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Our Favorite Online And IRL Events This Week: July 13 - 16

Pacific Opera Project holds a watch party for its bilingual production of 'Madama Butterfly.' (Martha Benedict)
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Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on schools, stores, businesses and events. With in-person concerts, talks, comedy shows, food festivals and other gatherings cancelled, we have turned our events column into a "nonevents" column. It will remain this way as long as social distancing and stay-at-home orders are in effect.

During this difficult time, please consider contributing to your local arts organizations or to individual artists and performers.

Between The Moth, Homeward Live, Literary Death Match and KPCC's own Unheard L.A., virtual literary events rule the week. The Pacific Opera Project holds a Madama Butterfly watch party. And Tamales Elena opens a brick-and-mortar location.

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Roxane Gay talks at Playboy Playhouse on May 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (John Sciulli/Getty Images for Playboy Playhouse)

Tuesday, July 14; 7 p.m.

Literary Death Match
The literary competition makes its online debut, pitting four authors who duel it out with words in front of a panel of judges. Listen to readings of five minutes (or shorter) by authors Roxane Gay, Rebecca Traister, Kimberly Jones and Andre Perry. The judges -- including comedian Aparna Nancherla and actor Gabby Sidibe -- will also comment on the readings.
COST: FREE, but RSVP required; MORE INFO

Tuesday, July 14; 5 - 6:30 p.m.

Sunstorm Podcast at CAAM: A Moment of Sanctuary
The California African American Museum presents a live recording of the Sunstorm podcast, hosted by Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo. During the episode, they'll talk with guests, friends and "sheroes" about how women can stay powerful and joyful in today's chaotic world. The event is being held in conjunction with Sanctuary: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection and features exhibiting artist Sadie Barnette.

Hauser & Wirth opens Paul McCarthy's solo show, "A&E Drawing Session, Santa Anita," at (c) Paul McCarthy, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth)

Tuesday, July 14 and Saturday, July 18

Paul McCarthy Exhibitions
Hauser & Wirth presents an online exhibition of new works by McCarthy, which coincides with a show of historical works in Gstaad, Switzerland. A&E Drawing Session, Santa Anita is a new series of large scale drawings from McCarthy's latest multidisciplinary project, A&E. On Saturday, Alpine Stories and other Dystopias opens at Tarmak 22 in Gstaad with a selection of the artist's drawings, photographs, sculptures and video work from Heidi, White Snow, Caribbean Pirates and PROPO.

Tuesday, July 14; 11 a.m. - noon EDT

Well Beings Virtual National Town Hall
Washington, D.C.-based public radio station WETA teams up with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to launch a campaign addressing the health needs of Americans, beginning with the Youth Mental Health Project. The kickoff features a panel discussion on mental health and remarks from Kid Cudi, Jewel, Bill Pullman, Billy Porter, Ariel Winter and LeVar Burton.

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Wednesday, July 15; 8:30 p.m.

Black Panther
Paramount Drive-In Theatres
7770 Rosecrans Ave., Paramount
Michael B. Jordan curates a slate of films this summer for a free drive-in movie series from Amazon Studios and Prime Video. This week's selection stars Jordan as Killmonger in the Marvel superhero flick. All attendees will receive refreshments provided by Black- and Brown-owned businesses, including Path Water, Pipcorn Popcorn and Partake Cookies. COVID guidelines are in effect.
COST: FREE, but RSVP required; MORE INFO

Wednesday, July 15; 5 p.m.

Pacific Opera Project Live Watch Party
Join other opera fans for a broadcast of POP's bilingual, true-to-story production of Madama Butterfly. The evening includes interviews with the artistic directors, thematic drink recipes and Japanese restaurant recommendations from the cast. Throughout the stream, POP will highlight organizations that are fighting COVID-related racism against Japanese Americans. Watch on Facebook or YouTube.

The "Homeward" reading series presents five actors telling the true stories of people who've experienced homelessness. (Homeward LA)

Thursdays, July 16 - Aug. 13; 6 p.m.

Homeward Live
Since 2018, Homeward L.A. has organized theater events with actors performing monologues based on the stories of real people who've experienced homelessness. The efforts have raised $180k for the Midnight Mission. For the next five weeks, the project will present virtual live readings, followed by a conversation between the actor and the person who lived the tale. This week, actor Judy Reyes (Claws, Devious Maids, Scrubs) shares Bobbie Jo's story. Streams on Facebook Live.
COST: FREE, but donations accepted; MORE INFO

Thursday, July 16; 4:30 p.m.

The Moth: Virtual Mainstage
The virtual night zooms into living rooms with people telling tales on the theme of "Fight or Flight: Stories of Paths Forward." Hosted by Dame Wilburn, storytellers include Phill Branch, Elan Cadiz and Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton. Music provided by Dayren Santamaria. Arrive (virtually) on time as the event will be locked at 4:45 p.m. PDT.
COST: $15, but RSVP required; MORE INFO

Award-winning poet Lory Bedikian takes part in the Red Hen Press Poetry Hour. (Glenn Zucman)

Thursday, July 16; 6 p.m. PDT

Red Hen Press Poetry Hour
The poetry hour returns to The Broad Stage (virtually) with a slightly different focus. Moderated by actor and writer Sandra Tsing Loh, artists and poets delve into social justice themes connected to the Broad Stage's 2020-21 season. This week's episode, "Finding Truths and Creating Art in Exile," includes Iranian American poet/writer/playwright Sholeh Wolpé, Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, poet and playwright Nathalie Handal and award-winning Armenian poet Lory Bedikian.

Smoke from the Maria Fire billows above Santa Paula, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. (Noah Berger/AP)

Thursday, July 16; 6:30 p.m. PDT

How Can Humans Coexist With Monster Wildfires?
Megafires -- wildfires that burn more than 100,000 acres of land -- have scarred the earth, from the Amazon to Australia and they're becoming more common. Which fire management techniques can address them? How can people plan for them? Hear from historical ecologist Jared Dahl Aldern, CSU Long Beach American Indian Studies professor Theresa Gregor, Fernanda Santos, author of The Fire Line and a professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

KPCC In Person presents "Unheard L.A. - A Deeper Listen (Part 1)" in collaboration with KPCC/LAist's "Race In LA" initiative. (KPCC/LAist)

Thursday, July 16; 6 p.m PDT

Unheard LA - A Deeper Listen (Part 1)
As the nation reckons with systemic racism, KPCC's community-centered storytelling series, Unheard LA, is taking a deeper listen. Bruce Lemon Jr. hosts this virtual event featuring the stories of Candace Nicholas-Lippman, Dante Mitchell and Janae Williams, followed by a live conversation -- all in collaboration with our Race In LA initiative. Dana Amihere, co-editor and developer of Race In LA, will also join in for a live conversation. COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO.

Little Richard performs during the halftime show of the 2004 Liberty Bowl in Memphis. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Thursday, July 16; 4 p.m. PDT

Deconstructing Little Richard
The Museum of Pop Culture's annual Pop Conference (Pop Con) has offered various perspectives (from academics, musicians, critics and fans) to music discourse since its inaugural conference in 2002. The 2020 conference will move online later this year, but organizers present teaser event: a panel discussion on Little Richard, the "originator, emancipator and architect of rock 'n roll," who passed away in May.

Starts Thursday, July 16 and through the summer

Parks After Dark
Select L.A. County Parks
Last week, the LA County Board of Supervisors proclaimed July "Parks Make Life Better" month and introduced a number of activities for kids and families. Offerings include splash pads, swim beaches, overnight camping and fishing, day camps and PAD In Motion, a new event that merges Parks After Dark with an "open streets" concept. The county closes off streets so that families can safely walk, ride or skateboard with physical distancing in place. On July 16, Jesse Owens Regional Park in the Gramercy Park neighborhood and George Washington Carver Park in Willowbrook are open for nighttime play.


Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of L.A.
Volunteers and Natural History Museum scientists have been collecting and photographing samples of L.A.'s diverse insect population since 2012. Part of the BioSCAN (Biodiversity Science: City and Nature) project, the collection also documents environmental changes over time. The online exhibition lets you see the hairy, six-legged bugs up close ... maybe a little too close for those with entomophobia.

Filmmaker John Ridley presents a series of online talks and events through his Milwaukee-based N�? Studios. (Courtnesy of N�? Studios )

Ongoing through August

John Ridley's N�? Studios Events
Ridley, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Wisconsin native, has created a series of events for both his member-driven physical space in Milwaukee and on a digital platform for artists and art lovers. Select events are open to all, while others are exclusive to members ($5 a month). This week, on Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. PDT, Regina King chats with Ridley for a members' event.

Dine & Drink Deals

Who doesn't miss going out to eat? (Outdoors only, of course.) Here are a few options from restaurants and bars as we work our way back toward normal.

  • Maria Elena Lorenzo and her family -- of food truck fame -- open Tamales Elena y Antojitos restaurant on Wednesday in Bell Gardens (8101 Garfield Ave.). Featuring family recipes, Tamales Elena becomes what is being touted as L.A.'s first Afro-Mexican restaurant.
  • Lanea Cocktail & Taco Bar in Santa Monica reopens in time to celebrate its one-year anniversary. Specials include an All Day Taco & Tequila Happy Hour ($2 tacos and $9 canned cocktails), handmade canned or frozen cocktails, limited edition flasks to-go and a selection of meal packs. Take advantage of a new cruise-up takeout option and expanded outdoor dining.
  • The historic Hotel Figueroa in DTLA has reopened its outdoor dining experience, Veranda Al Fresco, serving up Mexico City-inspired fare. The hotel has also launched a new safety precaution -- contactless ordering via the hotel's new app. Veranda is open Wednesdays through Sundays for dine-in and takeout service.
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