From unique Mother's Day celebrations and medieval menageries to previously unreleased films and neighborhood concerts, here are the 13 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.

fri 5/10


Timeless Themes

It has taken four decades for director Franco Rosso's 1980 film Babylon to get an official release in this country. The drama portrays the travails of Blue (Aswad's Brinsley Forde), a car mechanic who tries to make his way as a DJ in South London's reggae scene but has to battle against corrupt policemen, criminals and members of Britain's neo-Nazi National Front. With a script co-written by Rosso and Martin Stellman (Quadrophenia) and pumped up with music by Johnny Clarke, Dennis Bovell and Aswad, Babylon is a violent, kinetically compelling reggae film on par with Rockers and The Harder They Come. Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St., downtown; Fri., May 10, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (213) 617-1033, downtownindependent.com. —Falling James


Take Your Ears Around the World

Nico Muhly; Credit: Heidi Solander

Nico Muhly; Credit: Heidi Solander

Nico Muhly is a composer whose work bridges the seemingly separate worlds of contemporary, classical and pop music. He has composed music for films, collaborated with choreographer Benjamin Millepied, and worked as an arranger and musical partner with Björk, Teitur, Antony & the Johnsons, and Glen Hansard. The New York composer reveals several sides of his various personae at the three-part CAP UCLA presentation Nico Muhly: Archives, Friends, Patterns. Muhly proffers his two-piano transcriptions of gamelan music with fellow composer Thomas Bartlett, pays homage to Philip Glass, and concludes with his own drone-infused pieces that he describes as “both severe and lyrical.” The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri., May 10, 8 p.m.; $26-$56. (213) 623-3233, theatre.acehotel.com. —Falling James

sat 5/11


Surviving and Thriving

Despite its provocative name, the focus of The Pussy Grabber Plays is not graphic accounts of sexual assault by our current president as claimed by nearly two dozen women, but more about how the women who have come forward made the decision to do so and what they've experienced since. Each piece has a different woman-identifying director, and Tasha Dixon (actress and former Miss Arizona who has spoken out about Trump's harassment) will play herself. Though speaking out has caused these women personal and professional strife, this collection of stories suggests they've also found catharsis — if not closure — as these plays provide a powerful platform for support and truth. All proceeds go to We the Women Collective and Time's Up Legal Defense Fund. Thymele Arts, 5481 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood; Sat., May 11, 8-11 p.m.; suggested donation $20. eventbrite.com/e/the-pussy-grabber-plays-pop-up-hollywood-tickets-60842239777. —Lina Lecaro


The Human Medium

Ibuki Kuramochi doesn't just make paintings. The Japanese artist becomes the painting itself, using her body as a canvas and a paintbrush as she surrounds and adorns herself with bold, swirling patterns and dramatic slashes of black paint. At this solo performance, titled Spirit, Kuramochi transmutes the formal discipline of butoh to create a darkly beautiful and strangely hypnotic new ritual in which she employs the motion and momentum of dance to propel her movements as a live painter. As she unwinds and unfolds her limbs with saturnine grace, Kuramochi invokes and reconnects with the spirits of the natural world in a hybrid of dance, art and music that is moving and lulling. The Terasaki Nibei Foundation, 11570 W. Olympic Blvd., Sawtelle; Sat., May 11, 6 p.m.; free. (310) 479-6101. —Falling James

sun 5/12


Picnic in the Park

For the mother who is more Lillian Tomlin's “Frankie” than Jane Fonda's “Grace,” head to Topanga Canyon's Theatricum Botanicum for MOMentum, a Boho afternoon of dance, acrobats, circus acts and other miscellaneous and mischievous performers curated by Lexi Pearl. For those who require Mother's Day brunch, there is a lovely al fresco option at noon available for $30. For those who prefer to bring their own, the theatricum gardens are open for picnicking before the show. No extra charge for the chance to enjoy a spring day in Topanga Canyon among the oak trees. Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sun., May 12, 2 p.m.; $35 in advance, $40 at door, $15 students, $10 children 12 & under. (310) 455-2322, app.arts-people.com/index.php?performance=428490. —Ann Haskins

MOMentum Place; Credit: Theatricum Botanicum

MOMentum Place; Credit: Theatricum Botanicum


Youth Showcase

Members of two orchestras — L.A. Philharmonic and Youth Orchestra L.A. — band together for a Neighborhood Concert, part of L.A. Phil's series of free performances that take part in various parts of the local community. The musicians will be grouped into smaller ensembles for the first half of the program, which spotlights the brass section (pumping up selections by Tielman Susato), the woodwinds (performing Mozart's Serenade No. 12 for Winds in C minor, K. 388) and strings (with L.A. Phil violinist Mitchell Newman conducting works by Bach and Mendelssohn). Then everybody joins in as Gustavo Dudamel conducts Mexican composer José Pablo Moncayo's Huapango. Congregational Church of L.A.; 540 S. Commonwealth Ave., Westlake; Sun., May 12, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 385-1341, laphil.com. —Falling James


Make It Memorable

Mother's Day Brunch can go one of two ways. Either you go into it feeling convivial and affectionate, celebrating mom's special day with The Ebell's legendary delicious food, live music and endless champagne — or you can let that bottomless champagne fuel the outpouring of a frightening torrent of seething resentment as you tell mom a thing or two and give everyone a story with which they can bewilder and shock people for years to come. Did we mention the carved roast beef, poached salmon and phenomenal children's magician The Amazing Dave? Yes. Yes, we did. The Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sun., May 12, 10:30 a.m.; $60 adult, $35 children 6 to 18, free for children 5 & under. (323) 931-1277, facebook.com/events/591978087880669/. —David Cotner

mon 5/13


Reveling in the Details

Julie Murray sees things that most of us miss. The native Irish filmmaker turns her attention to relatively mundane places and objects, such as a rural gas station (in the short film Radius), the sky (Shored Against a Ruin) and wind turbines (Wind Wire Wound). But the way she focuses on these images, and frames them from unusual perspectives, turns them into mesmerizing patterns and austere landscapes that raise numerous questions about our relationship to the world around us. In her first REDCAT program in nine years, Murray screens recent digital and film work. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., May 13, 8:30 p.m.; $12. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Falling James

Frequency Objects by Julie Murray; Credit: Julie Murray

Frequency Objects by Julie Murray; Credit: Julie Murray

tue 5/14


Medieval Menagerie

Long before Animal Planet, there was the bestiary. A favorite form of illustrated encyclopedia in the Middle Ages, these fanciful zoological compendiums depicted real and mythic creatures, from bunnies, unicorns, griffins and dragons to whales and wolves. The Getty Center's new exhibition Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World is an epic survey of some 100 works representing a third of the world's institutional holdings of this genre. Besides a panoply of magical parchments, there are sculptures, tapestries, design objects and paintings, as well as modern and contemporary interpretations. The show was curated by Elizabeth Morrison and takes its inspiration from the Getty's priceless Northumberland Bestiary (c. 1250). The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Bel-Air; Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; May 14 through August 18; free. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu. —Shana Nys Dambrot


Tasting Tuesday

Round the decay of that colossal wreck known as the Maryland rye whisky industry, master distiller Brian Treacy resurrects its former glory — and the poetic results of this undertaking are unveiled at tonight's Spirit of Sagamore: Maryland Rye Whiskies event. Hosted by The Museum of the American Cocktail and Sagamore Spirit Distillery, it's a moment of pride that lasts all night as Treacy pours four different ryes for you, the discerning drinker, who naturally wants to hear all about the trials and travails involved in firing up his stills at the disused Baltimore railroad terminal known as Port Covington. Lost Property Bar & Kitchen, 1704 Vine St., Hollywood; Tue., May 14, 7 p.m.; free with RSVP. (323) 987-4445, facebook.com/events/1264902003658608/. —David Cotner

wed 5/15


Ahead of Its Time

It may have come out during in the early '90s, but Falsettos' themes and family dynamics still resonate today, especially for the LGBTQ community. With a book written by Tony award-winner William Finn and Tony/Pulitzer Prize-winner James Lapine, Falsettos is the story of Marvin, a man who leaves his wife for another man, and its repercussions. The revival includes Broadway legend Eden Espinosa, Nick Blaemire and Bryonha Marie Parham. Falsettos has some slower scenes, but it remains important for its relevance today, its emotional journey and reflecting a truly modern family. The Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. and Sun., 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m., through May 19. centertheatregroup.org. —Michael Cooper

thu 5/16


Unveiling the Creative Process

Clairobscur Dance; Credit: Denise Leitner

Clairobscur Dance; Credit: Denise Leitner

Led by choreographer Laurie Sefton, the contemporary dance company Clairobscur Dance has distinguished itself among local troupes by unabashedly tackling tough cultural and political issues, including bullying, dementia, climate change, with her most recent work riffing on the cartoonish gestures of a certain president and other world leaders. Under the banner Art, Artifacts and Jazz, this somewhat informal event will include a performance, a live jazz band and displays of notebooks and research material that has fueled Sefton's dancemaking over the past decade. Mimoda Studio Theatre, 5774 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City; Thu., May 16, 7 p.m.; $35. clairobscurdance.org/events. —Ann Haskins


Mother Road

Route 66 is one of the most famous roads in America, constructed in 1926 and stretching 2,448 miles. Terrence Moore has been taking pictures of the Mother Road for nearly 50 years, and his 2018 book, 66 on 66: A Photographer's Journey, which he signs tonight, is a photographic look at the iconic highway's history. With a foreword by Michael Wallis, who wrote 1990's Route 66: The Mother Road, Moore's collection focuses on California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, with color images of both weathered and restored motel signs, cafes, bars, trading posts, cowboy and Native American art and bygone curio shops, like the Regal Reptile Ranch in Texas. Of course there's also photographs of the route's famous stops, whether it's the half-buried Cadillac installation Cadillac Ranch or the Santa Monica Pier. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Thu., May 16, 7:30 p.m.; $27.95. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. –Siran Babayan

Santo Domingo Trading Post, from 66 on 66: A Photographer's Journey; Credit: Terrence Moore

Santo Domingo Trading Post, from 66 on 66: A Photographer's Journey; Credit: Terrence Moore

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