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Weekend Planner: 20 Cool Things To Do In Los Angeles

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


The second iteration of the stARTup Art Fair takes over the Highland Gardens Hotel on Franklin in Hollywood from Friday through Sunday. More than 50 artists from across the country transform hotel rooms into solo exhibitions of their works. There are also curated rooms and special projects from local nonprofit partners 18th Street Arts Center, The Torrance Art Museum, PØST’s Friction and a group showing by L.A. emerging artists, Andree Carter and Richard Gayler, curated by the Los Angeles Art Association. The opening night party runs from 7-10 pm on Friday with live performances by musical guest Ohr, and performance art by Allison Wyper and Erika Katrina Barbosa. Tickets to the fair: $15 advance / $20 door (adults); $10 advance / $15 door (students with ID and seniors). General Admission with valet parking: $40 in advance/$50 at the door. Children admitted for free.

Feastly has another pop-up happening—A Mano, Amaro - The Dumpling Edition—on Friday from 7:30-10:30 pm. Chef Elizabeth McCoy (pastaiolo for Faith & Flower) and mixologist Jonathan Joy (The Wallace) create a dining experience focused on handmade Italian dumplings (gnocchi, cavatelli, etc.) paired with custom amaro-based cocktails. Tickets: $60 per person includes a four-course menu that features squid ink cavatelli with ridgeback prawns and Calabrian chili butter or Pici D’Abruzzo with 8-hour lamb ragu and housemade minted ricotta. The address will be released to ticket holders.

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The 5th Annual Black Truffle Dinner Series at SAAM continues through Feb. 25 in the private chef's tasting room located behind The Bazaar by José Andrés. The annual dinner series, held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night beginning with a 6:30 pm seating, celebrates truffle season and is led by SAAM's Aitor Lozano Zabala. Guests will indulge in a 16-18+ course tasting menu that honors the black truffle. Tickets: $250 (with additional wine pairings available).

GIRLSCHOOL (Music fest)
Girlschool’s second annual woman-centric music festival takes place at the Bootleg Theater this weekend (Friday through Sunday). Founded by Anna Bulbrook of The Bulls and The Airborne Toxic Event, the weekend is chock full of performances and afternoon talks, panel discussions and more. Live performances by Chelsea Wolfe, The Bird and The Bee, Francisca Valenzuela, Deap Vally, Caroline Smith, Pearl Charles, Winter, Rituals of Mine, Luna Shadows, Madame Gandhi, Starcrawler, Trace, Kid Wave, Liphemra, KONA, Soto Voce, and DJ sets from Gavin Turek, Tamaryn, Honey Power, Val Fleury and others. Things kick off on Friday with an “assembly” at 7 pm with Shirley Manson (Garbage) in conversation with Eve Barlow (Billboard, Timeout, Nylon, Noisey). Proceeds from the weekend will benefit the social justice organization Rock'n'Roll Camp for Girls LA. Day passes: $16. Weekend pass: $45.

The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) and Farhang Foundation present Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video, the second biennial juried exhibition of contemporary works relating to Iranian culture and heritage. The group exhibition includes 33 photographs and nine video works from both emerging and established international artists. While the public opening reception is on Saturday (for $12) and runs through May 7, the opening VIP fundraising reception and preview (for $150) is on Friday from 7-10 pm featuring cocktails and appetizers and musical guests, Grammy-nominated jazz performers Strunz & Farah.

For a more traditional art fair, Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) continues at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica through Sunday. The fair draws top international established and emerging galleries from around the world and L.A., showcasing the artists they represent. For example: Kayne Griffin Corcoran presents works by David Lynch; Mixografia feature new artworks by artists Jacob Hashimoto, Analia Saban and editions by John Baldessari, Jason Martin and Ed Ruscha; Night Gallery features art by Han Bing, Derek Boshier, Phil Davis, David Korty, Grant Levy-Lucero, Rose Marcus, Claire Tabouret, Marisa Takal, Sean Townley and JPW3. ALAC also presents a programming series that includes artist talks, museum curator-led panel discussions, installations and film screening and performances. Tickets: $25, $30 (pass).


The 3rd annual Night On Broadway celebration returns on Saturday taking over a mile stretch of historic Broadway between 3rd and Olympic. The free festival features hundreds of performers, vendors and 10 stages. The night features live music by Mayer Hawthorne, Las Cafeteras, a dodge ball cage match, DubLab at the Ace Hotel takeover, comedy at the Palace Theatre, an Oingo Boingo Dance Party, a beer garden by Pabst Blue Ribbon & Angel City Brewery and so much more.

ALL OUT 2017 (Classes + workshops)
To kick off a year dedicated to getting outside every day, REI presents a series of free outdoor school classes with more than 350 events planned across the country. Things kick off in L.A. on Saturday with workshops and classes throughout, from Malibu Creek State Park with a session to meet and commit to your goals, to family-friendly activities like a climbing wall, photo booth, yoga, a hike led by Modern Hiker Casey Schreiner and catered snacks from Dirty Gourmet with Friends of the Los Angeles River, and many more.

L.A. BEER AND FOOD FEST (Beer + food)
The Los Angeles County Brewers Guild presents the first L.A. Beer and Food Festival at Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake on Saturday afternoon. Attendees can indulge in unlimited tastings from more than 40 independently-owned craft brewers from L.A. County, including 818 Brewing, Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Eagle Rock Brewery, Highland Park Brewery, Iron Triangle Brewing, Pocock Brewing Company, Three Weavers Brewing, Wolf Creek Brewery. Complimentary food bites from Blue Palms Brewhouse, Eagle Rock Public House, Simmzy’s, Vagabond Cheese, Waffluv and more. Tickets: $60 for entry from 3-6 pm, $75 for VIP entry at 2 pm and $40 for DD.

Joy Factory Gallery/Cinema presents Stay Peculiar: The Tim Burton Fan Art & Tribute Show on Saturday at Sunday at 913 Highland (the venue’s address, too). The art is jointly curated by the La Jolla art gallery Thumbprint, and features fan art and prints for sale by more than 25 artists. The show also includes Burton movie memorabilia. The show is free and is open to all from 12-5 pm both days. There’s an artists reception on Saturday with DJ and cash bar. The Saturday celebration concludes with a screening of The Lure, directed by first-time filmmaker and Burton fan, Agnieszka Smocynzka. Tickets for the movie are $15.

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MAX COMPACT (Web series + panel)
Max Compact is a new web series about a clairvoyant makeup vlogger and her friends with other weird super powers. The series launches on Saturday with a screening of the entire first season at Nerdmelt at 4 pm. The screening is followed by a panel discussion with the cast and crew, including Emmy Award winning producer Jenni Powell (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Emma Approved). Tickets: $7.50+ fees.

The National Park Service teams up with the Ventura County Astronomical Society for the annual Winter Star Partyat Paramount Ranch in Agoura on Saturday from 6-9 pm. View the night sky through high-powered telescopes and listen to University of Redlands’ Dr. Tyler Nordgren’s presentation about astronomy in national parks. Kids’ activities run from 6-8 pm, Nordgren’s lecture begins at 6:30 pm, and viewing runs from 7:15-9 pm. Free.

Pete Holmes and Mamrie Hart join Eliot Glazer for Haunting Renditions in La La Land on Saturday at 7 pm at The Echo. Haunting Renditions turns bad music into good: Eliot's classically trained voice and backing band create a “twisted version of MTV Unplugged with elements of Lip Sync Battle, Carpool Karaoke, Austin City Limits, and VH1 Storytellers, Haunting Renditions Live.” Tickets: $11.50.

USC Pacific Asia Museum's 7th Annual Lunar New Year Festival celebrates the Year of the Rooster on Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, with performances, demonstrations and craft workshops. Taking place at Courtyard at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena (across from PAM’s parking lot), food trucks will be on site to feed attendees. The activities (but not the food) are free and open to the public.

BRING THE NOISE (Film + music)
Film Independent at LACMA premieres its new series called Bring the Noise with musician, uber producer and artist-in-residence T Bone Burnett (O Brother Where Art Thou?, Nashville, Crazy Heart). The series presents remastered classic films at LACMA’s Bing Theater. The original music tracks will be removed and for one night only, these remixed versions of movie favorites will screen with original, live musical accompaniment in a unique performance event, never again to be duplicated.” The series kicks off on Saturday with Welcome to the Dollhouse, accompanied by Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx. Tickets: $25-$50.


On Sunday, nearly 30 Southern California museums will offer guests free general admission for the 12th annual Museums Free-For-All, including the Annenberg Space for Photography, California African American Museum, MOCA, LACMA, Japanese American National Museum, Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and many others. The Columbia Memorial Space Center offers free admission on Saturday, Jan. 28, instead of Sunday.

On Sunday, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne presents a special evening at Lucques, inspired by the new memoir, Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace by Ella Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin. The Sunday Supper for Miss Ella is a four-course menu that honors Ella Brennan’s Creole cuisine at the legendary Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Items include Louisiana Crab Salad, Oyster Stew, Braised Duck and Grilled Andouille Sausage and Chocolate-Stuffed Beignets. Live jazz performance by the LA Diamond Trio. Author Ti Adelaide Martin, daughter of Miss Ella and Co-Proprietor of Commander’s Palace, will be present throughout the evening to meet guests and sign books, sold separately at $27.99 each. Dinner tickets: $75 (and reservations and advance payment are required).

The Cadillac Tramps: Life on the Edge (Teaser) from Marc Masciandaro on Vimeo.

Gabby Gaborno, punk rocker and frontman for the Cadillac Tramps, lost his battle to cancer earlier this month. On Sunday at 3 pm, there’s a screening of the film Cadillac Tramps: Life on the Edge at the Downtown Independent. A Q&A with the filmmakers—director Jamie Sims Coakley and producer (and guitarist of the Tramps) Brian Coakley—and Jonny Wickersham (aka "Jonny Two Bags”, guitarist from Social D and The Tramps) and Warren Renfrew (bassist for the Tramps). Collectible film one sheets to the first 50 people. Tickets: $10. (There are also two screenings in the OC on Friday and Saturday night.)

The American Cinematheque, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Heritage Museum present An Afternoon at Earl Carroll's, an illustrated lecture, on Sunday at 1 pm at the Egyptian Theatre. Learn about Sunset Boulevard's art deco era Earl Carroll Theatre—and Hollywood's newest Historic Cultural Monument—from Richard Adkins of Hollywood Heritage and Marc Wanamaker of the Bison Archives. The 1940 film A Night at Earl Carroll’s follows at approximately 2 pm. Tickets: $12.

Lift Every Voice—the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s three-week exploration of courage and compassion through music—presents the musical Lost in the Stars, Kurt Weill’s final stage work featuring lyrics by Maxwell Anderson and based on Alan Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country, a indictment of racism and apartheid South Africa. Jeffrey Kahane conducts and Anne Bogart directs. 8 pm on Saturday and 7 pm on Sunday. Both performances at Royce Hall at UCLA. Tickets start at $29.

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