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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Planner: 20 Of The Coolest Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Here are 20 awesome events happening in L.A. this weekend.


DRILL : LOS ANGELES w/ Wire (Music fest)
This event technically starts Thursday, but it's too good to miss: The English punk band Wire has been presenting a series of “Drill” festivals and this weekend, Drill: Los Angeles takes over the Echo / Echoplex for three days (Thursday to Saturday) to celebrate Wire’s 40 years in the music business. Performers include: Bob Mould (Thursday), Mikal Cronin + string & horn ensemble, Julia Holter, Mild High Club, Wand, Laetitia Sadier, Fitted, Part Time Punks, Howardamb, Once and Future Band, Chasms, Noveller, Slows and The Pinkflag Guitar Orchestra. Three-day passes are a bargain at $46.50. Single-day tickets are also available.

Taking place at UCB Sunset’s Inner Sanctum on the opening night of the much-debated film Ghost in the Shell, is the comedy Scarlett Johansson Presents: Opening Night of Ghost In The Shell. The latter takes on the issue of Hollywood whitewashing in a humorous way. There’s stand-up by Kyle Mizono; sketch by Dione Kuraoka & Kaitlyn Tanimoto; improv by KILOWATT: Keiko Agena, Quincy Cho, Kay Kaanapu, Jiavani Linayao, Chuck Maa, Allyn Pintal, Joy Regullano, Erich Tamola, Ai Yoshihara; improv by VOLTRON: Lilan Bowden, Sarah Claspell, Kim Cooper, Eugene Cordero, Rene Gube, Zac Oyama, Dhruv Uday Singh, Kathy Yamamoto; and a one-time-only presentation of "Ghost In the Shell: The Musical!" by Will Choi, Mike Lane and Tess Paras. 9:30 pm. Free, seats on a first-come, first-served basis.

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After a hiatus, The Last Book Review—a free storytelling, music and comedy night at The Last Bookstore in DTLA—returns on Friday at 8 pm. Hosted by Ever Mainard, the event features storytellers, comics and writers sharing humorous tales, personal essays “and one very witty book review.” The jazz funk band Jackrabbit Jade performs, and the scheduled storytellers/performers are Sam Jay, Teresa Lee, Caitlin Gill, Kathleen DeRose and Jessica Sele. Free, but RSVPs requested.

Tappan Atelier, an experimental art space in DTLA, presents Black Privilege, a new series of works on paper by painter Andru Sisson. The opening reception is from 7-9 pm on Friday night and the exhibition runs through April 14. “Sisson’s work is characterized by dynamic, gestural lines that depict portraits of figures, each piece unique yet consumed by a personal rhythm and visual language. Black Privilege serves as a narrative intermission, signifying a departure from his last body of work presented in his solo exhibition, Ivory Gold Slaves, and his development toward a larger series.”

SELENA (Film sing-a-long)
On Friday night at 11:45 pm, there’s a Sing-A-Long Midnight Screening of the movie Selena, and costume contest at the Vista Theater. The event celebrates the 20th anniversary of the film’s release, but it also serves as a fundraiser for MALDEF - the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. All proceeds will benefit Latino legal civil rights. The date has significance, too, as it’s both Cesar Chavez Day as well as the anniversary of the singer's death. Tickets: $15. Ages 18+.


A Current Affair Vintage Pop-up Marketplace returns to L.A.’s Cooper Design Space on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The show brings together more than 65 vintage retailers and private dealers to showcase clothing, accessories and jewelry. General admission begins at 12 pm with tickets at $12. Preview admission on Saturday at 10 am: $20. Weekend pass: $28.

CAN I KICK IT? (Comedy + Hip Hop)
Can I Kick It? returns to NerdMelt on Saturday at 9 pm. The evening is a cross between Mystery Science Theater meets Biz Markie. Hosted by Tone Bell, Joe DeRosa and a special guest, they’ll review and do live commentary on some choice/fresh videos from from the ‘70s to ‘90s. DJ Josh Spoon spins before the show. Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

420 GAMES (Sports + pot)
The 420 Games return to the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday (North Lot). The event, which tries to change the couch potato stoner image, begins at 9 am with 4.2-mile run from Santa Monica to Venice and back. Several NFL players (Kyle Turley, Eben Britton, Boo Williams and Nate Jackson) will speak about health and wellness. BMX riders and X Games skaters perform for the crowd, and samples from cannabis companies will be handed out to those over 21 (but there’s no smoking or vaping on site). Tickets for the full event are $20, $45, with several other options available.

Atlas Obscura presents A Night on the Battleship—a "sleepover" aboard the USS Iowa starting Saturday at 4 pm to Sunday at 10 am. The Atlas Obscura Society is the only civilian adult group to receive permission for an overnight excursion. There will be tours, mess hall meals and a good night's sleep aboard the Gray Ghost, now permanently moored in San Pedro. Tickets: $125.

Corey Helford Gallery in DTLA opens three art shows on Saturday night: the U.S. debut solo exhibition, Mayan Renaissance, from Madrid-based artist Okuda San Miguel; Immersion by Richard J. Oliver and Art Collector Starter Kit, a group show of 12”x12” works. The opening will be held from 7-11 pm and all works will remain on view through April 29.

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YOUNG LITERATI TOAST (Library Fundraiser)
On Saturday night at 8 pm at NeueHouse in Hollywood, the L.A. Public Library holds its ninth Annual Toast, hosted by the Young Literati of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. The evening, hosted by Busy Philipps and Colin Hanks, features performances by Chelsea Handler, Kumail Nanjiani, Andrew Bird, Timothy Simons, Retta and Constance Wu.

Selected Shorts, a radio show and podcast, returns to the Getty Center for three performances this weekend. Actor Jane Kaczmarek hosts the literary feast that features notable performers reading stories that keep with this year’s theme, April Antics: Fictions & Foolery. The Saturday 4 pm show features: Kaczmarek, Tony Hale, Michael Imperioli and Christina Pickles; the 7 pm Saturday show features Kaczmarek, René Auberjonois, Justin Kirk, Joe Mande, Kirsten Vangsness and Sharon Gless; and the Sunday at 4 pm show includes Kaczmarek, Yvette Nicole Brown, Paget Brewster, Liev Schreiber. Tickets: $20.

The LA Phil’s Reykjavík Festival is a celebration of Iceland’s artistic community, and while the music components and concerts don’t start until later in April, visual artwork from from leading Icelandic artists will be showcased April 1 to 17 at Walt Disney Concert Hall with works by Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), Xárene Eskandar and Siggi Eggertsson.

The Fuxedosreturn to SoCal this weekend and perform at El Cid on Saturday night. The theatrical punk-rock-comedy outfit will be joined by The Warlords of Rock n' Roll Thunder and Lightning and other guests. Doors at 9 pm. Tickets: $12 at the door.

On Saturday, Kevin & Bean's AprilFoolishness returns to the Shrine Auditorium. This year’s lineup features Bill Burr, Anjelah Johnson, David Koechner, Jimmy Pardo, Adam Ray, Jonah Ray and Taylor Williamson. Tickets start at $25 (plus fees).

The Fallen Fruit art collective presents a Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop at Del Aire Public Fruit Park in Hawthorne. The park was the first public fruit tree park planted in California in 2013, and now it’s time to take care of those trees. Fallen Fruit will be joined by fruit tree and gardening expert Joanna Glovinsky on correct pruning. Wear closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts and bring sunglasses. The workshop starts at 11:30am and snacks, handouts and pruners will be provided. The workshop is free, but there is a suggested donation of $5 to $45/person. All proceeds go to helping Fallen Fruit plant fruit trees in public space for everyone to share.

The next installment of Film Independent at LACMA’s Bring the Noise series takes place on Saturday night at 7:30 pm at the museum’s Bing Theater. In Bring the Noise, films are given a new twist with new live scores performed by musicians. This week, the series screens John Hughes’ classic, The Breakfast Club, with a live performance by Jack Antonoff of Bleachers. Tickets: $20-$30.


The Times They Are A-Changin’ is a night of original protest songs that takes place on Sunday from 8-10 pm at the Hotel Cafe. Grant Langston hosts new songs from more than 20 L.A.-based songwriters, including Rocky Dawuni, Maria Taylor and Tony Gilkyson. All profits from the concert will go toward the National Immigration Law Center. Tickets: $15.

TOKYO CITY CUP (Horse racing and family fun)
Santa Anita Park, a sister thoroughbred racetrack to TCK Ohi Racetrack in Japan, hosts the 22nd annual Tokyo City Cup on Sunday. Happening concurrently with the race is “Japan Family Day” that features Japanese cultural exhibitions, food booths (sushi, curry, okonomiyaki, (Japanese-style Pizza), tea, BBQ, rice burger and baked goods) and Japanese beer will be served in the beer garden. Gates open at 10:30 am. Check out the Tokyo City Cup site for admissions tickets.

OFF SUNSET FESTIVAL (Leather + music + more)
The 5th Annual Off Sunset Festival takes place on Sunday from noon to 7 pm on Santa Monica Blvd in Silver Lake (between N. Hoover Street and Sunset Boulevard). This 21+ only festival serves as the finale event for Los Angeles Leather Pride Week and features live bands, DJs, food trucks, beer and liquor booths, leather goods, handcrafted novelty items, nonprofit organization booths and more. The music lineup includes: Renegades of Rage - A Rage Against the Machine Tribute Band, Nova Cycle, Clutch The Pearls, Street Walking Cheetahs, Boys With Guitars and Naia Izumi and DJ sets by Victor Rodriguez (Bears In Space, Cub Scout), Casey Alva, Ryan Jones (Bearracuda), Wes Adams, Billy Fever and Matt Pernicano. Tickets: $20.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in LA? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.