divine Trifecta

Join wineLA for a special class bringing together three divine creations on Valentine’s Day: wine, cheese and chocolate. Explore the sensual contrasts and delights that each element brings to the experience —the crisp acidity, mouth-filling robustness or smooth viscosity of great wine; the sharp, subtly sweet complexity of fine cheese; and the rich luxuriousness of superior chocolate ranging from creamy milk to intensely dark. Participating vendors include Milla Chocolates and Cypress Grove Cheese, alongside a selection of 10 wines. 530 Molino St., #218, downtown; Fri., Feb. 14, 7-9 p.m. & Sat., Feb. 15, 3-5 p.m.; $85.—Michele Stueven

Donna Sternberg & Dancers (Paul Antico)

sat 2/15


Dancing the Scientific Method

Choreographer Donna Sternberg and her eponymous Donna Sternberg & Dancers have a penchant for sly humor when deployed along a light rail line in the series Transit Dances, but Sternberg also has a more serious side. For more than 10 years, her series Awe and Wonder has paired choreographers with four scientists to create dances informed by different fields of science. For this edition, the scientific worlds of immunology, geology, cancer research and microbiology are explored by South Asian dancemakers Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda, as well as contemporary choreographers Bridgette Dunn-Korpela, James Gregg and Sternberg. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Sawtelle; Sat., Feb. 15, 8 p.m.; & Sun., Feb. 16, 3 p.m.; $25, $20 students/seniors. —Ann Haskins


Girl in a Museum

Kim Gordon has always been just as comfortable in a museum setting as she is in the rock scene. Throughout her career, the Otis Art Institute graduate has sought to break boundaries across a multitude of disciplines, including music, art, film and the written word (the latter via the memoir, Girl in a Band, which delved into everything from her childhood, to her work with Sonic Youth to her divorce from bandmate Thurston Moore). She’ll talk about all of this and more with East Village comrade Christopher Wool, who helms the first of 10 installations/conversations by acclaimed artists — called The Un-Private Collection — presented in conjunction with The Broad’s fifth anniversary. Zipper Hall at the Colburn School, 200 South Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Feb. 15, 2 p.m.; $20.—Lina Lecaro

Julia Ingalls (Courtesy of the artist)

sun 2/16


Five O’Clock Confessions

“Escape whatever clouds we may be living under with great literature and conviviality,” essayist Julia Ingalls invites in a Facebook post about one of the “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” group readings she hosted recently. In December, Subtext Design Publishing released The Best of Five O’Clock Somewhere, with 13 works Ingalls edited by writers who have performed at the series, which is in its fourth year. In this month’s edition, Ingalls presents young-adult novelist Lilliam Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez), Paul Mandlebaum (Garrett in Wedlock: A Novel in Stories), memoirist Joe Loya (The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber), poet Aruni Wijesinghe and writer Anthony Miller. Mandrake Bar, 2692 S. La Cienega Blvd., Mid-City; Sun., Feb. 16, 5 p.m.; free. (310) 837-3297, —Falling James


Bottomless Brunch

Celebrate Presidents’ Day weekend with a bottomless brunch and  day party in the heart of DTLA featuring  hip-hop, R&B, Afrobeats and Caribbean hits. District 7 Bar will be  serving a heaping helping of Brunch, Booze & Beats Brunch Party just steps away from the 7th Street Metro station. Order a brunch entree and for an additional $25, you’ll have the flexibility to alternate between unlimited brunch cocktails, including mimosas, bellinis, sangria and rum punch. Sit inside and listen to the sounds of LA’s DJ R-Tistic, Mark Vincent, Butta The DJ and DJ U to Trap Muzik, Top 40 and Afro Beats; or sit outside and people watch. Brunch items include lobster hush puppies, shrimp and grits, and breakfast sliders with eggs, steak and cheese. District 7, 555 West 7th St., downtown; Sun., Feb. 16, noon-8 p.m.;  prices vary. (213) 256-2031. Michele Stueven

Link Link Circus (Tristram Kenton)

mon 2/17


Carnival of Animals

“Welcome to the smallest circus in the world,” Isabella Rossellini declares proudly at the outset of Link Link Circus. She uncovers the missing links connecting humans and other animals, and the numerous ways animals reveal their intelligence and emotions, in a fanciful “theatricalized lecture” that combines film, music and animation with storytelling and revelations from the actor’s studies in animal behavior. Although Rossellini is Link Link Circus’ creator, writer, co-director and central performer, the show is inevitably stolen by her small, costumed dog Pan, who variously portrays a dinosaur, elephant, sheep, lion and bee. Rossellini’s witty observations about evolution, farming, nature and man turn out to be unexpectedly poignant. Lodge Room, 104 N. Avenue 56, Highland Park; Thu.-Fri., Feb. 13-14, 7 p.m.; Mon.-Wed., Feb. 17-19, 7 p.m.; $45 & $60. (323) 509-2861. And at Malibu Playhouse, 29243 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; Sat.-Sun., Feb. 15-16, 8 p.m.; $95. (323) 960-7711. —Falling James

tue 2/18

See Monday, February 17.

Maria Dizzia in the national tour of What the Constitution Means to Me. (Joan Marcus)

wed 2/19


We the (Theater) People

“The Constitution means squat!” Anyone who watched the recent impeachment trial would not be faulted for feeling like this is the consensus with our current government. But whatever side you may be on, it is clear that the Founding Fathers left a lot of their ideas open to interpretation, a fact which has exploited to almost comical proportions by Washington. All of this makes the Tony-nominated Broadway play, What the Constitution Means to Me, ridiculously relevant right now. Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Heidi Schreck’s story, directed by Oliver Butler and starring Maria Dizzia (Orange is the New Black), sees the lead character look back at her time winning constitutional debates in school, while examining four generations of women and how the governing document shaped their lives —  and ours. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed., Feb. 19- Sun., Feb. 23 & Wed., Feb. 26-Fri., Feb. 28, various showtimes; $49/$99. Lina Lecaro

thu 2/20


Rust Never Sleeps

In a striking visual presentation that blends inventive imagery with live dance and angular new music, Japanese artist Tabaimo conjures Fruits borne out of rust. “Her intricate animations transform the stage into a wood-floor apartment, a large birdcage that traps the dancer with a dove, and a line of tatami mats that swallow the dancer whole,” the press releases promises. Choreographer Maki Morishita has a dancer interact with the changing animation to bring movement to Tabaimo’s series of dreamlike images. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Thu.-Sat., Feb. 20-22, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 23, 3 p.m.; $18 & $22. (213) 237-2800,—Falling James

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