The big event of this weekend is the L.A. Pride Parade, but we've got plenty of awesome things to carry you through the rest of the week on a rainbow slide of fun. Once you've marched through West Hollywood, you deserve a break. Sit back and watch others work their bodies at the Dance Media Festival, where some of the most exciting dancers from around the world come to you - live and via video. Fashion more your thing? In Little Tokyo, take front row at a kawaii fashion show, without the pricy trip to Japan. Get some history with a special exhibit on Route 66, or explore the modern roads, with street artist JonOne's gallery show.
1. Be Proud
While 50,000 people are expected at this weekend's West Hollywood Pride Fest concert, you'll have to fork over $20 to $35 ($65 to $100 if you want to get all VIP about it) to see Saturday night's smokin' sirens Azealia Banks and Jennifer Hudson, or Sunday's girl groups Danity Kane and The Bangles. But there is an alternative if you're both super proud and way broke: the Lavender Menace. Formerly known as the Purple Party, this Friday-night soiree has been rebranded as a nod to a cadre of early-1970s radical feminists who fought to raise consciousness about the exclusion of lesbians from the era's feminist movement. The entertainment looks stellar. Mary Lambert, better known as "the best part of that Macklemore song," who gained notoriety after participating in a mass wedding of 33 couples during a 2014 Grammys performance earlier this year, is offering up her songbird talents alongside fellow headliner Betty Who, the Aussie pop star who became a household name after a viral video of a same-sex marriage proposal in a Salt Lake City Home Depot used her single "Somebody Loves You" as its soundtrack. Both singers will perform after the WeHo Dyke March, which starts inside the festival grounds, moves down Santa Monica Boulevard into the streets of West Hollywood, and returns to the fest to resume the party. Between the Dyke March and Sunday's L.A. Pride Parade, where more than 400,000 people are expected to converge, you'll accumulate enough cardio points to stay away from the gym for a week. For more info and a complete list of related Pride-ful events, visit lapride.org. West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Lavender Menace, Fri., June 6, 5 p.m.-mid.; free. Dyke March, Fri., June 6, 7 p.m.; free. Pride Festival, Sat., June 7, noon-mid.; Sun., June 8, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; $20 per day, $35 for both nights ($65 to $100 for VIP passes). L.A. Pride Parade, Sun., June 8, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (323) 969-8302, lapride.org. - Rena Kosnett
3. Get Kawaii
At Little Tokyo's Fairytale Boutique, fans of Japanese street fashion can pick up hoodies decorated with bunny ears, pastel sweaters covered with bats and carnival print dresses. Every few months, customers get together and strut through Little Tokyo in their attention-grabbing garb. Based on similar fashion walks in Japan, the events encourage the subculturally minded - from goths to punks to Lolitas - to show off their style. This time around, Fairytale is joining forces with Cherry Jelly Productions and neighboring shop Anime Jungle for the J-Pop Kawaii Parade. The aesthetic is still centered around Japanese styles of street fashion, but this time cosplayers will be joining in the fun. The walk coincides with Ninja Con, an anime convention taking place at multiple Little Tokyo venues on the same day. Participants will stroll through Little Tokyo between 4:30 and 6 p.m., with several stops for photo ops. If you're in the neighborhood, you won't want to miss the parade of colorful and cutting-edge fashion mixed with pop culture - centric costumes. After the parade, people will be heading next door to Anime Jungle for OtaSummer, a music and fashion event. Fairytale Boutique, 319 E. Second St., Ste. 114, Little Tokyo; Sat., June 7, 4:30-6 p.m.; free. facebook.com/events/293591237471522. Anime Jungle, 319 E. Second St., Ste. 103, Sat., June 7, 8:30-11 p.m.; $5. facebook.com/events/294535057378574. - Liz Ohanesian
2. Lose Yourself to Dance
The world's preeminent festival of dance film, Dance Camera West, returns with its 13th annual Dance Media Festival. Titled "Restructure," this year's events include both indoor and outdoor screenings, live performances by two of L.A.'s top contemporary companies, and two awards ceremonies. The live performances and many of the screenings are free, and even the others are less costly than that stupid Adam Sandler movie at your local multiplex. The festival opens Friday on the Music Center Plaza with dancers from BODYTRAFFIC performing with L.A.-based sculptor Gustavo Godoy's latest "live-action" sculpture. The action moves into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the opening night's 13 films, all less than 15 minutes long, from the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan, France, Slovakia and the United States. Saturday offers a midday reprise of BODYTRAFFIC, followed by five longer films at MOCA before the sunset action shifts to Grand Park, where L.A. Contemporary Dance will debut Prite Oef Stringh ahead of an outdoor screening of two films and an awards presentation. The festival wraps up Sunday with a swirl of action: the final BODYTRAFFIC performance preceding four more screening programs, panel discussions, Q&As and the final awards. Complete details, venues and tickets at dancecamerawest.org. Various downtown venues; Fri.-Sun., June 6-8, various times; free to $15. - Ann Haskins
Turn the page for two more awesomely arty events.
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4. Color on the Walls
"JonOne: West Side Stories" is the latest solo exhibition from this New York - based, L.A.-appreciating street-art star - and the first solo show in Fabien Castanier's fancy new digs in Culver City. The gallery relocated after years of being the coolest thing in Studio City, so not only the artist but also the dealer has a Westside story to tell. In any case, you can expect plenty of the big, bold, bright, brand-new and emotional from both of them, as JonOne has been making exceptionally vibrant compositions in his signature style, combining explosive, calligraphic abstraction with florid color fields and art-historical elegance. In his confident and zesty brushwork and mysterious almost-language, JonOne uses influences as disparate as his youth in 1980s New York City and later exposure to the less-mean streets of the Paris art world at the turn of the new century. And lately, to that cocktail of inspirations, the artist has added the unbridled freedom, sunny spirit and penchant for experimentation that Los Angeles famously affords to artists. How does that number go again? "The air is humming, and something great is coming... " Fabien Castanier Gallery, 2919 La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Sat., June 7, 6-10 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through July 12. (310) 876-3529, castaniergallery.com. - Shana Nys Dambrot
5. Hitch a Ride
The open road and its seemingly infinite, flat expanses are irresistible to lead-footed dreamers - for about five hours. Nearly 2,500 miles long, Route 66 was the main cross-country route between Chicago and Los Angeles and boasted hundreds of opportunities to answer the neon sirens' call, or maybe just move permanently. For much of the 20th century, Route 66 was romanticized by conquerors and vagabonds, and some of them documented their experience. The Autry's new exhibition, "Route 66: The Road and the Romance," features many of those artifacts, including Kerouac's famous, feverishly typed On the Road scroll, a 1960 Corvette and an early Jackson Pollock painting. All of it will mingle with more than 200 pieces of "Mother Road" ephemera, a tribute to an era when gas was cheap and a lot more people could find Joplin, Missouri, on a map. The Autry, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Sun., June 8; continues through Jan. 4; Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $10, $6 students/seniors, $4 kids, free for members, veterans and kids under 2. (323) 667-2000, route66.theautry.org. - Sean J. O'Connell