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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.


Big Freedia, The Queen of Bounce, returns to Los Angeles on Friday night at the Regent Theater in DTLA. Boyfriends, Moods open the night. Tickets: $20.50-$23.50. 8:30 pm. Ages 18+.

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USC’S RHYTHMS + VISIONS + LIVE 3 (Art + music)
USC’s Rhythms + Visions / Expanded + Live 3 is an evening of art, music, interactive and virtual reality installations, projection mapping and animated inflatables at the University’s Cinematic Arts Complex. Artists Refik Anadol, Miwa Matreyek and Patterson + Reckinger perform a slate of contemporary visual music and audio-visual art. The event starts at 8 pm, and guests are encouraged to arrive before 9 pm. After 9 pm, attendees without USC ID must enter campus at the university’s Gate 8, and will be asked to show a government-issued ID. Admission is free. Reservations requested.

STOKERCON: SHADES & SHADOWS (Horror con + storytelling)
StokerCon is the annual convention of The Horror Writers Association (HWA) and its second annual gathering, runs through Sunday aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach. There will be panels, presentations, Horror University classes, The Lucky 13 Film Festival, a mini-academic conference coinciding with the convention, a high tea with your horror authors, ghost tours and more. On Friday, the reading show Shades & Shadowstakes place from 6-8 pm in the Queen's Salon with George R.R. Martin (!!), Tananarive Due, Elizabeth Hand, Chuck Wendig, Barbara Barnett and Stephen Graham Jones. A weekend pass for StokerCon 2017 ($200-$220) gets you in for free. A limited number of $30 tickets will be available.

The Family Crest plays the Bootleg Theater on Friday in support of the band’s new EP Prelude To War, out the same day. The show kicks off their five-week national headlining tour. Family and Friends opens the show. Tickets: $13-$15. 21+. 8:30 pm.

HEAR NOW (Music festival)
The HEAR NOW Festival of New Music by Contemporary Los Angeles Composers takes place this weekend (Friday-Sunday). On Friday at 8 pm, there’s an Electroacoustic Concert In collaboration with People Inside Electronics (PIE) at Throop Hall of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena. Tickets: $20-$35. Full series pass: $90.

Watch the latest sketches and improv by the Groundlings Theatre with Groundlings Sleepaway Camp, which opens on Friday night at 8 pm. Camp Director Kevin Kirkpatrick, joins archery and arts-and-crafts Counselors Scott Beehner, Matt Cook, Laurel Coppock, H Michael Croner, Allison Dunbar, Josh Duvendeck, Heidi Gardner, Ryan Gaul, Patty Guggenheim, Kiel Kennedy, Andrew Leeds, Edi Patterson, Lisa Schurga, Schwartz and Greg Worswick. Bites and drinks for the opening show (tickets: $50). All other shows are $20. Sleepaway Camp will run every Friday at 8 pm and Saturdays at 8 pm and 10 pm through July 8.

Follow That! is at NerdMelt Showroom and pits LA’s best comics against the saddest videos on the web on Friday at 9 pm. “The result is a one-of-a-kind standup set that fuses each comic’s best material with spontaneous, hilarious and ultimately uplifting revelations inspired by the ‘cry videos.’” The comics and the audience watch the most emotional videos on the web and then the comedians get eight minutes to bring the audience to tears (of laughter). Guests are: Jackie Kashian (DorkForest Podcast), David Gborie (Conan), Iliza Shlesinger (Fallon, Kimmel, etc), KP Anderson (Head Writer/Showrunner of the Soup) and Jay Mohr. Hosts: Jason Webb & Valerie Tosi. Tickets: $8, $10 at door.'

WERD: A LIVE MAGAZINE (Music + activism)
WERD: A Live Magazine Celebrating Music and Activism takes center stage at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Friday night. Werd is a night of celebrating music and activism, with iconic musicians coming together to discuss both topics. In conversation are: Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell and artist Shepard Fairey; an interview with Garbage’s Shirley Manson and a rare appearance by Doors drummer John Densmore. Of course, in between the talking, there’s going to be a little acoustic music in between and an all-star jam session, too. Tickets: $33.50-$55.00. 7:30 pm. The night benefits PS Arts, whose mission helps provide arts education for underserved schools and communities. The show is all ages.


Bushwig, NY’s festival of drag, music and love, comes to LA this weekend (Saturday and Sunday). The Bushwig Pool Party ‘Warm-up’ on Saturday from 3-9 pm at Ace Hotel DTLA and Bushwig LA takes place on Sunday from 10 pm-2am at Faultline. There are performances and drag shows at each event. The event at the Ace is free, and the Faultline event tickets are $12-$30.

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RUPAUL’S DRAGCON (Drag convention)
RuPaul’s Drag Con returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) . This con provides a platform for fans to meet “celebrities and icons in a friendly and accessible environment.” The convention features more than 200 vendors and exhibitors, panels, screenings and shopping opportunities. The show welcomes all ages and backgrounds. Only single-day passes ($30-$40) and weekend passes ($60) are left. The party and special event tickets are gone.

The Brewery Art Walk’s Spring Edition happens on Saturday and Sunday, from 11 am to 6 pm at the Brewery Art Complex in DTLA. The twice annual open studio weekend, held at the site of the former Pabst plant, includes more than 100 participating resident artists opening their studio doors to the public. Check out new works, installations and get a chance to meet and talk to the artists and makers themselves. Admission and parking are free. Check out Barbara's At The Brewery for beer and sustenance. Also, take public transportation or carpool because parking is at a premium.

YALLWEST (Young adult lit)
Yallwest is LA's young adult lit festival that takes place this weekend at the Santa Monica Public Library (Friday preview, 4-8 pm) and Santa Monica High School (Saturday, 9 am-7 pm). More than 100 authors and artists will participate in programming, including panels, signings, music, photo booths, food trucks, bookselling, cupcake parties, Quidditch gaming, Scrabble tournaments, giveaways and more. Headlining the festival is Chris Cofer (Glee), who’ll discuss his new book Stranger than Fanfiction. Other authors/speakers are Cassandra Clare, Daniel Jose Older, Rachel Renee Russell, Shannon Hale, James Dashner, Brendan Reichs, Danielle Paige, Victoria Aveyard and Alexandra Bracken. The majority of the events are free, but there are a few ticketed events.

The Jackalope Art & Craft Fair returns to Pasadena, bringing 200+ vendors selling strictly handmade wares for a weekend of art, foods and more. (It’s a great place to buy Mother’s Day and graduation gifts.) The fair runs 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday in Central Park.

WANDERLUST 108 (Mindful triathlon)
Wanderlust 108 is the world’s first “mindful triathlon.” Taking place at the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday and Sunday, the day is comprised of a 5K run, a 75-minute yoga class and guided meditation. Wanderlust 108 runs from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm on both days. Tickets: $20 (for the picnic lunch) to $55.08.

Skylight Books, the Alex Theatre and Glendale Arts present Senator Elizabeth Warren on Saturday at 7:30 pm at the Alex Theatre. The senator reads from and discusses her new book This Fight Is Our Fight. Every ticket ($35+ fees) comes with a signed copy of the book.

The sixth season of Street Food Cinema—movies and food under the stars—opens on Saturday night with La La Landin Exposition Park. Doors at 5:30 pm, music at 6:30 pm and the movie at 8:30 pm. Special guests: composer Justin Hurwitz, lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and others. Food trucks onsite include: Banh Mi in LA, Belly Bombz, Comet BBQ, Cousins Maine Lobster, Dogtown Dogs, Meat the Greek, Papa Fritz, Pico House, Royal Kebab, Sabores de Mexico, Son of a Bun, Street Kitchen LA, Ta Bom Truck, Woody’s Grill, I Love Funnel Cakes, La Puff, Apollo’s Expresso & Shave Ice, Drunken Cake Pops, Funtime Kettle Corn others. Adult admission: $13-$21.

Hollywood Forever presents two tapings of Last Podcast On The Left on Saturday night at 6 and 9 pm. The comedy podcast covers “all the horrors our world has to offer both imagined and real, from demons and aliens to cults and serial killers.” In the The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever. Tickets: $25.


The Taste of the Eastside food and drink festival returns to The Los Angeles River Center and Gardens on Sunday from 4-8 pm (3 pm for VIP). Dozens of restaurants and vendors will be onsite to provide a sampling of the Eastside’s food and drink scene, including Diablo Taco, Little Dom’s, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Go Get Em Tiger Coffee, Fat Dragon, WOOD pizzeria, Red Herring, FrankieLucy Bakeshop, Greenbar Distillery, El Segundo Brewing, Highland Park Brewery and McConnell's Fine Ice Creams (and more). Tickets: $45-$55, VIP: $75-$85. All proceeds from Taste of the Eastside will be donated to local organizations, including Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School, The Pablove Foundation and Friends of the LA River.

CHEF’S FABLE (Food discussion + film)
Los Angeles Times Food Bowl—the Times’ month-long festival in May celebrating the city’s food scene and promoting awareness of hunger through a series of events—presents the opening event, Chef’s Fable: Where Food and Film Come Together, at the Wiltern on Sunday at 6 pm. There’s a Q&A panel hosted by Jonathan Gold and featuring: Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ), Jon Favreau (actor and filmmaker, Chef), David Gelb (Director, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Chef's Table), Magnus Nilsson (Chef, Fäviken), and Niki Nakayama (Chef, n/naka.) The panel will be followed by a screening of Chef (2014). Tickets: $25.

The Los Angeles Master Chorale presents an a cappella program called Wade in the Water at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sunday at 7 pm. The concert features 13 songs, includes spirituals, folk music traditions, a contemporary Korean piece and a couple of European choral masterpieces from the 20th century. The 48 singers will be conducted by Artistic Director Grant Gershon and Assistant Conductor Jenny Wong. Tickets: $29-$129.

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

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