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Best Things To Do This Weekend In Los Angeles And SoCal: May 12 - 14

A drag queen is seen in profile with an ornate headdress, with long black braids, flowers and featthers.
RuPauls DragCon returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center, featuring vendors, exhibitors, panel discussions and performances for the drag community and fans.
(Mark Ralston
AFP via Getty Images)
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Bring your fiercest besties to the return of RuPaul’s DragCon. Shop at The Music Center’s vinyl fair. Attend a day of Black documentary screenings. Hear tales from storytellers that they’d never want mom to hear.


Friday, May 12 - Saturday, May 13

RuPaul’s DragCon LA
Los Angeles Convention Center 
1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A.
The family-friendly drag culture convention returns with signings and meet-and-greets with more than 100 of your favorite queens, fierce mainstage performances and immersive activations from RuPaul’s Drag Race and WOWPresents Plus shows. Of course, there’s plenty of merch to buy from numerous vendors.
COST: Tickets start at $50; MORE INFO

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Dancers in orange parachute pants form a vertical line on a stage with their bodies, feet and arms are extended in a dance move.
Blue13 Dance Company performs five Bollywood-inspired works showcasing the company’s exuberant blend of hip-hop, modern and traditional Indian dance at The Wallis.
(Courtesy of Blue13 Dance Company
Courtesy of Blue13 Dance Company)

Friday, May 12 - Saturday, May 13; 7:30 p.m.

Blue13 Dance Company
Bram Goldsmith Theater
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
The L.A.-based Blue13 Dance Company returns to the Wallis with five Bollywood-inspired works by Artistic Director and choreographer Achinta S. McDaniel. The program includes a preview of Sounds Like a Whoop, Looks Like a Flash, a work in progress exploring invisible disability and addiction; the company premiere of 1947, which addresses the effects of the India-Pakistan partition; and excerpts from Shaadi Medley featuring Bollywood and Bhangra dance.
COST: $29 - $79; MORE INFO

Friday, May 12; 6 p.m.

ICONIC AMERICA: The Hollywood Sign 
Directors Guild of America
7920 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood Hills West
LAist joins PBS SoCal and KCET for a reception, screening and panel discussion that examines one of L.A.’s most cherished symbols: The Hollywood Sign. Watch a one-hour episode that’s part of the new PBS series Iconic America: Our Symbols and Stories with David Rubenstein. LAist’s John Horn moderates a panel with TV host Melissa Rivers, sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen, Vintage Los Angeles creator Alison Martino and series producer Maro Chermayeff.

Friday, May 12; 7 p.m.

Don’t Tell My Mother! 
Dynasty Typewriter
2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
The comedy show and podcast throws a pre- mama’s day party, featuring celebrities and comedians telling true stories they’d never want their moms to know. This show features Real Housewives of Orange County’s Heather Dubrow, Isabella Gomez (Netflix’s One Day at a Time), Jared Goldstein (The Unicorn) and comedian Judy Carter (The Homo Handbook). Special musical guest: trans masc band Ezra & The Pussyboys. Created and hosted by Nikki Levy.
COST: $20 - $40, livestream available; MORE INFO

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Saturday May 13; 12 p.m.

Just Like Heaven Fest
Brookside at the Rose Bowl
1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena
This music fest features indie artists from the aughts, with headliners Yeah Yeah Yeahs as well as MGMT, M83, Future Islands, Empire of the Sun, Hot Chip, Peaches and several other acts.
COST: Tickets start at $149; MORE INFO

A person rifles through crates of records. There is a sign that says 'Records' at left.
The Music Center holds On the Record: Vinyl Fair, a daylong celebration of connections to music and culture through the discovery and love of vinyl records.
(Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Saturday, May 13; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

On the Record: Vinyl Fair
Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The Music Center celebrates the resurgence of vinyl records and music culture with its first-ever On the Record: Vinyl Fair. The day features more than a dozen vendors selling records (curated by Beat Swap Meet and In Sheep’s Clothing Records) from a variety of music genres, workshops, artmaking activities, interactive augmented reality (AR) experience, dance performances, live DJs and more fun.

Black and white headshots of Reza Aslan, Franklin Leonard, Jean Guerrero in a collage.
Author Reza Aslan and Black List founder Franklin Leonard discuss threats to free expression with journalist Jean Guerrero.
Library Foundation of Los Angeles)

Saturday, May 13; 2 p.m.

Writer/Scholar/Target: Online Harassment and the Threat to Free Expression
Mark Taper Auditorium at the Central Library
630 W. 5th St., downtown L.A.
ALOUD at the Central Library joins with the PEN America World Voices Festival to present a discussion on how writers and journalists have been increasingly targeted for their work through online harassment (QAnon missives, doxxing, hate speech on social media). Best-selling author Reza Aslan (An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth) joins Black List founder Franklin Leonard for a conversation on the polarized climate in the United States and human rights issues around the world. Moderated by author and journalist Jean Guerrero.

Saturday, May 13; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Mother’s Day Market
Kiff Kafe
12229 W. Pico Blvd., Sawtelle
To celebrate World Fair Trade Day, the Mediterranean cafe hosts a market with artisans from Fair Trade LA. Shop sustainable, ethical and fair trade products, including textiles from Oaxaca, Mexico to handmade jewelry from Haitian artisans. The first 50 people in attendance will receive a swag bag with free products.

Saturday, May 13; 12 - 5 p.m.

Day of Black Docs
American Film Institute (AFI) - Mark Goodson Theater
2021 N. Western Ave., Hollywood Hills 
BADWest (Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West) presents an in-person screening and fundraising event: the 16th annual Day of Black Docs. Moderated by film critic and journalist Tim Cogshell, the day-long event includes screenings of short and feature films that depict the Black experience, panel discussions and Q&As with filmmakers including Luchina Fisher, Sara Newens, Mina T. Son, Courtney Parker, Andrew Michael Ellis and Lisa Cortes.
COST: $15 - $25; MORE INFO

A crowd of people at the beach at twilight watch a screen (not seen) with a ferris wheel and a ride in the background.
Verdi’s 'Otello' can be seen live from the LA Opera stage on the big screen, under the stars at the Santa Monica Pier and at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
(Courtesy of the LA Opera
Courtesy of the LA Opera)

Saturday, May 13; 7:30 p.m.

LA Opera Under the Stars:
 Free Outdoor Opera Broadcasts
Santa Monica Pier: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica CA 90401
Cal State University Dominguez Hills: North Lawn,1000 E. Victoria St., Carson 
Catch the opening night of Verdi’s Otello, live from the LA Opera stage and broadcast to big screens at the beach in Santa Monica or on a lawn at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for both locations. The events are free, but RSVP to get the latest updates, a free gift at the screening and a chance to win a three-opera ticket package. Of course, if you want to see Otello in person, tickets to the LA Opera are also available for its run through June 4.

Saturday, May 13; 1 - 10 p.m.

Palm Tree Music Festival
Doheny State Beach 
25300 Park Lantern, Dana Point
Norwegian DJ Kygo’s Palm Tree Crew brings its festival series to the Southern California sands this weekend. He headlines the festival with Ellie Goulding, with additional sets from Tove Lo, The Midnight, The Knocks, Two Feet and Forester.
COST: Tickets start at $169; MORE INFO

A vintage postcard of a circular building in Quebec, The Cyclorama Building, decorated with arches in red.
Forest Lawn Museum, in collaboration with the Velaslavasay Panorama, present the exhibition, 'Grand Views: The Immersive World of Panoramas.'
(Courtesy of Federated Press, Montreal
Collection of Forest Lawn Museum)

Saturday, May 13 - Sunday, Sept. 10

Grand Views: The Immersive World of Panoramas
Forest Lawn Museum
1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale
Forest Lawn Museum and the Velaslavasay Panorama present an exhibition that explores the history of panoramic paintings: an immersive, large-scale artistic format popularized in the 18th and 19th centuries. Grand Views features artworks and artifacts that span the late 18th century to the present, including never-before-displayed preparatory paintings, 19th-century prints and posters, and a painted movie backdrop. Organized thematically, the exhibition addresses three major topics: the early history of panoramas, crucifixion panoramas, and panoramas in Hollywood and Los Angeles. The opening reception takes place on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m.

A night time shot of the Hollywood Bowl lit up by pyrotechnics and fire with a large screen at center with smaller ones on the sides.
The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience returns to the Hollywood Bowl.
(Andrés Jiménez
Courtesy of BB Gun Press )

Saturday, May 13; 8 p.m.

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience featuring Ramin Djawadi
Hollywood Bowl
2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
Emmy Award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi returns to the Bowl for a one-night spectacle that celebrates the music and visuals of the HBO series. Djawadi conducts the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by big-screen imagery, pyrotechnics and fireworks.
COST: Tickets start at $25; MORE INFO

A kite festival with dozens of kites and hundreds of people in a field. A large octopus kite flies at left.
Clockshop and California State Parks host the 3rd Annual Community & Unity People’s Kite Festival on May 13, from 2 – 6 p.m. at Los Angeles State Historic Park, next to historic Chinatown.
(Ian Byers Gamber

Outdoor Pick

3rd Annual Community & Unity People’s Kite Festival
On Saturday, May 13 from 2 to 6 p.m., the arts organization Clockshop and California State Parks host the free, family-friendly kite festival at Los Angeles State Historic Park, next to historic Chinatown in downtown L.A. The day connects communities and important public green space through kite flying. Watch experts fly their kites, learn techniques from kite masters Stevie Choi and Scott Skinner, view art and take part in art-making workshops, and meet local community organizations such as Self Help Graphics, 100 Acre Park Partnership, ADCCLA/Project Monarch and others. There will be music and entertainment throughout the day.

Viewing Pick

Mother’s Day at the American Cinematheque
Some of us have great relationships with our moms, while others not so much. The American Cinematheque presents a series of films on Sunday, May 14 that run the spectrum to celebrate mom: the good, the bad and the complicated. Screening at the Aero in Santa Monica are Mary Poppins and a Pedro Almodóvar double feature of All About My Mother and Parallel Mothers. Screening at the Los Feliz are The Mummy, Mommie Dearest, I Killed My Mother and Serial Mom.  

An ube souffle pancake on a white plate, topped with whipped cream with syrup on the side.
Crustacean Beverly Hills serves up an Asian-fusion brunch for Mother's Day weekend.
(Courtesy of Crustacean Beverly Hills
Courtesy of Crustracean)

Dine and Drink Deals

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

  • The nonalcoholic beverage line Ghia hosts another Big Bake Sale at Ghia House in Beachwood Canyon on May 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chefs from the L.A. food scene offer baked goods for purchase, with all proceeds going to the Downtown Women's Shelter. Participants include Julia Sherman, Zach Hall (Clark Street Bread), Courage Bagels, Erin McKenna’s Bakery and others. Tickets are $45 and come with a Ghia branded tin plus five baked goods. (Additional baked goods can be purchased at the event, including whole cakes and pies.)
  • Norwalk’s first-ever craft beer festival, Brew Walk, takes place on Saturday, May 13, in Norwalk from 12 - 4 p.m. to benefit the local host organization, St. Linus School. The festival features brews from 20 local (mostly POC-owned) breweries, live music performances (including Buyepongo), food trucks and artisan vendors. Participating breweries include Brewjeria Company, Brewyard Brewery, Cerveza Cito, Crowns & Hops, Lit Brew and the Norwalk Brew House. Tickets are $35 - $180.  This event is strictly 21+. 
  • Culver City’s Village Well Bookstore hosts a Handlebar Happy Hour on Friday, May 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. Join the local biking community and sip on LA Aleworks — proceeds from the sales will benefit CicLAvia.
  • Violet Bistro in Westwood celebrates “Fêtes des Mères” with Mother’s Day Haute Tea on Sunday, May 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. Honor mom (or whomever you bring) with English afternoon tea on the covered outdoor courtyard and terrace. Sip on their signature tea blend, scones, sweet cream and house-made preserves, finger sandwiches (vegetarian options available), petit fours, lemon madeleines and other treats. The experience includes a glass of champagne or violet lemonade. Tickets are $95 per person. 
  • On Friday, May 12, LA Trade-Tech College (LATTC) in downtown L.A. hosts the LA Community College District's 3rd Annual Culinary Cup Competition from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open to the public, the event challenges chef instructors and culinary students from LATTC, LA Harbor College and LA Mission College in a culinary competition that draws inspiration from the flavors of Southeast Asia. Guests will also enjoy guided tours of LATTC’s Culinary Arts Building, cooking and baking demos, a lunch prepared by Culinary Arts students, and a seat at the awards ceremony. Food Network star and L.A. restaurateur Jet Tila attends as a special guest judge. Tickets are $25 - $30.
  • On Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m., Crustacean Beverly Hills offers an Asian-fusion brunch with a special experience curated by chef Helene An. The “Signature An Sum” offers guests dim sum bites from a circulating cart, such as handmade Truffle Chicken Dumplings and Coconut Prawns. There is also a full menu of breakfast favorites, including Ube Souffle Pancakes, Lobster Crispy Rice Benedict, and warm beignets with Vietnamese coffee Anglaise. All items are served a la carte.
  • The 1917 Wine Bar + Bistro at the San Antonio Winery offers brunch and Bellinis this Mother’s Day weekend. The al-fresco restaurant serves a three-course brunch menu paired with two glasses of Prosecco, Peach Bellin or Mimosas on Saturday and Sunday. If you can’t make it for brunch, then Friday through Sunday stop in for a wine tasting or a four-course menu paired with wines in the Riboli Family Wine portfolio. For reservations, book here.
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