From the extravaganza that’s DesignerCon to the Doo Dah Parade, here are the 12 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.
While the words “12th-century German nun” don’t immediately conjure notions of feminism, philosophy and avant-garde music, perhaps it’s time they should. The more that becomes known about the life and work of the mystic, healer, scientist and writer Hildegard von Bingen, the more her legacy sparks inspiration and imagination for artists of our own time. Heidi Duckler Dance has previously produced work based on Hildegard’s visionary mindful healthfulness practice, and this weekend, they return to the theme in Hildegard Herself. The new dance suite unfolds across the Parish Hall, courtyard and main cathedral of St. John’s, and is dedicated to the more esoteric dimensions of her theology and spiritual language. St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 514 West Adams Blvd., University Park; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 22-23, 7 p.m.; $35-50. heididuckler.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot
High and Low
If you ever want to see what’s at the forefront of popular culture, one of the surest ways to see what the culture is like at its most current and most obsessed is by going to DesignerCon. Each year, over 500 vendors and artists gather their wares and unleash them upon an unsuspecting public in a helter-skelter welter of high culture and low art. You’ll get collectible toys and art from makers as varied as Def Jam, Giant Robot, and We Are Not Toys, as well as demonstrations and signings by artists like Camille Rose Garcia and SHAG. Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim; Fri., Nov. 22, 5 p.m. (9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday); $30-$200. (714) 765-8950, designercon.com. —David Cotner
Fabulous Funny Lady
Comedic chops and fashionably fierce queendom collide as RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio brings her It’s Jester Joke Comedy Tour to L.A., the city where she resides, on the last stop of her nine-month global tour. Sharing sassy tales of travels and tribulations since she became known as a TV quip queen — who’s been likened to everyone from Joan Rivers to Kathy Griffin — Del Rio’s humor covers politics, pop culture and family relationships we can all relate to. The funny lady (who was born Roy Haylock and came out of the New Orleans club scene) is making the most of her TV fame too, sharing her shameless slapstick and quirky commentary in books (Blame it on Bianca Del Rio) and films (Hurricane Bianca). But it’s on stage where she shimmers as boldly as the fabulous sequined frocks she fancies. Theater at the Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri., Nov. 22, 8 p.m.; $40. axs.com/events/369705/bianca-
Diving into Street Art
The Evolution of Street Art in L.A. is as much a story about how a neighborhood changes as it is how the streets that travel through that neighborhood are decorated by the art of the streets. Tonight, celebrated muralist Judy Baca holds forth with Brooklyn street artist Caledonia “Swoon” Curry and grafmaster Saber about everything from the dangers posed to murals by random taggers, conflict between street artists and local authorities, and gentrifiers who value the role of street artists in creating “arts districts” — but then wind up evicting all the artists when they have no more use for them! The Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City; Fri., Nov. 22, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 403-3000, annenbergspaceforphotography.
The Humble Grain
Rice is arguably the most popular grain in the world. With thousands of varieties, rice is grown on nearly every continent and is the staple food of many cultures, especially in Asia. Hosted by Japan House Los Angeles — the Japanese cultural center housed inside Hollywood & Highland that’s a project of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs — the National Agricultural Research Organization of Japan (NARO) leads a Rice Lecture & Tasting on the “taste, texture, aroma of” Japanese short-grain rice. You’ll learn about its regional variations, how to cook it and how to pair it with side dishes. You’ll also get to sample four types of cooked white rice and take home a souvenir. Japan House Los Angeles, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Sat., Nov. 23, 2-3 p.m. & 4-5 p.m.; free, wait list only. (800) 516-0565, japanhouse.jp. —Siran Babayan
Hybridity is a well-used buzzword in contemporary culture, but in the case of the 17 artists represented in Jeffrey Deitch’s new exhibition, it’s essential. From the blending of East and West in style and influence, to the foundations of functional design in Japanese art history, to a dialog between fine art and underground and street culture, and a vital tension between tradition and innovation, they each have a salient statement to make on the current state of international visual society. Tokyo Pop Underground is curated by Tokyo gallerist Shinji Nanzuka, and looks at seminal moments from the 1960s to the present day. Jeffrey Deitch, 925 N. Orange Drive, Hollywood; opening reception: Sat., Nov. 23, 6-8 p.m.; Nov. 23-Jan. 18;free. Deitch.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
The Better Pasadena Parade
Like the Rose Parade, the Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade is a quintessential L.A. holiday event. Unlike the New Year’s Day snoozer, the Doo Dah is an antidote to all the Christmas sentimentality, with nary a chrysanthemum, horse or marching band in sight. So sit on the sidelines along Colorado Boulevard and wave to the more than 90 entries, including perennial favorites Howdy Krishna, Flying Baby Field Goal, Radioactive Chickenheads, L.A. Derby Dolls, Bearded Ladies, Partying Parrotheads, The World’s Tallest Girl Scout, Clown Doctors from Outer Space and, of course, Secret Santa leading a conga line. This year’s parade will be led by Queen Jesselynn Desmond, while Seismo Sue (Caltech seismologist Susan Hough) and her Seismo Sistahs will be the grand marshals. Along Colorado Blvd., between Altadena Drive & San Gabriel Boulevard, Pasadena; Sun., Nov. 24, 11 a.m.; free. pasadenadoodahparade.info. —Siran Babayan
Flamenco Does the Blues
The long-running, mostly monthly Forever Flamenco occasionally breaks out of the traditional Spanish flamenco trinity of dancers-guitarist-singer, and this is one of those times as Spain meets up with two distinctively American musical genres. In Sonikete Blues: Woodshedding, dancer Cihtli “La Gallardi” Ocampo displays her traditional chops plus flamenco’s compatibility with both jazz and Mississippi delta blues songs. Providing musical help are Ramón Porrina on cajon, vocalist Emi Secrest and the Ethan Sultry Group (vox/guitarist Ethan Sultry, upright bassist Ben Shepherd, and keyboardist Mitch Forman. Ocampo is a major presence in the SoCal flamenco scene. This intriguing effort displays a willingness to explore the compatible elements inherent in two American musical genres with the soulful nature of flamenco. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Silver Lake; Sun., Nov. 24, 8 p.m. $40-$50, $30 students & seniors.fountaintheatre.com/. —Ann Haskins
Jam On It!
A gorgeous mile of fruit and flower garland wallpaper in a gradient of saturated hues contains within its two story installation multiple scenarios and vignettes of photography and ceramic, faux Grecian luxury statues, gilded mirrors, chaises and sundry objects. All of this exists in the mode of a secular temple to beauty, as well as a sort of public living room where communities are formed through the universal language of shareable fruit. SUPERSHOW! is on view at the PDC Gallery through February 23, but this weekend’s Superday! Public Fruit Jam at SUPERSHOW! events and activations hearken back to Fallen Fruit’s early social systems works wherein folks are invited to come and make seasonal local (ideally homegrown or street-picked) fruit into flavorful jams to enjoy, and of course, to share. The weekend’s featured recipe is lemon-fig-lavender; the outdoor jamming is preceded by an artist talk with Fallen Fruit (David Burns and Austin Young), and Young will be taking his trademark portraits of whoever wants one inside the installation, and then music. PDC Gallery, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Sun., Nov. 24, 11a.m.-5 p.m.; free. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Start prepping for Thanksgiving!
Oakland activist Alicia Garza, who was born in Los Angeles and directs special projects for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, engages in a live podcast at Hammer Museum with fellow activist Ai-jen Poo, a MacArthur Fellow who is the director of NDWA and co-director of the caregiver support group Caring Across Generations. Along with Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, Garza co-founded Black Lives Matter and coined the civil-rights movement’s name. The two friends host the Sunstorm podcast, “in which they get real about what’s happening in the world, what we can do about it, and how we can take care of ourselves as we do it.” Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Falling James
Playwright Maxwell Anderson’s 1939 play Key Largo, which was transformed into the classic 1948 film by director John Huston that starred Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Edward G. Robinson, centers on a jaded Army veteran who eventually redeems himself in a standoff with mobsters at a Florida hotel as a hurricane approaches. In a new theatrical adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher and actor Andy García, directed by Doug Hughes, García is cast as gangster Johnny Rocco, joined by Stephen Borrello, Joely Fisher, Rose McIver and Louis Mustillo. In an interesting twist, this production (which is receiving its world premiere) features music by Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, who García portrayed in the 2000 biopic For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood; Wed., Nov. 17, 8 p.m.; through Tue., Dec. 10, 8 p.m.; $30-$155. (310) 208-5454, geffenplayhouse.org. —Falling James
Trot for Charity
Hard to believe that once upon a time in Los Angeles, there was no Turkey Trot — but they’re up to the 7th Annual Turkey Trot by now, and what better way to pump yourself up for the holiday than by running the mean streets of Los Angeles? Organizers are hard at work trying to raise $50,000 for The Midnight Mission, and whether you sprint, walk or just hobble your way across that finish line, you’ll know that your efforts today will at least give someone something to be thankful for — even if you were a real rat bastard this year! Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., downtown; Thu., Nov. 28, 8 a.m.; $49-74. (310) 821-7898, turkeytrot.la. —David Cotner