19 Awesome Events Happening in Southern California This Week

'SNL' veteran Julia Sweeney brings her latest solo show to The Groundlings this week. (Photo: Courtesy of Julia Sweeney)

From a documentary about young Iranian women to a cabaret show based on Quentin Tarantino's heroines, there are plenty of picks that celebrate the strength of women, just in time for International Women's Month and Day, on March 8. Also, the L.A. Phil presents a Bryce Dessner-Robert Mapplethorpe multimedia concert and there's a midweek matinee of Gaslight.

MONDAYS through Labor Day; 8 p.m.
The Living Room Series
The Blank's 2nd Stage Theatre — 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
The new play development program, now in its 28th year, helps the theater foster works by a diverse range of established and emerging writers. Hear works in progress as performances are minimally staged, with actors carrying scripts. This week's play is BOOM (A Musical) with book by June Carryl, and music and lyrics by Wilson Boyd & Mia Milan.
COST: $15 suggested donation; MORE INFO

MONDAY, MARCH 4; 8 p.m.
Hot Tub w/Kurt & Kristen
The Virgil — 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood
The long-running comedy show, hosted by Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal, is still one of our favorites. This week's guests include Molly Austin, Mary Beth Barone, Mikey Kampmann, Matt McCarthy, Harry Moroz and Esther Povitsky.
COST: $5 - $8; MORE INFO

Greg Rivera's collection of Mr. T dolls are on view at Start Los Angeles through Friday. (Photo: Christine N. Ziemba)

Through FRIDAY, MARCH 8
I Pity the Dolls
Start Los Angeles — 2270 Venice Blvd., Harvard Heights
The pop-up exhibition features nearly 200 Mr. T dolls and celebrates the launch of the coffee table book, I Pity the Dolls, by Greg Rivera, Quang Le and Mike Essl.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

The podcast 'Dumb People Town,' hosted by Randy Sklar, Jason Sklar and Daniel Van Kirk (pictured in the middle), tapes at Largo on Monday night with great guests. (Image: Dumb People Town)

MONDAY, MARCH 4; 8:30 p.m.
Dumb People Town
Largo at the Coronet — 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove
Hosts Randy Sklar, Jason Sklar and Daniel Van Kirk welcome a different guest, each episode, to riff on dumb people doing dumb things. Listen to some of the craziest true crime stories sent in by listeners. For this show, they'll be joined by Karen Kilgariff, Jon Hamm and Langhorne Slim, who provides the music.
COST: $30; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, MARCH 5; 7 p.m.
Unheard LA Salon
Crawford Family Forum at KPCC — 474 South Raymond Ave., Pasadena
Everyone has a story to tell and these salons help potential storytellers figure theirs out. These casual events offer a chance to hear previous storytellers, share and develop story ideas and get tips for submitting to Unheard LA.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

The National guitarist Bryce Dessner presents a multimedia work inspired by the work of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. (Photo: Shervin Lainez)

TUESDAY, MARCH 5; 8 p.m.
Bryce Dessner's Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)
Walt Disney Concert Hall — 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
While best known for his work as the lead guitarist for The National, Dessner is also a legit composer, so don't expect to hear the band's music at this concert. This is a multimedia event that combines poetry, vocals and music inspired by the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe. Mapplethorpe's provocative and often sexually explicit work will be projected during the performance, so some images may not be appropriate for younger audiences.
COST: $32 - $40; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, MARCH 5; 8 p.m.
Julia Sweeney: Older & Wider
The Groundlings Theatre — 7307 Melrose Ave., Fairfax
The veteran actor, comedian and author returns to the place where it all started. She developed her comic chops with the Groundlings and brings her latest solo show — a 90-minute stand-up comedy act — to the stage. In addition to her work on Saturday Night Live, Sweeney has created three autobiographical monologues: God Said Ha!, In the Family Way and Letting Go of God.
COST: $20; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, MARCH 5 - SUNDAY, APRIL 21
Lackawanna Blues
Mark Taper Forum — 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The solo show written, directed and starring Ruben Santiago-Hudson with live music performed by blues guitarist Chris Thomas King, recounts Santiago-Hudson's 1950s childhood in a small town on the banks of Lake Erie. The play features 20 characters based on colorful personalities that inhabited the boardinghouse where he grew up.
COST: Tickets start at $32; MORE INFO

If you're in the South Bay, Chez Melange is cooking up New Orleans' favs for Mardi Gras, including the Muffuletta sandwich. (Photo: Chez Melange)

TUESDAY, MARCH 5; 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Mardi Gras
Bouzy Gastropub at Chez Melange — 1611 S. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach
Celebrate Fat Tuesday in the South Bay with authentic New Orleans' dishes, drinks and jazz. We'd recommend a muffuletta — a sandwich with salami, mortadella, capicola, Swiss cheese, pickles and Chez's "Secret Spread" — and a Sazerac as you laissez les bon temps rouler!
COST: varies; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, MARCH 5; Doors at 7 p.m.
Beirut
The Wiltern — 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown
Led by Zach Condon, the band is currently on a headlining tour supporting its fifth studio album, Gallipoli, full of its trademark brassy world music-indie rock sounds.
COST: $41 - $90; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, MARCH 5; 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday Night Dance
Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts — 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa
Dance under the stars on the plaza weekly on Tuesday nights. This week, Cherry Saimon of OC Salsa Dance offers free salsa and bachata lessons.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6; 2 p.m.
Gaslight
The New Beverly — 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax
Maybe you just heard about "gaslighting" in the last couple of years but the term has been around for a long time, and this is the movie that helped popularize it. George Cukor's 1944 psychological thriller stars Ingrid Bergman as a new bride who descends into self-doubt and madness. Is her minding giving out on her? Or is there something — or someone — sinister behind it all?
COST: $6; MORE INFO

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6; 9 - 11 a.m.
Pre-Work Poolside Yoga & Breakfast
The Line Hotel — 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown
Beginning this week and then happening every Wednesday morning thereafter, join a yoga session with instructors from Love Yoga (found in Venice and Echo Park), followed by a light and healthy breakfast served in the hotel's greenhouse restaurant, Openaire.
COST: $35, non-hotel guests must RSVP; MORE INFO

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6; 7-10 p.m.
The Girls
Laemmle Monica Film Center — 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica
To celebrate International Women's Day, the Iranian American Women Foundation presents photographer and filmmaker Fery Malek-Madani's two-pronged project that explores the lives of young women in post-revolution Iran. The artist and her team traveled to provincial cities to document the dreams of young women in the midst of uncertainty. View images in an exhibition and watch the accompanying documentary, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Malek-Madani.
COST: $30; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, FRIDAY, MARCH 8 AND THURSDAY, MARCH 21; 8:30 p.m.
Andrew Bird
Largo at the Coronet — 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove
The acclaimed violinist, whistler and songwriter plays a series of intimate shows for his latest album, My Finest Work Yet (due out March 22 on Loma Vista Recordings). In these songs, Bird grapples with finding a guiding moral compass in divisive times.
COST: $50; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, MARCH 7; 8 p.m.
March Forth!
Skirball Cultural Center — 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood
The night before International Women's Day, this spoken-word event celebrates female empowerment through poetry and storytelling. Featured performers include Vanessa Hidary, Tonya Ingram, Chrysanthemum Tran, Kat Magill and Cedrice. Series creator Elena Muslar hosts.
COST: $15-$20; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, MARCH 7; 8 p.m. doors
Damien Jurado
Highland Park Ebell — 131 South Ave. 57, Highland Park
The musician displays his mellow, lo-fi sound to support of his upcoming album, In the Shape of a Storm, due out next month on Mama Bird Recording. Anna St. Louis opens.
COST: $20; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, MARCH 7 - SUNDAY, MARCH 31
Chicanas, Cholas, y Chisme's TRIGGER WARNING!
Casa 0101 Theater — 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights
The annual festival of short plays explores the challenges and triumphs of Latinas. This year's theme, "Trigger Warning," offers a heads-up about the intensity of some of the works. Each of the playwrights also takes on the role of director and associate producer, making it an entirely Latina-driven production. Dinner package options are also available.
COST: Tickets $19.99 - $25; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, MARCH 7; 8 - 11:30 p.m.
Tarantina
Club Bahia — 1130 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Taking its cue from the female characters in Quentin Tarantino's films, this new cabaret show features performances by stuntwomen, martial artists, Cirque du Soleil-grade acrobats and burlesque performers. Each have re-imagined the filmmaker's femme fatales. The monthly show features an all-female cast and crew.
COST: $25 - $55; MORE INFO


How are you spending your week? Let us know on Twitter @christineziemba and @LeoHasACat.