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30 Amazing Things To Do This MLK Weekend: Jan. 17 - 20

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Eat your way through the long weekend as dineL.A. revs up. The American Cinematheque puts a focus on female directors (because the Oscars don't). Listen to opera over drinks and dinner. Learn relief printmaking. Get dressed to the nines for Dapper Day. Mandy Moore and Mac Sabbath both play (separate) shows. And communities celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

More than 400 SoCal restaurants are participating in the 2020 winter edition of dineL.A., featuring prix fixe meals that won't break the bank. (dineL.A.)

dineL.A. Restaurant Week
Various locations

What new year's resolutions? Maybe it's time indulge again during this 15-day event when 400+ restaurants offer prix fixe lunches or dinners. This year features several new vegan/vegetarian dining options including Nic's on Beverly, Gracias Madre and Café Gratitude. Returning are exclusive multi-course dinner-only tasting menus from more than two dozen fine-dining spots such as Providence, Kali and Maude.
COST: $15 - $99+; MORE INFO

Heidi Schreck's play, 'What the Constitution Means to Me,' opens at the Mark Taper Forum, running through Feb. 16. (Tess Mayer)
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What the Constitution Means to Me
Mark Taper Forum -- 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
Oliver Butler directs Tony Award nominee Maria Dizzia in Heidi Schreck's Tony Award-nominated and Pulitzer Prize finalist play. Schreck earned her college tuition at 15 by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the country and resurrects her teenage self for this play. The work explores how the U.S. Constitution shapes the next generation of American women.
COST: $25 - $125; MORE INFO

The Death of Orpheus
El Cid -- 4212 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Part of the Eurydice Found festival, this is an immersive operatic experience with dinner and drinks. Stephen Stubbs conducts the L.A. Opera Orchestra in a baroque work by Italian composer Stefano Landi. After Orpheus fails to save Eurydice from the underworld, he renounces wine and women, which offends Bacchus. The god of wine and fertility then directs his female followers, the Maenads, to wreak revenge. Directed by Sara Widzer, the opera is performed in Italian with English supertitles. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and is billed separately.
COST: $25 for the performance, dinner is billed separately; MORE INFO

joyUS justUS Promo Video from Ana Maria Alvarez on Vimeo.

Contra-Tiempo: joyUS justUS
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts -- 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
The L.A.-based Afro-Latin dance company performs an evening-length work set to music by the band Las Cafeteras. The emphasis is on joy and its power to overcome inequalities. The dance company mixes salsa, Afro-Cuban and contemporary dance styles with theater, based on stories collected from South L.A. There's an artist talk-back immediately following the Friday night performance and an audience dance party on both nights.
COST: Tickets start at $29; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, JANUARY 17; 7:30 - 10:30 P.M.
15th Annual Focus on Female Directors
Aero Theatre -- 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
Support the works of female directors so maybe next year, the Oscars will be less male and less white. The annual program celebrates the work of cinema pioneers, documentarians and emerging filmmakers. It includes Catherine Hardwicke's UCLA student film, Puppy Does the Gumbo (1984, 5 min.) as well as the Oscar-nominated Kitbull (9 min.) by Rosana Sullivan. Stick around for a discussion with filmmakers after the screening.
COST: $8 - $12; MORE INFO

Sounds of L.A.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium at The Getty -- 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood
The Getty's annual concert series returns for two concerts by African stringed-instrument group 3MA. Listen to sounds of the kora, oud and valiha by a trio of musicians who hail from Mali, Morocco and Madagascar. A separate reservation is required for each concert.
COST: FREE, but parking is $10 - $15; MORE INFO

Members of a family are busy making banh chung in the courtyard of their house in Chanh Khuc village in suburban Hanoi, February 7, 2002. (Photo by HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

Banh Chung Collective's Lunar New Year
Alma Backyard Farms -- 804 E. Compton Blvd., Rancho Dominguez
Chef Diep Tran returns with her annual celebration of Tet. Aiming to create a new tradition that strengthens connections among women, people of color and queer people, Tran turns the Vietnamese New Year into a fun-filled day of learning as attendees make banh chung, a sticky rice dumpling that's filled with pork, shallots and mung beans, and wrapped in banana leaves. Each guest gets to takes home their finished banh chung to share with family or friends. This year, the chef takes her collective on tour with stops in New York, San Francisco and Dallas.
COST: $40 - $90; MORE INFO

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Cirque du Soleil's latest show, 'Volta,' opens under the big top at Dodgers Stadium, with a focus on urban sports and BMX bikes. (Matt Beard)

Dodger Stadium -- 1000 Vin Scully Ave., Elysian Park
Watch Cirque du Soleil's latest show (it's 41st) under the big top. Drawing inspiration from urban street sports, acrobatics and BMX, it features a full bike park mounted on stage for the jaw-dropping BMX finale. The acrobatics are set to a score composed by M83's Anthony Gonzalez. After the show ends its L.A. run, it travels to the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa from March 18 to April 19.
COST: Tickets start at $49; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, JANUARY 18; 11 A.M. - 3 P.M.
Relief Printmaking Workshop
Self Help Graphics & Art -- 1300 E. 1st. St., Boyle Heights
Take this intro workshop in relief printmaking and learn how to create, carve and print with E-Z cut printing blocks. Participants (ages 12+) are asked to bring a 5x7 image to carve. This hand-carved block can be used for future projects. Minors must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the workshop.

Mac Sabbath
Echoplex -- 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park
Listen to the purveyors of drive-thru metal: a Black Sabbath cover band with a fast-food twist. Be thoroughly entertained by the music and antics of Ronald Osbourne, Grimalice, Slayer MacCheeze and Catburglar. Also on the bill: Fartbarf, The Binges. This show is 18+.
COST: $20 - $23; MORE INFO

Mohawk Bend -- 2141 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
For the third year, the brewpub celebrates the LA River, tapping 20+ local beers, as well as others from Kern River Brewing, Russian River Brewing and Dry River Brewery. Proceeds from the event are going to Friends of the LA River. FOLAR reps will be on hand to discuss urban river revitalization. A river-themed playlist is being prepped for the fest.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 18; 12:30 - 2:30 P.M.
Photograms: Making Art with the Sun
Norton Simon Museum -- 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
The museum holds a Young Artist Workshop with photographer Virginia Wilcox. She'll lead an exploration of images from the exhibition Beyond the World We Know: Abstraction in Photography and talk about the basics of working with light-sensitive materials. Attendees will then make abstract photograms by placing objects on light-sensitive paper and exposing them to the sun. The program is recommended for families with children ages 8 - 12.
COST: FREE, but advanced registration is required; MORE INFO

Lea 'Big Boo' Delaria shows off her theater and music chops, performing jazz at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. ( Tina Turnbow)

Lea DeLaria
The Theatre at Ace Hotel -- 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Hear Orange Is the New Black'sBig Boo croon, scat and swing her way through a variety of jazz tunes including some from her latest album, House of David: delaria + bowie = jazz. Way before OITNB hit Netflix, DeLaria already had a long career in music, comedy and theater.
COST: Tickets start at $28; MORE INFO

Annual Martin Luther King Holiday Concert
SGI Auditorium -- 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
The Santa Monica Symphony celebrates the life and legacy of MLK, performing music of African American composers Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and William Grant Still as well as Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" narrated by KUSC's Rich Capparela. The concert includes the traditional audience sing-along of "We Shall Overcome," the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.
COST: FREE, open seating; MORE INFO

Silver Landings: A Weekly Residency with Mandy Moore and Friends
Bootleg Theater -- 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake
The This is Us star toggles back to her music career this weekend and for three more Saturdays (Jan. 25, Feb. 1, Feb. 8). Tickets will not be sold in advance. They're only available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. Ages 21+.

Time to get gussied up: Dapper Day teams with LACMA for a Swinging Soirée, featuring art, music, fashion and dancing. (Taken at LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, by on Jan. 26, 2019)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 18; 7:30 - 11 P.M.
Dapper Day + LACMA Swinging Soirée
Los Angeles County Museum of Art -- 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire
Calling all dandies: The museum partners with Dapper Day for an after-hours party in the galleries. Guests can check out current exhibitions including Betye Saar: Call and Response, Do Ho Suh: 348 West 22nd Street and the recently opened Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific. There's also cash bars and dancing to music spun by DJ Watson. The Swinging Soirée Plus ticket includes all-day museum admission, expedited party entry, access to a bar and lounge area and a complimentary glass of champagne. Free tickets are now sold out but there will be a standby line. A few Soirée Plus tickets remain.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 18; 8:30 - 10:30 P.M.
Steve Nieve Plays Elvis Costello with Special Guest Ajug
Largo at the Coronet -- 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove
The renowned piano player, singer, composer and longtime member of Costello's band plays a show with singer Ajug and musician Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers. The show features works from Nieve's solo records and stripped down takes on Costello's classics.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19; 8:45 A.M. - 1 P.M.
LA4Corners East Leg
Debs Park -- 3603 Boundary Ave., Montecito Heights
Victoria Bernal, founder of @LAHistory, leads the Los Angeles Walks program that combines a walking tour with a history lesson about the people and cultures along the route. Tread down the city's 6.5-mile eastern border. The walk does not loop back to the starting point at the park. It ends at Olympic Blvd. and Indiana St near Jim's Burgers (3900 E. Olympic). Take a ride share or catch a bus (66/62 to 252/256) to get back to the starting point.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19; 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
The Ladies of Knots Landing
The Hollywood Museum -- 1660 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
A precursor to Desperate Housewives and The Real Housewives, Knots Landing -- a spinoff of Dallas -- was one of the classic nighttime TV soap operas. Airing from 1979 to 1993, it was set in a fictitious coastal suburb of L.A. and focused on four married couples living on the Seaview Circle cul-de-sac. The museum celebrates Knots' 40th anniversary with an exhibition featuring costumes worn by its three leading female actors: Joan Van Ark, Michele Lee and Donna Mills.
COST: $5 - $15; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19; 5 - 7 P.M.
A Nod to Mod
Neutra Institute Gallery & Museum -- 2379 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake
The gallery, which was the former office of father and son architects Richard and Dion Neutra, showcases the work of 12 photographers. These artists have who captured mid-century modern architecture and design. Dion Neutra passed away on November 24, 2019.

The artwork for Buster Keaton's 1924 film, 'Sherlock Jr.,' which screens at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. (Courtesy of the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19; 2:30 - 4 P.M.
Silent Sundays Series: Cops & Sherlock, Jr.
San Gabriel Mission Playhouse -- 320 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel
Watch two Buster Keaton silent classics with live accompaniment on the theater's 1924 Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. The afternoon begins with the 1922 two-reel short Cops, followed by 1924's Sherlock, Jr. Keaton starred in and directed both films.
COST: $10 - $12; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19; 5 - 6 P.M.
2020 Southern California Slack Key Festival and Island Marketplace
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center -- 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach
Dive into all things Hawaiian at a music fest and marketplace. Listen to performances from slack key guitarists, watch hula dancers and check out other performances. While the mainstage music concert at 2 p.m. requires tickets, the marketplace is free to the public.
COST: FREE admission for marketplace, $20 - $55, $135 (VIP) for concert; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19; 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
Pasadena Comic Convention and Toy Show
Pasadena Convention Center -- 300 E. Green St., Pasadena
Test out your new ComicCon wardrobe at a one-day comic book, toy and pop culture event with more than 75 comic book artists, vendors, panel discussion and cosplay. VIP tickets get you in an hour earlier, at 9 a.m.
COST: $10 - $18; MORE INFO

Amanda Gorman, the first-ever US National Youth Poet Laureate, serves as the keynote speaker for an MLK celebration in Santa Monica. (Anna Zhang)

MONDAY, JANUARY 20; 9 - 10:30 A.M.
35th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
SGI-USA World Peace Ikeda Auditorium -- 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Amanda Gorman -- named the first-ever U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017 -- serves as keynote speaker for the MLK birthday celebration, presented by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition. The multiethnic, interfaith program will include readings, speakers, music, dance and an awards program. A Community Involvement Fair immediately follows from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the nearby Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica).

The Centennial High School Marching Band at the Kingdom Day Parade on January 21st, 2019. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

MONDAY, JANUARY 20; 10 A.M. - 1 P.M.
35th Annual Kingdom Day Parade
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Crenshaw Blvd., South Los Angeles
With the theme, "Equality For All Humanity, Our Next Step," the 35th annual event celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with one of the largest MLK Day parades in the country. Starting on MLK Blvd. and Leimert Blvd., the parade moves westward then turns down Crenshaw with a full complement of bands, floats and community organizations. The parade festivities will be televised on ABC-7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

MONDAY, JANUARY 20; 10 A.M. - 1 P.M.
8th Annual MLK Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast
Big Sunday -- 6111 Melrose Ave., Hollywood
Here's a way to put Dr. King's social justice into action. The community nonprofit collects clothing for people who need it. Bring new and gently used items for men, women and children of all ages and sizes, from warm coats to athletic wear. Stick around for arts and crafts, entertainment from the Blue Breeze Band and breakfast. All ages are welcome to participate.

MONDAY, JANUARY 20; 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
2020 MLK Day Celebration
California African American Museum -- 600 State Dr., Exposition Park
The museum not only celebrates the life and work of the civil rights activist but also the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting. The family-friendly activities include art workshops, exhibitions, food, recitations of King's speeches and a musical tribute to MLK by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.

MONDAY, JANUARY 20; 8:30 A.M. - 1 P.M.
19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast & Tribute
Double Tree Hilton Ontario Airport -- 222 N. Vineyard Ave., Ontario
The event celebrates MLK's legacy by recognizing community members and provides a day filled with gospel, poetry, keynote speakers, special vendors, networking and breakfast.
COST: Tickets start at $38; MORE INFO

MONDAY, JANUARY 20; 11 A.M. - 5 P.M.
2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Festival in South LA
Historic Leimert Park Village Plaza -- 4337 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park
This event merges music, art and activism in memory of MLK. The community fair features info on organizing for the 2020 U.S. Census, job training and issues impacting communities of color.

The Grammy Museum opens a retrospective of the late Amy Winehouse in advance of Grammy week with a public launch party on Jan. 20. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

MONDAY, JANUARY 20; 6 - 9 P.M.
Beyond Black -- The Style Of Amy Winehouse
GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live -- 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A.

To launch Grammy week festivities, the museum holds a launch party for a retrospective exhibition of Winehouse's career. Though she released only two studio albums before she died at age 27, Winehouse left an indelible mark on music, fashion and pop culture. The exhibit features several of Winehouse's outfits, handwritten lyrics, journal entries and home videos. DJ GVRL spins Amy-inspired music all night at the party and a cash bar will be available. The exhibition closes on April 13.
COST: FREE admission to launch party; MORE INFO

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