Weekend Planner: 22 Things To Do in Los Angeles

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Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman was directed by Adam Carolla. It screens this weekend at the Jalopnik Film Festival. (Image: Courtesy of Filmbuff)

Looking for something to do? Look no further than these 22 events happening this weekend. And don’t forget to check out the Lobster Fest, The Griffith Observatory Star Party and our September Guide for more suggestions.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 25

FILM FEST: For its third edition, the car-centric Jalopnik Film Festival comes to L.A. this weekend. Things kick off on Friday at 7 pm at the Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar with a gala screening of Adam Carolla’s new documentary Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman. It’s followed by a Q&A with Carolla and an after-party. The screenings then move to The Theatre at Ace Hotel in DTLA with films including Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt’s Havana Motor Club; the documentary Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans; and Being Evel, a documentary about daredevil Evel Knievel. The opening screening and party is free with RSVP (buy the $75 VIP tickets for food/drink tickets for the party). The Saturday screening ticket is $25 and includes all films and panels.

FOOD FEST: The Galbani Cheese Italian Feast of San Gennaro, Los Angeles, takes over Hollywood (across the street from Hollywood & Highland) at 1651 N. Highland on Friday from 5 pm to midnight and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm. The NYC-style street fair celebrates Italian culture, entertainment and cuisine by with food, music, genealogy research, free kid’s activities and petting zoo, pony rides, bocce, bingo, ferris wheel, games and more. Live music throughout the weekend, too. General admission: $5, children 12 and younger get free entry.

MUSICAL COMEDY: Afros & Ass Whoopins, a musical comedy written and directed by Dwayne Colbert, continues its run at The Second City’s Studio Theater in Hollywood on Friday night at 8 pm. The subject matter is police brutality, especially against African Americans. The show runs through Dec. 12. Tickets: $10.

BOOK TALK: Greg Graffin, vocalist of the legendary punk band Bad Religion, also has a PhD in zoology from Cornell University and has lectured at UCLA and Cornell. He’s at the Bootleg Theater on Friday at 8:30 pm to promote the release of his new book, Population Wars. It’s a follow-up to his 2010 book Anarchy Evolution that covers issues of ecology, population management, natural history and human nature—topics that have influenced his songs and lyrics. The evening features live acoustic performances of a few songs, with book talk and then a Q&A. Tickets: $30-$35. 21+.

FILM FEST: LA EigaFest—a festival dedicated to Japanese film—returns to L.A. for its 5th year. From Friday to Sunday at L.A. Live Regal Cinemas, the Japan Film Society showcases Japanese and Japanese-influenced films, beginning with the North American premiere of Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends—the third and final installment of the Kenshin trilogy. The weekend closes with the U.S. premiere of Yakuza action comedy, Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen, directed by Takeshi Kitano. Festival passes: $50 (does not include the opening film, which is a semi-formal and $45 a ticket). Individual tickets: $12-$25.

OKTOBERFEST: The Standard in DTLA began its Oktoberfest celebration earlier this week at The Biergarten on the Rooftop. There are food and drink specials Mondays through Fridays from 3-8 pm and traditional live music from 4-7 pm. On Friday, there’s a Ballast Point Beer Tasting, a sausage eating contest, beer pong contest and costume contest.

FOOD + COCKTAILS: The Ceviche Project Pops Up again on Friday at Skybar at The Mondrian at 8 pm. The dinner series features a five-course seafood pop-up dinner and handcrafted cocktail pairings made with DeLeón Tequila. The menu, which always changes, includes ceviche variations, tiraditos, oysters on the half-shell and crudo preparations. Music by DJ Ganas. Tickets: $125.

GREEN EXPO: The Green Festival Expo returns to the LA Convention Center (South Hall K) this weekend, with a goal to promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles. The expo offers attendees the look at trends in green living, emerging green brands and more recognized products. Visitors can sample and buy thousands of products and services from companies founded on sustainability. The event runs on renewable energy and aims to be zero waste. It’s vegan/vegetarian with a food court and free samples of organic GMO-free foods and products. Hours: Friday: 12-6 pm; Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm. Tickets/passes: $12-$32, but bike to the expo, park your bike at the Stromer Bike Valet and get in for free.

ART: Meltdown Comics & Nerdist Showroom present Eye on Springfield: An Artistic Tribute to The Simpsons for a one-night show on Friday from 7-11 pm. Curators Julia Prescott and Nico Colaleo have amassed art from more than 80 L.A. artists—including work from past and present Simpsons crew members. The show also features Springfield-themed entertainment, decor, surprises and photo opps. Free entry.

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24HR Psychic art installation this weekend. (Image: Courtesy of the artist)
24HR PSYCHIC: Beginning on Friday night, Lisa Solberg’s web-based project 24HR PSYCHIC presents a physical component—an art installation that takes place for 24 hours in a moving truck, from 11 pm on Friday to 11 am on Saturday. The truck will stop throughout L.A. with the opportunity for onlookers to experience the exhibit (with its theme of self-empowerment) one participant at a time. It starts in Venice will travel through Silver Lake, Hollywood, Downtown and more neighborhoods. Follow @24HRpsychic on social media for real time updates.

FILM: Prophet’s Prey is a documentary by Amy Berg that examines the life of Warren Jeffs, who rose to power as the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). “Like any good religious tale, it boils down to sex, greed, and the preservation of wealth.” Both Berg and author Sam Brower (who wrote the 2011 book of the same name on which the film is based) will do Q&As at the ArcLight Hollywood on Friday and Saturday after the 7:15 pm screenings (with an additional 4:15 pm Q&A on Saturday). Tickets: $16.50.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

FILM READ: Black List Live! presents a live read of Randall Green’s Cartoon Girl, a script from the Black List online scriptwriting community, on Saturday night at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood. Green directs an all-star cast—James Marsden, Jessica Alba, Luke Wilson, Laura Carmichael and young actor Gabriel Bateman—with Cooper Thornton returning to narrate. Doors at 7 pm and reading at 8 pm. Tickets: $25.

MUSIC FEST: LAUNCH LA and 88.5 FM KCSN present the 13th annual Tarfest, an annual music & arts festival along the Miracle Mile and the La Brea Tar Pits, on Saturday from 1-8 pm. The fest is free and all ages and features rising local artists, musicians and bands. This year’s music program, curated by LAUNCH LA and Kevin Bronson of BuzzBands.LA and 88.5 FM KCSN, includes performances by Gavin Turek, The Shelters, Jessica Childress, Babes and Salt Petal. Food trucks Baby’s Badass Burgers, Cousin’s Maine Lobster and Meat The Greek will be on hand serving food. The festival will also include a Lagunitas Biergarten and Wine Bar.

MUSIC: Sofar (Songs from a Room) Los Angeles is a music series that holds concerts in really intimate spaces. Sofar holds two secret pop-pop sessions on Saturday in Beverly Hills from 2-4 or 5-7 pm. The venues and the lineups are kept top secret. Apply to attend and they’ll email you if you get in. Tickets are pay-what-you-want and your acceptance includes a +1.

DANCE: Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's presents its newest project—a four-episode dance telenovela. Sophie & Charlie begins on Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Studio City with two performances at 7 and 9 pm. Each week, the dance troupe presents and performs a new chapter in the story at different locations. The different scores are provided by LA-based musicians, and the accompanists opening night are violinist Lili Haydn and pianist William Goldstein, who’ll create an “instant composition.” Tickets: $50, $20 for students and children 18 and younger.

CHOCOLATE: The 9th Annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon returns to the Pasadena Convention Center on Sept. 26 from 11 am to 5 pm. Chocolate fans can taste and experience artisan and gourmet chocolate from such purveyors as Amano Artisan Chocolates, Droga Chocolates, Marco Paolo Chocolates, Gourmet Blends, Chocolatier Eve, Valenza Chocolatier and Mignon Chocolate, among others. Adult tickets start at $20.

MUSIC: The Hammer Museum presents All the Instruments Agree: An Exhibition or a Concert this Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 pm each day. It's a continuous program of live performances by sound artists, music collectives, art bands and visual artists "whose practices extend to the production of sound." The performers will alternate between two outdoor stages in the Hammer courtyard, spanning a range of influences and genres. Performers include: GLITTERBUST, a new project by Kim Gordon and Alex Knost; Simone Forti, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Hassan Khan and others. Cash bar available throughout the weekend.


MUSIC: The L.A.-based duo Phantoms’ EP, Broken Halo, arrives on Friday, and to celebrate, there’s a release show at the Lyric Theatre on Saturday night at 8 pm. Phantoms are joined by Chela and a super secret special guest. 18+. Tickets: $10-$15.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

ABBOT KINNEY FEST: The 31st annual Abbot Kinney Festival takes place on Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm along a mile-long stretch of Abbot Kinney Boulevard. If you haven’t been down in a while, then the festival might be a good time to check out the neighborhood’s boutiques, artisan eateries and art galleries, along with the usual festival fare. There are 300 vendors expected, including food trucks and food booths, five live music stages, two kids stages, rides and games and three beer gardens. Admission to the festival is free.

COMEDY: The Neil Hamburger: LIVE show celebrates its 8-year anniversary with a two-part celebration at The Satellite. The first party is on Sunday at 9 pm with a lineup that includes Andy Kindler, JP Incorporated, Gabe Abelson, "Major Entertainer" Mike H and a secret special guest. Doors: 8:30 pm. 21+. The second anniversary show is on Oct. 25. Tickets: $8.

MOON FESTS: The USC Pacific Art Museum in Pasadena presents the 4th Annual Harvest Moon Festival on Sunday from 4 to 8 pm. Discover the artistic ways that China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan celebrate the mid-autumn full moon and harvest through art activities, a film screening of Studio Ghibli's animated film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, food tastings, performances and film. After the sun sets, the Sidewalk Astronomers lead moon-gazing—which should be perfect for Sunday’s rare blood moon. Galleries are open all night for special exhibition Reshaping Tradition: Contemporary Ceramics from East Asia. General admission: $10. Not to be left out, the L.A. Arboretum also holds the Arcadia Moon Festival from 5-9 pm, offering traditional Chinese music, martial arts, dance performances and more. Food trucks include District Burger, KoneStruction, ROCKin ICE and Tacos La Dona. Moon cakes, the signature sweet of the festival, will be available for purchase. Bring family and friends, a picnic, blankets and lawn chairs. Tickets $5, $8 at the door. Free for kids ages 12 and younger. Free parking at the Arboretum and Westfield Mall.

COMEDY: On Sunday at 10 pm, iO West presents the final installment of SCHMABERNET!, a variety-cabaret show hosted by Carolyn Jania and Adam Ceschin. The show combines “sketch comedy and musical parody in a variety show format with a dash of cabaret grit.” It ends its six-month run by bringing back all former guests including Jenna Brister, Johnno Wilson, Emma Kennedy, James Pike and Natalie Palamides. Tickets: $5.

Related: LAist’s September Guide

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