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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Planner: 20 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Looking for something to do? Look no further than these 20 events happening this weekend. Check out our January Guide for other suggestions, too.


DON’T SHOOT (Art + Performance)
Mishka Gallery presents Don’t Shoot, a performance protest and an exhibition of current works by Jesse Hazelip on Friday from 7-11 pm. The artist has chosen the phrase “Don’t Shoot”—adopted by protesters after the murder of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri—to be tattooed live on the inside of his palms, readable when his hands are up. The performance takes place inside a solitary confinement prison cell structure built by the artist.

THOM PAIN (Theater)
The Geffen Playhouse presents the L.A. premiere of Will Eno’s play, Thom Pain (based on nothing), a one-man show starring Rainn Wilson from Jan. 8 to Feb.14 at The Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. The play, essentially a rambling monologue, was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in drama. Tickets: $76-$99. The show previews from Jan. 8-12.

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1984 (Theater)
The U.K.-based Headlong theater company makes its U.S. debut with a radical new staging of George Orwell’s 1984 at the Theater at The Broad Stage with a run from Jan. 8-Feb. 6. The classic novel resonates now more than ever with its dystopian vision of a world. Big Brother is watching. The show is recommended for ages 14+. 1984 is in preview beginning on Friday at 7:30 pm (through Jan. 12). Preview tickets start at $30. Regular run tickets start at $50.

Surfer Blood and L.A.'s own Cayucas play the Teragram Ballroom on Friday night. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9 pm. This event is all ages. Tickets: $20.

LA Got Aloha is a Hawaiian-themed night featuring live hip-hop performances and visual art. The planners are serving up tropical drinks and kicking off the New Year at Dragonfly on Friday at 8 pm with headliner Sage Francis. 21+. Tickets: $22.

The Melrose Poetry Bureau presents a Quickdraw Poetry Cabaret at the Bootleg Theater on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm (and again next weekend). The event pits performers against each other in a showdown of “series of increasingly herculean tasks” of writing and performance based on audience suggestions. In addition, there’s a burlesque dancer and a band playing typewriters. Tickets: $15.

La Luz de Jesus Gallery opens two shows on Friday night: Mark Gleason: Blood and Fire and Robert Craig: Inobvious Epithets. The opening reception for both shows runs from 8-11 and the works will remain on view through Jan. 31.


Galleries on Chung King Road are kicking off the Year of the Monkey with art openings and a show extension on Saturday night from 7-11 pm. Project Gallery features works by Wyatt Mills, which runs through March 6. Brian Mains is showing at the Gregorio Escalante Gallery through Feb. 7. Charlie James Gallery opens an exhibition on Sadie Barnette, running through Feb. 20. Coagula Curatorial features the Artillery “Ones to Watch” Group Show, open through Feb. 14. And Art Moura’s show has been extended at Good Luck Gallery through Feb. 20.

On Saturday night from 7-10 PM, G1988 (West) holds an opening reception for the Zoolander tribute show: the Really, Really, Really Ridiculously Good Looking Art Show. The show’s being held to coincide with the upcoming sequel and to celebrate the original (that was released 15 years ago!). The works will be on view through Jan. 30.

There’s a Burger & Brewfest at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. Watch (and bet on) thoroughbred racing while munching on gourmet burgers from some of SoCal’s best burger joints and drinking craft beers. Tickets: $35 and includes six sliders, eight, 3 oz. craft brew tastings, Club House admission, program/tip sheet and trackside and grandstand seating. Doors at 10:30 pm, last race at 5 pm.

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BEST FRIENDS SHOW (Storytelling)
The Best Friends Showis at NerdMelt at 9 pm on Saturday. The show invites comedians to tell a shared story with their best friend—because sometimes friends remember better than they do. Stories by: Alie & Georgia, James Adomian & John Roy, Dan Telfer & Ricky Carmona and Justin Willman & Daniel Kinno. Hosted by Kim Seltzer and Aliya Kamalova. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

There’s a number of galleries hosting the Bergamot Station Artist Talk Series on Saturday. Check out the lineup: 10:30 am - Carol Es & Phranc at Craig Krull Gallery; 11 am - Daryl Gortner at Skidmore Contemporary; 11:30 - Karley Sullivan at Sloan Projects; noon - Tom Krumpak at Lora Schlesinger Gallery; and 12:30 pm - Greg Gibbs at Robert Berman Gallery. No RSVP required. Gallery Talks are free and open to the public.

The Getty Salad Garden presents a rare screening of artist Ed Ruscha's short film Premium (1971, 16 mm, 24 mins.) on Saturday night at 6 pm at the Getty Center’s Museum Lecture Hall. From the Getty: “Featuring perhaps one of the greatest appearances by salad in art history, Premium stars fellow L.A. art icon Larry Bell on a hilarious and absurd late-night adventure.Ruscha's film is an exploration of storytelling and the conventional narrative codes of Hollywood, featuring his signature deadpan humor and keen translation of the contemporary American condition.” Following the film, Ruscha and Bell will be in conversation. Free with RSVP.


The Musso & Frank Grill will be open on Sundays for the first time in more than 30 years beginning this weekend and continuing throughout the year. One of our favorite restaurants in Hollywood, it features a menu that’s gone virtually unchanged in nearly a century and a killer bar. Get your reservations in now for dinner, as the restaurant’s only open from 4-9 pm on Sundays.

The Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention is this Sunday at The REEF from 10 am to 5 pm. Shop for old and new comic books, collectibles, toys, action figures and more. Check out the guest appearances by Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and some of the cast of Aliens, who'll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the movie, including Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen and others. Tickets: $10-$12.

50 FIRST JOKES (Comedy)
50 First Jokes is a comedy show that takes place on Sunday in the ballroom of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. It features more than 50 of L.A.'s best comedians all telling their first joke of the year (usually 1-2 min each). Hosted by Ricky Carmona, the lineup features comics like Bobcat Goldthwait, Kyle Kinane, Brent Morin, Jamie Lee, Matt Braunger, Brooks Wheelan, The Lucas Brothers, James Adomian, Howard Kremer, Alice Wetterlund and many more. Doors at 7:30 pm, show at 8 pm. Tickets: $12-$15. Official After Party at The Spare Room.

On Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm, the Annenberg Community Beach House presents Happy Birthday Marion! It’s a celebration of the life of Marion Davies, the silent film star, philanthropist and mistress to media mogul William Randolph Hearst at Davies’ 1928 Julia Morgan designed Guest House. Santa Monica Conservancy docents will be decked out in vintage attire to talk about the actress; in addition, Davies’ historian and author Lara Fowler will participate in a special Q & A, and film historian Michael Yakaitis will show home movies from 1937 of Hearst’s 74th circus themed birthday party at the Beach House. Gold Coast era attire is encouraged. All ages. RSVP for the free event.

On Sunday at 8 pm, Night Jewel performs live and also DJs upstairs at the Ace Hotel. Also performing: Cole MGN and J Nadya. The event is free with RSVP. Ages 21+.

Last week, 25 MacArthur Park neighborhood teens, many of whom had never used a professional camera before, began an intensive Fredric Roberts Photography Workshop—held in conjunction with LACMA and the nonprofit Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)— with a focus on photojournalism. Their photographs will be exhibited at LACMA as they graduate from the program on Sunday. The graduation ceremony takes place from 11 am to 12:30 pm with the photos on view from 12:30-1:30 pm at LACMA’s Brown Auditorium. Free.

On Sunday, Cinefamily presents Doug Benson Watches the Golden Globes + potluck. At 3:30 pm, there’s a taping of new episode of the "Dining With Doug And Karen" podcast, hosted by Benson and Karen Anderson. Since the free event includes a potluck, bring a dish to impress (don’t bring chips!) as Doug and Karen sample the foods live on the podcast. It’s followed by Benson watching “Da Show” at 4:15 pm. Free with RSVP.

Related: LAist’s January Guide

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

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