From a Latin food festival fit for a king to a Pharaoh's treasures, the intersection of Donald Trump and dance, a comedy show for charity, a throwback to '80s satanic paranoia, and the history of EDM, here are the 15 best things to do in L.A. this week!
Latin Food on the Pier
Today's sixth annual ¡Latin Food Fest! takes you from "Mexico in 32 Flavors" to the culinary cavalcade of street-food goodness at the Mexico City "Mercado" to the event that's become a hotly anticipated tradition here: the Gran Tasting Festival, which spirits you away to a gustatory wonderland. Also: cooking demos by celebrity chefs such as upbeat Food Network host Marcela Valladolid, seemingly endlessly flowing tequilas and cervezas, a michelada bar, grilled lobster and Baja oysters, and the decadent delights of Xocolatl hot chocolate cheesecake — all just in time to enjoy the sunset now that it's Daylight Saving Time. Santa Monica Pier Beach, 200 Santa Monica Pier A, Santa Monica; Chef's Night Out, Fri., March 23, 6:30-10:30 p.m.; Gran Tasting, Sat., March 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; $19-199. (310) 458-8900, santamonica.com/event/latin-food-fest-celebrates-its-6th-annual-culinary-classic/2018-03-24. —David Cotner
A Wu-Tang History
How many members of the Wu-Tang Clan can you name off the top of your head? There's only one who's written his memoirs so far, so enjoy the perceptive perspective of Lamont "U-God" Hawkins as he speaks with Jensen Karp of Drop the Mic. Hawkins will discuss Raw: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang ($27, Picador) — but whether he spills all the secrets of the hip-hop group that by its nature is a clandestine operation is anyone's guess; much like the Wu-Tang continuum, every live presentation is as much a part of the ever-unfolding diagram as everything else they do. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Fri., March 23, 7 p.m.; free. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com/event/lamont-%E2%80%9Cu-god-hawkins-conversation-jensen-karp-drop-mic-discusses-and-signs-raw-my-journey-wu. —David Cotner
Award-winning choreographer Laurie Sefton and her Clairobscur Dance are drawn to tough topics, from bullying to Alzheimer's memory loss and, in Girl, Get Off, expanding gender/sexual orientation identifiers. In her latest, Sefton's starting point was her nightly news–generated anger and fear, which she channeled into Supremacy Ride. President Trump's choreographed gestures while speaking became the starting point for an exploration of the larger consequence and meaning of those gestures as well as gestures of other world leaders past and present. The evening includes another Sefton collaboration with hip-hop poet Jason Chu, set to a live performance of his Word for Immigrant. The evening concludes with a reprise of the sensual Girl, Get Off. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City; Sat., March 24, 8 p.m., $25, $30 at door. https://www.clairobscurdance.org/upcoming-events. —Ann Haskins
Treasures Worthy of a Pharoh
Travel back to ancient Egypt at California Science Center's latest, highly anticipated exhibit, "King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh." As part of a years-long international tour, the collection — the largest ever displayed outside Egypt — marks the centennial of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922, more than 3,000 years after King Tut's death. Organized into nine galleries, the 150 artifacts include gold jewelry, carvings, sculptures and ritual antiquities, in addition to 3-D visuals, digital content and audio. Among the highlights are a life-sized statue of the pharaoh, ceremonial bed, golden shrine with scenes of Tutankhamun and his wife, Ankhesenamun, and a jeweled coffinette that held his mummified liver. California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park; Sat., March 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; through Jan. 19; $19.50-$29.95. (323) 724-3623, californiasciencenter.org. —Siran Babayan
Chuckles for Charity
No need for austerity or insularity at the sixth annual Hilarity for Charity — the walls of the Palladium will positively drip with laughter during this year's version of the comedy variety show that raises money to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. A passion project of comedian Seth Rogen and his actress-screenwriter wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, this year's event is produced in partnership with Netflix. Past guests have included James Franco, Jeff Goldblum, Amy Schumer, Snoop Dogg and a host of other entertainers who believe in helping a good cause. The Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., March 24, 6 p.m.-mid.; $100. (323) 962-7600, hilarityforcharity.org. —David Cotner
Tales of Transit
Almost anything can happen when riding the buses, trains and subways of L.A.'s public transit system. Encounters with bus drivers and other passengers can be alternately frustrating, hilarious, poignant and even tragic, and it all gets revealed by the storytellers of the BUSted Los Angeles series. Scott Schultz has been organizing the spoken-word performances at a variety of local venues for several years, and this evening he celebrates BUSted L.A.'s fourth anniversary with a lineup that includes "non-motorist" Susan Hall, comedian and former Metro bus driver Alex Pages, comedian Nick Phillips, attorney Aston Wallace and musical guest Avid Dancer. Stories Books & Café, 1716 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Sun., March 25, 5 p.m.; free. (213) 413-3733, storiesla.com/blogs/events. —Falling James
"Sí, Se Puede"
César Chávez would have been 91 this Saturday, so celebrate César Chávez Day and the life of the man who in repose still holds the power to motivate and illuminate. "¡Uvas No! (No Grapes)" was as powerful a rallying cry as "Power to the People" or "Our Day Will Come" when Chávez and Dolores Huerta founded the United Farm Workers, in part to address the plight of grape harvesters marinating in pesticides. Today you'll appreciate the importance of civil rights as you bask in the artistic stylings of Grupo Fenix, Tierra Blanca Dance Company and the Xipe Totec Aztec Dance Group. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Sun., March 25, noon-4 p.m.; free. (213) 542-6200, facebook.com/events/1565987996803579/. —David Cotner
Be Free as a Butterfly
You know you don't have to keep running around trying to be everything at once, don't you? You know you can actually take a break from yourself once in a while, right? Be yourself, be calm — hell, just be — but be there for the 22nd annual Butterfly Season. From caterpillar adoptions to building a chrysalis carrier, you'll see a butterfly through all the stages of its life cycle, finally setting it free to flutter away on its journey. You don't own a thing like that. You're just helping it be itself, just like you're helping yourself just be. Kidspace Children's Museum, 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., March 25, 10 a.m. (through May 6); $14, free for members. (626) 449-9144, kidspacemuseum.org/events/butterfly. —David Cotner
If you see only one phantasmagoria this year, make it Steven Arnold's 1971 Luminous Procuress. A protégé of Salvador Dalí — and prince in his Court of Miracles — Arnold dreamt up this film about wide-eyed saintly hippies who enter a manor and experience all manner of wonders unveiled by Pandora, the Luminous Procuress herself. The film was praised by Dalí and Andy Warhol as a work of genius, thereby delivering Arnold unto the halls of well-deserved immortality. Tonight's gorgeous restored print precedes a conversation with Bradford Nordeen of queer cinema platform Dirty Looks and Pacific Film Archive preservationist Steve Seid. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., March 26, 8:30 p.m.; $12 general, $9 REDCAT members and students, $6 CalArts students, faculty and staff. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org/event/steven-arnold-s-luminous-procuress. —David Cotner
Like being a member of the Mafia, conductors never really leave the L.A. Philharmonic — it's a job for life. Gustavo Dudamel has, of course, been the orchestra's music director for the past decade, but former L.A. Phil conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Michael Tilson Thomas return often to visit. Tilson Thomas actually was just here in December, when he filled in at the last moment to lead L.A. Phil through a program of music by Mozart and Bruckner. For tonight's set of works by Alban Berg and Gustav Mahler, Tilson Thomas brings in the San Francisco Symphony, the orchestra he's revitalized and led for more than two decades, although he announced last year that he will step down as its music director in 2020. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tues., March 27, 8 p.m.; $54-$162. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James
Examining Race and Politics in America
The Hammer Museum hosts Double Feature: Charlottesville: Race and Terror and The Great White Hoax: Donald Trump & The Politics of Race & Class in America, two screenings of documentary shorts that look back on how Charlottesville, Virginia, became a focal point of the alt-right and white supremacist movements of Trump's presidency. Produced by HBO's Vice News, the former chronicles the rallies in August when neo-Nazis, KKK members and other hate groups opposed the city's plans to remove Confederate monuments, which resulted in protests that left one person dead and 19 injured. In the film, embedded reporter Elle Reeve interviews leaders of both the protest and counter-protesters, including white nationalist Christopher Cantwell and infamous former KKK Grand Wizard (and presidential candidate) David Duke. Produced by the Media Education Foundation, the latter begins with the violence in Charlottesville but also examines the roots of "whitelash." Narrated by activist-author Tim Wise, the movie argues that politicians have preyed on racial and cultural anxiety among white, working-class Americans for decades. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood.; Tue., March 27, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Siran Babayan
The voices in the conversation of Talking Race: Social Media and Social Justice emanate from places as diverse as podcasts and trolls in YouTube comment sections. Some voices tonight: NPR correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates, Black Twitter expert Meredith Clark, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism professor emeritus Felix Gutiérrez and novelist Feminista Jones. They'll discuss an increased sense of community activism and the finer distinctions between topics of race as they pertain to social networks that can be as divisive as they are unifying. You didn't think all the racism went away just because Barack Obama got elected president, did you? Doheny Memorial Library, 3550 Trousdale Pkwy., University Park; Tue., March 27, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-2924, visionsandvoices.usc.edu/events/listing.php?event_id=966340. —David Cotner
The curators behind found-footage collective Everything Is Terrible! pride themselves in finding the funniest, creepiest and just plain WTF-est clips from '80s and '90s public access television, special-interest home videos and out-of-context movie clips from every genre imaginable. Their newest presentation, The Great Satan, is a 75-minute video collage focusing on depictions of Satan and Hell in a wide array of pop culture, from low-budget, shot-on-video horror movies and heavy-metal music videos to '80s "Satanic Panic" documentaries and talk show appearances from the religious right warning of the evils of rock music and Dungeons & Dragons. The video presentation will be augmented by a live show featuring puppets and costumes that will surely match the insanity of the source material, making you laugh and cringe at the same time. Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown; Wed., March 28, 8 p.m.; $20 advance, $26.50 day of show. (323) 284-5727, everythingisterrible.com. —Jason Roche
To Catch a Serial Killer
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Patton Oswalt reads from and celebrates his late wife Michelle McNamara's book, I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. In 2016, McNamara, a TV writer and journalist who ran a blog called True Crime Diary, died suddenly in her sleep at age 46. At the time, McNamara was writing about and trying to solve the cold-case file of an unidentified serial killer she dubbed the "Golden State Killer," who raped 50 women and murdered at least 10 people in the state between 1976 and 1986. After her death, McNamara's lead researcher Paul Haynes and investigative journalist Billy Jensen pieced together the thousands of files, interviews, notes, photographs and other material she left behind and finished the book, which includes an introduction by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn and afterword by Oswalt. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Thu., March 29, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Siran Babayan
History of EDM
It's a far cry from forbidden warehouse raves or that time that lady from L.A. Style lost her wig onstage in the desert, but now the always-difficult truth can finally be told at the Los Angeles premiere of What We Started. This 2017 documentary reveals the genesis of the cultural juggernaut known as EDM via a wealth of interviews with Afrojack, Carl Cox, Moby, Paul Oakenfold — and, because someone thought it would be informative, Ed Sheeran. Afterward, directors Bert Marcus and Cyrus Saidi — with Moby and Oakenfold — do their Rashomon thing and talk about where all the time went. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., Mar. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $15 general, $13 members. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/what-we-started-0. —David Cotner