From a cross-cultural collision between Oktoberfest and some of the best dumplings SoCal has to offer to a documentary about and appearance by one of rock's female pioneers, art exhibitions galore and an evening of magic and comedy, here are the 13 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!
It might be hard to imagine now, but in 1975, when four L.A. teenage girls formed a band called The Runaways, there were virtually no women performing real rock & roll. The Runaways were deemed a failure by the mostly male radio programmers and concert bookers who controlled the industry, but the group's brief, incendiary career signaled the end of the male monopoly of the rock airwaves. Despite open hostility from major labels, the band's primary songwriter, Joan Jett, went on to a solo career and unexpected mainstream popularity. At the L.A. County Fair recently, Jett was in fine voice as she slammed through her greatest hits, and tonight she and her band, The Blackhearts, perform a brief set to introduce a screening of Bad Reputation, director Kevin Kerslake's new documentary about Jett's life. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., Sawtelle; Fri., Sept. 28, 7 p.m.; $12. (310) 473-8530. —Falling James
Dip Your Toes in
The seaside fun and cultural center that is the Annenberg Beach House is home to many fine-weather amenities, but this weekend it's the gallery space rather than the swimming pool that's the destination, as the four-person exhibition "Life in This Ocean" opens with a special afternoon artists reception. Each of the artists — Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman, Kathy Taslitz, Donna Bates and Lena Rushing — employs a distinct and unconventional technique, from mixed-media assemblage to old-school egg tempera, in modes of pop surrealism and political inflection. With portraits and landscapes that evoke and deconstruct what life in L.A. is like at its prettiest, most volatile, challenging and inspirational, "Life in This Ocean" explores the ways in which living here influences how we see ourselves. Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica; reception: Sat., Sept. 29, 2-4 p.m., exhibit: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. thru Jan. 6; free. (310) 458-4904, annenbergbeachhouse.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Eat Your Veggies
Feed both your stomach and your mind at the third annual California Vegetarian Food Festival. First, the obvious attraction: samples and meals for purchase from dozens of vendors and exhibitors such as the Donuttery, Fried Out, Good Karma Foods and Thai-Mex Cocina. There will be panels such as "Beyond the Plate: A Culinary Climate Action Discussion" and "Embrace Raw Living." Finally, perhaps most curiously, there will be a musical performance from Plant-Based Records using produce as instruments. If you're purchasing your ticket at the door, be sure to bring cash. Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Larchmont; Sat.-Sun., Sept. 29-30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $20 in advance, $30 at the door/$75 VIP in advance, $85 at the door. cavegfoodfest.com. —Avery Bissett
Tunes Through Time
The old and the new collide this weekend as L.A. Chamber Orchestra presents an unusual bill of adventurous new music alongside more traditional pieces. Stellar violinist Hilary Hahn, who has an unparalleled, exquisite tone and a sublimely nuanced touch, feints and parries with LACO violinist-concertmaster Margaret Batjer on Bach's Concerto for Two Violins. New Zealand conductor Gemma New also leads LACO through the unpredictable twists and turns of Try, a merry avalanche of orchestral weaving by brilliant LACO composer in residence Andrew Norman (whose new work Sustain receives its world premiere by L.A. Phil at Disney Hall on Thursday, Oct. 4). Also at Royce Hall, Sun., Sept. 30. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Ave., Glendale; Sat., Sept. 29, 8 p.m.; $28-$130. (818) 243-2539, laco.org. —Falling James
Faux fur, found textiles, cut paper and paint — three accomplished woman bring new works to the public for the Craft & Folk Art Museum's September season. Sherin Guirguis works in painting, sculpture and installation to create abstract, architecturally engaged works combining traditional Egyptian pattern aesthetics with personal and historical biography. Merion Estes wields fabric collage, photo-transfer and painting in large-scale works that represent a post-apocalyptic landscape both colorful and entropic, in exuberant if dire cautionary tales. Uzumaki Cepeda creates "soft spaces" from a compendium of faux fur and found objects, referring to the human need for comfort and safety amid the swirling storms of an uncertain modern life. Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; reception: Sat., Oct. 6, 6-9 p.m.; exhibit thru Jan. 6: Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $7/free for members, $12 reception. (323) 937-4203, cafam.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Seemingly half the musicians in this city will be taking part in L.A. Phil's massive, daylong CicLAvia event, with six outdoor stages linking the orchestra's two seasonal homes, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Smaller configurations of L.A. Phil will pop up on the various stages, which include the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park and other locations in Koreatown, downtown and Hollywood. They'll be joined by Las Cafeteras, Pink Martini, Georgia Anne Muldrow, The Dustbowl Revival, Klezmer Juice, Lula Washington Dance Theatre — and several hundred other musicians and dancers. The bike-friendly, auto-free street party culminates in the evening at the Hollywood Bowl, where Gustavo Dudamel and L.A. Phil will jam with Kali Uchis, Herbie Hancock and Katy Perry. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave.; Sun., Sept. 30, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James
The Magic of Laughter
Laughter in the human experience should be a phenomenon that's magical enough in itself — but tonight, phenoms Turner and Brandon evolve this cornerstone of the human condition with An Evening of Comedy & Magic. Hosts Turner Barrowman (of the Just for Laughs comedy extravaganza) and Brandon Scott Wolf (of NBC's Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris) present this evening of prestigious prestidigitation with Kayla Drescher of the Magic Castle, Megan Gailey of Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents, Langston Kerman of Insecure and children's magician Christopher T. Magician. Watch all your cares and depressive thoughts disappear along with that $8.50! UCB Sunset, 5419 Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Mon., Oct. 1, 10:30 p.m.; $8.50. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com/performance/64718. —David Cotner
Back to the '90s
Fashion in the 1990s, especially the early part of the decade, was synonymous with flannel shirts, high-waisted jeans, slip dresses, knit caps and combat boots. Among the images displayed in the Getty's "Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011" exhibit is British photographer Glen Luchford's black-and-white shot of Kate Moss — undoubtedly the era's It-model — for Harper's Bazaar in 1994. Hosted by Ivan Shaw, photography director for Conde Nast, Come as You Are: Fashion Photography in the 1990s looks back on grunge clothes and beyond in fashion editorials, and features panelists Luchford, model Carolyn Murphy and L.A. designer Andrea Lieberman, who styled Jennifer Lopez in her famous green Versace dress. Shaw also will sign his new book, Patti Hansen: A Portrait, on the '70s model and wife of Keith Richards. The Getty, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Tue., Oct. 2, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu/visit/cal/events/ev_2356.html. —Siran Babayan
A Love Story for the Ages
In what is perhaps the pinnacle of a public display of affection, Skylight Books presents Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman gabbing about their memoir, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History ($28, Dutton). Much like Antony and Cleopatra, Hepburn and Tracy or Donny and Marie before them, the seemingly bulletproof love of this famous entertaining couple has transmogrified into a stunning, shocking and sometimes supercilious saga. Over its constitutionally turnable pages, the happy couple chart their incessant affections for one another and tell you just exactly why their love is so great, so historic and so oral. Aratani Theater, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 244 San Pedro St., downtown; Wed., Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m.; $35/$32 for JACCC members, includes book. (213) 628-2725, skylightbooks.com/event/skylight-books-presents-nick-offerman-and-megan-mullally-their-new-book-greatest-love-story. —David Cotner
Spirit of Jazz
Contemporary choreographers like to blend dance with video, audio or art installations, but few are able to keep things in balance and not have the dance overwhelmed by the other theatrical elements. David Roussève and his troupe REALITY have demonstrated they know how to find that sweet spot where multiple media enhance without distracting from the dance. A stunning example was Roussève's semiautobiographical, award-winning Stardust, which explored a young black man's sexual awakening. Roussève returns with his newest, Halfway to Dawn. The eagerly anticipated full-length piece is inspired by the life of Billy Strayhorn, the black gay composer/arranger closely associated with many of Duke Ellington's hits, including "Take the A Train" and the jazz interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. Further fueling high expectations is the involvement of Stardust collaborator video artist Cari Ann Shim Sham and a soundscore developed by d. Sabela grimes drawn from vintage recordings of Strayhorn's songs. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Thu.-Sat., Oct. 4-6, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 7, 3 p.m.; $25-$30/$20-$24 students. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Ann Haskins
Since 2006, the organizers of the trans-national curatorial project series MexiCali Biennial have staged interdisciplinary exhibitions and actions on both sides of the border and across the city and county of Los Angeles. Following an installation at LACE in Hollywood over the summer, the next iteration brings the exhibition "Reclaiming Myth" to the campus galleries of Cal State University in San Bernardino. The exhibition, organized by Ed Gomez, takes as its muse and inspiration the myth of Calafia, a dark-skinned warrior queen who protected the "island of California" and lent the region both her name and her spirit of independence. Not only her image but the historical and cultural legacy of her story form the basis for a politically and conceptually charged perspective on the current social realities of our home. Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino; reception: Thu., Oct. 4, 6-8 p.m., exhibit thru Dec. 15: Mon.-Wed., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thu., noon-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (909) 537-7373, mexicalibiennial.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot
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Whether she was belting such country-rock hits as "You're No Good" in the 1970s or branching out with Broadway tunes and Mexican traditional music in the '80s and '90s, Linda Ronstadt always possessed a powerful, soaring voice that was a force of nature in its own right. So it's beyond tragic that the Tucson, Arizona, native lost her mighty singing voice a few years ago as a result of Parkinson's disease. But Ronstadt can still speak, and tonight she will weave stories about her extensive career — and likely make some heartfelt statements of support for immigrants during this dark political era — into a wide-ranging conversation that's augmented by videos and photos from her illustrious past. Also at the Theatre at Ace Hotel Sat., Oct. 6. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos; Thu., Oct. 4, 8 p.m.; $35-$100. (562) 467-8818. —Falling James
Oktoberfest, but Better!
While most cities would be content with just a plain ’ol Oktoberfest — and, admittedly, one can’t really go wrong with an event involving beer — San Gabriel is putting its own twist on it with its fourth annual Dumpling & Beer Fest. Taking advantage of the region’s reputation for extraordinary dumplings, the event will feature dozens of food and beer vendors. Explore the ever versatile food staple with Korean-style dumplings from Workaholic, octopus dumplings from Tokyo Doggie Style, longanisa dumplings with pork belly and jalapeno from Mad Dumplings, a healthy lineup of Sapporo beers and a host of Socal breweries. There will also be a smattering of vegan and vegetarian options, awards for the best dumplings and a dumpling eating contest if you are feeling particularly competitive. And as a bonus, parking will be free. San Gabriel Mission District, 320 South Mission Drive, San Gabriel; Thu., Oct. 4, 6-10 p.m.; free, $29/$40 at door for unlimited beer sampling. eventbrite.com/e/san-gabriel-dumpling-beer-fest-2018-tickets-47966539210. —Avery Bissett