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Best Things To Do This Weekend In Los Angeles And SoCal: May 19 - 21

A white man stands on stage with light blond hair, holding a microphone, performing energetically and intensely in front of a crowd.
Billy Idol performs onstage during the first ever iHeart80s Party at The Forum on Feb. 20, 2016 in Inglewood. Idol and other late 80s music superstars are slated to perform at this weekend's Cruel World Festival.
(Frazer Harrison
Getty Images)
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Party like it's 1989 at the Cruel World festival. Dance the night away at "¡Que Rico! A night of Salsa, Latin Funk and Mambo." Immerse yourself in creepy crawlies (figuratively) at NHM’s annual Bug Fair. Attend the Black on the Block May Festival.


Fridays - Sundays, May 19 - 28

Pirates of Penzance 
Forest Lawn
1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale
Pacific Opera Project (POP) presents W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan’s classic comic opera The Pirates of Penzance at the outdoor venue. Audience members are welcome to dress in costume and bring a picnic. Outside alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

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A graphic that reads Long Beach Proud! Fest on a black background. The Proud! is in rainbow colors.
From May 19-21, 2023, LB Living and Vice Mayor Cindy Allen host a free queer festival in Long Beach, the LB Proud! Fest.
(LB Proud! Fest
Courtesy of LB Proud! Fest)

Friday, May 19 - Sunday, May 21

LB Proud! Fest
Various locations in Long Beach
The new queer festival in Long Beach is a LGBTQ+ celebration filled with live music, local talent, vendors and interactive activities throughout the weekend. Night 1 features a market that highlights local LGBTQ+ vendors and business owners along the Broadway corridor. On Saturday, May 20, the streets surrounding Bixby Park will be closed off for a major celebration that will include live music at three different stages, local entertainment, a bike parade, and more activities, in collaboration with Beach Streets. The festival culminates on Sunday, May 21 at a big gay beach party with DJs, food, art and games.

A poster of the Nuggets compilation celebration at the Alex Theatre — a 50th anniversary all-star celebration.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary the release of the classic compilation "Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968," there's a live performance of songs from the legendary LP at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale on Friday.
(Wild Honey Foundation
Courtesy of the Wild Honey Foundation)

Friday, May 19; 8 p.m.

Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968
Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Blvd., Glendale
A benefit concert this weekend celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the release of the classic compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968. Listen to live performances of songs from the LP and bonus songs from the era to benefit the Autism Healthcare Collaborative. Scheduled to appear/perform include: Peter Buck, "Weird Al' Yankovic, Susanna Hoffs, Kathy Valentine, Peter Case, Van Dyke Parks, Billy Vera, Evie Sands, Tom Kenny.
COST: $40 - $75; MORE INFO

Friday, May 19; 7:45 p.m.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Cinespia at the Los Angeles State Historic Park
1245 N. Spring St., downtown L.A.
Attend the Cinespia debut of the Peter Jackson film based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel. Follow the adventure of hobbit Frodo Baggins and friends when he inherits the One Ring To Rule Them All. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for free photobooth pics and DJ sets by Zach Cowie. All ages.

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Saturday, May 20; 7 - 10 p.m.

Macabre Mansions + Haunted History: A Los Angeles Podcast Event
Heritage Square Museum
3800 Homer St., Montecito Heights  
Attend a night of storytelling from L.A.-based podcasts L.A. Not So Confidential, Hollyweird Paranormal, and LA Meekly as they recount the history, crimes and ghosts of one infamous Los Angeles landmark. Take a haunted house tour after the stories … if you dare.

In this aerial shot, a band plays on a stage outdoors at the Getty with a crowd at right.
Visitors watching Los Retros perform for The Getty's Off the 405 concert in 2022. The 2023 season starts this weekend with SPELLLING.
(Cassia Davis
Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust)

Saturday, May 20; 6 - 9 p.m.

Off the 405: SPELLLING
The Getty
1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood
The Getty’s free outdoor concert series returns with SPELLLING (Tia Cabral) opening the summer run. The Bay Area musician-producer combines experimental pop, soul, psychedelic and electronic music. Future Off the 405 artists includes Makaya McCraven, Etran de L’Aïr, Rahill and Alabaster DePlume. Tickets will be released three weeks prior to each concert. The series continues through Aug. 26.

Saturday, May 21; 6 p.m.

Raven Societea: Macabre Masquerade
Globe Theatre
740 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Attend an immersive Edgar Allan Poe-inspired Masquerade Ball. Dress to impress in your best formal/Gothic attire as you’re entertained by dancers, musicians, magicians, poets, aerialists and cabaret acts. The masquerade is 21+. VIP packages are available.
COST: Tickets start at $80; MORE INFO

Saturday, May 20; 8 p.m.

¡Que Rico! A night of Salsa, Latin Funk and Mambo
The Paramount
2708 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Boyle Heights
Dance the night away to salsa and mambo with DJs and live performances by Los Chicos del Mambo con Reina, Alex Santos y Su Orquesta and Angel Peaches. Record vending by Kultura Ink and Sonido del Valle. Ages 21+.

Saturday, May 20; 12 p.m.

Cruel World Festival
Brookside at the Rose Bowl
1133 Rosemont Ave., Pasadena
Step back in time and party like it's 1989. The Cruel World Festival returns, headlined by Siouxsie and Iggy Pop with The Human League, Billy Idol, Love and Rockets, Adam Ant, Echo & The Bunnymen, Gary Numan, The Motels, Modern English and others.
COST: Passes start at $199; MORE INFO

Saturday, May 20 - Sunday, May 21; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Electrify Expo
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach 
Experience electric vehicles firsthand: Test ride, drive and demo cars, trucks, e-bikes and e-motorcycles, scooters, skateboards and other gas-alternative ways of getting around. There’s a huge Kids Zone filled with electric go-carts and other diversions to keep the younger guests busy. Friday is industry day.

Saturday, May 20; 2 - 7 p.m.

The 18th Annual Celebrating Words Festival
Vaughn G3 Academy
11200 Herrick Ave., Pacoima 
The literary festival is a celebration of quality and culturally relevant books that hopefully inspire people to read more and start (or add) to their personal libraries. Readers of all ages will be able to select one brand-new book (English, Spanish and bilingual print books are available on a first-come, first-served basis). The festival also features a climbing wall, food and workshops (arts, music, heritage, nature, wellbeing).

Saturday, May 20 - Sunday, May 21; 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Bug Fair
Natural History Museum
900 W. Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park
If creepy crawlies are your thing, then head to NHM's popular fair. Various exhibitors will be on hand to show off their exotic insect collections and bug products (like honey and silk). Get up close and personal with insects and bugs, learn about their benefit to the environment, including the fair’s highlight bug: the emerald cockroach.
COST: $7 - $15; MORE INFO

Sunday, May 21; 12 - 5 p.m.

Museums of the Arroyo Day
Various locations
Take part in free art and culture as five museums open their doors to guests with special programming for families, and history and architecture buffs. There will be shuttles among the five locations: The Gamble House, Heritage Square Museum, Los Angeles Police Museum, Pasadena Museum of History and Lummis Home. There’s not enough time to visit all five, so bring a picnic and pick one or two to really explore. Last entry at 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 21; 1 p.m.

Black on the Block May Festival
LA Center Studios
500 South Bixel St., downtown L.A.
The monthly festival partners with the upcoming Hulu series White Men Can’t Jump for special activations throughout the day. Plus, shop from more than 100+ Black-owned businesses; enjoy food, cocktails and giveaways; and attend a sound bath or panels. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Sunday, May 21; 8 p.m.

Mae And Brett Make Love To One Another Live On Stage
Largo at the Coronet
366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove
Comedians Mae Martin and Brett Goldstein do standup, improv and make sweet love on stage. Maybe.

A graphic for CicLAmini: Watts, presented by Metro on Sunday, May 21. There's a road map on the right side of the image.
CicLAvia launches CicLAmini: Watts, presented by Metro on Sunday, May 21.
Courtesy of CicLAvia)

Outdoor pick

CicLAmini – Watts 
On Sunday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ciclavia introduces CicLAmini — a more compact neighborhood-oriented experience. The first event transforms a 1-mile stretch of Central Avenue and 103rd Street in Watts into a public park for the day. It’s a more chill experience that welcomes all ages and abilities in walking, jogging, skating, running, skateboarding, biking or people-watching. Find activities sprinkled along the route, including self-guided walking tours, scavenger hunts, games, local business engagements, and art and cultural activities. Free.

Viewing pick

You Hurt My Feelings / Enough Said
The American Cinematheque presents a double feature from director Nicole Holofcener on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The program begins with her upcoming comedy, You Hurt My Feelings. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as a writer whose long marriage is suddenly upended when she hears her husband (Tobias Menzies) criticizing her latest book. It’s followed by the 2013 film Enough Said also with Louis-Dreyfus, plus Catherine Keener and James Gandolfini. Stick around for a Q&A with the filmmaker and moderated by Jenelle Riley.

Two jockeys eat a shrimp boil trackside at Santa Anita Park. The shrimp, corn and potatoes are atop of newspapers.
Santa Anita Park hosts its annual Cajun Shrimp Boil this weekend, May 20 - 21.
(Santa Anita Park
Courtesy of Santa Anita Park)

Dine and drink deals

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

  • This weekend, the Culver Hotel launches a Saturday afternoon tea service ($55 per person) from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The tea includes house-made scones, berries, tea sandwiches (cucumber & watercress, egg salad, lobster roll, mini croissant, lavender ricotta crostini) and petit fours. Reservations recommended.
  • Eeeeeatscon returns to the Barker Hangar on Saturday and Sunday (May 20 - 21) with musical performances, keynotes, panels, and food and drinks. This is not a one-price tasting festival — the food and drinks will be sold a la carte. Vendors include 7th Street Burger (New York), Alta Adams, Flavors from Afar, Moo’s Craft Barbecue and McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams. Admission: $30.
  • The California Strawberry Festival moves to a new location this year: the Ventura County Fairgrounds. On Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, celebrate and eat strawberries — lots of them — in strawberry nachos, strawberry pizza, strawberry funnel cake, strawberry chimichangas, deep-fried strawberries, berry kabobs and other surprising treats. The festival features more than 40 food vendors, a Ninja Nation Obstacle Course, live music and entertainment, and more than 100 arts and crafts booths. 
  • If you feel like a little road trip (southbound), head to the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival at Lake Skinner Regional Park/Recreation Area in Winchester. Running Friday through Sunday (May 19-21), the festival is headlined by Brad Paisley, REO Speedwagon and Scotty McCreery with plenty of wine tastings, beer, food and great pictures for your Instagram. General admission starts at $70, which includes admission and concerts.
  • Santa Anita Park teams with 818 plates for a trackside Cajun shrimp boil this weekend (May 20-21) starting at 11 a.m. The single package ($47) includes a Shrimp Boil (shrimp, potatoes, corn, beef sausage), one beer or wine, a $5 betting voucher, horse racing admission, a tip sheet, and general parking. Other packages are also available. 
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