From a British ballet invasion to remembering a composer and horror icon, here are the 12 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.

fri 7/5


Palace Tragedy

Britain’s Royal Ballet returns with two different weekends that demonstrate this isn’t the polite British company that last visited 25 years ago. First up, sex, drugs and pointe shoes in Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling, Like his well-known Romeo & Juliet, Mayerling is entangled with palace politics, this time the sumptuous Hapsburg court of the Austro-Hungarian empire, but unlike R&J’s tragic innocents, Mayerling’s protagonist is crown prince Rudolf, a syphilitic sexual predator, drug-addicted and death-obsessed, who prowls the stage for three acts dancing a marathon of ferocious, emotional, erotic pas de deux that culminate with a double death. Yet somehow Rudolf elicits a modicum of sympathy, a masterful MacMillan accomplishment. Next weekend, the company displays its contemporary chops in Adès & McGregor: A Dance Collaboration with the company’s resident choreographer McGregor melding with new music composer/conductor Thomas Adès. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Mayerling:  Fri.-Sat., July 5-6, 7:30 p.m., Sun., July 7, 2 p.m., Adès & McGregor: Fri.-Sat., July 12-13, 7:30 p.m., $38-$138. Ann Haskins


Minimalist Design

You don’t have to be automobile aficionado to be intrigued with the Petersen Automotive Museum’s new exhibit. Meshing industrial design and fashion with sleek and powerful car aesthetics, the new show called Disruptors showcases the work of Rem D Koolhaas and Joey Ruiter minimalist designers whose points of view reflect art and creativity in both their form and function. The two designers are outside of the automotive industry, but according to Petersen, their style pieces and sculptures are nonetheless inspiring a new wave of automotive design. Koolhaus (of the brand United Nude) will showcase futuristic footwear, furniture and more, while Ruiter will show his architectural art and other objects, all with the goal of exploring the perception of cars in unconventional ways. While at the museum, check out their other new-ish exhibit, “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” featuring famous movie cars. Disruptors will run through March 15, 2020. Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd. $16-$11. Children under four are free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (323) 930-CARS or —Lina Lecaro

sat 7/6


New Free Verse Ain’t Nothing to Fuck With

From the extended family behind the Drunken Masters liquored-up poetry sessions comes a new nighttime inspirational imbibement series. Wu-Tang Verses L.A. will eventually become a printed chapbook and internet series dedicated to the harder-than-it-sounds poetry form of free verse. But first, it’s a night of music, listening, writing and dancing (and drinking, obviously), dedicated not only to the game-changing music of Wu-Tang Clan, but to their collective creative ethos, political engagement and disruption of convention.You’re on your own with the bar tab, but pens and paper (remember those?) are on the house. Stokelys Cafe & Social House, 3500 W. Pico Blvd., Arlington Heights; Sat., July 6, 7-10 p.m.; free., —Shana Nys Dambrot


Home Video Store

The subversive video and performance group known as Everything Is Terrible is ready to ravage the retail scene by opening its own storefront, and they’re having a “terrible” bash to celebrate. The collective, best known for its Jerry Maguire VHS collection installation, wild video comps culled from strange and amazing found footage and screenings, and puppet parties, celebrates its new home base (where it will host events and sell its branded clothing and lifestyle items) with an opening extravaganza featuring new immersive installations, DJs, photo booths, food, drinks and, of course, schlocky shopping galore. Everything Is Terrible, 754 S. Atlantic Blvd. , East L.A.; Sat., July 6, 8 p.m.-mid.; free. —Lina Lecaro

Screenshot from “Virtual Virtual Reality”


Robo-Pop XR

Inside a progressive media company in Pasadena, there are rooms dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art, often with a pronouncedly urban, post-digital flair. This is sp[a]ce gallery, where a sprawling group show called ROBOT REMIX curated by Mark Todd and Dov Kelemer takes a look at the robot-centric mediums of limited edition art toys, XR and interactive experiences across the work of some 40 artists. The exhibition has been on view since Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), but starting this weekend, mixed-reality creative experts Paisley Smith and Milo Talwani curate ROBOT REMIX: Immersive XR Series, a ticketed program of award-winning AR/VR/XR experiences normally not readily available to the general public, including the brain-bending gem, “Virtual Virtual Reality.” sp[a]ce gallery at Ayzenberg, 39 E. Walnut St., Pasadena; Sat.-Sun., noon- 6 p.m., through Sept. 8; free, XR series (one-hour slots) $25. (626) 584-4070;—Shana Nys Dambrot

sun 7/7


Concert in the Dome

When the gigantic dome of the largest of the several observatories atop Mount Wilson slowly rotates and cracks open like a reptilian eye to reveal the sun, sky and mountains outside, the observatory becomes the most spectacular setting in Southern California to witness a concert. The cycling sounds generated inside the metallic dome housing the historic 100-inch Hooker telescope take on an unusual, echoing resonance, which should make the monthly Sunday Concerts in the Dome series’ presentation of “Songs of the Spheres” feel especially haunting. Sopranos Hila Plitmann and Sangeeta Kaur raise the (spherical) roof with the world premieres of six vocal compositions by Danaë Vlasse, Bruce Babcock, Anthony Constantino, Todd Mason and Mark McEncroe. Mount Wilson Observatory, Red Box/Mount Wilson Road, Angeles Crest; Sun., July 7, 3 p.m. & 5 p.m.; $50. (626) 440-9016, —Falling James


Horror Icon

Roky Erickson’s death last month was a bummer for all lovers of campy horror story-telling and imagery. He was a master of the macabre in music, meshing psychedelia and swampy jams for a sonic experience like no other. Just take a listen to “Two Headed Dog” and “Night of the Vampire” for a spooky sample of his work, or take note of how his music complements the creep factor in The Return of the Living Dead (“Burn the Flames”). Paying tribute to this madman of monster rock, American Cinematheque and Cinematic Void present a double-feature repping Roky with two fitting films the aforementioned zombie fave (whose soundtrack features The Damned, The Flesh Eaters, The Cramps and 45 Grave, in addition to Roky) and classic cut-up sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Living Dead will be introduced by actor Clu Gulager, while actress Caroline Williams will be kicking off the torture and mayhem of Massacre 2. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., July 7, 7:30 p.m.; $8-12 —Lina Lecaro


It’s All Downhill from Here

With all the thrill of drunken competition but only a fraction of perfectionist parental screaming, the 2nd Annual Beer Can Pinewood Derby returns to show you that enjoying the power of gravity doesn’t stop at your blacked-out body hitting the barroom floor. Build your cars out of wood and wheels, just like at the first Pinewood Derby in Manhattan Beach in 1953. Gussy them up any way you like, and watch as they hurtle down a sloped track with no other means of propulsion besides gravity and, of course, all the boozy approbation you never got in the Cub Scouts. The Pub at Golden Road, 5410 W. San Fernando Road, Atwater Village; Sun., July 7, 9 a.m.; $10-30. (844) 452-2337, David Cotner

The Labèque sisters (Courtesy of L.A. Philharmonic Association)

tue 7/9 


Sonic Sisters

Summer’s here, and the time is right for L.A. Philharmonic to revel in some timeless classical-music masterpieces as the orchestra moves over to Hollywood Bowl to continue the last few months of its epic 100th-anniversary season. Over the past year across town at Disney Hall, L.A. Phil has boldly debuted numerous challenging works and staged some unique avant-garde provocations, but this evening Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena shepherds the band and high-flying French pianist sister act Katia and Marielle Labèque through the enchanting melodic reveries of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals as well as Hector Berlioz’s mildly trippy and aptly titled Symphonie fantastique. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tue., July 9, 8 p.m.; $1-$162. (323) 850-2000, —Falling James

(Courtesy of the artist)

wed 7/10


Paving Paradise

It’s not exactly a vacation, but interdisciplinary artist Sandra de la Loza will be spending her summer in Hollywood, using her practice as a “performative archivist” to investigate and reimagine the historic development of the iconic neighborhood itself. Loosely based around the little-known tale of the last street car to cross the Cahuenga Pass into the Valley, at a time (1955) when Hollywood was witnessing a massive development and displacement boom with echoes of today’s, To Oblivion: The Speculators’ Eden constructs an archive in the form of an energy portal, activated by performance events intended to clarify and reconcile. Inside an engaging aesthetic experience, de la Loza asks serious questions about ancestral territories, land usage, car culture, economic mythologies, and who has access to the big dreams. Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; opening reception: Wed., July 10, 7-10 p.m.; on view through Sept. 1, Wed.-Sun., noon-6 p.m.; free.(323) 957-1777, —Shana Nys Dambrot

thu 7/11


Taste of Yucatán 

It wouldn’t be summer without a dinner party, and if you haven’t had one yet this year, come on down to Pláticas y Pruebas: Yucatán Summer Dinner Party. Masterminded by Chichén Itzá  chef Gilberto Cetina Jr., you’ll get a chance to experience dishes including roasted tomato and pumpkin seed dip — also known as sikil pak — and jicama salad with citrus, known under the slightly pithier name of xec. These meals come directly from his 2011 cookbook Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucatán, and you wouldn’t be completely stuffed without a little learning to feed your head. LA Plaza de Cultura y Arte, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Thu., July 11, 7 p.m.; $25. (213) 542-6259, —David Cotner

Amanda Gorman (Anna Zhang)


Poetic Prodigy

In the case of most poetry that you see girding its cloak of dust on bookshelves everywhere, one of the only times it actually springs to life is when it’s read out loud. It’s like a magic spell — and tonight’s expressive call to consciousness by poet Amanda Gorman crystallizes that arcane notion eloquently. The endlessly fêted Gorman has recently become a paragon of poetry, acquitting herself admirably as the first Youth Poet Laureate of the United States (in 2017!) and the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, as well as reading her work in front of the United Nations. The Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles; Thu., July 11, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 626-6222, —David Cotner

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