From Easter bunnies to Bugs Bunny, professional wrestling and punk rock films, Monty Python and a local dance company, and the largest urban plein air painting festival and a museum that deceives, here are the 15 best things to do in L.A. this week.
Punks on Film
Punk rock movies can be as life-changing as the musical genre that inspired them, and the L.A. Punk Film Festival presents an entire evening of loud, aggressive and anarchic features, shorts, documentaries and videos. Co-hosted by Sandie West, director and founder of Marina del Rey–based Beach Dancer Films, and Tequila Mockingbird, curator at L.A. Punk Museum, the festival features such highlights as Scumbag, Lost Grrrls: Riot Grrrl in Los Angeles, Who Is Billy Bones? and The Blue Black Hussar, Jack Bond's 2013 documentary on Adam Ant. The schedule also promises discussions with Don Bolles, DH Peligro and Angelo Moore, readings by Iris Berry and Geri Lewis and cartoons by Craig Clark, in addition to a preview trailer for Suzi Q, an upcoming doc on Suzi Quatro; and We Are the Flowers in Your Dustbin, West's documentary on '80s British punk, which includes members of U.K. Subs, The Specials, Sham 69 and Cockney Rejects. Beyond Baroque, 681 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; Fri., March 30, 8-11 p.m.; $4-$10. (310) 822-3006, beachdancerfilms.com/la-punk-film-festival. —Siran Babayan
Highlight Reel of Lowlights
Did you know that there are two twilights? Between the dusk and the dawn there's a lot of time to figure out where your life is going, and how much it can change on its journey from dark to light. In Light Hustler: Funny Stories About Going From Dark to Light, those who have taken that grueling trip — this time it's ANT, Jessica Sele, Natasha Vargas-Cooper and Ally Weinhold — give you the highlights of their low lives and, through their storytelling, show you that you're not alone in your temporary crumminess. That just might give you the tools to pull yourself up into the light. Open Space, 457 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Fri., March 30, 8 p.m.; free. (323) 424-3059, lighthustler.com. —David Cotner
The biggest hackathon in Southern California returns for L.A. Hacks 2018, a 36-hour banishing of technophobia that's less a bunch of secretive people hiding out in corners with arcane machines and unpleasant smiles than it is a clarion call for collaboration, education and support among those forging the future of the tech community. More than 1,000 students will gather from around the globe to work over a sleepless day and a half to develop their ideas and thenceforth rocket into the horizons of technological development, while building interpersonal relationships that last a lifetime — several lifetimes, if we're talking cryogenics or transhumanism. UCLA Pauley Pavilion, 555 Westwood Plaza, Westwood; Fri., March 30, mid., through Sun.; free. (424) 324-0026, lahacks.com. —David Cotner
Giving Composers Their Due
"So what is fame? Fame, it's but slow decay," Chuck Berry once mused as he pondered his own mortality on the rueful ballad "Pass Away." Fame seems to fade more slowly for certain composers, which is why many classical-music radio stations' playlists are dominated by the same big names while the works of other composers disappear from public memory. Tonight, Salastina Music Society artistic directors Maia Jasper White and Kevin Kumar turn the spotlight on the prolific Fanny Mendelssohn (whose work was often overshadowed and even listed under the name of her more-popular brother, Felix), presenting the West Coast premiere of her Easter Sonata. "Second Class Citizens" also will offer music by Rebecca Clarke, William Grant Still, Lili Boulanger and even Mozart's supposed rival Antonio Salieri. Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Robert Schumann the news. Barrett Hall, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, 100 N. Hill Ave., Pasadena; Sat., March 31, 8 p.m.; $32. (323) 332-6874, salastina.org. —Falling James
Celebrate Wikipedia's 17th birthday — and its creeping march toward legitimacy — with a deep dive into L.A. history at Wikipedia Day Los Angeles 2018: L.A. on Record at the Ace Hotel. Panel discussions will cover mining L.A. resources with archivists from the Autry Museum, Cal State Northridge and LACMA; a foray into Wiki's changing role in education with local academics; and some big-data talk. Run by a nonprofit and maintained by volunteer editors, Wikipedia's body of knowledge — content and perspective — still skews white and male, but that may be changing, too. You might as well pay attention and flex your trivia brain. Keynote speech by civic instigator John Bwarie, an appearance by the lead researcher for Jeopardy! and cake from Hansen's. Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., March 31, 10 a.m.; free. (213) 623-3233, RSVP: acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/wikipedia-day-los-angeles-2018-la-record. —Beige Luciano-Adams
Is there a comedy that has aged better than Monty Python and the Holy Grail? After all, even its adapted musical, Spamalot, has been running since 2004. Starring Monty Python members John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, the 1975 Middle Ages parody about King Arthur and his knights searching for the Holy Grail is perfection throughout, from the fake Swedish subtitles in the opening sequence to the taunting French guards ("I fart in your general direction"). But did you know that Palin played the most characters in the film, with 12? Or that Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Genesis were investors in the movie's budget? Both casual and hard-core fans likely will learn those and more behind-the-scenes tidbits straight from the Black Knight/Sir Lancelot the Brave/Peasant 3's mouth at the Saban Theatre's screening and discussion, John Cleese and The Holy Grail. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., March 31, 8 p.m.; $59-$70. (888) 646-5006, wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com/saban-beverly-hills/. —Siran Babayan
The environment at a Suburban Fight Pro Wrestling show resembles a chaotic bar fight more than a traditional pro wrestling show. All matches are staged without a wrestling ring. Instead, the wrestlers brawl throughout the entire bar. Attendees will need to be ready to dodge flying bodies at all times, as if they were in a mosh pit at an extreme-metal show. The show will be co-headlined by a battle between high-flying daredevils Matt Cross and Darby Allin, in a bout that will surely see multiple dives off the bar counter, and a big-man fight between 6-foot-3 tattooed beast Brody King and the appropriately named 300-pound Jeff Cannonball. Local hardcore bands will perform between matches, giving attendees a breather from the body slams and chairshots that will spread throughout the bar. Resident, 428 S. Hewitt St., downtown; Sun., April 1, 7:30 p.m.; $15 advance, $20 door, 21+. (213) 628-7503, residentdtla.com. —Jason Roche
Watch Out for That Wascally Wabbit
What better way to enjoy the rare cosmic confluence of Easter Sunday and April Fool's Day falling on the same day than a matinee of Bugs Bunny Cartoon Classics? From Easter Yeggs (1947), during which Bugs takes over for an exhausted Easter Bunny, to Bugs becoming a toreador after a failed attempt to get to the carrot festival in Coachella (!) in Bully for Bugs (1953), you'll bask in the glory of these 14 examples of Warner Bros.' finest animations. There's also free Easter candy for the kids — probably even those kids who are in their 30s but ask nicely. The Aero, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., April 1, 2 p.m.; $12 general/$8 members. (310) 260-1528,americancinemathequecalendar.com. —David Cotner
Even the youngest children can enjoy mystical metaphors as the biggest Easter Egg Hunt in the San Gabriel Valley returns with this year's 30,000-egg extravaganza. The Easter Bunny will be on hand to hang out and do whatever it is the Easter Bunny does when you come up and ask (him? her?) for things for Easter. And nine egg hunts will unfold against the backdrop of the races at Santa Anita. Face-painting and pony rides round out the day, and just in case you thought it was one exhausted chicken laying 30,000 eggs, they're not real and they're full of candy. Santa Anita Park, 285 Huntington Drive, Arcadia; Sun., April 1, 11 a.m.; $4 per hunt. (626) 574-7223, santaanita.com/events/easter-egg-hunt/. —David Cotner
Your Eyes May Deceive You
You've already proven that having a straight job is an illusion if you're hanging out on Hollywood Boulevard at 10 a.m. on a Monday, so go all the way and leave "reality" behind at the Museum of Illusions Experience. With more than 30 murals that gently fuck with your sense of perspective and scale, it's one long litany of SIIIIIIIKE as you move from painting to painting in this topsy-turvy world that graces the museum's innards. They really want you to take photographs, too — just in case your future self wasn't already confused enough about how weird your life turned out. Museum of Illusions, 6751 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., April 2, 10 a.m.; $25. (747) 274-9374, facebook.com/pg/MuseumofIllusion/bigfunny.net. —David Cotner
The Shirts Tell the Story
Entering its 20th year at UCLA, the Clothesline Project is a display of shirts hung on clotheslines across campus, telling the stories of hundreds of survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Originally started as a 1990 initiative by women in Cape Cod, each shirt's color has a different meaning: white for women who died from violence; yellow for assault and battery; black for women killed for political reasons; lavender for those brutalized for their sexual orientation. A safe space for UCLA students, the Quad also holds a tent for people to create their own shirts to show. UCLA Dickson Court North, Perloff Quad, 365 Portola Plaza, Westwood; Tue., April 3, 8 a.m., through Fri.; free. (336) 420-5892, bruinconsentcoalition.org. —David Cotner
Wise Words for Women
The journey of a thousand miles begins with as many missteps as it does steps, so in keeping with the distinctly American tradition of perseverance, Writers Bloc presents former White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri in conversation with former first lady of California Maria Shriver. Palmieri, who worked for President Obama and was communications director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, has written Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World ($20, Grand Central). In tandem with Shriver's new online series, Architects of Change, it's a meeting of minds to exhort women to reinvent, intervene and boldly reach leadership roles that will open many doors to a brighter tomorrow. Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills; Wed., April 4, 7:30 p.m.; $25. (323) 782-4525, writersblocpresents.com/main/jennifer-palmieri/. —David Cotner
Get Out There and Paint!
If you've been looking for an excuse to set up your easel on a downtown corner, the fourth annual Los Angeles Plein Air Festival kicks off Wednesday, and inspired scenes of quotidian city life await. The U.S.' largest urban plein air festival runs for five days and anyone can participate, from any downtown location. Submitting finished work for exhibition, sale and a juried competition at the April 12 Downtown Artwalk is optional. Check the festival website for a list of "paint out" locations to connect with other artists and discover popular sites. Participants can register online and get their canvas stamped at Raw Materials Art Supplies (436 S. Main St.) before starting; submissions for exhibition/competition are due by 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 8. Bring your own supplies. Tip: The first 100 registrants get a goodie bag. downtown; Wed., April 4-Sun., April 8; free; lapleinairfestival.com/. —Beige Luciano-Adams
Local Dancers Made Good
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Led by Benjamin Millepied, the contemporary company L.A. Dance Project returns to its new home theater with a quartet of works that boasts three L.A. premieres and duets gleaned from Martha Graham. Celebrated Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin contributes Yag, while American choreographer-of-the-moment Justin Peck offers Helix set to a score by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Millepied participates with his Sarabande for four male dancers, while Martha Graham's Duets draws duets from the legendary choreographer's Diversion of Angels and Canticle for Innocent Comedians. These shows mark LADP's return from performances in Texas and precede its departure for France. The designation of LADP as the venue's resident company and the troupe's downtown studios are encouraging signs that the name reflects the troupe setting down roots and not just branding for touring. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts, 9390 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thu.-Sat, April 5-7, 7:30 p.m.; $45-$125. thewallis.org. —Ann Haskins
Dudamel Does Mahler
Whether they've been staving off a Martian invasion in Annie Gosfield's eerily playful War of the Worlds, welcoming the Age of Aquarius in a massive presentation of Leonard Bernstein's epochal Mass or riding along on composer Andrew Norman's fancifully delightful A Trip to the Moon, the musicians of the L.A. Philharmonic have not only been performing ambitious music but have been at the center of some elaborately fantastic visual presentations over the past few months. Tonight, conductor Gustavo Dudamel invokes Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth), Chinese poems adapted by his favorite composer, Gustav Mahler, in a multimedia performance with powerful tenor Russell Thomas and mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford that combines the notable visual flair of director Yuval Sharon with the artistry of Chilean theatrical group Teatrocinema. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu.-Sat, April 5-7, 8 p.m.; $20-$199. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Falling James