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Grand Re-opening

ICYMI, the Music Center Plaza has been undergoing a significant renovation this past long while. But this landmark public space is finally ready for its close-up again, as the Plaza reopens with a full weekend of summer revelry they’re calling the Plaza For All Celebration. Following a civic dedication Wednesday morning and a wine-bar happy hour block party Thursday afternoon, Friday night marks not only the start of a long weekend, but also the return of their beloved duck-midnight Dance DTLA parties to the refurbished Plaza. Saturday afternoon is the L.A. Master Chorale’s Big Sing processional performance leading folks from the Grand Park gathering place up to the Plaza for all the singing ever, and finally, enjoy a midday Sunday family-friendly campy game day in which fountain splashing is encouraged. Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 30, 7 p.m.-mid. (Dance DTLA); Sat., Aug. 31, 4-7:15 p.m. (Big Sing); Sun., Sept. 1, noon-6 p.m. (Splish Splash); free. (213) 972-7211, —Shana Nys Dambrot


A Sampling of Jazz

Nineteen years ago, residents of West Adams brought lawn chairs and picnic baskets to an impromptu party that celebrated the neighborhood’s jazz community. The West Adams Avenues Jazz & Musical Festival has since blown up into an annual Labor Day festival combining musical performances with a sampling of food and drink from local restaurants, alongside kids’ activities and a dance contest. Friday’s musical highlights include Connect Band, Tia P. Nicole and Eric Shen, followed on Saturday by Keschia Potter and Guitar Jack, with The Blue Violin and Rush Hour closing the festival on Sunday. 2521 Seventh Ave., West Adams District; Fri.-Sat., Aug. 30-31, 6-11 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 1, 6-11 p.m.; free.—Falling James


Conversation Through Dance

Passionate and provocative, for more than three decades Urban Bush Women have focused on issues of concern to African American women, but issues that reach far beyond that demographic to universal concerns of respect for self and others. The focus on this visit is Hair & Other Stories which promises to combine energized dance theater with conversations likely to challenge generally accepted perceptions and speak to the value of plurality. The choreography by associate artistic directors Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis is set to original compositions by The Illustrious Blacks, i.e. Manchildblack and Monstah Black. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood Hills; Fri., Aug. 30, 8 p.m., $25-$50.—Ann Haskins


True Inner Beauty

Isn’t it offal? Why, yes. Yes, it is — at the Offal Exhibition, a part of the CURRENT: L.A. Food series of public art engagements around the city. Offal — the innards of various animals made into foodstuffs; think tripe, sausage and chopped liver — is the fuse that lights the firecracker of communal conversation about what it means for one living thing to consume another. From sculpted guts to video meditations to discomfiting paintings — by artists as wide-ranging as Labkhand Olfatmanesh, Victoria Reynolds and Jeffrey Vallance — you’ll view art from that most insightful of all possible perspectives: inner beauty. Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood; Fri., Aug. 30, 11 a.m.; on view through Sept. 29; free. (213) 473-8434, —David Cotner

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(Courtesy of Long Beach Comic Con)

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The Other Comic Convention 

Over the past decade, Long Beach Comic Con has expanded from an annual celebration of comic books into a wider-ranging gathering that brings together the worlds of film, video games, cosplay and even science. This year, the guest of honor is Shea Fontana, a graphic novelist and film writer (DC Super Hero Girls), who will be featured alongside such luminaries as longtime comic-book artist Howard Chaykin (Dominic FortuneAmerican Flagg!), makeup artist Monica Kubina, cartoonist Javier Hernandez, artist Matt Wagner, writer-artist Mike Kunkel, and JPL scientists and engineers Amiee Quon, Dajae Williams, Mana Salami and Joan Stupik, among others. Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., Aug. 31, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $35-$70. (562) 436-3636,—Falling James

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11th Annual Leimert Park Festival (HRDWRKER)


A Rich Legacy

A cornucopia of music, arts, crafts, dance and Afrocentric celebration awaits you at the 11th Annual Leimert Park Village Heritage Festival, showcasing all the greatness and soul of Los Angeles’ rich African-American legacy that persists and thrives. Also Sunday: the all-day Afrofuturist Block Party, an initiative of Leimert Park artist Timothy Washington which unveils the potential of those future days that race closer toward the community with every passing moment. It’s a festival that gives new meaning to the term “hands-on” — because if the future isn’t there in the hands of the community, who knows who’ll seize it? Through Monday. Leimert Park Village, 4330 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park; Sat.-Mon., Aug. 31-Sept. 2, noon-3 p.m.; free. (323) 299-6124,— David Cotner

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(Courtesy of the Compton Art Walk)


Power to the Paintbrush

Four times a year, art and music-minded cultural organizers in the history-rich neighborhood of Compton put on a giant arts festival that offers a platform for emerging talents to show folks what they’ve got — both celebrating the power of the community and bringing awareness of that energy to the whole city. Beyond art, music, makers and food the Compton Art Walk is both a socializing and placemaking occasion engendering engagement and support that endures far beyond the weekend. Center for Sustainable Communities, 1051 Rosecrans Ave., Compton; Sat., Aug 31, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. —Shana Nys Dambrot

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Broad Fest (Courtesy of the Broad Stage)

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Global Grooving

The Broad Stage introduces its upcoming 2019-20 season at Broad Fest, an annual open house of live music, dance, workshops and food spread across several areas. You can listen to swing and Latin salsa and funk by the She Sings She Swings and Boogaloo Assassins, and additional music by members of the Santa Monica College Music Department and KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez, who’ll be spinning tunes. And you can watch Viver Brasil perform Afro-Brazilian dance. Better yet, take part in workshops that teach dance, art-making and screen printing, as well as guided tours of the Broad Stage and “Made in California: Contemporary Art from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation” at SMC’s Barrett Gallery, an exhibit of works by California artists from the 1950s to the present. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Sun., Sept. 1, 2-7 p.m.; free. (310) 434-3200,—Siran Babayan

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Happy Labor Day, stay home and relax!

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Come One, Come All!

Yes, we know this event isn’t technically today, but gluttony requires some preparation. With the L.A. County Fair back in town, prepare to get full and fat on weird fried food and gluttonous sweets and meats. Yeah, you’ll tell yourself you’re burning it off, walking (and walking) amidst the fair’s vast array of exhibit halls, demo-filled attractions, animal round-ups, creator competitions, shopping areas, thrill rides and concerts. And yet, even with all that exercise, you probably won’t make up for what you consume. A fair-sized funnel cake alone packs almost 800 calories and 44 grams of fat. At least the concert lineup will add to your cardio in the evenings, especially the bill with MC Hammer, En Vogue, Biz Markie and Coolio next week. Weeknights there are no big concerts, but the plus side is, smaller crowds and shorter lines for all the event’s culinary indulgences. See full lineup at  Fairplex, 1101 W McKinley Ave., Pomona. Wed, noon-10 p.m., Thu., noon-11 p.m., Fri., noon-mid., Sat. 10 a.m.-mid. and Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; through Sept. 22; $14-$20 adults; $8-$12 children ages 6-12; free children 5& under free; $10-$15 seniors.—Lina Lecaro

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Odd Couple

Steve Aoki and Howie Mandel sound like an unlikely pair for conversation but that’s what makes this Live Talk: Los Angeles engagement sound so fascinating. The L.A. musician, producer, and superstar DJ has quite a life story —  we know because we’ve interviewed him countless times, even back when he called himself “Kid Millionaire.” Who knew he’d manifest the moniker into reality? Aoki’s new memoir Blue: The Color of Noise chronicles his rise from party dude to major force in the music industry, all while trying to escape the shadow of his successful father (Rocky Aoki, of the Benihana restaurant empire). Mandel is, of course, a wacky comedian and the most amiable judge on America’s Got Talent. Together, their meeting promises animated discussion about showbiz, beats and the “blue” hues of life in the spotlight. Aratani Theatre, 244 San Pedro St., downtown; Wed., Sept. 4, 8 p.m.; $20-$75.—Lina Lecaro

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Architects for Animals (Meghan bob Photography)

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Architects for Animals 

Cats can be the fussiest and most exacting of cultural critics, which is why Architects for Animals has assembled some of the city’s leading architecture firms to design functional yet inventively fancy outdoor dwellings at “Giving Shelter,” a benefit for FixNation, which spays and fixes homeless felines. Past architectural structures have ranged from whimsical launching pads for daring cat-letic activities to elaborate hideouts shaped with unusual patterns that simulate motion. Such cat-loving celebs as Morgan Fairchild, William Shatner and Bo Derek have decorated feeding bowls, which will also be on display. Herman Miller, 3641 Holdrege Ave., No. 100, Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw; Thu., Sept. 5, 5:30-9:30 p.m.; $50. (310) 736-3650,—Falling James


To Forgive or Not to Forgive

Everything old is new again — no truer an adage than with The Heal, which opens the latest season of The Getty Villa Outdoor Classical Theater’s dramatic offerings. This time, it’s the allegory of Phil — actually Philoctetes the abandoned Thessalian, embittered and embattled on a desert island, withering from his wounds — and how he heals himself of his all-consuming hatred of Odysseus, who left him on that island in the first place. When Odysseus petitions Phil for his poison arrows that will help win the Trojan War, everything hinges on how much forgiveness Phil has in his heart for brave Odysseus. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades; Thu., Sept. 5, 8 p.m.; $36-40. (310) 440-7300,—David Cotner

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Self Loathing color forms by Nathan See (Courtesy of the artist)


From All Around the World

Saatchi Art hosts the fourth annual The Other Art Fair, a curated showcase of 140 national and international artists from as far as Tokyo displaying paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture and mixed-media works. Following Thursday’s kick-off party, the weekend continues with kids’ activities, guided tours, food, cocktails and workshops on such topics as “Crafting Your Digital Presence: Storytelling with Instagram,” “The Transformative Power of Hair Color” and “Creatives Practice with Scent.” Highlights this year are several special exhibits, namely “This Is England,” which features contemporary British artists; “British Visions of L.A.,” which includes L.A.-British artists; and “One Small Step,” a tribute to the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar mission made up of artistically rendered astronaut helmets. Barker Hanger, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; Thu., Sept. 5, 6-10 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 6, 3-10 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 7, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 8, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $15, $13.50 seniors & students, private viewing $60. (310) 390-9071,—Siran Babayan

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