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The Best Things To Do This Memorial Day Weekend In SoCal: May 28 - 31

An image of three drag queens standing posing for photographers at a Pride Week event.
Trixie Mattel, Manila Luzon and Alaska Thunderf*ck attend the Billboard And The Hollywood Reporter Pride Summit on August 8, 2019 in West Hollywood.
(Vivien Killilea
Getty Images for Billboard)
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Celebrate the unofficial start of summer by kayaking and fishing on the L.A. River. Head to the movies to watch "Cruella," Christopher Nolan flicks or new French shorts. Rediscover the Discovery Cube with the kiddos. Shop a Dodger Fan Fest. Check out live music at an Asian Pacific showcase. Or nosh on Roman-style pizza and barbecue while sipping local brews.

Friday, May 28 - Sunday, May 30

Digital Drag Festival
Rupaul’s Drag Race contestants Jimbo, Jackie Cox, Latrice Royale, Sederginne, Ginger Minj, Miz Cracker, Abby OMG, Divina De Campo, Denali, Jujubee and Trixie Mattel wrap up their two-weekend digital concert festival. Each 45-60 minute show may feature singing, comedy, lip syncing or drama. Audiences will be kept small and there will be opportunities to interact with and tip the queens. You might also win a prize.
COST: Tickets start at $15; MORE INFO

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Friday, May 28 - Sunday, May 30

Memorial Day Screenings
The Hollywood Legion Theater
2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
Watch Christopher Nolan’s Tenet on Friday and Dunkirk on Sunday, both in 70mm. Or catch Gregory Peck in Twelve O’cCock High on Saturday, in 35mm. The 482-seat theater occupies half of the Post 43’s historic 1929 Egyptian Revival building, which was built as a memorial to soldiers who died in World War I. Capacity is limited because of COVID-19 restrictions.
COST: Ticket prices start at $16 - $20; MORE INFO

Friday, May 28; 7:30 p.m. PDT

Echo Theater Company: Bold Faced Secret
The theater company's monthly night of personal stories returns with the theme of "Elephant in the Room." Listen to an hour of tales from storytellers about big topics, hot-button issues, controversy and things hiding in plain sight.

New French Shorts 2021 program, which includes the Oscar-nominated film "Genius Loci," debuts this through Laemmle's virtual cinemas.
(Courtesy of Shorts TV)

Friday, May 28

New French Shorts 2021
The annual showcase of new cinematic voices from France, including festival favorites from Cannes, Sundance and the Berlinale, returns to virtual cinemas through Kino Marquee. The program includes the Oscar-nominated animated short Genius Loci and César Award winners And Then the Bear and So What if the Goats Die? In the L.A. area, the shorts screen through the Laemmle Theaters.

Friday, May 28 - Sunday, May 30; 8 p.m. PT

Re-Opening Act Ophelia’s Jump Productions
2009 Porterfield Way, Suite H, Upland
The intimate venue in the Inland Empire reopens with a musical celebration of new beginnings, featuring Broadway standards. The show features he vocal talents of Caitlin Lopez, Scott Robinson, Daniel Bustamante and Candida Celaya, who will perform outdoors in front of the theater. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

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Friday, May 28

Alamo Drafthouse LA Reopens
700 W 7th St., downtown L.A.
The downtown theater reopens for themed screenings and first-run releases, including A Quiet Place Part II and Cruella.
COST: $14 - $18; MORE INFO

Friday, May 28

The Discovery Cube Reopens
2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana
1800 Foothill Blvd., Sylmar
The L.A. and Orange County locations of the science museum and activity center reopen to the public on Friday, featuring new STEM exhibits and activities. The centers are open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Masks and physical distancing are required.

Friday, May 28; 5 p.m. PT

Angel City Market: Dodgers Fan Fest Market
10903 S. Inglewood Ave., Inglewood
Watch the Dodgers play the Giants on outdoor TVs set up around the market while you peruse products inspired by the Boys in Blue. Enjoy games, a video booth and an outdoor bar at this family-friendly and pet-friendly event. You could also win tickets to a future Dodgers game in the raffle.

Friday, May 28

El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Watch Emma Stone play Cruella de Vil, the villain from the Disney film 101 Dalmatians, at the historic theater. Guests can take part in a Cruella-themed photo opp and view costumes from the film.
COST: $16 - $24; MORE INFO

Saturday, May 29; 6:30 p.m. PT

Asian Pacific Heritage Month Showcase
Junior High, Incorporated
603 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale
Catch live music from artists Polartropica, Tangerine and Shiro at a show to celebrate the AAPI community. The concert will be held outdoors, and all attendees are asked to wear a mask and stay six feet apart. Tickets for the event are available for individuals or two-person pods. You must stay with your pod for the entire show.

Big Bear Lake
If you're headed to Big Bear for the Memorial Day holiday, the Grill and Chill event returns this year.
("East Shore, Big Bear Lake, CA 12-14" by inkknife_2000 (11.5 million views) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Saturday, May 29 - Sunday, May 30; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. PT

Big Bear Grill & Chill
The Village at Big Bear Lake
630 Bartlett Rd., Big Bear
The BBQ championship event returns, merging this year with the Big Bear Lake Brew Festival. Check out more than 30 pit-master teams, People's Choice barbecue teams and craft breweries. Once the venue's capacity has been met, additional patrons will be admitted on a "one-in/one-out" basis.

Saturday, May 29 - Sunday, May 30

Crazy Woke Asians Virtual Comedy Festival
The two-day event celebrates Asian excellence in comedy to close out Asian American Heritage Month. Watch dozens of Asian, Asian American and allied comics including Frank Yi, Michelle Malizaki, Carol Newell and ​Lauren Ybarra. You can watch them via livestream on YouTube or Zoom.
COST: $20 suggested donation per show; MORE INFO

Overtone Industries debuts "Original Vision," a digital program of new opera-theater works.
(Matt Cowan)

Saturday, May 29; 7 p.m. PT

Original Vision
The opera-theater company Overtone Industries launches its new developmental series of works by diverse librettist/composer teams. The company debuts three short films as epic 15-minute “first look” scenes. Featured works are Azure’s Hands by Livia Reiner and Lily Min Ren, Hysteria by Molly Pease and Divya Maus, and Untitled Aunt Jemima Opera by Jason V. Barabba and June Carryl. VIP tickets include a post-show meet-and-greet with the artists via Zoom.
COST: $10 suggested donation, $100 VIP; MORE INFO

image of Randall Park
Randall Park of 'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" took part in the Disney+ Showcase at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2019 in Anaheim, Calif.
(Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
Getty Images North America)

Sunday, May 30; 4 p.m. PT

Creating Your Own Path with Randall Park
The Groundlings Theatre and School wraps its celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a discussion with Park (Always Be My Maybe, Fresh Off the Boat). He shares his story while offering strategies and suggestions on how to build your career. The event is moderated by The Groundlings’ Leonard Robinson. All proceeds will benefit the Groundlings Diversity Fund.

Sunday, May 30; 12 p.m

The Lavender Effect’s Live Virtual Pride Parade
Community Partners gets a jump start on Pride Month with a virtual cavalcade of celebrities. Host Alec Mapa is joined by Lily Tomlin, Betty Buckley, Kathryn Hahn, Sally Kirkland, Alexandra Billings, Bruce Vilanch, Charles Busch, Drew Droege, Jason Stuart, Michael Musto, Kay Sedia and Judith Light.

The L.A. River reopens for kayaking and fishing on Memorial Day.
(Ian Shive/USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Urban Refuge Initiative US Fish )

Monday, May 31 - Thursday, Sept. 30

Kayaking / Fishing Season
Los Angeles River
After last summer's hiatus, two designated recreation zones on the L.A. River, Elysian Valley and the Sepulveda Basin, open on Memorial Day. After that, they'll be open daily from sunrise to sunset. Visitors are advised to follow the health and safety protocols posted at public access points.

people running race
Run races virtually or in person in Laguna Hills on Memorial Day.
(Dave Wright / licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Monday, May 31; 6:30 a.m. PT

City of Laguna Hills: 5K, 10K and Virtual Events
24155 Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills
Laguna Hills holds a Memorial Day 5K and 10K run. Do the run in-person and or on your own at a time of your choosing. Race-day registration is NOT available so sign up in advance.

Cult Comedy’s Memorial Day Show takes place at El Cochinto on Monday, May 31.
(Petr Kratochvil)

Monday, May 31; 4 p.m. PT

Cult Comedy’s Memorial Day Show Block Party
El Cochinito
3508 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
The show returns for outdoor Memorial Day fun, beginning with music by Chaki followed by comedy from Irene Tu, Chris Estrada, Steve Hernandez, Steph Tolev and Stephen Furey. Free snacks by El Cochinito and Kombucha by Sunset Cultures will be available. Comfy Pup will sell gourmet sausages on-site.

American flags at gravestones
Monday is Memorial Day, a day of remembering military personnel who've lost their lives serving in the United States Armed Forces.
( "Memorial Day Flags - Rosecrans National Cemetery" by sholden, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Monday, May 31; 10 a.m. PT

Forest Lawn's Memorial Day 2021
For the 106th year, Forest Lawn honors the bravery of United States military veterans and those who gave their lives for their country. The virtual event will be streamed via Facebook Live featuring a keynote address by USAF Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Burghdorf and her husband, Major Andy Burghdorf. There's also a presidential proclamation, an invocation, the drum corps, the color guard and patriotic music by the Los Angeles Police Concert Band, TONALITY youth choir, singers Charles Lane and Alannah Garnier, and classical guitarist Gabriel Deutsch. There is no in-person component to the event.

Bommer Canyon
Head to Irvine for hiking and biking in Bommer Canyon.
(Jack Miller/Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Outdoor Pick

Bommer Canyon Trail
Located near Irvine, the Bommer Canyon Trail is a moderate, 4.6-mile loop that offers great views of Orange County and its wildflowers (when in bloom). Leave Fido at home as dogs are not allowed in the canyon. Parking is also at a premium at the trailhead.

TV/Streaming Pick

Friends: The Reunion
Whether you know Friends from NBC in the '90s or from repeats on Netflix, this special reunites the six regulars — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — with guest stars and celeb superfans such as Reese Witherspoon (who played Rachel's sister), Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. There's plenty of reminiscing and a table read of "The One with The Jellyfish" plus other surprises. The special (which really should be called, "The One With the Reunion") is streaming now only on HBO Max.

El Camino drink
The Brig in Venice has reopened with a new cocktail program.
(Rob Stark Photography )

Dine and Drink Deals

Here are a few options from restaurants and bars as we work our way back toward normal.

  • Popular Abbot Kinney watering hole The Brig reopens on Friday, just in time to welcome patrons for Memorial Day weekend. The establishment boasts a new cocktail program along with an expansive patio and a revamped interior.
  • ROCA, a Roman-style pizza pop-up, opens at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, serving pizza "al taglio" ("by-the-cut") with California toppings, specialty cheeses and artisan dough. The concept comes from Rick Rosenfield, one of the original co-founders of California Pizza Kitchen, and his wife, Esther.
  • Irv's Burgers, which closed in 2018, returns for a pop-up to celebrate National Burger Day on Friday, May 28, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Find their burgers, fries and Stella beer at Summer Social Club, the outdoor dining area at Employees Only in WeHo.
  • Summer Social Club also hosts La Sorted on Fridays from 5 p.m. to midnight. The pop-up pizzeria pays tribute to Tommy Lasorda with focaccia, pizza, salads and desserts from Gemini Bakehouse.
  • Messhall Kitchen in Los Feliz has Carolina-style barbecue for dine-in, takeout and delivery over Memorial Day weekend. The Biggie ($99) and Smalls ($69) options feature pulled pork, baby back ribs, chicken and ribeye accompanied by house pickles, sweet rolls, baked beans, cheddar mash, Brussels sprouts and coleslaw.
  • Eagle Rock Brewery closes its series of Sunday pop-ups to support AAPI communities. Welcome to Our World features dishes created by Asian businesses and chefs. Each meal comes with a mixed four-pack of beers curated for the night. A portion of proceeds go to Stop AAPI Hate. On the schedule this week is a Taiwanese pop-up featuring Pine & Crane and Joy.
  • Rad Beer Co., Orange County’s newest craft brewery and tasting room, opened on May 21 in Anaheim, with offerings such as King Minutia German pilsner, Cloud Bottom hazy IPA and Fiesta Salchicha, a Mexican-style lager. The brewery is from the folks behind the sausage, brat and hot dog eatery Rad Brat in Dana Point. (h/t LA Taco).
Got an event in Southern California you want us to consider for one of our event roundups?
Send us the basic info — who, what, when, where, cost, URL and event description — at least a week in advance. We can't guarantee your listing will make it to publication but we'd love to read your pitch.

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