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Allowing by Daggi Wallace
Allowing by Daggi Wallace
Courtesy We Choose Art

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

From multiple opportunities to get an early start on your holiday stocking stuffing to TransGiving, a night for hard-core Depeche Mode fans and UnCabaret's 25th anniversary, here are the 13 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!

fri 11/16

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ART/CONVENTION

Giant Toy Store

The worlds of art, toys, sculpture, design and fashion align and collide at this weekend's DesignerCon in Anaheim. Think of the convention as one gigantic, endless, sprawling toy store and art gallery — a store that just happens to contain thousands of collectible dolls, masks, books, posters, illustrations, paintings, sculptures, buttons, superhero regalia, anime art and pieces of colorful clothing along with panel discussions, autograph sessions, demonstrations and art exhibits. Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim; Fri., Nov. 16, 5-9 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $20-$60. (818) 928-9295, designercon.com. —Falling James

ART

Quench Your Thirst

Between the ocean and the desert, the sky and the reservoir, it's clear that our region lives on the edge when it comes to water. But more than an environmental resource, water itself is an element with a rich and varied history in the realms of psychological and sexual symbolism, art and religion, the origin myths of nearly every civilization, science and medicine, and, of course, an art-making material. So for the latest installment of Baha Danesh's We Choose Art independent curatorial projects at the Montalbán Theatre, the theme is "Shades of Water" and the breadth and scope of mediums, materials and styles is oceanic. Painting, photography, fiber art, sculptures and installation fill the mezzanine gallery with multidisciplinary objects and experiences by more than a dozen artists. Opening-night tickets include a drink, and bring something for the MEND (Meet Each Need With Dignity) Poverty toy drive for a $5 ticket discount. Mezz Gallery, Montalbán Theatre, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood; Fri., Nov. 16, 6-11 p.m.; $10-$15. eventbrite.com/e/we-choose-art-and-the-montalban-mezz-gallery-present-shades-of-water-tickets-51699410328. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Fluxconcert features the likes of Roomful of Teeth.EXPAND
Fluxconcert features the likes of Roomful of Teeth.
Bonica Ayala

sat 11/17

MUSIC

Ever-Morphing Noises

The centerpiece of L.A. Philharmonic's Fluxus Festival, which runs through June, is Fluxconcert, a sprawling 10-ring circus of neo-Dadaist provocations and performance-art actions that will push the limits of what's considered music. There isn't space here to list everything curators Christopher Rountree and R.B. Schlather have planned but suffice it to say that furniture will be smashed, watermelons will be hurled from the roof of Disney Hall and musical scores will be dotted with machine-gun fire. Andrew W.K., Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dwight Trible will raise the roof of John Cage's Apartment House 1776, works by Luciano Berio and Yoko Ono will be reinterpreted, and composer La Monte Young's lulling sonic landslides will be suffused with the "dream light" shaped by his artist-wife, Marian Zazeela. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Nov. 17, 5 p.m.; $10-$194. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James

13 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Courtesy OTI Gallery/Invader

ART

8-Bit Invasion

The artist known as Invader (b. Paris, 1965) has placed his signature mosaic-tiled street art installations on walls, bridges, signs, buildings, fences and more all over the world and here in L.A. But for his first gallery show in town since 1995, Invader uses his indoor voice and transfers his vision, as the show title suggests, "Into the White Cube." His quirky yet refined characters, depicting and riffing on retro arcade game pixel personas, are gently subversive gestures in the architectural jungle. Inside gallery walls, they transform into postminimalist studies in line and color, without losing any of their cheeky charm. "Into the White Cube" will survey some favorite works made over the last 20 years, alongside new work and experimental forays into other mediums and formats. Unofficially, be on the lookout for new works popping up around the Arts District and beyond in the lead-up to the opening. Invaders gotta invade. Over the Influence, 833 E. Third St., downtown; opening reception Sat., Nov. 17, 6-9 p.m.; exhibit runs Tue.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., thru Dec. 23; free. (310) 921-5933, overtheinfluence.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

13 Best Things to Do in L.A. This WeekEXPAND
Courtesy Vulture Festival

FILM/TV

Pop Culture 'Palooza

Last year, New York magazine hosted in L.A. for the first time its annual Vulture Festival, a weekend-long, pop culture extravaganza with cast and crew from popular film, TV, animation and podcasts appearing in discussions, screenings, live tapings and other events. The highlights of this year's schedule, taking place mostly at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel, are plenty. Saturday features conversations with Chloë Grace Moretz, Busy Philipps and Constance Wu; a table reading of Netflix's cartoon Big Mouth with star and co-creator Nick Kroll; a screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald with costume designer Colleen Atwood; and Eric Bana and Connie Britton discussing their podcast-turned–Bravo show Dirty John. Sunday features conversations with Jim Carrey, Cynthia Nixon, Bo Burnham and Rachel Bloom; a Feminist AF reading series with Amber Tamblyn, Roxane Gay, America Ferrera and others; The Good Place writers panel; True Blood's 10th anniversary with Alan Ball; and behind the scenes of Jane the Virgin. The Hollywood Roosevelt, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, and other venues; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 17-18, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; prices vary. (323) 856-1970, vulturefestival.com. —Siran Babayan

13 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Courtesy Gabba Gallery/Morley

ART

Stocking Stuffers

Gabba Gallery group shows are reliably lively affairs, with a rotating roster of thematic group and featured-artist selections that spread across all mediums but are always tethered to an explosive and edgy street art aesthetic. But this time of year the theme gets pretty straightforward: Buy art. For the sixth installment of Wishlist, Jason Ostro and Elena Jacobson curate the works of more than 100 artists, with nothing priced over $1,000, available on a cash-and-carry basis. The idea is to extend their inclusive cultural ideas to encourage not only collectors to treat themselves but, as the holidays fast approach, to inspire anyone and everyone to give the gift of art as well. They take care of last-minute art Santas, too, as the exhibition, presumably with sold works periodically replaced, is open through Dec. 22. Gabba Gallery, 3126 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; opening reception Sat., Nov. 17, 7-11 p.m.; exhibit runs Wed.-Sat., noon-3 p.m., thru Dec. 22; free. (323) 604-4186, gabbagallery.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

sun 11/18

COMEDY

25 Years of UnCabaret

People often forget that comedy can be incisive and subversive without also being racist, sexist and homophobic. But Beth Lapides' UnCabaret events championed a new wave of comedians who weren't merely careerist and sophomoric but also infused their work with personality and — even more daring — vulnerability, as well as savagely wicked wit. Lapides has presented UnCabaret in a variety of locations and formats, and the comedian-host celebrates 25 years of unconventional, unpredictable merrymaking and sarcastic commiseration, joined by such stellar provocateurs as Julia Sweeney, Janeane Garofalo, Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, Maria Bamford, Andy Kindler, Laura Kightlinger, Greg Behrendt, Rebecca Corry, Alex Edelman, Allee Willis, Scott Thompson and singer Shelby Lynne. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., Nov. 18, 6 p.m.; $26-$56. (213) 623-3233, theatre.acehotel.com/events/cap-ucla-presents-uncabaret-25th-anniversary-show-celebration/ —Falling James

ART

Picnic on the Hill

Shop local makers, see fresh contemporary art, picnic on a sunny hilltop and repeat at the Barnsdall Art and Craft Fair. That's the order of the day up on the Barnsdall Art Park hill, where the one-day pop-up market and food court makes holiday shopping (and just plain shopping) into a fun and social affair across jewelry, art, ceramics, painting, prints and all manner of artisanal sundry. The art, creative crafts and food are on from 10 a.m., and the sweeping view of the city is perennial — but while you're up there, make sure to check out the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Currently on view is the group show "HERE," which features exciting and in some cases specially commissioned works by some of L.A.'s most intriguing rising art world stars. At 1:30 p.m., two of those artists, Patrick Martinez and Anna Sew Hoy, will lead gallery talks about their works in the show, keyed to the theme of intersectional community. Then more shopping and eating before the day wraps with a high likelihood of a stunning sunset. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood; Sun., Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (323) 644-6295, barnsdallartcenter.org/announcing-barnsdall-art-and-craft-fair-sunday-november-18-2018/. —Shana Nys Dambrot

MUSIC

Reach Out and Touch Faith

Few bands have inspired the kind of devotion Depeche Mode have, especially in L.A. The annual Depeche Mode Convention at Avalon is the place for the U.K. group's most avid fans (those who, you know, just can't get enough) to gather in black celebration — on the dance floor and at vendor booths to buy collectibles and exclusive merch. Hosted by retro king/'80s DJ Richard Blade, the event will feature live music tributes by two bands, Devotional and San Francisco's For the Masses. Jay Tado will have Mode karaoke and DJs in addition to Blade will be spinning all night, including Alex Transistor, Steven Wayne, Larry G (Club Underground), LuvLee (Las Vegas) and DJ Jedi. Rare videos, contests, prizes and photo ops round out the fun for music fans who view Dave Gahan as their own personal Jesus and Martin Gore as master to their servant. Avalon, 1735 Vine St., Hollywood; Sun., Nov. 18., 6 p.m.-1:01 a.m.; $20 in advance, $30 at the door. musicconventions.com. —Lina Lecaro

Wonderland on the WaterEXPAND
Wonderland on the Water
Myriad Slits

mon 11/19

ART

Come See the Seadragons

Myriad Slits is best known as the fiery, provocative singer of local post-punk experimentalists ModPods but she is also an artist who creates strange, unsettling work involving dreamlike masked creatures and other surreal apparitions in long gowns. She applies her fantastic visual sense to a seemingly homey holiday display at the Santa Monica Pier titled Wonderland on the Water. Slits will take over the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome, which houses the pier's vintage carousel, and fill its windows with a Seadragons Village populated with handcrafted and hand-painted marine animals designed in her unique style. "It's my first time ever doing anything where I was given full resources to materials and space," Slits says. Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome, Santa Monica Pier; Mon., Nov. 19, thru Jan. 3; free. santamonicapier.org/wonderland. —Falling James

tue 11/20

BOOKS

A Century of Girl Power

Just because someone is unaware doesn't mean that they don't want to learn — and here to teach you all about the people who suffered for women's suffrage, Writers Bloc presents Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand with Girlgaze founder Amanda de Cadenet discussing Gillibrand's children's book, Bold and Brave: 10 Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote ($19, Knopf). The 19th Amendment is almost 100 years old, and in this slender volume, Gillibrand tells vivid, vibrant and vital stories of those who made the last century just a little less agonizing and shitty for women in particular and America in general. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Tue., Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m.; $33 general + copy of book/$20 general. (310) 440-4500, writersblocpresents.com/main/senator-kirsten-gillibrand/. —David Cotner

wed 11/21

LGBTQ

Spirit of Inclusivity

If you're trans, Thanksgiving is often more a time of psychological disembowelment than it is a time of unity and celebration. The people behind tonight's TransGiving Party understand your seasonal terrors with a particularly personal level of poignancy, so ignore all those noxious poisoners in your life and come on down to this party made just for you and your true allies. You'll enjoy an evening of entertainment and access to friendly resources, including but not limited to the Center for Health Justice, Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Trans Wellness Center, the Wall Las Memorias Project and Unique Woman's Coalition. Los Angeles Celebrations Banquet Halls, 2969 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake; Wed., Nov. 21, 8:30 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (323) 903-7751, eventbrite.com/e/transgiving-party-registration-48469303993. —David Cotner

thu 11/22

POP-UP

All About Beauty

Beautycon is an annual makeup lover's wonderland, filling the main floor of the L.A. Convention Center with colorful activations, giveaways and promotions, driven by makeup trends and brand-focused fun. It always sells out, and its success has spawned a second event going down for a full month (Nov. 16-Dec. 16). This year, for the first time, the event expands to a more immersive, retail-style experience with Beautycon POP. Featuring eight gallery-like environments, all with different themes and partnerships behind them (including Laneige's Dream State, Lime Crime's Inner Goddess and the Confidence Runway from Macy's). The experiential, selfie-ready pop-up aims to be a social media–driven hub for pictures, posing, products and, of course, purchasing. 333 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; thru Sun., Dec. 16; Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Mon. & Wed.-Thu., noon-8 p.m.; $45. beautyconpop.com. —Lina Lecaro

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