Friday, August 22
For most of you, driving to Lancaster seems like driving to Vegas. But believe it or not, Lancaster is not only in the state of California, it’s in Los Angeles County. The Antelope Valley Fair & Alfalfa Festival boasts the usual fest-ish fun — games, rides, rural olympics, bull riding, animals to pet and enough food on a stick to send you straight to the emergency room. If you don’t need your stomach pumped, hang around for the live acts, starting on Saturday with country singer Gary Allan and Diamond Rio, followed by Jason Aldean and Terri Clark, John Fogerty, Poison and Sebastian Bach, Grupo Montéz de Durango with Lupillo Rivera, Weird Al Yankovic, and the blackest white girl in the biz, Fergie. You know your career is starting to slip when … Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 W. Avenue H, Lancaster; Fri., Aug. 22-Mon., Sept. 1; $8, $5 seniors & children, free under 6. (661) 948-6060 or www.avfair.com.
Bring a friend and tissues to the Feel Good Film Festival. Instead of encouraging you to curse at your mother, smoke dope and get knocked up, these are “short or feature-length films with happy endings that make audiences laugh, and that capture the beauty of our world,” including movies about an all-girl baseball team, a blind marathon runner, an Amish man and a tribute to 80-year-old comedian Jonathan Winters. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri.-Sun., Aug. 22-24; $9. (323) 466-3456 or www.fgff.org.
It’s safe to say that Gene Simmons never slept with Lisa Lampanelli. On the recent roast of Simmons on A&E, the comedian and Queen of Mean asked: “What do you call a man who’s a true rock & roll icon? What do you call a man whose songs will live forever in the hearts of millions of fans? What do you call a man who’s inspired countless young people to pursue their dream of making a difference in the world? You call that man John Lennon. But he’s dead, and all we have is this untalented windbag.” Don’t let her read my eulogy. Canyon Club, 28912 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills, Fri.-Sat., Aug. 22-23, 9 p.m.; $58.50-$48.50. (818) 879-5016.
Saturday, August 23
Tired of keeping those puppies on a leash? Organizers of Go Topless ask that you put your best breast forward on Go Topless Protest Day and rally with other top-free women and men to demand that “as long as men can be topless, constitutionally women should have the right, or men should also be forced to wear something hiding their chest.” (Well, they sort of do, sometimes.) Look forward to seeing yourself on YouTube. Venice Beach, Sat., Aug. 23, noon. At the risk of attracting more pervs: www.gotopless.org.
Only in Burbank will you find three AMC movie theaters within five blocks of each other. Away from the hubbub of downtown lies Burbank’s quaint and quiet Magnolia Park area, lined with vintage shops, a year-round Halloween store and a true landmark, Porto’s Bakery. And for the second year, the Be-Boppin’ in the Park festival showcases more than 200 pre-1972 vintage cars, plus a dance floor and stage with live music by the Sardo Brothers and rockabilly band the Hot Rod Trio. Prizes are handed out in categories that include the coolest, hottest and most all-American cars, in addition to the Jay Leno Award (Leno himself attended last year) for the funniest car. Along Magnolia Boulevard between Hollywood Way and California Street, Burbank; Sat., Aug. 23, 3-9 p.m.; free. (818) 238-5209 or www.magnoliaparkburbank.org.
Draw water-inspired works of art with chalk at the sixth annual Chalk Art Festival & Live Music, this year themed Fanta-Sea. Prizes are awarded in different categories, and free chalk is given out to the first 150 registrants. After the festival, enjoy some classic rock by Jimbo & the Bodacious Blues Band or, better yet, take part in Free to Be Me’s drum circle. Redondo Beach Pier, 200 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, Sat., Aug. 23, noon-8 p.m.; free registration. (310) 318-0631 or www.redondopier.com.
Sunday, August 24
Grab a partner and swing on over to a Tribute to Benny Goodman as clarinetist Terry Myers and his orchestra — featuring the “Swing Sisters” singers — revive the music of the King of Swing, with such favorites as “Moonglow,” “One O’Clock Jump,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy” and “The Very Thought of You.” Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos; Sun., Aug. 24, 3 p.m.; $50-$28. (562) 916-8500.
Monday, August 25
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles is turning the big three-oh — but they don’t look a day over 29 (you know how vain boys can be). And they’re about to be touched by an angel. Della Reese, George Takei, granddaughter of César Chávez Christine Chavez, singer Billy Porter, actress Donzaleigh Abernathy and singer and daughter of Carol Burnett Erin Hamilton will join the chorus in this 30th-anniversary gala concert performing pop, jazz, classical and Broadway standards. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Mon., Aug. 25, 8 p.m.; $25-$80. (213) 480-3232.
Tuesday, August 26
Chris Carter, the man behind the X Files series and recent X Files: I Want to Believe film, screens the 1946 Oscar-winning adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, directed by David Lean and starring John Mills, Jean Simmons and Alec Guinness. Carter also conducts a prescreening Q&A. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; Tues., Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m.; $10, $6 students. (310) 440-4500.
Dutch guest conductor Edo de Waart leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chinese pianist Sa Chen in a program of German masters titled German Romantics, including Wagner’s Meistersinger Prelude, Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tues., Aug. 26, 8 p.m.; $1-$124. (323) 850-2000.
Wednesday, August 27
Fourteen members of the local artist community known as Artist Co-op 7 take part in Visual Poetry, a group show of “visually poetic” paintings and drawings. VIVA Gallery, 13261 Moorpark St., Sherman Oaks; Wed., Aug. 27-Sat., Sept. 13; Wed.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., noon-4 p.m.; free. (818) 385-0080.
Thursday, August 28
A Jonathan Demme double feature: First up, the Oscar-winning director’s 2006 concert film/documentary, Neil Young: Heart of Gold follows Young as he records his Prairie Wind album and prepares for two nights at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with his band, including wife, Pegi, and singer Emmylou Harris. Followed by Demme’s 1984 Stop Making Sense, which captures David Byrne in his oversized suit and the rest of the Talking Heads live while touring the classic Speaking in Tongues album; plus, bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz’s side project the Tom Tom Club, performing, you guessed it, “Genius of Love.” Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Thurs., Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-FILM.