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Awesome Online And IRL Events This Weekend: May 15 - 17

The L.A. Zoo's annual Beastly Ball is its single-biggest fundraiser. It moves online this year. (L.A. Zoo)
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The COVID-19 virus is wreaking havoc on schools, stores, businesses, bars and restaurants -- and events. As in-person concerts, talks and big gatherings are cancelled and people spend more time at home, LAist is temporarily switching our events column to a "nonevents" column to help us through this time of social distancing.

Until it's safe to go out again, please consider contributing to your local arts organizations, or to individual artists during this difficult time.

The Renegade Craft fair returns to a virtual venue. Atlas Obscura brings tours to armchair adventurers. The Orphan Black cast reunites for a fundraiser. And there are free storytelling hours from various writers and a drag queen.

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Friday, May 15; 5:45 p.m.

Virtual Beastly Ball
This year, the L.A. Zoo's biggest fundraiser takes place online on Endangered Species Day. Hosted by Joel McHale, the live event features animal spotlights, an auction, conservation stories and visits from special guests Lisa Ling, Carolyn Hennesy, Julie Chang, Lance Bass and Slash. The program, which will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube, raises funds to support the Zoo's animal care and conservation efforts.

Friday, May 15; 3 - 5 p.m. - Saturday, May 16; 10 a.m. - noon

Renegade Craft Virtual Fair
The artisanal makers fair pivots to an online platform, offering virtual shopping every Friday and Saturday in May. Watch live activations, behind-the-scenes looks at different artists, studio tours, yoga classes, sound baths, webinars and DJ sets.

New French Shorts 2020 is an annual showcase of new French cinematic voices. (Kino Lorber)

Opening Friday, May 15

New French Shorts 2020
The annual showcase highlights new French cinema, from animation to queer romance to absurdist comedy. The shorts include award-winning films from the Cannes, Locarno and the Venice film fests. The showcase is presented by Kino Marquee, an initiative that creates "virtual cinemas" for temporarily closed independent theaters. Tickets benefit the Lumiere Cinema and Laemmle Theatres.

Friday, May 15; 7:30 - 9 p.m.

Storytelling Show
Writing Pad presents a storytelling show with Moth host Corey Rosen and the students in his storytelling class. Hear stories about dating disasters and family dysfunction from the comfort of your couch.

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Saturday, May 16; 12 - 8 p.m.

Drive-Through at The Grove
For the first time in the Grove's 18-year history, cars will be allowed to drive down its Main Street. The Miramar To-Go food truck offers a "Drive-Thru" lunch and dinner experience that features a menu created by chef Massimo Falsini. For every meal sold during this one-day event, the company will donate a meal to the nonprofit Para Los Niños.

Saturday, May 16; 8:30 a.m.

CHLA Walk & Play LA Virtual Event
Children's Hospital Los Angeles' fourth annual Walk & Play L.A. event heads online as Dodgers' third baseman Justin Turner and his wife Kourtney Turner co-host with Ellen K. from KOST 103.5. The event, which will be streamed on Facebook, features a number of performances including a set from Jason Mraz. After the official program ends, registered participants are encouraged to walk around their homes and neighborhoods to raise funds for CHLA.
COST: FREE to register; MORE INFO

Descanso Gardens, 2011. (Matthew Dillon/Flickr Creative Commons)

Saturday, May 16 - ongoing

Descanso Gardens Reopening
Descanso Gardens -- 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge
The gardens and grounds re-open this weekend, but there are new rules to follow. Tickets are limited in order to maintain safe social distancing. All nonmembers must buy tickets online in advance. Face coverings are required of all guests. Tickets are released at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.
COST: $5 - $15; MORE INFO

Barbie Q reads to children during a Drag Queen Story Hour at DragCon LA 2019. (Elina Shatkin/LAist)

Saturday, May 16; 11 a.m. PDT

Drag Queen Story Hour
Tune in for storytime with Yves Saint Croissant on Facebook or Instagram Live. Also, dress up as your favorite storybook character, in royal threads or your PJs and post a photo with the hashtag #spiritofstoryhour to Facebook or Instagram to enter a costume contest. If you are able, consider donating to DQSH performers who are losing income due to the pandemic.

Hear directly from the creators and choreographers of the Malpaso Dance Company. (Eichenbaum)

Sunday, May 17; 2 p.m. PDT

Inside Look: Malpaso Dance Company
The Music Center'sr virtual platform, The Music Center Offstage, presents a program from Cuban troupe Malpaso. Watch a behind-the-scenes exploration of the artistic and cultural connection between Cuban and American artists interspersed with video clips of performances. The program includes an interview with award-winning American choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Sonya Tayeh then concludes with a streamed performance of Tayeh's Face the Torrent.

Sunday, May 17; 3 p.m. PDT

Orphan Black Cast Reunion
Attention Clone Club: The cast from the BBC America show reunites for a table read of episodes 106 and 107. Streamed live on the Orphan Black Facebook page, the event features Tatiana Maslany, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jordan Gavaris, Kristian Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Dylan Bruce, Evelyne Brochu as well as co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett. The event is being held during Mental Health Awareness month and International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Viewers are encouraged to support the charity organizations CenterLink and Sistering.
COST: FREE, donations encouraged; MORE INFO

Sundays in May; 11 a.m.

Amy DiGi's Children's Workshop
Looking for ways to entertain 5-to-8 year olds at home? The Art Students League streams 30-minute art classes live on Facebook. The lessons require mostly household materials although some call for watercolors or tempera paint. This week, it's hands-free painting and printing.

Sundays; 11 a.m. PDT

Actor and comedian Madeline Wager presents a weekly comedic workout on Instagram and Facebook. Her character, Tami, isn't certified or trained but teaches aerobics -- totally '80s style -- anyway.


Wonder From Home
Atlas Obscura is presenting its tours and workshops online. This weekend's offerings include a WPA Posters for the People tour from Philadelphia, Strange Sounds and Unusual Instruments, Trivia Night, Open Fire Cooking and a Beer Pantry pairing workshop.

Idle Hour in North Hollywood recently re-opened for takeout and delivery (William Bradford )

Restaurant / Bar Updates and Deals

Miss eating out or drinking at a bar? Here's what a few local establishments are up to as we start to move toward reopening.

  • Idle Hour, the whisky barrel-shaped bar in North Hollywood, recently reopened for takeout and delivery. Its parent company, the 1933 Group, is offering Dining Bonds to raise funds for staff at all 10 of their venues.
  • Angelini Alimentari offers pints of its signature gelato for $12. (Flavors vary weekly.) Available for curbside pickup and via delivery through Postmates, UberEats, Grubhub, Caviar and Doordash.
  • Los Angeles Found Oyster launches Overboard, a pop-up that includes seafood, market provisions and a take away menu. Orders can be placed via Tock.
  • Madre presents Sip, Savor, Salud, a blind mezcal tasting live on their Instagram on Friday, May 15 at 8 p.m. Buy the tasting kit for $60 with pickup and delivery options available.
  • Vinovore in Silver Lake presents Winesplaining on Sunday, May 17 at 4 p.m. with Zwann from Brooklyn's Olmstead Winery who'll talk with winemaker Tracey Brandt from Donkey and Goat Winery.
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