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Awesome Online And IRL Events This Weekend: May 14-16

I-Witness Premiere.jpeg
Young Theaterworks Experience, an arts education program, marks its 20th anniversary with a virtual celebration and variety show this weekend.
(Theresa Chavez)
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Laugh as comics share stories of their worst summers ever. Watch kids throw elbows at a junior roller derby expo. Shop for snazzy crafted goods or Hollywood collectibles. Check out Ai Wei Wei’s latest exhibition — in person. Listen to love notes in the park. Attend a virtual bug fair. Eat jägerschnitzel, Gumbalaya, taquitos and pastrami tostadas.

Friday, May 14; 7 p.m. PDT

Chicano Rap: Five Essential Cuts with Carlos Aguilar, Big Brown Dad
Aguilar — aka Big Brown Dad — a former hip hop artist known as Bookworm Brown, has performed across the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, China, and Japan. He takes visitors on a musical trip through nearly five decades of Chicano rap. Register to view on Zoomor watch on Facebook.

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arial view of The Getty Center
The Getty presents the online discussion, 'What Makes People Laugh? Ancient Greek Comedy and its Filipino Legacy.'
(Elon Schoenholz)

Friday, May 14; noon

Art Break: What Makes People Laugh? Ancient Greek Comedy and its Filipino Legacy
The Getty’s online program features Mary Louise Hart, associate curator of antiquities at the Getty Museum, and director Jon Lawrence Rivera, founder of L.A.’s Playwright’s Arena, who together decode a comedic scene depicted on a fourth-century BC Greek vase. They’ll use masks, costumes and staging for the computer screen to demystify classical myths. They’ll also show how ancient Greek comedy set the standard for humor and how Filipino comedy plays into many of the same themes.
COST: FREE with advanced registration; MORE INFO

May Cast of Risk! show
Risk! holds another online show, featuring people telling tales they never thought they'd share in public.
(Courtesy of Risk!)

Friday, May 14; 6:30 p.m. PT

RISK! Live Online Show
Kevin Allison (MTV's The State) hosts incredible, true stories from J. Rohr, Ryan Estrada, Jenn Montooth and Tianna Kerg. There are only 100 registrations available for this event.

cartoon image of baby, shark and seagull
A marathon online fundraiser features comics reminiscing about their worst summers ever for the Asian Prisoner Support Community.
(Courtesy of Naked Comedy)

Saturday, May 15; 6 p.m. PDT

Worst Summer Ever
This marathon fundraiser features comics who reminisce about their worst summers ever. Performers include Caleb Hearon, Grace Kuhlenschmidt, Sandy Honig and Rob Huebel. Ticket sales will go to the Asian Prisoner Support Community.
COST: By donation; MORE INFO

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Saturday, May 15 - Wednesday, June 30

Rogue Artists Ensemble: Love Note
Plummer Park
7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
The theater company presents an outdoor sonic experience that guides audiences through a twisted collection of love stories, meditative romance and lost connections. Many of the story contributions and performances are from members of the LGBTQIA+ community. There’s also a stay-at-home option for those who can't travel to the park.

Saturday, May 15; 8 p.m. PT

34th Avalon Silent Film Showcase
Catalina Island Museum
Ackerman Family Amphitheater
217 Metropole Ave., Avalon
The museum’s long-running film celebration of silent movies features an outdoor screening of the award-winning Spanish film Blancanieves (2012). Set in 1920s Spain, the film is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Snow White with allusions to Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. There’s an evil stepmother and bullfighting.
COST: $15 - $20, $5 for children; MORE INFO

collage of Hollywood collectibles
Hollywood Heritage Museum holds a sale featuring more than 9,000 rare books, DVDs & Blu-Rays and Hollywood Memorabilia beginning Saturday.
(Courtesy of Hollywood Heritage Museum)

Saturday, May 15

Hollywood Heritage Special Sale
Hollywood Heritage Museum
2100 N Highland Ave., Hollywood
The museum has received generous donations from the estates of friends and members. While the most significant items are now part of the museum’s collection, more modern items, duplicated items and other material not suitable for the permanent collection will be on sale. Buy books, DVDs, box sets and memorabilia at low prices with an additional 10% off at checkout. There are three buying sessions per day with 35 people per session, so reservations are required. COVID safety rules apply.
COST: $5 admission; MORE INFO

Saturday, May 15 - Sunday, May 16; 12 - 6 p.m. PT

LitFest Pasadena
Hop between panel discussions without leaving home. Watch a dozen livestreams that cover a variety of genres including science fiction, memoir, true crime, kid lit, graphic novels, food and speculative fiction. Tune into watch short films and poetry readings, too.

Saturday, May 15; 10:30 a.m. PT

Junior Roller Derby Expo
LA Kings Roller Rink
Ralph Foy Park
3211 West Victory Blvd., Burbank
Let's get ready to rumble and roll. Los Anarchists Junior Derby is a nonprofit organization that allows kids ages 5-17 of all genders and skill levels to participate in competitive or recreational roller derby. The intra-league event features skaters from the beginner, intermediate and advanced teams. Some derby skaters are members of the current Junior Roller Derby Association World Championship team, while others will be playing for the first time. COVID-19 protocols will be strictly followed, including face coverings worn by all attendees, social distancing and limited capacity. Beginner’s mashup bout begins at 10:30 a.m.
COST: $5 - $45; MORE INFO

Saturday, May 15

Bug Fair Connected
The Natural History Museum's popular bug fair heads online this year, with participants taking a virtual trip around the world. NHM staff will share bug stories from the L.A area as well as the most interesting specimens in the museum’s collection. The fair includes sessions like Eating Bugs 101 and Inside the Insect Collection.

Saturday, May 15 - Sunday, May 16; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Unique Markets: Spring Pop-Up
777 S. Alameda St., downtown L.A.
The market returns to L.A. after a year-long pandemic pause. Shop from a bunch of emerging brands, designers and artists. Every ticketholder gets a free tote bag, photo booth pix and access to DIY gift wrap stations.

Saturday, May 15

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Reopens
26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy., Valencia
With the warmer weather, it’s time to take the Python Plunge or head into the waters via the Bamboo Racer. The park opens this weekend exclusively for season pass holders and members. Other California residents will have to wait until May 22. (If you plan on going more than once this summer, season passes are the way to go.)
COST: Single-day tickets start at $39.99 and season passes are $52.99; MORE INFO

Saturday, May 15; 7 - 9 p.m.

Shakespeare and Chill: The Bawdy Ball
This virtual ball features burlesque performers, classical actors and literary types uncovering the saucy side of some of Shakespeare’s plays. The night serves as a benefit for the Independent Shakespeare Co. (the folks behind Shakespeare in Griffith Park). This event is intended for viewers 18+. Add-on ticket items available, including an after-party, a gift box and a cocktail kit.
COST: General admission starts at $20; MORE INFO

Saturday, May 15; 8 p.m.

Aliens, Clowns & Geeks and Forbidden Zone Double Feature
The Plant Drive-in
7876 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys=
Watch a drive-in double feature of writer/director/actor Richard Elfman’s crazy cult films (both director’s cut versions). Feel free to dress up in costume and prepare for cinematic visits to intergalactic galaxies and new dimensions from the safety of your car. Elfman will be on hand to sign posters and do a Q&A. The night is sponsored by Cannabis brand Moxie and delivery service but please don’t smoke and drive.
COST: $25 - $40; MORE INFO

Ai Weiwei Trace at Skirball - 3.jpg
The Skirball Cultural Center has reopened with Ai Weiwei's 'Trace' (created with Lego bricks) currenly on view.
(Robert Wedemeyer)

Saturday, May 15 - Sunday, Aug. 1

Ai Weiwei: Trace
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood
The exhibition by one of China’s most outspoken and socially engaged artists opens at the Skirball, featuring portraits made from thousands of plastic LEGO bricks, each assembled by hand and laid out on the floor. The portraits depict activists, prisoners of conscience and free speech advocates. Weiwei's body of work is influenced by his experiences with incarceration and surveillance by the Chinese government. Advance timed-entry tickets are required of all visitors
COST: $7 - $12; MORE INFO

I-Witness Premiere.jpeg
Actress and teaching artist Marlene Beltran (center) performs in About...Productions first student-written full production, 'I: Witness' (2017) at Plaza de la Raza where her character leads 1970 Chicano Moratorium protests.
(Theresa Chavez)

Saturday, May 15; 2 p.m. PT

Young Theaterworks Experience
The arts education program marks its 20th anniversary with a virtual celebration and variety show that features both live and recorded performances from teaching artists, including singer and actor Marlene Beltran, as well as workshop and residency students.
COST: FREE with RSVP, donations welcome; MORE INFO

The Geffen Stayhouse production of 'The Door You Never Saw Before: A Choosical Musical' opens virtually this weekend.
( Artwork by Shawn Lee)

Saturday, May 15 - Sunday, June 27

The Door You Never Saw Before: A Choosical Musical
The Geffen Stayhouse series presents a new play that’s part musical and part adventure, created for children ages 6-9. They’re tasked with saving a distant city from a villain only known as “The Stench.” Before the show, kids will receive a suitcase full of surprises to aid in their quest and will get to choose where their Zoom story takes them.
COST: Tickets start at $55; MORE INFO

Through Saturday, Aug. 21

Making Waves: Ocean Ecology & Craft
Craft in America Center
8415 W. Third St., Beverly Grove
Craft in America recently reopened for in-person visits with the exhibition Making Waves, on view through Aug. 21. The show features work by 13 Los Angeles and U.S.-based mixed media artists who champion the oceans, while addressing various ecological threats. On Friday at 11 a.m., artist Blue McRight gives a virtual discussion about her practice, which tackles drought, sea level rise and ocean plastic pollution.

Outdoor Pick

South Coast Botanic Garden
Located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, this botanical garden was one of the world’s first to be developed over a sanitary landfill. The first major planting took place 60 years ago. Since then, the collection has grown to more than 200,000 plants. In addition to the flora and fauna of the area, check out the SOAR Tropical Butterflies exhibition as well as its monthly Dog Walking Day on Sunday. The garden opens at 8 a.m. daily, closing at 7 p.m. (Thursdays - Saturdays) and at 5 p.m. (Sundays - Wednesdays). General adult admission starts at $15 for nonmembers.

TV/Streaming Pick

The Underground Railroad
The new limited series from Barry Jenkins, director of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight (2016), debuts on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, May 14. The 10-episode show, based on Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, follows Cora Randall as she tries to escape the antebellum South. She finds an actual railroad — and not just a metaphorical one — for her journey north. Cora is being hunted by Arnold Ridgeway, who is determined to bring her back to Georgia because her mother is the only escapee he has never caught. The series stars Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon and Joel Edgerton.

The Spare Room...Somewhere Else recently reopened behind the pool at the Hollywood Roosevelt.
(Eugene Lee)

Dine and Drink Deals

Here are a few options from restaurants and bars as we work our way back toward normal.

  • Say auf wiedersehen to Hinterhof Vegan German Kitchen and Beer Garden in Highland Park on Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m. Come by for jägerschnitzel, potato pancakes, spätzle and German beer and pretzels. No reservations and takeout is not available.
  • After a 419-day hiatus, E.P. & L.P. in West Hollywood reopened this week with a reimagined menu. The "modern American and new world-inspired" fare includes dishes like anchovy toast, dry aged Baja tuna crudo and Basque-style goat's cheesecake.
  • Border X Brewing holds a Southeast L.A. block party at its Bell location from 12 to 6 p.m. with art, craft beers and food trucks.
  • One of the oldest restaurants in L.A., Cielito Lindo, suffered when foot traffic on Olvera Street came to a halt during the pandemic. The family-owned restaurant recently opened a second location in Lincoln Heights (1806 N. Broadway) to help keep the original location afloat. Both spots serve the same menu at the same prices, including the $1.80 a la carte taquito. (h/tLos Angeles Times)
  • Pop Off L.A. is a series of chef collaborations running from May 16 to 23 to benefit Off Their Plate, an organization that builds a more equitable food economy for AAPI restaurant workers and other communities of color. Check the website for a list of one-day only items including Seoul Sausage xParm Boyz for a Thicc Burger and Bridgetown Roti x RiceBox for an okra callaloo with fried soft-shell crab and Ricebox porchetta on May 16.
  • Calvin Alexander, the owner and operator of the popular food truck Chef C’s Smhokin Pot, recently opened a brick-and-mortar outpost across the street from L.A. Galaxy’s stadium in Carson. One of the most popular dishes at the Cajun comfort food spot is Gumbalaya — jambalaya topped with gumbo. (h/t Eater LA)
  • Vamanos Tacos opened in Culver City last week, with foods influenced by chef Luciano Ramirez’s motorcycle adventures through Mexico. Check out the street corn, birria chilaquiles, braised beef cheeks tacos and extensive tequila and mezcal offerings.
  • Chef Elizabeth Heitner’s Mexican-Jewish pop-up, Malli, named after her grandmother, launched last week. Think items like a taco dorado with a potato knish filling, maror crema and mole rojo, pit-smoked pastrami and whitefish tostadas. The pop-up takes place Thursdays through Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. at Melody Wine Bar in East Hollywood.
  • We learned from The Eastsider that when Luis Moreno opened Mobar & Co. in El Sereno, he was continuing a rich family tradition. Moreno’s family worked El Salvador’s coffee bean plantations for decades before they immigrated to the U.S. The shop’s beans come from Salvadoran coffee farmers.
  • While the bowling alley bar in the Hollywood Roosevelt remains closed (but available for private events), The Spare Room... Somewhere Else recently opened behind the hotel’s pool on Wednesdays through Sundays, starting at 5 p.m. Look for Italian small plates and cocktails. Reservations are recommended and can be made via Resy. Live music and game nights are coming soon.
  • Maple Block in Culver City holds a Tri-tip Grill Out on Sunday, May 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. to celebrate the launch of their new market items (extra-thick cut house-cured pork belly, sausage links and more). The tri-tip is available to buy by the half-pound/pound and as a Cali Cheesesteak Sandwiches.
  • Upstairs at the Ace Hotel introduced a new weekend “Brunch Over Broadway,” on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., offering some of the brunchy things we've missed most — oysters & champagne, BLTs, avocado toast and Bloody Marys — along with great views and other people.