FRIDAY, AUGUST 26Strippers are so much more appealing when they don’t look like strippers, but
like real, voluptuous women. The hotties of the Velvet Hammer shake and
shimmy for the last time before an extended hiatus as founder Michelle Carr relocates
to Berlin in her one-planet/one-burlesque-troupe conquest of the world. Of course,
all the trapeze artists, musicians and wily comics will be there, too, and when
the grinding grinds to a halt, you can console yourself that Los Angeles still
has enough retro-burlesque shimmy-shakers to fill up the rest of the week. The
El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd.; Fri., Aug. 26, 8 p.m.; $25.;
You thinkin’ about a plate o’ shrimp? The folks at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
have loaded up their humongous inflatable screen for the Rolling Roadshow Tour,
bringing 11 movie screenings to the locations in which they were shot. Here in
Los Angeles, we get to sit in a vacant lot in a dicey part of downtown and drink
generic beer while watching Repo Man (Roswell, New Mexico, gets It Came
From Outer Space
). Repo Man, Emilio Estevez’s finest work, is one of
the most quotable movies ever. Case in point: “The more you drive, the less intelligent
you are.” Jimmy Buffett’s even in it! And Rodney Bingenheimer and the Circle Jerks!
Bring a chair for outdoor seating — or you can also hang a pine-scented car deodorizer
from your rearview mirror, watch in your car, drive-in style, and contemplate
the lattice o’ coincidence. Director Alex Cox will be on hand, as will many members
of the cast. Before the screening, a Repo Man Road Rally will be held,
with the winner of a scavenger hunt getting a Chevy Malibu. Secured and fenced
yard at E. Third & Santa Fe sts., downtown; Sat., Aug. 27, 8:15 p.m.; $18. Road
Rally at 3 p.m. Info at
How slippery do you like your plate o’ shrimp? Extra lubricious? At this weekend’s Chinese Food Festival, you can sample dishes from a slew of restaurants, such as the famous Empress Pavilion, along with smaller joints even Jonathan Gold hasn’t heard of (okay, that’s stretching it). Besides chopsticking everything in sight, you can watch chefs sizzle shrimp, “Chinatown Fear Factor” kiddie games (the challenge: eat jellyfish and chicken feet) and Chinese acrobats. Central Plaza, 943-951 N. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Aug. 27, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., Aug, 28, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $10, $8 seniors, $6 ages 5-12 (admission includes two tastings).While you avoid painful Junctionitis caused by walking on the lava-ish Silver Lake asphalt, stay downtown for the famous Taiwanese Hsiao Hsi Yuan Puppet Theater, making its L.A. debut. Fortunately, all the talented dancers were given visas for their historic visit. These Chuanchow-style wooden puppets are inspired by the Peking Opera and, as you might imagine, go well with Peking duck. (And if you really must head to Silver Lake, check our Music section for full Sunset Junction listings.) Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 26, noon; Sat., Aug. 27, 8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 28, 3 p.m.; free.Speakeasy is a secret sect of social moths and caterpillars who send out occasional press releases and will gladly welcome you into their fold for the cost of a meal at Pink’s. They tend to invite at least one smart, interesting literary type to their gatherings and will force guests to enjoy homemade cookies and lemonade while the literary type shows how entertaining he/she can be. This time it’s Aimee Bender, whose new short-story collection, Willful Creatures, is “in the mail” to me. She’ll lead some sort of parlor game “that promises its own rewards,” which is the press release’s way of saying, “We have no idea.” Also drinking the lemonade will be song makers the Santiago Steps and bookmark artist Nicole Russell. Mount Hollywood Underground, 4607 Prospect Ave., Los Feliz; Sun., Aug. 28, 8-10 p.m.; $7, bookmarks $10. (310) 572-7347 (call for password, which I know but won’t tell).
It’s not easy to find something fun to do on a Monday night — unless you have TiVo, in which case, why ever leave the house? For the TiVo-less, you could do a lot worse than heading to Taix restaurant, ordering the escargot and kir royal, and enjoying the très charmant musical stylings of Patria Jacobs. No, she’s not French (Texan, actually), but she does have a nice song called “Jacques Cousteau” from her more-than-lovely CD Poison of the Sea. Taix, 1911 Sunset Blvd.; every Mon. in Aug., 10 p.m.; free. (213) 484-1265.
It’s a bad night to go out to dinner. Illeana Douglas and Jason Bateman are among the judges of this month’s Manhattan Monologue Slam, which features a bunch of actors taking a night off from waiting tables to perform three-minute monologues. Ivar Theater, 6356 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Tues., Aug. 30, 9 p.m. (doors open 8:30 p.m.); free. (323) 465-4827.
Peter Case has known the highs and lows of the music biz. Yet after 25 years, he still gives and gives. His Last Day Saloon series at Molly Malone’s winds up with a swan song featuring his Peter Case Electro-Harmonic Roll Band and Phil Alvin. “Last Day is a recognition of the state of the world right now,” he says. “I can’t just party at the hoedown, with everything that’s going on. The series is dedicated to our icons: Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski and Lenny Bruce.” In case you haven’t treated yourself to one of these shindigs, you’ve missed sets by Stan Ridgway, Steve Wynn and Chuck Prophet. “I’m going back on tour — it was nice being home while it lasted.” Molly Malone’s, 575 S. Fairfax Ave.; Wed., Aug. 31, 9:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 935-1577 or (310) 578-5591, Ext. 2.
Space is running out, but we can’t recommend The Paul Lynde Show enough.
Michael Airington out-Lyndes Lynde. He’s scary good. The Madrid Theater, 21622
Sherman Way, Canoga Park; Wed., Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m.; free, but resv. required at
While Peter Case moves ahead of his poppy Plimsouls past, The Knack’s Doug
Fieger proudly says, “Hey, I was popular once!” and drags out “My Sharona” for
the billionth time. With Shonen Knife, another cutesy band that sings about
nothing whatsoever of importance. Santa Monica Pier, Colorado & Ocean aves.;
Thurs., Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 458-8900 or

LA Weekly