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Weekend Planner: 20 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Here are 20 of our favorite events happening right here in L.A. this weekend. Think we missed something or you want other options? Check out the September Guide, too.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 2

LOVE SONGS FOR GOD & WOMEN (Music)
We caught this interesting band on the Hotel Cafe’s calendar: Love Songs for God & Women (Ben Lee & Josh Radnor) are playing the 9 pm set on the Main Stage on Friday night. Tickets: $10. 21+.

THE TASTE (Food fest)
The Los Angeles Times' The Taste returns to Paramount Studios’ backlot this Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-4) to celebrate Southern California’s culinary scene. Each of The Taste’s five events includes unlimited tastings and a variety of wine, spirits and seasonal cocktails. Things kick off on Friday night from 7:30-10:30 pm, with the opening event that features food from Badmaash, Little Pine, Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach Post, Son of a Gun and Sweetfin Poke. Opening Night tickets are $150. Tickets for each of the Saturday and Sunday events run between $100 to $125, with a $25 discount to L.A. Times subscribers.

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DARK VISIONS: MID-CENTURY MACABRE (Art)
The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena opens the new exhibition Dark Visions: Mid-Century Macabre on Friday. The museum features 14 works of art by 20th century artists, including Bruce Conner, Joseph Cornell, George Herms and Edward Kienholz. The 14 works on view show humanity’s struggle to “face death and life’s tribulations—whether through catharsis, psychosis or a portrayal of horrors.” The show runs through Jan. 16.

MOLLY RINGWALD (Jazz)
The Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip becomes a jazz club for the night when actress Molly Ringwald takes the stage on Friday night. She’s been touring with her jazz band in support of her 2013 album Except Sometimes. General admission tickets start at $38.50. All ages. Doors at 8 pm, show at 10:15 pm.

VEGAN STREET FAIR (Food fest)
The Federal Bar in North Hollywood holds a Vegan Street Fair on Friday and Saturday night from 5-11:59 pm, featuring bite-sized eats from 17 vegan-friendly vendors and a beer garden. The food lineup includes Burgerlords, Equelecuá Cuban Café, Mandoline Grill, Ridiculous Baking Company and Taqueria La Venganza from Oakland. Also on the VSF Nights roster are Cha Cha Kombucha, Charlie’s Brownies, Cup My Cakez, Divine Dips Vegan Ice Cream, The Federal Bar, Ihsan’s Falafel, India Jones Chow Truck, The Donuttery, Todo Verde, Vegan Dots, World Empanadas and Yoga-urt.There’s also music provided by 80’s cover band Flashpants, board games, beer pong and giant Jenga.

CALL OF DUTY XP (Gaming + Music )
Call of Duty XP is a huge fan celebration of the popular gaming series that takes over the Forum from Friday through Sunday. There will be onsite gaming activities, an “armory” and franchise museum as well as Call of Duty developer panels and Q&As with Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. To cap things off on Sunday, there’s a special concert by Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg. Tickets: $49, $129 or $199 + fees.

DANCE DOWNTOWN (Disco)
Bust out those leisure suits! The free Dance Downtown series comes to a close for the season on Friday night at the Music Center Plaza with a focus on disco. 7-11 pm. Open to all ages. Food and drinks are available for purchase. Don’t do not bring any lawn furniture or picnic blankets.

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SATURDAY, SEPT. 3

CINESPIA: THE BIRDS (Film)
Cinespia at Hollywood Forever Cemetery screens Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds (1963), starring Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Tippi Hedren and Suzanne Pleshette, on Saturday night. Gates at 6:45 pm and the screening begins at 8:30 pm. Tickets start at $16. (Cinespia also holds a special Sunday screening of True Romance on Sunday.)

WET CARNIVAL (Party)
On Saturday from 2-10 pm, the Queen Mary presents the WET Carnival, a day-long festival of fun in the sun with live music and DJs, water activities, dancing and more. Performances from B.O.B., Lil Jon, Tyga, Kent Jones, DJ Mauricio and others. Tickets: $39 (online in advance) and $49 day of and at the door. VIP tickets are also available starting at $85 (online in advance) and $95 at the door. VIP tickets include priority entrance, access to a private bar and two drink tickets.

CHINATOWN STROLL (Art)
Chung King Road will be hopping on Saturday night with six art openings, live bands and other performances. Gregorio Escalante Gallery joins with This is a Limited Edition to present the group show LA/EDN; Coagula Curatorial presents Velvet Sunflower, a solo show by Raven Servellon; Charlie James Gallery presents Somewhere, a solo show Glenn Goldberg; Jeremiah Kille’s Clapotis is at Project Gallery; Ed Valfre’s Dreamland is at Astern Gallery; and The Good Luck Gallery presents Charles Steffen. The receptions on Saturday begin at 6 or 7 pm.

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ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO (Opera + Star Trek)
The Pacific Opera Project (POP) stages a one-night only encore performance of its Star Trek parody of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio on Saturday at 8 pm at the Ford Theatres. See a production that changes Mozart’s setting of the kidnapping caper from an 18th century harem in Turkey to “the hereto unexplored planet M113.” The opera coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise. Tickets start at $23.

UNION STATION CONCERT SERIES (Music)
Lostboycrow headlines the latest installment of the free Summer Concert series at Union Station on Saturday. The music kicks off at 6:30 pm with DAVIS, followed by sets by Bryce Fox, Spencer Ludwig and then Lostboycrow at 9 pm. Val Fluery DJs between performances.

CAMP TRILL (Day party)
Event specialists Brownies and Lemonade presents the final summer installment of their Camp Trill day party on Saturday at 1 pm at the Belasco (Outdoors). Music by DJ Dahi, FKi 1ST, ROM and others. 21+. Free with RSVP.

GENE WILDER TRIBUTE (Film)
The ArcLight presents a Gene Wilder Tribute in Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Culver City and Santa Monica) on Saturday or Sunday to honor the comedy legend’s work. The theaters will screen Blazing Saddles and/or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Check listings for each theater as times/days vary. Proceeds from the screenings will be donated to The Alzheimer's Foundation.

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SUNDAY, SEPT. 4

BARNSDALL OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHTS (Fundraising series)
Barnsdall Art Park teams up with Cinefamily for its fundraising Outdoor Movie Night series starting Sunday (Sept. 4) and running through Oct. 2. The series features an eclectic lineup that begins with a Bowie Tribute Night: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars—a Cinefamily mixtape—that’s complemented by the Stardust String Quartet playing classically arranged Bowie, while guests sip wine under the stars. Tickets: $25 for movies plus wine tastings (for those 21+).

LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF (Film)
Thom Andersen’s documentary and L.A. homage, Los Angeles Plays Itself, screens at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Sunday at 7:30 pm. If you’ve always wanted to see this film, now’s your chance—and Andersen will discuss the film in person after the screening. Tickets: $11.

CAT DAY (Performance + pet adoption)
The Pack Theater teams up with CARE Rescue LA on Sunday for cat-themed comedy, live music and rescue kitten adoption. The Scramble comedy brunch show takes place from 12-2 pm; and then a sketch show by Rotato from 8-9 pm. All shows at the Pack Theater are pay what you can.

TV LIVE (Theater)
TV Live is a theater series that combines both Hitchcock-ian and Twilight Zone influences. Created by Adam Neubauer and Sebastian Muñoz from Force of Nature Productions, TV Live features four new stories every month, “exploring the unexpected, the startling, the astonishing, and the unforeseen.” The series premieres on Sunday at TAG Theatre in Burbank. Performances at 7 pm on Sundays. Tickets are $20.

ALEX THEATRE BIRTHDAY (Party)
Glendale Arts throws a party for the Alex Theatre’s 91st birthday on Sunday from 7-10 pm. The event is free to the public and will include music, specialty cocktails and food from some Glendale favorites. Eateries participating in #Alex91 include: Thai Me Upp, California Pizza Kitchen, Granville Cafe and the Wooden Fork. Onyx Apartments Glendale is having a candy station and Specialty Cupcakes is serving from special treats for dessert. All food is free to the public. The Glendale Arts staff will be whipping up some Specialty Cocktails (at $8 each) including Summer Spire Sangria, Alex Deco Daiquiri and Birthday Bubbly. Soft drinks and a selection of wines will also be available. A small silent and online auction will benefit the programming and preservation of the theater.

TERRINE AND VIVIANE (All you can eat)
Bombet Hospitality Group’s restaurants Terrine and Viviane are having all-you-can-eat Labor Day feasts on Sunday. At Terrine, Chef/Owner Kris Morningstar grills from 11 am to 9:30 pm for an all-American bbq (with a twist). And yes, Terrine will be serving up its Texas-Style Brisket with chimichurri. Tickets: $40 per person. At Viviane, Executive Chef Michael Hung sets up a poolside spit for a Filipino cookout (pig roast) from 11 am-10 pm on Sunday. Tickets: $34 a person, and restaurant guests will have access to the Avalon’s pool and Viviane’s Summer Sundays Pool Party series.

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