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Arts and Entertainment

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

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All This Panic - Theatrical Trailer from gagebetterton on Vimeo.

Here are 20 awesome events happening in L.A. this Coachella/Passover/Easter weekend.


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Jenny Gage’s documentary All This Panic opens at the Arena Cinelounge for a limited run on Friday. The film, shot over three years, is an intimate look at the lives of teenage girls as they grow up in Brooklyn. There are a couple Q&As scheduled this weekend. After the 7 pm show on Friday, there’s a Q&A with Gage, DP/Producer Tom Betterton, cast members Ginger Leigh Ryan and Delia Cunningham that’s moderated by Katie Aselton. After the 7 pm screening on Saturday, there’s a Q&A with Gage, special guest Betterton, Ryan and Cunningham with special guest Gia Coppola.

Film Independent at LACMA presents a screening of United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell on Friday night at 7:30 pm. The eight-part CNN series follows comedian Bell as he explores the country’s subcultures to help start a conversation on race and diversity in America. The episode “Immigrants & Refugees” will screen for the event at LACMA’s Bing Theater, and will be followed by a conversation with Bell. The screening is free, but reservations/tickets are required.

SUBJECT: L.A. AS EDEN (Marionettes + history)
The Bob Baker Marionette Theater presents the series Subject: Los Angeles, with four nights that pay homage to the history of the city through film, lectures and marionettes. On Friday at 8 pm, Subject: L.A. as Eden explores the image of Southern California as an “earthly paradise” through archival film, commentary, slides and marionette performances. Tickets: $20.

M.A.R.S. FESTIVAL (Arts + music)
The inaugural M.A.R.S. Festival (Music & Arts ReSound)begins on Friday and runs through April 23 in DTLA. The 10-day music and arts festival features collaborative works between dozens of international and local musicians, performers and artists. Events take place at Angel City Brewery and Art Share LA. On Friday at 9 pm at the Brewery, there’s a concert by the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra - a 45-piece orchestra without a conductor. Joining them is special guest composer & turntablist Jorge Sanchez-Chiong. New media performance artist Tiffany Trenda opens the night with an exploration of the human body to technology, and how our identity is influenced by our devices. Tickets: $10-$30. Check the website for a detailed schedule and descriptions of the festival’s events.

Hollywood Comedy Shorts Film Festival takes over the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters this weekend, featuring 110 comedy short film screenings, parties and filmmaker Q&As on Saturday and Sunday. The opening night panel discussion and party, Funny On The 14th: State of the Comedy Biz: Film, TV & Web, features creators and performers behind some of the most recognized comedy series and films today, including actor Kali Hawk (50 Shades of Black, Bridesmaids), writer Steve Mallory (The Boss starring Melissa McCarthy), writer Ava Tramer (TBS's Angie Tribeca) and others. The opening panel runs from 6-10 pm at Adults Only Hollywood. Tickets to the opening night party are $20and all-access passes are $50.

The UCLA Film & Television Archive opens the film series, Hollywood and Holy Wood: Silent Cinema Connections Between Los Angeles and Japan, on Friday night. From the Archive: “The relationship between Hollywood and Japan during the silent era shows that globalization is not in itself new in the history of cinema, and that cinema has always been at the forefront of transnational culture.” The series opens on Friday with a screening of the samurai movie Orochi (1925), featuring a live benshi performance by Ichiro Kataoka and new score composed by Gabriel Thibaudeau, performed by an ensemble of traditional Japanese instruments. It’s followed by The Mark of Zorro (1920) starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. with live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. Tickets for the general public: $8-$10. 7:30 pm at UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater.

Before composer-musician Hans Zimmer plays Coachella this weekend, he performs at the Microsoft Theater in DTLA on Friday night as part of the Hans Zimmer Revealed Tour. The concert on Friday features music from Zimmer's long career. The first-half of the concert features some of Zimmer's classic movie scores including Gladiator, The Lion King and more, while the second-half includes re-imagined versions of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception. Special guests from the rock and pop world are also expected to drop by. Tickets: $250, $160, $99.95, $79.95, $59.95. Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm.

MEMES/VEEP (Pop art)
On Friday from 7-9 pm at 7308 Melrose Ave., Gallery1988 opens two new shows. The first, Memes, features art inspired by the Internet. The second show, presented in partnership with HBO, celebrates all things Veep.

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VRLA 2017 EXPO (Tech)
VRLA, one of the largest virtual reality and augmented reality expos in the world, returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center (West Hall A) on Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm on both days. There will be panels, presentations, education sessions and keynote speakers, including Rick & Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, Unity CEO John Riccitiello and exhibitors include Google, Oculus, HTC, Samsung, Microsoft and many others. Tickets: $40-$299.

On Friday at 7:30 pm, the Last Bookstore in DTLA welcomes the authors/illustrators of Ghost, a collection of 13 poems and stories, written by Blaise Hemingway and Jesse Reffsin and illustrated by Chris Sasaki and Jeff Turley—all Disney/Pixar artists. These ghostly tales are crafted for a new generation in a classic style. Come for spooky stories, book signing and a Q&A with the team.

American Cinematheque presents a double feature this weekend at the Egyptian Theatre that pairs Davis and Crawford films. On Friday at 7:30 pm, the double feature includes The Star and Johnny Guitar, and on Saturday, the Cinematheque screens All About Eve and Mildred Pierce. [Bonus tip: Thursday (tonight’s) screening is Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?] Tickets each night: $12.

Penelope Houston talks on Friday night about her art inspired by mug shots. (Image: Houston's 'Henry,' courtesy of the artist and gallery)
The Avengers' lead singer Penelope Houston talks about her first L.A. area art show, Muzzlers, which is currently on view at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, on Friday from 7-9 pm. Houston discusses a full room of diptych paintings that were created from the “muzzlers” she found in the mug books at the S.F. Public Library. Also showing: Miso by Karen Hsiao. Both shows are on view through April 30.

COACHELLA (Festival)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the first weekend of Coachella takes place this weekend, with Radiohead, Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar headlining. Check out the “small font” acts you should be checking out, too.


PICTURE THIS! (Comedy + animation)
Picture This!—a “live animated comedy show” with standup comedians performing while they’re drawn live by some of the best animators, cartoonists and other artists—is at the Virgil on Saturday night at 8 pm. There’s comedy by Sean Patton, Marlena Rodriguez, Frankie Quinones, Riley Silverman, Dave Child and Sean Keane, and animation by Mike Hollingsworth, Craig Bartlett, Kati Prescott, Freddy Cristy, Chris Houghton, Tayen Kim and Anne Walker.

Chopping Block Comedy is a show that features rejected comedy bits from writers that didn’t make the cut. On Saturday at 9 pm at the Pack Theatre on Santa Monica, Eric Acosta (Adult Swim's Rick and Morty, Nickelodeon, Channel 101, Awesomeness TV) presents work that didn’t make it to air. See the comedy come to life and then stick around for a Q&A with Acosta to find out why the bits remain locked away. The show is pay what you can.

On Saturday at 1139 Hill St. in DTLA, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) celebrates British Cinema during its monthly film festival. The documentary, Desert Around Me: The ADHD Epidemic, a Challenge of Global Proportions, opens the festival. The second program, In Focus: British Cinema, showcases directors and producers from the U.K. The documentary Bobby Sands: 66 Days is followed by a block of U.K. shorts. The night ends with a screening of short films from the United States. There are pre- and post-receptions for each program as well as audience Q&A sessions. Admission to the programs are $5 in advance or $15 for all three (and includes an open bar). The first reception begins at 4 pm.

Street Food Cinema screens the film 10 Things I Hate About You at the Million Dollar Theater in DTLA on Saturday night. Special guests at the screening are director Gil Junger and Susan May Pratt (Mandella). Guests can bring food from the Grand Central Market to the theater or eat at one of the vendors inside the theater: $20-$35.

April is Earth Month, so what's a better way to contribute than by signing up to help the Friends of the Los Angeles River’s 28th annual event, the Great LA River Cleanup. Volunteer for duty this Saturday from 9 am to noon (Upper River)—or April 22 (Mid-River) or 29 (Lower River)—and choose from 14 sites along the course of the entire river.

The Social Justice Learning Institute and the city of Inglewood present the 6th annual Earth Day Jazz Fest on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm at 1 Manchester Blvd. Listen to music, shop at an eco-friendly pop-up market, learn about green initiatives or participate in family-friendly activities at the fest. The lineup includes: Lenny Williams, DW3, X factor's Elaine Gibbs & Nusoul Band, America's Got Talent's Ronee Martin, Jacob Lusk, BET Comic View's Annie McKnight, The Voice's Kim Yarbrough & Jesse Campbell and Phillip Lauth. Tickets are free.


Everyone is doing an Easter brunch or specials this Sunday, it seems. Among them: Laurel Pointin Studio City; Church and State and L.A. Chapter at the Ace Hotel in DTLA; Napa Valley Grille in Westwood; The Raymond in Pasadena; Tuck Room Tavern in Westwood; the InterContinental hotel in Century City; The Pikey in Hollywood; Boxwood at the London in West Hollywood, Cafe Birdie in Highland Park and the Belcampo Meat Co. in Santa Monica. Oh and in case you were wondering, Smorgasburg LA is open, too.

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

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