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Best Things To Do This Week In Los Angeles And SoCal: May 1 - 4

A butterfly with blue and brown wings sits on a flower.
The exhibition SOAR - Tropical Butterflies opens this week at the South Coast Botanic Garden.
(South Coast Botanic Garden
Courtesy of the South Coast Botanic Garden)
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View tropical butterflies at a new immersive exhibition. Listen to stories about gossip. Bid adieu to Pop-Up Magazine. Celebrate May the 4th at the Academy Museum (Lightsabers optional).


Monday, May 1 - Thursday, Aug. 31

SOAR - Tropical Butterflies
South Coast Botanic Garden 
26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula 
The popular exhibition returns for its third consecutive year. Immerse yourself in hundreds of butterflies inside the pavilion or purchase an opportunity to feed the butterflies, too. Don’t forget to wear bright colors to attract the butterflies.
COST: $6 - $23; MORE INFO

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A man stands at a mic, illuminated by a spotlight. He's telling a story.
Storytellers tell tales on the theme 'fresh' at The Moth's virtual Pacific Storyslam.
(Kene Sperry, "DanKennedy_TheMoth2014" by mldshoots
Licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Tuesday, May 2; 7:30 p.m.

Los Angeles StorySLAM: GOSSIP
Los Globos
3040 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Listen to a night of five-minute true and surprising stories about rumors, innuendos and things heard around the water cooler. Carlos Kotkin hosts. Seating is first-come-first-serve. Los Globos is a 21+ venue.

Tuesday, May 2; 7:30 p.m.

An Evening with ... Molly Shannon
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
Listen to stories from comedian and actor Molly Shannon at the latest Film Independent @ the Wallis event. She’ll be interviewed by fellow Saturday Night Live alum Vanessa Bayer on her career (so far).
COST: $35 ($25 for Wallis subscribers); MORE INFO

A shot of a stage with a band at left and a speaker at right and an image projected onto the screen.
Pop-Up Magazine — a night of live storytelling, music, multimedia presentations from filmmakers, podcasters, writers, artists — is on its farewell tour.
(Pop-Up Magazine
Courtesy of Pop-Up Magazine Productions)

Tuesday, May 2; 7:30 p.m.

Pop-Up Magazine: One More Time!
The Theatre at Ace Hotel 
929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A. 
Pop-Up Magazine — a night of live storytelling, music, multimedia presentations from filmmakers, podcasters, writers, artists — is on its farewell tour, stopping at The Ace. Listen to true stories about the world and live music from Magik*Magik Orchestra. The show features Pop-Up Magazine veterans Cord Jefferson (Station 11, Watchmen), Stephanie Foo (author, What My Bones Know), Brittany Spanos (Rolling Stone) and others.
COST: Tickets start at $39; MORE INFO

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Wednesday, May 3; 7 - 9 a.m.

The Magic Castle with Erika Larsen
Los Angeles Breakfast Club
3201 Riverside Drive, Griffith Park
Join in the weekly tradition of breakfast, silly songs, club traditions and a special presentation — this week from Magic Castle owner Erika Larsen — at this early-morning gathering. Larsen will talk about the members-only magic club, which was founded in 1963 by her mother Irene Larsen, father Bill Larsen Jr., and uncle Milt Larsen.

Wednesday, May 3; 6 - 9 p.m.

Cinco de Mayo Mercado
San Gabriel Mission District
320 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel
The city of San Gabriel celebrates Cinco de Mayo a little early in the Mission Playhouse plaza. The family friendly event includes live music, crafts, food trucks, local artisans and vendors, plus a cocktail and beer garden. Watch live performances by Sol de Fuego Ballet Folkorico, Soto Band and Roosevelt Elementary School Music Immersion Experience Mariachi Ensemble. 

Thursday, May 4 - Friday, May 5; 8 p.m.

Cinco de Mayan
The Mayan Theatre
1038 South Hill St., downtown L.A.
Lucha VaVOOM’s variety show returns for two nights with Mexican masked wrestling — including DMT Azul, Rey Horus, Magno “The Man Mountain” Rudo — burlesque dancers, aerialists and comedians. The event is 21+.
COST: $45 - $65; MORE INFO

Thursday, May 4; 9 p.m.

Emotionally Unreasonable
The Yard Theatre 
4319 Melrose Ave., East Hollywood
Watch a new stand-up/musical comedy solo show by NYC-based comedian and actor Maria DeCotis (developed with Ryan Cunningham). DeCotis shares her experience as a professional wedding officiant who’s conflicted about marriage. She’ll tell tales about life, love and people that shouldn’t get married.

Thursday, May 4

May the 4th Celebration
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
6067 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
Join in a Star Wars-inspired May the 4th celebration, featuring photos with R2-D2, art activities for all ages and a screening of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi to commemorate the film’s 40th anniversary. Paul Hirsch, film editor of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Howard Kazanjian, producer of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), will be available for two book signings.
COST: $5 - $55; MORE INFO

A poster of a director's chair with a Soviet insignia. In black and red type it reads, 'Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare.'
'Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare' opens May 4 at the Skirball Cultural Center.
(Jewish Museum Milwaukee
Courtesy of the Skirball Cultural Center)

Thursday, May 4 - Sunday, Sept. 3

Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare / Peter Krasnow: Breathing Joy and Light
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood
The Skirball opens two exhibitions this week. Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare explores the actions of the House Un-American Activities Committee and those caught in the crosshairs— including the many Jewish creatives and executives who suffered under and enforced the blacklist. Peter Krasnow: Breathing Joy and Light features the artist’s “colorful and optimistic” post-WWII paintings from the Skirball’s collection.
COST: $7 - $18 admission; MORE INFO

Thursday, May 4; 6 p.m.

VC x JANM Kickoff Party
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave., downtown L.A. 
The 39th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival begins with a celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month. The party and the JANM’s exhibitions are free and open to all. The film program and screenings begin on Friday, May 5.

Viewing Pick

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Golda Rosheuvel is a joy to watch in Bridgerton as the gossip-hungry Queen Charlotte. The series has also hinted at her early relationship with husband King George III before his mental illness set in. This new Netflix show explores Young Charlotte’s origin story with India Amarteifio in the lead role and also features appearances by Bridgerton cast members Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury) and Ruth Gemmell (Lady Violet Bridgerton). Queen Charlotte debuts on May 4 on Netflix.

A shot from above of a bowl of ham and eggs with greens. It sits on a white plate with a spoon at the side.
Café Basque, inspired by the coastal Basque region of France, has opened in the lobby of the Hoxton in DTLA.
(Café Basque
Courtesy of Café Basque)

Dine and Drink Deals

Here are a few dine and drink options to indulge in this week:

  • The Orange County Museum of Art begins a Women in Wine Series — a five-part food and beverage series featuring women winemakers, importers, cheesemongers and other fine goods purveyors. The series begins with a cheese and wine tasting on May 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $85.
  • After a delay, Leona Lewis’ second Coffee and Plants location has opened in Studio City. To celebrate, the shop is giving away its signature Laurel Latte and the fan-favorite Vanilla Latte for free all week, between May 1 and 7 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. sponsored by its plant-based milk partner, Califia Farms. 
  • The Black Pot Supper Club is an intimate dinner series that celebrates historic African American cuisine. Each dinner is limited to 18 seats and lasts from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The nights begin with a welcome cocktail, followed by a coursed meal with wine pairings. The next two dinners — on May 1 and 15 — take place at Post & Beam in Manhattan Beach. Tickets are $250+ per person.  
  • Executive chef Daniel Rose’s newest concept Café Basque recently opened in the lobby of the Hoxton in DTLA. Inspired by the coastal Basque region of France, the cafe serves up savory and sweet dishes between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., including the fried chicken and espelette waffle, frites de mer, the red pepper-glazed collar and Harry’s Berries and whipped cream waffle.  
  • And don’t forget that Dine LA’s spring edition runs through Friday, May 12 with hundreds of eateries participating. Try prix fixe lunch and dinner menus available for those dining in, ranging from $15 to $65+. 
What questions do you have about Southern California?

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