22 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Courtesy Hoopurbia

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

Break out your hula hooping tights and your St. Paddy's Day drinking pants — there's all kinds of fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 3/11 

The latest installment of Home Grown, the Dance Resource Center's series spotlighting local dancemakers, brings three contemporary choreographers to the stage. Rebecca Bryant's "Manufactured" considers privilege and empathy with help from 50 small cardboard boxes, discarded costumes and a sound score by Don Nichols. In "Deviate," Ami Mattison's 3-year-old Mattidance traverses the behavioral borders between sanity and insanity, while "Crossing Over" is Maritza Navarro's exploration of self-imposed barriers to happiness. With this series, the DRC continues its transformation from a dance-oriented service organization into one that presents adventurous performances. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Fri.-Sat., March 11-12, 7:30-9 p.m.; $20 in advance, $25 at door. bootlegtheater.org. —Ann Haskins

One of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's most popular events returns for another round of retro shenanigans. The MisMatch Game parodies the 1970s CBS game show Match Game, which featured contestants attempting to match answers given by celebrities. Standing in for Gene Rayburn, creator-host Dennis Hensley hosts a panel of a dozen TV and Internet actors impersonating past and present stars, everyone from Jack Nicholson to Pamela Anderson to Danny Bonaduce. Los Angeles LGBT Center, Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., March 11-12, 8 p.m.; $15. (323) 993-7400, lalgbtcenter.org. —Siran Babayan

At PaleyFest 2016, you can spend a week hanging out with a crooked lawyer, a female superhero, zombies and a bunch of nerds. The Paley Center's biggest event of the year is full of panels featuring the casts and creators of some of TV and the Internet's most popular comedies and dramas: Empire (March 11), Better Call Saul (March 12), Scream Queens (March 12), black-ish (March 13), Supergirl (March 13), Scandal (March 15), The Big Bang Theory (March 16), Difficult People (March 18), Fear the Walking Dead (March 19) and American Horror Story: Hotel (March 20). The fest's highlight is "An Evening With Dick Wolf" (March 19), a salute to the TV producer featuring actors from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med. Dolby Theatre, 6801 Holly­wood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri.-Sun., March 11-20, times vary; $30-$80. (310) 786-1000, paleycenter.org. —Siran Babayan

For its third event, Acropolis Cinema presents the first Los Angeles screening of Isiah Medina's 88:88. The experimental filmmaker's debut feature has traveled quite a way to get here, having premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland last summer before making stops at Toronto, New York and other fests. Regardless of location, Medina's personal montage film has won praise and started debates in the process. If you can't make it to the first showing, fret not: Acropolis is replaying 88:88 at 9. (Whichever one you come to, be sure to partake in the free refreshments.) Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Fri., March 11, 7:30 & 9 p.m.; $10. (213) 484-8846, acropoliscinema.com—Michael Nordine

More than 40 films comprise Underground USA: Indie Cinema of the '80s, Cinefamily's two-month retrospective co-presented by Cinespia. On the docket tonight is Smithereens, Susan Seidelman's French New Wave–inspired drama about an aspiring punk who moves from New Jersey to New York in hopes of ingratiating herself into the scene, which she's disappointed to learn is a shadow of what it once was. Seidelman will be present to discuss her feature debut, which was among the first American indei films to world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. (She's followed at 10:30 p.m. by John McNaughton with his film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, if you're looking to make it a double feature.) Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., March 11, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

UCLA's Out of the Ether: Radio Mysteries and Thrillers on Screen continues with another tense double bill. In Sorry, Wrong Number, a bedridden Barbara Stanwyck overhears a would-be murderer played by Burt Lancaster plot the demise of — gasp — none other than herself. The Phantom of Crestwood, the conclusion to a six-episode serial, concerns a gold digger who parts former lovers from their riches and just happens to meet an untimely end. Moral of the stories: Don't plot against innocent people and you'll probably be OK, uncaring universe notwithstanding. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., March 11, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

sat 3/12

Lest your salacious mind run away with you when you think of pole dancing, the 2016 Pacific Pole & Aerial Championships is an actual athletic competition run by the PSO (Pole Sport Organization). It's the world's largest pro-am pole-fitness competition and a chance to see dancers of all levels of skill climb all over a vertical piece of steel. Free and open to all, both the men's and women's divisions are judged via PSO's computerized system, which gives the athletes anonymous feedback from their peers. L.A. Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., Mar. 12-13, 8 a.m.; $35-$55. (800) 448-7775, polesportorganization.com. —David Cotner

In title alone, Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music sounds like a preposterously ambitious, even presumptuous undertaking. But Mac — whom you could call a theater artist, although the term seems a restrictive way to describe this wacky pop historian/court jester/trilling songbird/guardian angel — makes clear that his rigorously researched take on the past 240 years of American history is a highly subjective one, too. More to the point, Mac's a wonderfully engaging performer whose interpretive wizardry and fascinating discoveries can make you laugh and move you to tears. UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Sat., March 12, 8 p.m.; $19-$39; $15 UCLA students, $25 UCLA faculty & staff. (310) 825-2101, cap.ucla.edu. —John Payne

Lily Tomlin has experienced a nice career resurgence lately. The comedic legend received Golden Globe nominations for her performances in both 2015 dramedy Grandma and Netflix's excellent series Grace and Frankie. Co-created by Friends producer Marta Kauffman, Grace and Frankie stars Tomlin and Jane Fonda as aging women whose husbands divorce them after coming out as gay. Tomlin returns to her stand-up roots for An Evening With Lily Tomlin, a one-woman show that mixes new and older material, resurrecting some of her Laugh-In characters — including Ernestine, the sassy telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the philosophical little girl in the big chair — which have endured for 40-plus years. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., March 11-12, 8 p.m.; $75. (562) 985-7000, carpenterarts.org. —Siran Babayan

Athletes take to the pole at the 2016 Pacific Pole & Aerial Championships on Saturday.
Athletes take to the pole at the 2016 Pacific Pole & Aerial Championships on Saturday.
Courtesy Alloy Images

sun 3/13

There's no porkier food festival in the country than Cochon 555, a butchery-based culinary competition where five local chefs prepare more than three dozen dishes made from the nose-to-tail cuts of heritage-breed pigs. This year's L.A. event features a slew of big-name chefs: Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, Bruce Kalman of Union, Jason Neroni of Rose Café, Brooke Williamson of the Tripel and 2015 champ Walter Manzke of République. In case you've still got room, there's also a whiskey bar, beer bar, tartare bar, ramen bar, oyster bar and cheese bar, among other surprises. Gluttony awaits. Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., March 3, 5 p.m.; $125 general admission, $200 VIP. (678) PIG-LUVN, cochon555.com/2016-tour/los-angeles. —Garrett Snyder

In his new memoir, Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up With Hunter S. Thompson, Juan F. Thompson writes about his tumultuous relationship with his famous dad, both as a legendary gonzo journalist and author and as an alcoholic, drug-addicted and violent father. In the book, Thompson's memories begin at age 2 and end with his father's suicide in 2005, which was followed by the funeral where the ashes were shot out of a cannon. Along the way, the younger Thompson describes his childhood on a farm outside of Aspen, his parents' divorce and the writing of his father's most notable works, including Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Sun., March 13, 4 p.m.; free, book is $26.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

Los Angeles Filmforum presents the L.A. premiere of Hope Tucker's The Obituary Project, 10 short ethnographic films (all less than 10 minutes) about such far-flung topics as ideal flying conditions for pilots and the last remaining phone booths in Finland. Tucker, who in the past has documented abandoned bread factories and fallen witness trees, will appear in person to discuss her work. Note: This is an off-site event. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Sun., March 13, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (213) 484-8846, lafilmforum.org—Michael Nordine

mon 3/14

Depending on how you look at the world, a hula hoop is either a dumb plastic toy that'll make you throw out your back or a new-agey way to exercise and dance and be weird. People in the latter camp gather in Echo Park for Hoopurbia, a weeklong event for hooping enthusiasts, which features classes, performances, competitions, flash mobs and things called "hoop jams." The extravaganza, which originated in Berlin, comes to L.A. for the first time. Put on some Spandex, grab a hoop for each limb and get your hip swivel on. Echo Park Recreation Center, 1632 Bellevue Ave., Echo Park; Mon.-Sun., March 14-20; $99-$649. (213) 378-5746, hoopurbia.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

The Aero plays tribute to screenwriter Horton Foote (who would have turned 100 last week) with Tomorrow and Tender Mercies, both on 35mm. Robert Duvall stars in both, playing a Mississippi farmer who falls in love with a pregnant woman in the former and a down-and-out country singer in the latter, for which he won an Oscar. Tender Mercies in particular is quietly moving, an understated look at hitting rock bottom and slowly building your life back up — it's a clear influence on Crazy Heart, for which Jeff Bridges likewise won an Oscar for playing a similar character. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Mon., March 14, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

tue 3/15

Reality TV makes everything look cutthroat — dating, dieting, dancing, cupcakes. Among the first series on Seeso, NBC's new streaming comedy channel (where it premieres March 17), is Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, a parody of TV shows such as Bravo's Million Dollar Listing. Produced by Kulap Vilaysack, Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Scott Aukerman and David Jargowsky, the spoof is set at a high-end, dog-eat-dog real estate firm, and will feature guest spots by Patton Oswalt, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Nick Kroll, Adam Scott, Gillian Jacobs and Jason Mantzoukas. Before its March 17 premiere, UCB introduces cast members Paul F. Tompkins, Drew Tarver, Ryan Gaul, Tim Baltz, Dan Ahdoot, Mandell Maughan and Tawny Newsome, who'll perform in this improv show alongside actual broker Jamie Blake Sher for some real-estate realness. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., March 15, 8:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

Movies about performers aren't known for depicting the business of show in a favorable light — doubly so in early Hollywood. Charles Vidor's Cover Girl, starring Rita Hayworth as an upstart It girl and Gene Kelly as her mentor/increasingly jealous inamorata, isn't much of an exception. Still, the popular Technicolor musical from 1944 is far from doom and gloom, and Kelly's creative control led to several of its best-known dance sequences. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., March 15, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

Tender Mercies screens on Monday at the Aero.
Tender Mercies screens on Monday at the Aero.

wed 3/16

You couldn't have a series titled Underground USA: Indie Cinema of the '80s without Richard Kern. Tonight the director appears in person for a retrospective of his cinematic and photographic works, with a Q&A moderated by Apology magazine editor Jesse Pearson. Kern rose to prominence making low-budget 8mm films such as Fingered, Serial Killers and Submit to Me Now alongside like-minded contemporaries like Nick Zedd and Scott and Beth B. Kern still keeps his transgressive gaze fixed on the world of images, so expect to get an earful about eyefuls. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Wed., March 16, 8 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

While Sting's been off having tantric sex or whatever, fellow founding member of The Police Stewart Copeland has been hard at work composing an original score for the film Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. That's not the Technicolor Charlton Heston version but rather the 1925 silent version, which has a chariot scene that might be even more iconic than the one in the film that succeeded it. The score will be performed by the Pacific Symphony, with Copeland himself on percussion. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Wed., March 16, 8 p.m.; $60-$99. (818) 677-3000, valleyperformingartscenter.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Put yourself to the fullest possible use — which, as any HAL 9000 computer can tell you, is all any conscious entity can ever hope to do — by seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey. Silver-screen sci-fi reached its zenith with Stanley Kubrick's 1968 masterwork about all manner of life (whether primate, artificial, extraterrestrial or otherwise) on Earth and beyond; SolarisStar WarsAlien and The Thing are all grand, but Zarathustra only spake for 2001ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., March 16, 7:30 p.m.; $14. (323) 464-1478, arclightcinemas.com. —Michael Nordine

thu 3/17

Gabe Greenspan and Ryan Bowers of Idiot Chimney invite you to celebrate the one holiday that encourages alcoholism at A Very Idiot Chimney St. Patrick's Day Show. The two sketch players, who perform monthly at iO West, join fellow sketch group Sasquatch Comedy and guitar-playing comedian Pat Regan for a night of sketches and original songs that may or may not have anything to do with Irish culture. Whether you get drunk before or after, they are not responsible for your hangover. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., March 17, 7-8:30 p.m.; $8 in advance, $10 at the door. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

What, exactly, goes on inside the brain when a musician creates something new? It's more than just a fanciful, hypothetical question to L.A. Chamber Orchestra concertmaster Margaret Batjer. As part of LACO's Westside Connections series, which this year focuses on the intersection of music and neuroscience, host Batjer tonight asks if there's a doctor in the house — in particular, Dr. Charles Limb, head of the otology/neurotology department at UC San Francisco. As the chamber ensemble performs selections by Beethoven and Smetana, the good doctor will explain how these composers continued to make stirring music even after they went deaf. Intriguingly, Limb also will chart changes in the brain in real time as LACO music director Jeffrey Kahane takes flight and improvises on piano. Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Thu., March 17, 7:30 p.m.; $65 & up. (213) 622-7001, laco.org. —Falling James

Need an excuse to leave work in the middle of the day to go drink beer? We didn't think so, but anyway, downtown's midday St. Patrick's Day Celebration in Pershing Square serves to legitimize the decision. The annual celebration of our drunkest holiday starts with a parade that travels south on Hill Street, west on Seventh and then north on Olive to Pershing Square, where Irish cover bands, food trucks and a beer garden await revelers in "Kiss Me I'm Irish" T-shirts. Or, you know, you could just finish out the day at work. Whatever. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., downtown; Thu., March 17, 11 a.m.; free. laparks.org/pershingsquare. —Gwynedd Stuart


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