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Pencil This In: Skirball Celebrates International Women's Day; Slake After Dark Readings, 'LA Times' Press Tour and a Spidey Musical

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Drew Young's 'Blossom' is one of the works included in the 'Picks of the Harvest 2012' group show at Thinkspace Gallery. The exhibition opened last weekend. (Image courtesy of the gallery.)
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It's International Women's Day, and what better way to celebrate with an evening of music and spoken word from artists from around the world at the Skirball? There's also a Planned Parenthood fundraiser with food; Slake After Dark readings, LA Times press tour and more. Read on for all the details

MUSIC*
It's International Women’s Day, and the Skirball presents a special event to commemorate the day: Persian vocalist Mamak Khadem leads a special ensemble of women artists from Iran, Greece, Bulgaria, and beyond, including Tzvetanka Varimezova (vocals), Sahba Motallebi (tar), Sofia Labropoulou (kanun), Polly Tapia Ferber (percussion), and Iranian American poet Sholeh Wolpé. Tickets: $35; $30 Skirball Members; $25 full-time students. The concert starts at 8 pm, but get there early to view the exhibition Women Hold Up Half the Sky, which will remain open until the start of the concert. Program ticketholders gain free gallery admission.

OLD SCHOOL MEDIA
There are a few spots open for a 1.5 hour tour of the Los Angeles Times’ Olympic Printing Plant tonight. The tour of one of the best-known industrial plants in the city will be led by 34-year veteran Darrell Kunitomi of the Communications department, and includes a mix of history current technology. The tour starts at 7:30 pm and will happen while the presses crank out tomorrow’s edition. Bring a camera. RSVPs required.

FUNDRAISER
Food Fare, the largest fund-raising event of the year for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, continues tonight at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium from 6:30-9:30 pm. More than 150 of the city’s best restaurants, caterers, wineries, florists, vendors and entertainers will be part of the festivities. Despite the misconceptions out there, more than 93 percent of the care Planned Parenthood provides is preventative, including birth control, cancer screenings, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment. Tickets are $225 for tonight's session.

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LIT
Tonight’s Slake after Dark features the experimental fiction of Slake contributor James Greer, who’ll read from a selection of his novels and short stories on the Atwater Crossing stage tonight at 7:30 pm. He’ll also perform with his band Detective in one of his first performances since he was a member of Guided By Voices. Doors at 7 pm with Atwater Crossing Kitchen open to sell dinner and wine. Stories Books installs a pop-up book shop. Free, but RSVPs required.

THEATER
The Spidey Project, an original musical and Broadway parody of the other Spiderman musical, focuses on nerdy Peter Parker as he battles against terrifying villains—and himself. It opens tonight, which is sold out, but it runs through April 14. At Studio Stage on Western Avenue. Tickets: $20 for general admission at the door; $16 online.

MANTRA
The Detox Market in WeHo, specializing in organic and eco-friendly products, hosts a special event tonight from 6-8 pm. It’s a Night of Mantra where guests will come and receive a free Mantra Card Reading from Healer and Artist, Ria Ray.

*Pencil pick of the day

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).