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Arts and Entertainment

Best Things To Do This Presidents' Weekend In Los Angeles And SoCal: Feb. 17 - 20

Three people stand behind a Roland keyboard playing and signing.
International City Theatre opens its 2023 season with Jonathan Larson's 'Tick, Tick...Boom,' with Samantha M. Lawrence, Phillip J. Lewis, and Ernesto Figueroa.
(Kayte Deioma
Kayte Deioma)
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Watch a daring aerial dance show on the face of the Fairmont Century Plaza. Attend a presentation and art show on Dracula. Take part in an organ music crawl. Get into the groove at the Cali Vibes Festival.


Friday, Feb 17 - Saturday, March 5

tick, tick… BOOM
International City Theatre (ICT)
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
330 East Seaside Way, Long Beach
ICT opens its 2023 season with Jonathan Larson’s musical tick, tick… BOOM! The autobiographical work about an aspiring composer trying to write the great American musical before his time’s up provides insight into Larson, who would be honored posthumously with three Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his rock musical, Rent.
COST: $49 - $55 (opening night); MORE INFO

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Friday, Feb. 17

Super Nintendo World Opening
Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City

Enter the colorful world of Mario and pals in a newly expanded area of the theme park. Ride the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride and take part in the other activities within the Mushroom Kingdom (which also includes the Toadstool Cafe and the 1-UP Factory gift shop).

COST: Single-day Universal admission starts at $109; MORE INFO

Friday, Feb. 17 - Saturday, March 18

Laugh Now, Cry Now
Beyond the Streets Flagship
434 N La Brea Ave., Hancock Park
Beyond the Streets presents a new group show curated by Ozzie Juarez, founder and artist of Tlaloc Studios. The show features the works of L.A. artists Andrea Aragon, Andrew Durgin-Barnes, Isaac Escoto and Julissa Aaron that provide an unfiltered view of life and its simultaneous emotions. The opening reception takes place on Friday, Feb. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 17 - Monday, Feb. 20

The Strange World Experience
Cayton Children’s Museum 
395 Santa Monica Place, #374, Santa Monica 
In conjunction with the home entertainment release of Disney’s Strange World, the museum is reimagined as the world featured in the animated adventure. For Presidents’ Weekend, immerse yourself in the family of explorers, the Clades, through various activations, including a ball pit, a slime room and behind the scenes content.

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Members of the Luminario Ballet perform on stage with two above the stage on ropes and four dancing on the stage, all in front of a video graphic of fire.
The Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles makes its Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts debut on Feb. 17 and 18.
(Emerson Chen)

Friday, Feb. 17 - Saturday, Feb. 18; 7:30 p.m.

Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles: Heroes, Sheroes, and Eros
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Bram Goldsmith Theater
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
The ballet troupe brings its blend of ballet, aerial movement, acrobatics and modern dance to The Wallis’ stage. The works also feature classical music, reggae, spoken word and film, and the final piece The Last Supper, reimagining Jesus, Judas, and Mary as Jewish rock ‘n rollers at Coachella. A post-performance talk with members of the company will be held on Feb. 17.
COST: $29 - $79; MORE INFO

Lineup poster for the 2023 Cali Vibes music festival with Snoop Dogg and Jack Johnson headlining.
The 2023 Cali Vibes music and lifestyle festival takes over Long Beach this weekend.
(Courtesy of Cali Vibes)

Friday, Feb. 17 - Sunday, Feb. 20

Cali Vibes 2023
Marina Green Park 
386 E. Shoreline Dr., Long Beach
The California music, vibes and lifestyle festival returns for its second year with a lineup that includes artists Snoop Dogg, Jack Johnson, Cypress Hill, 311, Damian “Jr. Gong” & Stephen Marley, Method Man & Redman, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads and SOJA.
COST: Single-day passes start at $150; MORE INFO

Friday, Feb. 17; 6 p.m.

Bite Me! Dracula Presentation
Sugarmynt Gallery
810 Meridian Ave., South Pasadena  
Listen to a presentation from Dacre Stoker about his great grand uncle Bram Stoker — author of Dracula — and their family’s legacy. The ticketed event includes the presentation, readings from actor Kim Farris and access to the Bite Me! Vampire art exhibit.  

Friday, Feb. 17; 7 p.m.

Seek Shelter
The Virgil 
4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood
The comedy-variety show hosted by Prance and Relatableisaiah features standup from up-and-coming comedians and sketches that have made Prance and Zay so beloved online. This show is 21+.

Saturday, Feb. 18 - Sunday, Feb. 19; 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The Vertical Stage
Fairmont Century Plaza
2025 Avenue of the Stars, Century City
Watch a death-defying vertical dance performance by immersive aerial artists BANDALOOP this weekend. The hotel’s façade will be transformed into the first 19-story vertical stage with the artists gracefully dancing down the hotel. Premium seating ticket levels include cocktails and food options.

A building that reads Lunch Special / Los Cowboys on loose dirt and set against a clear blue sky.
Photo Forward Los Angeles 2023 takes place this weekend, featuring works including John Humble's '1117 C Street, Wilmington, July 26, 1998.' Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery.
(1996-98 AccuSoft Inc., All rights reserved)

Saturday, Feb. 18 - Sunday, Feb. 19

Photo Forward Los Angeles
Danziger Gallery, Bergamot Station Arts Center (B1)
2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica
The nonprofit Photographic Arts Council Los Angeles (PAC LA) presents a free art fair that includes vendors showcasing both vintage and contemporary photography, along with books and ephemera. Works are priced for beginning to advanced collectors.

Saturday, Feb. 18; 1:30 - 11 p.m.

February Film Festival InFocus: Black Cinema
1139 S. Hill St., downtown L.A.  
NewFilmmakers Los Angeles’ (NFMLA) monthly screening focuses on Black filmmakers and works that focus on the Black experience. The day begins with a sampling of films from The Black TV & Film Collective Black’s inaugural Producer’s Fellowship, followed by short films, music videos and a screening of the feature Apache Leap, directed by Christian Rozier. In between programs, there are various receptions for networking.
COST: $10 - $30; MORE INFO

Sunday, Feb. 19; 2 p.m.

Harlem Globetrotters Arena
1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A.
Watch the mad basketball skills and athleticism of the Globetrotters, a team that was founded in 1926 and since then have become ambassadors worldwide.
COST: Tickets start at $25; MORE INFO

An image of Nao Bustamante lying seemingly departed in the art piece called 'Deathbed.'
The Studio of Nao Bustamante, in association with Track 16 Gallery, opens a new project in the form of a 3’ x 7’ gravesite gallery at the famed Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
(Nao Bustamante, 'Deathbed,' photo by Eden Batki.)

Sunday, Feb. 19; 2 - 4 p.m.

Grave Gallery / Odd Fellows Opening
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood 
The studio of artist Nao Bustamante, in association with Track 16 Gallery, opens a new project in the form of a 3’ x 7’ gravesite gallery at the renowned cemetery. Located on Bustamante's recently acquired burial plot, the space will feature works from artists “from all walks of life… and afterlife.” Opening concurrently on Sunday is the two-person art exhibition Odd Fellows, featuring work by Bustamante and fellow artist Karen Lofgren.

A close up of an organ keyboard and knobs taken in sepiatone.
Listen to seven organists performing on five organs at three churches during an organ music crawl in Beverly Hills.
(Deleece Cook on Unsplash)

Monday, Feb. 20; 9 a.m.

Presidents’ Day Organ Festival  
Various locations in Beverly Hills
Listen to seven organists performing on five organs at three churches for this musical crawl. Join in at any point in the festivities at the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, Church of the Good Shepherd and All Saints Episcopal Church. Boxed lunches are provided at $10 with reservations. The morning begins with a coffee and pastries reception at 9 a.m. in the courtyard at Beverly Hills Presbyterian.

A group of children run the kiddie run at L.A. Chinatown Firecracker with L.A. City Hall and other buildings in the background.
The 45th annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker running and biking events take place this weekend in downtown L.A.
(Bak Jong)

Outdoor Pick

45th Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit by taking part in one of the largest and oldest running races in the U.S. With festivities over two days, (Feb. 18 and 19), choose from a 5k, 10k or kiddie run through the streets of Chinatown and downtown L.A. on Sunday, Feb. 19. There are also 20- and 40-mile bike ride options scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18. Virtual options are also available for all races. Registration prices vary.

Viewing Pick

Star Trek: Picard, Season 3
If you’d haven't tuned into the Star Trek series that marked the return of Patrick Stewart as now-Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, you might want to watch its third and final season. Debuting on Feb. 16 on Paramount+, the show seems more like a reunion of Star Trek: The Next Generation with Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn all listed among the third season’s credits. The new season of Star Trek: Picard debuts on Feb. 16 with episodes released weekly.

Three oysters on the half shell on a bed of ice. Cucumber and caviar sit atop the oysters.
The Parisian-inspired Juliet recently opened in Culver City.
(Courtesy of Juliet)

Dine and Drink Deals

Here are a few dine and drink deals to indulge in this week.

  • The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles holds its Cocktails in Historic Places gathering on Sunday, Feb. 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Blind Donkey in Long Beach. The bar is located in a former speakeasy space in the historic Broadlind Hotel. Some participants dress in cocktail or vintage attire at the no-host meetup, but it’s not required to attend. 
  • On Sunday, Feb. 19 at 4 p.m., the Skirball presents Las Abuelitas Kitchen, a program that features film, food and conversation. Led by USC scholar Sarah Portnoy, the afternoon starts with a short documentary about 10 Mexican elders, followed by discussions about Mexico’s culinary traditions. Three abuelitas (grandmothers) featured in the film will be on hand for live demos and tastings. Tickets are $20 - $30. 
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel holds a beachside beer festival on Sunday, Feb. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. Brews & Bites features tastings from The Bruery, Bottle Logic Brewing, Baja Brewing Company, Sage Plant Based Bistro & Brewery, Peoples' Republic of South Central, JuneShine, Bow & Arrow Brewing Co., OC Local Taproom and global street food bites. Tickets: $150.
  • The Parisian-inspired restaurant Juliet recently opened in Culver City, offering a mix of seasonal French dishes and SoCal seafood. Menu highlights include: moules persillade (chilled mussels and sauce verte), tuna carpaccio, duck confit “cigars” with sauce valois, grilled lamb chops and black cod. And don’t forget to leave room for dessert including Parisian hot chocolate and gâteau au fromage (creme fraiche cheesecake).
  • Chicas Tacos opened its newest location last week at Rodeo 39 Food Market in Stanton. Known for its beer-battered fish tacos, the Chicas now has five locations throughout L.A. and Orange counties. 
  • Basecamp Wood Oven Pizzeria has opened at The Bloc in Downtown Los Angeles, operating Tuesdays through Saturdays. Order up the traditional Margherita, White Pie and other pizza variations or indulge in wood fired nachos, Camp fries or jerk chicken wings.   
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