Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

The Best Live Events This Labor Day Weekend: Sept. 4 - 7

The Music Center's Digital Dance DTLA series closes this week with a samba lesson from Fransini Giraldo, pictured here at last year's event. (Javier Guillen)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

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.

Celebrate the end of summer (what?) with drive-in movies (Cars, Back to the Future, The New Mutants), a Scarypoolparty concert and virtual Burning Man events. Don a hat or fascinator and sip a mint julep for the Kentucky Derby. Honor the Alex Theatre on its 95th birthday. Cheer on margarita-makers who go glass-to-glass in a friendly competition. Take part in a month long Coastal Cleanup.

Support for LAist comes from

Friday, Sept. 4; 7 p.m.

Digital Dance DTLA: Samba
The Music Center's virtual summer dance series wraps this week with the samba, taught by Fransini Giraldo, a dancer, kinesiologist and nurse who studied and performed samba and folk dances throughout her life in her native Colombia.

Any Day Now

Corpse Flower
Better known as a corpse flower, an amorphophallus titanum is getting ready to bloom at the Huntington. Although its galleries are closed and it lacks Smell-O-Vision, the Huntington's livestream is available 24-7.

Support for LAist comes from
Scarypoolparty (aka Alejandro Aranda) performs live at an OC drive-in experience. (Nicole Busch)

Friday, Sept. 4; 7 p.m.

Drive-In OC at City National Grove of Anaheim
2200 East Katella Ave., Anaheim
Pomona native Scarypoolparty amassed 10 million streams on his debut album, Exit Form. Now, the musician and producer brings his talents to the drive-in. One ticket per vehicle; each passenger must have a seatbelt. Safety protocols will be enforced.
COST: $150 - $250; MORE INFO

Saturday, Sept. 5 - Sunday, Sept. 27

The Art of Facing Fear
Written by Ivam Cabral and Rodolfo García Vázquez, this one-hour virtual play is inspired by the current worldwide pandemic and takes place in a dystopian future where people are struggling through a 5,555-day quarantine. The play has debuted in 10 countries adding international theater artists with each virtual run. The U.S. edition of the play, which is co-produced by L.A.'s Company of Angels, takes place on Saturdays at 5 p.m. PDT and 3 p.m. PDT on Sundays. The Zoom link will be emailed one hour prior to each show.
COST: $2 - $50; MORE INFO

Support for LAist comes from
A discarded face mask is pictured on the beach in Long Beach, California on August 22, 2020. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

Saturday, Sept. 5 - Saturday, Sept. 26

Coastal Cleanup Month
Heal the Bay's Coastal Cleanup Day turns into Coastal Cleanup Month during this time of social distancing. There are decentralized cleanups throughout the month and weekly programming that includes conversations, panels and live Instagram chats. Organize the people in your pandemic bubble to clean up your street, park or local shoreline.

The Alex Theater, on December 21, 2018 in Glendale, Los Angeles, California. (James Bernal for KPCC) (James Bernal)

Saturday, Sept. 5; 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. PDT

Alex Theatre's 95th Birthday
The Glendale theater celebrates its birthday with a 12-hour virtual event that reflects on stories, interviews and performances over the last nine decades. The virtual benefit will be broadcast through multiple channels. If you make a donation of $250 or more, you can be part of the pop-up audience as a photo cutout during the broadcast.
COST: FREE, but donations accepted; MORE INFO

Support for LAist comes from

Saturday, Sept. 5; 6:30 p.m.

L.A. Times Dinner Series
The L.A. Times' new dinner series brings curated menus and online gatherings to Angelenos at home. The series kicks off on Saturday with a collaboration dinner between chefs Jon Yao of Kato and Mei Lin of Nightshade. They'll design a dinner that brings the Taiwanese and Chinese influences of their respective restaurants together for a one-time-only takeout meal. To accompany the meal, there's a discussion planned between dinner guests and chefs via video chat, hosted by Lucas Kwan Peterson of the paper's food section.

Saturday Sept. 5; 8 p.m. PDT

Back to the Future: Drive-In Cinema
Gardena Cinema
14948 Crenshaw Blvd., Gardena
Pack the fam into the Delorean and set the flux capacitor for the Los Angeles Arts Society. Its latest offering is a pop-up drive-in screening Back to the Future. Cinematographer Dean Cundey joins for a live Q&A and intro before the movie.
COST: $25 per vehicle; MORE INFO

HomeState hosts its second annual Margarita Showdown (virtually) on Saturday, Sept. 5. (HomeState)

Saturday, Sept. 5; 2 p.m. PDT

Margarita Showdown
HomeState's second annual boozy showdown goes virtual for a good cause. Livestreamed on, the competition is hosted by comedian Cristela Alonzo and features musical performances by Spoon, Chicano Batman, Questlove, Local Natives and Fred Armisen intercut with margarita-makers sharing their drinks and stories. Attendees can watch from the comfort of their homes while they sip and vote for their favorite cocktails. Competitors include El Carmen, El Compadre, El Condor, Gold Line, Gracias Madre, HomeState, Las Perlas and Petty Cash. Attendees who would like to participate in the drinking and voting can pre-order a margarita flight package and pick them up at HomeState in Highland Park on Saturday (ID required). All proceeds from ticket sales will go to No Us Without You! and Watts Empowerment Center.

View of cocktails during the Garden & Gun Mint Julep Month Kick Off Brunch. (Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Garden & Gun)

Saturday, Sept. 5; 11 a.m. PDT

Kentucky Derby
Women Who Whiskey Los Angeles throws a virtual party to celebrate the Derby aka "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports!" Grab a bourbon, mint julep and a fancy hat and join in the conversation. All (21+) are welcome.

Saturday, Sept. 5; 4:30 p.m. PDT

Cars at the Drive-In
Rose Bowl Stadium
1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena
Bring the family for a meta movie experience: a screening of Cars from your cars for a fun, safe and socially distanced drive-in experience.
COST: $35 per car; MORE INFO

(Jacob Stone/Unsplash)

Sunday, Sept. 6

Texas Chainsaw BBQ
Dirk's Terror Tavern
13730 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks
The pub celebrates 1974 film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Texas-style BBQ ribs, brisket, pickle-brined chicken thighs and all the sides. For a $10 add-on, get all-you-can-drink Bluebird Brasserie beer.
COST: $35 per person; MORE INFO

Learn how make summer pies, including a s'mores pie, virtually from the Gourmandise School. (The Gourmandise School)

Sunday, Sept. 6

Labor Day Pie Classes
The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories in Santa Monica hosts two virtual pie baking classes on Labor Day. Learn the art of hand-making a flaky, all-butter pie crust with a rich blueberry filling in the Blueberry Pie class (10 a.m.). Take a stab at creating a key lime filling and a gooey s'mores filling in graham cracker crusts in the S'mores and Key Lime Pies (1:30 p.m.). The classes are taught by pastry chef Clemence Gosset. Upon registration, each participant receives a shopping list and Zoom ID number to prep for online baking.
COST: Tickets start at $55; MORE INFO

Sunday, Sept. 6; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Melrose Trading Post
Fairfax High School
7850 Melrose Ave., Fairfax
The open-air market with arts, crafts, vintage goods, fashion, antique furniture and collectibles recently reopened after a COVID-19 closure. New safety protocols are in place, including limiting the number of shoppers and requiring them to wear face coverings. If tickets are sold out online, a limited number of cash tickets will be sold at the entrance.

Feel the burn virtually this year as Multiverse teams with Burning Man for an online edition. (Courtesy of IRL Social Calendar)

Through Sunday, Sept. 6

Burning Man Multiverse
Are you a burner missing Black Rock City? Burning Man has teamed with Multiverse to create a virtual festival. Participants appear as 3D avatars that can interact with each other, simulating a festival with music, workshops and live events.

Through Sunday, Sept. 13; 6 p.m. PDT

The New Mutants
Rose Bowl Stadium
1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena
Catch the horror thriller in which a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring.
COST: $35 per car; MORE INFO

Lauren Lapkus attends the L.A. premiere of Netflix's "Between Two Ferns: The Movie" at ArcLight Hollywood on September 16, 2019 in Hollywood. (David Livingston/Getty Images)

Monday, Sept. 7; 5 p.m. PDT

Lauren Lapkus and Paul F. Tompkins: September Babies
Comics Lapkus and Tompkins perform a two-person improv set. Ticket holders will have access to the livestream for a week after the show. Link will be sent with an Eventbrite confirmation email.
COST: $5 - $10; MORE INFO

The Craft in America center has two virtual exhibitions on cups, examining the legacy of Leach Pottery. (Courtesy of Craft in America)

Through Saturday Jan. 2, 2021

Here/Now and A Humble Legacy
Craft in America presents two virtual exhibitions that focus on cups, honoring the centennial of the founding of Leach Pottery and the impact of Bernard Leach on studio ceramics. Here/Now: Contemporary Narrative and Form in the Yunomi is a ceramic cup invitational, which features a small group of ceramic artists who were asked to construct a series of yunomi (a Japanese teacup). A Humble Legacy is an exhibition of historic and contemporary cups crafted by artists affiliated with Leach Pottery and others who continue in its legacy.

Labor Day Grill Kits from Venice's American Beauty includes steaks or burgers and sides like stuffed hash browns. (Courtesy of American Beauty)

Dine & Drink Deals

Who doesn't miss going out to eat or stopping by a bar for a drink? Here are a few options from restaurants and bars as we work our way back toward normal.

  • Hot Dog on a Stick teams with Santa Monica Brew Works to release 310 Stomped Shandy, a beach-brewed, hard lemonade shandy. The release combines the hot dog chain's famous hand-stomped lemonade and the brewery's 310 California Blonde Ale. The shandy will be available for purchase at Santa Monica Brew Works' tasting room (1920 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica) beginning Saturday, Sept. 5. The HDOS food truck will be onsite selling hot dogs and other snacks on Sep. 5 and Sep. 11 - 13.
  • Holy Cow BBQ (located Santa Monica, Culver City and West Los Angeles) launches a new concept, Rooster's Chicken House, specializing in fried chicken, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, sandwiches, salads, sides, biscuits and desserts. The chicken items are currently available at all Holy Cow locations. To celebrate National Chicken Month, each Monday in September Rooster's will offer a different promotion for the first 50 orders. On Monday, they're offering a half-dozen nuggets with a side and a biscuit for $9.
  • It's National Cheese Pizza Day on Saturday, Sep. 5. For one day only, guests who visit or order from Patxi's Pizza (downtown L.A. and Porter Ranch) can enjoy a cheese pizza for $5 (10") or $10 (14") when they purchase any full-sized pizza. The offer can be redeemed for dine-in, takeout, phone order or online with the promo code "CHEESE."
  • Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, with locations in Orange and Tustin, celebrates International Bacon Day on Saturday, Sep. 5, with three bacon-centric specials: Bacon It Easy (bacon bloody mary), a habañero pork belly grilled cheese benny and Graceland Pancakes. In honor of the holiday, the restaurant will donate $20,000 to Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign to provide 200,000 meals for children in need across the country.
  • American Beauty in Venice offers Labor Day Grill Kits. Choose from the à la carte menu that includes a 15-day dry aged Flannery ribeye or a Creekstone filet, stuffed hash browns, corn on the cob or from two meal packages ($65 - $85).
  • Chef Evan Funke's homage to the Roman pizzeria, Fingers Crossed, recently opened in Hollywood (6417 Selma Ave.) on Dream Alley (adjacent to the Dream Hotel). The six-month residency is a joint venture between Funke and Relevant Hospitality. Al fresco dining is available at the pizzeria.