Your Ultimate Guide To April: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles

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Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA) presents a number of events throughout April, including a Bill Leigh Brewer/Osceola Refetoff show at Chungking Studio later this month. (Image: Courtesy of Refetoff/MOPLA)

We found a number of notable happenings in April to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details.

All Month

PHOTOGRAPHY: It’s April and that means it’s time for another edition of MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles) with photo exhibitions, installations and related programming happening all around town throughout the month. The kick-off event Wish You Were Here Vol 2, curated by Stephanie Gonot, takes place on April 1 at the Ace Hotel from 7-10 pm. The all postcard exhibition features a box set of 58 images by 29 contemporary photographers.

April 3-19

FILM: The American Cinematheque brings back its Film Noir Festival at Egyptian for the 17th year. The selections range from noir classics like Humphrey Bogart in Dark Passage to rarely screened films, including the Ann Sheridan double-feature that opens the festival on April 3: Woman on the Run and The Unfaithful.

April 4

BEER: The seventh annual LA Beer Festival returns to LA Center Studios in DTLA and features more than 200 beers, 15 food trucks, DJs, two bands and other entertainment. Admission is $40 with a choice of one of two sessions: noon to 3 pm or 5 to 8 pm. While the beer samples are included in the ticket price, food is sold separately. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

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Giant Robot opens a new show this weekend featuring the work of Nikki McClure.

April 4-22

ART: Giant Robot 2 presents 15,000 Years Later, an exhibition by Nikki McClure. The artist is known for creating intricate paper cuts with an X-acto knife and a single sheet of paper. The opening reception with the artist takes place on April 4 from 6:30-10 pm.

April 5-29

FILM: The Crest in Westwood salutes Alfred Hitchcock this month, screening his classic films, beginning with The Birds on April 5. The series also includes Vertigo, Psycho and Rear Window. Tickets: $10.

April 7

HOWL: Howl, Alan Ginsberg’s epic Beat Generation poem/performance piece, was written in 1955. On April 7, a number of musicians, comedians and performers celebrate the work’s 60th anniversary at the Theater at Ace Hotel at 7:30 pm. The star-studded night also doubles as a benefit for The David Lynch Foundation. On the bill: Nick Cave, Chris Parnell, The Americans, Sam Amidon, Devendra Banhart, Will Forte, Macy Gray, Courtney Love, John Mulaney, Ken Nordine, Beth Orton, Van Dyke Parks, Amy Poehler Tim Robbins, Lucinda Williams and many others. Tickets: $45-$125.

April 11-12

CIRCUS: Mental Head Circus comes to King King for one weekend mid-month. The “sinister night of vaudeville antics” includes is a full production show of aerialists, dancers, contortionists, stilt walkers, hand balancers, sword swallowers, jugglers, and music and dance. Ages 21+. Tickets: $40-$350 (super VIP).

April 12

ZINES: The first Long Beach Zine Fest takes place on April 12 at the Museum of Latin American Art from 11 am to 5 pm. The festival brings together more than 100 writers, designers, cartoonists, photographers, artists and DIYers from the LBC and surrounding areas to prove that print isn’t dead (yet). There are lectures, workshops and panel discussions planned throughout the day, too. Free admission.

April 17-19

RACING: The Grand Prix of Long Beach features several racing events throughout the weekend, plus live music and a family fun zone for kids, too. The 10-lap Pro/Celebrity Race for charity takes place on Saturday at noon with a field that includes Mark McGrath, Robert Patrick, Mekhi Phifer, Alfonso Ribeiro and Dana Torres. General admission tickets: $30-$77; three-day passes: $72-$135.

April 18

MUSIC: Brokechella, the in-town Coachella alternative music and arts festival, takes place on April 18 returns to Santa Fe Studios in DTLA. The lineup features Smoke Season, Jr., Babes, Figs Vision and OYLS (on just one of the four stages). There’s art installations and affordable libations, boutique vendors and street food/food trucks. Tickets: $20 in advance / $25 at the door.

April 18

RECORDS: Record Store Day takes place on April 18, to celebrate the culture of the 1,400 independently owned record stores in the U.S. Check out the stores that are participating around L.A. with parties, giveaways and sales for RSD 2015.

April 18-19

BOOKS: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books returns to the USC campus on April 18-19 for two days of readings, panels, music, comedy, film, art and food. Did we mention books and zines, too? Authors and performers include: Maria Bello, Candice Bergen, T.C. Boyle, LeVar Burton, Roy Choi, Tony Hale, Janet Fitch, Doug Kearney, Dennis Lehane, Jonathan Lethem, Zoe Nathan, Joyce Carol Oates, Patton Oswalt, Pauley Perrette, Dav Pilkey, Jason Segel, Aarti Sequeira, John Scalzi, Tavis Smiley, Octavia Spencer and Jacqueline Woodson, among others. Festival passes: $35 and a super pass for $200; advance conversation tickets for $1 each or free stand-by on day of event.

April 10-May 16

BURLESQUE: The Super Mario-themed burlesque party called Boobs and Goombas begins a limited run at The Complex in Hollywood on April 10, running Fridays and Saturdays (at 9 pm and 10:30 pm) through May 16. In a sexy spoof on the classic arcade game, our favorite plumbers are still trying to rescue the princess. Tickets are $28. Ages 18+.

April 10-12 and April 17-19

MUSIC: Coachella takes over the desert on for two weekends this month with headliners AC/DC, Jack White and Drake. Everything’s like sold out, but where there’s a will—and a lot of money—there’s a way.

April 24-26

ART: Now in its 15th year in L.A., the FirstGlance Film Festival takes over the Regal Cinemas LA LIVE from April 24-26. Official selections include feature films, documentaries and short films. First night program: Kat Vinter (Music Video), Lines (Short), Dissonance (Short), Last Hit (Short), Une Liberation (Short) and Boost (Feature). All access pass: $125; individual screenings: $15-$20.

April 25

MUSIC: The 29th annual JazzReggae Festival is at UCLA’s Tennis Center from noon to 11 pm with headliners Wale, Portugal the Man, JMSN, Lido, Marian Hill, Shwayze and more. Food, crafts and other entertainment as well. General admission tickets: $40-$50.

April 25-26

ARTS FAIR: Pasadena hosts the first Jackalope Art & Craft Fair on April 25-26 in Central Park from 11 am to 6 pm. There will be more than 200 exhibitors selling handmade wares, live entertainment and free workshops for all ages.

April 25-26

ART WALK: The Brewery Art Walk’s Spring Edition happens on April 25-26 from 11 am to 6 pm at the Brewery Art Complex in DTLA. The twice annual open studio weekend, held at the site of the former Pabst plant, boasts more than 100 participating resident artists opening their studio doors to the public. Check out new works, installations and get a chance to meet and talk to the artists and makers themselves. Admission and parking are free.

April 25-26

ARTISANAL LA: Artisanal LA presents its Spring Show with makers, artisans, crafters, chefs bringing their goods to The Reef for two days later this month. The weekend features hundreds of vendors, workshops, demos, panels and, of course, eats and drinks. Tickets: $12 per day in advance or $15 at the door. Hours for both days are 11am to 6 pm.

April 30-May 5

DANCE FILM FESTIVAL: 14th Annual Dance Media Festival explores dance styles—from modern dance, post-modern dance, world dance to tap, dance theater, ballet, hip-hop—through live performances and on film. Festival venues include MOCA, REDCAT, UCLA, The Aero, The Palace and the Crest theaters. The festival’s opening party takes place on April 30 at the UTA Screening Room at 7:30 pm, with cocktails and appetizers at 6:30 pm. Films screening are the short film Escualo by Martin & Facundo Lombard and the documentary Dancing is Living: Benjamin Millepied by Louis Wallecan. Opening night tickets: $75

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in L.A.? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.