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David Castillo stars in The Passion of McQueen.EXPAND
David Castillo stars in The Passion of McQueen.
Courtesy of the artist

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

From an opera about fashion designer Alexander McQueen to a sale of Dungeons & Dragons art to a feminist Wikipedia edit-a-thon and more, here are the 14 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!

fri 3/1

OPERA

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McQueen Sings

In both his life and his art, fashion designer Alexander McQueen was thoroughly outrageous, so it's more than fitting that his final hour before his suicide in 2011 has inspired not a book or a biopic but an opera — the most gloriously unrestrained and emotionally visceral of all the art forms. The worlds of fashion and music align in composer/designer Kentaro Kameyama and librettist William Nedved's intriguing new opera, The Passion of McQueen, which is presented by director Diana Wyenn in a staged concert performance for just one night. The Industry's David Castillo stars alongside mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, who portrays Isabella Blow, the magazine editor who championed McQueen before her own suicide in 2007. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Fri., March 1, 8 p.m.; $30. (626) 683-6883, bostoncourtpasadena.org. —Falling James

Dum Dum Zine
Dum Dum Zine
Michael Haight

ZINES

Keep Print Alive

As long as there are writers willing to fight for its survival, print media will endure. The same can be said for the zine scene, which continues to offer a unique forum to alternative points of view. Dum Dum Zine is one of the best pubs in L.A. for promoting irreverent prose and the DIY ethos, and after a two-year hiatus, it's back. The Dum Dum crew have maintained an online presence and now are ready to work on a new print version. With the timely theme "Rest & Resist," they tout it as a "literary survival kit for these dark political times." The Return of Dum Dum Zine fundraiser gathers fans of the pub for a night of DJs (Wasi, Julia Gibson, Allison Wolfe), live music (from Suzie True, SLUGS, Nightgown, Taleen Kali and Spare Parts for Broken Hearts) and readings by Yezmin Villarreal, Vivian Martínez and Féi Hernandez. Fun surprises for new and old Dummies are promised. The Smell, 247 S. Main St., downtown; Fri., March 1, 7 p.m.-mid.; donations requested at the door; all ages. facebook.com/events/221208485458040. —Lina Lecaro

José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros, DALIDUM (Dalí Tribute), at LaluzapaloozaEXPAND
José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros, DALIDUM (Dalí Tribute), at Laluzapalooza
Courtesy of the artist

ART

The Cream of the Crop

For the 33rd year, the good people of La Luz de Jesus Gallery present their mammoth annual group show, Laluzapalooza. With no planned theme except to choose the exceptional, the open-call jurors scoured "tens of thousands of submissions from commercial illustrators, graphic designers, tattooists, scenics, students, street taggers, animators and working gallery artists," so you don't have to. All you have to do is show up Friday night and discover the year's most wacko salon, comprising the 70-ish artists who made the grade, at this mashup of newbies and veterans, lowbrow painters and pop surrealists, taxidermists and photographers and everything in between that always makes its waves. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Opening reception Fri., March 1, 8-11 p.m.; thru March 31: Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.; free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com/laluzapalooza-2019/. —Shana Nys Dambrot

sat 3/2

WRESTLING

There Will Be Blood

The last time East Coast–based Game Changer Wrestling came to L.A., the night ended when a stunt involving light tubes went awry, sending actor David Arquette to the hospital after shards of glass punctured his neck. For those weaned on the more mainstream presentation of World Wrestling Entertainment and its personalities such as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the bloody mayhem presented on a Game Changer Wrestling show can be a culture shock. The winners and losers are still predetermined, but the red stuff is real and vast, as the methods of getting to the ending include body slams and suplexes through contraptions affixed with barbed wire, broken glass, thumbtacks, razor blades and other weaponry not meant for bodies to be thrown through. At their next event, To Live and DIE in L.A., Game Changer Wrestling stars such as Nick Gage and Alex Colon will literally bleed for their art, though if you are a wrestling fan whose preferences lean away from the bloodier aspects of the form, undercard matches involving SoCal wrestling stars such as Joey Ryan and Jungle Boy will provide over-the-top — literally and figuratively — action before the gorier part of the show. Burning World Studios, 1704 S. Hooper Ave., downtown; Sat., March 2, 7:30-10:30 p.m.; $25-$75. livediegcw.eventbrite.com. —Jason Roche

The Auction of Many Things
The Auction of Many Things
Shannon Denton

ART/SHOPPING

On a Quest

Curated by Carmen Acosta and Jessica Yost, with the support of Titmouse, The Murder Hobos, Wizards D&D and Gary Con, the Auction of Many Things is philanthropy with hidden dimensions. The Murder Hobos in particular are a self-described "group of like-minded nerds" who share a deep affection for Dungeons & Dragons. As successful art and gaming professionals now that they're all grown up, they decided to do something to express their appreciation for the formative role of role-playing on their creative consciousness. It turns out they are not alone, as many dozens of artists and top-notch illustrators contributed work to the realm's most epic group show. The Auction of Many Things is their way to give back, in the form of a party with art, games and auctions, proceeds of which benefit the surviving creators of Dungeons & Dragons. Because even the most powerful wizards can use a little help from their friends sometimes. Titmouse Animation Studios, 1121 Seward St., Hollywood; Sat., March 2, 7-11 p.m.; free. (323) 466-7800, facebook.com/events/224929311787352. —Shana Nys Dambrot

The Magic FluteEXPAND
The Magic Flute
Courtesy Pacific Opera Project

OPERA

Modern Magic

Of all of W.A. Mozart's operas, The Magic Flute remains the most charming and playfully delightful of his vocal works. One of the Queen of Night's birdlike arias, "Der Hölle Rache," is an operatic mainstay, and Emanuel Schikaneder's fanciful libretto about the adventures of Pamina, Prince Tamino and Papageno has always been a delightful musical fairy tale that evokes ... oh, wait. It says here that Pacific Opera Project has decided to update this beloved, classic story by setting it in the 1980s and populating it with Super Mario Brothers–like characters from video games. Schikaneder's gentle libretto has been shredded in favor of a new English-language parody by POP director Josh Shaw and archly comic bass-baritone E. Scott Levin, who wears plumber's overalls and a cheesy fake mustache as Pa-Pa-Papageno. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Sat., March 2 & 9, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 3 & 10, 3 p.m.; Fri., March 8, 8 p.m.; $20-$60. (818) 508-4200, pacificoperaproject.com/magicflute. —Falling James

ART

Set the Record Straight

Eccentric and colorful photographs by Lucas Blalock and witty mixed-media conceptual projects by Maryam Jafri are reason enough to visit the ICA L.A. this month, but a special Sunday afternoon Wikipedia Edit-a-thon ups the ante on social engagement. Hosted by Art+Feminism and East of Borneo, both dedicated to promoting an intersectional plurality of cultural voices, this afternoon's BYO laptop amelioration of gender bias comes with tutorials for first-time editors, snacks and a laugh break in the afternoon featuring the comedy stylings of female humorist collective JOSH. How many girls does it take to un-bias the internet? That's women, and lack of representation is not funny. Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, 1717 E. Seventh St., downtown; Sun., March 3, 12:15-5 p.m.; free. (213) 928-0833; theicala.org/en/events/116-art-feminism-wikipedia-workshop-edit-a-thon-women-in-comedy. —Shana Nys Dambrot

FOOD & DRINK

Toast to Mardi Gras

Founded in 1985 by Jose Luis Valenzuela, downtown's Latino Theater Company has operated the Los Angeles Theatre Center since 2006. The five-theater complex stages plays, music, dance and discussions by Latino artists and other minority communities, including for more than 10 years the annual holiday pageant play La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. If you want to learn more about the theater's programs and celebrate Mardi Gras — but without having to flash your skin for beads — LATC hosts Mardi Gras Wine Tasting, a benefit that pairs wine across six stations by California's Rabble Wine Company with food from neighboring Don Francisco's Coffee. The event also includes live music by EV Trio, games and a silent auction. Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Thu., March 2, 5:30-8 p.m.; $25 for three tastings, $50 for six. (866) 811-4111, thelatc.org. —Siran Babayan

Scissorhands
Scissorhands
Courtesy Rockwell Table & Stage

sun 3/3

STAGE

Scissorhands Rocks

Rockwell Table & Stage has become known for its movie-themed live shows, from Bridesmaids to Scream to Clueless. But when they tackle decidedly darker material, things really rock. Their Stranger Things production (an UMPO, or "unauthorized musical parody of," branded show) was as clever as it was creepy. This week brings back one of their most inspired macabre musical renditions, Scissorhands, which reimagines the Johnny Depp/Winona Ryder classic with appropriately dark humor and era-appropriate pop hits sung live onstage. The Tim Burton fave about a boy with blades for fingers lends itself especially well to a melodic retelling, especially since shows here reference the stars' offscreen stories as well. Rockwell Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave. Los Feliz Village; Sat., March 2, 8 & 16, 8 p.m. Sun., March 3, noon; Sun., March 9 & 17, noon & 7 p.m.; $20-$64. showclix.com/event/scissorhands/tag/widget. —Lina Lecaro

Sharon Lockhart, Rudzienko (still) at REDCATEXPAND
Sharon Lockhart, Rudzienko (still) at REDCAT
Courtesy Sharon Lockhart

mon 3/4

FILM/ART

Polish Retreats

Artist Sharon Lockhart returns in person to the REDCAT theater to screen and discuss a pair of her original films, short features shot on location in Poland in the past several years. Lockhart's work in film and photography often involves a version of embedding herself in the community she portrays, the better to infuse her artistry with the verity she's after. These films are no exception. For Podwórka (Yards) (31 min., 2009), she spent time in the playgrounds of the Polish city of Lódz, and befriended one youngster in particular, 9-year-old Milena. They kept in touch, eventually collaborating on the follow-up, Rudzienko (53 min., 2016), which captures teenage Milena's emblematic journey toward womanhood, expressed largely through the universal physical languages of movement and dance rather than the more ambiguous world of untranslatable words. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; redcat.org, (213) 237-2800; Mon., March 4, 8:30 p.m.; $12. redcat.org/event/sharon-lockhart-rudzienko-and-podworka-new-films-poland. —Shana Nys Dambrot

tue 3/5

MUSIC

Multifaceted Musician

Bryce Dessner is best known as one of the guitarists for The National, playing alongside his brother Aaron. But Bryce has also had a notable career as a composer of chamber music, film scores and orchestral works. L.A. Phil New Music Group performs his recent piece Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), an homage to the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe. Korde Arrington Tuttle's libretto, delivered by vocal group Roomful of Teeth, draws upon writing by Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith. If Dessner's piece can succeed in evoking the startling impact of Mapplethorpe's imagery, it could prove to be an interesting work. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.; Tue., March 5, 8 p.m.; $20-$60. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James

wed 3/6

MUSIC

Raise Your Voice

Lost in the shadows of downtown's gleaming skyscrapers and the area's ongoing gentrification, the ever-expanding mini-city of Skid Row wouldn't seem to be the best place to make music. But Urban Voices Project presents Neighborhood Sing, a weekly afternoon workshop and jam, in which the public is invited to raise the roof with their united voices to bring awareness to the lives of the homeless, who have been largely abandoned by this city's and county's politicians. A group dinner and choir practice follow after the workshop. If inner-city blues makes you want to holler, to paraphrase the Marvin Gaye song, now is the time to make your mellifluous voices loud enough to rattle City Hall. Wesley Health Center, 522 San Pedro St., downtown; Wed., March 6, 4 p.m.; free. (562) 867-7999, urbanvoicesproject.org. —Falling James

thu 3/7

SPOKEN WORD/MUSIC

Make a Sisterly Noise

It's Women's History Month and March Forth! A Spoken-Word Celebration of Female Empowerment at the Skirball is the perfect place to celebrate. The fourth annual celebration of women "who march forth" is about females honoring each other; the Skirball invites mothers, daughters, sisters, partners and pals to come together for this purpose. This year's lineup features poetry from Vanessa Hidary, Tonya Ingram, Chrysanthemum Tran and Kat Magill, plus music from neo-soul singer Cedrice. March Forth! creator Elena Muslar hosts the gathering, which for those so inclined includes a 6:30 p.m. walk through exhibits "Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg" and "Sara Berman's Closet." Cocktails and snacks will be available for purchase. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Thu., March 7, 8-10 p.m.; $20, $15 members. skirball.org/programs/spoken-word/march-forth. —Lina Lecaro

MUSIC

Wang Premieres New Tunes

Yuja Wang long ago established herself as one of the world's most dazzling pianists. The Chinese stylist is super fast yet has a nuanced touch that belies her pyrotechnical abilities. At local performances in recent years, Wang has stormed through complicated pieces by such traditional composers as Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Bartók, Mozart and Gershwin, but now she turns her attention to the world premiere of a new piano concerto by John Adams, Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? The combination of Adams' inventive experimentation and Wang's torrid approach makes this performance with conductor Gustavo Dudamel and L.A. Phil one of the major concerts of the year. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu.-Sat., March 7-9, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 10, 2 p.m.; $20-$253. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James

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