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

fri 9/18

The fourth annual L.A. Podcast Festival brings all your favorite voices under one roof. Founded by Dave Anthony, Graham El­wood, Chris Mancini and Andy Wood, the three-day event hosts live podcasts on topics such as comedy, film, sports, science, dining and the contents of "The Smartest Man in the World" Greg Proops' brain, and features such superstars of the medium as Marc Maron, Aisha Tyler, Todd Glass, Paul F. Tompkins and Doug Benson. PodFest also offers panels on podcasting how-tos, a huge stand-up show and a preview of Mancini and El­wood's Ear Buds: The Podcast Documentary, which goes behind the scenes on the relationship between podcasters and listeners. Sofitel Los Angeles, 8555 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove; Fri.-Sun., Sept. 18-20; $29-$119 (plus fees). —Siran Babayan

Get a glimpse of the future at LACMA, where the annual Ghetto Film School Los Angeles Fellows Screening kicks off the weekend. Ten short narratives — all of them dialogue-free and six minutes long — selected by the students make up this year's program, which is followed by a Q&A moderated by Elvis Mitchell. Three lucky Fellows chosen by a jury of filmmakers and other industry folks will receive scholarships. Like the 30-month GFS program itself, the evening's festivities are free. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri., Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6000, —Michael Nordine

Roddy Piper may not have been the most successful wrestler-turned-actor, but he was probably the most talented. Cinefamily has rightly seen fit to pay tribute to the dearly departed icon of the squared circle with a late-night double feature of They Live and Hell Comes to Frogtown. Though his physical charisma wasn’t on the same level as someone like The Rock, whom Hot Rod beat to Hollywood by a decade and a half, Piper’s deadpan delivery and understanding of character psychology exhibited a degree of nuance sorely lacking from the cartoon-like characters he usually played off of in the ring and out. His performance in They Live also happens to be his best and is largely responsible for the film’s richly deserved status as a cult classic. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave.; Fairfax; Fri., Sept. 18, 10 p.m.; $14. (323) 655-2510, —Michael Nordine

The country's largest collection of ceremonial-wrapped bodies comes to L.A. in the world premiere of traveling exhibition "Mummies: New Secrets From the Tombs." These 20-plus relics from pre-dynastic Egypt and pre-Incan Peru have never traveled outside of Chicago's Field Museum, and they're accompanied by coffins, pieces of trophy skulls, bandaged dead animals, sarcophagi and other relics. Because of modern technology such as CT scans and 3-D printing, the delicate mummies didn't need to be "disturbed" in order to be studied. Thanks to the conservation efforts of scientists and curators, visitors have the opportunity to watch the mummies' stories unravel on their own. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; Fri., Sept. 18, 9:30 a.m.-mid.; $22 general. Continues through Mon., Jan. 18, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (213) 763-DINO (3466), —Tanja M. Laden

A mummified baby crocodile, buried as an offering to an ancient Egyptian god
A mummified baby crocodile, buried as an offering to an ancient Egyptian god
Photo by John Weinstein

sat 9/19

Jacques Heim's L.A. dance company Diavolo premiered each segment of its L'Espace du Temps with the L.A. Phil at the Hollywood Bowl, then performed the three segments as part of its repertoire. With this U.S. premiere of the triptych, Diavolo's dancers, gymnasts and astonishing sculptural set pieces kick things up a notch. Esa-Pekka Salonen provided the score for Foreign Bodies, the initial effort in 2007; John Adams' Fearful Symmetries provided title and music for the 2010 installment; and Fluid Infinities, with its Philip Glass score, arrived in 2013. New West Symphony provides the live music, conducted by Christopher Rountree. Valley Performing Arts Center, Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sat., Sept. 19, 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 20, 3 p.m.; $60-$99. (818) 677-3300, —Ann Haskins

One could argue that the Coen Brothers are victims of their own success. Among the writing/directing duo’s many great movies are a number of lesser known works that would be the highlight of lesser filmmakers’ careers, namely Miller’s Crossing. The neo-noir gangster throwback celebrates 25 years of under-appreciation at the Aero. Gabriel Byrne tries to play both sides of a small-town conflict against each other, which goes about as well as you’d expect such a scheme to go in a Coen Brothers picture. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave.; Santa Monica; Sat., Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, —Michael Nordine

Brian De Palma was a force of nature in the ‘70s, ditto his most famous protagonist. Though a Stephen King adaptation (and one of the best at that), Carrie is also unmistakably De Palma: psychodrama, sex and violence commingle in the unsettling manner that is his trademark. It’s also terribly sad, which is sometimes forgotten when discussing the nerve-jangling, pig’s-blood-covered climax set during the worst prom ever. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., May 30, 8:30 p.m. (gates at 6:45); $15. (323) 221-3343, —Michael Nordine

"Somewhere Over El Arco Iris: Chicano Landscapes 1971-2015" is the Museum of Latin American Art's first exhibit featuring solely Southern Californian artists. For the more than 15 Chicano artists whose paintings, drawings, photographs and mixed-media works are featured, landscapes represent the deep yet tenuous connection between person and place. From Carlos Almaraz's impressionistic Yellow Morning (1986) to newly commissioned works by street artists including Man One, Jaime "Germs" Zacarias, Vyal Reyes and Johnny KMDZ Rodriguez, the exhibit traces a unique history of our region's art over 40 years. MOLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Sat., Sept. 19-Sun., Nov. 15; $9, $6 seniors & students, children under 12 free. (562) 437-1689, —Sascha Bos

Anyone who was in L.A. in the '80s and '90s remembers a series of mysterious billboards featuring a blond bombshell who appeared to be advertising nothing, except maybe herself. Known simply as Angelyne, she became a local icon, and is still seen cruising around the city in a pink sports car while coyly shielding her face from the paparazzi. Now she's getting a long-overdue tribute to her unique brand of DIY celebrity. At the "Angelyne Art Show," you can pick up artworks ranging from $100 to $10,000, or just be mesmerized by the video projections of rare Angelyne ephemera. And if you happen to see her, acknowledge your good luck and, as has become customary, make a wish. Museum of Digital Art, 7190 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 19, 7-11 p.m.; $10. Exhibit continues Tue.-Sat., noon-5 p.m., through Oct. 10.; free, by appointment. (310) 210-2176, —Tanja M. Laden

Take a break from daily stresses to indulge in your super-secret fantasy of a minty-fresh world where very tall blond people warble wonderfully popping melodies and oh-so-gently undulate their hips as they tap their twinkling toes. It's the ABBA Sing-along Concert, featuring an ABBA tribute band and the soaring voices of Men Alive –– The Orange County Gay Men's Chorus, plus an entire congregation of ABBA fans and those who love them, in life-affirming charmers including "Mamma Mia," "S.O.S," "Waterloo," "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" and "Dancing Queen." Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 19, 8 p.m.; $15-$97. (323) 850-2000, —John Payne

sun 9/20

Hobbits know how to party: with delicious food, games and plenty of booze. At the annual Baggins Birthday Bash, local Lord of the Rings fans dress up and make merry on the fields of Griffith Park. Stonemarch Brewing Company is bringing four hobbit-themed beers to the potluck picnic. A costume contest, birthday cake–decorating contest, a Sauron piñata and Pin the Black Arrow on the Dragon round out the festivities. Get there at 12:30 p.m. for a book club discussion on The Silmarillion. Mineral Wells, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Griffith Park; Sun., Sept. 20, noon-6 p.m.; free, RSVP to —Sascha Bos

Designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, the new 120,000-square-foot, $140 million contemporary art museum known simply as the Broad finally opens to the public (see story, page X). Home to more than 2,000 works from the Broad Art Foundation and the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection, it's also the seat of the foundation's global lending library. The Broad opening installation showcases highlights from the Broads' postwar and contemporary art collection, featuring more than 250 works by artists such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger and Ed Ruscha. It also exhibits recent acquisitions, including Takashi Murakami's 82-foot-long painting about the 2011 Japan earthquake and Yayoi Kusama's immersive Infinity Mirrored Room — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sun., Sept. 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (213) 232-6200, —Tanja M. Laden

For some lighter fare, indulge in the original Journey to the Center of the Earth at UCLA. Enjoyment of this Jules Verne adaptation may be a bit different now than when the film was first released in 1959, given the dated look of its scenery and effects, but anyone able to overlook such superficial matters and allow themselves to sit in wonder at the story unfolding in front of them should find this a fine way to close out the weekend. Journey screens as part of UCLA’s Family Flicks program, a series of free movies taking place on Sunday mornings once a month. UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd.; Westwood; Sun., Sept. 20, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, —Michael Nordine

Justice in Clint Eastwood movies only sometimes overlaps with justice in real life, not always for the better. Consider The Outlaw Josey Wales and Dirty Harry exhibits A and B. One is set just after the Civil War, the other in contemporary San Francisco, but in both it’s the quickest draw and/or last man standing who determines right and wrong. If you’ve already seen Dirty Harry and don’t feel like trekking to the Egyptian for this double feature, reconsider—Josey Wales isn’t one of Eastwood’s most well-known acting/directing efforts, but it is one of his most worthwhile. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd.; Hlywd.; Sun., Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, —Michael Nordine

The Broad museum
The Broad museum
Photo by Iwan Baan

mon 9/21

A beloved L.A. landmark has had a $5 million face-lift. Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria first opened its doors in 1935, and for decades it was the go-to destination for hungry Angelenos who wanted a side of serious ambiance with their Jell-O. For four years, Clifton's new owner, developer Andrew Meieran (also of the Edison) has been restoring the local gem. Clifton's official opening, a benefit for the L.A. Conservancy, will see the unveiling of the building's restored façade, as well as the revamped cafeteria and a new second-floor Monarch Bar. Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria, 648 S. Broadway, downtown; Mon., Sept. 21, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; $125 (sold out). (213) 627-1673,, —Tanja M. Laden

Former NFL athlete Kermit Alexander will discuss the slayings of his family members, which he describes in his new book, The Valley of the Shadow of Death: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption. Raised in Watts, Kermit was an All-Pro cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers and a star at UCLA. In August 1984, his mother, sister and two nephews were murdered by gang members in a botched home invasion. Two of the gunmen got life in prison; a third was sentenced to death but has yet to be executed. In the book, Alexander chronicles growing up in South Central in the 1950s, his marriage in the aftermath of the murders and his battles with the legal system over capital punishment. Eso Won Books, 4327 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park; Mon., Sept. 21, 7 p.m.; free, book is $26. (323) 290-1048, —Siran Babayan

tue 9/22

Rhys Darby's Saying Funny Things Society is the New Zealand comic's new monthly show filled with his favorite comedians — tonight it's Kristen Schaal, Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery. Darby's been doing stand-up for two decades, from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to playing Murray the manager on Flight of the Conchords. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Tue., Sept. 22, doors 7 p.m., show 8:30 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, —David Cotner

wed 9/23

Is virtual reality really the future of cinema? Cut through all the hyperbole and find out at this year's Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival. This fifth stop on the festival's 10-city tour will unveil 20 virtual-reality experiences created by independent international artists. All the films will be available for viewing on both Gear VR and Oculus Rift headsets. Many of them — such as The Nepal Quake Project — are documentaries about crucial issues around the world, which is where the "reality" part of "virtual reality" comes in. L.A. River Studios, 2025 N. San Fernando Road, Cypress Park; Wed., Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m.; $20. (646) 861-0846, —David Cotner

When their car breaks down in a snowy forest, a band decides to create a heavy metal–themed amusement park. The result is Philippe Quesne's La Mélancolie des Dragons, a highly visual play with minimal dialogue. Although it's from 2012, we can't help but see the play through the lens of British street artist Banksy's newly announced Dismaland, an immersive art experience riffing on the hyper-consumerism of Disneyland. What sort of strange experience prompts one to create an amusement park? Quesne plays with unreality and the dreamscape to provide a possible answer. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Wed.-Fri., Sept. 23-25, 8:30 p.m.; $20-$30. (213) 237-2800, —Sascha Bos

thu 9/24

SoCal's biggest Halloween-time extravaganza returns. The 43rd annual Knott's Scary Farm features more than 10 mazes as well as ghoulish thrill rides, scare zones, skeleton-key rooms and live shows. While Knott's Scary Farm takes place at night, this year marks the debut of a kid-friendly, weekend daytime version called Knott's Spooky Farm. Knott's Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park; Thu., Sept. 24-Sat., Oct. 31; Wed., Thu. & Sun., 7 p.m.-1 a.m.; Fri.-Sat., 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; $39 and up. (714) 220-5200, —Tanja M. Laden

San Francisco–based storytelling salon Pop-Up Magazine kicks off its first U.S. tour, featuring new stories, documentary films, photography, art and audio, all live onstage. The event won't be recorded, but the stories will live on in the audience members' chatter afterward, and they can hype it up to their friends who live in future tour stops. Theatre at the Ace Hotel, 929 Broadway, downtown; Thu., Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.; $25-$40. (213) 623-3233, —David Cotner


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