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Weekend Planner: 20 Fun Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Here are 20 awesome events happening in L.A. this weekend. If you need additional suggestions, then check out our December Guide for more suggestions.

FRIDAY, DEC. 16

GOODNIGHT BROOKLYN: THE STORY OF DEATH BY AUDIO (Film + discussion)
Goodnight Brooklyn: The Story of Death by Audio is a documentary that brings viewers to the last underground music venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Alamo Drafthouse LA co-presents special LA premiere events on Friday and Saturday at Non Plus Ultra. On Friday, there’s a pre-screening panel discussion with director Matt Conboy on the LA DIY State of the Union featuring operators of The Smell, Pehrspace (RIP) and Basic Flowers. On Saturday, there’s a screening and post-screening Q&A with Conboy followed by music sets from Flat Worms, CFM and others. Doors at 8 pm for both nights. Tickets: $7-$15.

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THE DANDY WARHOLS (Music)
The Dandy Warhols play the Fonda Theatre on Friday night. The band’s wrapping up its Distortland Tour with Telegram & Warbly Jets. 9 pm. Tickets: $27.50. All ages.

DIAMONDS: RARE BRILLIANCE (Science)
The Natural History Museum presents the US debut of Diamonds: Rare Brilliance. The exhibition features a 30+ carat “Juliet Pink” Diamond, an exceptionally rare “Argyle Violet” Diamond and other gems. Diamonds shows off the rare properties of colored gemstones and the science of it all. The stones will be on view through March 19, 2017. Diamonds: Rare Brilliance is free with general admission ($5-$12).

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE (Film)
On Friday at midnight, there’s a free Friday Night Frights preview screening of The Autopsy of Jane Doe at The Cinefamily. From Cinefamily: “but the genius of The Autopsy Of Jane Doe is that Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal manages to expand the autopsy scene itself into a feature-length exercise in terror and suspense.” Tickets are free with RSVP (first-come, first-served). Seating not guaranteed. Star Emile Hirsch does a Q&A after the screening.

2016 IT SUCKED! AWARDS (Comedy)
This weekend—Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm—The 2016 IT SUCKED! Awards take place at UCB Sunset. “From Ken Bone to Sausage Party 2016 has sucked so thoroughly it's almost impossible to figure out what was merely bad and what was truly awful,” note the organizers. So they’ll honor the best of the worst moments in 2016 (and there are a lot to choose from).Tickets: $10.

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GOODNIGHT BROOKLYN: THE STORY OF DEATH BY AUDIO (Film + discussion)
Goodnight Brooklyn: The Story of Death by Audio is a documentary that brings viewers to the last underground music venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Alamo Drafthouse LA co-presents special LA premiere events on Friday and Saturday at Non Plus Ultra. On Friday, there’s a pre-screening panel discussion with director Matt Conboy on the LA DIY State of the Union featuring operators of The Smell, Pehrspace (RIP) and Basic Flowers. On Saturday, there’s a screening and post-screening Q&A with Conboy followed by music sets from Flat Worms, CFM and others. Doors at 8 pm for both nights. Tickets: $7-$15.

GENTRIFICATION (Comedy)
The comedy show Gentrification returns to Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park on Saturday night at 8 pm. See live comedy, drink cheap beer and support and donate to the Downtown Women's Center. The lineup features: Aparna Nancherla, Asif Ali, Debra DiGiovanni, Kimberly Clark, Christine Little, Dash Kwiatkowski, Katie Merriam and special surprise guest. The show is free, but a suggested $5 donation won’t be turned away, either.

CELEBRATE 120 YEARS OF GRIFFITH PARK (Outdoor celebration)
Grab a picnic and celebrate 120 Years of Griffith Park on Friday from 3-7 pm at the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Activities include a climbing wall, L.A. River Rover, visit with the L.A. Zoo and a night hike with the Sierra Club. Live music from 4-6 pm. Free.

FENCES (Film + Q&A)
There’s an early limited release of Fences at ArcLight Hollywood this weekend. Based on August Wilson’s iconic play, the film stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis (who reprise their roles from Broadway). There are Q&As on Friday at the 4:15 pm and 5 pm screenings with director and actor Denzel Washington and Constanza Romero (Wilson’s wife) and on 5:30 pm with actor Viola Davis. Adult tickets: $17.75.

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SATURDAY, DEC. 17

HOLLY JOLLY DAY (Holiday fun)
Holly Jolly Day returns to The Mixing Room at JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE on Saturday. It’s perfect fun for the whole family with ticket prices that include private access to the L.A. LIVE ice skating rink with a Hot Chocolate & Holiday Sweets Laboratory. Festive cocktails and spiked hot chocolate with a variety of toppings are available at the bar for adults, too. Choose between two sessions. Santa Claus makes an appearance between 12-4 pm. Tickets: $12-$20.

MANGA GIRLS (Art)
Giant Robot presents Manga Girls, an exhibition featuring the work of manga artist Katsuya Terada at GR2. He melds art and manga, and this show will examine sequential comics in an artistic way. The opening reception is on Saturday from 6:30-10 pm and runs through Jan. 11.

PATTON OSWALT (Book signing)
On Saturday at 2 pm, Dark Delicacies in Burbank presents Emmy-winning actor, writer and comedian Patton Oswalt. He’ll be signing the vinyl for his show Talking for Clapping.

COREY HELFORD GALLERY (Art shows)
On Saturday from 7-11 pm, Corey Helford Gallery in DTLA holds opening receptions for three shows. In Gallery 1, there’s the group show Beneath The New Waves: An Exploration of Underwater Reality and Surreality. Mikael Takacs’ Embodiment of Secrets is in Gallery 2, and The B-Girls, a new solo show from Toronto-based contemporary surrealist painter Troy Brooks opens in Gallery 3. All works will remain on view through Jan. 14.

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THE RISK! HOLIDAY STORYTELLING SHOW (Storytelling)
The RISK! Storytelling Holiday show is at the Bootleg Theatre on Saturday at 9 pm with people telling true stories about “the holidays” they’d never thought they’d share in public. The night features tales from host Beowolf Jones and LA storytellers Danny Lobell, Matt McCarthy, Mike Drucker and Sian Mason. Tickets: $10-$12.

THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR (Comedy + variety)
The Thrilling Adventure Hour is at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Saturday night at 8 pm, bringing musical, comical and magical moments from the WorkJuice Players: Paul F. Tompkins, Paget Brewster, Busy Philipps, Joshua Malina, Craig Cackowski, Hal Lublin, Mark Gagliardi, Annie Savage, Autumn Reeser, Janet Varney and Marc Evan Jackson. Music by Jordan Katz & the Elements of Style. Tickets: $25.50-$49.50.

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Film)
‘Tis the season for the 1946 Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life—starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Zuzu’s petals. The film screens at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica at 7:30 pm on Saturday night (tickets are $11). There’s also a free screening at 10 am on Saturday at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood. It’s a “Bring A Toy, Get In Free” admission as part of the holiday toy drive.

SUNDAY, DEC. 18

LEONARD COHEN (Music)
The Getty Center presents a night of Leonard Cohen’s music on Sunday from 1-5 pm. No speeches or performances, just the time and space to listen to Cohen’s music (chosen by friends, fans and music producer Hal Willner). Free, no reservations required.

BUSH ADMINISTRATION (Comedy)
The Bush Administration is a stand-up show at the Junior High art gallery that features women and marginalized voices on Sunday at 7:30 pm. All proceeds help the Junior High create events for marginalized people of color. Snacks and drinks and tarot card readings during the event. The lineup includes: Quincy Jones, Debra DiGiovanni, Barbara Gray, Eddie Della Siepe, Maddie Connors and Lynn Molly. The suggested donation is $5 (includes drinks).

CLIFTON’S PACIFIC SEAS (Party)
Pacific Seas: An Island Style Seasonal Celebration takes place at Clifton’s on Sunday (either 2-3:30 pm and 5-6:30 pm). The Tiki Room at Clifton’s plays hosts ukulele music, Polynesian dancing and more. Ticket price: $40 per person. VIP tickets available.

SMORGASBURG (Food)
This Sunday marks the final Smorgasburg of 2016 and your last chance to pick up gifts from the market vendors. Of course, Smorgasburg’s hand-picked food vendors will be there, too, and this week, they’re welcoming Miami food truck pioneer (and Rick Ross’ personal chef) Chef Jeremiah for a special one day only, pop-up launch of his brand new concept: KIWICHA. (Basically, it’s a healthy eating concept named for an ancient Peruvian superfood.)

HM157's CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA (Holidays)
HM157's Christmas Extravaganza on Sunday features 18 music and performance acts, goodwill, local vendors and holiday cheer. The lineup includes: Matt Adams and Friends, Miranda Lee Richards, Hollywood Knightz and Powers, Kent & Wheeler and others. Doors open at 7, show at 8 pm. Admission: $10. All ages.

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