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Arts and Entertainment

20 Of The Coolest Events Happening in L.A. This Week

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Are you heading to #Nochella this weekend? Then check out 20 awesome events happening right here in the L.A. area.


LOCARNO IN LA (Film festival)
If you haven’t been able to make it to Switzerland for the Locarno Film Festival, don’t worry. This year, thanks to a collaboration between the festival, Acropolis Cinema and the Swiss Consulate General of Los Angeles, the inaugural edition of Locarno in Los Angeles runs this weekend (Friday through Sunday) at the Downtown Independent. Curated by Acropolis’ founder Jordan Cronk and co-artistic director Robert Koehler, the main program features films from last year’s 69th competition, Signs of Life, and Filmmakers of the Present programs. The festival also features panel discussions, director discussions and evening receptions. Passes: $45-$90 and individual tickets are available as well.

CANNABIS CUP (Weed + music)
The Cannabis Cup, sponsored by High Times Magazine, returns to Southern California for its 32nd year this weekend (Friday through Sunday). The music festival has lots of interactive experiences for attendees including cannabis drone delivery, food trucks, an Edibles Village, the Cannabis Cup competition, panel discussions and more surprises. The lineup includes: NAS, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, The Game, Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man & Redman, Busta Rhymes, Chief Keef, A$AP Ferg, Vic Mensa, Trishes, Okim and Corey’s Angels (Corey Feldman). The festival takes place at the National Orange Show Event Center in San Bernardino. Tickets: $55-$420.

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The 2017 Jazz at LACMA concert series begins on Friday night at 6 pm featuring the music from composer and arranger Gordon Goodwin and his Big Phat Band. The concert, which is free and open to the public, takes place at the museum’s Grand Entrance.

THE BEST FRIENDS SHOW (Comedy + stories)
The Best Friends Show is at The Virgil on Friday night at 8 pm with comedy and storytelling from comedians and their best friends. Telling tales this month are: Jamie Lee (Girl Code, Crashing) and Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens); Dan Levy (Lion, The Goldbergs) and Dan Mintz (Bob's Burgers); and others. Tickets: $5 online or $6 cash at the door. Ages 21+.

Metro Art presents Charles Phoenix: Southern Californialand, an illustrated history lesson and lecture by “the celebrated Ambassador of Americana” (aka kitsch) on Friday night at 8:30 pm at Union Station. From Metro Art: “With his trademark enthusiasm, eye for odd-ball detail, and keen expertise, showman, author, tour guide and food crafter Phoenix roasts and toasts spectacular suburban style, space-age drive-ins, coffee shops, bowling alleys, shopping centers, extreme homes, dingbat apartments, fast food restaurants, theme parks and much more through an entertaining and fun-filled slide presentation.” Admission is free. Doors at 8 pm.

MISANDRY WITH MARCIA (Comedy + feminism)
Misandry with Marcia, starring Marcia Belsky, is a show that imagines a world when men hide in bunkers and women roam streets without fear. It runs for one night only on Friday at 8 pm at the Lyric Hyperion. The show features an all-star lineup of comics “offering music, comedy and, of course, misandry, in an ultra-feminist experience, unlike any other.” Joining Belsky are comedy duo Kate Berlant and John Early; Transparent’s Sabrina Jalees; 2 Dope Queens creator, Phoebe Robinson; comedian Marcella Arguello; “Clench & Release” creator Charla Lauriston; and Blair Socci from MTV’s Ladylike. Tickets: $5 in advance, $10 at the door.

RULE-BREAKER BABES & ROCK SCRIBES BOOK BASH (Book release + readings + music)
La Luz de Jesus Gallery presents Rule-Breaker Babes & Rock Scribes Book Bash—a book release party with signing and performances on Friday from 7-10 pm. Readings by Vicky Hamilton for her book Appetite for Destruction, and Lina Lecaro, Heidi Richman and Michele Raphael reading from Never Mind the Rules by Susan Hyatt and Lecaro. Live acoustic music sets by Beck Black and Ruby Friedman.


Building Bridges Art Foundation (in Bergamot Station in SaMo) presents Melanie Pullen: A History of Violence, a solo show of select artwork by Pullen. The exhibition features select pieces from the artist’s photographic series spanning nearly two decades. Curator Marisa Caichiolo says that the works are “at the crossroads of beauty, fashion and violence” and examine the ways entertainment and the media have lessened the impact of violence, trauma and social conflict. The show opens on Saturday from 12-6:30 pm, and the works will remain on view through May 17.

COMEDY SUCKS (Variety show)
The underground variety show Comedy Sucks, hosted by Scott Blacks, combines VHS Found footage and comedy at 7 pm on Saturday night. “Comedy Sucks” challenges each of the performers in the lineup to prove the show's own title wrong. Comedians on the bill are: Mike Diva, Beth Stelling, Brandie Posey, Ify Nwadiwe, and Alex & Jude. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

Record Store Day—the day set aside to celebrate records, musicians and record stores—is 10 years old this year. So on Saturday, head to one of the participating stores and pick up any number of special releases, including the tribute album Like A Drunk In A Midnight Choir - Record Store Day Celebrates the Music of Leonard Cohen (one of Record Store Day’s first actual label releases).

MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM (Art + ice cream)
The Museum of Ice Cream finally opens its L.A. location this weekend complete with the sprinkle pool (with 100 million sprinkles), a banana split with 10,000 bananas, a mint grow house and so more. Throughout its residency (April 22 to May 29), the museum showcases one “scoop of the week” from ice creameries in California, including McConnell's, Salt & Straw, Coolhaus x Cuisinart and CREAM. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they’re not sold at the door. Adult: (ages 13+) $29; children ages 3-12 and seniors 60+ are $18. Two ice creams are included with the ticket prices.

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Calling all “paid protesters”: The March for Science takes place on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Gather in Pershing Square. Organizers hope that this will be the largest satellite march around the country on Saturday, second only to the main march in Washington, D.C. March to emphasize the importance and need for science and proven facts in creating public policy. #Resist.

HAIRSPRAY LIVE! (TV art and screening)
The Paley Center for Media opens the exhibition, You Can’t Stop the Beat: The Art & Artistry of Hairspray Live!, on Saturday in Beverly Hills. The exhibit takes a closer look at the NBC and Universal Television musical event Hairspray Live!, based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway production. It includes costumes by Mary E. Vogt, for stars including Harvey Fierstein, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Derek Hough, Ariana Grande, Garrett Clayton and Maddie Baillio. Also on view are actual set pieces and props from production designer Derek McLane, on-set photography and video segments. In addition, through the exhibit’s run (closing on May 21), the Paley Center screens Hairspray Live! on the big screen in the John H. Mitchell Theater every Sunday at 2 pm. Admission to the exhibit and screenings is free.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books returns to the USC campus on Saturday and Sunday for a weekend of readings, panels, music, comedy, film, art and food. There are so many great authors and artists coming, but check out our earlier post of the 10 Most Exciting Panels at the Festival. Free admission, but festival passes (which allows access to ticketed events): $35; advance conversation tickets for $1 each or free stand-by on day of event.

Angel City Brewery and St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles (SVdPLA) team up for a fun Earth Day activation on Saturday from 12-6 pm. Bring gently used clothes to the party at Angel City Brewery for the third annual Renew Earth Day celebration to donate to SVdPLA and then shop at the vintage racks and decor pieces onsite. Donors will get raffle tickets for great prizes. Angel City beer, food trucks and live music (from The Howling Faith, The Vignes Rooftop Revival and Silverlake Trio) will be available throughout the day.

KP Projects and Launch LA present a solo art show by Eric Nash at KP Project’s Chinatown location. The film-noir inspired show features all charcoal drawings of Los Angeles. (At first glance, the drawings are so detailed they look like photos.) The show is on view through May 6. The artist reception with Nash is on Saturday night from 7-10 pm. RSVPs to

The Abbey Food & Bar has a new brunch service—a drag queen brunch—that features $15 bottomless mimosas and a drag show on Saturdays at 1 pm. Each week features different queens, such as Mayham Miller, Morgan McMichaels (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Mariah Paris Balenciaga (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Barbie’s Addiction, Calypso Jete and Tia Wanna.


On Sunday from 4-7 pm, celebrate Sunday Funday with unlimited Allagash beverages and bites from Nick + Stef’s in DTLA. Choose from four beers on tap: Allagash White, Allagash Tripel, Allagash Hoppy Table Beer and Allagash Black. Tickets: 55 per person for unlimited Allagash beverages and appetizers; $25 per person for one Allagash beer and unlimited appetizers. Prices include tax and gratuity. Must be 21+ years of age to attend.

COLA 20 (Art)
The city of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs’ (DCA) and LAMAG (Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery), which is one of the country’s last municipal galleries, presents the group COLA 20 exhibition. The show celebrates the first 20 years of the city of Los Angeles’ (COLA) Individual Artist Fellowship Program and its 271 visual, performing and literary artists / artist-duo recipients. View works by Michael Brewster, Wanda Coleman, James Doolin, Ron George, Tony Gleaton, Arthur Jarvinen, Larry Karush, Willie Robert Middlebrook Jr., Rachel Rosenthal, Michael White and Norman Yonemoto. The opening reception is on Sunday from 2-5 pm. The exhibition will remain on view through July 2.

UCB presents the show, Enthusiastic Consent: A Comedy Show To Stop Perverts, on Sunday at 9 pm to raise the profile of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The show features Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Chris Redd (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping), Eliza Skinner (writer on The Late Late Show with James Corden), Beth Stelling (Red Oaks, writer on Crashing) and Jenny Yang (Disoriented Comedy), among others. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the nonprofit Callisto, which that creates technology to combat sexual assault and empower survivors. Tickets: $25.

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

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