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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Planner: 23 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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LAist gets a lot of event announcements, and we comb through them all to bring you a carefully curated list of what’s happening in LA this weekend, including these 23 events. Don’t forget to check out our June Guide, too, for other suggestions. We’ll be back on Monday to help you plan the week ahead.


FOOD: EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) is at First Fridays in Venice this week. The initiative helps fight for a world in which every child is born HIV free. From 5-10 pm on Friday, more than 25 food trucks—including Crispy Cuban, FryFry, The Hurricane Kitchen, Main Squeeze Lemonade, RollnLobster, Recess Truck, Steamy Bun Truck , Haute Burger, Woody’s Grill, Peaches’ Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen, The Pudding Truck, NITROPOD, Fair Game, Tokyo Doggie Style, Canvas, Food Truck, Dot Saigon, Wings N Waffles, Jogasaki Sushi Burrito, Me So Hungry Truck, Let’s Roll It, Amazebowls. Boba ni Taco—are participating. Hosted by Bank of America, the bank will donate $0.40 each time guests use their B of A debit of credit card at participating food trucks. The trucks will be located on Abbott Kinney Boulevard (between Venice and Westminster).

ART: A number of designLAb’s summer season art and design exhibitions open at the Pacific Design Center (PDC) on Friday and among them are VAROLA Gallery’s Hot & Tasty: New Work by Allen Tombello and Christoph Draeger's Destroyin’ LA exhibition. Also opening on Friday at the PDC is Tongues Untied at MOCA Pacific Design Center. The exhibition is titled after a film by poet, activist and artist Marlon Riggs and explores a selection of works from the museum's permanent collection alongside Riggs's “deeply personal and lyrical exploration of black gay identity in the United States.” All receptions are on Friday from 5-9:30 pm.

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STORY: The Skirball presents I'm With The Band, a night of storytelling in which comedians tell their most rockin’ stories. Presented in conjunction with the current exhibition Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, host Beth Lapides joins comedian Greg Behrendt, TV writer John Riggi, Grammy-, Emmy-, Tony- and Webby-winning songwriter Allee Willis and actress/comedian Moon Zappa. The evening is presented lounge style with cocktails and snacks available for purchase. The show begins at 8 pm, but get there early to view the current exhibitions. Tickets: $8-15 (includes admission). Ages 21+.

DONUTS: Friday is National Donut Day and to celebrate Plan Check’s Executive Chef Ernesto Uchimura is prepared to honor the donut all weekend. The restaurant will sell specialty $2 donuts (one donut per order) at all three locations (Sawtelle, Fairfax, and Downtown). “Uchimura’s specialty crullers are comprised of a pâte à choux dough formed into a circular shape, fried to order, and accompanied by adventurous ingredients from astronaut neopolitan ice cream to root beer sprinkles.”

MUSIC + SCIENCE: The Natural History Museum’s First Fridays series closes for the season on Friday with an outdoor party from 5-11 pm. The night begins with tours/lectures including "Mathemagician" Arthur Benjamin on “The Magic of Math” and "How Bird Watchers Can Save the World" by Rick Bonney of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Live music by Hanni El Khatib, Chicano Batman, Avid Dancer. Spinning tunes is resident KCRW DJ Raul Campos featuring Captain Planet. Tickets: $20, free for Museum members.

DANCE: Dance Downtown takes over the Music Center plaza on Friday night for an evening of music and salsa. No partners or experience needed. Just a good attitude and a willingness to dance under the stars. 7-11 pm. Free.

SALON: Popcorn Monthly is a free bi-monthly event at the Virgil that promotes art, ideas and community by bringing together speakers, musicians and stand-up comedians to share their knowledge/talents. Great happy hour drinks and the popcorn’s free. The next installment is on Friday night at 8 pm. Happy hour specials from 7-9 pm ($5 Draft Beer, $6 well & wine, $8 craft cocktails). The program features storyteller Shauna McGarry; Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger; comedian Traci Stumpf; entertainer Lindsay Benner and musician Robbie McDonald.

HORROR CAMPOUT: The Great American Horror Campout is this weekend (June 5 and 6). The 12-hour, overnight, interactive horror camping experience takes over Griffith Park’s Old Abandoned Zoo with campers choosing their activities and level of horrors/adventure (perfect for those prone to peeing in their pants). Tickets: $109-$159 per person.

MARKET: The fifth installment of Parachute Market, a design fair and marketplace returns to the Arts District this weekend at the One Santa Fe building. With the theme, “Ad Hoc,” the exhibition explores the role that “spontaneity plays within community, art.” Participants this season include Please Do Not Enter, Nickey Kehoe, Gulla Jonsdottir, MMaterial, Reform Gallery, The Window, Gray Gallery, Knibb Design, Matin and Welcome Projects. Tickets this weekend are $10, but a first-look preview on Friday will set you back $85.


COMEDY + HIP-HOP: Can I Kick It? returns to NerdMelt on Saturday at 9 pm. The evening is a mashup of Mystery Science Theater meets Biz Markie. Hosted by comedian Al Jackson, he’s joined by Joe DeRosa and Ian Edwards to review and do live commentary on some choice videos from from the ‘70s to ‘90s. DJ Josh Spoon spins before the show. Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

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FESTIVAL: Make Music Pasadenais the largest free music festival on the west coast. Held on Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, the festival brings together people for great music—150 acts performing on some 30 stages. The lineup features performances by How to Dress Well, Sir Sly, Kishi Bashi, Hundred Waters, Nick Waterhouse, Kaleo, Caroline Smith, Lydia Ainsworth, Avid Dancer, Avid Dancer, Kera & the Lesbians and so many more.

ART: Schomburg Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, presents Faces of Skype, a portrait series by artist Jessica Cymerman. The opening reception is Saturday from from 4-6pm with an interactive element to the party. The paintings will be on view through July 4.

POKÉMON: There’s a new Pokémon Boutique opening at the Japan LA Pop Culture Shop on Melrose that features Pokémon-inspired fashion from designers Japan LA, OMOCAT and Onch Movement. There’s a kickoff party scheduled for Friday night from 6-10 pm with appearances by the designers, photo ops with characters, music by DJ Amy Pham and more surprises.

CHOCOLATE HOT TUB PARTY: Naughty lifestyle expert and author Sienna Sinclaire hosts a Chocolate Hot Tub Party on Saturday in Pacific Palisades. There will be games with chocolate—think spin the bottle—with dares and tasks. It can get a little messy so bring towels and a change of clothes (though the event itself is clothing optional). Only a few tickets remain ($15-$50).

MUSIC: The Angel City Chorale presents its annual spring concert this weekend on Saturday and Sunday at the Wilshire United Methodist Church. The concert, Epic, features film and video game music from World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy VIII, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Tetris, Frozen, Cinema Paradiso and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The family-friendly concerts begin at 7 pm. Tickets: $22-$75.

BRUNCH: TOMS presents a sunglasses pop-up & brunch at Viceroy Santa Monica on Saturday from 11 am-3 pm to celebrate the launch of its new Traveler eyewear collection. Specialties from Chef Tony DiSalvo will include Guatemalan-inspired treats like shrimp & halibut ceviche, ropa vieja tostadas, chicken tamales in steamed banana leaf, and longaniza sopes with eggs and mole butter sauce. The regional specialties connect with the regions in which TOMS helps to give sight. The brunch also features buy one, get one free cocktails. Reservations required for brunch, no reservations required for cocktails only.


HIKE: There’s a two-hour nature trek on Sunday morning at 10 am at Franklin Canyon Park. The moderate-difficult hike will explore the canyon from top to bottom with a guide sprinking the hike with history and habitat chat. Meet at Sooky Goldman Nature Center.

POOLSIDE POP-UP: Connected Fest is a poolside pop-up shopping event presented by The Well at the Hotel Figueroa in DTLA on Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. The day features fashion, DJs, brunch and bottomless mimosas or bloody Marys. Exhibitors include Antonio Barragan, Awakn, Be Honey Bee, Dim Mak Eyewear, Drifter, Intentionally Blank, Misc. Short Trips, Nothing & Co, Phraseology, The Squad, The Well, Thorocraft, Quay and more. Free entry with RSVP.

FILM: Cinespia and the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood host a screening of Fantasia (1940) and Fantasia 2000 (1999) on Sunday at 7:30 pm to benefit the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation. In between shows, join in a private cocktail party in the Chinese forecourt. There will also be a Disney-themed Cinespia photobooth, DJs spinning before the screening and full bars with valid ID. The double feature is open to all ages. Tickets: $35.

SQUARE DANCING: Do Si Do, and Up, Up, Up You Go: A Square Dance Barn Raiser Revival and Benefit for HM157 on Sunday from 6-11 pm. Headliners Triple Chicken Foot are providing the music for a barn (fund)raiser for event space and artist collective HM157 that was damaged in a fire. There will be performances, puppets and music throughout the night. Beer and food available onsite. Tickets: $10, $5 for Lincoln Heights residents and kids are free. Nice dogs welcome.

EAT + DRINK: Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Los Angeles returns to Media Park in Culver City on Sunday. The proceeds from the ticket sales supports No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in the U.S. Some of the city’s top chefs and mixologists are participating, including Timothy Hollingsworth & Rory Hermann, Barrel and Ashes; Marcel Vignero, Beefsteak; Chef Antonia Lofaso, Black Maret Liquor Bar; Mette Williams, Culina Modern Italian; Chef Hannah An, The District by Hannah An; Alvin Cailan, Egg Slut / Ramen Champ and so many more. Admission 1-4 pm ($110) and 12:30-4 pm for VIP ($160).

ART: Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada opens to the public at LACMA on Sunday. The LA-based artist (1917-2004) was a founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center. Purifoy’s earliest sculptures were “constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts Rebellion…[and] the exhibition explores a pivotal yet under-recognized figure in the development of postwar American Art whose effect is only beginning to be fully understood.” The exhibition remains on view through Sept. 27.

DOGS + COMEDY: 2 Girls 1 Pup—a comedy show that you can bring your dog to—takes place on Sunday at 7:30 pm at Tailwagger’s Pet Store on Bronson Avenue. Comet the Pup and Monique Madrid hosts the night, which features comedian Emily Maya Mills. Free “pupcorn,” beer, giveaways and raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit The Tailwaggers’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides funding to qualified 501c nonprofit organizations who supply life saving treatment to sick and injured animals. $5 suggested donation at the door.

Related: LAist’s June Guide

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