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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Planner: 20 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Here are 20 awesome events happening in L.A. this holiday weekend, some New Year’s related and some not. Most of these are totally affordable, too. If you want more suggestions, then check out LAist's New Year’s Eve Guide.


David Lowery’s bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven perform at the Whisky A Go Go on Friday night. Together, both bands have released four albums in the last three years as personal odes to Northern and Southern California, including Cracker’s double-album Berkeley to Bakersfield and Camper van Beethoven’s La Costa Perdida and El Camino Real. Also performing: State Line Sundicate, Medium Rare and 20 Minute Mile. Doors at 7 pm. Tickets ($25) available at the door. All ages.

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Dublab brings the tunes and its collective of DJs to Grand Central Market each Friday night to kick off the weekend. This Friday enjoy sets by DJ Chris Kissel from 7-10 pm with food and drinks in a fun environment.

On Friday night at 7:30, 9 and 10:30 pm, UCB Sunset presents the new show, Gene Wilder and Fidel Castro's New Year's Rockin' Eve (in Limbo). The show combines immersive theater, comedy and scavenger hunt. Guests will roam the halls and rooms of heaven or hell, including A Facebook Echo Chamber, Westworld World, The Physical Manifestation of Reddit, A Limbo Karaoke Room featuring the music of the approx. 1,000 musical artists who died in 2016, Hillary Clinton's Woods, The Set of a Multi-Cam Sitcom and Fake News Ground Zero. Before the night ends, four partygoers who find Gene Wilder's special Golden Tickets will “receive a prize that's wonderful and also terrible beyond all imagination.”

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (Christmas comfort films)
Cinefamily presents When Harry Met Sally (1989) as part of its Christmas comfort films series on Friday at 7:30 pm. The classic film stars Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher (R.I.P.) and Bruno Kirby and is directed by Rob Reiner. Tickets: $12.

TRAILER - The Love Witch from Cinefamily on Vimeo.

Also at Cinefamily at 10 pm on Friday is The Love Witch, with director Anna Biller in person. Biller wrote, produced, designed, directed and edited the 1960s throwback about and filmed it in 35mm. The film follows a “love-starved sorceress (Samantha Robinson, a dead ringer for giallo diva Edwige Fenech), whose magical seductions spell toil and trouble for weak-willed men.” Tickets: $14.REMEMBERING BOWIE (Music)
Club FOXES and Foxes Magazine present Remembering Bowie, a tribute music show at the Satellite on Friday night, featuring performances by Gateway Drugs, The Schizophonics, The Blank Tapes, Veronica Bianqui, The Smoke Season, Frankie Clarke of Frankie + The Studs, Laena Geronimo of Feels, Jeff Fribourg of, Modeste Cobián of The Buttertones, Jeffertitti Moon of The Dream Ride, The Blessings and Glam Skanks. Doors at 8:30 pm, show at 9 pm. Tickets: $10. 21+.


The Huntington presents a special New Year's Brunch Dec. 31-Jan. 2 with two seatings at 10:30 am and 1 pm. The buffet will be held al fresco under the dome of the Rose Hills Foundation Garden Court. Among the menu delicacies: tossed-to-order Grilled Lobster Caesar, Nutella-stuffed Brioche French Toast, Espresso Pot de Crème, endless mimosas and much more. Tickets: $85+ fees, and $40+ fees for children 12 and younger.

2017: A NEW HOPE (Comedy + music)
2017: A New Hope is a New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza is at NerdMelt Showroom on Saturday night at 7 pm. The comedy/music show is hosted by comedian Joseph Scrimshaw and will help ease attendees through the transition from 2016 to 2017 with guests Josh A. Cagan, J. Elvis Weinstein, Caitlin Durante, Lucia Fasano, Phoebe Bottoms and dancer Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw. The Nutcracker will be performed in its entirety in five minutes. Tickets: $8-$10.

CHRIS D'ELIA: LA NYE '16 (Comedy)
Spend New Year’s Eve with comedian and actor Chris D’Elia at the Wiltern on Saturday night. D’Elia, best known for his standup also starred in NBC’s series Undateable and Whitney. Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm. Tickets: $40.

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The Portland-based Pink Martini orchestra plays two shows on New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney Concert Hall (7 pm and 10:30 pm). The band will perform songs off its latest album, Je dis oui! with special guests China Forbes, Ari Shapiro and Rita Moreno. Tickets: $82-$221.

Cap off 2016 with a few laughs with The Groundlings on Saturday night. The Groundlings New Year’s Eve Celebration, directed by Lisa Schurga features an all-star cast of current Groundlings and alumni. Start at 9 pm with specialty cocktails, margaritas and a gourmet taco bar, followed by the show at 10 pm. A midnight champagne toast starts the year off right. Tickets: $100. Ages 21+ only.

If you’ve wanted to meditate more or even learn how to meditate, then join this mini-retreat at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles on Saturday. Meditation instruction is available at all times. The retreat begins at 4 pm and runs until midnight with a celebratory dinner from 7-8 pm. The evening includes both sitting and walking meditation. Cost: $15 for the program and $10 if staying for dinner.

ESTERS WINE SHOP & BAR (Champagne + oysters)
On New Year’s Eve, Esters Wine Shop & Bar in Santa Monica offers small plates from Rustic Canyon’s chef Jeremy Fox and beginning at 5 pm, they’re hosting a casual champagne tasting, sampling 5 champagnes for $50 at your own pace. Add a dozen oysters with the tasting for an additional $25. Walk-ins are welcome, but if you have a party of six or more, make a reservation by calling 310.899.6900.

The New Beverly rings in 2017 with the slasher film New Year’s Evil, screening at 11:59 pm on Saturday night. The 1980 film directed by Emmett Alston, follows a deranged maniac who makes obscene phone calls to a disc jockey host, threatening a murder as the clock hits twelve in each time zone. “As the body count rises in this deliriously entertaining holiday bloodbath, our punk rock heroine may be next on the killer’s grisly midnight hit list.” Shown in 35 mm. Tickets: $8.

Golden Road Brewery throws a special New Year’s Eve celebration on Saturday night that features a four-course menu designed by Golden Road’s Executive Chef Adam Levoe along with a special barrel-aged beer pouring. (Vegan options will be available.) Live entertainment throughout the evening that leads to a midnight toast. Tickets: $65 per person. Golden Road will accept reservations between 7 and 10 pm.

Grand Park once again puts on L.A.’s massive New Year’s Eve party beginning at 8 pm on Saturday night. This free, and family-friendly event features live music, art and projections, food and beverages (no alcohol). Performances by Jungle Fire, QVLN, Afrodyete, Lyric Jones, DJ Expo, L.A. Samba Dancers, Jose Marquez, Gazoo Olmeda, Victoria Van Damn, DJ Paris Paul, DJ Rell and CheckOne2 Dancers. Check out the list of things you can and cannot bring before you go.



Roll out of bed on New Year's Day and head to The Morrison in your jammies for a free bread pudding. (Image: Courtesy of The Morrison)
PAJAMA PARTY (Hangover brunch)
While there are a number of ways to recover on New Year's Day throughout L.A., we’d like to call your attention to The Morrison’s annual Pajama Party on Sunday beginning at 10 am and serving brunch until 3 pm. Bloody Marys and Mimosas are $5, and anyone coming in PJs will get a complimentary bread pudding all day long.

BEATS, BLOODIES & BRUNCH (Hangover brunch)
LA's 6th annual Beats, Bloodies & Brunch is the city's official NYE afterparty, with proceeds going to P.S. Arts, a nonprofit that supports music and art education for underserved youth. Beats, Bloodies & Brunch features a chef inspired brunch, bottomless bloody Marys and mimosas, plus live music from 13 different DJs playing everything from top 40 to EDM. The party takes place Studio 11 near DTLA with doors opening at 6 am. A $20 donation earns you unlimited bloodies and mimosas all day long; individual drinks are $6 donation.

Ring in the New Year on Sunday with a Polar Bear Skate at the Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square. It’s a take on the polar bear plunge, so instead of taking a dip in the Pacific, skate on Jan. 1 from 2:30-3:30 pm in beach attire. [The high is supposed to be 58 in DTLA on Sunday.] Skaters of all ages are invited to dress in beachwear and skate to the beat of DJ HowLy’s tunes for an invigorating welcome to 2017. And if that’s not enticing enough, how about $1,000 in cash prizes will be awarded for theme, originality and overall appearance. General is $9 and skate rental is $4.

SALUTE TO VIENNA (Classical music)
Listen to soothing sounds of classical music at the Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert held on Sunday at 2:30 pm at Walt Disney Concert Hall. To ease you into the new year, the program features Strauss waltzes and melodies from Die Fledermaus and Merry Widow, performed by the Strauss Symphony of America. The program also features European singers, ballet dancers and ballroom dancers. Tickets start at $49.50.

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