From learning the ways of a pescan and a pub crawl for charity to A Slightly Guided Dance Party, here are the 11 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.

fri 12/13


Conscious Consumption

How do you know if someone is pescan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. They’ll just sound like they’re underwater when they say so. Two notable pescans — Abbie Cornish and Jacqueline King — today present Pescan: A Feel Good Cookbook ($30, Harry N. Abrams). You’ll get scads of recipes in this latest development in conscious consumption, something which involves lots of nutritious plants, no dairy, and plenty of high-protein eggs and seafood. Along the way, you’ll also find out how they got to be such great friends, bonding over everything from miso-ginger glazed black cod to artichoke hummus with za’atar. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 13, 6 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110,—David Cotner

Michael Eric Dyson (Nina Subin)


The Wokest Wordsmith

According to Michael Eric Dyson’s JAY-Z: Made in America, which includes a foreword by Pharrell, Jay-Z is “one of the greatest poets this nation has produced.” He’s “America at its scrappy, brash, irreverent, soulful, ingenious best.” Dyson knows a lot about the rapper; the author, New York Times contributor and professor teaches a course on Jay-Z at Georgetown University. In his new book, which he discusses tonight, Dyson doesn’t just breakdown the hip-hop icon’s lyrics. Dyson examines the three main themes — poetry, politics and “hustling” — that helped Jay-Z not only sell records and become the genre’s first billionaire (only the fifth African-American billionaire in the country behind Oprah and Michael Jordan), but made him the wokest wordsmith of his generation. California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park; Fri., Dec. 13, 7-9 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 744-7432, —Siran Babayan

sat 12/14


Crawl for Charity

Most pubs have someone crawling out of them after one drink too many — but today’s 11th Annual Santa Monica Pub Crawl benefits the Westside Food Bank, so for once you’ve actually got an excuse to walk, run and crawl from the Enterprise Fish Co. to Gramercy, from Birdcage to O’Brien’s, from Jameson to Ye Olde King’s Head. Keep an eye on the crawl’s website to find out where you get your wristbands, and be sure not to jaywalk today — the cops will be on the street, too — because it costs $350 to jam across the block in Santa Monica now! Main Street, Santa Monica; Sat., Dec. 14, 5 p.m.; $10-525.—David Cotner


Love for the Little Guys

The big guys know what sells, but when it comes to alternative talents, unique subject matter and titles that reflect our world in ways we might not always expect  indie publishers deserve a lot of credit. Gathering some of their favorites all in one place, the Sunset Strip’s coolest book hub — Book Soup —  is providing a one-stop shop for the holidays at L.A. Indie Small Press Day. The seasonal reception will offer refreshments and a chance to meet some of the companies and authors from the vibrant local literary community, including Angel City Press and Unnamed Press, to name a pair of highlight pubs. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood; Sat., Dec. 14, 4 p.m.; free.—Lina Lecaro

sun 12/15


Vintage on the Cheap

Department stores are hectic this time of year, and buying secondhand is not only a growing trend but more environmentally friendly. ThriftCon, launched last year in Denver, is part flea market, part walking fashion show. Hundreds of shop owners and online dealers will be selling thousands of retro clothes, shoes, accessories, home goods and other collectibles from every decade. So you just might find those vintage Air Jordans you’ve been coveting for a bargain price. The event also features raffles, giveaways, podcast recordings, a DIY customization area and art installation by local artist Berk Visual. The organizers are holding a donation drive benefiting the Union Mission Rescue and Shelter Partnership, so bring five articles of clothing and get a free shopping bag. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown.; Sun., Dec. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $5-$20. (213) 741-1151,—Siran Babayan


Helping Hands

You want go out to dance but you’re worried about getting hassled or judged. Just like life! Ever-understanding of these dilemmas, LACMDS presents A Slightly Guided Dance Party: Winter Wonderland Edition. The L.A. City Municipal Dance Squad (LACMDS) is the dance company of your dreams — or, at the very least, your un-self-conscious — and they’ll give you the encouragement to take the steps that lead to the heedless joy of body movement. Whether you want to do the African Anteater Ritual or just kind of sway there unmolested, tonight is your night, this is your place and these are your people. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown; Sun., Dec. 15, 6 p.m.; free (currently sold out, so just dance outside!) (213) 621-1732,—David Cotner

mon 12/16


Pint-sized Art Works

If you want to do your part in stemming the tide of faceless consumerism and artist exploitation, be sure to bop on down to the Bueno, Bonito y Barato pop-up exhibition. Art is always a gift under any circumstances — but this time you can actually buy a masterpiece no larger than 10” by 10” that you’ll see in the exhibition which you can either give away, squirrel away so it appreciates, or just hang in your own home to admire. It’s all available for a very limited period of time — like most good things in this world! Through December 19. Self Help Graphics & Art, 1300 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights; Mon., Dec. 16, 10 a.m.; free. (323) 881-6444,—David Cotner

Will Bozier in Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake.” Directed and choreographed by Bourne with music by Tchaikovsky (Johan Persson)

tue 12/17


When Swans Go Bad

The original show opened in Britain in 1997 where it was seen by then Center Theater Group artistic director Gordon Davidson who booked it into the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre. Thus L.A. became the American launch of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake before it went on to become a Broadway and international phenomenon. Along the way, Matthew Bourne showed how danced theater could be a game changer for both arts. Bourne kept the Tchaikovsky score but turned the classical ballet from a tale of some once upon a time kingdom into a recognizable contemporary British monarchy, replaced the female corps with male dancers in feathered knickers, and transformed the lead swan into a male who comforts and seduces the neglected prince then goes on to entice and seduce the queen herself. And now Bourne is back, its show’s 20-year old audacity still ringing curiously true. As the British crown reels once more from revelations about a current prince’s involvement with a notorious sexual predator, the return of the ballet continues to resonate. Ahmanson Theater, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 2:30 p.m. & 8 p.m., Sun., 1:30 p.m. & 7 p.m., through Jan. 5; $35-$145.—Ann Haskins

(© Museum Associates/LACMA)

wed 12/18


Art From the Islands

LACMA’s “Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific” is the first and most comprehensive exhibit in America on the art of Fiji, an archipelago of more than 300 islands. Mostly on loan from other museums and private collections, namely the Fiji Museum, British Museum and Smithsonian, the nearly 300 items explore the art and culture of the South Pacific country — especially its relationship with the ocean — from the 18th century to the present. Divided into eight thematic sections, the objects include sculpture, weapons, textiles, bowls, personal adornments, model temples, pearl shells and whale ivory, in addition to European watercolors, paintings and 19th-century portraits drawn from LACMA’s own collection. A highlight is a newly commissioned, 26-foot-long canoe made without metal, but entirely out of wood and coconut-husk fiber. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; Dec. 15-July 19; Mon.-Tues. & Thurs., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; $20, $16 seniors & students,  free children. (323) 857-6010,—Siran Babayan

thu 12/19


Strings Attached

On this, the final night of their three-Thursday run, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater Puppet Show graces audiences with a kind of innocent, playful reverie that harks back to a simpler time, before kids as young as 7 learned how to roll their eyes. You’ll get two unique performances packed to brimming with sing-a-longs, ballet, wonder and showmanship the likes of which, against overwhelming odds, have continued to abide since Baker’s passing at 90 five years ago. You should go check out the new Marionette Theater over in the old York Theatre space in Highland Park. You won’t regret it. Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica; Thu., Dec. 19, 6 p.m. & 7 p.m.; free. (213) 250-9995, —David Cotner

Chorus Line by Rick Robinson


Jingle Jangle Jingle

Castelli Art Space wraps up the holiday “give the gift of art” shopping season with a hard-core group exhibition of art for floor, wall and table, as well as body and head, featuring the fine art of metalwork. Featuring the rough-edge, glossy chromatics of primitive pop sculptures by Rick Robinson, the quirky, poetic metal “drawings” of Mark Walsh, amoebic shaped photographs by Rob Grad, and artisanal body armor by Greg Orloff, with more artists being announced as the shiny show approaches. Look for the opening reception to sparkle with the holiday party vibes among the steel. Castelli Art Space, 5428 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City; opening reception: Thu., Dec. 19, 6-9 p.m.; on view through Jan. 18; free.  —Shana Nys Dambrot

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