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Arts and Entertainment

Best Things To Do This Week In Los Angeles And SoCal: May 31 - June 2

A crowd of people on a theater stage singing together.
The touring production of the Broadway musical, "Come from Away," opens for a limited run at the Ahmanson Theatre.
(Matthew Murphy)
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Watch the heartwarming musical Come from Away. Learn about a Judy Baca mural in a new exhibit. Explore the bleakness of human nature on film. Catch Amos Lee in concert.

Tuesday, May 31 - Sunday, June 12

Come from Away
Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre
The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The Broadway musical based on the true story of a small town that welcomed the world after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks returns for a limited engagement.
COST: Tickets start at $40; MORE INFO

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Tuesday, May 31: 7:30 p.m.

Amos Lee
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
929 N. Broadway, downtown L.A.
The troubadour returns to L.A., celebrating the release of his new album Dreamland, which was recorded during the pandemic. Lee opens up about his lifelong struggles with anxiety, isolation, and trauma on the record. He hopes to help destigmatize the conversations around mental health. Neal Francis opens.
COST: Tickets start at $39; MORE INFO

A draft drawing of a colorful Judy Baca mural.
'Hitting the Wall': Site Study Proposal by Judy Baca is on view at the Getty Museum.
(Courtesy of the artist Judith F. Baca and the SPARC Archives )

Tuesday, May 31- Sunday, Sept. 4

The Lost Murals of Renaissance Rome / Judy Baca: Hitting the Wall
J. Paul Getty Museum 
1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood
Two new, complementary exhibitions open at the Getty. Both highlight the long history of mural art, from Renaissance Rome to downtown Los Angeles. Baca’s most famous mural was created for the 1984 Summer Olympics — the first Olympics that allowed women to participate in the marathon. It’s located on a freeway underpass in downtown L.A.; it was nearly lost in 2019 when it was whitewashed without notice as part of a graffiti-removal campaign.

Two men sit on stage at a table in a bar sharing a bottle of red wine.
Chris Perfetti and Glenn Davis star in the world premiere production of 'King James' at Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum June 1 through July 3.
(Michael Brosilow)

Wednesday, June 1 - Sunday, July 3

King James
Mark Taper Forum
135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
Playwright Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) tracks the friendship of two Clevelanders as they bond over the rise of LeBron James, the greatest player in Cavaliers’ history. Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) directs this new play in its world premiere.
COST: Tickets start at $30; MORE INFO

Wednesday, June 1: 7:30 p.m.

Cue & A with Robert Kraft featuring Michael Abels
The Broad Stage
1310 11th St., Santa Monica
The music series continues with film composer Michael Abels, best known for his work on Jordan Peele's Get Out and Us, as he discusses his composition process and career. Live music demonstrations include a vocalist, pianist, and an ensemble with clips from the films, plus excerpts from Allen v. Farrow and the new opera Omar. He’ll be interviewed by Kraft, a fellow songwriter, composer, and former president of music at 20th Century Fox.
COST: Tickets start at $55; MORE INFO

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Wednesday, June 1 - Wednesday, June 8

Bleak Week Film Festival
Aero Theatre - 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
Los Feliz Theatre - 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz
American Cinematheque launches its first Bleak Week film festival, which spotlights 33 films from around the world that explore the darkest sides of humanity, including the bleakest points in human history. The festival opens on Wednesday with Salò, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom (1975) by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ratcatcher (1999) by Lynne Ramsay, Vagabond (1985) by Agnès Varda, and Threads (1984) by Mick Jackson.
COST: $8 - $13; MORE INFO

Wednesday, June 1: 7 p.m.

Will Americans Ever Be In This Together?
The 12th Annual Zócalo Book Prize Event
ASU California Center
1111 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Zócalo hosts its annual book and poetry prize event at its new home venue, honoring poetry prize winner Chelsea Rathburn (“8 a.m., Ocean Drive”) and book prize winner Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together). The winners will be joined by Renata Simril, president and CEO of the LA84 Foundation, to discuss new models for solidarity, as well as how people can come together across racial lines. The event will also stream online.

Thursday, June 2: 7 p.m.

Reel To Reel: White Jesus Black Problems
Grammy Museum
800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.
The three-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Fantastic Negrito premieres his new film, followed by an interview and an acoustic performance.

Thursday, June 2: 7:30 p.m.

Pride Screenings: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
Rooftop Cinema Club 
1310 E Franklin Ave., El Segundo
Rooftop Cinema Club El Segundo celebrates Pride month with screenings of LGBTQ+ hits all June, beginning this week with the comedy classic To Wong Foo... starring Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo. Other screenings this month include The Birdcage, Rocketman, and The Wizard of Oz. A portion of proceeds from the Pride screenings will be donated to The Trevor Project.
COST: $19.50 - $26.50; MORE INFO

Thursday, June 2 - Saturday, July 30

Summer of Love: 1990s Romances
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
6067 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
The 1990s seem relatively idyllic compared to everything that’s happened post-Sept. 11, 2001. The memorable films selected for this series expanded the boundaries of love on screen, including this week’s screening: Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala (1991), starring Sarita Choudhury and Denzel Washington.
COST: $5 - $10; MORE INFO

six dancers on a stage dressed in white hold onto a dancer in all black
The L.A. Contemporary Dance Company opens the 5th annual contemporary Dance at the Odyssey Festival with 'Dancing in Snow.'
(Robbie Sweeny)

Thursday, June 2 - Saturday, July 16

5th Annual Dance at the Odyssey Festival 
Odyssey Theatre
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Sawtelle
A seven-week celebration of contemporary dance featuring new work by cutting edge companies and choreographers kicks off this week (Thursdays-Sundays, June 2-12) with the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company. The ensemble’s world premiere of Dancing in Snow explores Black and LGBTQ+ experiences, as well as “how cultural appropriation and tokenism separate Black dancing and culture from Black bodies.”

Thursday, June 2

UCLA First Thursdays
Westwood Village
1031 Broxton Ave., Westwood
Head to Westwood for a day of learning and fun, starting with “Thrive and Shine” at the Westwood Village Farmers' Market from 12-5 p.m. UCLA wellness experts will offer tips and resources for self-care. Stick around for the Summer Send-Off Evening Block Party from 7-10 p.m. for Jenga, mini-golf, giant chess, cornhole, and a DJ. There’s also a "Heads Up!" live tournament with the chance to win a $5,000 gift card.

A girl covers her mouth as she stands at the mic at the Annual National Scripps Spelling Bee
Melodie Loya of Bainbridge, New York, tries to spell the word 'madrague' during round five of the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center May 30, 2019, in National Harbor, Maryland. Students from across the country and around the world compete in the spelling competition, which started in 1925.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images
Getty Images North America)

Viewing Pick

2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals
Watch the drama, intrigue, tears, and cheers at the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals live on Ion this Thursday, June 2 at 8 p.m. Hosted by LeVar Burton, the competition will whittle down the field from 234 spellers representing all 50 states (including 14 from California), the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe. Spellers will also represent four countries outside the U.S.: the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, and Ghana.

a fancy looking grilled cheese sandwich with the sides cut
Camphor in downtown L.A. is offering a new bar menu.
(Courtesy of Camphor)

Dine and Drink Deals

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

  • Camphor, the French bistro with Indian influences in downtown L.A., has launched a new bar and patio menu created by co-executive chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George. Menu items include the decadent croque monsieur with A5 wagyu, smoked ham, ibérico ham, gruyère, black truffle sauce ($40), and the vodka-based Provence cocktail served with sidecar and martini accoutrements ($30).
  • All seven Gong cha locations in the L.A. area are celebrating Pride month. From June 1-30, $1 of every purchase of the Rainbow Strawberry Taro Milk Tea will directly benefit LGBTQ+ organizations in the name of #Equalitea, including It Gets Better, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), and The Trevor Project.
  • The plant-based ice cream purveyors of Dear Bella Creamery launch a collaboration on June 1 with pastry chef Gemma Matsuyama (formerly of n/naka), part of their quarterly series that offers space to WOC chefs for personal storytelling through ice cream. Two new ice cream flavors (Sweet Rice Milk Hojicha and Strawberry Yuzu Sorbet), inspired by Gemma's Japanese heritage, will be available through August.
  • Carl’s Jr. teams with Universal Pictures to celebrate the upcoming release of Jurassic World Dominion and a new menu. On Dinosaur Appreciation Day (June 1), the Carl’s Jr. location at 424 W Los Feliz Rd. in Glendale will be turned into a dino hangout, offering food specials from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. from its all-new Primal Menu, featuring the Primal Angus Thickburger, Primal Burrito, Primal Biscuit, and the Beyond Wraptor Burger.  
  • Thanks to L .A. Taco for the heads up on our new summer treat: homemade icy mangonadas from 22-year-old Susanne Herrera. The South L.A. resident currently offers these flavors: mango, strawberry, watermelon, and pineapple — all offering that mix of spicy and sweet. To order and follow, visit @CatisCravings.
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