FRIDAY, April 28
We’re told he looks much bigger in person, and that he still has the same gleaming smile and bright, big eyes he’s always had. Yep, Thomas the Tank Engine’s back in town for Day Out With Thomas. Your rendezvous with the famous train engine includes a 25-minute ride, plus a photo op with Sir Topham Hatt, who always has to draw attention away from Thomas, plus a Thomas & Friends Imagination Station with storytelling, videos, music and the ever-popular “and more.” Fillmore & Western Railway, Fillmore Central Park, 250 Central Ave., Fillmore; Fri.-Sun., April 28-30 & May 5-7, 9:50 a.m.-2:40 p.m.; $16. (805) 524-2546 or www.fwry.com.
SATURDAY, April 29
Normally, we wouldn’t send our worst enemies to Westwood during the overcrowded L.A. Times Festival of Books, the only book festival that makes you desperately wish you were home reading a book. But the highly worthy 826LA, which helps kids explore and develop their writing skills, is the beneficiary of Besides the Music: Conversation, Debate, and Yes, Music. It’s your big chance to see the Rock Bottom Remainders, a supergroup of authors that includes Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Scott Turow, Mitch Albom, Ridley Pearson, Greg Iles and Kathi Kamen Goldmark, with special guests Craig Ferguson (drums), Frank McCourt (harmonica) and ringer Roger McGuinn of the Byrds getting down, but hopefully not too down. And they encourage hecklers. UCLA’s Royce Hall, Wstwd.; Sat., April 29, 8 p.m.; $25-$50; VIP reception $200, includes concert. (310) 825-2101.
SUNDAY, April 30
What’s different about the streets of Silver Lake this weekend? Could it be the lack of pasty-faced, torn sweater–wearing, emo-loving hipsters who are off communing in Coachella? Ah, that’s it. AT&T Fiesta Broadway is the real party. It’s everybody in the street for joyful Latin sounds from Pablo Montero, Mariana Seoane, Bronco, Fey, Graciela Beltran, Jerry Rivera, Gilberto Gless and La Mafia. Broadway betw. First & 11th sts., dwntwn.; Sun., April 30, noon-6 p.m.; free. www.fiestabroadway.LA.
MONDAY, May 1
Today, actor Glenn Ford turns 90. Happy birthday, Mr. Ford. American Cinematheque is celebrating with a screening of his classic 1946 flick ?Gilda, with Rita Hayworth. Mr. Ford will make his first public appearance in 15 years at the event, and everyone gets champagne and birthday cake after the film. There will be no bounce house. Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Mon., May 1, 7:30 p.m.; $15, $12 seniors & students. (323) 466-FILM or www.glennfordsalute.com.
TUESDAY, May 2
If it’s Tuesday, it must be Comedy Death-Ray (Teri Hatcher reads at Book Soup today, but we just couldn’t do that to you. Also, the BellRays’ new album comes out today, and it fucking rules.) The hotshots performing include hosts the Sklar Brothers, Doug Benson from Best Week Ever, B.J. Novak from The Office, Andrew Daly from Mad TV, among other people with too much talent. Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Tues., May 2, 8:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702.
WEDNESDAY, May 3
Los Angeles Plays Itself — and demands a towel attendant, a sniffer dog in case of bomb threats, and a case of Kabbalah Energy Drink, while refusing to drink from plastic or Styrofoam. Thom Andersen’s documentary features scads of clips that go way beyond the stereotype of Tinseltown. And, yes, you’ve read that description before, but as Hoopla celebrates its one-year birthday (no party necessary; just smear cake on our face and take a snapshot), expect a rerun every now and then. American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed., May 3, 7:30 p.m. (also Wed.-Fri., April 26-28, 7:30 p.m.); $9, $7 seniors. (323) 466-FILM.
THURSDAY, May 4
You’re fired! We’ve all heard that one before (years ago, mine involved a spontaneous getaway to San Francisco coupled with the wrong attitude). After great success with the first installment, Fired actress Annabelle Gurwitch is back again with Fired Again! It’s more tales of getting canned, told with hilarious humility by a revolving cast that includes Craig Bierko, TV writer/producer Maxine Lapiduss, The Daily Show’s Brian Unger, and, if this column keeps sucking, possibly yours truly. L.A. Theater Works at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.; Wed.-Fri., May 3-5, 8 p.m.; Sat., May 6, 3 p.m.; Sun., May 7, 4 p.m.; $25-$45 ($15 with pink slip or proof of unemployment insurance). (310) 827-0889.?