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Arts and Entertainment

Pencil This In: Effed Up Family Stories, Persian Art and Poetry, Art Opening in Chinatown and a Robert Crais Reading

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Here's what we found happening in LA tonight—not too shabby for a Tuesday: Family Hour with Auntie Sara is a variety show dedicated to f-ed up stories about family; Persian poetry and music; a video and sound installation opens at Human Resources; an art talk on Streamline Moderne design; and author Robert Crais reads and signs his latest thriller.

Nerdmelt presents Family Hour with Auntie Sara, a variety show presented by Sara Benincasa and Sam Varela, where comedians and regular people are going to reveal “true, dark, effed-up secrets about their families.” Sounds like we might need to pop a Xanax to prepare for the show. On tonight’s program are: Jake Weisman; Stephen Falk; Eliza Skinner; and Jake Fogelnest. Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

The Hammer Museum presents the music and poetry program Ecstasy and the Persian Spirittonight at 7:30 pm. Held in conjunction with the exhibition, Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, the evening features poets Majid Naficy, Bernard Radfar and Niloufar Talebi reading from contemporary and classical poems in both Persian and in Aramaic, with English translations. Traditional Persian music will be performed by Sahba Motallebi, Mehdi Bagheri and Bobak Salehi. A traditional Persian tea will follow the program. Free.

There’s an opening reception tonight from 7-10 pm at Human Resources in Chinatown tonight for the interactive sound and video installation, Viva Voce, by artists Katharina Rosenberger and Heiko Kalmbach. Viva Voce explores oral traditions and vocal performance in art. The installation also allows visitors to “play and and re-compose performance and documentary sequences of vocalists—Juliana Snapper, Shelley Hirsch, and Pamela Z—by interacting with a 3D sculpture on an iPad.”

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The Petersen Automotive Museum presents the gallery talk, Streamline Moderne: From Science to Art tonight at 7:30 pm at the 2nd Floor Concours Gallery. John Thomas, president of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, discusses the 1930s its burgeoning idea of “streamlining” and how the Streamline Moderne design reached way beyond the realm of the automobile. Reservations recommended: Call 323-964-6347 or email The Petersen closes at 6 pm, but doors will reopen at 7 pm for the talk. Free to members, $12 adults, $8 seniors, $5 students, $3 children 5-12 years, active military and children under 5 free).

Vroman’s Bookstore hosts author Robert Crais, who signs and discusses his latest crime thriller Suspect. LAPD cop Scott James is recovering from the death of his partner and his own injuries from the same assault. He gets a new partner, a German Shepherd, who served in Iraq and is also suffering from PTSD. The highly questionable duo set out to investigate the murder of his old partner. 7 pm.

*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).