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21 Awesome Things To Do In Southern California This Week

Veterans Day honors the service of all military veterans. (Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr)
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The city of Los Angeles thanks veterans and active military personnel for their service while another organization highlights the work of ex-military writers. NPR's Peter Sagal and former First Lady Michelle Obama chat about their new books. A pop-up at The Standard benefits immigrants' rights and Redbird goes ultra-fancy with champers and caviar. A new play explores the black experience and Brainfeeder holds a 10th anniversary party.

Honoring Military Vets on Veterans Day with a Fee Waiver
Various L.A. County parks and gardens
The Board of Supervisors recently eliminated all fees at L.A. County parks and botanical gardens for active duty service members and veterans as a way to thank them for their service. So go experience the L.A. County Arboretum and Botanic Garden for free.
COST: FREE for active military and veterans; MORE INFO

MONDAY, NOV. 12; 6:30 - 10 p.m.
USVAA 2018 New Works Presentation
The Actors' Gang -- 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City
The United States Veterans' Artists Alliance (USVAA) presents a night of performances on the 100th Anniversary of Veterans Day and Armistice Day.Writers Guild mentors selected scenes from novels, screenplays, pilots and plays written by military veteran workshop participants Katie Robinson, Sati Kaur, Cynthia Hines, Rick McGovern, Kadyn Michaels, Izzy Ezagui and Steve Miska.

MONDAY, NOV. 12; 12 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Cole's 110th Anniversary & National French Dip Day
Cole's -- 118 E 6th St., downtown L.A.
Monday is a day to honor the French Dip, and the DTLA institution celebrates the holiday and its anniversary accordingly: French Dip and Martini combos for $10 all day and night long (for those 21+).
COST: Starts at $10; MORE INFO

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MONDAY, NOV. 12; 7:30 p.m.
Peter Sagal
Temple Emanuel -- 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills
Writers Bloc presents the host of NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" chatting with comedy writer Bess Kalb. Sagal just released "The Incomplete Book of Running," which isn't actually about jogging. It's about perseverance, reshaping your life and travelling.
COST: Tickets: $20 - $38; MORE INFO

TUESDAY, NOV. 13; 7:30 p.m.
Bob Newhart
Grammy Museum -- 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.
Bob Newhart was nearly 30 and working as an accountant in Chicago when he signed with Warner Bros. in 1959 and his first comedy album hit it big. The museum celebrates Newhart's nearly 60 years in the biz with a discussion of his career, moderated by the GRAMMY Museum's artistic director, Scott Goldman.

TUESDAY, NOV. 13; 7 - 7:30 p.m.
Dining with the Stars: The History of Hollywood Hotspots
Studio City Branch Library -- 12511 Moorpark St., Studio City
Relive Hollywood's heydey as historian Mary Mallory lectures on the L.A. hot spots that stars used to frequent.

TUESDAY, NOV. 13; 11 a.m. - midnight
Milk Bar's 10 Year Anniversary Special
Milk Bar LA -- 7150 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
To commemorate one of Chef Christina Tosi's first Milk Bar menu items that debuted in NYC 10 years ago, the L.A. outpost serves up the Cereal Milk Soft Serve and the anniversary special flavor, Fruity Cereal Milk Soft Serve (Cereal milk soft serve made from Fruity Pebble cereal; topped with Fruity Pebble crunch) -- for $1. Both flavors will be available through Nov. 20.

Cinema Italian Style 2018
The Egyptian in Hollywood and Aero Theatre in Santa Monica
The 14th edition of the Italian film festival includes the L.A. premieres of dramas including Paolo Sorrentino's "Loro" and comedies such as "Like a Cat on a Highway." It opens on Tuesday at 5 p.m. with a free screening of Italy's official Oscar submission, "Dogman," presented in conjunction with AFI Fest.

TUESDAY, NOV. 13; 7:30 p.m.
Hammer Conversations: Theaster Gates
Hammer Museum -- 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood
The museum welcomes Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, whose practice spans sculpture, installation, performance, urban and social interventions. His work involves transforming objects and communities into projects that catalyze both social and political change.

TUESDAY, NOV. 13; 7:30 p.m.
Museum of Tolerance -- 9786 Pico Blvd., Pico-Robertson
This is a screening of a documentary (not to be confued with the 1944 Alfred Hitchcock film) that puts a face on the current refugee crisis. The 40-minute film follows refugees who leave Libya in unsafe boats in the middle of the night and the volunteers from a German nonprofit who try to save them from their sinking vessels. A post-screening panel discussion includes director Skye Fitzgerald, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Matthew Reynolds and onetime Rwandan refugee Jabig, among others.
COST: FREE, but tickets required; MORE INFO

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TUESDAY, NOV. 13; 7:30 p.m.
Allusionist Live
Bootleg Theater -- 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake
"The Allusionist" is an award-winning podcast about the English language, etymology and why we use words the way we do. It's being presented live by host Helen Zaltzman with music accompaniment from Martin Austwick. The show is 21+.

Keith A. Wallace co-created, wrote and stars in the solo play, 'The Bitter Game,' which runs at The Wallis. (Photo: Jim Carmody)

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14 - SATURDAY, NOV. 17; 7:30 p.m.
The Bitter Game
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts -- 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
This "high-impact" immersive theater piece (read: intense) explores the experience of being black in America. Written and performed by Keith A. Wallace, the traveling play takes place outdoors on The Wallis's terrace and is structured in five acts -- four quarters and OT -- to mimic a basketball game. It tells the story of Jamel Smith, who witnesses an act of violence as a child in his neighborhood and must learn to navigate his police interactions. The play was co-created by Deborah Stein and directed by Malika Oyetimein.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14; 7:30 p.m.
Bob Baker Marionette Theater -- 1345 W. 1st St., Echo Park
The longtime puppet theater is moving after its last show at its current location on Friday, Nov. 23. To help defray moving costs, Tom Explores Los Angeles presents a night of storytelling and puppet performance told through the windshield. Guests include Lynell George (author of "No Crystal Stair" and "After/Image"), Sam Sweet (author of the "All Night Menu" series) and urban planner Max Podemski. Tom will be there to debut a new documentary episode of L.A. adventures. Bob Baker's puppeteers will perform multiple traffic-themed sketches. $5 of each ticket go to moving costs.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14; 7 p.m.
Chefs Stand Up: Katie Jackson and Nick Perkins
The Standard Downtown Los Angeles -- 550 S Flower St., downtown L.A.
Jackson and Perkins are the chefs at Hart's, a small Mediterranean restaurant in Brooklyn. They'll cook a pop-up dinner in L.A. to support the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. The meal opens with fried squid agrodolce and ends with a labneh sorbet.

Say hello to my little friend: It's time for Lights, Camera, Cocktails at the ArcLight Culver City with a screening of 'Scarface.' (Photo: The ArcLight)

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14; 6:30 p.m.
Lights, Camera, Cocktails: Scarface
ArcLight Culver City -- 9500 Culver Blvd., Culver City
The city's top mixologists create a tailored, three-drink menu to go with a favorite film in this ArcLight series. This week, the Ever Bar team makes libations for "Scarface," directed by Brian de Palma and starring Al Pacino. 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+.

THURSDAY, NOV. 15; 6 p.m.
Brainfeeder X Anniversary Party
Amoeba Music -- 6400 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood
The L.A.-based record label celebrates 10 years with "Brainfeeder X," a 36-track compilation. The four LP box set and double CD features previously released material and unreleased tracks including one from WOKE (Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Shabazz Palaces) featuring George Clinton ans a new Thundercat collaboration with Badbadnotgood. Listen for appearances by Teebs, Jeremiah Jae, Iglooghost, Ross From Friends, Flying Lotus featuring BUSDRIVER and Kamasi Washington. The celebration includes guest DJs, artist signings and special treats with purchase of the new compilation.

THURSDAY, NOV. 15; 7:30 p.m.
Champagne + Caviar dinner
Redbird 3rd Floor, The Nest -- 114 East 2nd St., downtown L.A.
This extravagant dinner pairs Champagne Bollinger and Black River caviar with dishes by chef Neal Fraser: beef tartare with potato churro, caviar ranch, fluke sashimi and filet of beef with poached lobster.

THURSDAY, NOV. 15; 8 p.m.
Michelle Obama
The Forum -- 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood
The former First Lady brings her book tour to the massive, nearly sold-out Forum. Billed as an "intimate conversation" (in a 17,000+ seat capacity sports arena!), Obama talks about her new memoir, "Becoming," with actor Tracee Ellis Ross.
COST: $129 - $2,500; MORE INFO

The ice rink in Pershing Square opens this week. (And where were those penguins when we learned to skate?) (Photo: Red Apple Photography)

Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square
Pershing Square -- 532 South Olive St., downtown L.A.
The city's largest ice rink (at 7,200 square feet) returns for the winter season with the annual Icebreaker Opening Celebration on Thursday at 11 a.m. Cast members from Wicked will sing a tune while skaters perform on the ice, choreographed to the music. The ceremony also includes the shattering of an ice sculpture for the literal "ice-breaking." General admission to the rink includes skate rental (figure and hockey skates).

THURSDAY, NOV. 15; 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Culinary Historians - The First California Cuisine
Silver Lake Branch Library -- 2411 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake
Learn about cooking techniques of the first people to inhabit California. Many of those methods and dishes aren't used today. The discussion will be led by food writer and historian Richard Foss.

THURSDAY, NOV. 15; 8:30 p.m.
Adult Spelling Bee Episode 1: La La Land
UCBT Sunset -- 5419 W Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood
Watch writers, comedians and actors avenge childhood losses in this annual contest. One of the competitors will be crowned the best speller ever in the history of the world. Will it be Wendy Molyneux ("Bob's Burgers"), Jean Villepique ("AP Bio"), Dave Holmes ("Esquire"), Zoe Perry ("Young Sheldon"), Neil Flynn ("The Middle"), Arden Myrin ("Insatiable"), Jamie Kaler ("My Boys"), Blaine Capatch (Lucha Vavoom), Santina Muha ("One Day At A Time"), Diane Farr ("Splitting Up Together"), Caissie St. Onge ("Busy Tonight") or Vanessa Mcgee ("Grownish")? S-H-O-W U-P to find out.

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

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