Halloween is an imaginative season—for example, trying to imagine pumpkin spice is made of—and even folks eschewing the holiday theme can feel the veil thinning. (If you are, however, all about that costume life, do check out our Big Halloween Guide.) In that spirit (sorry) check out slumber parties at the bookstore, a streaming service getting into the horror house business, an alternative art space getting into the avant-garde immersive business; sculptures you can touch, a climate-forward Kipling remake in dance, classic theater updated for a new century; a behemoth pop-up art fair foregrounding artist-run spaces and collectives; conversations about the future, paintings about past lives; surreal photography, performative puppetry, and a concert for your ears—and nose.
Thursday, October 26
Franz West at David Zwirner Los Angeles. West is known for creating objects that serve to redefine art as a social experience and calling attention to the way in which art is presented to the public and how viewers interact with works of art and with each other. A significant grouping of West’s self-coined “legitimate sculptures”—colorful, abstract, painted papier-mâché and plaster forms that rest on unusual supports—from the 1990s will anchor the presentation. Also featured will be rarely seen early examples of the artist’s Passstücke (Adaptives), sculptural forms that were intended to be handled by the viewer in a manner of their choosing. 612 N. Western Ave., Melrose Hill; Opening reception: Thursday, October 26, 6-8pm; On view through December 16; free; davidzwirner.com.
Akram Khan Company: Jungle Book reimagined at the Broad Stage. A new multimedia production inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s beloved story. Join young Mowgli as she navigates a world impacted by climate change, in this internationally renowned performance that combines bold movement with stunning animation and visuals. A story for both children and adults alike, Jungle Book reimagined delivers a powerful and hopeful message about our intrinsic need to connect with others and the importance of respecting our natural world. 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Performances October 26-28, with pre-show activities at the theater plaza; $65-$100; broadstage.org.
Spring Awakening at East West Players. In 1891 Germany, repressed, adolescent students stumble into adulthood as clumsily as they do into each other’s arms. With obstinate parents unwilling to guide them, young Melchior and Wendla explore their desires for each other, while Melchior’s dear friend Moritz fumbles dangerously through his own coming-of-age. This generation-defining musical is a rock anthem to all the “guilty ones,” poignantly exploring the dark, passionate, and twisting journey from adolescence to adulthood. Directed by Tim Dang; Book & Lyrics by Steven Sater; Music by Duncan Sheik; Based on the Play by Frank Wedekind. 120 N. Judge John Aiso St., Little Tokyo; Performances October 26 – November 19; $12-$39; eastwestplayers.org.
Friday, October 27
TRYST and NOMAD II at Del Amo Crossing. The world’s largest art fair for alternative galleries and artist-run initiatives from around the world, TRYST presents a range of diverse artistic voices and collectives groups, from the newly founded to the historic and established grassroots art spaces. NOMAD II is the return of host organization Torrance Art Museum’s innovative contemporary art pop-up, with a sculpture, installation, and performance focused program. The unoccupied medical building at Del Amo Crossing will host works by emerging, mid-career, and established contemporary Southern California based artists. 21515 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance; Opening night preview: Friday, October 27, 4-6pm; Hours: Saturday-Sunday, October 28-29, noon-6pm; free; torranceartmuseum.com.
Halloween Sleepovers at The Last Bookstore. DTLA’s favorite temple of books hosts a week of Halloween slumber parties—a unique opportunity for the dedicated bibliophile with a particular taste for the haunted—especially their legendary Horror Vault. Special guest true crime expert and storyteller James Bartlett will give a talk on the ghosts, crimes, and history of the building. Lights out at midnight, but whether you sleep or not? That’s up to you. This event is BYOE, or bring your own everything—sleeping bag, air mattress, snacks, costumes. 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Friday-Tuesday, October 27-31; $150; lastbookstorela.com.
How Does Confronting Our History Build a Better Future? At Zócalo (Live & Streaming). Scholars, social justice activists, and many others argue that grappling with the sins of the past, and the ways they reverberate into the present, is necessary for reimagining the future. What are the best and most creative ways societies are using history to make a better tomorrow? And how can organizers ensure that all perspectives can be represented in ways that help bring people together? Environmental activist and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (Xochimilco), L.A. LGBT Center communications officer and former editor-in-chief of Out magazine Phillip Picardi, and “On Being” founder, executive producer and host Krista Tippett visit Zócalo to discuss how society might draw strength and coax vision from the shortcomings and failures of its collective past. In-person audiences enjoy a post-program reception with drinks, snacks, and a special performance by the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arktet. ASU California Center, 1111 S. Broadway, downtown; Friday, October 27, 7pm; free; zocalopublicsquare.org.
Saturday, October 28
Hossein Edalatkhah: Tales of New York at Hamzianpour & Kia. A visual diary of a seminal phase in the artist’s personal journey—born in Iran, he moved to New York City in 2016—and the universal experience of leaving the familiar for a new environment. Edalatkhah turns to mythology to help tap into the collective subconscious and bring the universal into the personal. Many of the figures in the paintings are amalgams of various animals and humans; and Edalatkhah renders them at a scale that suggests the larger-than-life monumentality of mythical creatures—new mythologies to help narrate his personal universal tale. 5225 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 212, Miracle Mile: Opening reception: Saturday, October 28, 4-6pm; On view through November 21; free; hamzianpourandkia.com.
The House Was Too Small at the Fowler Museum. The House Was Too Small: Yoruba Sacred Arts from Africa and Beyond opens with a performance by Patrisse Cullors, a party with DJ Adé, cocktails, and a Cuban dance performance by choreographer Kati Hernández and KimBambula. Cullors’ new performance, Ori Whispers, is a procession from the botanical gardens to the amphitheater, in celebration of the power and strength of the Black Femme Ori (one’s head and spiritual center). The exhibition the work inaugurates features more than 100 remarkable works from Nigeria, Benin, Brazil, Cuba, and the United States, and highlights pan-Yoruba theological principles as expressed through a variety of art forms including sculpture, beadwork, and ritual costume design. 308 Charles E. Young Dr., Westwood; Opening reception: Saturday, October 28, 5-9pm; On view through June 2; free; fowler.ucla.edu.
Eve Wood: Remarks On Color Artist Talk, Screening, and Book Signing at MOCA. In Remarks on Color, artist, author, poet, and critic Eve Wood shares her witty take on life through a kaleidoscope of reflections on the color spectrum. Originating as a column in Artillery magazine, the expanded Remarks on Color showcases Wood’s imaginative characters alongside studies that combat pandemic-era isolation and malaise with irreverent humor. Vivid and resistant, these writings allow readers to immerse themselves in the perspective of an iconic L.A. voice. Following a reading by Wood is a screening of Unfurled (2023), a short documentary by Gemini Productions about her work. 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Saturday, October 28, 4-6pm; free; moca.org.
Tiler Peck & Friends: Turn it Out at the Soraya. One of ballet’s greatest stars, with a storied career at New York City Ballet and a massive presence online where she inspires young ballerinas and wows balletomanes, Peck is at the height of her powers. She now strikes out to create her own original work, joined by an eclectic line-up of dancers and choreographers including fellow NYCB dancers and the reigning diva of tap dance, Michelle Dorrance. 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Saturday, October 28, 8pm and Sunday, October 29, 3pm; $43-$119; thesoraya.org.
Sunday, October 29
The Feminist Fight Forward: Lessons from 50 Years of Ms. Magazine at the Skirball. Examine the evolution and future of women’s rights during this daylong event celebrating Ms. magazine’s enduring commitment to feminism with the release of its new anthology, 50 Years of Ms. Gender equity is rooted in the Jewish cultural traditions of pursuing justice and upholding freedom for all people. Join the Skirball Cultural Center and Feminist Majority Foundation to honor Ms. magazine’s enduring commitment to feminism with the release of its new anthology. This daylong event will feature keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and conversations with artists, poets, scholars, political leaders, and others as we examine the evolution and future of women’s rights. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Sunday, October 29, 9am-3pm, $45; skirball.org.
Odophonics: A Performance for Scent and Chamber Ensemble at Craft Contemporary. Creatively riffing on a 19th century treatise on the harmonics of smell, Goeltzenleuchter and Conway’s performance challenges current perceptions of how we experience smell and sound. The auditory element involves Minimalist structures that create gradual chord transformations, while corresponding scent notes are released in time. In collaboration with the Institute for Art and Olfaction. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Saturday, October 28, 1pm; $35; craftcontemporary.org.
Huluween: Now Screaming at Pacific Design Center. This immersive activation is packed with nonstop scares and talented costume actors that will have guests screaming all the way through Hulu’s most terrifying collection of streaming titles, including “American Horror Story,” “Annabelle,” “The Boogeyman” and more. If viewers thought these were scary on screen, this brand new activation will bring them to life in a more frightening way than they could ever imagine. Guests will never know what’s lurking just around the corner… but those brave enough will find out. 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Sunday-Tuesday, October 29-31, 4-10:45pm; free w/ timed rsvp; feverup.com/m/142163
Tuesday, October 31
Phase Shift Collective: Synthetic Forest at Coaxial Arts. An immersive audio/visual performance by Phase Shift Collective (mathematician, video artist, and educator Andrei Jay & experimental multimedia artist, and ambient musician Paloma Kop). Drawing from video material and soundscapes collected during recent travels through national forests across the US, elements from nature will be deconstructed and recombined with experimental video and sound synthesis techniques, resulting in a hybrid cybernetic multi-sensory environment. 1815 S. Main St., downtown; Tuesday, October 31, 7pm; free; coaxialarts.org.
Wednesday, November 1
Little Amal in Pasadena. Join the Armory, Pasadena Playhouse, and Deaf West Theater to welcome Little Amal, an internationally celebrated, 12-foot walking puppet of a Syrian refugee girl. Amal’s visit to the Los Angeles region is part of Amal Walks Across America: a nationwide journey spanning more than 35 cities and towns. (Amal appears in Downtown and Santa Monica during her weeklong sojourn in Los Angeles). While in Pasadena, Amal’s City Hall visit will include elements of performance, percussion, and a drop-in artmaking activity with Armory Teaching Artists thematically tied to the day’s events. Pasadena City Hall, 100 Garfield Ave., Pasadena; Wednesday, November 1, 5pm; free; armoryarts.org.
Magic Realism: An Evening with Arthur Tress at the Getty Center. In honor of the landmark exhibition Arthur Tress: Rambles, Dreams, and Shadows—the first exhibition to chronicle the early career of one of the most innovative American photographers of the postwar era, which opens on October 31—Getty curator Jim Ganz and Tress discuss how photographer’s sense of “magic realism” evolved from his early roots in the social documentary tradition to a bold new approach drawing inspiration from the inner worlds of fantasies, daydreams, and nightmares. In-person and streaming, and includes a preview of the documentary Arthur Tress: Water’s Edge. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; Wednesday, November 1, 7pm; free; getty.edu.
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