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Best Things To Do This Week In Los Angeles And SoCal: Nov. 28 - Dec. 1

Holiday Season In Southern California: A large tree at the top of the Music Center steps bathed in white lights.
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting in the courtyard of the Los Angeles Music Center takes place on Monday, Nov. 28.
(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Getty Images North America)
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Celebrate the holiday season at the Irwindale Speedway. Watch National Geographic documentaries or films hand-picked by MoMA. Attend a Star Wars-themed burlesque show. Listen to Everclear on its 30th-anniversary tour.

Monday, Nov. 28; 5 p.m.

Los Angeles County Tree Lighting Ceremony 
The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The holiday tree tradition returns in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Enjoy a performance from the Urban Voices Project and get there early for snow flurries and complimentary hot chocolate. Stay to view Grand Park’s Holiday Lights installations.

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Monday, Nov. 28 - Thursday, Dec. 1

National Geographic Documentary Films Spotlight 2022
Aero Theatre - 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica 
Los Feliz Theatre - 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz
The American Cinematheque spotlights the latest features from National Geographic Documentary Films in this free series. Films include the story of French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft in Fire of Love; the battle for the Amazon Rainforest in The Territory; the final nine months of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan in Retrograde; and the complexity of the American people and their flag in The Flagmakers. Free popcorn and soda, courtesy of National Geographic.

Wednesday, Nov. 30; 7:30 p.m.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Billy Wilder Theater at The Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood 
The MoMA Contenders series returns to the Hammer, screening important and groundbreaking films before the upcoming awards season. Screenings include introductions and post-screening conversations with filmmakers, cast and other guests. The series kicks off this week with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, written and directed by Rian Johnson who introduces the film.
COST: $20 general admission; MORE INFO

A brightly colored installation of a peacock in pink and purple hues.
Zoo Lights at the L.A. Zoo holds a sensory-inclusive night this week.
( Jamie Pham)

Wednesday, Nov. 30; 6 - 10 p.m.

Sensory-Inclusive Zoo Lights  
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Dr., Griffith Park
The Zoo hosts a sensory-friendly version of the Animals Aglow experience, designed for guests who would like a sensory-supportive environment. This includes smaller crowds, quieter music volume, sensory bags available for checkout with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads. Guests will also be able to exit and reenter the event and attend an online Social Story that provides a preview of what to expect at the event.
COST: $27  - $34; MORE INFO

Wednesday, Nov. 30; 7 - 10 p.m.

Celebrate Here & Now
777 S. Alameda St., Suite 120, downtown L.A.
Attend the A+D Museum’s annual gala fundraiser that promises to be a joyful celebration of the present, the possibilities and shared experiences. The party includes food, drinks and a famed silent auction with one-of-a-kind pieces created specifically for Here & Now.
COST: $200 (discounted tickets available for students); MORE INFO

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A person stands onstage with arms outstreched while singing. Two people with black capes and devil ears are poised on either side of the singer.
'Chriskirkpatrickmas: A Boy Band Christmas Musical,' a boy band holiday parody opens for a limited run in L.A. this week.
(Matt Kamimura)

Thursday, Dec. 1 - Sunday, Dec. 11 (select dates)

Chriskirkpatrickmas: A Boy Band Christmas Musical
The Actors Company
916 N Formosa Ave., Fairfax
This boy band holiday musical parody blends It’s a Wonderful Life with … * NSYNC. It’s Christmas Eve 2009 and Chris Kirkpatrick from the boy band has a decision to make. The show features 12 original songs, with music by Valen Shore with book and lyrics by Zlizon Zatta and Shore, who also direct the production. Attendees are welcome to attend A Boy Band Christmas Party next door following each performance. Facemasks required indoors at all times.

A number of young POC ballerinas dance on stage in white ballerina outfits.
Debbie Allen Dance Academy presents its 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker' from Dec. 1 – 4 in Redondo Beach.
(Courtesy of Debbie Allen Dance Academy)

Thursday, Dec. 1 - Sunday, Dec. 4

Hot Chocolate Nutcracker
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach
Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) presents its award-winning production of the reimagined holiday classic. DADA’s version begins on Christmas Eve as the Johnsons host a grand party. Young Kara receives a Nutcracker filled with her favorite: hot chocolate. When she falls asleep that night, her journey begins as the Nutcracker comes alive. This year, guests can extend their Nutcracker experience before each matinee performance at Kara's Tea ($30, sold separately). The tea includes storytelling with Debbie Allen, catered tea, photos with cast members and a chance to win the Fairy Queen's pointe shoes.
COST: Tickets start at $75; MORE INFO

Thursday, Dec. 1 - Thursday, Dec. 22; 5 - 7 p.m. (select nights)

Casa Lumina Holiday Walk
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente
Explore the South Orange County cultural destination with a walk through the gardens and historic home. The night includes live music, holiday sights and hot cocoa.
COST: Free - $15; MORE INFO

Thursday, Dec. 1; 8 p.m.

A Drag Queen Christmas
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
For the 8th consecutive year, Murray & Peter present your fav queens performing live on stage. The all-ages event is hosted by Nina West and Trinity the Tuck. VIP and meet & greet tickets are also available.
COST: Tickets start at $35; MORE INFO

Thursday, Dec. 1 - Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023

Santa’s Speedway Christmas Lights Experience
Irwindale Speedway & Event Center
500 Speedway Dr., Irwindale
The immersive and interactive holiday lighting extravaganza returns to the racetrack for the third year. But for the first time, it’s entirely walkable. Guests can explore Christmas and holiday-themed vignettes at their own pace and leisure.
COST: $19 for kids, from $29 for adults; MORE INFO

Thursday, Dec. 1; 8 p.m.

Whisky A Go Go
8901 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Bust out those old flannels and watch the power-pop trio celebrate its 30th anniversary. Sponge opens.
COST: $40 - $1,000; MORE INFO

Six 'Star Wars' characters, some in scantily clad outfits appear in this black-and-white images.
'The Empire Strips Back' is a burlesque show parody of the 'Star Wars' empire.
(Courtesy of The Empire Strips Back)


The Empire Strips Back
Montalbán Theatre
1615 Vine St., Hollywood 
Get ready for Jedi mind tricks and lightsabers as you’ve never seen before in this unauthorized burlesque parody of the Star Wars universe. The show features scantily clad Star Wars characters performing in a show that combines striptease, song, dance and humor.
COST: Tickets start at $44; MORE INFO

Viewing Pick

Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas
Let the cheesy holiday movies begin! The great Dolly Parton returns to TV in this holiday-themed musical movie. Filmed and set at the Dollywood amusement park in her home state of Tennessee, Parton stars in this star-studded affair as herself, prepping for the filming of a network special. She’s visited by Three Wise Mountain Men along the way to find the true spirit of Christmas. She sings and/or dances along with Wilie Nelson, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon and others. Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas airs on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

An aerial view of a table filled with dishes from Bridgetown Roti.
Bridgetown Roti presents 'Black Panther'-inspired dishes at Franny's at the Academy Museum for one-night only.
(Courtesy of Bridgetown Roti)

Dine and Drink Deals

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

  • Bridgetown Roti pops up at Fanny’s restaurant at the Academy Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 29 for a special Dinner + A Movie night. Start the evening with a Black Panther-inspired, four-course meal from Chef Rashida Holmes, followed by a screening of Black Panther at the museum (tickets sold separately here). Fanny's bar also features a black currant cocktail inspired by the movie.  
  • 8 Nights at Birdie G’s is a Hanukkah-themed series that features different guest chefs from around the country cooking over a period of 8 nights at the Santa Monica eatery. The chefs are cooking up Hanukkah-inspired special à la carte dishes, featured alongside some of Birdie G's signature fare, like Southern kugel and matzo ball soup.
  • Dear Bella Creamery, the all-natural and plant-based creamery in Hollywood and Costa Mesa, is bringing back it's Peppermint Buche de Noel ($45) for the holidays between Dec. 1 and 24. The Yule log features peppermint ice cream, brownie sponge cake, chocolate ganache and coconut shavings with a sprig of rosemary and maraschino cherries. The Buche De Noel must be pre-ordered two days in advance for pick up.
  • The Austin-based Garrison Brothers invites bourbon lovers to the Wayfarer Hotel in Downtown L.A. on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. The night includes a welcome cocktail and a three-course dinner accompanied by select Garrison Brothers expressions at Gaslighter Social Club, followed by a nightcap in Lily Rose. Tickets are $110. 
  • Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach holds a two-day pop-up, “Je t'aime Pierre,” on Tuesday, Nov. 29 and Wednesday, Nov. 30, featuring a menu of French dishes from its predecessor Café Pierre. The four-course meal ($110) is offered from 5 to 10 p.m. with several classic French dishes including tarte flambée, duck rillettes, baked goat cheese provençale, steak au poivre and lapin à la moutarde.