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Weekend Planner: 12 Things to Do in LA

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Official Video of the Los Angeles Chessboxing Club from Andrew McGregor on Vimeo.

LAist gets a lot of event announcements—the good, the bad and the downright ugly. We comb through them to bring you this curated list of what’s happening in LA this weekend.

FRIDAY, DEC. 20

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CHESS + BOXING: Chessboxing lives up to its name—one three-minute round of chess is followed by a three-minute round of boxing and then back to the same chess game against the same opponent. Whoever wins by either checkmate or in the ring first wins. Boxing happens in the ring at the center of Think Tank Gallery, with chess projected onto a wall. 8-11 pm. Admission: $10, $15 includes bottomless coffee.

BURLESQUE: At Cafe Fais Do Do, the Peepshow Menagerie presents Twas the Night Martians Invaded Burlesque. At Santa’s Workshop, the big guy lets the elves put on their burlesque show, but someone else from far, far away is watching, too. All profits from the show will be donated to The Burlesque Hall of Fame/Exotic World museum to create a larger museum to showcase the history, vintage costumes and props from this long-running folk art. Doors at 9 pm. Tickets: $12. 18+.

MUSIC: The LA Phil’s Deck the Hall series continues at Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight at 8 pm with A Chanticleer Christmas. Now in its 36th season, the “orchestra of voices” is an all-male, Grammy-winning ensemble from San Francisco. They’re taking on both classic and contemporary holiday tunes. 8 pm. Tickets: $41 to $101.

FILM: Now’s your chance to catch the Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on the big screen. (After all these years, we still swoon for Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey.) Cinefamily begins a six-day run—even on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day—with a screening at 7:20 pm. $12/free for members. On the Westside, the Aero Theatre also screens the film at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $11.

SATURDAY, DEC. 21

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HORRIBLE MOVIE: It’s time for Horrible Movie Night—the holiday edition—at 9 pm at NerdMelt. They find some of the worst films and the audience gets to roast them out loud a la MST3K and RiffTrax. The best one-liners of the night win prizes. Hosts John Mathot (Disney's Phineas & Ferb) and Susan Wright (The Because Show podcast) screen Santa’s Slay (2005) with Santa as the son of Satan. Free popcorn and stand-up comedy, too. $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

MUSIC: On Saturday at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm, the LA Phil’s Deck the Halls series continues with a Holiday Sing-Along with special guest Julie Andrews. Sing your hearts out and don’t worry if you forget the words to the carols—lyric sheets are provided. The 100-member Angeles Chorale will help you along, too. Tickets: $35.50-$89.50.

HOLIDAY FOUND FOOTAGE: Everything Is Terrible! The comedy website dedicated to psychedelic found footage brings its Holiday Special 2013 A New Beginning! to The Echo. The “abominable video collage” screening begins at 7 pm and features “A millennium's worth of VHS memories of misplaced sentimentalities, fist fights over toys for tots, erotic Santas, Nazi elves, and an endless parade of singing kids…” $10-$12.

LUCENT DOSSIER: Lucent Dossier Experience brings its new live performance art and music show Solstice of the Dreamers to the Fonda Theatre. The costumes, the projections, the music and the performers come together for a one-of-a-kind stage experience. Featuring DJ sets by Black 22's. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9 pm. Tickets: $30.

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MUSIC: The duo Keith Murray and Chris Cain—better known as We Are Scientists—perform at Universal City’s City Walk on Saturday at 7 pm. The free show features music from their EP Business Casual.

FILM: The much-lauded film The Act of Killing screens at Arena Cinema at 5 pm with a Q&A with director Joshua Oppenheimer. The documentary allows an Indonesian gangster Anwar Congo to reenact his real-life mass-killings “by making a dramatic film in which Congo’s the star of his own story. This does not end up being The Act of Killing itself, but a meta film-within-a-film that allows Congo to tell his own story as he chooses to see it, guts and all.” Tickets: $12.

RUN: Bust out your ugliest sweater and running shorts for the Ugly Sweater 5k run at the L.A. Historic Park starting at 11 am. Burn off calories and have some fun before getting a hot chocolate and a choice of Sam Adam’s Winter Lager, Boston Lager or Angry Orchard Hard Cider at the end of the race. Spots are still available. $44/$50 on race day.

SUNDAY, DEC. 22

EXHIBITION: The Natural History Museum’s latest exhibition Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World opens to the public today. The Silk Road was a series of routes that connected the East to the West 1,000 years ago, stretching 4,600 miles from China through Central Asia to the Middle East. The exhibition includes Chinese musical instruments; bazaar displays with gems and crafts; a silk-making workshop with live silkworms; ancient scrolls filled with the secrets of technology and religion beliefs; and more. Tickets: $10-$20. The exhibition runs through April 13, 2014.

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