FRIDAY, March 28
By now, word is out that the monthly Comedy Meltdown is the most happening nuit du rire in town. It could be because it’s in the back room of a comic book store, which lends instant hipster cred. There’s no cover charge, and the booze is free. Get a load of this lineup for Comedy Meltdown IV: The Quest for Peace: hosts Mark Voyce, Andy Kindler, Natasha Leggero, Boris Hamilton and Ron Lynch. That’s at least a sawbuck’s worth of comedy, though if you’d prefer to spend big bucks, the Laugh Factory is only a few blocks down the street. Meltdown Gallery, 7522 W. Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., March 28, 8:30 p.m.; free. (323) 851-7223.
SATURDAY, March 29
Do you have an affection for the years between 1925 and 1939? Is there a framed poster of the Chrysler Building in your home? Do you frequently quote Bevis Hillier? Does zebra skin give you a happy, serene feeling? Then you probably already have your tickets to the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles’ Club Manhattan: A Jazz Age Speakeasy. Some of the evening’s details are secret, but here’s what they’re revealing: “You’ll find men in striped suits and women in beaded chemises that catch the light as they shimmy to the Charleston. There, back in the ’20s, it’s rumored the bathtub gin flowed freely. Now we’re pretty sure we’ll be safe from raids, and the hooch is clean, but we might still serve it in teacups. Knock three times and whisper the secret password (to be revealed when you make your reservation). Swellegant people, deliciously furtive drinks, dancing with abandon, raffles and a surprise or two we can’t yet reveal.” Location and parking information upon reservation; Sat., March 29, 8 p.m.-mid.; $40. (310) 659-3326.
SUNDAY, March 30
Dutton’s will remain open until April 30, but today they’re throwing a farewell party. Sad. The store’s events coordinator, Lise Friedman, invites one and all to say goodbye to this independent literary landmark. “I want this to be a big, public, wonderful party to remember,” she says. There will be speakers, T-shirts for sale and maybe an auction of memorabilia. At least now we never have to go to Brentwood ever again. Dutton’s Brentwood, 11975 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; Sun., March 30, 5 p.m. (310) 476-6263.
Most children’s music makes many of us parents want to throw ourselves under the wheels of a bus. Thankfully, Renee & Jeremy get the fact that kids dig the same grooves and melodies we grown-ups do. The songs on their It’s a Big World CD have a hand-knit quality and tend to be the quiet kinds of pretty ditties that are perfect for coming out of a good afternoon nap. The two perform with The SqueeGees and The Groovy Fools in a benefit for UNICEF. Storyopolis, 12348 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; Sun., March 30, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; $10 donation requested. (818) 509-5600 or (310) 614-8060.
MONDAY, March 31
“Reel Talk With Stephen Farber” features the much-anticipated film by Kimberly Peirce, director of Boys Don’t Cry. Stop Loss stars Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Abbie Cornish and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a story about an Iraq-war veteran. Peirce gives a talk after the screening. Wadsworth Theatre, on the Veterans Administration grounds, Bldg. 226, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Mon., March 31, 7 p.m.; $20. (213) 365-3500 or (310) 479-3636.
TUESDAY, April 1
Any new book by writer A.M. Homes is good news for fans of chillingly serene prose set amid the suburbs. Her new memoir looks like a doozy. The Mistress’s Daughter tells Homes’ own story of being adopted and her birth parents’ search for her 30 years later. A better reason to go? Think about what happened to Dutton’s. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tues., April 1, 7:30 p.m.; free (book costs $14.95). (323) 660-1175.
WEDNESDAY, April 2
One was Barbra Streisand’s understudy for Funny Girl on Broadway; the other a child model for Lane Bryant. Ladies and gentlemen, find out what happens when Lainie Kazan and Bruce Vilanch co-host An Evening of Legendary Bingo. That’s some Hollywood star power that adds up to half a Bette Midler and three Tommy Tunes. Benefits Media City Ballet. Hamburger Mary’s, 8288 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Wed., April 2, 9-11 p.m; $20, includes bingo cards. (323) 654-3800.
THURSDAY, April 3
MESS (Media Ecology Soul Sessions) presents Jammin’ the Jammers. What does this even mean? Well, after “tumultuously tweaking experimentation” by the Rondo Hatton Experience, a panel of arty know-it-alls, including “agitprop archaeologist Gerry Fialka and confirmed hippie writer Michael Simmons,” discuss Lenny Bruce, organist Korla Pandit, Ernie Kovacs, Lord Buckley, John Cage and Carol Channing. All true except for the last one. The point? “To probe how these visionaries elevated self-realization to uncover the ambiguity and complexity of consumerism culture.” And here you were, thinking they were all entertainers. At least the insanely suave Reverend Dan of KXLU’s Music for Nimrods will be there to keep the rock & roll vibe alive. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Thurs., April 3, 7 p.m.; $7 donation, no one turned away for pretending not to have the dough. (310) 822-3006.
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