From an evening of chocolate and art pairings to a celebration of the street art of the LBC, here are the 13 best things to do this week in Los Angeles.

fri 7/26


Feast for the Senses

Two great tastes finally taste great together at the Chocolate and Art Show, and whether it’s body painting and chocolate, chocolate and music, or just painting with chocolate, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. And not only is this particularly toothsome weekend good for your heart, it’s good for your spirit, as it’s also a benefit for Artists for Trauma, an initiative that connects trauma survivors with artists that can more completely translate their agonies into creativity. Don’t worry if that all sounds a little daunting — some of the best experiences you’ll ever have will be bittersweet. The Vortex, 2341 E. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Fri.-Sat., July 26-27, 5 p.m.; $15 advance/$20 general. (424) 293-8816,—David Cotner

(Courtesy of DanceDowntown)


Friday Night Fever

With June gloom giving way to hot summer days, it’s time to savor L.A.’s seductively, warm summer nights and dance under the stars at Dance DTLA. From now until September, the Friday series affords different ways to move. Beginner dance lessons at 7 p.m. are followed by a chance to dance or to just watch and enjoy until 11 p.m. This week it’s disco (white polyester and your best Saturday Night Fever pose are optional). K-pop reigns next Friday, followed by salsa, Motown/funk and cumbia. With the Music Center Plaza renovation, the action moves to different Grand Park locales, but goes home to the plaza in early August. Each week’s dance style and specific location at Park Event Lawn, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., July 26, 7 p.m.; free. —Ann Haskins


Good Eats

Like a vacation to New Orleans without all the humidity, flooding and rampant graveyards, the Long Beach Crawfish Fest is your chance to hoover up as much Cajun culture as you possibly can. World’s largest crawfish pots? Check. Chicory coffee and beignets à la the world-famous Café Du Monde? Mais oui! You’ll also experience live music from Bear Brass, The Dr. Zog Band, The Rhythm & Blues Revue, and other authentic regional artists that will leave you sweating and moving for reasons other than the heart palpitations you got from eating all that fried food non-stop. Rainbow Lagoon Park, 400-403 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach; Fri., July 26, 5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. July 27-28, noon; $5-40. (562) 495-5959,—David Cotner

sat 7/27


Out of This World

NASA celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, and the 50th anniversary of the first men landing on the Moon this year. To commemorate those and many other milestones, Gallery Nucleus organizes A Tribute to NASA’s 60th Anniversary, a group show of more than two dozen international artists whose paintings, drawings, prints and other artistic renderings interpret the space agency’s heroes and accomplishments, including its various missions, from Apollo and Voyager to the Mars rover; first female in space, L.A.-born Sally Ride; NASA African-American mathematician, Katherine Johnson; and even Ham the Astrochimp. For the exhibit’s opening reception, visual strategist Joby Harris from NASA-JPL in nearby Pasadena hosts a discussion on “the history of the NASA art program,” which was established in 1962. Nucleus Gallery, 210 E. Main St., Alhambra; Sat., July 27, 6-9 p.m., through Aug. 11; free. (626) 458-7477,—Siran Babayan

Andrew Hem at Pow Wow 2018 (John Pangilinan)


Street Art of the LBC

It’s been a full week of live murals and self-guided street art adventures as a fresh edition of the global urban open air painting festival Pow! Wow! returns to downtown Long Beach. Since July 21, the streets of the LBC have been flowing with paint and dotted with scissor lifts, as L.A. gallery Thinkspace shepherds a diverse group of artists and admirers across the community’s enlivened walls. Download the map and see for yourself, as almost everything is visible from the street 24/7. But a slate of special midweek events like a Poketo panel discussion at Studio One Eleven and a photography show at PORT also lead up to Saturday night’s KCRW Summer Nights: Pow! Wow! Closing Party and Sunday afternoon’s pool party at the Renaissance. Pow! Wow! Long Beach, various locations across downtown Long Beach;; July 21-27, closing party: Sat., July 27, 7-11p.m., the Promenade; free. —Shana Nys Dambrot

15 Minutes at 400 Degrees (Courtesy of FilmLA)

sun 7/28


Short and Sweet

FilmLA’s Local Shorts festival returns for its eighth edition with a wide-ranging series of films from local directors. Will Kindrick’s Storm is set in the near future, “when the government dating app malfunctions.” Comedian Patton Oswalt is at the center of composer Michael Giacchino’s Monster Challenge, an homage to Japanese monster movies and game shows. Cameron Gavinski’s animated Frank involves “a domesticated Frankenstein and his father,” while Chrissie De Guzman’s Throuple is about a “not-so-great stripper” making a house call, and Sarah Smith’s Black Hat focuses on the travails of a Hasidic man who loses his hat. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., July 28, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 461-2020, —Falling James


Steamy Summer

Adding their own spin on the outdoor summer screening onslaught, Madame Tussauds Rooftop Movie Series offers interactive fun. Last month’s presentation of Crossroads was highlighted by photo ops with stars Britney Spears and Zoe Saldana (in wax, natch), but for July they’re offering an even hotter extra that won’t melt… though it might melt a few ladies and gents’ hearts. Screening the Tatum Channing/Matthew McConaughey hit Magic Mike on their astro-turf covered roof, the film will be followed by a special live performance from male strip revue The Hollywood Men, sure to rival the bump and grind on the screen. Bring dollar bills along with the usual picnic food and drink, as well as blankets and chairs, and get ready to scream, dance and have a sexy night under the stars and maybe a couple studs too. Admission includes screening, access to the museum and popcorn. Madame Tussauds, 6933 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; doors at 6 p.m., film starts at sunset. $35. (323) 798-1670,—Lina Lecaro


Intersectional Iranian Artistry

Contemporary art of the Iranian diaspora forms the foundation for AdvocArtsy’s fascinating international programs, and their group exhibitions are always striking and on point. Their big Summer Art Bash group show opens this weekend, with the work of some 15 eclectic visual artists, including writer/illustrator Pouya Afshar, whose graphic novel TEHRAN is being launched during the reception with a book-signing. TEHRAN tells the story of a transgender girl through engaging images and poignant narratives about what it means to find one’s place in the world. The Space by AdvocArtsy, 924 S. San Pedro, downtown; opening reception: Sun, July 28, 5-8 p.m., on view Tue.-Sat., noon-5 p.m., through August 17; free.(213) 372-5096,—Shana Nys Dambrot

mon 7/29


Alternative History

In Anne, A New Play, Dutch playwrights Jessica Durlacher and Leon de Winter re-imagine Anne Frank’s story with an alternate path many wish we could’ve seen come true — the writer living safe, alive and well living in a post-war world. After meeting a publisher interested in her story, the Holocaust survivor looks back on her years hidden away with her family during the Nazi occupation with a new, more embellished perspective that we never saw in historical accounts of her life. The novel production immerses the audience and actors into what they say feels like the same “dramatic plane,” bringing a realism and power to the show that’s been getting accolades from the theater community. Directed by Eve Brandstein, the play is produced by Tony Award-nominee Suzi Dietz and adapted for American audiences by Nick Blaemire from a translation by Susan Massotty. It was just extended through August 5 and plays Sundays and Mondays. Simon Wiesenthal Center in the Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W Pico Blvd., Pico-Robertson; Sun., July 28 & Aug. 4, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m., Mon. July 29 & Aug 5, 8 p.m.; $40.—Lina Lecaro

tue 7/30


Foreign Exchange

Just as L.A. Philharmonic goes on tour annually (this spring, they traveled to South Korea and Japan, with upcoming jaunts in the fall to Mexico, England and the East Coast), great orchestras from around the world occasionally visit L.A. Phil’s summer home at the Hollywood Bowl. Conductor Iván Fischer brings in Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Hungarian group he formed, for performances of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Brahms’ First Symphony. Fischer also welcomes the dazzling Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, who will wend her way through the slithering, sinuously eloquent passages of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tue., July 30, 8 p.m.; $1-$162. (323) 850-2000,—Falling James

wed 7/31


Choreographer’s Ball

No doubt you have your favorite choreographers and dancers from film, TV and music videos, but ever seen them on the stage? Founded by Carey Ysais and Paulette Azizian in 1998 as a monthly showcase, The Carnival: Choreographer’s Ball is SoCal’s longest-running dance series — now with offshoots in New York, Chicago, Sydney, London and Tokyo — where more than 120 choreographers and dancers perform nearly every genre of dance, from ballet and tap to hip-hop and funk, for fans and peers. Past honorees have included industry big names like Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Kenny Ortega and Adam Shankman. In addition to the dozen performers, tonight’s highlight is winners from this year’s Kidz Carnival for dancers 19 and younger. Avalon, 1735 N. Vine St., Hollywood.; Wed., July 31, 9 p.m.; $20. (323) 462-8900,—Siran Babayan


Art Takes Off and Lands

Presented by 18th Street Arts Center at their new off-site curatorial operations at the Santa Monica Airport campus, tonight’s event is both a culmination and an inauguration. As part of 18th Street’s two-year Commons Lab artist residency project, interdisciplinary social practice artists Guillermo Galindo and Postcommodity (Kade L. Twist and Cristóbal Martínez) have been conducting workshops, events, and rehearsals for several weeks. Tonight’s participatory, partly-improvisational live music and sound performance wraps up their larger multimedia project — but it happens off-site, as the debut of the new gallery which forms part of their new stewardship of arts programs at the Santa Monica Airport art studios. As is fitting for blessing a new community place, the event will begin with a Tongva land acknowledgement. 18th Street Art Center at the Santa Monica Airport, 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; Wed., July 31, 7-10 p.m.; free. —Shana Nys Dambrot

(Courtesy of the Neutra)

thu 8/1


Brekan Makes Wright

If you believe in the magic aura of the possessions and creative spaces of great artists, and if you are an artist yourself — especially one who loves the textures of reclaimed materials, then a gift such as Ralph Brekan received could never go unutilized. Upon receiving a dozen drafting tables that had been well used at Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West Studio but discarded during renovations, Brekan knew what he needed to do. Each 40×54 table surface has been transformed into collage and mixed media works dedicated to the iconic architect, and will be on view at The Neutra Museum in Silverlake this month in Absolutely Wright, new work by Ralph Michael Brekan. Fitting that Dulce Stein’s curatorial project is hosting the event inside a venue operated by the scion of another great architectural dynasty, as the works themselves approach history, artistry, and the contemporary landscape.The Neutra Museum and Gallery, 2379 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake; Thu., August 1, 6-10 p.m. (by appointment and new events announced, through August 25); free. (818) 527-5539, —Shana Nys Dambrot

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