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Best Things To Do This Week In Los Angeles And SoCal: Sept. 12 - 15

A group of men and women wearing colorful traditional dress celebrate Mexican Independence Day. One holds up a sign that says, in Spanish, "we are all immigrants"
Celebrate Mexican Independence Day and the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which both happen this week. This image is from a celebration in L.A. in 2019.
(Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Get a sneak peek at Sanaa Lathan’s directing debut feature. Participate in El Grito. Listen to Strong Words. Enter the Valley of Hollows…if you dare.

Monday, Sept. 12; 7:30 p.m.

Mermaid Comedy Hour
The Improv - Lab
8162 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove
The September lineup of the monthly comedy show features sets by Jackie Kashian, Alice Wetterlund, Angie Stocker, Monique Moreau, Nicole Blaine, Amber Autry and guest co-host Amber Preston. Ages 21+.
COST: $12+ two-item minimum; MORE INFO

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Monday, Sept. 12; 7:30 p.m.

On the Come Up
Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica 
The American Cinematheque presents a retrospective for actor and now feature film director Sanaa Lathan. The series begins with a special advanced screening of her feature directorial debut, which has its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival before heading to Paramount+ on Sept. 23. It’s based on the best-selling novel by Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give). Seats are first-come, first-served and RSVP does not guarantee a seat.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

Tuesday, Sept. 13; 7:30 p.m.

Mental Health and Student Activism: A Roundtable Discussion
The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture
3581 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside
Imperfect Paradise: The Forgotten Revolutionary from LAist Studios investigates the mysterious death of Oscar Gomez, a prominent emerging leader of the Chicano movement in the 1990s. Host Adolfo Guzman-Lopez moderates a live event at The Cheech with experts discussing the mental health issues impacting student activists today.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

Wednesday, Sept. 14 - Sunday, Sept. 18

DTLA Film Festival
Regal LA LIVE
1000 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.  
The festival is dedicated to showcasing films (and TV series) by and about groups historically underrepresented in Hollywood. The programming (36 features and 76 short films) strives to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the neighborhoods of DTLA and surrounding communities. The coming-of-age tale Carlos Through The Tall Grass opens the festival on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
COST: $15 per screening; MORE INFO

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Wednesday, Sept. 14; 6 - 20 p.m.

Give a Beat Records Label Launch Party
Apotheke
1746 N. Spring St., downtown L.A.
Attend an event that celebrates the launch of the first release from a new record label that emphasizes social change and giving a voice to the underrepresented. The music-based nonprofit Give a Beat (GAB) seeks to change the course for incarcerated individuals, and each GAB Records artist has gone through a reentry mentoring program. The event features host and DJ Jeremy Sole.
COST: $40; MORE INFO

Wednesday, Sept. 14; 7 p.m.

Surf Curse Film Screening Sympathy For The Devil
Brain Dead Studios
611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove
Sid The Cat and Brain Dead Studios present the band Surf Curse who screens Jean-Luc Godard’s 1968 avant-garde film Sympathy for the Devil, starring the Rolling Stones. The band’s album Magic Hour comes out next month and will host a Q&A following the film.
COST: $16.56; MORE INFO

Thursday, Sept. 15; 7:30 p.m.

Strong Words: Dress Codes
The Autry Museum
4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park
Listen to a night of storytelling, music and art inspired by The Autry’s Dress Codes exhibition. There’s music by The Ukulele Orchestra of the Western Hemisphere and a photo exhibit by Michael W Hirabayashi. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. so attendees can visit Dress Codes before the event.
COST: FREE - $10; MORE INFO

Thursday, Sept. 15; 6 p.m.

Sid The Cat Magazine Launch Party
Permanent Records Roadhouse
1906 Cypress Ave., Cypress Park
Concert promoters Sid the Cat has started a magazine. It will kick off its inaugural issue with a 21+ party featuring DJ sets by Mike Krol, Illuminati Hotties and No Win. There will be pizza from Secret Pizza (while supplies last).
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

Thursday, Sept. 15; 7 p.m.

Close-Ups: Five Latin American Portraits with Radio Ambulante’s Daniel Alarcón
Crawford Family Forum
474 South Raymond Ave., Pasadena
Daniel Alarcón, executive producer of NPR’s Radio Ambulante, presents five portraits of Latin America in the world-premiere of this multimedia performance. Listen to true stories of love, secret identities, cultural misunderstandings, and escape from storytellers from Argentina, Peru, Colombia, England, Honduras and Cuba.
COST: FREE - $12; MORE INFO

Thursday, Sept. 15; 7 p.m.

El Grito 2022
Los Angeles City Hall and Grand Park
200 N. Spring St., downtown L.A.
Celebrate the 212th anniversary of Mexico’s independence with the El Grito Ceremony, sponsored by the Mexican Consulate, the city of L.A., and Councilmember Gil Cedillo. The evening features a performance by singer Graciela Beltrán.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

Thursday, Sept. 15, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 -18

The Horse by Chris Emile
Downtown L.A. (address will be shared upon confirmation of attendance)
LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) presents a 45-minute immersive performance directed, choreographed and performed by Emile, who brought together the idea for this performance during a three-month collaborative creative residency. The Horse brings forth the supernatural experience and is influenced by Vodun tradition. All attendees are encouraged to wear white for the contemporary ritual.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

Thursday, Sept. 15; 7 p.m.

What Can We Laugh About? 
In-Person in DTLA and Live Online
ASU California Center
1111 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Are people too sensitive these days? Has it become too difficult to crack certain jokes? Or perhaps, are the times we live in much too serious to joke about? Political satirist Bassem Youssef and playwright, actor, and performance artist Kristina Wong visit Zócalo and are set to discuss comedy within the context of our current world. Panel discussion moderated by Los Angeles Times' Gustavo Arellano.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

Thursday, Sept. 15 - Sunday, Nov. 20 (select dates)

DELUSION: Valley of Hollows
The Phillips Mansion
2640 Pomona Blvd., Pomona
Jon Braver’s interactive horror theater attraction starts its run this week. Taking place in the Phillips Mansion, it invites guests to wander around as they explore the American cults of the 1970s, with a supernatural twist. Delusionals will play the role of Deprogrammersm, those meant to help rescue people from the influence of cults.
COST: Tickets start at $89.99; MORE INFO

Viewing Pick

Atlanta
Donald Glover’s acclaimed Atlanta returns for its fourth and final season. Its swan song finds Earn (Donald Glover), Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) and Van (Zazie Beetz) back in their hometown after spending last season in Europe. Has the city changed? Or have they? The first two episodes of Atlanta will be released on Thursday, Sept. 15 on FX (and next day on Hulu).

Dine and Drink Deals

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

  • Great White in Venice hosts a wine tasting with Delinquente Wine Co. on Monday, Sept. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. $28 for a four-wine flight.
  • On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Second Home Hollywood (with Now Serving) holds an LA Times Food Bowl Event: a panel discussion with author and founder of Masienda, Jorge Gaviria, for his new cookbook, Masa: Techniques, Recipes, and Reflections on a Timeless Staple. Guests enjoy masa-based small bites and a complimentary beverage with a ticket to the event ($30 - $50)
  • Golden Road Brewing celebrates the start of Hispanic Heritage month at the Atwater pub on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Brewers David Ortega and Frank Martinez will preview their new limited-edition beer inspired by their heritage, featuring an homage to the fermented beverage Tepache, a popular drink in Jalisco. Colombia Latin Soul performs live and local street cart vendors serving street tacos, pupusas, empanadas, and other treats will be on site. 
  • Also as part of the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl, Silver Lake’s Eszett highlights a few favorite recipes from Odette Williams’ new cookbook, Simple Pasta, made with seasonal, fresh produce from Eszett’s own garden. The a la carte dining experience is being held on Monday, Sept. 12.
  • The Cat and Fiddle honors the late Queen Elizabeth II by offering her favorite meal, Afternoon Tea. Quantities are limited and reservations must be made for dine-in. (h/t Eater LA)