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Arts and Entertainment

20 Of Our Favorite Events In Los Angeles

There are six gallery openings on Saturday night on Chung King Road. (Image: Patrick McGilligan, 'Someone Like You Should Not Be Allowed To Start Fires,' courtesy of Coagula Curatorial)
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Looking for something to do? Look no further than these 20 events happening this weekend. And don’t forget to check out our newly posted October Guide to plan the rest of the month.


POLITICON: POLITICON—a convention billed as a nonpartisan comic-con style event for politics and entertainment—is at the L.A. Convention Center on Friday and Saturday. This con features panel discussions, debates, TV & movie screenings, live radio, podcasts, comedy, book readings, interviews, art exhibitions and more. Already confirmed to participate in Politicon are: Trevor Noah, James Carville, David Axelrod, Newt Gingrich, Jordan Klepper, The Yes Men, Doris Kearns Goodwin and many others. Tickets/passes: $25-$250.

STORY: The storytelling show Don't Tell My Mother celebrates tales that mom should never hear at Busby's East on Friday at 8 pm. Featuring “coming out” stories by Danny Pintauro (Who's the Boss?), Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty), Diona Reasonover (Clipped), Jen Kober (The Middle), Nikki Levy (Don’t Tell My Mother creator) and songs by Jill Sobule. The bar, food menu and party begins at 7 pm and the storytelling begins at 8 pm. Live music by Abby And The Myth through the night. Advance tickets: $16.

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FILM: Eat|See|Hear’s Front Porch Cinema returns to the Santa Monica Pier on Friday night, screening free films under the stars through Oct. 30. The films this month include: Big Hero 6 on Friday, "The Imitation Game" (Oct. 16), Guardians of the Galaxy (Oct. 23) and Ghostbusters (Oct. 30) on a giant inflatable screen. Front Porch Cinema opens the "Cinema Lounge" at 6 pm so guests can enjoy movie-themed cocktails and small bites that complement the films. The movie begins at 7:30 pm.

FILM: For one weekend a month, Vidiots Annex is transformed into the VIDIOTS Cinema Selects—a micro-cinema that screens limited runs of new, independent films, recommended by Vidiots' staff. This month’s selection is The Mend, the debut film from writer/director John Magary. The acidic comedy about two brothers stars Josh Lucas, Stephen Plunkett, Lucy Owen and Mickey Sumner. The Mend screens Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 5 and 8 pm and Sunday at 2:30, 5 and 8 pm. Tickets: $8.


ROLLER DERBY: On Saturday night at the Dollosseum in El Sereno, the L.A. Derby Dolls league pits the Sirens against the Tough Cookies in a match at 8 pm. Before the adults’ bout, the Derby Dolls also showcase the Junior Derby Dolls, ages 7-17 years, on the track at 5 pm. Beer, wine and cocktails are available at the bar for those 21+. Art, jewelry and apparel vendors will be on hand, too. While the derby is all ages, parental guidance suggested for Saturday night games. General admission tickets: $15-18; VIP tickets: $35-$38 at door, and include premium seating and a new private outdoor patio with bar.

ART OPENINGS: Chinatown is hopping on Saturday night with six gallery openings on Chung King Road. Coagula Curatorial opens Patrick McGilligan’s The $99 Painting Solo Show; Project Gallery presents Kellesimone Waits’ solo show Transmutation; the group show Portal to the Future is at Gregorio Escalante Gallery; The Selfie Show from Jon Swihart at the Art Cellar; Jacques Flechemuller’s solo show at The Good Luck Gallery; the group show Trade Show at Chung King Studio and Casey Reas’ solo show Linear Perspective continues at Charlie James Gallery. Receptions on Saturday from 7-11 pm.

BEER FEST(S): If you love beer, then maybe this weekend calls for a road trip (with a DD of course). Crafts & Cranks Brew Fest by Big Bear Lake Brewing Co is at Snow Summit this weekend with more than 30 of the West Coast’s top breweries participating in this new event. The festivities begin at 11 am with mountain bikes, racing, craft beer, live music and nature. Tickets: $50. If you don’t feel like driving all the way to Big Bear, then Hangar 24’s Oktoberfest/Beerfest is at the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino. More than 25 breweries are bringing their beers to taste, as well as food trucks and authentic Oktoberfest music. The family friendly Oktoberfest runs from 4-10 pm and the Beerfest runs from 4-7 pm ($40).

NEW FILM:NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) holds its monthly screening on Saturday of 21 new short films from the Los Angeles Video Project that highlight the best of L.A. Held at Hollywood Center Studios from 7-11 pm, the night features food by Pink’s Hot Dogs, a full bar, screening and after-party. Hosted by comedian Guy Branum, KCRW’s Jason Kramer provides the tunes. Tickets: $25 for food, bar and screening, $20 for screening only. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

HORROR MOVIE: Campfire is a new ultra-indie horror film series, curated by indie horror film directors, at Arena Cinema in Hollywood. Arena kicks things off at a 10:30 pm pre-reception before they screen the original I Spit on Your Grave (1978) at midnight. In the film, an “aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge.” Prior to the screening, filmmakers from the new film, I Spit on Your Grave 3 (also running at Arena Screen), will be in conversation with director James Cullen Bressack, who curated the film. Admission: $12 each feature.

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FOOD FEST: Thousands are expected to attend Pasadena’s The Taste of South Lake on Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. Enjoy fare from more than 25 South Lake Avenue restaurants, live cooking demonstrations, music performance and a vendor village. Participating restaurants include Pie ‘n Burger, Celestino Ristorante & Bar and SanSai Japanese, and the fest also honors two top vegan chefs, RG Enriquez of Astig Vegan and Chef Yvonne Ardestani, creator of “My Eclectic Kitchen” cookbook and app. Music throughout the day by Attic Empire, Freedom Fry, Run River North, and indie synth pop duo The Bird and The Bee. Free entry plus free parking at Corporate Center Pasadena.

COMEDY SUPREME: Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) have brought together a great music and comedy lineup for the third annual Festival Supreme, which is at the Shrine Expo on Saturday. Just a few of the performers include: Die Antwoord, The Kids in the Hall, Amy Poehler, Adam Devine, Puddles Pity Party, Finesse Mitchell, The Lampshades, Kristen Schaal and more. Tickets: $75-$250.

BEER + ART + MUSIC: The 18th Street Arts Center’s 6th Annual Beer Art & Music (BAM) Festival takes place on Saturday from 1-5 pm at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. This year’s BAM Fest features 40+ craft breweries, three bands, art installations, open artist studios, artist vendors, food trucks and more. Pre-sale tickets: $45 before Oct. 10; $50 at the door.

MUSIC: We’re huge fans of the Detroit band JR JR (formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.), who plays the Teragram Ballroom on Saturday night. The duo—Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott—are touring in support of its just-released, self-titled third album. Hippo Campus opens the night. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9 pm. Tickets: $20.

ART:: Subliminal Projects presents the exhibition Covert to Overt that traces the endeavors of artist Shepard Fairey and his Obey Giant team, as captured in photos by Jon Furlong. The show focuses on 2010 to the present with shots of in-process gallery exhibitions, street art installations and murals. The show also features three limited edition prints by Fairey, each inspired by chosen photographs on view. The opening reception of Covert to Overt is being moved up to Saturday afternoon from 1-5 pm to avoid Dodger playoff game traffic. (The game is at 6 pm.) An RSVP is required for the opening reception so send an email to before 10 am on Saturday. Furlong and Fairey will be in attendance. The exhibition closes on Oct. 24 with a book signing by Shepard Fairey.

COMEDY: George McAuliffe’s one-man show, Not All Cops Are Bad, is at iO West on Saturday night at 8 pm. The show is a combination of satire and current events that gives an “equitable take on the hot button issue of police brutality.” McAuliffe hosts a public relations meeting as Officer Scott Baker, in an attempt to justify the “occasional abuse of power.” The show also runs on Oct. 17 and 24. Tickets are $5-10.

DANCE: Swagger Like Us is a global queer hip-hop dance party that’s coming to Akbar on Saturday night from 9:30 pm to 2 am. Live performance by Oh Blimey and guest DJ Von KIss. Dress to impress or dress for fun. Admission: $5.


Giant Robot Biennale 4 opens this weekend with a huge party on Saturday night. (Image: Courtesy of Giant Robot)
ART: The Japanese American National Museum and Giant Robot founder Eric Nakamura once again team up for Giant Robot Biennale 4.The exhibition examines the “evolution of the Giant Robot aesthetic from its humble origins in drawing to its many celebrated manifestations in painting, installation, muralism, and photography.” Artists include: Luke Chueh, Hamburger Eyes, Haroshi, James Jean, Audrey Kawasaki and many others. There’s a free opening reception on Saturday night from 7-10 pm that features live music and DJs, food and a cash bar. The exhibition opens to the public for its first full day on Oct. 11.


SPIN + GAMES: The Standard, Downtown LA hosts an Arcade Nightsseries at SPiN Standard starting this Sunday (12 pm to 2 am) and running through Tuesday, Oct. 13 (4 pm to 2 am on Monday and Tuesday). Arcade Nights features unlimited game play to 20 vintage arcade machines and ping-pong tables for a $5 cover charge. 21+.

SKATE: Tony Hawk's annual Stand Up For Skateparks benefit is being held on Sunday at Green Acres Estate in Beverly Hills beginning at noon. The family-friendly action-sports carnival includes games, food, and live and silent auctions and music performances. The OC’s punk veterans The Vandals perform. Proceeds support the Tony Hawk Foundation's mission to empower youth through the creation of free, quality, public skateparks and programming in low-income communities. The fun's not cheap, though: Individual tickets begin at $550.

FEST: The 6th Annual Taste of the Pier & Waterfront is at The Redondo Pier on Sunday from noon to 4 pm. Proceeds benefit the Cancer Support Community for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The entry is free and small bites tasting tickets are $1 each and good at more than 50 restaurants represented on Sunday.

YOGA: Kali Yoga offers free yoga sessions on Sunday and Wednesday at the Bootleg Theater. Sunday’s session is from 11 am to 12 pm; get there a few minutes ahead of time because they lock the doors and shut the phone at 11:05 am. In November, sessions will go up to $10 for an hour-long group class.

Related: LAist’s September Guide

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in LA? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.