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FRIDAY, February 8

Don Spiro

(Click to enlarge)

I wish they all could be
calavera guys! See Wednesday.

“Yesterday's just a memory, tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be,” and today the Skirball opens Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966. Included in the exhibit are handwritten song lyrics, posters and a recording of his first-ever, never-released concert. There's even an area where you can play drums with Bob, sorta but not really. Related films and other programs, including an instrument-making workshop for kids, happen every week. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; Feb. 8-June 8; $10, $7 seniors & students, free on Thursdays. (310) 440-4500.

SATURDAY, February 9

One of your louder event options this weekend is Chinatown's 109th Annual Golden Dragon Parade. Wait — is that right? 109th? Turns out it is correct, which in L.A. years is like 900. So come celebrate the Year of the Rat with more than 100 floats, marching bands, Mayor Antonio in a Chinese getup, drummers, grand marshal Mickey Mouse and more. The Chinese New Year Festival goes on throughout the weekend, with comics, food, pop bands, taiko drummers, Chinese acrobats and kiddie fun. Broadway & Hill St., dwntwn.; parade Sat., Feb. 9, 2-5 p.m.; free. (213) 680-0243.

SUNDAY, February 10

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is in full swing, offering an awesome program of films, tributes, spoken word, a comedy night, a fashion show and a children's festival. Phew! And there's much more. The fest's big centerpiece event is the world premiere of Robert Townsend's Of Boys and Men on February 13. LeVar Burton, Ja'net DuBois (Good Times) and Akeelah and the Bee's Alexandra Rieger are some of the celebs scheduled to read to kids at the children's festival, and the extensive panel and workshops list such topics as “Everything the New Filmmaker Needs to Know.” Most screenings at the AMC Magic Johnson Crenshaw 16, 4020 Marlton Ave., Crenshaw; Feb. 7-18. For full schedule & tickets, go to www.paff.org.

It's countdown to Valentine's Day, and if you want to write your honey a love letter but can't get to first base with your prose, sign up for Love Letter Writing Workshop with Midori (not the classical violinist, I'm pretty sure). The author of The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage and Wild Side Sex, Midori will “teach you how to create your own romantic notes inspired by love and desire.” Babeland, 7007 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; Sun., Feb. 10, 5 p.m.; free. (323) 634-9480.

MONDAY, February 11

Largo once again presents The Greg Proops Chat Show. Proops is a man who wears a suit, clearly hates America and refuses to call this a “talk show.” He probably didn't watch the Super Bowl, if you know what I mean. Does that make him highbrow? Should we trust him? Proceed with care. Largo, 432 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; Mon., Feb. 11, 9 p.m.; $5. (323) 852-1073.

TUESDAY, February 12

In keeping with the V-Day spirit, Dates From Heaven and Hell is the theme of Tasty Words, the “westside spoken-word show” with Wendy Kamenoff. So please don't bother showing up if you don't speak fluent “westside.” Every Picture Tells a Story, 1311 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Tues.-Wed., Feb. 12-13, 7:30 p.m.; $10, includes milk & cookies. (310) 451-2700.

WEDNESDAY, February 13

“Some say it with a greeting card and flowers, Lucha Va Voom says it with sexo y violencia!” If you prefer your Valentine's dates to involve more sweat, you've got three nights to tell that someone special you'd pin him or her down with brutal amor. The Mayan Theater, 1038 S. Hill St., dwntwn.; Tues.-Thurs., Feb. 12-14, 8 p.m.; $30, $50 ringside, $60 Golden Circle. Tickets at www.ticketweb.com. Also see pictures from a previous Lucha Va Voom here and their Halloween show here.

THURSDAY, February 14

It's Valentine's Day, and Word Theatre delivers the quiver with Hot Flicks: Love Scenes From the Silver Screen, wherein celebs read hot and heavy scenes from the movies. Illeana Douglas, Donal Logue, Samantha Mathis, Christina Pickles and Richard Schiff lend their tongues and oral cavities to what should be a fun evening. Maybe somebody'll read the scene from The Jerk where Steve Martin licks Bernadette Peters. Social Hollywood, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs., Feb. 14, 7 p.m.; $40 if purchased by Feb. 11, $50 after. (310) 915-5150 or www.wordtheatre.com.