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Arts and Entertainment

20 Of Our Favorite Events in Los Angeles This Week

REDCAT screens 'Nicola Costantino: La Artefacta' on Monday night. (Still Courtesy of Natalie Cristiani)
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Looking for something to do? Here are 20 of our favorite events happening in Los Angeles this week.


On Monday at 8:30 pm, REDCAT’s Jack H. Skirball Series presents the L.A. premiere of Nicola Costantino - La Artefacta. The film is an intimate look at the life and work of Nicola Costantino, one of Argentina’s most provocative visual artists. From REDCAT: “Together with director/co-writer and über-editor Natalie Cristiani, she creates an unusual portrait of an artist and a woman. Eschewing explanation and psychologization, the film, rooted in a form of Argentine baroque, addresses the country's troubled history while articulating issues pertaining to self (re)presentation, performance and artistic originality.” Costantino will appear in person at the screening. Tickets: $8-11.

Union Station holds its annual tree lighting on Monday night, which will be accompanied by a free holiday performance by the All-American Boys Chorus. Southern California Firefighters’ Spark of Love Toy Drive will also be in full effect as fire fighters collect new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment for underserved children and teens. Santa Claus kicks off the tree lighting at 5:45 pm at the station’s entrance, followed by selfies with Santa and free hot chocolate, cookies and pastries from T & Y Bakery in the adjacent Ticket Hall. The concert begins at 6:30 pm.

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VisionLA '15 Climate Action Arts Festival opens on Monday and runs through Friday, Dec. 11 at a number of participating venues throughout L.A. County. The climate-focused arts festival celebrates the power of art to make change, and the festival is being coordinated with the United Nations' 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris this week. VisionLA projects range from installations and formal gallery shows to theatre and dance pieces to concerts, readings, films, street art and pop-up art. In addition, there are climate change-related lectures, workshops and presentations. The festival culminates in a group exhibition, Art Makes Change, which features 60 local artists. Most events are free and family friendly.


The monthly Emo Night: Taking Back Tuesday celebrates its one-year anniversary at the Echo and Echoplex on Tuesday night, bringing together people who share a love of emo music from the 90’s to today. Emo Night has teamed up with Rolling Stone to bring live performances and DJ sets on four stages from renowned artists including Dashboard Confessional, Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, Jack Barakat of All Time Low, Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance, We Are The In Crowd, Sugarcult, FIDLAR, Seahaven, Have Mercy and others. Tickets: $18.50 - $20.50. 21+.

George Washington: The Original American Badass is a "100 percent true story" of how George Washington beat the Nazis and saved rock n’ roll forever. The one-act play is being staged at the UCB Franklin theater on Tuesday at 9:30 pm. It also runs Jan. 7 and Feb. 4, 2016. The play’s being presented this week with Mike Leffingwell’s 12 Angry Men: The One Man Show (a funnier and shorter version of the classic film). Tickets: $5.

On Tuesday night, Reggie Watts and his band Karen play El Cid all night long. Doors at 8 pm. Shoos Off opens the night with a 9 pm set, followed by Watts at 10 pm. Tickets: $10 at the door. The event is 21+.

Isabel Allende is in conversation with Susan Orlean to discuss her latest book The Japanese Lover. Presented by Book Soup, the talk takes place at The Skirball on Tuesday at 8 pm. The program is presented in association with the exhibition Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams, which will be open to program ticket holders from 6:30-8 pm. Tickets for the Isabel Allende program are $28 and include one signed book.

On Tuesday at 7:30 pm, New Beverly screens a double feature of Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder comedies from the 80s for Pryor's 75th birthday commemoration. Up first is Stir Crazy (1980), directed by Sidney Poitier, followed by See No Evil, Here No Evil (1989), directed by Arthur Hiller. Tickets: $8.

Fairground Saints Tuesday night residency at the Hotel Cafe starts this week at 9 pm on Tuesday. The band brings their bluegrass sounds (think Nickel Creek) to the stage in support of its self-titled debut. 21+. Tickets: $10+ fees.

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The Abbey’s 6th Annual Tree Lighting takes place on Tuesday night from 7-9 pm to commemorate World AIDS Day. Hosted by Heather Dubrow of The Real Housewives of Orange County, the event doubles as a fundraiser for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.


Cake Batter’s 2nd Annual Funny Women Festival takes place at iO West in Hollywood this week, running Wednesday through Saturday. The lineup features The Office’s Angela Kinsey and Kate Flannery; Betty Cahill, Kate Walsh, Frances Callier, Angela V. Shelton, Mo Collins, Laura Kraft, Shulie Cowen, Mary Lynn Rajskub and others. The festival celebrates women in comedy with approximately 120 shows that will feature more than 300 performers from around the country as well as workshops, panels, and special events led by industry professionals.

The monthly Liquid Intelligence Mixology Class at The Mixing Room in the JW Marriott at LA Live is on Wednesday from 7-8:30 pm. The class, led by LAist's own Danny Jensen, will focus on seasonal drinks perfect for holidays, including fun twists on classics like egg nog and punches. The libations menu includes: A Smoky Old Fashioned, Pomegranate Persimmon Punch and a Tiki Egg Nog. Learn to make the drinks and sample the goods. Class admission: $10 at the door.

On Wednesday at 8 pm, the Echo Park Film Center presents Vinegar Syndrome, it's a Gong Show-style grab bag of short educational and ephemeral films selected from EPFC’s own 16mm library. This night is for fans of found footage and collage films, and the ones picked for this week’s show are selected by title around a specific theme. They won’t be pre-screening the films, so everyone will be surprised. This month’s theme is AMERICA! They’ll cram as many film as they can into a 90-minute screening. Tickets: $5.

MEMORY NO. 1 (Film)
On Wednesday at 7 pm, Memory presents "Program No. 1," a collection of 10 award-winning short films by emerging filmmakers that have screened at Cannes, Sundance and SXSW festivals. The films in the 100-minute program include The Reflektor Tapes “Porno” (Director’s Cut) directed by Kahlil Joseph and “Hang Loose” directed by Sammy Harkham & Patrick Brice. The screening is free with RSVP. Get there early for a seat because registration does not guarantee a seat.


X (Music)
Punk gods X play four nights at The Roxy this week, beginning on Thursday. A few tickets remain for the shows, except Saturday night. The shows are titled X: Support Billy Zoom to help the band's guitarist in his fight against cancer. Mike Watt & The Secondmen open each show. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9. Tickets: $35.

On Thursday night from 5-9 pm, MADE by DWC hosts Celebrate the Spirit, a holiday party to benefit the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC), a nonprofit that helps women overcome homelessness on LA’s Skid Row. The event will take place at MADE by DWC’s resale boutique, which offers vintage and contemporary women’s clothing, shoes, accessories as well as signature handmade product line of all-natural soaps, soy candles, journals, and gift sets. The event is free and open to the public.

JAZZ AND FUNK NIGHT (Music Fundraiser)
Bassist and composer Buddy Sampson hosts a Jazz and Funk Night to benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). In addition to his own ensemble, also on the bill are The Jazz Scribes, Rachel Grace and Saga and Crosstown Traffic with Myra Washington. The night begins at 7 pm at King King Hollywood. Cash bar. Tickets: $20-$25 (50 percent of net proceeds will go to CHLA).

The storytelling showDon't Tell My Mother celebrates tales that mom should never hear at Busby's East—with a holiday twist—on Thursday at 8 pm. Featuring tales by Jen Kober, Teri Hatcher, Casey Wilson, Hannah Friedman and Jonathan Bradley Welch. The holiday party with full bar, food service and pictures with Chanukah Harry begins at 7 pm and the storytelling begins at 8 pm. Live music by Abby And The Myth through the night. Ticket: $16-$20.


Theatre Unleashed presents 'A Very Die Hard Christmas.' (Image: Courtesy of the theater)
Theatre Unleashed presents A Very Die Hard Christmas from Dec. 3-19 in North Hollywood. It’s a parody of the Bruce Willis hit “Christmas Movie” in which a team of terrorists has taken hostages in an L.A. high-rise. From Theatre Unleashed: “Come see a stage version of the holiday classic, complete with action, humor, Professor Snape taking people hostage, singing, dancing, the guy from ‘Family Matters,’ guns, puppets, explosions, the EPA guy from ‘Ghostbusters’ getting punched in the face, and Christmas miracles and familiar holiday friends galore. Maybe even an appearance by the legend himself, Santa Claus! Yippee Ki-Yay, Father Christmas!” The play runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm at The Belfry Stage at Upstairs at the Crown in North Hollywood. Tickets: $20. THE UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODY OF ‘HOME ALONE’ (Musical)
Rockwell Table and Stage presents "The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Home Alone," beginning on Thursday night and running through Jan. 3, 2016. Playing “Kevin” (Macaulay Culkin) in this John Hughes parody, are actresses Gwen Hollander and Caitlyn Gallogly. The show will mix campiness, songs from the ‘80s and holiday music. Tickets: $20-$45.

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