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Here Are 20 Awesome Events Happening In L.A. This Week

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The L.A. Opera and Union Station present a pop-up opera event, 'A Night in the Seraglio,' on Tuesday at Union Station. (Image: Courtesy of Union Station/Metro Arts)
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Here are 20 of our favorite events happening in L.A. this week. For MLK Day-related events, please check out the List Of MLK Day Events For The Weekend.

MONDAY, JAN. 16

ROMANTIC ENCOUNTERS STORYTELLING SHOW (Stories)
Bar Lubitsch presents the Romantic Encounters Storytelling Show, a storytelling show hosted and curated by Melinda Hill, on Monday with two shows at 7:30 pm and 9 pm. The night features L.A. comics sharing their funniest love and sex stories. The early show features Greg Proops, Margaret Cho, Gaby Dunn, Alexi Wasser, Ivana Shein and surprise special guests. The 9 pm show features Laura House, April Richardson, Chip Pope, Dennis Dugan, Beth Dewey, Steven Briggs and others. Tickets: $17 in advance, $25 at the door (cash). Partial proceeds from Monday’s show will benefit the ACLU.

THE LAST BLACK WEEK IN THE WHITE HOUSE (Comedy)
UCB Franklin hosts The Last Black Week in The White House, a farewell improv comedy show for Barack Obama, the first black president, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday at 11 pm). You can catch some of comedy’s rising stars hailing from improv teams like White Women, Obama's Other Daughters and host team Arcade Currency, who’ve appeared on shows such as New Girl, Mad TV, Lethal Weapon and others. Tickets: $5.

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TUESDAY, JAN. 17

A NIGHT IN THE SERAGLIO (Pop-up opera)
L.A.’s Union Station and the LA Opera present a first look at Mozart’s comedic opera The Abduction From the Seraglio on Tuesday at Union Station’s Waiting Room, which will be transformed into a Roaring 20s jazz club. The sneak peek takes place from 6-8 pm and will feature live jazz, ‘20s era dancers and opera performers doing pieces from the upcoming show.

BEAR’S DEN (Music)
London-based trio Bear’s Den starts its North American tour on Tuesday at the El Rey Theatre. To celebrate each city on their tour, the band’s going to perform a cover song at each stop that’s unique to the area. Doors at 7:30 pm, show at 8:30 pm. Gill Landry opens. Tickets: $20. All ages.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18

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FOCUS ON FEMALE DIRECTORS 2017 (Film)
American Cinematheque presents the annual Focus on Female Directors 2017 at the Egyptian Theatre on Wednesday at 7:30 pm. The annual short film program celebrates the work of women behind the camera, showing works from both veterans of the industry and emerging talent. The films have been curated by Andrew P. Crane, Kim Adelman and Andrea Richards, and a discussion with filmmakers Eileen O’Meara, Christina Beck, Alexis O. Korycinski, Ellie Wen, Alicja Jasina and Uttera Singh follows the screening. Post-screening reception in the lobby for all ticket holders. Tickets: $12.

SURVIVING TRUMP: THE ART OF RESISTANCE (Art)
World of Wonder’s co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato present the group art show, Surviving Trump: The Art of Resistance at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery in Hollywood. The show opens on Wednesday and features 50 pieces from dozens of emerging and established artists displaying “their wild and twisted visions of the current political climate.” Participating artists include Kenny Sharf and RAJA (winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 3). And one of the naked Trump statues will be presented in-person by its creator, Ginger from INDECLINE. Artwork can be viewed and purchased (except the naked Trump) with proceeds being donated to the ACLU. The opening reception is on Wednesday from 8-11 pm.

BASSEM YOUSSEF (Comedy + satire)
CAP UCLA presents political satirist Bassem Youssef: The Joke Is Mightier than the Sword on Wednesday at 8 pm at UCLA’s Royce Hall. He’s been called the “Egyptian Jon Stewart,” and it’s only fitting that he performs at UCLA on #J18—a day of democratic education to reaffirm the role of critical thinking, open-mindedness and academic knowledge. Youssef will participate in a Q&A session after his set. Tickets are $19-$39.

AMY SNOWDEN & FRIENDS (Comedy)
Amy Snowden & Friends are at the Comedy Central Stage at the Hudson on Wednesday at 8 pm. The free hour of underground LA comedy features Sally Mullins, Shawn Pelofsky, Torrance Hill and Amy Snowden. Reservations required (online) or by calling 323.960.5519.

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MOGWAI SOUNDTRACK (Film + music)
The Scottish band Mogwai performs the soundtrack to Mark Cousin’s film Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise, live on Wednesday at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in DTLA. The music was inspired by the band’s trip to Hiroshima, and the impressionistic film focuses on the power of the Atomic Age and the bomb, with “images of protest marches, Cold War confrontation, Chernobyl and Fukushima” as well as more beneficial uses, such as x-rays and MRI scans. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9:30 pm. Tickets: $33.50.

ARTISTS TALK: LA LEGENDS (Art + conversation)
The Broad Stage and Sotheby's Institute Of Art - Los Angeles present the new series, Artists Talk: LA Legends. The series features conversations with influential California-based artists, beginning this Wednesday at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica with Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Ed Moses and Ed Ruscha in conversation. There is a reception with the artists at 6 pm, followed by the program at 7:30 pm. The event is moderated by author and art critic Hunter Drohojowska-Philp. Tickets: $80-$125.

THURSDAY, JAN. 19

WICKED WOMAN: VOYEUR DE VENUS (Burlesque)
The Wicked Woman collective presents Voyeur de Venus, a monthly event at Pour Vous in Hollywood that honors a different "wicked woman" of history. This month honors writer Anais Nin through seductive movement and dance and features pole, burlesque, aerial, contortion, hooping and fire. Three sets at 9:30 pm, 11 pm, and 12:30 am. Tickets: $10 cash or Venmo.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Opening party)
The educational organization General Assembly opens a standalone campus in Little Tokyo and hosts a launch party to celebrate on Thursday from 6-9 pm. Stop by for food, drinks and networking and conversations with players in LA’s tech scene.

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TALIB KWELI (Music)
Talib Kweli headlines The Belasco Theater on Thursday night. The hip hop artist is currently on The Seven Tour, and this week’s show features openers Styles P and K'Valentine. Doors at 7 pm. Tickets: $25.

WHAT A JOKE (Comedy fest)
What a Joke: A National Comedy Fest Supporting the ACLU takes place from Thursday through Saturday. The comedy festival, taking place in more than 20 U.S. cities, is being held in response to the President-elect’s repeated threats on human rights. The shows will raise money for the ACLU on Inauguration Day Weekend. In L.A., there are shows at NerdMelt on Jan. 19-20 at NerdMelt, coordinated by Caitlin Durante, Scott Blacks, Derek QXQX and Jarred Endres. Flappers in Burbank features 17 shows, coordinated by Barbara Holliday, to benefit the ACLU.

THE COMEDY 'N WRESTLING CONNECTION (Comedy + wrestling)
Victory Lap Variety produces the comedy show The Comedy ‘n’ Wrestling Connection at The Box in Silver Lake (the gym at the Silver Lake JCC). Matt McCarthy of The We Watch Wrestling Podcast hosts with his friends Vince Averill and Tom Sibley. Guests include Aparna Nancherla, Johnny Pemberton, Brandie Posey, Josh Fadem, Joe Cobden, Stuart Jenkins and Ithamar Enriquez. Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm. Tickets: $10.

RALLY TO SAVE ROE (Politics)
The National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles (NCJW/LA) and more than 20 organizations are hosting the Rally to Save Roe, a rally and training to defend women’s reproductive rights in this country on Thursday at 543 N Fairfax Ave. (Fairfax and Clinton), starting at 6 pm. The rally commemorates the 44th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and not only will feature speakers, performers, demonstrations, but also advocacy training to help affect change in communities.

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Riot LA Comedy Festival returns to DTLA on Thursday with a great lineup. (Image detail: Riot LA)
RIOT LA (Comedy fest)
Riot LA Comedy Festival comes to DTLA from Thursday through Sunday. Now in its fifth year, the festival is three times larger than last year's (10k tickets sold last year, 30k ticket capacity this year). Riot LA performers include Mel Brooks, Ali Wong, Felipe Esparza, Thomas Middleditch, Dr. Katz Live! (w/ special guests Tig Notaro, Laura Silverman & More), Kyle Kinane, Maria Bamford, Nikki Glaser, Eugene Mirman, Adam Devine, Rachel Bloom, Whitney Cummings, Anthony Jeselnik, David Wain, Todd Barry and many more. The Super Deluxe Lot at (843 Spring St.) will serve as the epicenter of the festival and features performances, videos, arcade games, ferris wheel, food trucks, bar, etc. Individual tickets to shows are available (generally $20-$40+), festival passes are 159.50-$349.50 (VIP).

TRIUMPH OF THE WILL (Film)
Seeking Our Story and the USC School of Cinematic Arts present director Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of The Will on Thursday at the USC’s Ray Stark Family Theatre. Doors at 6 pm for networking with Women in Media and the screening begins at 7:30 pm. The Riefenstahl film, originally commissioned by Adolf Hitler, is “a cautionary lesson on the power of media and art in politics,” will be screened in 16mm courtesy of the UCLA film archive. RSVP for networking to womennmedia@gmail.com and for the screening to cinema.usc.edu/Riefenstahl.

PRINCESS (Music)
Actor and comic Maya Rudolph and LA singer-songwriter Gretchen Lieberum are Princess, a Prince cover band. The band plays the Teragram Ballroom on Thursday. Doors at 7:30 pm, show at 8:30 pm. Tickets: $30.

NATIONAL POPCORN DAY (Party)
It's National Popcorn Day on Thursday, and Spin PR Group hosts POPPED! Popcorn & Cocktails party in Santa Monica, with LA area chefs competing against amateurs to create the most inventive and tasty popcorn around. For $20, guests can indulge in tastings and vote for their favorite, as well as curated cocktail pairings from local mixologists. The event takes place at a private loft space in Santa Monica from 7-10 pm on Thursday (address provided upon RSVP).

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