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17 Awesome Events Happening in Southern California This Week

The first national tour for 'Dear Evan Hansen' arrives at the Ahmanson Theatre, running through Nov. 25. (Photo: Matthew Murphy)
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There's an eclectic mix of theater happenings, from "Dear Evan Hansen's" L.A. arrival to the chilling "Woman in Black," plus free shows and workshops in Santa Monica. For film lovers, the Getty screens "The Eyes of Laura Mars" outdoors, the DTLA Film Festival returns for its 10th year and the ArcLight's film and cocktail series screens "Inception." In case you're waiting until the last minute to study the ballot propositions for Nov. 6, check out KPCC's Voter Cram Session.

Binge Free Festival (BFF)
Santa Monica Playhouse -- 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica
The Playhouse been a cornerstone for nearly 60 years. Now, it gives back to the community with its third annual BFF, offering a full month of free performances, workshops, readings, music and poetry. The events begin on Monday at 7 p.m. with the workshop, "The Art of Creating the One Person Show," presented by Jessica Lynn Johnson.
COST: FREE, but reservations required; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, OCT. 16; 8:30 p.m.
Gregory Alan Isakov
The Theatre at Ace Hotel -- 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
The troubadour is currently on tour in support of his fourth studio album, Evening Machines. The Wild Reeds open the show.
COST: $33.50-$38.50; MORE INFO

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TUESDAY, OCT. 18; 10 p.m.
Haunted: A Stand Up / Storytelling show
Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth -- 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
Comedian Rebecca Leib hosts the show in which comics and storytellers dive into experiences that haunt them. Listen to tales of the macabre, paranormal, scary and/or just plain inexplicable. Expect some (nervous) laughter along the way. The show is 18+.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

Ester's guest chef burger night returns on Tuesday with an Italian-influenced creation by Jen Toomey. (Photo: Kelly Bylsma)

TUESDAY, OCT. 16; 6 p.m.
Guest Chef Burger Night
Esters Wine Shop & Bar -- 1314 Seventh St., Santa Monica
Jen Toomey of Milo & Olive and Huckleberry Bakery & Café creates an Italian-influenced burger with a smoky peperonata, whipped burrata and preserved lemon pesto. We suggest heading to Esters for happy hour (from 4 - 6 p.m.) to grab a seat early because the burgers will only be served until they run out.

TUESDAY, OCT 16; 7:30 p.m.
42FT - A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels
Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University -- 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
The circus-inspired show takes its name from the 42-foot ring at the center of most circuses. Cirque Mechanics showcases a galloping mechanical metal horse, a rotating tent frame for strongmen, acrobats, aerialists and a little clowning. Rooted in realism, the show tells stories of American ingenuity.
COST: Tickets start at $20; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, OCT. 16 - WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17; 8 p.m.
Café Tacvba
Troubadour -- 9081 N. Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that one of Mexico's most influential alternative rock bands is playing four nights at the intimate venue. The Ruen Brothers open. The shows are sold-out, so you'll have to beg, steal or borrow a pair of tickets.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17; 7 p.m.
Voter Cram Session
The Crawford Family Forum -- 474 South Raymond Ave., Pasadena
Not sure what's on the ballot for the midterm elections? Join AirTalk host Larry Mantle for a study session. A panel of experts joins a discussion of the pros and cons of ballot measures, including the expansion of rent control and gas tax retention. The event is currently at capacity but it will be livestreamed.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17; 8 - 9 p.m
Great Pumpkin Improv Diary Show
M.i.'s Westside Comedy Theater -- 1323-A ("A" stands for alley) Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica
Just like Mortified, two brave adults read entries from their teenage diaries. A troupe of improvisers creates scenes inspired by the readings. The improv cast includes Kiki Aldonas, Carissa Diest, Jeff Feazell, Austin Green, Scott Hennelly, Jon Thompson and Ryan Timmreck.
COST: $5 per person; MORE INFO

The ArcLight's 'Lights, Camera, Cocktails' film series continues this week with a screening of 'Inception.' (Photo: Courtesy of ArcLight Cinemas)

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17; 6:30 p.m.
Lights, Camera, Cocktails
ArcLight Culver City -- 9500 Culver Blvd., Culver City
The monthly screening series has top bartenders create a tailored, three-drink menu to go with a beloved film. This week, the Bibo Ergo Sum team makes libations for Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller "Inception." Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m., the screening is at 7 p.m. and there's a wrap party after the film. Ticket prices include three cocktails, one movie ticket, popcorn and light bites at the afterparty. Attendees must be 21+.

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17; 9:15 p.m.
House of Red Velvet
Bar Lubitsch -- 7702 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
Mixing surrealism, dark art theater, performance art and burlesque, the show blurs the edges of sexy and bizarre. The night counts filmmakers David Lynch, Nicholas Winding-Refn, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Floria Sigismondi among its influences.
COST: Tickets start at $40 - $50; MORE INFO

DTLA Film Festival
Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 14 -- 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.
The festival celebrates its 10th anniversary by screening 31 feature films (20 narrative, 11 documentary), which are all L.A. theatrical premieres. The fest also screens 77 short films, TV pilots, webseries episodes and, for the first time, launches an immersive, VR-AR series. The film opens with the rom-com "Surprise Me!" and closes with the 20th anniversary screening of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back."
COST: $15 - $25; MORE INFO

Matty Matheson's Greatest Cookbook Tour and Pool Party
Ace Hotel -- 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
The chef is in the middle of a cookbook tour that celebrates his first cookbook. He's celebrating in true Vice style with a rooftop pool party and a seafood menu created in collaboration with Best Girl's Michael Cimarusti. The event is 21+.

Adam Wesley Brown stars in 'The Woman in Black,' opening at the Pasadena Playhouse. (Photo credit: Roger Mostroianni)

'The Woman in Black'
The Pasadena Playhouse -- 39 South El Molino Ave., Pasadena
Just in time for Halloween, watch Susan Hill's acclaimed ghost story on stage -- the second-longest running play in London's West End. A man believes his family has been cursed by a ghostly woman in black and tells his tale to exorcise the fear. The two-hander is directed by Robin Herford and stars Bradley Armacost as Arthur Kipps and Adam Wesley Brown as The Actor.
COST: Tickets start at $25; MORE INFO

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17; 7:30 pm
Sister Helen Prejean & Tim Robbins
Hammer Museum -- 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood
Sister Helen -- author of the acclaimed 1993 book "Dead Man Walking" -- continues her fight against the death penalty. She's joined by Robbins, who directed the feature film based on her book. They'll discuss the "path toward justice without violence."

'Dear Evan Hansen'
Ahmanson Theatre -- 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical stops in L.A., bringing audiences the story of a high school kid with severe social anxiety. After the death of a classmate, he tells a lie that inadvertently brings him closer to the classmate's family and gives him a sense of purpose in the world.
COST: Tickets start at $60; MORE INFO

The Getty screens 'The Eyes of Laura Mars' and several fashion shorts outdoors in the courtyard. (Image: Film poster detail, courtesy of The Getty)

THURSDAY, OCT. 18; 7 p.m.
'Eyes of Laura Mars' and Fashion Shorts
The Getty Center -- 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood
The courtyard becomes an outdoor cinema for a night of thrills, mystery and high fashion. In the John Carpenter film, Faye Dunaway plays a top New York fashion photographer whose images mysteriously recreate actual crime scenes. There's a program of rare and experimental short films and excerpts before the feature. Arrive early to check out the exhibition, Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011, which is open until 7 p.m. Pack a picnic but no outside alcohol. A cash bar and snacks will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m.

WestEdge Design Fair
Barker Hangar -- 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica
The fair showcases the works and goods of more than 175 manufacturers, independent designers and makers from around the world. The opening night party on Thursday benefits the nonprofit Safe Place for Youth and features live entertainment, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as well as the chance to preview and shop from up-and-coming design brands. There are talks, workshops, chef demos and pop-ups scheduled throughout the weekend.
COST: $25 - $125; MORE INFO

How are you spending your week? Let us know on Twitter @christineziemba and @LeoHasACat.

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