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Best Things To Do This Week In Los Angeles And SoCal: May 22 - 25

A person with arms outstretched on a dark stage in shadows
The Moth returns with a GrandSLAMstorytelling event.
(Laura Partain
Courtesy of The Moth)
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Dance at Party/After-Party Sessions at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary. Listen to storytelling at The Moth’s GrandSLAM. Celebrate Miya Folick’s latest release. Get a jump start on Memorial Day Weekend at Lightning in a Bottle.


Monday, May 22; 7 p.m. (doors)

The Moth GrandSLAM
The Regent Theater
448 S. Main St., downtown L.A.
Storytellers vie for the title of the 2023 LA GrandSLAM Championship — live in front of an audience — without notes. Listen to 10 past StorySLAM winners tell tales on the theme, “Should Have Known.” They play the role of Monday morning quarterback and talk about “foolish choices, tragic miscalculations, comic presumptions and other cringe-worthy regrets.” Tales begin at 8 p.m.

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Monday, May 22 - Thursday, May 25

2023 Earth Focus Environmental Film Festival
Landmark Westwood Theatre + Streaming
1045 Broxton Ave., Westwood
KCET, PBS SoCal and Link TV’s fifth annual festival includes four nights of eco-centric films, two of which will be presented virtually on the streaming platform Eventive and two are in-person at the Landmark Westwood. The festival opens with the virtual screening of Delikado, followed on Tuesday with the L.A. premiere of Deep Rising (in-person), the L.A. premiere of Fashion Reimagined (virtual) and the closing night films WILD HOPE: Does Nature Have Rights? and The Beautiful Undammed (in person).

A painting of a Black woman with a child on her lap. On either side of the picture are plants/vines hanging down.
David Zwirner Gallery opens its Los Angeles location with solo shows from Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Stan Douglas. Above: Crosby's 'Still You Bloom in This Land of No Gardens,' 2021.
(Fredrik Nilsen Studio
Courtesy of David Zwirner)

Tuesday, May 23 - Saturday, July 29

Njideka Akunyili Crosby / Stan Douglas
David Zwirner Gallery
616 N. Western Ave., East Hollywood
The gallery hosts an opening reception on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. to celebrate its inaugural opening exhibitions. Coming Back to See Through, Again features new and recent work by Crosby, and Douglas’ major two-channel video installation ISDN (2022), along with a group of related photographs.

Tuesday, May 23; 7 p.m.

What Does Boxing Owe Its Champions?
ASU California Center at the Herald Examiner
1111 S. Broadway, downtown L.A. 
Zócalo Public Square explores the sweet science — the brutal sport of boxing — and all its contradictions. While boxing has provided a creative outlet and a path out of poverty for some Californians, only a few hit those million-dollar paydays. The sport has also destroyed lives and careers. Hear from a panel of experts including California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster, former middleweight champ Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora and Kali “KO” Mequinonoag Reis, professional boxer and actress, who’ll talk about boxing’s future. Stick around for the post-event reception.

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Tuesday, May 23; 9:30 p.m.

Miya Folick
The Shortstop LA
1455 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Celebrate Miya Folick's latest release Roach at the Short Stop, featuring a live performance of “Shortstop” from the album, DJs by Honey’s at Star Love, merch, drinks and a photo booth. Live performance at 9:30 p.m. RSVP doesn’t guarantee entry if the event is at capacity.

The assault ship USS Essex is seen at sea from the front.
The USS Essex (LHD 2) steams off the coast of northeastern Japan with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Ship JS Hyuga (DDH 181). Essex was one of the ships that particpated in the 2022 Fleet Week.
(U.S. Navy
Getty Images AsiaPac)

Wednesday, May 24 - Monday, May 29

L.A. Fleet Week 2023
Port of Los Angeles
250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro
Fleet Week is a multiday celebration of the nation’s Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Public events include active-duty ship tours, military displays, aircraft flyovers, and live entertainment. There are also neighborhood activations and a scrumptious gallery cooking competition among military branch teams.
COST: Many activities are free; MORE INFO

A pyramid-like structure at night with lights shooting out toward the crowd.
Lightning in a Bottle returns for a weekend of art and music, celebrating its 20th anniversary.
(Lightning in a Bottle
Courtesy of Lightning in a Bottle)

Wednesday, May 24 - Monday, May 29

Lightning in a Bottle 
Buena Vista Lake
13601 Ironbark Road, Bakersfield 
The festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with music, art, workshops and immersive environments set over Memorial Day weekend. The lineup includes Rezz, Sofi Tucker, Zhu, Tale of Us, Diplo and TOKiMONSTA (DJ Set). In addition to the three main stages, the Stacks continues as the festival’s bass music community stage, and the Grand Artique is LIBs wild west outpost, complete with roaming characters, a functional general store, and mining structures from America’s past.
COST: Adult GA festival passes start at $449; MORE INFO

Wednesday, May 24; 7:30 p.m.

The Duke: Ellington as America's Ultimate Renaissance Man
Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
The performing arts organization MUSE/IQUE honors Duke Ellington in its latest program, conducted by artistic and music director Rachael Worby. Listen to Ellington classics like "Sophisticated Lady" and "Take The ‘A’ Train," plus Ellington's The Nutcracker Suite. MUSE/IQUE is a membership-only organization.
COST: Trial membership starts at $100 and includes three consecutive performances; MORE INFO

A pink graphic reads, 'Elise Hu and Ailsa Chang Discuss Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital.'
Upcoming LAist live event on May 25 features Elise Hu and Ailsa Chang discussing 'Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital."

Thursday, May 25; 7 p.m.

Elise Hu and Ailsa Chang Discuss Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital
Crawford Family Forum + Livestream
474 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
Join LAist for the Los Angeles book launch of Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital, by journalist and podcaster Elise Hu who examines the enduring power of standardized beauty, how that intersects with capitalist imperatives, and where we go from here when technology is making our exteriors so vital. Ailsa Chang (she/her), award-winning journalist and host of NPR’s All Things Considered will talk with Elise about the book, K-beauty’s global rise, and how we can change appearance expectations and claim a more inclusive, intersectional, and community-centered ethic around "self-care."

A man in glasses and a white head scarf DJs at a turntable spins tunes while several people bathed in purple light.
Carl Craig, deejaying at MOCA’s 2nd Annual Gala Dance Party in April, returns with the 'Party/After-Party Sessions.'
(Zack Whitford/
Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art )

Thursday, May 25; 6:30 p.m. - midnight

Party/After-Party Sessions
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 N. Central Ave., downtown L.A.
Detroit-based techno DJ and producer Carl Craig's Party/After-Party sound and light installation is currently on view at The Geffen Contemporary. What better way to celebrate the exhibition than a three-part concert series/dance party starting on May 25? Presented by Craig, MOCA and Insomniac/Secret Project, this week’s performers include Craig, DJ Holographic, King Britt and Moritz von Oswald. It’s going to get loud (so bring ear protection if you wish) and note that Party/After-Party features low lighting and strobe effects.
COST: $15, FREE for MOCA members; MORE INFO

Thursday, May 25; 7 - 9 p.m.

An Evening of Art 
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
The Evening of Art doubles as a fundraising event for the nonprofit organization, artworxLA, which also commemorates its 30th anniversary. Artists expected to attend include Shepard Fairey, Estevan Oriol, MÁXIM, Lefty Out There, Matthew Ryan Herget and others, supporting artworxLA's mission to help students stay in school through sustained arts exposure and immersion. The night features a silent art auction of work by work by established, mid-career, and emerging student artists. Champagne, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and dessert are available through the night.
COST: Tickets start at $175; MORE INFO

Viewing Pick

Happy Valley, Season 3
Did you, like us, pick up a bug for international crime dramas during the pandemic? This week, the highly rated British police drama Happy Valley returns for its third and final season. It focuses on the personal and professional life of police sergeant Catherine Cawood. Based in Yorkshire, the sergeant was pitted against her nemesis (James Norton), a brutal killer who fathered her grandson. The series premieres on BBC America, AMC+, and Acorn TV on May 22. (In the meantime, catch up on seasons 1 and 2 on both Acorn TV and AMC+.)

Dine and Drink Deals

  • Piccalilli in Culver City partners with Inglewood’s Crowns and Hops Brewing Co. for a tap takeover event on Thursday, May 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. Sample the brewery’s 8 Trill Pils pilsner, a floral The Dopest Hazy IPA, the Inglewood Sun west coast IPA and Mama’s Punch, a tropical fruit punch style tart ale. Food specials created to complement the beers include a Thai currywurst ($10) and a green curry spätzle ($14).
  • Kinn in Koreatown/Wilshire Center holds a nine-course kaiseki meal with Japanese Chef Aramaki Masashi (of the Hotel's restaurant in Tokyo) on May 24 and 25 ($179+ per person). The meal will feature a traditional multicourse format with a touch of Korean influence using locally sourced ingredients. Reservations are available via Resy for May 24 and May 25
  • Kevin Hart continues to expand his restaurant empire, opening his plant-based, quick service — think vegan burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and shakes — Hart House in Hollywood (6800 Sunset Blvd.). It’s Hart’s third restaurant and the first with a drive-thru. To celebrate the opening, on Tuesday, May 23, 10% of opening day proceeds will go to the restaurant’s community partner, Assistance League.
  • Cafe Gratitude's Chef Collaboration Series presents An Italian-Inspired Ayurvedic Dinner with Chef Om and Chef Seizan Dreux Ellis at the Larchmont location on Thursday, May 25 from 7 to 10 p.m. Try plant-based dishes including grilled eggplant, kitchari arancini, and an ayurvedic lasagna with carrot beet marinara and cashew ricotta. Tickets are $120 per person. 
  • The historic Rose Garden Tea Room at the Huntington in San Marino officially reopens to the public on Wednesday, May 24. First closed in 2020 because of the pandemic, the tea room then underwent an extensive 18-month renovation. Reservations are now available on Open Table with a traditional tea service starting at $62.
  • Santa Barbara’s Tensley Wines has opened its first-ever Tensley Tasting Room in Los Angeles. Located in Brentwood Garden Plaza (11677 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 116), the Tensley Tasting Room is open daily from noon to 7 p.m., offering a wine experience from $25 in addition to wines by the glass, bottle and packaged snacks.
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