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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Planner: 20 Cool Things To Do In Los Angeles

Dia de los muertos at Hollywood Forever on Saturday. (Photo by Shannon Cottrell, via Facebook)
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There's so much to do this weekend, our heads are spinning a la The Exorcist. Be sure to check out our previous stories on 24 Halloween Parties, Your Guide To October's Spooky Screenings Around Los Angeles and Over 30 Creepy Mazes, Haunts, Tours, Escape Rooms And More For Halloween.

So finally, here is the Weekend Planner featuring 20 more of our favorite events happening in L.A. this weekend. Whatever you decide to do, just be safe about it, and don't drink and drive!


NOW HEAR THIS (Podcast festival)
The Now Hear This podcast festival happens Friday through Sunday at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim. The con-style festival offers more than 30 live podcasts/performances from Marc Maron, Scott Aukerman, Lauren Lapkus, Paul Scheer and top podcasts like Criminal, The Moth, Spontaneanation, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Bitch Sesh and more. over three days and six stages. Now Hear This also offers meet and greets, whisky tastings and food. Tickets: Three-day passes are available for $150 (general admission); $200 (VIP); and $280 (upgraded VIP). Single day passes are $50-$100.

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#BITTENLA (Food talk)
Bitten is a conference that focuses on food, and the L.A. edition takes place on Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm at Barnsdall Art Park Gallery Theater in Hollywood, with speakers and panels focusing on food and drink trends and much more. The conference includes a breakfast and lunch catered by Plant Food and Wine and networking opportunities with guests from fashion, technology, travel agency and food and drink industries. Individual tickets: $200.

Stan Lee’s ComiKaze is now namedStan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con, but it’s still LA's largest pop-culture convention. It returns to the L.A. Convention Center this weekend, from Friday to Sunday, and is a must-do event for fans of comics, sci-fi, anime, horror and pop culture in general with performances, panel discussions, workshops, games, collectibles and more. Guests this year include Mike Tyson, Adam West, Teddy Sears, Chris Hardwick, Dan Harmon, Stan Lee, Leisha Hailey, Kate Moennig, Dan Harmon and others. One day tickets are $25-$35; passes at $70 and add-on packages cost extra. Kids 12 and younger get free admission.

The Norton Simon Museum presents a screening of the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo on Friday at 5:30 pm. Starring James Stewart as a detective with a fear of heights and Kim Novak as the femme fatale in this tale of madness and lies. The film is free with museum admission ($12 for adults; $9 for seniors; and free for Museum members, students with I.D., and everyone age 18 and younger).

Brownies and Lemonade presents Haunted Halloween at the Echoplex on Friday night featuring performances by Salva, Graves, Alexander Lewis, Juelz and a super secret guest. In addition to the dancing, there will be spooky installations and other surprises. The show is 18+ and doors are at 9 pm. Tickets: $11.50-$18.50.

Science Fiction Los Angeles: Words and World Building in the City of Angels is a cool two-day conference hosted by USC that explores science fiction as part of L.A.’s DNA: “From the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, whose members, including Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein, began meeting at Clifton's Cafeteria in the 1930s, to the dystopian visions of the film Blade Runner, based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Southern California's particular blend of high and pop culture has made the place an incubator of the form.” The conference kicks off with a screening of Her at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday at 7:30 pm, preceded by a discussion led by Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne on the settings of L.A. science fiction films. (Tickets: $3-$5). The conference continues at 9:30 am at USC’s Harman Academy for a day of panel discussions. Featured authors include Steve Erickson, Mark Frauenfelder, Lynell George, Margaret Wappler, M.G. Lord, Kristin Miller, Ayana A.H. Jamieson, Peter Westwick, David L. Ulin and others. The Saturday panels are all free, but reservations are suggested.


Entertainment Weekly marks its foray into the festival business with Popfest, taking place on Saturday and Sunday at The Reef in DTLA. The entertainment festival features talks, appearances and performances by talent from movies, TV, music, gaming and books. The lineup includes Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, James Corden, Eddie Redmayne, Jennifer Aniston, Diana Gabaldon, Tove Lo, Janelle Monae, Bob’s Burgers table read and so much more. General admission single-day tickets start at $46.

The 17th Annual Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery takes place from noon to midnight on Oct. 29. Come dressed in your best Calaca outfits, but leave the picnics and alcohol at home. There will be Mexican food and a wide array of Day of the Dead arts and crafts available for purchase. Performers include: Julieta Venegas, Buyepongo, Alejandro y Maria Laura, Mitre and Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Parking’s going to be tight, so think about ditching your car for alternative transportation methods. Tickets are $20 at the door.

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There’s a great bill on Saturday and Sunday at the Fonda Theatre: Kaleo headlines with Bishop Briggs and The Wind + the Wave playing in support. Tickets are sold out for both shows, so you have to find them via alternative means. Doors at 6:30 pm, show at 7:30 pm and tickets were originally $22.50.

On Saturday, the second annual Grand Ave Arts: All Access festival happens on Grand Avenue in DTLA. The public’s invited to explore the city’s great performing arts spaces, with free performances, exhibitions, behind-the-scenes tours and fun activities for the whole family. Participating institutions include The Broad, Center Theatre Group, Colburn School, Grand Park, LA Opera, LA Phil, Los Angeles Central Library, Los Angeles Master Chorale, MOCA, The Music Center and REDCAT. The day’s events are all free, but on a first-come, first-served basis.

MORBID ANATOMY WEEKEND (Books + symposiums)
Morbid Anatomy Weekend: A Pop-Up Series of Macabre Subjects is at La Luz de Jesus Gallery on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 pm each day. Morbid Anatomy, the New York-based museum, holds its first California pop-up weekend in LA with a party, special tours and an all-day symposium. Guest speakers include Megan Rosenbloom of USC’s Norris Medical Library; Morbid Anatomy Museum co-founders Tracy Hurley Martin and Joanna Ebenstein and founding board member Tonya Hurley; Morbid Anatomy Museum scholar in residence Elizabeth Harper; Gross America author Richard Faulk and others. The pop-up also includes “films on Victorian taxidermy tableaux of kitten weddings and tearful cemetery pilgrimages; illustrated talks on macabre Catholic relics, 1960s televangelist Miss Velma, books bound in human skin; a multimedia spoken-word performance devoted to Kraftwerk; and much more!”

The legendary Gothic supernatural series Dark Shadows debuted on TV in June 1966 and became an instant cult classic thanks to memorable characters like the hero vampire Barnabas Collins, played by the late Jonathan Frid. On Saturday from noon to midnight, original stars and production personnel reunite for the event Dark Shadows 50th Anniversary Halloween in Hollywood at the Woman's Club of Hollywood. There’s a costume party, memorabilia and DS merch for sale, autographs, photo ops and more surprises. Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for children 12 and younger.

Congratulations to Skylight Books, one of our favorite bookstores celebrating a major milestone on Saturday night. The store celebrates 20 years—no small feat in this Amazon era—with a cocktail party from 6-9 pm on Saturday. The party features drinks and bites from Los Feliz establishments and special guests from the neighborhood. And then don’t forget to buy something on the way out!

On Saturday and Sunday, Captured Aural Phantasy Theater presents Tales from the Crypt Halloween Boo-Haha at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. The troupe performs multi-media performances of classic horror stories from legendary Tales from the Crypt comic books LIVE on stage, accompanied by spooky music, macabre magic acts and the Bob Baker Marionettes. Doors are at 7:30 pm, show at 8 pm. Tickets: $20, $25 at the door.

The Santa Monica Zombie Crawl returns for its fourth year on Saturday at 6 pm. Check in at Rusty’s Surf Ranch on the Pier to pick up an official wristband, then get crawling at your own pace to food/drink specials at participating venues including Rusty's Surf Ranch, Big Dean's Oceanfront Cafe, Del Frisco's Grille, Ye Olde King's Head, Cabo Cantina, Barney's Beanery and West 4th/Jane. The after-party takes place at 1212 Santa Monica on the Promenade. Wristbands: $12, $15 at the door.

Festival Supreme returns on Oct. 28 to the Shrine. (Poster: Luke McGarry)
Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) have amassed a great comedy (and music) lineup for their annual Festival Supreme, which takes over the Shrine Expo Hall and Grounds on Saturday. Just a few of the performers include: Flight of the Conchords, Jenny Slate, Fred Armisen, Wet Hot American Summer music, Garfunkel and Oates and many more. General admission tickets: $99.50; VIP: $250.

Create and customize your own zine at a workshopled by Adriana Yugovich of the L.A. Zine Fest on Saturday at the Historic Southern Pacific Train Station in Glendale from 2-4:30 pm. After the workshop, take a tour of the historic station. The workshop is part of POPUP! Bookfest, a lit series presented by Glendale Arts. Free, all ages.


BETA MAIN (Performance + art)
The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art is a museum that will focus on LA art and artists and residency programs rather than a permanent collection. When complete, The Main will take over three historic DTLA buildings: the Farmers & Merchants Bank, the Hellman Building and the Bankhouse Garage. This weekend, Beta Main opens. It’s serving as a test site for the museum while in development. The inaugural project Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art happens on Sunday from 1-2:30 pm, and the opening reception is from 2:30-5 pm.

SPIRITSPIRIT (Cocktails + ghost stories)
Ok, we have to admit, this sounds pretty awesome: SpiritSpirit is a one-night only special event that combines “spirited stories with spirited cocktails” at Think Tank Gallery in DTLA. Produced by the folks behind Broke LA, the drink menu has been created by award-winning restaurateur and bartender Robin Chopra, who’s tailored each drink to the ghost stories that will be told/performed by multimedia artists on Sunday. SpiritSpirit runs from 6 pm to midnight on Sunday. This is a 21+ event. Admission: $15, with $10 cocktails, $22 flights, $6 beer.

Neil Hamburger: LIVE is at the Satellite on Sunday night at 8 pm with a great guest lineup. In addition to Hamburger, there’s standup from Laura Kightlinger, Drennon Davis, Chris Crofton and Rory Scovel. The show is 21+. Tickets are $8 or $10 at the door.

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

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