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Arts and Entertainment

20 Of Our Favorite Events in Los Angeles This Week

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Hurray for the Riff Raff plays the Skirball Sunset Concert series on Thursday night.

Here are 20 of our favorite events happening in Los Angeles this week. Don’t forget to check out our August Guide, Outdoor Film Guide and Free Concert Guide for other ideas, too. We’ll be back on Thursday with our Weekend Planner column to help you plan—what else?— the weekend ahead.


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COMEDY: The Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival continues at iO West this week, and Monday features two great shows. At 9 pm, Girl Team Balls features Kate Walsh, Laura Krafft, Betty Cahill, Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal, Shulie Cowen and Rich Fulcher. At 10 pm, Danny Pudi and Jim Rash of Community host the 60-minute improvised comedy Armando show. Tickets are $10 for each show. 21+.


STORIES: Ace Hotel and book publisher Visual Editions are hosting a party for some of their favorite writers with some of the softest voices to read bedtime stories aloud poolside at the Ace Hotel on Monday night. The event kicks off the Bedtime Stories programming, in which stories are recorded and then broadcast through the in-room radios in the London and L.A. hotels. Monday’s readers are authors Aimee Bender, Brian DeLeeuw and Jessica Garrison. 7 pm. Free with RSVP.

WINE + CHEESE: Bow & Truss Starts introduces a new monthly Wine and Cheese Night on Monday (and the first Monday of each month through November) at 7 pm. The evening’s pairing will be guided by wine expert Chuck Novak who’ll guide the guests through the experience. The pairing includes five, two-ounce pours of wine and five half-ounce servings of gourmet cheeses. Cost: $25.


FOOD FIGHT: Tuesday Night Street Food Fightsat the Border Grill Downtown Los Angeles starting this Tuesday. Eight countries bring their trademark street fare in head-to-head battles weekly with Mexico vs. Spain going up first in the tournament. A $25 admission buys all-you-can-eat access (or $5 a la carte) and a vote to cast to decide the victor of that night's showdown. Themed cocktails ($7) complement the street fare, too. The event runs from 4-8 pm.

COMEDY: There’s a Historical Roast of Houdini at Nerdmelt on Tuesday at 9 pm. Hosts Eddie Furth and Ryan Pigg are joined by guests Justin Willman, Christian Spicer, Sara Schaefer, Lisa Best and Jamar Neighbors to roast the late, great magician. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

COMEDY: Sleepaway Camp is a free comedy show every Tuesday at 9 pm at the Downtown Independent Theatre. There are $3 specials on House Beer and $5 drafts all night.

CURRY NIGHT: Tony's Darts Away holds a Curry Nighton Tuesday from 6-10 pm. Chef Caroline prepares vegan and non-vegan red, green, and yellow curry.

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Joshua Petker's 'Some Hippies and a Hobo' remains on view at Ashes/Ashes gallery through Aug. 28. (Image: Courtesy of the gallery)

ART: Joshua Petker’s solo art exhibition Some Hippies and a Hobo continues at ASHES/ASHES gallery in L.A.’s Westlake neighborhood. From the gallery: "Riffing on visual cues of 1960s hippie culture, Petker's paintings burst with exuberant color and infer an ideal state of the once was.” The exhibition is on view through Aug. 28, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm.MUSIC: The monthly Emo Night: Taking Back Tuesday returns to the Echoplex bringing together people who share a love of emo music from the 90’s to today. (Think Brand New, New Found Glory to American Football and Death Cab For Cutie). Surprise guest DJs spin inside the venue. Doors are at 9 pm and the first hour is free. After 10 pm, cover is $5. The event is 21+. Proceeds will be donated to The Keep A Breast Foundation - a nonprofit working to educate youth about cancer prevention and to support those affected by the disease.

COMEDY: The Ghandi Show was one of NYC’s most popular stand-up comedy bar shows, and now it comes to the Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica every first and third Tuesday of every month at 8 pm. Hosts Christian Duguay, David Foster and Ryan Conner welcome Laurie Kilmartin, Julian McCullough, Emily Maya Mills and Francisco Ramos on Aug. 4. Tickets: $5.


BEER: Barrel Down—the 40-tap bar and restaurant in DTLA that opened in May— starts a monthly Tap Takeover series that starts on Wednesday. Kicking things off is San Diego-based Ballast Point with reps at the bar from 4-6 pm to talk about their selections, including Grunion Pale Ale, Victory at Sea Imperial Porter, Calm Before the Storm Cream Ale, Dorado Double IPA, Homework Series Batch No. 5 Pale Ale and Wahoo Wheat.

MUSIC: Houston's 10-piece ensemble The Suffers play the Roxy on Wednesday night bringing its soul-tinged dance tunes to WeHo. weareTheBigBang opens. The show is all ages. Doors at 7:30 pm and show at 8:30 pm. Tickets: $13-$15.

FILM: On Wednesday at 7:30 pm, American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots with a screening of the documentary I Build the Tower by Edward Landler and Brad Byer. The film examines the building of the Watts Towers and the life of their creator Sabato Rodia while also telling the story of the Watts community. Following the screening a panel consisting of artists, writers, historians and community members (Ben Caldwell, Charles Dickson, Luisa Del Giudice, Gerald Horne, Edward Landler, Ojenke, Judson Powell and moderator Rosie Lee Hooks) discuss the issues of 1965 and how they resonate still today.

VIDEO GAME WRITING: The Writer’s Guild Foundation presents the program The Writer’s Counsel: Video Game on Wednesday from 7:30-9 pm at the WGAW headquarters in L.A. Moderated by Neil Druckmann (The Last of Us, Uncharted series), panelists include Tom Bissell (Gears of War: Judgment), TJ Fixman (Ratchet & Clank series) and Marianne Krawczyk (God of War series, Star Trek) to discuss writing narratives for video games and how to break into the field. The discussion is open to the public. Tickets are $25; WGA members and students are $20.


MUSIC: British singer-songwriter Laura Marling plays the Palace Theatre on Thursday night in support of her latest album Short Movie. Playing in support: Johnny Flynn, Marika Hackman. Doors at 8 pm. Tickets: $30-$35.

MUSIC: The Antique Phonograph Society celebrates the music of the early 20th century on Thursday at 8 pm at the Steve Allen Theater (Trepany House) with the program: An Evening of Rare & Rousing Music of the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s Performed with Zest by Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys. In addition to playing popular tunes of the era, they’ll also re-enact a turn-of-century wax cylinder recording session. The evening also includes a demonstration of the making of a brown wax recording. Historian Jerry Beck screens a few rare animated and musical film clips, too. Tickets: $15-$20.

MUSIC + DANCE: Sizzling Summer Nights continues at the Autry on Thursday from 6-9 pm for visitors to enjoy L.A.’s best salsa and Latin fusion bands. The evenings include free dance lessons, food, drinks and cocktails, access to museum galleries and more. The taco and drink bar opens at 6 pm and the music begins at 6:30 pm. Performing this week is Colombian Latin Soul who plays cumbia and vallenato, as well as salsa, cha-cha, bachata, reggaeton and merengue. The museum remains open until 8 pm. Tickets are free for Autry Members, $10 for nonmembers, $6 students and seniors (60+) and $4 for children ages 3-12.

CRAFT: Craft Night at CAFAM presents the workshop Chinese Calligraphy with Mark Montano on Thursday from 7-9 pm in the CAFAM courtyard. The galleries are open from 6:30-9:30 pm and the project demonstrations are at 7 and 7:30 pm. Learn basic calligraphy strokes to create a scroll inspired by traditional Chinese ink painting. Cost: $8/free for members (includes materials, drinks and snacks).

MUSIC: Sunset Concerts at the Skirball continues on Thursday night with Hurray for the Riff Raff, who bring their trademark mix of Delta blues, rootsy Appalachian folk, country, rock and pop. The Sunset Concerts are always free and begin at 8 pm, with DJs kicking things off at 7 pm. Parking at the Skirball is $10 per car (cash only).

VOLLEYBALL: The National Volleyball League, established in 2010 to create a solid future for pro beach volleyball in the U.S., presents its West Coast Championships from Aug. 6-8 in Hermosa Beach, just north of the pier. General admission to the tournament is free but VIP tickets (reserved seating, lunch, swag and more) run $40-$60 for adults. The league also hosts a 4-Man Co-Ed adult tournament on Saturday adjacent to the pro tournament and clinics.

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