This week L.A. hosts a BDSM convention, zombie fashion show and a queer sock-hop.
5. 50 Shades of Convention
Ten years might seem like a lifetime for anyone to be involved in any lifestyle, much less one involving whips, chains and the occasional golden shower, but the 10th annual DomCon L.A. proves that BDSM is still as much fun as ever. Mistress Cyan, a Pro Domme since 1996, has lent her considerable acumen to producing the convention all this time, in the process crafting an exhaustive event that unveils the leather, fetish and D/s subcultures to a larger audience, including both seasoned professionals and those just starting out. Expect Latex and Pro Domme Socials, 10,000 square feet of exhibitor space, a fetish ball, the International Mr. & Ms. Olympus Leather Contest, the DomCon Pet Awards and more — all happening over three sprawling days of adventure, surprise and a ghastly welt or two. Los Angeles Hilton Hotel LAX, 5711 W. Century Blvd., Westchester; Fri., May 10 -Sun., May 12, 11 a.m., $25 & $115. (310) 410-4000, domconla.com. –David Cotner
4. Happy Gays Are Here Again
Eager to learn how to shorty-George, toe-heel-swivel, toss across and drop boogie but don't care for the gender trappings that typically accompany swing dancing? Well, hop into your 1947 Chevy Fleetline and cruise on down to Pehrspace, where you can pick up some pointers from Effie Ralli's Rock-Step at the Mid-¢ Shake: A Queer Sock-hop (II). Upon her recent move to Los Angeles from the Bay Area, Ralli started the gender-neutral dance parties because she found that the vibrant same-sex swing set she enjoyed up north was more elusive here. Ralli says, “I decided that I needed to create the space that I couldn't find, in a setting where queer people/non-normative folk could finally be comfortable and have a ridiculous amount of fun!” Learn to both lead and follow while DJs spin rock & roll from the 1950s and '60s, and let Ralli show you that greased-up pompadours and poodle skirts are sexiest when bouncing to a more progressive beat. Pehrspace, 325 Glendale Blvd., Historic Filipinotown; Fri., May 10, 8:30 p.m.; $5. (213) 483-7347, facebook.com/EffiesRockStep. –Rena Kosnett
3. They Got the Beat
After years of drawing audiences to L.A.'s historic jails, abandoned underground streetcar facilities and operating laundromats, Heidi Duckler and her entourage of dancers, actors, writers and musicians have a set of vintage wheels to aid in their travels around SoCal. Dubbed the “Duck Truck,” the 1960s Oasis trailer has become the stage for Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's most recent performances around metro L.A. After making its official debut at the West Hollywood Park, the Duck Truck and the dancers made appearances at a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop on Crenshaw Boulevard and a Culver City vacant lot. In tonight's show, At the Oasis, expect the dancers and other performers to move in, out, around and over its latest addition as the ensemble closes out this round of shows in East L.A. Hopefully it's just the opening salvo for yet more Duck Truck sightings. East L.A. Civic Center, 4800 E. Third St., East L.A.; Sat., May 11, 8:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.; $15, $10 students & seniors. heididuckler.org. –Ann Haskins
2. Like, Totally!
Valley Girl, the Romeo and Juliet of the '80s, was released 30 bitchin' years ago last month. Both the 1983 movie and the 1982 song “Valley Girl,” from Frank and daughter Moon Unit Zappa, helped make Valspeak SoCal's unofficial language at a time when malls were becoming big hangouts, suburbanites were discovering sushi and hummus, and Van Nuys was considered a cruising spot. It also was when Nicolas Cage made his big-screen debut (as Cage, not Coppola) along with his triangular chest hair pattern. Cage and Deborah Foreman played teen lovers who get together despite being from opposite sides of the hill — you see, Hollywood punks and Vals with their turned-up collars and noses didn't mix. LACMA's Valley Girl: 30th Anniversary Screening includes a post-screening reception, '80s costume contest and discussion with director Martha Coolidge, who'll no doubt share some of the flick's historical tidbits: Coolidge had Judd Nelson in mind for the lead; producers required her to include four shots of bare breasts; and X were originally asked to be the film's featured band instead of The Plimsouls. You might also find out about MGM and Paramount's plans to remake Valley Girl into an upcoming movie musical. As if last year's Rock of Ages wasn't enough. LACMA, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Thurs., May 16, 7:30 p.m.; $10, $7 seniors and students. (323) 857- 6010, lacma.org. –Siran Babayan
1. Calling All Brain Eaters
Can't get enough of the zombie craze? Get your dose of gory goodness with the Zombie Fashion Show and Creature Art Exhibit, an event that brings together not just zombiephiles but also art lovers, makeup artists and fashionistas. Tom Kirlin, also the brains behind the Pancakes & Booze Art Show, didn't realize this event would gain such traction — until almost 1,000 people joined the fun last October. The 21-and-over event this year will feature visual artists displaying their creature-themed art, makeup artists, a fashion show and tons of people ambling about looking like the walking dead. Expect artsy peeps and movie industry pros scoping out the work of settled artists and makeup mavens fresh out of school. If the thought of all these delicious brains in one place fuels your appetite, good news: Admission includes all-you-can-eat pancakes. Should you miss this event, never fear — Kirlin plans to put on this night of the living dead twice a year. Bust out that fake blood and your best zombie impersonation for a night of creepy fun. The Mezz at Alexandria Hotel, 501 S. Spring St., second floor, dwntwn. Sat., May 11, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.; $10. www.zombiefashionshow.com. –Eva Recinos