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Arts and Entertainment

Best Things To Do This Weekend In Los Angeles And SoCal: Dec. 9 - 11

Gustavo Dudamel raises his hands while conducting the LA Phil.
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the LA Phil for 'The Tristan Project' in three acts at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The production is directed by Peter Sellars, with video by acclaimed artist Bill Viola.
(Courtesy LA Phil)
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Dance to a Dolly Parton-inspired disco. Attend the CAAMCon Black Comics Festival. Listen to Victorian ghost stories and take a candlelit tour. Visit an expansive art show dedicated to the Beastie Boys.

Weekend Events

Friday, Dec. 9 - Saturday, Dec. 17

The Tristan Project
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
For the first time, Gustavo Dudamel conducts the return of this production of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, directed by Peter Sellars, with a video by Bill Viola. Michael Weinius and Miina-Liisa Värelä star as Wagner’s star-crossed, doomed lovers. The opera is presented in three acts over three days this weekend and next.
COST: Tickets start at $64 for each performance; MORE INFO

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Friday, Dec. 9; 9 p.m.

The Dolly Disco: The Dolly Parton Inspired Country Western Disco Dance
The Regent Theater
448 S. Main St., downtown L.A.
Calling all 9-5 country-disco-dancing queens. This Dolly Parton-inspired dance party features music from Dolly along with Kasey Musgraves, Orville Peck, Shania Twain, ABBA, Miley Cyrus, Cher, Whitney Houston, The Chicks, Madonna, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow and others. Ages 18+.

Friday, Dec. 9; 6 p.m.

Silent Night Silent Disco
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Julianne and George Argyros Plaza
600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa 
Ring in the holiday season with Silent Night Silent Disco. Choose from three upbeat channels to dance to through lit-up wireless headphones. Ugly holiday sweater attire is, of course, encouraged.

Saturday, Dec. 10; 7 p.m.

Ira Glass & Jad Abumrad: An Evening With The Creators Of This American Life & Radiolab
The Theatre at Ace Hotel 
929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A. 
Our newsroom continues to celebrateKPCC’s Public Radio Palooza with what promises to be a lively discussion between Ira Glass, host of This American Life, and Jad Abumrad, creator of Radiolab. Learn about how both shows take deep dives into science-based stories and the nuance of human details behind each of them.
COST: $53.50 - $92; MORE INFO

Saturday, Dec. 10 - Sunday, Dec. 11

LA Historic Park 
1245 N. Spring St., downtown L.A.
A new festival takes over the park featuring music (including Maluma, Lil Baby, Snoop Dogg, Seventeen, Free Nationals and TOKiMONSTA); artists (including Jacolby Satterwhite and Amanda Ross-Ho, For Freedoms, Patrick Martinez, Edgar Ramirez and Tiffany Alfonseca) and 20+ food purveyors (All Dat Dim Sum, Cena Vegan, Gogo’s Tacos, Lil' Bobacita, Prince Street Pizza and Ramen Hood). The festival focuses on L.A. as the Capital of Culture & Creativity (3C) and aims to connect people and communities. The festival is 21+.
COST: $99 - $679; MORE INFO

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Saturday, Dec. 10 - Sunday, Dec. 11

The Soraya
18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge
The popular holiday tradition returns to The Soraya, featuring Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar.
COST: $36 - $94; MORE INFO

A pastel image filled with greens and pinks of a Walt Disney castle.
'Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts' is the international traveling exhibition that explores 18th-century French decorative arts as inspiration for Disney’s theme parks and celebrated animated films.
(Walt Disney Imagineering Collection. © Disney.)

Saturday, Dec. 10 - Monday, March 27, 2023

Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts
MaryLou and George Boone Gallery at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
The international traveling exhibition explores 18th-century French decorative arts as inspiration for Disney’s theme parks and celebrated animated films, including Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. View nearly 50 works of art and design, many of which are drawn from The Huntington’s significant collection, will be featured alongside hand-drawn production artworks and works on paper from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Collection and The Walt Disney Family Museum.
COST: $13 - $29; MORE INFO

Saturday, Dec. 10; 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

CAAMCon Black Comics Festival
California African American Museum
600 State Dr., Exposition Park
Learn about the artistry, history, and power of Black comics and comic books at the museum’s first-ever comic festival. In addition to a comics marketplace and children’s activities, talks include Keynote Conversation: Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington and In Conversation: Cody Ziglar, John Jennings, and Rodney Barnes. Food trucks will also be onsite.

A black and white photo of three men sitting on a couch. One man is holding a basketball up to the camera.
EXHIBIT is an extensive art exhibition that focuses on the music of the Beastie Boys.
(Ari Marcopoulos)

Saturday, Dec. 10 - Monday, Dec. 23

Beyond the Streets Flagship
434 N. La Brea Ave., Fairfax
Beyond the Streets and CONTROL Gallery, in partnership with Goldenvoice, present an extensive Beastie Boys exhibition. The show takes a deep dive into the group’s 40-year history, from Licensed to Ill to Paul’s Boutique and beyond, with personal items, artifacts, and ephemera.

Saturday, Dec. 10; 6 p.m.

Together On the Air: LIVE on Radio Launch Event
ONE Gallery, West Hollywood
626 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood Attend a pre-launch event for Together On the Air, a hybrid exhibit that chronicles the history of Radio GLLU—the first bilingual LGBTQ+ radio program in the country. The show ran from the mid-1980s through the 1990s, hosted and run by the Los Angeles-based Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos (GLLU), one of the first LGBTQ+ Latinx organizations in the country. For the event, Original Radio GLLU co-hosts Rita Gonzales and Eduardo Archuleta will reunite for a live recording of an exclusive radio session featuring special guests, including playwright and MacArthur Fellow Luis Alfaro, activist Irene Martínez, and historian and author Lydia Otero.
COST: FREE with RSVP (but suggested donations $10 - $20); MORE INFO

Sunday, Dec. 11; 6, 7, and 8 p.m.

Victorian Ghost Stories and Candlelit House Tours
Heritage Square Museum
3800 Homer St., Montecito Heights
The museum carries on the Victorian era tradition of telling ghost stories on long winter nights. Sit in the Perry Mansion Ballroom and hear tales from a 19th-century gentleman as he sits by the fireplace. The stories are then followed by a candlelit tour of the Hale House, The Shaw House and the Octagon House.

A colorful, comic book-like poster for Picture This.
The show pairs famed comedians and in-demand artists and animators for live, animated comedy.
(Courtesy Picture This)

Sunday, Dec. 11; 7 p.m.

Picture This!
Permanent Records Roadhouse (and on Zoom)
1906 Cypress Ave., Cypress Park 
The last animated comedy show of the year features live art from animators, cartoonists, and artists who draw as comedians tell jokes. Brandie Posey hosts a lineup of comedians that includes Frankie Quiñones, Jessy Morner-Ritt, Anna Valenzuela, Jon Gabrus and Mandal, with animation by Mike L. Mayfield, Mike Hollingsworth, Sapphire Sandalo, Charlotte Vevers, Ashlyn Anstee, and Luke McGarry.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

Sunday, Dec. 11; 7 p.m.

Vampira’s 100th Birthday Celebration!
Los Feliz Theatre 
1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz 
The American Cinematheque remembers Maila “Vampira” Nurmi with a 100th birthday celebration and a book signing with Sandra Nieme, author of Nurmi’s biography Glamour Ghoul. The night also features a screening of Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, followed by a panel with screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, Niemi, filmmaker Ray Greene (Vampira and Me) and make-up artist Ve Niell (Ed Wood), moderated by comedian Dana Gould; a reel of rare footage of Vampira’s TV appearances and a screening of Ed Wood’s classic Plan 9 from Outer Space.
COST: $8 - $13; MORE INFO

A colorful painting of a Bahian Market.
Djanira da Motta e Silva, 'Bahian Market,' 1956, private collection, Salvador, Bahia, opens as part of the new LACMA exhibition, 'Afro-Atlantic Histories.'
(Courtesy Andrew Kemp)

Sunday, Dec. 11 - Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023

Afro-Atlantic Histories
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire 
The exhibition features more than 100 artworks from the 17th to 21st centuries that follow the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies in the African diaspora. The works include historical paintings by Frans Post and Édouard Antoine Renard and contemporary works by Kerry James Marshall, Alison Saar, Hank Willis Thomas and Kara Walker.

    Holiday Markets

    There are a number of holiday markets and shopping experiences happening this weekend, including:

    • Unique Markets’ LA Holiday Market takes place Dec. 10-11 at the California Market Center in downtown L.A. Shop from a diverse collection of more than 150 designers, emerging brands and artists. Admission runs $15 - $50.
    • The Creative Communal Holiday Artisan Market lands at Runway in Playa Vista for two Saturdays (Dec 10 and 17) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market features 40 small businesses, local makers and vendors. Free admission with RSVP.
    • Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga holds its second annual outdoor Holiday Family Faire on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with carolers, stories about Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and artisan marketplace. Admission: Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicumree to $20. 
    • Fig at 7th hosts the Come Up Markets on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., showcasing a marketplace for Black brands, creatives and entrepreneurs. Experience community, culture and shopping at this event, presented by Ferriss Mason. Free admission.
    • On Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Goddess Mercado and The Queer Mercado team up for a Jingle Mingle Holiday Fiesta at the East LA Civic Center. The holiday market features more than 125 Latina and Queer vendors, promising one-of-a-kind gifts.
    Santa Claus and a few elves on standup paddleboards
    Santa Paddle 2022 returns to Ventura this weekend.
    (Kayaker Bill, licensed under CC BY 2.0.)

    Outdoor Pick

    6th Annual Santa Paddle
    Head up the coast to Ventura Harbor on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. for the 6th Annual Santa Paddle. Join Santa as he trades in his sleigh and reindeer for a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Rent a kayak, SUP, or pedal boats from Ventura Boat Rentals to join the fun on the water. Dress for the occasion and don those Santa caps or ugly sweaters. Following the paddle, stop by the Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace in Ventura Harbor Village from 12 to 3 p.m.

    Viewing Pick

    Atsuko Okatsuka: The Intruder
    Tig Notaro directs Okatsuka’s first HBO stand-up comedy special, taped live at the Elsewhere stage in Brooklyn. The comedian and actress brings her brand of comedy and offbeat storytelling to the Elsewhere stage in Brooklyn, where she discusses the “futile art of impressing teenagers, attending a Magic Mike Live show with her grandmother, and the alarming reactions that she and her husband had to the unwanted presence of an intruder.” The Intruder debuts on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. on HBO.

    Rustic Canyon's Beets & Berries Oreos - five stacked on top of one another and one cookie leaning on its side.
    The Rustic Canyon Family Holiday Cookie Box returns for the holiday season, with all proceeds going to No Us Without You.
    (Elisa Freimuth)

    Dine and Drink Deals

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

    • Attend a Yule Ball at Idle Hour on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The annual event features wizard-inspired drinks, food and entertainment that benefit Jacob's Fund—a foundation working to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families.
    • On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 10 from 5 to 8 p.m., goodboybob Culver City holds its 2nd annual Polish Pop-up. The menu includes dill pickle soup, house-made farmers cheese & potato pierogi, mushroom & sauerkraut pierogi and Polish cheesecake. 
    • The Rustic Canyon Family Holiday Cookie Box ($79) is now available for pre-order with all proceeds going to the restaurant nonprofit No Us Without You. Each tin features a dozen different treats, including Sweet Rose Creamery’s chocolate-dipped macaroons, Milo + Olive’s soft ginger molasses cookies and Cassia’s lemongrass shortbread. Pre-order online for pickup at Rustic Canyon on Dec. 18. 
    • Caldo Verde, located at the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel, holds an evening inspired by Neal Bodenheimer’s Cure on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 5 - 10 p.m. The dinner ($65 per person) celebrates Bodenheimer’s first book, Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em based on the inventive cocktails served at his renowned cocktail bar. The Cure menu includes bites including blue crab beignets and drinks such as the Vieux Carré. 
    • The Den on Sunset recently reopened after a massive renovation, featuring a new menu from Chef Ronnie de Leon and drinks by Pascal Shin and Darwin Manahan of Punch+Co. Find an eclectic menu that includes Grandma’s meatballs to charred Spanish octopus.