The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Week: Dec. 20 - 23
Listen to an all-star lineup play classic albums by the Sex Pistols and Lou Reed. Watch Hollywood veterans tell tales from the trenches. Catch Bob Baker’s marionettes take on The Nutcracker. See the siege of Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard.
With COVID-19 variants still out there, it's best to check ahead of time for event updates and vaccine/testing requirements.
Monday, Dec. 20; 8:30 p.m.
Above Ground 3 Benefit Concert
6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
The benefit concert series founded by guitarists Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and Billy Morrison (Billy Idol) returns for its third edition, raising funds for Musicares mental health initiatives. The all-star lineup features Billy Idol, Perry Farrell, Etty Lau Farrell, Corey Taylor, Taylor Hawkins, Mark McGrath and Donovan Leitch, among many others. They’re performing the Sex Pistols’ Nevermind the Bollocks and Lou Reed’s Transformer.
COST: $59.50; MORE INFO
Monday, Dec. 20; 7 p.m.
Beasley’s Christmas Party
Theatre 40’s Monday Night Seminars ends for the year with a rehearsed reading of Booth Tarkington’s 1909 work. Set in a Midwestern town, Beasley is a mostly well-liked attorney who’s being drafted to run for governor. He lives with his old servant in a big house, next door to the woman who broke off their engagement long ago. A new journalist and two of his political opponents want to find out if Beasley’s gone bonkers.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Monday, Dec. 20; 7 p.m.
Play-Perview Presents: Brushstroke
2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
Watch a staged reading of a new play by John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory) directed by Casey Stangl. Set in New York City in 1956, an innovative painter meets a nervous patron who is (possibly) being followed. Joining the reading are Malcolm Barrett (Timeless), Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), James Urbaniak (The Venture Brothers) and Jamie Denbo (Ronna and Beverly).
COST: $20 (live), $15 (livestream); MORE INFO
Monday, Dec. 20 - Sunday, Jan. 2
Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
For the Christmas season, the museum lifts the hoods on some of its most iconic cars, including Bugattis, Delahaye, Tuckers and Toyotas. View more than 150 cars or take a Vault Tour to see another 100 (additional fee).
COST: $12 - $17 general admission; MORE INFO
Tuesday, Dec. 21; 7:30 p.m.
The Hollywood Stories
The Groundlings Theatre
7307 Melrose Ave., Fairfax
Listen to 10 showbiz veterans share true tales and experiences from their time in the Hollywood trenches.
COST: $12; MORE INFO
Tuesday, Dec. 21; 7:30 p.m.
The Bishop's Wife/White Christmas
The New Beverly
7165 Beverly Blvd. Fairfax
Watch two Christmas classics, beginning with the 1947 comedy that stars David Niven as a bishop, Cary Grant as a charming angel and Loretta Young in the titular role. It’s followed by the singing and dancing of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen in the 1954 film directed by Michael Curtiz.
COST: $12; MORE INFO
Tuesday, Dec. 21; 8 p.m.
Arturo Sandoval Big Band Swinging Holiday
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
Swing into the holidays with 10-time Grammy-winner Sandoval and his Big Band, performing holiday favorites with a Latin jazz twist.
COST: Tickets start at $49; MORE INFO
Wednesday, Dec. 22; 9:30 p.m.
Acoustic Evening with Jessie J — Night 4
The Hotel Cafe
1623 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood
The pop musician ends her four-night acoustic residency at the intimate venue. This is a 21+ show.
COST: $30; MORE INFO
Wednesday, Dec. 22; 8 p.m.
Fiesta Navidad With Mariachi Los Camperos
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa
The Grammy Award-winning ensemble leads a concert celebration of Mexican holiday traditions through festive music and dance.
COST: Tickets start at $29; MORE INFO
Wednesday, Dec. 22; 2:30, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.
The Frida Cinema
305 E. 4th St #100, Santa Ana
Watch John McTiernan’s 1988 action classic with Bruce Willis as NYPD detective John McClane. When he arrives in L.A. on Christmas Eve to reconcile with his estranged wife, a group of German terrorists storm her office building and it’s up to McClane to get everyone out alive.
COST: $7.50 - $10.50; MORE INFO
Through Sunday, Jan. 9
Bob Baker's The Nutcracker
Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater
4949 York Blvd., Highland Park
Watch an even kid-friendlier Nutcracker — with puppets! Bob Baker’s adaptation of the ballet debuted in 1969 and has been an audience favorite ever since. All guests ages 12 and older must show proof of vaccination.
COST: $20; MORE INFO
Through Friday, Dec. 24
Christmas on the Farm
Underwood Family Farms
3370 Sunset Valley Rd., Moorpark
If you’re looking for something to do with the kids or guests, consider a trip to the farm. Admission includes a visit to the animal center, tractor-drawn wagon rides, combine and harvester slides and lots of photo opportunities.
COST: $9 - $12; MORE INFO
Through Sunday, March 6, 2022
Kumihimo: The Art of Japanese Silk Braiding by DOMYO
Japan House Los Angeles
6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
This is the first U.S. exhibition to explore the history and art of Japanese silk braiding in kumihimo (“braided cords”). The work is created by the Tokyo-based Yusoku Kumihimo Domyo (DOMYO), a company that has been selling braided silk cords by hand since 1652.
COST: FREE entry; MORE INFO
The LCD Soundsystem Holiday Special
The James Murphy-fronted band gets its own holiday special. Yes, they’ll perform their hits, but the show opens with a ‘90s-style sitcom (think Friends) with an all-star cast including Macaulay Culkin, Christine Ko and Aparna Nancherla playing the band. Comedian, actor and writer Eric Wareheim directs and stars as Murphy. Watch on the Amazon Music channel on Twitch and Prime Video beginning at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST on Wednesday.
Dine and Drink Deals
Check out the 411 on restaurant, bar and food happenings in SoCal this weekend:
- Marugame Udon celebrates the holidays with its second annual Wabi-Sabi ugly sweater promotion. Guests who visit any participating location, Dec. 20-24, while wearing an ugly Christmas sweater receive a free bowl of udon with any udon purchase.
- On Tuesday at 7 p.m., Réveillon! A Creole Christmas Feast returns to Harold & Belle's in Jefferson Park. Celebrate Christmas like you’re in Louisiana, savoring the tastes (and cocktails) of New Orleans and Cajun country. Chef Ryan Legaux creates a range of traditional Creole dishes, including charred oysters, crawfish étoufée and soft-shell crabs. Adult general admission tickets are $109.
- Dear Bella Creamery, the plant-based ice cream shop in Hollywood, offers a Buche de Noel. Chef Belinda Wei's dairy and gluten-free take on the classic yule log features layers of creamy vanilla ice cream and brownie sponge cake covered in chocolate ganache and coconut shavings with a bit of rosemary.
- Descanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa is offering a family style pozole special, Dec. 23-26 and Dec. 31-Jan. 2, for $20, serving three to four people. It comes with 32 ounces of pozole rojo, all the fixings and the restaurant’s Volcano Salsa.
- OTOTO chef/owner Charles Namba pays tribute to the popular Christmas dinner tradition in Japan that includes Kentucky Fried Chicken. Residents across the country preorder their "Christmas Set" from KFC, which usually consists of a bucket of chicken, side of gratin or doria, salad and a white layer cake with whipped cream and strawberries. OTOTO’s JFC Set ($58) includes five pieces of bone-in buttermilk sansho fried chicken along with sides of shrimp macaroni gratin, daikon salad, cabbage slaw, a biscuit from All Day Baby and a Strawberry Roll Cake from Konbi. The JFC set is available in limited quantities for dine-in and takeout (preorder) Dec. 22-23 only.
- Arth Bar + Kitchen in Culver City offers a Spiced Spritz all month long. The perfect winter drink includes Smoke Lab Aniseed vodka, fresh lime, Chambord, St-Germain and is topped with champagne.