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Arts and Entertainment

Best Things To Do This Weekend In Los Angeles And SoCal: Jan. 6 - 8

The front door of the all-ages, alcohol free club The Smell in downtown L.A.
The all-ages, alcohol-free club The Smell in downtown L.A. celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend.
(Courtesy of UpdateNerd, marked with CC0 1.0.)
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Celebrate The Smell’s 25th anniversary. Check out slithery creatures at the Reptile Super Show. Laugh at a comedy show for parents. Hit the dance floor at Afro Bowie, an immersive celebration of David Bowie’s birthday.


Through Sunday, Jan. 8

The Smell’s 25th Anniversary 
The Smell
247 S. Main St., Los Angeles
The punk rock and experimental music venue celebrates its 25th anniversary over four nights (Thursday to Sunday). Different band/DJ lineups are scheduled each night and include No Age, Lavender Diamond, Clipping. and Deaf Club. The Smell is an all-ages, alcohol-free venue.
COST: $10 - $25; MORE INFO

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Friday, Jan. 6 - Saturday, Jan. 21 (select dates)

Ercole S'ul Termodonte by Vivaldi  
Highland Park Ebell Club
131 S. Ave. 57, Highland Park  
Pacific Opera Project (POP), presents the U.S. premiere of the rare Vivaldi opera. Based on the ninth Labor of Hercules, Hercules is tasked with capturing the sword of Antiope, the queen of the Amazons. Written in 1723, the work is Vivaldi’s 16th opera and originally premiered in Rome, during the Pope’s ban on women in opera. POP features a mix of countertenors, mezzos, tenors, and sopranos performing with a period orchestra.
COST: Tickets start at $20; MORE INFO

Friday, Jan. 6; 7:30 p.m.

The Last Improv Show w/ Rainn Wilson, Mary Holland, Dan Black + More
Dynasty Typewriter
2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
Dan Black hosts a great lineup of performers who are coming out of pandemic retirement to perform. The show is based on impromptu stories told by guest monologist Rainn Wilson, who gets a suggestion from the audience to inspire their monologue. Special guests: Bobby Moynihan, Nicole Byer, Paul Scheer, Paul Welsh, Jon Gabrus, and Mary Holland. Livestreamed tickets available.
COST: $15 - $20; MORE INFO

More than a dozen polished rocks/beads — mostly green with floral designs — sit in a tray.
The Pasadena Bead & Design Show returns for three days of jewelry, design and workshops.
(Courtesy of Pasadena Bead & Design Show)

Friday, Jan. 6 - Sunday, Jan. 8

Pasadena Bead & Design Show
Hilton Pasadena
168 South Los Robles Ave., Pasadena 
The three-day celebration of handcrafted jewelry, clothing, design, and vintage items features more than 200 exhibits. Meet and shop directly from artisans and attend workshops throughout the weekend.
COST: $8 - $10; MORE INFO

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Saturday, Jan. 7, and Sunday, Jan. 8

Reptile Super Show
Fairplex, Expo Hall #4
1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona 
The reptile show features more than 100,000 sq. ft. of reptiles, amphibians, turtles, supplies, and equipment for sale. On Saturday at the Fairplex, the separate Exotic Bird Mart & Expo also takes place in Expo Hall 6. For both shows, please leave your pets at home.
COST: $10 - $16; MORE INFO 

Saturday, Jan. 7; 7 p.m.

10th Anniversary of Monday Monday Celebration
Hotel Cafe 
1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood
The showcase for songwriters to find each other, inspire each other, and be discovered celebrates a decade on both the Main and Second stages. The night has featured many artists, including Phoebe Bridgers, JP Saxe, Jesse Thomas, Rett Madison, Casey Abrams, Angel Taylor, Chris Pierce, Haley Reinhart, Madison Cunningham and Theo Katzman. The anniversary show benefits Hop on a Cure, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for ALS. The venue is 21+.
COST: $10 - $12; MORE INFO

Saturday, Jan. 7; 1 p.m.

BYOB (Baby, Boob, Buggy, Bottle): A Comedy Show for Parents
The Crow at Bergamot Station Arts Center 
2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica
The venue offers a midday, adult (R-rated) comedy show for parents — performed by parents — where babies are welcome (because they won’t understand a thing).

Saturday, Jan. 7 and Sunday, Jan. 8

AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! 
Banc of California Stadium
3939 S. Figueroa St., Exposition Park
Two nights of music serves as the soundtrack for the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship that takes place on Monday, Jan. 9, at SoFi Stadium. On Jan. 7, watch the Jonas Brothers and L.A.-based singer-songwriter Em Beihold. On Sunday, Jan. 8, Pitbull, Saweetie and Gayle take to the stage. Gates open at 6 p.m. PT. Fans will need to pre-register for event tickets online beginning Friday, December 2 at 10 a.m. PT. Access on the day of the concert will be on a first-come, first-served basis based on your digital ticket.
COST: FREE with pre-registration; MORE INFO

Sunday, Jan. 8; 11 a.m.

Golden Globes Non-English Language Film Nominees Symposium
Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
Watch a live panel discussion with Golden Globe-nominated filmmakers Park Chan-wook (Decision To Leave) and S.S. Rajamouli (RRR), those joining virtually include Edward Berger (All Quiet On The Western Front), Lukas Dhont (Close) and Santiago Mitre (Argentina, 1985).

Sunday, Jan. 8; 6 p.m.

Afro Bowie: An Immersive David Bowie Experience
Teragram Ballroom
1234 West 7th St., downtown L.A.
Celebrate David Bowie’s birthday with an immersive celebration and a funk/punk/progressive exploration of his music and art, performed by an all-star band: Vernon Reid (Living Color), Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Justin Warfield (She Wants Revenge), Norwood Fisher (Fishbone), Chris Dowd (Fishbone), Tony Austin (Kamasi Washington) and Brett Farkas (A Bowie Celebration).

Sunday, Jan. 8

Set Sail with Ruben Östlund: An American Cinematheque Retrospective
Los Feliz 3
1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz
The American Cinematheque welcomes filmmaker Ruben Östlund in person for an all-day retrospective. He’ll discuss three of his films (Force Majeure, Triangle of Sadness and The Square) and presents a screening of Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana.
COST: $8 - $15; MORE INFO

Sunday, Jan. 8; 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

2023 Oshogatsu Family Festival: Year of the Rabbit
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo
The museum ushers in the Year of the Rabbit with its annual festival, featuring cultural performances, crafts and activities for kids and families. Watch a traditional mochitsuki (Japanese rice pounding ritual) by Kodama Taiko; candy sculpture demonstrations by Shan Ichiyanagi (Shan the Candyman); koto and calligraphy performances; storytime; origami and a scavenger hunt.

An image of a small waterfall
Switzer Falls via the Gabrielino Trail is located in the Angeles National Forest in Tujunga.
(By jasonippolito, licensed under CC BY 2.0.)

Outdoor Pick

Switzer Falls via Gabrielino Trail
This very popular out-and-back route in Tujunga is moderately challenging and traverses a little more than 3.5 miles. There’s ample shade, heights, great views of Pasadena and lots of water crossings, so extra socks might be needed after the hike — especially after recent rains. Since it’s located in the Angeles National Forest, an Adventure Pass is required for parking. The downside is that hikers have reported car break-ins, so don’t leave valuables in the car. Start at the Switzer Picnic Site.

Viewing Pick

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 15
RuPaul’s popular drag competition moves to a new network —MTV — for its latest season. The show’s premise remains the same: Drag queens from coast-to-coast face off in contests for talent/performance, acting, decor and fashion. Drag Race premieres on Friday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m.

Esters Bar Manager Jonah Atkins Making Drinks
Esters Bar Manager Jonah Atkins makes alcohol-free drinks on Sunday, Jan. 8 for a Dry January event.
(Jordana Hazel)

Dine and Drink Deals

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

  • This Sunday, Jan. 8, Esters Wine Shop & Bar in Santa Monica holds a Dry January Tasting from 3 to 6 p.m. Sommelier Randall Middleton pours three different nonalcoholic wines from Proxies (such as Zephyr Rosé and Vinta Orange) while bar manager Jonah Atkins mixes mocktails and spritzes. The tasting is $25/person and includes a Mini Market Plate with crudité & dip. Swing by anytime within the 3-hour window or reserve a table.
  • Last week Salt & Straw launched several limited-time dairy-free ice cream flavors inspired by classic Americana desserts. Combining indulgence and vegan ice cream, flavors include bananas foster, chocolate sorbet, toasted oat milk & cookies, peanut butter brittle caramel fudge and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The new flavors are available to ship nationally and scoop in shop through Feb. 2.
  • Greenbar Distillery, L.A.’s first distillery since Prohibition, offers premium non-alcoholic canned cocktails for Dry January and beyond. The drinks have the flavor and complexity of a full-strength cocktail with none of the buzz. The newest drink is the UnSpritz, an alcohol-free Californian version of an afternoon Italian tradition. Other items include the UnGin + Tonic, UnRum + Cola and several non-alcoholic Bitters + Sodas.  
  • If Dry January isn’t for you, Yaamava' Resort & Casino in Highland offers the January 2023 Drink of the Month: the New Year’s Resolution is made with Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, honey and Pol Remy Brut champagne. The drink is available in any of the Yaamava' bars for $13. 
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