The Hollywood Museum showcases costumes from the classic Batman TV series, the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A. hosts a contemporary dance festival, Dapper Day hits the Natural History Museum, and Philippe's will offer free chili on Tuesday. Here are 19 fun and engaging things to do and see in L.A. this week.
From Lowlifes to the Olympics
Greg Snyder's new book, Skateboarding L.A.: Inside Professional Street Skateboarding ($30, NYU Press), looks at skateboarding from the point of view of the skater as a catalyst for social change — a far cry from what was once a nuisance on par with white dogshit or kids on front lawns. In two years, skating will be an Olympic sport. Snyder takes the aesthetics of the sport and its long-standing cultural ties with L.A. even while fleshing out its global history and showing off where the locals skate in this entertaining dive into what skating is all about. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Fri., Jan. 19, 8 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com/events/skateboarding-la-greg-snyder/. —David Cotner
All That Glitters
The Da Camera Society's aptly Chamber Music in Historic Sites is held in a variety of fantastic locations, and tonight's season-launching concert is in the fairy tale–like Victorian landmark Doheny Mansion, whose ornate Pompeian Room features marble pillars and gilt decor under a large, glass dome. Pacifica Quartet invoke three varied works by Beethoven. The Indiana-based ensemble recently added a new violinist, Austin Hartman, and violist, Guy Ben-Ziony, who now accompany the longtime husband-and-wife duo of cellist Brandon Vamos and the always physically demonstrative violinist Simin Ganatra. Even with these changes, expect superior, nuanced dynamics and rich tonal textures from these adept musicians. Doheny Mansion, 10 Chester Place, West Adams District; Fri., Jan. 19, 7:40 p.m.; $65 & $85. (213) 477-2962, dacamera.org. —Falling James
Holy Tights, Batman!
Celebrating the golden era of the Bright Knight, the Batman '66 Exhibit is a massive cavalcade of props, costumes and other ephemera from a TV series that's anything but ephemeral; its five-decades–long appeal shows no signs of waning. Divided into sections — the Batcave, Collectibles of Batman '66, the Gallery of Guest Super Villains, Stately Wayne Manor — the exhibition showcases treasures from the history of the phenomenon originally broadcast from 1966 to '68. The original Dr. Cassandra costume worn by guest villainess Ida Lupino — from 1968 episode “The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra” — has never been seen in public. The Hollywood Museum, 1660 N. Highland Ave, Hollywood; Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; runs through March 17; $15 adults, $12 students/seniors 65+, $5 ages 5 & younger. (323) 464-7776, facebook.com/events/1539137709474744. —David Cotner
An Odyssey of Local Dance
L.A. boasts a number of dance festivals, most with lots of troupes offering brief samples from their repertoire. Several years ago, the Odyssey Theatre launched a festival that is more a planned meal than smorgasbord, giving an entire weekend (sometimes two) to a few noteworthy local troupes. Dance at the Odyssey 2018 opens this week with Micaela Taylor + TL Collective in Rosewood, which blends hip-hop with contemporary dance. Next weekend, the stage belongs to L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, known for work by its artistic directors as well as its ability to attract other L.A. choreographers. LACDC brings a triptych program with contributions from director Genevieve Carson; Capezio award–winning dancemaker Nathan Makolandra; and Stephanie Zaletel, who heads local all-female troupe Szalt. The final weekend focuses on choreographer Corina Kinnear, who closes the festival with her provocatively titled Naked. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.; Micaela Taylor + TL Collective, Sat., Jan. 20, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 21, 2 p.m.; $15-$25. L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, Fri.-Sat., Jan. 26-27 & Feb. 2-3, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 4, 2 p.m.; $15-$25. Corina Kinnear, Thu.-Fri., Feb. 8-9, 8 p.m.; $15-$25. odysseytheatre.com. —Ann Haskins
From Dusk Till Dawn
Theatre of Note hosts its 23rd annual Hollywood Performance Marathon. Fifty-plus performers will donate their time and talent to benefit the nonprofit ensemble theater, known for its willingness to take risks. Expect an extravaganza of performances including comedy, juggling, poetry, puppets, performance art, dance, music, monologues and more. Theatre of Note, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 20, 3 p.m.-dawn; $20. (323) 856-8611, theatreofnote.com. —Richard Chang
From their beginnings in the 1970s as a handful of gay dancers in New York City, taken with the idea of men in drag dancing ballet in pointe shoes, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo has become a national and international favorite combining comedic sendups amid serious takes on classic ballets. The Trocks, as they are known, stop off for two shows. The sly stage names (which should be said aloud for full effect) Mikhail Mypansarov, Nina Enimenimynimova, Helen Highwaters, Colette Adae and Tatiana Youbetyabootskya are the first hint to the audience that fun will be had. The choreographed pratfalls and other hysterical mishaps work, in large part, because the Trocks are really good ballet dancers. With iconic excerpts from classics such as Swan Lake and Don Quixote and even a bit of Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, the Trocks consistently demonstrate they are serious dancers who also happen to be seriously funny. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State Long Beach, Sat., Jan. 20, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 21, 2 p.m.; $50. CarpenterArts.org. —Ann Haskins
Calling All Dappers!
Dapper Day outings are excuses to dress up in a fashionable and sophisticated manner, whether your outfit is contemporary or a throwback to another decade. What started as a meetup at Disneyland in 2011 has become a string of semiannual events at Disney parks in Orlando and Paris, in addition to an expo and even a clothing line. For the first time, the Natural History Museum hosts Dapper Days Visits NHMLA. On the museum grounds you'll find a pop-up store selling vintage clothes near the “Dueling Dinos” in the Grand Foyer; swing music by the San Andreas Sisters in the North American Mammal Hall; costumed characters roaming as prehistoric creatures; and — if you want to feel really stylish — the current display, “Green Diamonds: Natural Radiance,” in the Gem and Mineral Vault, among other exhibits. Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; Sun., Jan. 21, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; $15, $12 seniors & students, $7 kids. (213) 763-3466, dapperday.com/natural-history-museum-of-la-county. —Siran Babayan
A Trio of Voices
The Pasadena Museum of California Art offers a powerful trifecta continuing PST: LA/LA's discursive exploration of uniquely Latinx and Californian voices. “Testament of the Spirit: Paintings of Eduardo Carillo” invites meditation across frontiers — public murals, intimate watercolors and masterpieces steeped in magical realism, which “reveal his complex and creative mind,” according to PMCA’s website. Upending phallocentric narratives, “The Feminine Sublime” offers large-scale works from L.A.-based artists as an alternative to traditional landscape painting, interrogating form and challenging aesthetics in a reimagining of our relationship to dystopian realities. “Ana Serrano: Homegrown” is an “immersive garden” of paper and cardboard referencing both built and natural environments that “provide the soil for family traditions to take root,” according to PMCA’s site. Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 E. Union Street, Pasadena; Wed.-Sun., noon-5 p.m.; noon-8 p.m. on third Thursday of the month; through June 3; $7 adults, $5 seniors, students and educators, free 12 and younger. (626) 568-3665; pmcaonline.org. —Beige Luciano-Adams
Pain … Will You Return It?
Prisons, for all their secrecy and security, have a soundtrack all their own — and artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan has made listening to one prison, in particular, his specialty. Sayndaya, the Syrian military prison north of Damascus, exists in darkness both actual and operational. No independent international monitors are allowed in, but former Sayndaya prisoners have used the memories formed by their heightened sense of hearing to give Abu Hamdan a sense of what the prison is actually like — from architecture and floor plans to the places where the pain is dispensed. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Jan. 21, 11 a.m.; through May 20; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2018/hammer-projects-lawrence-abu-hamdan/. —David Cotner
Best Satirical Songs in History
Satire in music has long been a tradition and a tool used for criticism, whether it’s politics, war, religion or pop culture. Using audio and video clips, David Misch lectures on the some of the most provocative examples of parody songwriting from the past, from Chuck Berry, Randy Newman and Steve Martin to “Weird Al” Yankovic, Amy Schumer and South Park, and everyone in between, including perhaps the greatest musical satirist of all time, Tom Lehrer. The Emmy-nominated Misch is a screenwriter who has written for Mork & Mindy, Police Squad! and Saturday Night Live, as well as published the books, Funny: The Book and A Beginner’s Guide to Corruption. Whizin Center for Continuing Education, 15600 Mulholland Dr., Bel-Air; Jan. 21, 4 p.m.; $22. (310) 476-9777, https://wcce.aju.edu. —Siran Babayan
Sex and Laughs
There's no go-to topic in live comedy greater than sex. Alison Stevenson and Eli Olsberg take the subject further as they try to destigmatize sexual taboos in their ongoing comedy-talk show, SSFW (Sorta Safe for Work). Every month, Stevenson, a comedian and writer for Vice, and Olsberg, host of the long-running stand-up showcase Performance Anxiety at the Pleasure Chest, will host sex-positive comics and experts who'll discuss kink and its varieties, whether it's bisexuality, polyamory, sex workers or online dating. Tonight's first event will look at BDSM and features professional dom and educator Sir Rucifer and professional dom/sub Leslie, in addition to comedians Desi Jedeikin and Jamie Loftus. Nerdmelt, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.; Sun., Jan. 21, 9-10:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan
Ring Them Bells
W. Kamau Bell is a different kind of comic in that his humor isn't just observational — it actually does something about those things he's looking at. His latest book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6'4″, African-American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad and Stand-Up Comedian ($28, Dutton), is an extension of his old Totally Biased show and his new United Shades of America series on CNN. Topical without being typical, Bell reveals what's really going on in America today, something that makes his comedy more necessary than ever. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Mon., Jan. 22, 7 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com/event/1599487-kamau-bell-los-angeles/. —David Cotner
Life Goes On
No one gets out of this life alive — so what happens to you after you finally do get out? For a little perspective and zero hard answers, Live Talks L.A. presents Michael Shermer discussing Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality and Utopia ($30, Henry Holt & Co.). Shermer wrote his latest meditation on the human condition after talking to both soul-chasers and those attempting to extend life unto immortality through various schemes such as transhumanism and cryonic preservation. Ann & Jerry Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Mon., Jan. 22, 8 p.m.; $20-$55. (310) 828-5582, livetalksla.org/events/michael-shermer. —David Cotner
Whenever you see a green umbrella dangling from the lofty rafters of Disney Hall, it's a sign that the night's performance will be focused on experimental new music instead of more traditional and familiar classical works. Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki, recently anointed as L.A. Phil's principal guest conductor, guides L.A. Phil New Music Group (a scaled-down version of the main orchestra) in a Green Umbrella program centered on the world premiere of kinetic Brazilian composer Marcos Balter's Things Fall Apart. That piece is preceded by the U.S. premiere of Italian composer Francesca Verunelli's eerily keening Unfolding, which is unwrapped by versatile local string musicians The Lyris Quartet and electronics wizard Charles Bascou. Pianoforte stylist Joanne Pearce Martin knocks on the door of Francesco Filidei's short, boxy Toccata, followed by the spacious traffic collisions of Helmut Lachenmann's Mouvement. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tues., Jan. 23, 8 p.m.; $20-$59. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James
A day without chili is like a day without sunshine — smelly, smelly sunshine — and free chili is something everyone can get behind during today's eighth annual Free Chili Day at Philippe's. As the eatery enters its 110th year of continuous operation, it has partnered with Dolores Chili to offer one free cup of chili and all the fixings (side of crackers, onion, shredded cheddar) to the first 500 who are staunch enough to stand in line for the goods. It's a day that includes raffles and giveaways, so you could walk away with more than just a warm feeling bubbling up inside you. Philippe's, 1001 N. Alameda St., Chinatown; Wed., Jan. 24, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; free. (213) 628-3781, philippes.com/events/free-chili-day-2018. — David Cotner
Richard Blade is synonymous with KROQ's history. Raised in the seaside resort town of Torquay and educated at Oxford University, Blade began working as a DJ at clubs and dances in England and throughout Europe in the early '70s. In 1982, he was hired at KROQ, where he spent 18 years playing and popularizing new wave and alt-rock in L.A. Now a SiriusXM host, Blade writes about his road to becoming a famous DJ in his book World in My Eyes: The Autobiography, which he discusses tonight. In the memoir, Blade looks back on his personal relationships with some of his favorite artists, including Spandau Ballet, Berlin, INXS, Duran Duran, Morrissey, George Michael and especially Depeche Mode, whose legendary concert at the Rose Bowl in 1988 and riotous in-store appearance at the Wherehouse in L.A. in 1990 he recounts. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.; Wed., Jan. 24, 7 p.m.; free, book is $19.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan
Modern-day epic works of art are extortionately rare — rarer still is the epic that gets finished before your very eyes. In Gifts of the Spirit: Prophecy, Automatism and Discernment, performance artist Ron Athey culminates the writing of his memoir, Gifts of the Spirit, something he's been working on since 1980, when he left the Pentecostal Church that had raised him from birth as a living saint. To finish Gifts of the Spirit, Athey, composer Sean Griffin and 16 writers, six typists, a hypnotist, vocalists and musicians all alchemize his ecstasies to reach some new level of understanding of the divine tonight. Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, 214 S. Main St., downtown; Thu., Jan. 25, 7 & 9 p.m.; $25. (213) 232-6200, thebroad.org/programs/gifts-spirit-prophecy-automatism-and-discernment. —David Cotner
And Then What Happened?
We all have our cinematic faults. Movies or TV shows we've never seen but know we should, like Casablanca, Pulp Fiction or Game of Thrones. Don't judge. Host and comedian Kyle Ayers doesn't shame people for their lack of film or TV knowledge. Instead, he turns their cluelessness into a comedy show. Originated in New York, Never Seen It gathers other comics, who not only get to rewrite scripts to titles they're unfamiliar with but also direct them using actors, costumes, props and even a live score. Past selections have included Star Wars, The Godfather, Annie Hall, Jaws, Breaking Bad and Seinfeld. For tonight's show, which will be recorded for Ayers' new podcast of the same name, Ayers, Sara Benincasa, Joel Kim Booster, Dave Ross and Hampton Yount will stage their versions of The Revenant, Human Centipede, Breaking Bad and Black Mirror. Comedy Central Stage, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.; Thu., Jan. 25, 8 p.m.; free, reservations required. (323) 960-5519, kyleayers.com/neverseenit/. —Siran Babayan
Wanna talk sex? A new series called Pillow Talk kicks off tonight with an introductory mixer. Questions may include: What are our current turn-ons and hang-ups? What private pleasures do we seek to fulfill? What public actions would we like to endeavor? What are our visions of sexual utopia? This “soft launch” will serve as a brainstorm and “foreplay” for future programming. Writer and Hard to Read lit-series organizer Fiona Duncan will serve as programmer and supervisor. Other guests will include model, filmmaker, journalist and sex writer Tierney Finster; activist Alice Barker (of support.fm); writer and sex educator Ana Cecilia Alvarez; psychotherapist and Soulfriend Radio host Gaea Woods; and stylist, flutist and pornographic ad campaign manager Samuel Muglia. Space is limited; RSVPs required. Penthouse of the Standard, 550 S. Flower St., downtown; Thu., Jan. 25, 7 p.m.; free; reservations required. Email email@example.com, or Instagram: @pillo_0wtalk. —Richard Chang