From celebrating the King of Rock’s birthday to Sexy Cosplay Con, here are the 11 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.
Just Stringin’ Along
A bastion for live theater for four decades, over the past four years the Odyssey Theatre also has put out the welcome mat for dance with Dance at the Odyssey, presenting five weeks of LA-based, mostly contemporary dance companies. The 2020 fest opens with the stunning String Theory. Led by Holly and Luke Rothschild, this collective of dancers, musicians, choreographers, composers and harp builders forge what its members call “sonic sculpture” with an assemblage of stringed instruments — most striking, visually and aurally, is its signature giant harp. The evanescent String Theory performs Layers and Landscapes with subsequent weekends bringing new works from Acts of Matter sharing the stage with Dance Aegis (January 17-19), then the JA Collective (January 24-26), followed by LA Contemporary Dance Company (January 30-February 2), and the closing weekend is Victoria Marks (February 7-9). Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Sawtelle; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 10-11, 8 p.m. & Sun., Jan 12, 5 p.m., $15-$25. odysseytheatre.com/. —Ann Haskins
Hail to the King
The King of Rock & Roll’s birthday is always a cause for celebration, and there’s no better way than an evening of imagery and music of and from the man himself. Eternally Elvis will feature the world premiere exhibit of rare Elvis Presley photos from 1955-1957, honoring the icon’s 85th birthday. This Mr Musichead Gallery show features snaps from its archives with photogs including Bill Avery, Roy Cummings, Bud Fraker, Roger Marshutz, Ernest Reshovsky, Gabi Rona, Joe Shere, William “Popsie” Randolph and Bob Willoughby. From live shots and candid ones with his love Priscilla, to appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and on-set from films such as Love Me Tender and Jailhouse Rock, the range of images aims to capture every facet of the music star (over 40 estate-stamped, limited edition silver gelatin prints will be available for purchase). Other planned amusements include a live performance of Elvis hits by James Intveld and his trio, a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado convertible for photo ops out front and Elvis’ favorite snacks prepared by chef Vinh Nguyen (Peanut butter and banana sammies anyone?), plus cocktails by mixologist Ramon Camacho. Mr Musichead Gallery, 7420 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Jan. 10, 7-10 p.m. $39. eventbrite.com/e/eternally-
It’s A Family Affair
Hard to believe perhaps, but the elevated street, pop surrealist and urban art emporium Thinkspace has been banging it out for 15 years. In that time they’ve evolved from an indie outpost to a global curatorial and muralizing force, but in the spirit of not forgetting where they started, they’re getting more than 70 members of its extended artist family together to celebrate the milestone. With everyone working on 15×15-inch panels (courtesy of Trekell), artists as stylistically diverse as Andrew Hem, Bumblebeelovesyou, Mark Dean Veca, Carlos Ramirez, Casey Weldon, Dalek, Meggs, Nosego, Perez Bros., Stella Im Hultberg, Seth Armstrong, and more all contribute to the massive group show and party that is 15 Years of Thinkspace. Thinkspace, 6009 Washington Blvd., Culver City; opening reception: Sat. Jan. 11, 6-9 p.m.; exhibition through Jan. 25; free. thinkspaceprojects.com/shows/
Leave the Kiddies at Home
Sexy Cosplay Con is not for the kiddies, so leave them at home! This “18+ after-hours annex,” as they are calling it, aims to hone in on the hornier aspects of costume-wearing in popular culture. Adult-oriented art, risque fan art, provocative panel discussions, and of course a parade of skimpy, sultry, slutty super-heroes, Disney characters and anime-inspired looks are sure to be seen. Presented by Troublemaker Studios, this inaugural event promises vampy vendors, “hysterical” programs and performances on a small stage, plus a full bar. Not a lot of specific info about participants on the organizer’s social media as of press time, but the “sexy cosplay” event name is more than enough, ain’t it? Long Beach Convention Center, 300 S. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., Jan. 11, 5-10 p.m.; $10. eventbrite.com/e/sexy-cosplay-
Guardians of the Galaxy
In the world premiere of Long Beach Opera’s new adaptation of composer Henry Purcell and librettist John Dryden’s ancient 1691 opera, King Arthur, Chicano comedy collective Culture Clash and LBO’s outgoing artistic director Andreas Mitisek (who is leaving the company at the end of the 2020 season) have taken extensive liberties with Dryden’s story. Dryden’s titular king (portrayed by tenor Marc Molomot) has been transformed into a superhero who must battle “against a race of alien shape shifters who desire to conquer the galaxy.” Although Mitisek and Culture Clash’s previous comic adaptation of a Purcell work, The Fairy Queen, was disappointingly fangless in an unremarkable 2016 LBO presentation, this new production with Musica Angelica should prove more compelling with imposing bass-baritone Cedric Berry and incandescent soprano Jamie Chamberlin in starring roles. Beverly O’Neill Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sun., Jan. 12, 2:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 19, 2:30 p.m.; $49-$150. (562) 470-7464, longbeachopera.org. —Falling James
Remember the Times
The Wende Museum’s unique dedication to Cold War history, its expansive collection of cultural artifacts, and its presentation of both historical and contemporary exhibitions have become increasingly relevant over the past few years of geopolitics. Their current exhibition surveying the radical legacy of female artists in the Soviet era, for example, is a powerful group of salient strategies for sublimated resistance. The institution’s public programs are high-minded and timely as well, such as their In Search of Our Times Lecture Series — whose next installment is called The History of Forgetting, and takes a look at the structures by which history is preserved, or lost. Asking fundamental questions like who decides what to preserve and highlight, by what criteria, and for how long? If institutional archives fail to protect a legacy, does it disappear, or persevere by other means? Who is empowered to enact revision and interpretation of what memories we do possess? What truth can we trust, and whose? See, we said it was timely stuff. The Wende Museum, 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Sun., Jan. 12, 2 p.m.; free with RSVP. wendemuseum.org/programs/
New plays need oxygen to grow, but opportunities to rehearse and stage works in development can be hard to come by. That’s where the Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series comes in. For nearly 30 years, every Monday night from September to May, the Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood has hosted freshly developing work by a consciously inclusive roster of emerging playwrights. Rehearsed and sparsely staged reading/performances offer everyone involved a chance to hone their craft, and audiences an exciting peek at the future of the L.A. stage. This week’s offering is Marge, written by Chase Yenser and directed by Laura Stribling, presenting a family drama culminating in an intervention during an East Coast snowstorm, with all the birthday party-meets-intervention roller coaster of emotions you can handle. The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theater, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Mon, Jan. 13, 8 p.m.; $15. theblank.com/livingroomseries.
Latino Comedians on the Rise
The Laugh Factory always boasts the biggest names in comedy but sometimes it’s fun to check out its smaller marquee nights for diamonds in the rough, and up and comers. Brown-ish, L.F.’s Latino night is virtually guaranteed to be a caliente comedy experience. The night has been a showcase for some of the biggest stars in the biz (George Lopez, Paul Rodriguez, Freddy Soto, Pablo Francisco) and this week’s new line-up promises hilarious hombres and chuckle-worthy chicas, both local and touring. You don’t have to be Latin to find laughs on this night either, the comics are top notch, bringing universal hijinks and hell-raising to the stage for all. Hosted by Erik Rivera (HBO’s Super White) the line-up includes Orlando Leyba (HBO’s Adorable), Carmen Morales (Sirius XM Radio), Francisco Ramos (HBO’s Entre Nos), Marcella Arguello (The Woke Bully) and Anjelah Johnson (Mad TV and Comedy Central). Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood Hills; Tue., Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m.; $17-$27; eventbrite.com/e/jade-catta-
To Hell and Back
To celebrate the world premiere of composer Matthew Aucoin and librettist Sarah Ruhl’s opera Eurydice in February, L.A. Opera is continuing with a series of related events across the county, including a free screening of Marcel Camus’ 1959 Black Orpheus at Hammer Museum. The French director’s adaptation of the Greek myth about musician Orpheus’ descent into the underworld to rescue Eurydice relocates the romantic tragedy to a favela in Rio de Janeiro. The visually rich film is enlivened by a bossa-nova soundtrack by legendary composers Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Falling James
Wine Tasting Showdown
WineLA presents Rhône Wars at the La Brea Bakery, an unlimited Rhône–style wine tasting and lively competition where you’ll cast your vote to determine who wins 1st prize, and the white gloves are off. With top producers in attendance, experience syrah and grenache in various styles and incarnations accompanied by signature La Brea Bakery creations — appetizers, bread and cheese stations, all to the tune of live DJ Mr. Potato Head. The $99 6 p.m. VIP menu includes short rib sliders, crab-stuffed cremini mushrooms, ahi tuna La Brea Bakery naan chips with cilantro chipotle aioli and lamb meatballs with tzatziki. The $69 7 p.m. menu features chorizo-manchego mini tartlets, roasted tomato and mozzarella bruschetta, grilled vegetable ratatouille on pita chips with sun-dried tomato hummus, avocado toast with roasted corn and grilled pineapple on sourdough, plus heirloom tomato, pork belly and bibb lettuce on La Brea Bakery country bread. La Brea Bakery, 468 S. La Brea Ave., West Hollywood; Wed., Jan. 15, 6-9 p.m.; $69-$99. (323) 939-6813, facebook.com/events/
The Body Electric
As part of L.A. Opera’s Eurydice Found Festival, scholar Nadia Islam and writer Velina Hasu Houston present The Body Female, with four interdisciplinary performances that examine “how women navigate societal impediments from body image to domestic violence that challenge the female condition in its endeavor to create a viable space in which women can thrive.” Works include Nao Bustamante’s Reveal, a “filmformance” depicting a dying woman’s search for identity, and Invisible, an opera by composer Guang Yang and librettist Paula Cizmar about an art restorer who makes a troubling discovery in a museum exhibit. Houston’s “choreo-poem drama” Pára-Sol centers around the death of a mysterious parasol maker, while director Bita Shafipour’s short film Last Night in Edinburgh focuses on two teenager sisters’ attempts to avoid forced marriages arranged by their parents. The Ebell of L.A., 743 S. Lucerne Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thu., Jan. 16, 8 p.m.; $20. (323) 931-1277, ebellofla.com/event/the-body-
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.