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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.

FRIDAY, MARCH 17

PALEYFEST (TV Festival)
PaleyFest returns to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood beginning on Friday (March 17-26). The TV fan festival features screenings and panel discussions with cast and creatives from some of the hottest shows on TV. Opening the festival is The Walking Dead (3/17), followed by Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends (3/18); This Is Us (3/18); Grey’s Anatomy (3/19); NCIS: Los Angeles (3/21); The Late Late Show w/ James Corden (3/22); Orphan Black (3/23); Bob's Burgers (3/24); Pretty Little Liars (3/25); Westworld (3/25); Scandal (3/26); and American Horror Story: Roanoke (3/26). Individual tickets: $30 to $72 for Paley Members and $40 to $90 for general admission. Membership packages/rates available.

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TAM O’SHANTER (Food + fun)
The Tam O’Shanter, one of L.A.’s oldest restaurants, holds its epic St. Patrick’s Day party on Friday beginning at 11 am, with a special tent area in the parking lot opening at 12:00pm, music at 12:30pm and the party going into the night. The Tam serves up an assortment of Irish eats, including Bailey’s cupcakes and corn beef and cabbage, Guinness and more.

GREAT HORROR MOVIE NIGHT: LEPRECHAUN (Film)
Great Horror Movie Night is L.A.’s only outdoor horror movie experience, with screenings taking place in the ruins of the abandoned Griffith Park Old Zoo. For St. Patrick’s Day, they’re screening Leprechaun, which stars Warwick Davis and Jennifer Aniston. Come for the pre-show, St. Patty’s Day raffles, trivia, games and more. Doors at 6 pm, movie at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $17-$25.

VAN MORRISON (Music)
Van Morrison, one of the greatest troubadours/singer-songwriters ever, plays two nights at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at 8 pm. Tickets are going to cost you, though: $198.50-$253.50.

MINIMAL SESSIONS: MATT SASSARI (House music)
On Friday, Minimal Sessions brings techno producer Matt Sassari to Outspoken in Hollywood. Joining him in the lineup are Durtysoxxx of Funk'N Deep Records (co-presenter on the show), and Minimal Sessions label owners, Shmitty and Tyler Rousse, playing a special set. 10 pm to 3 am. Tickets: $15.

14TH FACTORY (Art installation)
The 14th Factory, a multimedia “socially engaged art installation,” conceived by the Hong Kong-based British artist Simon Birch, opened to the public last week when it took over three acres of an empty industrial warehouse and lot on the outskirts of DTLA. There are 14 interlinked spaces with video, installation, sculpture, paintings and performance that were created by Birch and 16 international artists. The installation will remain on view through April 30. Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Check the website for operating hours.

TOM GUN LIVE (Spoof)
​Thomas Blake, the creator/director/producer of Point Break Live and Terminator Too Judgment Play, opens a Top Gun spoof called Tom Gun Live: A Maverick’s Homage on Friday at the Regent in DTLA. It’s Tom Cruise’s birthday party, and to celebrate, he has invited his fans to come witness him live on stage when he reprises his role as Maverick on Top Gun. Shows at 8 pm and 10 pm. Tickets: $25 or $45 for VIP “Danger Zone” seating (includes prime seats, T-shirt and goodies).

SATURDAY, MARCH 18

RISK! LIVE (Storytelling)
The RISK! Live show is at the Bootleg Theatre on Saturday at 7:30 pm. The live show and podcast will feature people telling true stories they never thought they’d share in public. Hosted by Beowulf Jones, this month’s performers are: Brian Babylon (Inside Amy Schumer), Sovereign Syre (Adult Star), Eli Olsberg (The Soup) and Shalimar Malimban. Tickets: $10-$12. Ages 21+.

CAFAM HOUSE PARTY (Party + raffle)
The Craft and Folk Art Museum holds a house party on Saturday night when the museum raffles off the winner of the tiny cabin constructed by Derek Diedricksen in the courtyard. Raffle tickets are available online for $50 and will also be available for purchase on-site during the event. Party entrance is $40, and features music by Te'Amir, beer by Angel City Brewery and food by Revolutionario Tacos. 7-10 pm.

CHOPPING BLOCK COMEDY (Comedy)
Chopping Block Comedy is at the The Pack Theaterin Hollywood on Saturday from 9-10 pm. If you want to see the comedy from writers that DIDN'T make it to air, then check out the Chopping Block. This month’s special guest is Dave Horwitz and cast members are: Stacy Rumaker Bouchoux, Dwayne Colbert, Connor Hurley, Bryan Musil, Elyssa Phillips, Miles Roberts, Andrew D Shrout and Kelly Vrooman. The show is pay-what-you can.

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L.A. STORIES (Music + readings)
L.A. Stories is a night of poetry and music of living in Los Angeles that takes place on Saturday at 7 pm at Art Share L.A. In between music by the Helix Collective, a member of the collective of artists shares a personal or family story of life as an immigrant or refugee and storytellers Nadia Anjuman, John Grady, Wanda Coleman, Larry Colker talk about life in Los Angeles. Tickets: $15.

SHADES AND SHADOWS (Reading)
Shades and Shadows, the reading/story series dedicated to dark fantasy, horror and science fiction, takes place at on Saturday at 8 pm at Bearded Lady's Mystic Museum in Burbank. Hosted by Lauren Candia and Xach Fromson, the evening brings together authors who read from their own works. On the program this weekend are readings by: Michelle Tea, Jennifer Brody, Mike Robinson, Forrest Leo and David Boyd. Tickets: $10.

NERDMELT LECTURE SERIES (Panel discussion)
The Nerdmelt Lecture series presents the program and panel discussion, Writing for The Onion, on Saturday from 4-6 pm. Host Julia Prescott welcomes a panel of Onion writers, editors and contributors including: Megan Ganz (Community, Modern Family, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Jocelyn Richard (@Midnight, The High Court) and others. They’ll talk about chances for getting in / noticed.Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Bach in the Subways (2015) | Pasadena Conservatory of Music from Pasadena Conservatory of Music on Vimeo.

BACH IN THE SUBWAYS (Classical music)
Bach in the Subways returns to L.A. on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the 332nd birthday of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, with pop-up performances of the composer’s music throughout Los Angeles. The annual 10-hour Bach Marathon at Union Station takes place on Saturday, 9 am-7 pm featuring renowned violinist Phillip Levy.

AIRPORT ARTWALK (Festival)
Santa Monica Airport celebrates its 11th Annual Airport ArtWalk on Saturday from 12-5 pm. The public can explore dozens of artist studios and spaces within the airport’s converted airplane hangars. There will be art demonstrations and workshops throughout the day, performances, live music and food trucks.

POTTERCON (Harry Potter)
Pottercon is at the Echoplex on Saturday from 2-8 pm. It’s the place to be for Harry Potter fans ages 18+. There’s a live sorting ceremony, costume contest, trivia and more. $15. We hear it’s sold out, so bring your invisibility cloak to get past security (or alternative ticket means).

SUNDAY, MARCH 19

LOS ANGELES MARATHON (Sports)
More than 24,000 athletes from all 50 states and more than 63 countries will start the 26.2 mile trek from Dodger Stadium to the finish line in Santa Monica for the L.A. Marathon. Get out there and cheer on the runners and be sure to check out the street closures if you need to get around town.

BILL PAXTON, WE LOVE YOU (Film tribute)
The Alamo Drafthouse, Spaceland, Cinefamily and Friday Night Frights presents Bill Paxton, We Love You on Sunday at 8 pm at the Regent Theater. Celebrate Paxton’s film legacy with a screening of his 2001 directorial debut Frailty, preceded by a special video tribute. Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm. Tickets: $9-$13. Ages 18+.

CHEESE-N-WINE EXPERIMENT (Tasting)
The Blending Lab teams up with Vagabond Cheese for a Cheese-N-Wine Experiment on Sunday from 1-6 pm. The tasting event features three rare hand-selected cheeses and The Blending Lab’s wine. Tickets: $30 in advance, $40 day of the event.

THE INTERNET (Music)
The Internet Presents: The Internet Touron Sunday and Monday at The Fonda Theater. The band deconstructs for these shows—each member takes center stage to play a set of solo material while the rest of the band backs them up. So there will be five sets and then the band gets reassembled at the end of the evening. 9 pm. $28. All ages.

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