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17 Of The Best Things To Do This Week In Southern California

Yes, please: crawfish mac 'n' cheese from Barbara Jean at The Fields LA.
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This week, we've got several events to file under "P:": a puppet presentation, a pro/con debate, a party with Sasheer Zamata. Foodwise, the Fields LA food hall is now open, there's a BBQ slam in Eagle Rock and a fancy tequila pairing dinner at Redbird. In music, Erasure starts the first of four nights and the weekend starts early with Funky Sole.

DAILY; 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
The Fields LA
3939 South Figueroa St., Exposition Park
The new food hall next to the Banc of California Stadium near USC is now open. The complex offers three floors with a variety of dining concepts including Piccolo Antico Pizzeria Focacceria, Coni'Seafood, C.J. Boyd's Fried Chicken and Barbara Jean's soul food. There's an outdoor patio for beer and cocktails. Chef Tim Hollingsworth of Otium is slated to open Free Play, a restaurant with full bar, games and live entertainment, in September.

MONDAY, AUG. 20; 7 p.m.
The Hotel Café -- 1623 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood
The Canadian singer/songwriter, whose name is pronounced "eye," performs in support of his new album, "In Our Time." His gravelly vocals complement the mix of folk, rock and soul. The venue is 21+.
COST: $10+ fees; MORE INFO

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MONDAY, AUG. 20; 7 p.m.
Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.
The Theatre at Ace Hotel -- 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
IHEARTCOMIX presents an advanced screening of the documentary MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. Directed by Steve Loveridge, the film draws from M.I.A.'s personal video recordings over two decades, following her life journey from refugee immigrant to pop star. A Q&A follows with Loveridge and M.I.A. Seats are first-come, first-served. RSVP does not guarantee entry.
COST: FREE, but RSVPs requested; MORE INFO

MONDAY, AUG. 30; 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Santa Monica Pier (west end) -- 1211 4th St., Santa Monica
The nonpartisan debate series proves that civil discourse isn't dead. Past discussions have focused on marijuana and rent control. Now, the series is tackling the issue of water, asking whether we should desalinate ocean water for L.A. The "pro" speaker is Eric M.V. Hoek, from UCLA's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The CON speaker is Tracy Quinn of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The one-hour debate, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is moderated by comic Toby Muresianu and is preceded by a Civic Engagement Fair. There's a ticketed VIP reception after the debate, too.
COST: FREE, VIP post-debate reception: $40 - $500; MORE INFO

On Tuesday at the Skirball, Brian Henson talks about the modern puppetry technique and style developed by his father, which and the Henson Co. continue today. (Photo by John E. Barrett. © 2018, Sesame Workshop. Courtesy Sesame Workshop / MoMI.)

TUESDAY, AUG. 21; 8 p.m.
The Evolution of Puppetry with Brian Henson
Skirball Cultural Center -- 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood
To coincide with the final weeks of "The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited," the Skirball presents a live talk and puppeteering demo with the award-winning director, producer and puppeteer (who's also the son of the late Jim Henson). He'll discuss the technique and style developed by his father, which revolutionized the art form, and share a few personal stories. Leave a little time before the talk to check out the Henson exhibition, which is free to ticketholders.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, AUG. 21; 8 - 10 p.m.
PEN Presents Reporting Across Borders
The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever -- 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
Award-winning journalists John Carlos Frey, Massoud Hayoun and Jenni Monet join moderator Kat Chow (from NPR's "Code Switch") to discuss reporting in today's media landscape, both inside and across borders.
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, AUG. 21; FRIDAY, AUG. 24 - SUNDAY, AUG. 26; 7 p.m.
The Wiltern -- 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown
The synth-pop duo -- singer Andy Bell and songwriter Vince Clark on keyboards -- released its first single in 1985. They return more than three decades later to play four nights in L.A., winding down the North American part of their World Beyond tour. Tuesday's the best night to find tickets as the weekend shows are sold out.
COST: Tickets start at $49.50; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, AUG. 21; 5 - 10 p.m.
Slow & Low BBQ Slam
Red Herring -- 1661 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
It's all-you-can eat meat as restaurant co-owners Dave Woodall and Alexis Martin Woodall hold their first-ever barbecue slam. Selections include pork, ribs, hot links, brisket and chicken with classic sides (slaw, beans and potato salad). Dessert is pecan pie. Tickets (which are a steal IMHO) include dinner and tip. A cash bar is available, too.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22; 8 p.m.
Sasheer Zamata: Party Time
Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth -- 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
The comedian and former SNL castmember brings her Brooklyn variety show to L.A. for the first time. Look for performances by Naomi Ekperigin, Jaboukie Young-White, Emily Heller and DJ Breezyez
COST: $10 - $15; MORE INFO

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22; 8 p.m.
Westside Sketch Co. Go All Hollywood
M.I's Westside Comedy Theater -- 1323-A 3rd St. Promenade (A stands for Alley), Santa Monica
Westsiders don't have to drive to Hollywood or downtown for laughs as the theater's Mainstage sketch company performs an hour of original comedy. Directed by Cole Stratton (SF Sketchfest), the cast includes Max Crandall, Alonya Eisenberg, Andrew Heder, Alisha Ketry, Carrie Long, Sam Mark, Jennifer Murray, Greg Santos, Atul Singh and Patrick Tamisiea.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22; 7 - 10 p.m.
Casa Dragones Guest Chef Dinner
Garden at Redbird | Vibiana -- 114 East 2nd St., downtown L.A.
The tequila brand partners with chef Neal Fraser and special guest chef Donnie Masterton from The Restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for a fancy multicourse, family-style dinner with tequila pairings. Sarters include escabeche mussel tostadas and beef tartare paired with a blanco cocktail, and the meal ends with a crema panna cotta with watermelon granita, paired with a joven tequila.
COST: $150 per person; MORE INFO

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22; 5 p.m.
Sunsets & Sounds Special Showcase
18 Social Penthouse Lounge, Hotel Indigo -- 899 Francisco St., downtown L.A.
The showcase features live music by local artists Travis Atreo, Perry & Danielle, Priska, Jesse MacLeod, PAID (Paul Dateh), Abe Kim and Mahrah. Food and happy hour specials available from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22; 8 p.m.
Queen Latifah • Common
Hollywood Bowl -- 2301 Highland Ave., Hollywood
The Jazz at the Bowl series features a soul-driven set from Queen Latifah and a performance from rapper, poet, actor and social justice activist Common. Get to the Bowl for a complimentary Winemaker Wednesday wine tasting in the Plaza from 5- 7 p.m.
COST: $18 - $109; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, AUG. 23 - FRIDAY, AUG. 24; 6:30 p.m.
Funky Sole Weekender
Echoplex -- 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park
Dance and listen to two great nights of soul by Funky Sole DJs. Performers include Lee Fields & The Expressions, Monophonics, Breakestra featuring James Gadson, Jungle Fire, Boogaloo Assassins, Los Yesterdays (with former members of Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings) and The White Blinds. The concerts are 18+.
COST: $38 for two-day pass; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, AUG. 23rd; 8 - 10 p.m.
Shoot 'Em Up - Part II The Script
El Cid -- 4212 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
The second part of the story-to-script-to-screen event features scripts by six members of the Alliance of Women Directors (Shilpa Mankikar, Donna Wheeler, Sarah Bullion, Julia Camara, C.M. Landrus and Shea E. Butler), inspired by last month's storytelling event. The scripts get live readings before an audience before getting turned into films for next month's event.

THURSDAY, AUG. 23; 7:30 p.m.
Gaby Mlynarczyk
nowservingLA -- 727 N. Broadway #133, Chinatown
Mlynarczyk, bar director of Accomplice Bar, talks about her new book, "Clean + Dirty Drinking," with beverage writer Hope Ewing. The book features a collection of seasonally inspired cocktails that can be prepared with or without alcohol. Space is limited, so please RSVP to

THURSDAY, AUG. 23; 6 - 11 p.m.
Round Up
L.A. Live -- 800 Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.
Yee-haw! Grab you cowboy boots and head to a country-themed street party with live music, line dancing, cheap eats, a beer garden, mechanical bull riding, a milking cow game, a milk can toss and cornhole. Country-themed vendors will be on hand to sell their wares.

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

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