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Our 18 Favorite Events Happening in Los Angeles This Week

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Here is your Weekly Agenda, LA. It’s our take on our favorite events happening throughout the city this week, giving you more time to plan your extra-curricular schedule. We’ll be back later this week to help you plan the weekend, too. This week's column features a number of great film, lit and comedy picks, including a new True Blood book release (with cast members in attendance); a Live Read at LACMA with guest director David Wain; and a Haiyan Typhoon benefit for UNICEF. Read on for all the details.

Monday, Nov. 18

MUSIC: A great show at the Echo with Dear Boy opening for Night Terrors of 1927. Doors at 8 pm and show at 8:30 pm. Free show.

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ARM WRESTLING: Los Angeles Lady Arm Wrestlers presents its Fall Brawl—a mix of spectacle and philanthropy—at the Bootleg Theater at 7 pm. Proceeds benefit Cheshire Moon for arts education in public schools. Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $25 for VIP ringside seats

COMEDY: The second edition of the stand-up comedy show AN SHO(w) with Justin and Gil takes place at Molly Malone's Irish Pub at 8 pm. The lineup includes Ron Funches (NBC's Undateables, Conan), Kyle Dunnigan (Comedy Central Presents, Reno 911), Nate Craig (TruTV's World's Dumbest), Howard Kremer (Comedy Central Presents, @midnight), Allen Strickland Williams (tosh.0) and Matthew Broussard (Adam Devine's House Party) and a big surprise guest. Tickets: $5 online or at the door.

FILM: Doc U—the International Documentary Association's series of educational seminars—presents the program Crowdfunding: Raising Money the New-Fashioned Way at Cinefamily from 7:30-9 pm. IDA’s Amy Halpin moderates a panel with Indiegogo’s Adam Chapnick, fundraising plaftorm Seed&Spark’s Emily Best, and filmmakers Lotti Pharriss Knowles (I am Divine), Camilo Silva (After 68), and Tracy Droz Tragos (Rich Hill) , who’ve completed successful crowdfunding campaigns. The presentation is followed by an audience Q&A and reception.

LIT: There’s a reading / signing at Book Soup at 6 pm for the new True Blood book, True Blood: Steve Newlin’s Field Guide to Vampires (HBO Global Licensing and Chronicle Books). Michael McMillian, who plays Steve Newlin the HBO series, teamed up with associate producer Gianna Sobol to write this detailed manual in character—until the book gets hijacked. True Blood cast members, Anna Camp (Sarah Newlin) and Deborah Ann Woll (vampire Jessica Hamby) are attending the signing, too.

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Tuesday, Nov. 19

GARDEN: Descanso Gardens has free admission today (and every third Tuesdays of the month). There’s also a free garden-related lecture series called Get Dirty at 2 pm with floral designer Alison Franchi of La Petite Gardenia, who’ll show the audience how to create Thanksgiving table displays.

COCKTAILS+CANVAS: The Hideout Lounge on Highland (at the Hilton Garden Inn) holds a new Cocktails & Canvas event. Artist and Instructor Tommy Vinci leads participants in an interactive painting class paired with appetizers and cocktails. 7 pm. Tickets: $40.

FUNDRAISER: There’s a UNICEF fundraiser/reception for Typhoon Haiyan Relief at 8:30 pm at Smith House to raise funds for the estimated 2.8 million preschool and school-aged children displaced by the recent storm. 100% of all donations will go toward disaster relief in the Philippines.

FILM: Film Independent at LACMA presents An Evening with James Toback at 7:30 pm. The evening includes a conversation with the director and a 35th-anniversary screening of Fingers. The writer-director talks about his career that the 1991 script of the biopic Bugsy and his 2009 documentary, Tyson. His newest work is Seduced and Abandoned, a documentary-hybrid in which he teams with actor Alec Baldwin. “The film follows them as the pair combs the streets of Cannes during the film festival, ostensibly to find funding for a passion project.” Tickets: $20 for general public. $10 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club and The New York Times Film Club members. $14 for LACMA members, students with valid ID and seniors (62+).

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Wednesday, Nov. 20

COMEDY: Laugh for a good cause with Giving Thanks Lenny Bruce Style. For a $20 ticket, see comics Whitney Cummings, Pauly Shore and Marc Maron at The Comedy Store in WeHo. Proceeds benefit Lenny’s House, founded by Kitty Bruce, which creates a safe place for women to recover from addiction.

COMEDY: All Things Comedy (ATC) Podcast Network takes over Largo at 8:30 pm tonight with a lineup of stand-up featuring comedians from the All Things Comedy podcast. Hosted by Dave Anthony, the performers include Bill Burr (co-creator of ATC), Will Anderson, Ryan Sickler, Tom Segura and surprise special guests. Tickets: $25.

FILM: The Goethe Institut screens the 2011 German film Women in Love at 7 pm. This German version of Tootsie features Matthias Schweighöfer as unemployed actor who dons a dress and pretends to be an actress and gets the role of a lifetime. Of course, he garners attention he doesn’t want, and falls for an actress who thinks he’s a woman. Admission is $1.

MUSIC: Albert Hammond, Jr. of The Strokes flies solo at the El Rey. Show at 9 pm. Rathborne opens. Tickets: $25.

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Thursday, Nov. 21

PARTY: ArcLight Cinemas presents The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Capitol Bash to prep for the upcoming sequel. Guests are encouraged to dress in their best Tribute or Panem Capitol citizen costume and enjoy unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks, appetizers, free popcorn and soda for the film, and access to our Hunger Games photo booth. The Capitol Bash is being held at ALL ArcLight locations at 6:30 pm on Thursday. There's also an additional 9 pm party followed by a 10:30 pm screening of Hunger Games: Catching Fire at the Hollywood, Sherman Oaks and La Jolla locations. Tickets: $60-$65.

MUSIC: The Boston Pops stops at CSU’s Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge at 8 pm. Boston Pops Laureate Conductor John Williams’s leads musicians through works by American composers Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, and George Gershwin as well as film scores by Boston Pops Conductor Laureate John Williams like Harry Potter and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. They might throw in a few holiday classics too from their new holiday CD.

LIVE READ: At 7:30 pm, Film Independent at LACMA presents the latest edition of Jason Reitman’s Live Read series, with writer-director-comedian David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) stepping in as guest artistic director. He’s bringing the classic Dustin Hoffman-Jessica Lange comedy Tootsie to the Bing stage with a surpise cast in tow. Standby tickets only for this event. Tickets: $40 for the general public; $15 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club and The New York Times Film Club members. $25 for LACMA members, students with valid ID and seniors (62+).

FILM: The Landmark Theatres’ Anniversary Classics Series features the 30th anniversary screening of Tender Mercies at 7 pm. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards in 1983 and Robert Duvall was named Best Actor for his poignant portrayal of a washed-up country singer. In person guest is the film’s co-star Tess Harper. Tickets: $13.

BIKE: The bike shop Just Ride L.A. in DTLA is holding a benefit bike race to help raise as much money as possible for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Donation of $10 to race. All proceeds will go directly to relief efforts. Meet @ Just Ride L.A. Registration at 7:30 pm and race begins at 8:30 pm.

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