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12 Best Things to Do in L.A. This WeekEXPAND
Courtesy LAST Projects and Katya Grokhovsky

12 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week

From a spectral experience at Descanso Gardens to a showcase of black and Latinx dancemakers, a history of chocolate and a Girl Cult Festival featuring Amber Rose and Jhené Aiko, here are the 12 best things to do in L.A. this week!

fri 11/30

ART

The Excesses of Capitalism

An artist-run space with a penchant for inquiring after nonbinary states of being and perception, LAST Projects regularly exhibits artwork across painting, sculpture, photography, video and performance. For its next solo presentation, it welcomes an artist who works in all those mediums and beyond. "Nothing Personal" by New York–based multidisciplinary artist Katya Grokhovsky promises a campy, visceral romp through a landscape of installations and objects that sends up the revolting excesses of capitalist appetites. Augmenting found materials, including food and clothing, with studio mediums from paint to video, as well as performances driven by a cast of her own fictional avatars, "Nothing Personal" takes on everything from gender identity to labor injustice, sexism and political power, with dark humor and a sense of absurdity befitting our fucked-up times. LAST Projects, 206 S. Avenue 20, Lincoln Heights; opening reception and performance: Fri., Nov. 30, 7-11 p.m.; artist talk: Sun., Dec. 1, 2-4 p.m.; exhibit: Thu.-Sat., 3-7 p.m., thru Jan. 5; free. (323) 356-4225, lastprojects.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Brigette Dunn-Korpela
Brigette Dunn-Korpela
Alan Perez

DANCE

Emerging Choreographers

The BlakTina Festival annually showcases choreography from a half dozen or more emerging black and Latinx dancemakers in relatively short pieces. With this new endeavor, something of a BlakTina Festival 2.0, the stage is devoted to three alumnae of prior festivals. Under the banner It's Not About Pretty, the trio — Brigette Dunn-Korpela, Mallory Fabian and Vannia Ibargüen — reunite to share their personal dance visions in a well-deserved expanded canvas. Their subjects range from body image to the environment, from race to gender. Each roughly 20-minute-long work is followed by a Q&A with the choreographer, a promising new endeavor in the effort to expand opportunities and audience for emerging choreographers. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m.; $25, $20 students. (213) 389-3856, bootlegtheater.org/event/1776353-its-not-about-pretty-los-angeles/. —Ann Haskins

12 Best Things to Do in L.A. This WeekEXPAND
Courtesy La Luz de Jesus

ART/MUSIC

Toy Time

It sounds like something you'd do in a Mad Libs, or on a dare. But while the "Henry & Glenn Forever" franchise may have started as a cheeky stapled zine, it's grown into a cult-status universe. Indie comics legend Tom Neely and company imagined a world in which Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig are very much in love, and have weird adventures together, from gardening to anti-Satanism crusades. First came zines, then came hardcover anthologies, original art, an adult coloring book ... and, now, toys! Today's event, the Henry & Glenn Forever Toy Party! (where else but Wacko) features exclusive, new and limited-edition toy collaborations from Neely with Kalaka Toys, Pretty in Plastic, Rocom and Yesterday's Co. — all perfect gifts for the freaky weirdos on your holiday list. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Fri., Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m.; free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

12 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Courtesy the artists

sat 12/1

ART

Lost and Found

In 1982, Karen Bystedt was a young photographer with a lot of chutzpah, living in New York to attend NYU, a fan of fashion, downtown culture and Andy Warhol. When she called the Interview magazine offices, to her surprise and delight, he not only answered the phone himself but immediately acceded to her request to photograph him. The majority of the quirky, friendly and classic images from that session were not seen for three decades. But for the last several years, Bystedt has not only been revisiting the session but giving the pictures a whole new life, as in true Warholian style she invited contemporary painters and street artists to collaborate on the revival by augmenting the photos with their signature magic. Speedy Graphito, Gregory Siff, Bradley Theodore and dozens of others have helped transform once-buried treasures into the exuberant project "The Lost Warhols," on view at Street Art House. The exhibition continues through Dec. 22, but contact Street Art House for information on visiting the show between special opening and closing weekend parties and sales events. Street Art House, 12775 Millennium Drive, Unit 115, Playa Vista; Sat., Dec. 1, 7-10 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 2, noon-7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 20, 5-9 p.m.; $17. streetarthouse.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

ART

Portable Portraiture

Artists draw and paint on all manner of different canvases as well as numerous other materials and surfaces, but the cutest backdrop of all might be the humble Post-It. Curators Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson and Giant Robot founder Eric Nakamura present the 14th edition of "The Post-It Show," a popular group exhibition in which more than 400 disparate artists cram their finely detailed images onto more than 3,000 separate Post-It Notes. In an egalitarian move, each 3-inch-square work of miniature art is priced at $25, and purchases can only be made in person. Giant Robot 2, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Sawtelle; Sat.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun., noon-7 p.m., thru Sun., Dec. 9; free. (424) 246-7626, gr2.net. —Falling James

CULTURE

Justice for All

Girl Cult imagines a society where reproductive rights, racial and gender equality, and civil freedoms are paramount; a community that celebrates and protects LGBTQ+ people, where the environment is preserved and protected, and where consumption is both responsible and sustainable. Though achieving all these things may seem impossible to some, especially given the current administration, Girl Cult believes that mobilizing can help bring about change. The second annual Girl Cult Festival aims to do just that, bringing women together to share, support and take action in celebration of intersectional feminism and more. This year, keynote speaker Amber Rose is sure to galvanize unapologetic gals (just as she does at her annual Slutwalk event), while a second keynote speaker, actress-singer Bella Thorne, promises to reflect the concerns and goals of the millennial generation (she'll also perform). R&B singer Jhené Aiko, Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony and others will provide more entertainment, and an array of vendors will be on hand to reflect the diversity and dynamicism of Girl Cult's vision. The Novo, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Sat., Dec. 1, 3:30 p.m.; $40-$60. girlcultfestival.com. —Lina Lecaro

sun 12/2

MUSIC

Acoustic Christening

The Society for the Activation of Social Space Through Art and Sound (SASSAS) presents unusual concerts in unusual places where the setting often determines the character and shape of the sounds being performed. Last month, SASSAS hosted arty musician-composers Anna Homler, Odeya Nini and Laura Steenberge for an outdoor series of haunting and strangely provocative pieces mounted atop the spectacular Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. This afternoon, the action moves to the pavilion at Kings Road Park in West Hollywood, where solo composer-musicians Fahad Siadat and Stephanie Cheng Smith present separate pieces that integrate acoustic instrumentation with electronics. Kings Road Park, 1000 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood; Sun., Dec. 2, 3 p.m.; $15. (310) 657-2616, sassas.org. —Falling James

mon 12/3

FOOD & DRINK

A Taste of Los Angeles

Between recovering from your turkey-and-sides–induced Thanksgiving food coma and plunging into Christmas hams and mulled wine, make a stop at the perfectly timed 101 Restaurants We Love. In addition to the actual unveiling of the Los Angeles Times' list of best eateries, the event features unlimited samples, cocktails and live music. While the price may be steep, the vendor lineup alone makes the cost well worth it: Lukshon, Broken Spanish, Szechuan Impression and Providence are but a few of the dozens of restaurants providing samples and libations. The MacArthur, 607 S. Park View St., Westlake; Mon., Dec. 3, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; $135 (21+). eventbrite.com/e/los-angeles-times-101-restaurants-we-love-tickets-52157127372. —Avery Bissett

tue 12/4

BOOKS

Los Angeles Through the Ages

"This book is a collective self-portrait of Los Angeles when it thought nobody was looking," editor David Kipen writes in the preface to his new book, Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018 (Modern Library). "No other town scumbles together the best and worst of every other city in the world as profligately as L.A. does." Kipen has gathered a marvelous assortment of complaints, observations, musings and hosannas about life in this city from such varied personages as Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Mingus, Oscar "Zeta" Acosta, Louise Steinman, Christopher Isherwood, Susan Sontag, John Cage, Cesar Chavez, Wanda Coleman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Raymond Chandler and assorted residents, visitors, soldiers and explorers over the past 400-plus years. Vroman's, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Tue., Dec. 4, 7 p.m.; free. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Falling James

wed 12/5

ART

Into the Magical Forest

If you're in search of a phantasmic winter wonderland (or maybe you've just always wondered what it would be like to have been an extra in the music video for "Electric Feel"), look no further than Enchanted: Forest of Light. Descanso Gardens' nighttime event transforms the grounds from something perhaps resembling a foreboding forest out of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale to a more whimsical and spectral landscape. Throughout the mile-long stroll, walkers will be bathed in colors and sounds and take in magical sights truly befitting the holiday season. (Why settle for lights on your puny Christmas tree when you can have an entire garden full of lighted trees?) If you're in the mood for a bite, you can pair your admission ticket with a reservation at the garden's Maple restaurant. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge; 5:30-10 p.m., daily (closed Christmas Eve & Christmas), thru Jan. 6; $28-$30/$23-$25 members. (818) 949-4200, descansogardens.org/programs-events/enchanted/tickets. —Avery Bissett

thu 12/6

FOOD & DRINK

Decadent History

At this time of year, people generally consume chocolate in mass quantities without ever considering it beyond its momentary low-level antidepressant qualities. Yet chocolate was once a delicacy of the most deific variety. In today's Platicas y Pruebas: The History of Chocolate, ArtBites historian Maite Gomez-Rejón teaches you about the secret origins of all that See's Candy you're heedlessly scarfing. Amidst all this perspective, you'll also experience the singular taste sensations of Aztec hot chocolate and champurrado, the warm and heavy Mexican drink that's usually paired with tamales but today is served with a side of knowledge. LA Plaza de Culturas y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Thu., Dec. 6, 7 p.m.; $20. (213) 542-6259, eventbrite.com/e/platicas-y-pruebas-the-history-of-chocolate-tickets-42294120854. —David Cotner

MUSIC/CULTURE

Women Who Rocked the Industry

Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, The Go-Go's, Courtney Love, Madonna, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Sleater-Kinney, Taylor Swift ... whatever your musical tastes, there is no denying the powerful legacy of pioneering women in the music industry. And while men can and have written about them, it takes awoman's special perspective to really dig into their essence — what drives them and the challenges they face(d). The new tome Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyoncé, Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl features more than 100 essays by women about women who defied boundaries and overcame challenges to express themselves through music. A handful will be reading from the book tonight, including editor Evelyn McDonnell plus L.A. writers Adele Bertei, Solvej Schou and DJ Lynnée Denise. They'll also be signing after reading, and we gotta say, this big, bright pink confection of a book should make a great holiday gift for the women in your life who rock — or want to. Beyond Baroque, 681 N. Venice Blvd., Venice. Thu., Dec. 6, 8 p.m. $10, $6 students/seniors, members free. (310) 822-3006, beyondbaroque.org. —Lina Lecaro

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