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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. Check out the May Guide for other suggestions, too.

FRIDAY, MAY 12

SCI-FI AT UNION STATION (Film)
The Sci-Fi at Union Station film series—with classic films screened for free inside the station—continues on Friday at 8:30 pm with Them! (1954). Directed by Gordon Douglas, the cult favorite screens at the station’s North Patio. Admission is free and seats are on a first-come, first-served basis.

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CONSTITUTION HAPPY HOUR (Drinks + conversation)
The Hammer Museum presents a Constitution Happy Hour on Friday at 6 pm at Ammo Café ($5 draft beer and select wine). A project of the artist Linda Pollack, the event features guided topical conversations about the U.S. Constitution and its role in our democracy. (And we need the drinks as much as the discussion right now.)

RADIOTOPIA LIVE (Podcasts)
The Radiotopia podcast network presents Radiotopia Live on Friday at 8 pm at The Theater at Ace Hotel. Listen to great podcasts and hosts live on stage including: 99% Invisible, Criminal, The Allusionist, The Memory Palace and Mortified, plus a performance of The West Wing Weekly featuring composer Snuffy Walden. Tickets: $29-$37.

PJ HARVEY (Music)
English singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist PJ Harvey plays the Greek Theatre on Friday night. She’s currently on tour to support her latest album release, The Hope Six Demolition Project. Tickets: $35-$79.50. Doors at 7 pm, show at 8:30 pm.

PAUL SIMON: WORDS & MUSIC (Late night party)
The Skirball Cultural Center offers a free, late-night experience of Paul Simon: Words & Music on Friday night. The exhibition explores Simon's career and his creative process. Doors open at 6 pm and the Skirball stays open until 10 pm. There’s a tour of the exhibition at 7 pm led by Museum Director Robert Kirschner. Local food trucks The Deli Doctor and Mandoline Grill will be on site, as well as a cash bar.

GIRLS LOVE BEYONCE (Dance party)
Girls Love Beyoncé is a tribute dance party for Beyoncé on Friday at The Reserve in DTLA. The nightly features an all-female DJ lineup. 9 pm. No cover before 10 pm with RSVP. Ages 21+.

ECHO PARK CRAFT FAIR (Crafts)
Shop from local craft makers and artisans this weekend when the Echo Park Craft Fair returns to the Mack Sennett Studios (in Silver Lake) on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm both days. There’s also a special Echo Park Craft Fair preview on Friday from 6-9 pm. Admission: $10 for single day tickets; $16 for both days; and $25 for the preview night.

PETERSEN MUSEUM AFTER HOURS (Party + cars)
The Petersen Automotive Museum holds its first-ever Museum After Hours on Friday from 6-10 pm. Guests can take part in guided tours at 6:30 or 7:30 pm of its vault (focusing on Italian design and innovation) while DJ Sam Kofa spins tunes in the first floor lobby. Tickets are $40 (and includes cocktails by Dulce Vida Spirits and tours). Event does not include full museum gallery access or parking.

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This cocktail flight at the Getty's restaurant celebrates National Public Gardens Day on Friday. (Image: The Getty)
NATIONAL PUBLIC GARDENS DAY (Outdoors)
The Getty Center and the Getty Villa are joining the celebration of National Public Gardens Day on Friday to help raise awareness of botanic gardens, arboreta, conservatories and public gardens across the country. At the Getty Center’s Restaurant, there’s a “Garden Beverage Bouquet” cocktail flight that includes an herbed gimlet, fresh-squeezed Jamaica margarita and a house-infused sweet bell pepper vodka with muddled mint, bell pepper and lemon. At the Villa, there’s a special “Roman Gardens” dish created for the day: grilled asparagus, favas, cauliflower and beets, with kale, chicory, Pecorino Romano and red wine vinaigrette. Free special tours of the gardens at both locations.

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SATURDAY, MAY 13

CONOR OBERST (Music)
Conor Oberst plays the Greek Theatre with special guest Julien Baker on Saturday night. Oberst is on tour to support his new album Salutations, which is a companion work to last year’s Ruminations. (Salutations features full-band versions of the 10 songs from Ruminations, with seven additional songs.) Doors at 6 pm, show at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $26-$50.50.

UNIQUE LA (Shopping)
Unique LA’s Spring Market takes over the 13th floor of the California Market Center in DTLA from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. There are more than 300 designers and artists selling their wares and works. To keep the energy up, there will be free drinks and snacks offered during the market. Admission online and at the door is $15 but visitors can come and go as they please all weekend. VIP - $35 online only (you get a Unique LA tote bag filled with swag).

TONY’S DARTS AWAY ANNIVERSARY (Party
Tony's Darts Away, one of the older craft beer bars in L.A., celebrates seven years of “All Craft, All Draught, All California” this weekend. On Saturday, there are IPA tappings hourly, including the Darts Away IPA, an IPA brewed in collaboration by Bluebird Brasserie and Kern River Brewing Co. On Sunday (Sour Sunday) there’s Sour and Wild tappings every hour. Darts Away IPA pour + Anniversary Glass $12 or just the glass for $5.

SCOTCH + SUCCULENTS (Drinking + designing)
Maker’s Mess in Silver Lake presents the program Scotch + Succulents on Saturday from 4 to 7 pm. Lancelot Hunter (landscape designer, RUTD) and Jen Wong (architectural designer, Young Designer Workshops) teach participants how to create their own living wall with succulents and moss, while exploring a flavor map of different types of scotch. Can you say yes, peatplease? All materials included in the $125/$230 (per couple) price. Ages 21+ years old to register.

EAT SHOW (Food)
EAT Show is a new tasting event that’s at the REEF in DTLA on May 13. The food fest limits tickets to 1,500 per session (11 am to 3 pm or 5 to 9 pm) to avoid the craziness of most food shows. The lineup looks pretty tasty: Otium, The Halal Guys, Dino’s Chicken and Burgers, Cocktail Academy and many others. The ticket cost includes food and an open bar. Tickets: $60+ service fee.

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Street artist Thrashbird has a solo show at Bruce Lurie gallery in Culver City this weekend. (Image: Thrashbird)
THRASHBIRD (Art)
Bruce Lurie gallery in the Culver City Arts District opens a new solo show, No Famous Guest Appearances by Thrashbird, featuring works by street artist Thrashbird on Saturday. The art exhibition features interactive installations; fashion installations with DSTLD and pieces with Augmented Reality and comments on self-involvement and fame. The opening reception is on Saturday from 6-9 pm. The works will remain on view through May 20.

WHEEL SHOW (Comedy)
The Wheel Show returns to Nerdmelt this Saturday (May 13) at 7 pm. Hosted by comedian Joe Kwaczala, the comedy/variety show’s running order isn’t planned. Audience members spin a big wheel to determine which sketches, games and special guests they get to see next. Guests include comics Jimmy Pardo and Andy Haynes. Tickets: $8-$10.

EAGLE ROCK BREWERY: DAY TRIP (Hiking + beer)
Eagle Rock Brewery (ERB) releases a new beer in its Day Trip series of canned beers. The series is dedicated to, and inspired by the natural beauty surrounding the LA area. On Saturday, ERB releases 2 North (an American Brown Ale) with a portion of the proceeds from every can of 2 North benefit the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. To start the release day, ERB is also organizing a morning hike with Casey Schreiner from Modern Hiker that includes a sampling of a new batch of 2 North. After the hike, head back to the brewery, where Schreiner sells/signs copies of his new hiking guidebook and the brewery will be selling draft and 16 oz. cans of 2 North.

SUBJECT: LOS ANGELES LOVERS (Film)
Cinefamily presents the program, Subject: Los Angeles Lovers on Friday night (off-site at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater). Legendary LA personality Angelyne hosts the third installment of Subject: Los Angeles Lovers, dedicated to the “highly curious individuals who have surveyed, catalogued, and explored the city in service of making it more intelligible to others.” The evening features LA-centric selections from Huell Howser's California's Gold; Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles; a live bus tour from Esotouric; puppets and more. Tickets - $20/free for Cinefamily members at the door.

SUNDAY, MAY 14

MOMMIE DEAREST (Film)
Sunday is Mother’s Day (don’t forget), and in a twisted move, Vidiots and the Theatre at Ace Hotel presents the family film: Mommie Dearest at 4 pm. Tickets: $18.

ARIEL LEVY (Books)
New Yorker writerAriel Levy discusses her new memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply, with author Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts) on Sunday at 2 pm at the Skirball. In 2012, Levy, then 38, was pregnant, married and had a home. In a month, none of that was true. Her book chronicles a life of “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Books available for purchase. A Q&A and book signing follow the program. (If you can’t make Sunday’s event, Levy’s also at Book Soup on Saturday at 4 pm.)

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