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The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Weekend: Sept. 17 - 19

a man and a woman wearing white hoop skirts strike curious poses on the porch of a home
'Shaadi' is the Hindi word for 'wedding,' and Blue13 Dance Company has created an immersive event at which audience members will be the guests at an Indian celebration at the Heritage Square museum.
(Robert Gomez)
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With the COVID-19 Delta variant still out there, it's best to check ahead of time to make sure events are still happening as scheduled.

Head to a marionette spooktacular. Shop at a queer mercado. Attend the Hola Mexico film fest. Learn to rollerskate... and backwards skate. Get in shape by climbing a popular staircase. Get inked at a tattoo expo.

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

Heritage Square Museum
3800 Homer St., Montecito Heights
Blue13 Dance Company presents an outdoor, site-specific contemporary and Bollywood dance spectacular. In Shaadi (“wedding”), the wedding party invites the audience to share the joy and the drama as they dance the night away.
COST: $10 -$75; MORE INFO

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'El Triste' by director Manuel Del Valle is one of the short films screening at the Hola Mexico Film Festival.
('El Triste' film still)

Friday, Sept. 17 - Sunday, Sept. 25

Hola Mexico Film Festival
Regal Cinemas LA LIVE
1000 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.
Just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month, the largest Mexican film festival outside of Mexico returns to L.A. The 21-film fest highlights comedies, dramas, horror flicks and documentaries. Hola Mexico opens at LA Plaza a de Cultura Y Artes with Perdida, Jorge Michel Grau’s thriller of marital intrigue and deception. Screenings continuing at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live.
Cost: $13 - $220, passes available; MORE INFO

Friday, Sept. 17 - Saturday, Sept. 18; 8 p.m.

Rodrigo y Gabriela
The Ford
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E, Hollywood Hills
The guitar duo brings its rhythmic and percussive sounds to the Ford to support the album Mettavolution, a meditation on Buddhism and human possibility, as well as the EP Jazz, in which they tackle tunes by Snarky Puppy and Kamasi Washington.
COST: $50 - $79; MORE INFO

Friday, Sept. 17 - Sunday, Sept. 19

The Golden State Tattoo Expo
Pasadena Convention Center
Exhibit Hall and Ballroom Lobby
300 E. Green Street, Pasadena
Get inked, shop for original art, jewelry and fashion at this tattoo convention. The days are filled with live performances including burlesque, contests, meet and greets, vendors and demos. Tattoo artists can also participate in workshops and seminars (for an additional cost).
COST: $30 - $60; MORE INFO

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Saturday, Sept. 18; 7:30 p.m.

WEPA Eclectic Drag Show / Otter Pop Queer Pop Dance Party
The Silverlake Lounge
2906 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
The popular music venue is back with a calendar full of live music, karaoke, dance parties and comedy. On Saturday, watch the glam and glitter of WEPA's drag review at 7:30 p.m. then stay for the queer dance party at 9 p.m. The venue is 21+.

Saturday, Sept. 18 - Monday, Oct. 18

Corey Pemberton: home/body
619 N. Western Ave., Larchmont
View the artist’s debut West Coast solo exhibition. The mixed media works on canvas feature a series of portraits based on the premise that “to feel ordinary is a luxury.” Pemberton focuses on people whose bodies and identities fall outside the traditional boundaries of ordinariness. The opening reception takes place on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. Registration required for opening.

(Raehann Bryce-Davis stars as Azucena in LA Opera's 2021 production of 'Il Trovatore.'
Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Saturday, Sept. 18; 6 p.m.

Il Trovatore
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Avenue, downtown L.A.
The L.A. Opera opens its 2021/22 season on Saturday with a fully staged production of Giuseppe Verdi's drama Il Trovatore. This marks the company’s return to the stage in front of audiences for the first since March 8, 2020. There are five subsequent performances scheduled and the Oct. 3 and 6 performances will be livestreamed via the company's On Now digital platform.
COST: $19 - $292; MORE INFO

Saturday, Sept. 18; 7 and 9:30 p.m.

Asphalt Comedy
7763 Melrose Ave., Fairfax
The parking-lot comedy show returns for seven weeks featuring big names and up-and-coming comedians. Saturday’s early and late shows feature Orny Adams, Caroline Rhea, Mary Lynn Rajskub, James Davis, Sarah Tiana and Jodi Miller. Food byMona Lisa Kitchen will be available to order in advance and on-site. Complimentary alcohol by sponsor Bartender Girl is included with purchase of ticket. 21+. Proof of vaccination will be required. Masks are mandatory when not eating or drinking.

pigeon 1.jpeg
Pigeon’s Roller Rink popup opens in Long Beach this weekend.
(Image courtesy of Pigeon’s Roller Skate Shop)

Saturday, Sept. 18

Pigeon’s Roller Rink
E 2nd St. and Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach
The pop-up roller skate venue is open to all eight wheelers of all ages. There are a number of reservation-based open skate sessions, classes and private parties. Pigeon Skate's accompanying pop-up shop will sell select skates, accessories, and merch. Reservations required.

05_photo by STAR FOREMAN.jpg
Bob Baker's Marionette Theater opens its Hallowe’en Spooktacular this weekend.
(Star Foreman)

Saturday, Sept. 18 - Sunday, Oct. 31

Hallowe’en Spooktacular
Bob Baker Marionette Theater (BBMT)
4949 York Blvd., Highland Park
BBMT's 2021-22 six-show season begins this Saturday with a Halloween-themed extravaganza. The hour-long, family friendly “boo-sical revue” includes more than 100 spirited puppets. The theater requires proof of vaccination for all guests older than 12.

Saturday, Sept. 18; 8 p.m.

Brittany Howard
The Hollywood Bowl
2301 N Highland Ave., Hollywood
Brittany Howard — the voice that fronts the Alabama Shakes — headlines a female-centric lineup at the Bowl. Sharing the stage are singer and songwriter Jamila Woods, who brings her earthy and soulful R&B, and Georgia Anne Muldrow’s mix of jazz, soul, R&B and hip-hop.
COST: $15 - $133; MORE INFO

Untitled, Katsuya Terada, 2020
(JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles)

Saturday, Sept. 18 - Sunday, Nov. 28

WAVE – New Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts
6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
The cultural center presents the North American debut of its fall exhibition based on the art show Wave, held annually at Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo. View the works of 55 Japanese contemporary artists whose artistry for books, magazines, comics, animation, posters and other media go well beyond manga and anime.

Saturday, Sept. 18; 7:30 p.m.

A Groundling on Elm Street
The Groundlings Theatre
7307 Melrose Ave., Fairfax
Previews begin on Saturday for the newest sketch show from The Groundlings’ main company. Directed by Lisa Schurga, the cast includes Michael Churven, Matt Cook, Samantha DeSurra, Allison Dunbar, Josh Duvendeck, Chris Eckert, Patty Guggenheim, Emily Pendergast, Jessica Pohly and Leonard Robinson.

Saturday, Sept. 18; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Queer Mercado
Hilda L. Solis Learning Academy
419 N Humphreys Ave., East L.A.
The neighborhood’s first queer mercado takes place on the third Saturday of the month, featuring LGBTQ and nonbinary artisans, crafters, drag performers, DJs, artists and food vendors. This month, DJ Tank Boy spins the tunes and Maria Juana performs.

Saturday, Sept. 18; 9 a.m. - noon

Coastal Cleanup Day
Various Locations
Take part in Heal the Bay’s 30+ group cleanups at coastal, inland and river sites. Because of COVID-19 precautions, spots are limited and registration is taken on a first-come, first-served basis. COST: FREE, registration required; MORE INFO

Saturday, Sept. 18

4th Annual So Cal Hoedown
Port of Los Angeles - Berth 46
3011 Miner St., San Pedro
The all-ages music festival returns with two stages headlined by Suicidal Tendencies and Horrorpops. Other Hoedown performers include Face To Face, Fishbone, TSOL, Nashville Pussy, Supersuckers, CH 3 and Punk Rock Karaoke. Attendees can enjoy food trucks, craft beer, cocktails and a lowbrow art show.
COST: Tickets start at $54; MORE INFO

Saturday, Sept. 18

Smithsonian Magazine’s 17th annual Museum Day
Various Locations
Explore a museum you’ve never visited before — for free. Museums across the country are part of in this annual event. Each Museum Day ticket allows the ticket holder and one guest free, timed access to any participating museum on Saturday. Participating SoCal museums include the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science in Bakersfield, the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks, Dr. Willella Howe Waffle House and Medical Museum in Santa Ana, the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A., and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach.

Saturday, Sept. 18; 6 - 10 p.m.

Buyepongo vs Quitapenas
Grand Performances
350 South Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
This celebration of Mexican Independence and Latin History Month doubles as a friendly battle of the bands. The Afro-Latin artists perform in back-to-back sets for bragging rights. All ages.

Masanga Marimba_Image1.jpeg
The Americana in the Park Sunday music series in Santa Monica presents the Masanga Marimba Ensemble this weekend.
(Courtesy of the Masanga Marimba Ensemble)

Sundays, Sept. 19 - Oct. 10; 3 - 6 p.m.

Americana in the Park Concert Series
Gandara Park
1819 Stewart St., Santa Monica
The city of Santa Monica teams with McCabe’s Guitar Shop for a new outdoor music series that explores American music. Each concert features two family-friendly groups, with the opener geared towards children, as well as food trucks and a McCabe’s Guitar Pop-Up Shop. The series opens this week with West African folklorist Baba the Storyteller followed by the nine-member Masanga Marimba Ensemble who perform high-energy music from Zimbabwe and Latin America.

Sunday, Sept. 19; 12 - 6 p.m.

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument/Olvera Street
125 Paseo de la Plaza, downtown L.A.
This Hispanic Heritage Month celebration invites families to take part in a day of fun, activities and entertainment that also addresses health concerns that affect the Latino community. The festival includes health screenings and testing, COVID education and safety, and recovery resources.

Streaming Pick

My Son
James McAvoy and Claire Foy star in this remake of a 2019 French thriller about a divorced couple in search of their missing son. What makes this different from a Lifetime movie of the week? McAvoy improvised most of his performance. He wasn’t given a script or dialogue or told how the story ends. His character learns at the same time as the viewer. Gimmicky? Heck, yes, but we can’t wait to see how it plays out. Streaming now on Peacock.

Outdoors Pick

Baxter Stairs
For this week’s outdoor pick, we chose the heart-pumping cardio workout of the Baxter street stairs in Echo Park. At 230 steps, the top of the staircase is located across the street from Elysian Park with access to its many walking trails. Get even more of a workout by starting at the bottom of Baxter St. Once you catch your breath, you can take in the great view of downtown L.A.

CABOCO LAGOSTA 1 - Photo Credit - DYLAN + JENI.jpg
Caboco recently opened in the Arts District, serving up modern Brazilian fare.

Dine and Drink Deals

Here's the 411 on restaurant happenings in SoCal:

  • Chef Rodrigo Oliveira recently opened the modern Brazilian eatery Caboco in the Arts District. Known for his São Paulo restaurants, Mocotó and Balaio IMS, this is his first restaurant outside of Brazil. Dishes include mocofava (calf’s foot soup with beans) and pirarucu (Amazonian fish in cassava juice), ceviche, steak tartare and several types of caipirinhas.
  • Great White, an Australia-meets-California restaurant, opens its newest location, in Larchmont (244 N. Larchmont Blvd.) on Friday. Look for smoothies, fried chicken sammies, a smashburger, grilled veggies and some killer pizzas.
  • A month after celebrating its 65th anniversary, the family-owned Primo’s Donuts opens its second location in the former Stan’s Donuts in Westwood (corner of Broxton and Weyburn). The new location has its grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 18, beginning at 7 a.m., offering guests complimentary buttermilk bites from 12 to 1 p.m.
  • Last week, sisters Leslie and LeAnn Jones opened 1010 Wine & Events, Inglewood’s first wine bar (near N. La Brea and Centinela avenues). Putting an emphasis on Black-owned brands, the venue features 65 wine, beer and sparkling options, with a menu that complements the drinks. [h/t ABC 7]
  • R6 DISTILLERY, home of L.A.’s first bourbon, celebrates its 7th anniversary at its Smoky Hollow Tasting + Taproom in El Segundo on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 12 to 10 p.m. Stop by for R6’s cocktails, food from Penn + Union Food Truck, live music, cocktail-making competitions and burlesque performances.
  • Thanks to LA Taco for the heads up that Birrieria Guadalajara, known for its birria de res, is now open in Bell. Other locations are coming soon to Stanton, Costa Mesa and La Habra.
  • Bangin’ Buns recently opened its third SoCal location — in Artesia (12154 Artesia Blvd.). Look for its original Nashville hot chicken recipe on hoagie-French rolls.
  • National Cheeseburger Day is on Saturday, Sept. 18, so get out there and celebrate by eating your favorite meat(less) and cheese combination.
  • The Emmys take place on Sunday and Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar is offering a new drink, The Golden Statue, in its newly glammed Lobby Lounge for the month of September. Drop by to watch the ceremony in the lounge and sip on the vodka drink created by Miramar's own Emily Russell that features orange and turmeric pressed juice, lemon and ginger beer.
  • The 13th annual L.A. Beer Festival returns to L.A. Center Studios in downtown L.A. on Saturday featuring more than 80 breweries and 200 beers.
  • Old World Huntington Beach opens its annual Oktoberfest this Sunday, Sept. 19, with festivities running Wednesdays through Sundays until Oct. 31. Taste German foods and imported German beers, bands from Germany as well as competitions and games. Wednesdays and Thursdays are free family days.
  • Patio Tapatio, Santa Clarita’s newest Mexican restaurant, has its official grand opening celebration on Saturday. But you can beat the rush because it has been soft-open for the past two months. We hear good things about its asada. (18744 Soledad Canyon Rd.)
  • Participating Lemonade restaurants are offering guests a free lemonade of their choice with the purchase of an entree (chef’s bowls, marketplace bowls, protein bowls and sandwiches), through Sunday. The offer is redeemable both online or at the restaurants with code FREELEM. Lemonade is celebrating the grand reopening of its remodeled Toluca Lake location.
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