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The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Week: Feb. 21 - 24

The cast of the musical "Assassins" are on a stage, several of whom are standing inside cubicles built into a two-level structure.
East West Players presents "Assassins," with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
(Steven Lam)
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Laugh along to the comedy of Atsuko Okatsuka. Catch Nic Cage in Mandy at the drive-in. Listen to stories about love and heartache. Attend one of three Bad Bunny shows — if you can score tickets.

With COVID-19 variants still out there, in-person events are being canceled or postponed. Please check ahead of time to confirm event status and vaccine/testing requirements for entry.

Monday, Feb. 21: 8 p.m.

Assassins
David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts
120 Judge John Aiso St., downtown L.A. 
The nation’s longest-running Asian American theater, East West Players (EWP), has returned to in-person performances with this darkly comic musical about nine people who took their aim at U.S. presidents. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, the EWP production is directed by Snehal Desai, with musical direction by Marc Macalintal. Assassins runs through March 20.
COST: Pay-What-You-Can on 2/21, other performances $50 to $75; MORE INFO 

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Poster image of Atsuko Okatsuka in the center with faces of three other comics in circles.
Atsuko Okatsuka and Friends brighten up Monday night with a night of comedy.
(Courtesy Atsuko Okatsuka )

Monday, Feb. 21: 8:30 p.m.

Atsuko and Friends
Largo at the Coronet
366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove
Join Atsuko Okatsuka, comedian and creator of the viral “drop challenge” on TikTok and Instagram, for a night of laughs. She’s joined by friends Nicole Byer, Taylor Tomlinson and Daniel Webb .
COST: $35; MORE INFO

A piece of Nychos art, featuring the face of a man split into multiple levels - his skin up front, separated from his face's skeleton behind, with brain and other organs another level back. The man looks surprised, a triangular line of sight showing up highlighted coming out of his eyes. Behind the back layer, white circles indicating waves radiate out.
"The Awakening" is an immersive experience created by artist and international muralist NYCHOS, presented by Mirus Gallery, in downtown L.A.
(Courtesy of the artist)

Tuesday, Feb. 22 - Sunday, May 1

NYCHOS: The Awakening
Mirus Gallery 
1922 E. 7th Pl., downtown L.A.
The gallery presents an exhibition of immersive art, created by interdisciplinary artist and muralist NYCHOS. The Awakening combines fine art and technology to take attendees on a journey of rebirth. The event is timed and ticketed.
COST: Tickets start at $22.22; MORE INFO

Tuesday, Feb. 22: 7 p.m.

Virtual Film Discussion: The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Virtual
Join in the Los Angeles Public Library’s virtual film discussion on this month’s pick, The Last Black Man in San Francisco. In the 2019 film directed by Joe Talbot, a young Black man attempts to move back to his childhood home in gentrified San Francisco. Watch the film for free on Kanopy or Hoopla using an L.A. Public Library card. RSVP for Zoom link for the discussion.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

Tuesday, Feb. 22: 7:30 p.m.

Los Angeles StorySLAM: LOVE HURTS
Los Globos
3040 West Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Listen to five-minute stories about love, heartache, and love that hurts so good. Brian Finkelstein hosts the evening. The venue is 21+.
COST: $15; MORE INFO

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Wednesday, Feb. 23: 7:30 p.m.

Mandy 
Drive-In At Tustin’s Mess Hall Market
1705 Flight Way, Tustin
The Frida Cinema presents Panos Cosmatos’ horror film, Mandy, starring Nic Cage. Bring your own snacks, or get there early to take advantage of Mess Hall Market’s restaurants, which will be open until 8 p.m.
COST: $30 per car; MORE INFO

Wednesday, Feb. 23: 8 p.m.

Better Half Comedy 
Bar Bandini
2150 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Kara Klenk and Jared Logan host the night of comedy. This week's lineup features Dana Gould, Debra DiGiovanni, Hadiyah Robinson, Devon Walker, and Danny Palumbo. This show is 21+. Donations accepted — and they go directly to the comics.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO 

Wednesdays through March 16

2022 Directors Close-Up: Spirit Awards Edition 2.0
Hybrid
Film Independent’s Directors Close-Up series gives film fans a chance to hear from indie directors and their collaborators on the art and craft of directing through a series of in-depth conversations. This week’s online program "The Spirit of Cassavetes: Making a Low Budget Movie" features a panel with Clint Bentley (Jockey), Talia Lugacy (This is Not a War Story), Alexandre Rockwell (Sweet Thing), Emma Seligman (Shiva Baby), and Dash Shaw (Cryptozoo).
COST: $25 - $35 per session; MORE INFO 

Wednesday, Feb. 23 - Sunday, Feb. 27

Oaxacalifornia: The Return
Virtual
LACMA’s I Am… film series presents work by award-winning and emerging Latin American and BIPOC filmmakers who “approach their subjects through the eye of the ‘other’ with curiosity, empathy, and respect.” This week, watch Oaxacalifornia: The Return, a portrait of three generations of a family with Mexican roots. The film by director Trisha Ziff revisits the Mejía family 25 years after they were first filmed making a journey to Mexico. The screening is followed by a conservation with Ziff and Veronica Mejía.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

Thursday, Feb. 24 - Saturday, Feb. 26

Bad Bunny: El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo
Crypto.com Arena
1111 S. Figueroa St., Downtown L.A.

The Forum
3900 W Manchester Blvd., Inglewood 
The Puerto Rican reggaeton singer and rapper plays three nights in L.A., starting on Thursday at Crypto.com Arena. Bad Bunny tickets are scarce and prices are hot.
COST: Starting at $197; MORE INFO

Black singer Maiya Sykes with her mouth open wide and eyes closed, standing in front of a microphone. She is in front of a deep blue/purple background; lettering reads EVOKE LA.

Thursday, Feb. 24: 12 - 1 p.m.

Evoke LA: Lord, Don’t Move That Mountain
Virtual
The Evoke LA series, a collaboration between ALOUD and KPCC/LAist that’s inspired by the Los Angeles Public Library archives, continues with a program centered on the sheet music for “Lord, Don’t Move That Mountain.” Singer Maiya Sykes reinterprets the composition, written by pioneering L.A.-based African American gospel music composer and publisher Doris Akers with gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, through a performance. Sykes is joined by historian Tyree Boyd-Pates, curator Josh Kun, and KPCC/LAist host Austin Cross for a discussion on the evolution of gospel music across the history of Black Los Angeles.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

TV / Streaming Pick

Law & Order
Dun-dun… the original Law & Order series from producer Dick Wolf returns to the airwaves after a 12-year hiatus. Sam Waterston reprises his role as DA Jack McCoy and Anthony Anderson picks up his badge and gun as Det. Kevin Bernard. New additions to the team include Hugh Dancy, Camryn Manheim, and Jeffrey Donovan. Law & Order’s 21st season premiere airs on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.

Yardbird Prime Rib on a serving plate, with green garnish on top and a larger garnish to the side. Other food on plates is in the background, as is the stem of a drinking glass.
Yardbird Los Angeles now serves a rosemary herb crusted prime rib on Sunday nights.
(Courtesy of Yardbird)

Dine and Drink Deals

Check out the 411 on restaurant, bar, and food happenings in SoCal this week:

  • National Margarita Day is Tuesday, and Providence celebrates in style by offering a $100 margarita, served tableside. Beverage Director Kim Stodel uses the small-batch Casa Dragones Joven, aged Grand Marnier Cuvée du Centenaire, organic lime juice, agave, and salt to finish.
  • Descanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa offers more affordable deals for National Margarita Day, with drink specials from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and food specials from 5 to 9 p.m. Order $2 tacos and $3 quesadillas in the Plancha Room, perfect for pairing with $6 margaritas such as the refreshing Cucumber + Sal and Mango43 margaritas, or the spicy Bad Hombre and Olvera Street margaritas.
  • Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Los Angeles launches a new monthly wine dinner serieson Wednesday at 7 p.m. The first installment features two Australian purveyors: Penfolds wine and Westholme Australian Wagyu. Chef Dennis Bernardo has curated a five-course tasting menu (with beef in every course except for dessert) that includes tenderloin carpaccio, oxtail ravioli, braised beef cheek, and a Wagyu duo of flat iron and short rib. $175 per person
  • Beginning on National Margarita Day, Trejo’s Tacos Hollywood offers a week-long special Watermelon-Jalapeño Margarita made with Lobos 1707 tequila. To kick-off the collab, Trejo’s hosts a ticketed “After Hours” event on Tuesday from 9 to midnight at its Hollywood cantina with live music and Lobos 1707 tastings out of a Tuk Tuk. Tickets are $20.
  • UNCOOL opens in West Hollywood on Monday, bringing smashburgers, chicken, and cocktails to its new neighborhood. On Saturday, UNCOOL celebrates its opening with a $5 UN-happy meal featuring a cocktail, burger, and fries, offered to all guests 21+ years of age who follow@we.are.uncool
  • On Thursday, Abernethy’s reopens its doors and its emerging chefs showcase. Chef Ryan Costanza (Freedman’s, Post & Beam) makes his Abernethy’s debut with a Mediterranean Island menu that includes Sea Urchin Carbonara, Whole Grilled Maitake. and Catalan lobster.
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.