FRIDAY, June 9

Does something smell like pride? Los Angeles Pride Week begins with the big Dyke March (not that the dykes are big, but the march itself is rather large). The march, which could also be described as a parade, is themed “Our Agenda: Love. Equality. Pride.” Speakers, including Sheila Kuehl, will speak proudly, followed by an insanely proud concert and dance. Corner of Santa Monica & San Vicente blvds., West Hollywood; Fri., June 9, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 848-6510.


Harry Shearer’s not a gay, but he plays one on TV, ?among a jillion other characters on The Simpsons. Shearer, who is to improvisational comedy what the Harlem Globetrotters are to basketball, receives the Del Close Award, closing out IO West’s Fourth Annual Improv Comedy Festival. After an improvised award ceremony, Shearer will demonstrate his amazing off-the-cuffness onstage. Check out the festival earlier in the week too; there are some big names getting up on the small stage. IO West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., June 10, 8 p.m.; $25. (323) 962-7560.

Yet another McSweeney’s Presents, The World, Explained brings together brainy cutups presenting “precision comedy and fact-based entertainment,” this time tackling such subjects as the intricacies of lightweight sumo wrestling and the meaning of things discarded by others. On the bill are Davy Rothbart, creator of Found magazine; Starlee Kine of This American Life; Joshua Davis, author of The Underdog; Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live; and Evany Thomas, author of The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple’s Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions. Andy Richter hosts and Zooey Deschanel and Grant Lee Phillips provide the music. It’s all to benefit 826LA, the non-profit organization created to turn kids into little McSweeneyites, a worthy cause indeed. Barnsdall Theater, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., June 10, 8 p.m.; $20, $50 includes postshow reception with drinks & food. (310) 305-8418.

SUNDAY, June 11

The ultimate gay dilemma: Do you hit the Christopher Street West Annual Pride Festival, or pony up for the 10th Annual Tony Awards Bash: An Actors’ Fund Special Event Honoring Liza Minnelli? At the latter, Liza will receive the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement — and you know what that means. Yes, she’ll give a speech. The shebang also includes wine tasting, open bar, dinner, silent auction and watching the Tonys on TV. But at the festival, you can have your nipples sunburned until they look like burnt peanuts while you watch the Bangles, Berlin and Taylor Dayne. Tough call. Pride: West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.; Sat., June 10, noon-11 p.m.; Sun., June 11, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; $20. (323) 969-8302 or Liza: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.; Sun., June 11, 3:30 p.m., dinner & Tonys 5-8 p.m., presentation 8 p.m.; $200. (323) 933-9266, Ext. 54.

Then again, attending What a Pair! 4 gets you more celebrities per dollar than any other event this week: Christina Applegate, Jessica Biel, Marg Helgenberger, Katey Sagal, Lea Thompson, Jo Anne Worley and scads more broads belting out Broadway duets to benefit the John Wayne Cancer Institute’s Joyce Eisenberg Keefer Breast Center. Wiltern Theater, 3790 Wilshire Blvd.; Sun., June 11, 7:30 p.m.; $50-$250. (213) 480-3232.

MONDAY, June 12

Anderson Cooper presents and signs Dispatches from the Edge, his collection of poems about the U2 guitarist. Or not. Please do not make him cry. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 7 p.m.; free (book $24.95). (310) 659-3110.

TUESDAY, June 13

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” Ah, George Carlin, such a genius-ass. His live shows are masterful, even when he’s in a cranky mood. Which is always. Comedy & Magic Club, 1018 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach; Tues., June 13, 8 p.m.; $35. (310) 372-1193.


“Everybody has their inner gardener.” Who was it who said that? Oh, yeah, it was me. No matter what your level of expertise, there is something to be learned at TheUrban Garden Talks: Planting Your Garden. The first thing you will learn is that there’s an urban garden at Walt Disney Hall, a fact many people don’t know. Garden know-it-all Brian Helgoe will lead a tour and then tell all about planting and maintaining your own oasis. Then everybody tours the garden. Urban Garden at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed., June 14, noon; free. (213) 972-4399 or


Christian Scientist-turned-porn-actor-turned-monologist Spalding Gray would have been 65 this month. And if he were still alive, no doubt he’d be talking. And talking. Leftover Stories: A Tribute to Spalding Gray features a huge cast, including Brooke Adams, Margaret Cho, Frances Conroy, Teri Garr, Gina Gershon, Eric Stoltz and Loudon Wainwright III, doing the talking for him. Freud Playhouse, UCLA, Westwood; Wed.-Sat., June 14-17, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 18, 7 p.m.; $45. (310) 825-2101.?

LA Weekly