From a chance to party at one of L.A.’s most haunted locations to a brutal short film, here are the 13 best things to do in L.A. this week.

fri 10/25


No Longer Going Solo

A statuesque figure with signature long, flowing hair, Montreal-based Margie Gillis is a renowned figure in Canadian modern dance, but remains not so well known stateside despite periodic U.S. performances over her 40-year career. Her credentials include choreography and guest artist appearances with MOMIX, Paul Taylor Dance Company, National Ballet of Canada, and the late opera star Jessye Norman’s Sacred Ellington tour. Primarily known as a solo performer, in recent years Gillis attention has focused on instilling her distinctive dance form in the next generation through what has been named the “Legacy Project.” One product of those efforts is on display in this visit as Gillis and eight dancers perform Evolutions. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, 10361 Pico Blvd., Century City; Fri., Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.; $35, $20 students., —Ann Haskins


Scary Sounds

L.A. Opera’s screenings of classic horror films with live performances of their scores have become an annual Halloween tradition at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, in which the venue’s ornately eerie ambiance adds further to the spectacle. This year, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 black-and-white film Psycho is screening with accompaniment by L.A. Opera Orchestra, conducted by Louis Lohraseb. As much as Joseph Stefano’s script (based on the 1959 novel by Robert Bloch) about a larcenous secretary’s (Janet Leigh) unsettling visit to the Bates Motel stirs up a feeling of dread, it’s composer Bernard Herrmann’s masterful score — written for a string section instead of a typical orchestra — that imbues the film with its jaggedly creepy drive and menace. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri., Oct. 25, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 26, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 27, 2 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 30, 8 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 31, 8 p.m.; $20-$109. (213) 235-9614, —Falling James

Sweet Sorrow, A Zombie Ballet (Clarence Alford)

sat 10/26


Undead Lovers

What do Romeo and Juliet and the enduring zombie craze have in common? The Leigh Purtill Ballet Company combines the two in Sweet Sorrow, A Zombie Ballet. In choreographer Purtill’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragic love story, an apothecary leads the dead lovers into the underworld, followed by Benvolio and Rosaline, where they mingle with undead characters, including zombies, witches, vampires and gargoyles. Cast members Daniela Strong, Lana Nahapetian, William Reiss, John Lushefski, Corey McCullogh, Jenifer Marchain and April McLeod dance to not only Prokofiev’s famous score to the ballet, but also Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Purtill created the piece two years ago and has performed it at such places as the annual ScareLA Halloween convention and on ABC’s The Gong Show in 2017, where it won. Based in La Cañada, Purtill’s amateur ballet company for adults has staged other original ballets, as well as The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Performing Arts Center, 2495 E. Mountain St., Pasadena; Sat., Oct. 26, 7-9 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 27, 4-6 p.m.; $20-$25. —Siran Babayan

(Courtesy of LA Poverty Department)


See Me, Hear Me

There’s a rich and eclectic creative community active in the heart of the Skid Row neighborhood, with art, theater and music playing a huge part in its commitment to the dignity of every human voice. Now in its 10th year, the Festival for All Skid Row Artists places this creativity in the spotlight with a two-day festival of music and visual art in Gladys Park. The Los Angeles Poverty Department (aka “the other LAPD”) anchors the festival. A theater company founded in 1985 as a politically-engaged repertory company comprised of local residents, LAPD partners with Studio 526 and United Coalition East Prevention Project (UCEPP) to produce the festival, and this year, the Goethe-Institut is an additional producing partner. Their “Worlds of Homelessness” project brings together artists, architects and experts in an ongoing series of talks and events culminating in a performance at the Festival on Sunday afternoon. Gladys Park, 808 E. 6th St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., Oct. 26-27, 1-5 p.m.; free.(213) 413-1077, —Shana Nys Dambrot

(Courtesy of Sunshine Pictures LLC/Haunted Little Tokyo)


Little Tokyo Halloween Block Party

Little Tokyo has been prepping for Halloween all month, with a pumpkin patch, Japanese horror film screenings and “haunted” walking tours. Tonight, however, is the main event. Haunted Night in Little Tokyo: The Block Party features a 100-foot long beer garden that’s sure to get you properly buzzed, food from such local eateries as Hello Stranger, KASIH, Pikunico, Rice & Nori and Takoyaki Tanota, additional grub from food trucks, including Steamy Bun Truck and Takuma Burgers, and a live music stage featuring rapper Key Kool and DJ Phatrick. Since it’s a family night, kids can expect trick or treating, pumpkin and decorating stations and a costume contest. Little Tokyo, 334 E. 2nd St., between Central and San Pedro; Sat., Oct. 26, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; free. —Siran Babayan

Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist (Courtesy of the artist)

sun 10/27


Paper Son

Last year, Google honored Chinese-American artist Tyrus Wong (1910-2016) with a Google Doodle on what would’ve been his 108th birthday. Born Wong Gen Yeo, Wong and his father immigrated to America in 1920 and eventually settled in L.A. His artistic capabilities, inspired by Chinese classical art, especially calligraphy, led to a scholarship at Otis Art Institute, where he supported himself working as a janitor. Wong was hired at Walt Disney Studios during animation’s early days and would be best known as the lead illustrator on the 1942 film Bambi. (Wong was also a greeting card artist for Hallmark Cards, kite maker, set designer and storyboard artist, whose other credits included Rebel Without a Cause, Around the World in 80 Days, The Wild Bunch and Rio Bravo, among others.) The Huntington hosts co-authors Julie Leung and Chris Sasaki, who’ll sign Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist, their illustrated children’s book on Wong’s life and art. The Huntington, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino; Sun., Oct. 27, 2-3 p.m.; free. (626) 405-2100, —Siran Babayan

(Courtesy of Artbar LA)


Prest-O, Change-O

The late-autumn, Halloween, Dia de los Muertos season is a time of transformation, whether by costume, weather, or state of being. Monsters, magic and memories are the order of the day, and the west side’s newest art-centric social hall, ArtBarLA joins forces with Visual Culture Arts to present a wild, witchy multimedia group exhibition celebrating the spirit of the creative changeling. Metamorphosis opens Sunday afternoon with a DJ party where it’s a safe bet interpretive couture is welcome; and the show remains on view through early November. ArtBarLA, 12017 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista; opening reception: Sun., Oct. 27, 4-9 p.m.; exhibition dates: Oct. 27-Nov. 10; free.(310) 881-9312; —Shana Nys Dambrot


Fearsome Forefathers

Actress, writer and Turner Classic Movies’ Illeana Douglas hosts her popular podcast The Film Scene (with co-host Jeff Graham), live on stage during the Alex Theatre’s special Halloween Classics-themed double feature highlighting Boris Karloff. The actress is the granddaughter of Melvyn Douglas — a popular leading man in 1930s Hollywood who also did his share of horror, including roles opposite the legendary Karloff. She’ll be joined by Bela Lugosi Jr. and Sara Karloff to discuss their fearsome forefathers’ works and impact. Douglas will also be signing copies of I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies, her book about growing up in showbiz. Films screened include The Dark Old House (1932) with Karloff, Melvyn, and Charles Laughton, and the much beloved Edgar Allen Poe-inspired The Raven (1935) with Karloff and Lugosi, starring as a fugitive murderer and mad surgeon, respectively. Alex Theatre, 216 North Brand Blvd., Glendale;  Sun., Oct. 27, 7 p.m.; $17 (discounts for Alex Film Society and Glendales Arts members). (818) 243-ALEX, —Lina Lecaro

(Courtesy of High Weirdness)

mon 10/28


Occult of Personality

Our culture loves a retro moment, and not only in its fashion trends. A common social, cultural, and political phenomenon is the resurgence, or revival, of beliefs, practices and aesthetics from bygone eras. And there’s as much to learn about what these affinities say regarding the present moment as there is regarding history. One slice of this occurrence is the modern era’s rediscovery of seminal psychedelic and visionary science fiction-inflected ideas from the 1970s, especially by authors like Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson. Based on his recent book High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies, Erik Davis lectures on the topic at the Philosophical Research Society in the presentation High Weirdness Then & Now: Occult Revival in the ‘70s and Today. Arrive early for a music session featuring vintage and contemporary occult music curated by Davis, or stay home and enhance your mood as you see fit because there will also be a ticketed live-stream. The Philosophical Research Society, 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz; Mon., Oct. 28, 7:30-9 p.m.; $10. —Shana Nys Dambrot

tue 10/29


Tangled Journey

Because Saeed Jones is a poet, his new memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives, crackles with rich, palpably real imagery that takes his book beyond the level of a typical autobiography. “Some songs take women places men cannot follow,” the Texas native marvels in the prelude about the way his mother dances and sings along when listening to a Prince song in their kitchen. Jones takes the reader along on a tangled journey through his life growing up gay and African-American in Lewisville, Texas. Jones discusses his book with the incisive writer-critic Roxane Gay in a presentation from Skylight Books. Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Tue., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $30 (includes a copy of the book). (323) 660-1175, —Falling James

wed 10/30


Buying Real Estate Just Got Brutal

As the goblins, ghouls and witches prepare for a night of festivities and rituals this year, Zebulon will host A Devil’s Night of Movies, Music & Mayhem on Wednesday, October 30 with the premiere of Brutal Realty Inc.,  a short film starring actor and musician London May. The dark comedy centers around the odd pairing of real estate sales and Satanic black metal music; it has received critical acclaim from its appearances at international film festivals thus far.  The short film is about a demonic black metal drummer known as The Summoner,  a malevolent musical monster by night and a dignified real estate agent by day, with hilarious, bizarre and bloody results. Fans at this special event in L.A. will also get to witness the live debut of May’s newest band Symbolism — which features members of legendary death rock/punk alumni Adolescents and Christian Death. Arrive dressed to impress for the costume contest. The evening is set to feature special DJs, surprise guests and more. Fans will be sure to get a night full of laughter, and macabre blasphemous black metal music. This is a perfect way to spend the night before Hallows’ Eve. Satan would be proud. Zebulon, 2478 Fletcher Drive, Elysian Valley; Wed., Oct. 30, 8 p.m.; $10. —Alex Distefano

thu 10/31


Backstage Pass Rumored to be haunted, American Legion Hall Hollywood Post 43 is perhaps the most perfect locale in the area to host a Halloween party. One of the oldest (100 this year) and most cavernous buildings in Los Angeles, it should make for a spooky backdrop to the Legion’s Post 43 Halloween Bash, featuring “scaryoke,” a magic show by Michael Vile, a haunted house and live music. The band bill should be the highlight of the night, with the Post 43 Outlaws, local indie rockers Kideyes and the audacious musical hit homages of Black Crystal Wolf Kids. Led by journalist and rocker Jeff Miller, BCWK always bring it and this set — done in full costume — promises modern rock hits (sing-alongs with everything from Arcade Fire to Talking Heads to Lizzo) interspersed with Halloween classics. The boo-gie bash is one of only a few events open to the public at historic venue so it’s a rare opportunity to see all its spooky splendor. American Legion Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Thu., Oct. 31, 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m.; $10, 21+ only (military and vets free). —Lina Lecaro


We All Scream, Queen

The indie group show Scream Queen was curated by Dakota Noot and Christopher Anthony Velasco with an emphasis on queer representation in the horror genre — and an eye for the bloody, campy fabulosity that this particular intersection might produce. More than a dozen artists contributed work examining the ways in which identity, fear and reinvention play out in visual art. Fittingly, it opened right around National Coming Out Day and it closes on Halloween with a candy-coated performance-art party. (Tip: the gallery is also open for exhibition viewing on Sunday, October 27, 1-4 p.m., but there might not be candy.) Little Tokyo Art Complex, 262 S. Los Angeles St., downtown; Thu., Oct. 31, 7-10 p.m.; free. —Shana Nys Dambrot

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