From an evening of line dancing to an evening with Nick Offerman, a festival serving up heaps of BBQ and music and a sweet tooth's dream, to a 40th-anniversary screening of Superman and the history of sex and comedy, here are the 13 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.
Get Your Groove on
Warm summer nights mean it's time to dance under the stars with Dance DTLA. From now until September, the series — actually two different series —affords different ways to move on alternating Friday nights. Dance Downtown offers free beginner dance lessons at 7 p.m., followed by a chance to dance or to just watch and enjoy until 11 p.m. Alternate Fridays take on a more contemporary flavor with DJ Nights starting at 9 p.m. This Friday Dance Downtown spotlights line dancing and the two-step; coming weeks are devoted on salsa, disco, Bollywood and the eclectic '90s Night. With the Music Center Plaza closed for renovation, the action moves to nearby Grand Park. Specific locations each week and a complete schedule of dance styles for Dance Downtown and DJs curating DJ Nights are at musiccenter.org/dancedtla. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., July 6, 7 p.m.; free. musiccenter.org/dancedtla. —Ann Haskins
Latinos Take the Spotlight
Some of the best nights of entertainment are cavalcades and hodgepodges — and Spanish Aquí Presents, with its light endlessly shining on today's leading lights of Latino entertainment, is here to show you what's been missing from your life. Your hosts — Raiza Licea, Oscar Montoya, Tony Rodriguez and Carlos Santos — present new work, art and ideas from the great Justina Machado of One Day at a Time, the masterful Gadiel Del Orbe of Buzzfeed, the insightful Andrew Santiago of the internet's we are mitú channel, and spoken words both trenchant and wrenching from Florencia, aka DJ Tragik. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Fri., July 6, 10:30 p.m.; $8.50. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com/performance/63300. —David Cotner
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Wave goodbye to your diet and your sour disposition at the second annual Dessert Goals Dessert Fest, a paradise rivaling Toyland, Wonka Land or possibly just the See's Candies headquarters on La Cienega in its serene and abiding devotion to all things sweet. With more than 20 Los Angeles vendors of all manner of sweet things, and a Salt Bar to cleanse your palate between tastings, there's also complimentary coffee from Bodum and complimentary drinks from Sparkling Ice. Ticketed workshops will teach you to start a food blog, style desserts or embroider desserts on anything you might care to. Cooper Design Space, 860 S. Los Angeles St., Ste. #900, downtown; Sat.-Sun, July 7-8, noon-7 p.m.; $15-$35. (213) 627-3754, dessertgoals.com/losangeles. —David Cotner
Revisiting the '80s
Fans love actress-comedian Julie Brown as much for her 1988 cult movie, Earth Girls Are Easy, as for her ruthless and hilarious 1991 Madonna mockumentary, Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful. The former, co-written and co-starring Brown, and directed by Julien Temple of The Filth and the Fury fame, follows love-starved manicurist Geena Davis, who befriends a trio of fur-covered aliens — Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and their hottie leader, Jeff Goldblum, then Davis' husband — after they crash their spaceship into the pool of her Valley home. The film is more '80s than a can of Aqua Net. (And it was one of the first big roles for Carrey and Wayans before they became stars on In Living Color two years later.) Brown is reviving the story in Earth Girls Are Easy … It's Like a Musical. Written and directed by Brown and Kurt Koehler, the show features all the central characters, with the addition of new music, as well as Brown's famous songs from the original comedy, including “'Cause I'm a Blonde,” “I Like 'Em Big and Stupid” and “Earth Girls Are Easy.” Cavern Club, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Sat., July 7, 9 p.m.; $35. (323) 662-4255, cavernclubtheater.com. —Siran Babayan
Come in Ready for Anything
In the perfect twilight zone that rests between last night's drunken debauchery and tomorrow's debauched drunkenness, there's Late Late Breakfast. Pioneered by comics who clearly know their audience, it's the co-creation of hosts Tyler Jackson and Danny Maupin, a kaleidoscope of comedy that features comedians of every stripe telling jokes while running a gauntlet of worldly terrors that only the hosts can predict. These anarchic surprises could be anything from a rain of deep-fried meat parts to a group funeral for a fallen neighborhood bee to nuclear unicyclists to the repudiation of all comedy as a concept, everywhere, forever. Silverlake Lounge, 2906 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Sat., July 7, 3 p.m.; free. (323) 663-9636, thesilverlakelounge.ticketfly.com/event/1577905-late-late-breakfast-los-angeles/. —David Cotner
What's Better Than Camping? BBQ!
While back-to-the-land electronic music label Dirtybird Records has for years perfected its annual Campout experience as a cyclotron to study the science of camping, never before has it embarked on the sauce-soaked enterprise of a barbecue. Until today! The Dirtybird BBQ 2018 is its inaugural soiree in that department, and you can expect a plethora of great food, great company, a Best in Show costume contest and music from DJs such as Claude VonStroke, Christian Martin and Justin Jay. For $20 extra, you get the special “feast” ticket that gives you more barbecue than you can shake a rib at. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Plaza, 3911 S. Figueroa St., Exposition Park; Sun., July 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $19.50-$45. (213) 747-7111, dirtybirdrecords.com/pages/bbq. —David Cotner
One of only two dance artists in the Hammer's “Made in L.A. 2018” biennial, taisha paggett has both an installation and a performance component. She describes her work as “durational actions” that raise issues of how institutions represent and sometimes distort matters of race and history. Paggett intends to raise those issues by moving black and brown dancers in a series of solos and duets within the museum's galleries over four hours in this event and again in September. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., July 8, noon-4 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 1, noon-4 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Ann Haskins
Nick at Night
Filmmaker Laura Dunn's documentary The Unforeseen, about development in Texas at the expense of the marvels of the natural world, was guided by a poem by renowned environmental activist and author Wendell Berry, about whom Dunn made the documentary Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. Now comedian Nick Offerman hosts a funny fundraiser for Dunn's new film, Forest and the Trees. Expect only the finest comedy greatness performed in the service of the greater good with performances by singing sensations Nancy and Beth (Megan Mullally, Stephanie Hunt) and the acerbic — but not acidic! — comic observations of Offerman. Largo, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Mon., July 9, 7 p.m.; $40-$60. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com/event/1719523-nick-offerman-friends-los-angeles/. —David Cotner
Celebrating Leonard Bernstein
Conductor Gustavo Dudamel makes his first major appearance of the summer season at the Hollywood Bowl, leading the L.A. Philharmonic in a program of music by Leonard Bernstein as part of the orchestra's yearlong celebration of the centenary of the composer's birth. Bolstered by L.A. Phil clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan and cellist Edgar Moreau, Dudamel brings to life Bernstein's sumptuous instrumental passages, such as the Three Meditations from Mass, which combine classical formalism with a jazzy immediacy. The concert is sparked further with appearances by star Broadway vocalists Brian Stokes Mitchell (Kiss Me, Kate) and irrepressible fireball Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone), who imbue witty, tuneful selections from On the Town and Wonderful Town with considerable charisma and charm. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tue., July 10, 8 p.m.; $12-$122. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —Falling James
What Went Wrong in Flint?
In 2014, as a cost-cutting measure, Flint, Michigan, changed its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River, which resulted in drinking water that was contaminated with lead and other toxins. Residents of the largely poor and African-American city complained that the water was making them sick, and at least 12 people died. In 2016, President Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint, and to date 15 state and local officials have been indicted on various charges. In her new book, What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance and Hope in an American City, Flint pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha looks back on how one of the biggest public health scandals in recent history unfolded and how her research, with the help of scientists and activists, exposed the water crisis to the press. As part of Central Library's ALOUD lecture series, Hanna-Attisha discusses her memoir with L.A. Times writer Geoffrey Mohan. Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Wed., July 11, 7:30 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 228-7000, lfla.org. —Siran Babayan
Can Selfishness Save the Environment?
Does Environmentalism Need to Make Peace With Capitalism? As if it wasn't the other way around! Considering the “Fuck you, I want yours, too” philosophy plaguing the past few decades of life on this planet, perhaps sustainability can be reached by exploiting the selfishness of humans. As such, business economist Magali Delmas, author of The Green Bundle: Pairing the Market With the Planet ($30, Stanford Business) talks with Warren Olney of KCRW's To the Point in this Zócalo salon regarding new strides toward putting those Seven Deadly Sins to work for us for a change. The RedZone at Gensler, 500 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Wed., July 11, 7:30 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 327-3600, zocalopublicsquare.org/event/environmentalism-need-make-peace-capitalism/. —David Cotner
Last year's CNN documentary The History of Comedy was just that: an eight-part series on comedy over the last century, from vaudeville and stand-up to film and TV. The first episode, “F***ing Funny,” looked at profanity in humor, whether it was Lenny Bruce, George Carlin's “Seven Dirty Words” or Andrew Dice Clay's naughty nursery rhymes. Later episodes explored such topics as women, minorities, mental illness, late night, family and workplace sitcoms, and featured archival footage and interviews with big-name comedians and talking heads, including Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Betty White, Dick Gregory, Larry David, Jimmy Kimmel, Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, Patton Oswalt, George Lopez and Samantha Bee. Ahead of its premiere on July 16, FILM at LACMA's In Conversation With … The History of Comedy screens season-two episode “Carnal Knowledge,” which focuses on the relationship between sex and comedy, and hosts a discussion with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom and comics Keith and Kenny Lucas, all of whom appear in the series. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thu., July 12, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org. —Siran Babayan
Faster Than a Speeding Bullet
While some people still want modern Superman to be like Christopher Reeve, it's helpful — and downright liberating — to watch tonight's 40th-anniversary screening of Superman as if it were still 1978. No expectation of sequels or franchises. Just a movie about Superman — a film as unexpected as it was, in its way, as an alien baby crash-landing on Earth and saving it forever. Loving a work of art in itself is sometimes the most difficult way to appreciate it — but it's worth the superhuman effort when you do. Also tonight: Superman villain Jack “Non” O'Halloran in person, conversing and hobnobbing. The Alex, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Thu., July 12, 7:30 p.m.; $12-$17. (818) 243-2539, alextheatre.org/event/alex-film-society-presents-40th-anniversary-screening-of-superman-the-move-1978. —David Cotner