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The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Week: Aug. 30 - Sep. 2

An overhead shot of the lake at LA's MacArthur Park surrounded by buildings and a street
An image of MacArthur Park during the early days of the coronavirus shutdown. The neighborhood is the subject of a new online series, "Barrio Fino."
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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Watch classics Sunset Boulevard and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? See a new chamber opera — in a shipping container. Laugh along with Atsuko Okatsuka. Catch Future Islands live. And sample the tastes of Gullah Geechee cuisine. (Because of Covid, it's best to check ahead to confirm live events are happening as scheduled.)

Monday, Aug. 30 - Friday, Sept. 3; 7 p.m.

Barrio Fino Music Docu-series
Developed during the pandemic as a love letter to the communities and neighborhoods surrounding MacArthur Park, the five-episode docuseries premieres on Levitt L.A.’s YouTube channel beginning Monday, with a new episode airing nightly. Each 60-minute episode explores the music and cultural diversity of Westlake, Koreatown, Historic Filipinotown and the North American Indigenous populations of L.A., as well as the history of youth and hip-hop in the park.

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Wednesday, Sept. 1; 8 p.m.

Future Islands
Greek Theatre
2700 N Vermont Ave., Griffith Park
The synthpop outfit brings its Calling Out in Space tour to L.A. in support of the band's 2020 album, As Long As You Are. Hinds, the Spanish indie rock band, opens.
COST: $19.50 - $59.50; MORE INFO

Wednesday, Sept.1 and Thursday, Sept. 2; 7:30 and 9:50 p.m.

Sunset Boulevard / Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax
The theater screens a double-bill about fading showbiz careers. The early show features Gloria Swanson as a fading silent film actress who seeks help from a writer for her triumphant return to the big screen — with tragic results. The later film stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as embittered sisters who are forced to live out their golden years in a decaying mansion. If a show is sold out online, a limited number of tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wednesday, Sept. 1; 8 p.m.

Better Half Comedy
Bar Bandini
2150 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
The weekly stand-up comedy night, hosted by Kara Klenk and Jared Logan, features sets by Hampton Yount, Hadiyah Robinson, Ever Mainard, Subhah Agarwal, Brad Wenzel and Ahamed Weinberg. The show is 21+.

The Broad Stage presents the West Coast premiere of the new chamber opera, 'Birds in the Moon.'
(Erin Baiano)

Wednesday, Sept. 1 - Saturday, Sept. 4

Birds in the Moon
Shipping Container at Santa Monica Lot #27
Corner of Arizona and 5th St., Santa Monica
In this new chamber opera, the action takes place in a mobile, state-of-the-art shipping container, where guests watch the story of Bird-Mother as she protects her daughter. The production includes live music, soundscapes and video projections. Created by Mark Grey and Júlia Canosa i Serra, and directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer. There is no parking on-site. The closest paid parking lots are at 1375 5th St., 429 Santa Monica Blvd. and 1333 4th St.
COST: $25 - $75; MORE INFO

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pop cultured
'Pop Cultured' is a comedy game show at Flappers Burbank that features three comics competing against each other for the night's title.
(Courtesy of Pop Cultured)

Wednesday, Sept. 1; 8 p.m.

Pop Cultured
Flappers Comedy Club Burbank
102 E Magnolia Blvd., Burbank
The movie-themed game show returns with three comedians competing in improvised games to be crowned the Pop Cultured Champion. Hosted by Nicky Urban and judged by Jimmy Pardo, this week’s contestants are Blaine Capatch (returning champ), Laurie Kilmartin and Doug Benson. Everyone must show proof of vaccination to enter.

Comedian, writer and actor Atsuko Okatsuka brings her solo show to Dynasty Typewriter this week.
(Courtesy of the artist)

Thursday, Sept. 2; 8 p.m.

Atsuko Okatsuka Presents Hi
Dynasty Typewriter
2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
The writer, comic, actor and self-proclaimed "adult baby" says says “hi” in her first solo tour. We love her antics on Insta where we catch glimpses of her life with husband Ryan and her grandma, and we can’t wait to see what she cooks up live onstage. Watch her in Hulu and ATTN’s Mom & Pop or catch her on Roku’s The Show Nextdoor with Randall Park. Ages 18+. Proof of vaccination or testing is required.
COST: $20 - $25; MORE INFO

Momoko Iko’s 'Gold Watch' represents one of the first dramas to realistically examine the trauma caused by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 of February 19, 1942, which led to the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans, and legal immigrants from Japan, during World War II.
(UCLA Film and Television Archive)

Thursday, Sept. 2; 4 p.m. PT

Visions: Gold Watch
The UCLA Film & Television Archive presents a one-time screening of Momoko Iko’s 1976 drama, one of the first that realistically examined the trauma caused by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 of Feb. 19, 1942, which led to the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans (and legal immigrants from Japan) during World War II. A panel discussion follows with Valerie Matsumoto and Brian Niiya.

Thursday, Sept. 2; 5 p.m.

Kristin Sakoda & Marc Bamuthi Joseph
This Zoom discussion centered around diversity, equity and inclusion in all facets of theater-making features Kristin Sakoda, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture, and poet and playwright Marc Bamuthi Joseph.

Thursday, Sept. 2; 7:45 and 10:45 p.m.

Rooftop Cinema Club (RCC): The Drive-Up
Santa Monica Airport
3233 Donald Douglas Loop S, Santa Monica
RCC soft launches a new type of outdoor movie experience where you can tailgate next to your car. At the “drive-up,”you're assigned a personal lawn box complete with headphones and lawnchairs in a living room setting. On Thursday, RCC screens Jurassic Park at 7:45 p.m. and Queen & Slim for the late show.
COST: Tickets start at $25 per vehicle, depending on ticket type; MORE INFO

Patti Smith performs on stage during the 33nd Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert & Gala on February 26, 2020, in New York City.
(Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Tibet House
Getty Images North America)

Thursday, Sept. 2 - Friday, Sept. 3; 8 p.m.

Patti Smith with Jackson Smith and Tony Shanahan
The Ford
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood Hills
Author and musician Smith takes to the Ford’s stage in a stripped-down evening of songs, joined by her son, guitarist Jackson Smith, and her longtime bassist, Tony Shanahan.

Thursday Sept. 2; 8 p.m.

Gershwin, Bonds, and Still
Hollywood Bowl
2301 N. Highland Ave. Hollywood
Hear classics from the American songbook as well as lesser-known works. Featuring music by Ulysses Kay, William Grant Still, Margaret Bonds and George Gershwin.
Thomas Wilkins conducts the orchestra.
COST: $12 - $133; MORE INFO

All Month

Soviet September Film Series
Frida Cinema
305 E. 4th St. #100, Santa Ana
The Orange County art house cinema teams with the South East European Film Festival (SEEFest) to screen nine films from the former Soviet Union. The series begins on Wednesday with Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror (1974), a film that blends fiction with nonfiction as a dying man reminisces about his childhood. Other titles screening this month include War and Peace (1965), The Battleship Potemkin (1925) and The Ascent (1977).

Streaming Pick

Only Murders in the Building
The show stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez as three neighbors in a Manhattan apartment who use their obsession with true crime stories to try and solve a possible murder in the building — and record a podcast about their adventures. The first three episodes (of eight) will be available to stream on Hulu on Tuesday, with the rest of the episodes released weekly.

The Grant is a new bar in Glassell Park, serving up natural wines, local beers and cocktails like The Secret Weapon (mezcal, lime, agave, angostura, orange bitters and tajin).
(Jakob Layman)

Dine and Drink Deals

Here's the 411 on restaurant happenings in SoCal:

  • Taste classic and modern Gullah Geechee foods — a creole cuisine developed by the once-enslaved peoples of coastal Georgia and the Carolinas — in a dinner prepared by Matthew Raiford, author of Bress 'n' Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer, and chef Tia McDonald Raiford. The dinner ($79 - 89) will be held at a private West Adams residence. COVID vaccines required. No exceptions.
  • Badmaash’s downtown L.A. location reopens its dining room on Wednesday at 5 p.m., so you can once again sit down and enjoy modern Indian and street food such as butter chicken samosas and channa masala poutine. No reservations.
  • Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar turns five. To celebrate, owner and executive chef Rich Mead offers a menu of $5 food and drink items available Sep. 1 - 5. Highlighting ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers Market, items include Farmhouse kimchi fried "rice" made with Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project rye grain, Autonomy Farms chicken meatballs and tomatillo broth, vegetable spring roll, cauliflower "ceviche" and a pastrami cured salmon bite.
  • Akasha offers its annual Rosh Hashanah takeout dinner and cocktails to celebrate the Jewish New Year. Choose from menu items including chopped chicken liver, matzo ball soup, braised brisket, chicken tagine, noodle kugel, chocolate and fig babka. The pre-order deadline is Tuesday for pickup or delivery on Sept. 5 and 6.
  • Food Network star Christian Petroni pops-up at Justin Queso’s Tex-Mex Restaurant and Bar in WeHo on Monday from 5 - 10 p.m. Taste Petroni’s queso parm sandwich on Texas toast ($15), Topo Chico Hard Seltzers ($7) and appetizers. Off The Menu members and Angelenos who sign up for the food discovery app at the event get Petroni’s specials for free.
  • The Peninsula Beverly Hills, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, holds cocktail mixing lessons in the lobby bar every Thursday at 5 p.m. Learn the history of various cocktails, from a classic Manhattan to the L.A.-centric “90210."
  • San Pedro Fish Market Long Beach offers a new seafood happy hour, Monday - Thursday, 3 - 7 p.m. In addition to the drinks, save room for the chowda fries, papas bravas, Vietnamese style shrimp toast and campechana baja tostada.
  • Tonkatsu House is now open in the Koreatown Plaza food court. The restaurant boasts "L.A.'s biggest tonkatsu" (deep-fried pork cutlet), although we haven’t been able to verify ...
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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