Ring in the nation's birthday with a bevy of beer and food trucks or a block party. Or sample a duo of avant-garde dance performances, attend a sing-along to everyone's favorite film featuring the L.A. River, check out a film festival highlighting local LGBTQ history and an outdoor art installation of the everyday Angelenos, or visit the Mecca of anime fandom. These are the 15 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!

fri 6/29


Dancing to Memories of War

For almost three years, choreographer Arianne MacBean and her troupe The Big Show Co. have conducted more than a dozen workshops with U.S. veterans. This exploration of veterans' memories and issues of remembrance and forgetting is a starting point to develop what has become the scripts for Collective Memory Project. Employing her signature mixture of dance, theater, text, music and visual imagery, MacBean promises an intimate event; in an effort to bridge the space between civilians and the military, the audience is seated onstage with the performers. Working with the L.A.-based nonprofit Veterans in Media & Entertainment, MacBean's efforts with veterans already were evident in another set of performances earlier this year involving vets and locally based Diavolo | Architecture in Motion. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood Hills; Fri., June 29, 8:30 p.m., $25. 323-461-3673. fordtheatres.org. —Ann Haskins

; Credit: Courtesy No) One. Art House


Experimental Experiences

There's no greater panoply of delights than when Friday Flights presents Devon Welsh, Sarah Davachi and No)one. Art House. Montreal-based singer-songwriter-artist Welsh was the frontman of hotly mooted electronic soundscape merchants Majical Cloudz. Davachi this evening presents her experimental, experiential soundtrack to Robert Irwin's Central Garden at the museum. No)one. Art House, on the other claw, will premiere a new site-specific piece for the Getty's fountains in tandem with choreography by Samantha Blake Goodman, in which dancers react to the erotic world of hexagons and dodecahedrons as ambient ambiance by soul-singin' diva Akua and trumpeter Anthony Calonico blossoms in the background. Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Fri., June 29, 6-9 p.m.; free (parking $10 after 3 p.m.). (310) 440-7300, getty.edu/visit/cal/events/ev_2248.html. —David Cotner

Tiny Pizza; Credit: Jenny Halligan


Close to Improv

A few years ago, Tiny Pizza submitted its improv team for the Del Close Marathon, New York's annual round-the-clock improv event, but was rejected. So what did members Amy Aniobi, John Bogul­ski, Ryan Clark, Anna Halligan, Andrew Tucci and John David Williams do? They created their own local mini-improv festival and named it after another notable Close: Glenn. Every year Tiny Pizza Presents the Glenn Close Marathon features more than a dozen improv teams performing sketches inspired by both real and imagined Close roles and films, whether it's the bunny-boiling other woman from Fatal Attraction or evil Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians. Your hosts will also sing themed songs and play trivia, as well as serve — what else? — pizza. The Clubhouse, 1607 N. Vermont Ave., East Hollywood; Fri., June 29, 8-11 p.m.; free, donations accepted. clubhouseimprov.com. —Siran Babayan

Jimmy Cuellar and Ballet Folklórico; Credit: Charles Ryan Barber

sat 6/30


Remembering a Mexican Legend

Sometimes it takes time to fully realize what you want to say about someone after they've died. It takes even longer to put those emotions into art that's worthy of the person in question. Fiesta Mexicana — Yo Te Recuerdo: Homenaje a Juan Gabriel is the tribute concert that fans of the beloved Mexican singer-songwriter Gabriel (1950-2016) have been waiting for. Their patience will be richly rewarded by performances of Gabriel's most famous and deeply loved songs by Mariachi Garibaldi de Jimmy Cuellar and Ballet Folklórico de Los Angeles de Kareli Montoya, featuring vocalists Hermanas Nuñez, Shay and Paige Brooks. Ford Theatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood Hills; Sat., June 30, 7 p.m.; $67, $52 & $42. (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org/calendar/fiesta-mexicana-juan-gabriel. —David Cotner


Tell Me 'Bout It, Stud

Grease is the movie-musical equivalent of "We Are the Champions" or "Y.M.C.A.": Everybody knows all the words. Forty years later, the 1978 film is still a songfest. The Hollywood Bowl's Grease Sing-Along takes you back to Rydell High in the 1950s, where you can pretend to be a Pink Lady or T-Bird and sing along to all the lyrics, from the "tell me more, tell more" of "Summer Nights" to the "rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong" of "We Go Together." Didi Conn, who played beauty school dropout Frenchy, hosts the screening, which is preceded by a performance by Grease band and flashback act Sha Na Na. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood Hills; Sat., June 30, 7:30 p.m.; $12-$127. (323) 850-2000, hollywood0x200Bbowl.org. —Siran Babayan

sun 7/1


Crackin' Good Time

Keep your dogfish, your narwhals, your manta rays and your killer whales — this month's Summer Lobster Celebration is the Palm's eagerly anticipated annual festival of all things lobster. Throughout July, you get lobster bisque, jumbo Nova Scotia lobster, filet mignon topped with poached Nova Scotia lobster, Nova Scotia lobster roll, Nova Scotia lobster Cobb salad and many other culinary delights paired with lobster in ways hitherto unimagined. With this many options to enjoy and appreciate lobster, the only thing left to do is to take one home and release it back into the briny deep yourself. The Palm Los Angeles, 1100 S. Flower St., downtown; Sun., July 1, through July 31; menu prices. (213) 763-4600, thepalm.com/special/summer-lobster-celebration-2018/. —David Cotner


Local LGBTQ History

Launched in New York in 2011, nonprofit queer film collective Dirty Looks has staged events in L.A. since 2015, namely Sesion Continua, a 24-hour, pop-up marathon of vintage gay porn and erotica. For the first time here, creative director Bradford Nordeen and his team of curators are hosting Dirty Looks: On Location, a monthlong series of screenings and performances that take place over 31 days at 31 different venues, including the Egyptian Theatre, Downtown Independent, REDCAT, Echo Park Film Center and Moonlight Rollerway. To kick off the series, the program marks the 50th anniversary of A Most Unusual Film Festival, a gay film festival held in 1968 at the Park Theater (next door to Langer's!) — it's considered the first of its kind in L.A. The event screens two films from the original festival — Andy Warhol's 1965 My Hustler and Jose Rodriguez-Soltero's 1965 Jerovi, both on 16mm — as well as a multimedia presentation on this little-known piece of L.A.'s LGBTQ history. Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake; Sun., July 1, 7 p.m.; $15. Dirtylooksla.org. —Siran Babayan


A Magical Time

You don't need a Sorting Hat to tell you where to go at the Diagon Alley Style Magical Craft Faire. Brimming with all manner of magic, sorcery and arcane goods, it's your chance to pick up magical candles, sorcerial goblets and other unique and one-of-a-kind items from local artisans and vendors for the witch and/or wizard in your life. There are raffles held every half-hour, a cosplay contest and several chances to pet some soft friendly cats swanning about the place on a regular basis (the GeeKitties aspect of Geeky Teas is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) no-kill cat rescue as well). Geeky Teas & Games, 2120 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Sun., July 1, 11 a.m.; free. (818) 601-4862, geekyteas.com. —David Cotner

; Credit: Gregg Segal

mon 7/2


Larger Than Life

In the Big L.A. Portrait Gallery, it's not celebrities who have their faces enlarged for countless thousands to see. In its second year, Grand Park changes its face to become an after-dark art gallery featuring photographs by L.A.-based artists projected on the south wall of the Los Angeles County Hall of Records — a canvas 100 feet wide by 100 feet tall. A creation of visionary architect Richard Neutra, the Hall of Records features not only faces from the city but also the stories that are its lifeblood, as presented by photographers such as Aly Aliano, Gizelle Hernandez, Spencer Lowell, Melodie McDaniel, Gregg Segal and John Francis Peters. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Mon., July 2, 8 p.m.-mid.; free. (213) 972-8080, grandparkla.org/event/big-l-a-portrait-gallery-2018/?instance_id=98343. —David Cotner

tue 7/3


A More Perfect Union

The fifth annual 'Merica Fest is Angel City Brewery's extravaganza of national pride and outsized summertime fun. We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union of beer, music and tacos, establish justice in judging your 'Merica costume and grant fabulous Brewery prizes, provide for the common defense of the lawn space you called dibs on, promote the general welfare of all involved with picnics, backyard BBQ and food trucks, and secure the blessings of liberty from firecracker-related injuries, holiday traffic, bone bits in your hot dogs, and another shitty sequel to The Purge. Angel City Brewery, 216 S. Alameda St., downtown; Tue., July 3-Wed., July 4, noon-8 p.m.; free. (213) 622-1261, angelcitybrewery.com/event/merica-fest-2/. —David Cotner


Eating Well

Just because restaurants put up signs that say "pastrami" doesn't mean there aren't vast food deserts in the greater metropolitan Los Angeles area. With an eye toward teaching you about nutrition, the Chinatown HEAL Program — in partnership with API Forward Movement, an initiative to strengthen the city's Asian and Pacific Islander communities via wholesome food — presents this week's nutrition education courses. You'll learn about simple but crucial things you can do to eat well, witness cooking demonstrations and enjoy free samples of healthy food. Los Angeles State Historic Park Welcome Pavilion, 1245 N. Spring St., Elysian Park; Tue., July 3, 10 a.m.; free. (323) 441-8819, facebook.com/events/174499869861276/. —David Cotner

wed 7/4


Independence Day Extravaganza

A stunner of a free community celebration, this year's Fourth of July Block Party takes full advantage of the breadth and depth of Grand Park. Around every corner you'll find games, art, dancing and bubbles. A fireworks show that launches from the roof of the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at 9 p.m. will wind up just 30 minutes later so you can get home at a reasonable hour. Live music and DJs on two stages fill out the day's entertainment, and there are more than 40 vendors, including the return of gourmet food trucks to the party scene. Make sure to check online for items not to bring with you. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed., July 4, 3-9:30 p.m.; free. (213) 972-8080, july4.grandparkla.org. —David Cotner


Man vs. Shark

What's better than watching fireworks on Independence Day? Watching Jaws, the very first summer blockbuster, about a killer shark that terrorizes a New England resort town over the Fourth of July holiday. Even better is watching mostly drunk comedians try to reinterpret the psychological subtext of the film onstage at the Comedians Cinema Club: Jaws. Originated in London, and later a monthly show at Nerdmelt, founder Eric Lampaert's ongoing live comedy series features comics not-so-accurately re-creating classic and cult movies. Past titles have included Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Princess Bride, The Big Lebowski and Labyrinth, with participation from the audience, who also are encouraged to drink. Using a live pianist, props and costumes, tonight's lineup — Lampaert, Bryan Vokey, Caitlin Gill, Jeffrey Baldinger and others — takes on all of Jaws' major characters, from the doomed beachgoers and three main male characters to the great white himself. It's safe to go back into the water, especially if you're inebriated. Black Rabbit Rose, 1719 N. Hudson Ave., Hollywood; Wed., July 4, 8 p.m.; $15. (323) 461-1464, ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1690486. —Siran Babayan

RoHit Records' faux show posters; Credit: Roy Jurgens

thu 7/5


Bands You've Never Heard of

Rohit Records: A Record Store for Bands That Don't Exist is an installation by artist Rohitash Rao in which album covers, band shirts and concert posters present a world of music that exists only inside the confines of a record store — and the artist's mind. Like Mingering Mike or Henry Darger before him, Rao has created his own devotional pop landscape, a rhapsody to record stores like Camelot, Licorice Pizza, Music+, Sam Goody, Tempo, Tower and The Wherehouse — where stars were born, exploded and imploded, and took on new life through imagination, nostalgia and love. Through July 8. Pop Obscure Records & Art Gallery, 735 S. Los Angeles St., downtown; Thu., July 5, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. (213) 628-3898, popobscurerecords.com/pop-obscure-gallery.html. —David Cotner


Cornucopia of Cosplay

The annual mecca for at least 100,000 anime fans is coming back to town! Anime Expo returns to the L.A. Convention Center, providing an opportunity for anime fans and industry members to celebrate and network over the course of the four-day festival — plus there's a preshow night on July 4. Attendees should check out the expo's website in advance to plan their festival strategy, because this epic celebration of Japanese animation, manga and cosplay offers performances, competitions, interactive shows, celebrity guests, art shows, gaming zones, sets for photo ops, industry panels, film screenings, charity auctions, karaoke, educational sessions, a repair station for broken cosplay props, vendors of all things anime, and lots more! L.A. Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Thu.-Sun., July 5-8; $35-$160. anime-expo.org. —Scott Feinblatt

LA Weekly