From L.A. Comic Con to a Danny Elfman–helmed live production of The Nightmare Before Christmas, an exhibit featuring the architecture of tomorrow and a festival of lantern art, here are the 13 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!
MIND & BODY
Take a Wine Break
Wine Wellness, celebrating yoga, wellness and wine, takes place this weekend in Los Olivos, for those craving a break in nearby Wine Country. Organized by Chiara Shannon, the Yogi Sommelier, in collaboration with area wine producers and wellness professionals, the weekend targets health- and wellness-minded consumers with a timely mission: Teach mindful wine appreciation and raise awareness about local producers that make environmentally conscious wines. Attendees will practice yoga, meet winemakers and learn about organic and biodynamic farming while relaxing and exploring Wine Country. Relax on Friday with yoga class, VIP tours, wine tasting and lunch at the biodynamically certified Beckman Vineyards. On Saturday, shift over to the town of Los Olivos for more yoga, and pick up a map for the organic wine crawl, starting at the certified-organic Coquelicot Estate tasting room. Check website for registration and more information. Beckman Vineyards, 2670 Ontiveros Road, Los Olivos; and Coquelicot Estate, 2884 Grand Ave., Los Olivos; Fri., Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; $55-$95. winewellnessfest.com. —Michele Stueven
Attracting tens of thousands, the celebration of all things gloriously nerdy that is Los Angeles Comic Con touches down this weekend with a one-of-a-kind schedule of attractions. Enter the fourth annual Cosplay Nationals solo or with friends for a shot at $20,000 in prize money (or just watch), or stop by to check out the Le Geek So Chic fashion show. Among the dozens of other events: an appearance from Jack Black and Tenacious D, Marvel Studios panels, advice for how to break into the industry and a presentation on women in horror. VIP passes get you in 30 minutes early. L.A. Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Fri., Oct. 26, 1-8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; $25 and up, 12 & under free. comicconla.com. —Avery Bissett
Take a Trip to Halloween Town
Jack, Sally and Oogie Boogie are unforgettable characters who captured the imaginations of kids and adults alike in Tim Burton's animated classic, but seeing them come to life (well, death) with a live musical score is an other-level treat every fan should do once. It's like celebrating Halloween and a cool Yule party at the same time! The Hollywood Bowl's annual The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert is back at the landmark venue with musical director Danny Elfman at the helm and guests Catherine O'Hara and Ken Page lending their voices to the masterfully macabre tale of holiday hijinks. It's the 25th anniversary of the film, which is just one more reason to celebrate and skelebrate! Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N Highland Ave., Hollywood Hills; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 26-27, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.; $37.50 and up. hollywoodbowl.com/events/performances/527/2018-10-26/danny-elfman-halloween-the-nightmare-before-christmas/. —Lina Lecaro
Halloween may be the time of the year for jack-o'-lanterns and other creepy glow-in-the-dark art, but it's a decidedly less macabre and lighter affair at the Moonlight Forest Lantern Art Festival. The Chinese-influenced (from the Sichuan province, to be exact), mile-long installation features a cornucopia of lantern art based on the themes of nature, children's garden and Chinese culture. And it wouldn't be a festival without the requisite food and drink offerings, including the Triple Threat Truck, Son of a Bun and several other food trucks. If a particular evening is sold out, fear not; use ride-sharing to get to the Arboretum, show your receipt and you'll be able to buy up to four tickets. Los Angeles Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia; Fri., Oct. 26, 5:30, 7 & 8 p.m.; exhibit: Wed-Sun., 5:30-10 p.m., thru Jan. 6; $28, $23 17 & under, $25 seniors. (626) 821-3222, arboretum.org/moonlight-forest-magical-lantern-art-festival. —Avery Bissett
The Architecture of Tomorrow
Japan House L.A.'s public arts programming continues apace with a new exhibition of images and sculptural models from celebrated architect Sou Fujimoto. Winner of the prestigious 2013 Serpentine Pavilion commission in the U.K. and named 2014 WSJ architecture innovator of the year, Fujimoto's practice is based geographically and culturally in his native Japan, but its innovations, creative material and cultural influence are felt globally. Of special interest to local architecture aficionados will be his stated aesthetic of the "primitive future" — a vision that melds cutting-edge materials and sustainable practices with an intuitive humanistic relationship to nature and outdoor space, especially in the urban context. Japan House, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood ; Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; runs thru Dec. 12; free. (800) 516-0565, japanhouse.jp/losangeles. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Honoring the Gods of Old
Paint your face like a beautiful esqueleto and honor deceased loved ones with photos, altars, flowers and sugar skulls at the 19th annual Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery — always L.A.'s most fabulous event for the folkloric Mexican holiday. This year should be particularly stunning visually and metaphorically, as the event takes on a thematic thrust, honoring the Aztec goddess Coatlicue, said to have given birth to the moon, stars and sun. It will be a divinely feminine fiesta that women (and men) will want to partake in and use the opportunity to embellish themselves in dark, deathly and uplifting cosmic imagery. Coatlicue also is known as "mother of the gods," as she gave birth to Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war. Day of the Dead is as good a time as any to celebrate her, maternal energy and the universe, especially with our current earthly culture driven by female struggle and women's stories of self-love and strength. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 27, noon-mid.; $25, 8 & under and seniors free until 4 p.m. ladayofthedead.com. —Lina Lecaro
Hitting the Trifecta
Three new shows open this weekend at Arts District bastion Hauser & Wirth L.A. A massive sculpture by Alexander Calder activates the central courtyard, as some 30 smaller stabiles and mobiles fill an interior gallery and the adjacent garden. New York artist Zoe Leonard (also the subject of a new show at MOCA) presents her epic "Analogue" cycle, in which she documents the disappearing mom-and-pop storefronts of the Lower East Side from 1998 to 2009. Her 400-plus images capture a period of gentrification that she links to issues of capitalism, colonialism and cultural agency — issues denizens of the Arts District know a lot about themselves. Finally, artist and filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt's triumphant feature Manifesto, in which Cate Blanchett enacts the artistic philosophies of a series of the 20th century's most influential creative movements in high-production character with humanity, passion and a mind-blowing mimicry, will be shown in its original concept as a 13-channel video installation. Hauser & Wirth, 901 E. Third St., downtown; opening reception: Sat., Oct. 27, 6-9 p.m.; exhibit: Tue.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., thru Jan. 6; free. (213) 943-1620, hauserwirth.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
A Life's Epic Work
Can an artist truly make one single work that encapsulates the whole of their practice? Well, in the case of icon Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), he spent 17 years trying. Made between 1981 and '98, and measuring end to end a full quarter-mile, Rauschenberg's epic The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece comprises nearly 200 component panels, which in turn incorporate the eclectic olio of found materials, objects, photographs, collages, textiles, furniture, paint, cardboard and even traffic lights that characterized his omnivorous taste for appropriated and recycled sources. The mammoth work serves not only as a self-styled survey of his own practice but also as a kind of travel log, in which time spent in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the United States yielded the mother of all souvenir archives. Notably, LACMA's installation of this astonishing work of patience, obsession and subversive art history will be the first time it has ever been exhibited in its complete form. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; exhibit runs thru June 9; $20. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org —Shana Nys Dambrot
A Literary Sampler of L.A.
Editor Susan LaTempa presents a reading from Paperback L.A. Book 2: A Casual Anthology: Studios, Salesmen, Shrines, Surfspots, a wide-ranging collection of L.A.-centric photographs and short pieces by both modern local writers and such past legends as Ray Bradbury and the influential African-American crime-fiction author Chester Himes. The generally amiable Bradbury delves into murder, and Himes uncovers racism at a seemingly innocuous lunch meeting at a downtown hotel. Naomi Hirahara evokes ghost towns, Jim Gavin plumbs the depths of plumbing, Helen Evans Brown weighs in on avocados, and former L.A. Weekly writer Wendy Gilmartin turns her focus on "fugly" architecture. Chevalier's Books, 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., Windsor Square; Mon., Oct. 29, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 465-1334, chevaliersbooks.com. —Falling James
On the eve of All Hallow's Eve, the Annenberg Community Beach House artist and writer in residence Catherine Coan invites the taxidermy-curious into a surprising conversation about narrative, symbolism, storytelling, the ethics of working with the remains of our animal friends, and why it is that so many contemporary artists using the genre in exciting, even subversive new ways are women. Coan herself is both a writer and visual artist, and it is precisely the uncanny, literary quality to her sculptures, vignettes and large-scale installations that makes them so unique. Her deft skills and inventive sense of theatrical tableaux combine to place her creatures in unlikely human scenarios, the better to understand them as symbolic stand-ins for anthropomorphic dramas, adventures, myths and memories. Tonight she illuminates this continuum in the context of her classic and recent works. Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica; Tue., Oct. 30, 6:30-8 p.m.; free. (310) 485-4904, annenbergbeachhouse.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
A Halloween Classic Rescored
Over the past few years, L.A. Opera's annual screenings of silent horror films amid the macabre opulence of the Theatre at Ace Hotel have become a fun Halloween tradition. The twist is that the films are paired with live performances of evocative new scores by such avant-garde composers as Philip Glass and Matthew Aucoin. This year, British composer Joby Talbot conjures a new soundtrack to Carl Theodor Dreyer's unsettling, atmospheric 1932 classic Vampyr, featuring mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, with Aucoin conducting a chamber ensemble. Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Oct. 27, 8 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 31, 8 p.m.; $19-$89. (213) 623-3233, laopera.org. —Falling James
Painter Mark Steven Greenfield's "Love and Loathing" is on view for only two weeks, but it covers a lot of territory. With examples of both recent and new work, the presentation offers highlights of Greenfield's perennial project, unpacking the exponential complexities of African-American life and history through images of community, commerce, pop culture and how aspects of contemporary culture are rooted in global mythologies. In three particularly impactful new works, the artist muses on the iconography of the Black Madonna. "There are over 300 of them in the world," Greenfield explains, often made as intentional appeals to indigenous populations that colonial powers sought to convert, and some associated with folk legends and miracles. Greenfield's updated considerations add art historical conventions to the library of source material from which he so insightfully draws. Cal State L.A. Fine Arts Gallery, 5151 State University Drive, El Sereno; exhibit: Mon.-Fri., noon- 5 p.m., thru Nov. 16; reception: Nov. 3, 5-8 p.m.; free. (323) 343-4040, calstatela.edu. —Shana Nys Dambrot
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Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees
The Monkees were ostensibly just a made-for-TV imitation of The Beatles, albeit an unexpectedly brilliant, prolific and legitimate band in their own right. But The Monkees outclassed their inspirations in at least one crucial way. While the Fab Four's films were either enjoyable if lightweight comedic larks (A Hard Day's Night, Help) or self-indulgent psychedelic muddles (Magical Mystery Tour), The Monkees' lone feature-length film — 1968's Head, co-written by Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson — was a surreal, subversive opus that destroyed their career by juxtaposing shocking footage of the Vietnam War with nonlinear vignettes that satirized their own fame. Singers Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith appear for a discussion following a 50th-anniversary screening of the bizarre film. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456. —Falling James