The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Weekend: Jan. 28 - 30
Learn about the rise and fall of Ren and Stimpy. Watch Björk live in all her Björk-iness. Attend the Academy Museum’s screenings of films by Shahrbanoo Sadat. Support a local cat rescue by attending the L.A. premiere of Cat Daddies. Celebrate the Lunar New Year.
With COVID-19 variants rising, many in-person events are being canceled or postponed. Please check ahead of time to confirm event status and vaccine/testing requirements for entry.
Friday, Jan. 29 and Tuesday, Feb. 1: 8 p.m.
665 West Jefferson Blvd., University Park
The Icelander musician and artist continues the three-night stint of her multimedia production Cornucopia at the Shrine. Based on her 2017 album Utopia, the show is directed by Lucrecia Martel and Björk with co-creative director James Merry. This is an all-ages show.
COST: $79 - $449 to start; MORE INFO
Friday, Jan. 28 - Thursday, Feb. 3
Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren and Stimpy Story
6464 Sunset Blvd., Lobby Level, Hollywood
The documentary directed by Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood explores the rise and fall of the influential animated series. The feature focuses on the groundbreaking creation of two beloved characters — Ren and Stimpy — and the behind-the-scenes turmoil centered on controversial creator John Kricfalusi. The film includes archival footage, show artwork, and interviews with the artists, actors, and executives behind the show.
COST: $13; MORE INFO
Friday, Jan. 28 - Sunday, Feb. 27
Next to Normal
Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center on the Cripe Stage
5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim
Previews begin this weekend for the groundbreaking hit musical that won the Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards during its acclaimed run on Broadway. The rock musical delves into the lives of a family affected by a mother who struggles with worsening mental health. This show contains adult themes and language and is recommended for mature audiences.
COST: $25 - $49; MORE INFO
Saturday, Jan. 29: 10:30 a.m.
207 North Maryland Ave., Glendale
Attend the L.A. premiere of a documentary from L.A. filmmaker Mye Hoang, a tender portrait of eight men whose love for cats has changed their lives. Presented by Gray Hat Films and Visual Communications, the screening also serves as a benefit for Kitten Rescue L.A. This is a reduced capacity, mask-required screening and food drive. Drop off any unopened cat food, take a gift bag with cat swag, and join in a post-screening Q&A.
COST: $15; MORE INFO
Saturday, Jan. 29: 6 - 9 p.m.
Opening Reception for New Exhibitions
5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
The museum holds an opening reception for three new exhibitions that officially open on Jan. 30: Jaishri Abichandani: Flower-Headed Children, Diedrick Brackens: heaven is a muddy riverbed, and Daisy Hightower: An Installation by Rosalyn Myles. The artists and curators will be present at the opening event.
COST: $12, FREE for members; MORE INFO
Saturday, Jan. 29 - Sunday, Jan. 30
Weekend With... Shahrbanoo Sadat
6067 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
Weekend With... is a series that offers audiences the chance to dive deep into the work of film creatives. This weekend, the Academy puts a focus on filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat, who was born in Iran and grew up between Tehran and a remote Afghan village. At age 20, she became the youngest person ever selected for the prestigious Cannes Cinéfondation residency in Paris. Last August, she escaped Taliban-controlled Afghanistan within days of the chaotic American withdrawal. On Saturday, the Academy screens Sadat’s hybrid documentary Not at Home, followed by her fiction debut Wolf and Sheep, which focuses on a group of shepherd children in a remote village in Afghanistan. The Orphanage, which continues a character’s tale from Wolf and Sheep in a Bollywood-inspired film, screens on Sunday.
COST: $5 - $10 per screening; MORE INFO
Saturday, Jan. 29 - Sunday, May 1
Evening Mile: The Paintings of Julika Lackner
Forest Lawn Museum
1712 S Glendale Ave., Glendale
The exhibition features 17 nocturnal landscapes that offer meditative views of Southern California. While the earliest painting featured in Evening Mile dates to 2005, several of the artworks were started during the early days of the pandemic. The exhibit is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Saturday, Jan. 28 - Sunday, June 12
how we are in time and space: Nancy Buchanan, Marcia Hafif, Barbara T. Smith
Armory Center for the Arts
145 North Raymond Ave., Pasadena
The title of the exhibition is taken from a phrase by Smith that sets art as an inquiry into the nature of being. Guest curator Michael Ned Holte highlights the differences and points of convergence among these three artists who all have SoCal connections, intersecting in the inaugural MFA program at UC Irvine from 1969 to 1971.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Sunday, Jan. 30: 1:30 - 2 p.m.
Lunar New Year Celebration: Lion Dance
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
Celebrate the Year of the Tiger at this outdoor celebration on Smidt Welcome Plaza that features lion dances by the East Wind Foundation. While at the museum, visit the exhibition Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation to see the 12 zodiac animals represented in work by Ai Weiwei (advanced reservations and tickets required).
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Sunday, Jan. 30 - Sunday, Feb. 13
Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
Interscope Records teams with LACMA to celebrate its 30th anniversary by presenting an exhibition featuring 50 new works by contemporary visual artists who have responded to music from the label’s influential roster. View works by Cecily Brown, Julie Curtiss, Shepard Fairey, Lauren Halsey, Damien Hirst, Rashid Johnson, Kaws, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, and Kehinde Wiley (among others) inspired by the music of 2Pac, Billie Eilish, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, MGK, Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, and U2. Advanced tickets required.
COST: $16 - $25; MORE INFO
Sunday, Jan. 30: 8:30 p.m.
Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata
Largo at the Coronet
366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove
The dynamic comic duo bring their popular podcast to the intimate theater for a night of laughter.
COST: $35; MORE INFO
Through Sunday Feb. 6
Lunar New Year
189 The Grove Drive, Fairfax
The Americana at Brand
889 Americana Way, Glendale
The retail destinations will be decked out to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The concierge at both properties will distribute Year of The Tiger tote bags and traditional red envelopes for good luck that include either $2 bills or special offers from brands like Michael Kors, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, J. Crew, and Nordstrom’s Bar Verde, among others.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Through Sunday, May 1
Tupac Shakur. Wake Me When I'm Free
CANVAS @ L.A. LIVE
944 Georgia St., downtown L.A.
The new exhibition takes visitors on a deep-dive into the life and work of the late rapper. Created in partnership with Shakur’s estate, Wake Me When I’m Free uses technology, art, music, and items from his personal archives. Closed on Tuesdays.
COST: $24.50 - $54.50; MORE INFO
Bring the family to Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas for an easy, guided walk along the creek and under the oaks on Saturday, Jan. 29. A docent talks about the plants and animals that are found in the Santa Monica Mountains as well as the park's history, including its movie-making past. The walk will last approximately 2.5 hours and begins at 10 a.m. Meet at the Main Trailhead Parking Lot (second, lower lot) by the restrooms. There are several trails throughout the park if you want to do extra miles. Parking: $3 an hour, $12 maximum.
TV Streaming Pick
This is a mystery wrapped in comedy (or vice-versa) from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo behind The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Miller serves as the show's creator, director, showrunner, and as an executive producer alongside Lord. The show’s premise focuses on a murder at a high school reunion, with each of the eight episodes focusing on a different character’s perspective. The cast includes Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Jamie Demetriou, and Dave Franco. The first three episodes of The Afterparty are available on Friday, Jan. 28 with the following episodes released weekly.
Dine and Drink Deals
Check out the 411 on restaurant, bar, and food happenings in SoCal this weekend:
- The vegan Dear Bella Creamery in Hollywood has created a new flavor in time for Chinese New Year. Dan Dan ice cream, co-created with Jing Gao — founder of the cult favorite Fly By Jing chili crisp — is now available in scoops and pints. It’s a take on the Sichuan noodle dish featuring a subtly sweet peanut butter base, a savory blend of Dan Dan sauces, and a swirl of chili crisp. The flavor will be available through the end of February. A Chinese New Year Celebration kit, featuring the new flavor, is available in-store Jan. 29 - Feb. 13.
- We’re hearing good things about the Sunday brunch at Blinking Owl distillery in Santa Ana. The first craft distillery in Orange County offers menu items including a Cacio e Pepe Bacon Breakfast Pizza Pie, a blini stack, Baller Steak and Eggs, and a French press coffee (with the option of adding a shot of their bourbon for $5). The tasting room is open for food and cocktails on Wednesdays through Sundays.
- After closing for a few weeks because of the resurgence of COVID, Musso and Frank in Hollywood has reopened for dinner service. (They are holding off on lunch service for now.) The restaurant’s new private dining rooms for larger parties are also available now for booking.
- Pasadena Cheeseburger Week ends on Friday (Jan. 28) with more than 30 restaurants offering signature burgers, special creations, or deals. Participating restaurants include Bone Kettle, Sage Vegan Bistro, Edwin Mills by Equator, Jake's Trustworthy Burgers & Beer, and Kings Row Gastropub.
- Gong cha locations (including its newest in Chino Hills) are celebrating the Lunar New Year by giving away Chinese red envelopes (hóngbāo) to guests who purchase any three beverages. The envelopes symbolize prosperity and good luck, and select envelopes will contain surprise offers such as free toppings, drink discounts, and even a chance to win free Gong cha for a Year. The promotion runs Jan. 30 through Feb. 1.
- Viceroy Santa Monica and boutique Highland Park plant shop The Juicy Leaf present a succulent building class and brunch at the hotel on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. Taking place on Sugar Palm’s outdoor patio, Juicy Leaf owner Felix Navarro guides attendees on constructing and caring for their own succulent arrangement. Tickets ($65) include a cocktail or mocktail, light brunch bites, and arrangements.
- Detroit Vesey's in downtown L.A. presents Dinner & Drag Race on Friday nights. Start with dinner (a la carte) at 7:30 p.m. followed by watching season 14 of RuPaul's Drag Race with some of your favorite Queens from the show. This Saturday’s guest is Pandora Boxx. Entry is free, but dinner favs include mini-meatloaf, pork belly tacos, mac & cheese, and harissa maple carrot bowl.
- U Street Pizza in Pasadena recently launched a lunch service, available Tuesday through Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. The sibling restaurant of UNION (located next door) offers up New York-style pizza with California touches, like vodka pepperoni. The restaurant also features an Old Town Hour on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m., where you can enjoy slices of the new square pies ($6 - $6.50) with $10 cocktails, $8 glasses of wine, and $5 local beers.