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Arts and Entertainment

Your Ultimate Guide To April: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles

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No fooling! We found a number of notable events happening in L.A. in April to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details.

All month

It’s April and that means it’s time for another edition of MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles) with photo exhibitions, installations and related programming happening all around town throughout the month. Events this weekend alone include the group show Truth is Stranger than Fiction at Glassell Commons Space A; a Bergamot Station Gallery Hop on Saturday; The Body Electric by Jeff Charbonneau and Eliza French at Robert Berman Gallery.

April 2-3

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The Brewery Art Walk’s Spring Edition happens this weekend from 11 am to 6 pm at the Brewery Art Complex in DTLA. The twice annual open studio weekend, held at the site of the former Pabst plant, boasts more than 100 participating resident artists opening their studio doors to the public. Check out new works, installations and get a chance to meet and talk to the artists and makers themselves. Admission is free and check out Barbara's At The Brewery for beer and sustenance. Also, take public transportation or carpool because parking is at a premium here.

April 7 and through baseball season

CHASING DREAMS (Art + baseball)
The Skirball opens two baseball-themed exhibitions this month. Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American opens on April 7 and presents the stories of baseball's players, fans and visionaries who helped change the face of baseball. Players profiled include Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax to Jackie Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela, Ichiro Suzuki, and others. “Featuring more than 130 treasured objects, Chasing Dreams illustrates America's national pastime as a pathway for American Jews and other immigrant and minority communities to become American.” The companion exhibit, The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings: The Art of Ben Sakoguchi also opens on April 7. Both shows—and an accompanying film series—will remain on view through baseball season.April 7

The California Sunday Magazine brings its Pop-Up Magazine event back to L.A. for a night at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on April 7 at 7:30 pm. The program features a mix of true stories, film, photography, art, radio and music live on stage. The lineup includes: comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani, director Ava DuVernay (Selma), photographer and "Echo Park" filmmaker Amanda Marsalis, journalists Dexter Thomas and Claire Hoffman, and KPCC’s Alex Cohen. Live music by Magik*Magik Orchestra. Tickets are $25-$45+ fees.

April 7 and April 16

On April 16, wizards and muggles collide at two very important Harry Potter events. On April 7, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter finally opens to the public at Universal Studios, and then on the 16th, the 5th Annual Harry Potter Roller Skating Night at Moonlight Rollerway Skating Rink in Glendale. Presented by The Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, the family-friendly party runs from 8-11 pm. The night includes music from the films, a costume contest, merchandise for sale and raffle prizes. Tickets $9.75 (no skating or bring your own) to $14.75.

April 9

B)i(G FIRE (Comedy + camping)
B)i(G FIRE festival is LA's first overnight comedy festival that brings comedy, art, music, the outdoors and camping together. There are several stages featuring 63 acts doing improv, sketch comedy, and stand up with installations and performances happening around the festival, too. It all takes place at East Walker Ranch in Santa Clarita. Tickets: $20-$30 and parking is $5 per car.

April 9 and 16

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You can always count on Quentin Tarantino's New Beverly Cinema to have some of the best, most obscure, and most eclectic film programming in town. This April is no exception, with their screening of the complete Crimson Ghost (yes, the Misfits logo) serial from 1946. The Republic Pictures production, about a "skull-faced maniac seeking a terrifying atomic weapon," is spread across 12 chapters, which the New Bev will be peppering in throughout their daily programming. Or if you'd rather take them in bigger doses, there's midnight screenings on the 9th and 16th of the first- and second-half of the series, respectively, or the complete 3-hour marathon at midnight on the 23rd. The Republic serials (which include tales of The Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, and Zorro) are said to be one of the inspirations for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. —Carman Tse

April 9-10

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books returns to the USC campus on April 9 and 10 for two days of readings, panels, music, comedy, film, art and food. Did we mention books and zines, too? Authors and performers include: Arianna Huffington, Carrie Brownstein, Buzz Aldrin, T.C. Boyle, Taye Diggs, Padma Lakshmi, Michael Connelly, Rainn Wilson and U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, among many many others. Free admission, but festival passes (which allows access to ticketed events): $35; advance conversation tickets for $1 each or free stand-by on day of event.

April 15-17 and April 22-24

Coachella takes over the desert for two weekends this month (April 15-17 and April 22-24) with Guns N' Roses and LCD Soundsystem reuniting to as headline. Calvin Harris, Ice Cube, Sia, Ellie Goulding, Run the Jewels, Underworld, Sufjan Stevens, CHVRCHES, A$AP Rocky, Disclosure, Rae Sremmurd, Joey Bada$$ and Jack Ü (Diplo's and Skrillex's side group) are some of the major acts also playing. Everything’s like way sold out, but where there’s a will—and a lot of money—there’s a way.

April 16

Atlas Obscura—a field guide to odd and off-the-beaten path places—presents Obscura Day on April 16, with 15 “awe-inspiring events.” These guided adventures take place around L.A. and include: Ruins of the White City and Inspiration Point: Hike to the ruins of the 'White City' on Echo Mountain with Modern Hiker’s Casey Schreiner; Retreat to Rockhaven Sanitarium: Stroll through a vacant sanitarium that was once home to Hollywood elite; and Murals of the Gabba Arts District: Zigzag through a labyrinth of vibrant murals in Historic Filipinotown with Cartwheel Art Tours' Cindy Schwarzstein. Most events are $20-$40. Registration required.

April 16, 23 and 30

April is Earth Month, so what better way to contribute by signing up to help the Friends of the Los Angeles River’s 27th annual event, the Great LA River Cleanup. Even though we didn’t get super strong El Niño rains, the storms did wash a lot of trash into the channel, which all needs to be removed. Volunteer on Saturdays—April 16, 23 and 30—and choose from 15 sites along the course of the entire river.

April 23-May 14ROYAL CURATION (Art)
The Gabba Gallery presents the art show Royal Curation, which features four shows curated by four of L.A.’s respected art experts. G. James Daichendt - Word; Mat Gleason - Blood on the Track Lights; Isabel Rojas-Williams - I Am More and Cindy Schwarzstein - /Brit-fluence(d)/. The opening night celebration is on April 23 from 7-11 pm with the works on view through May 14.

April 23-Aug. 21

REFUGEE (Art + photo)
Annenberg Space for Photography presents the exhibition Refugee, which features works by five international artists—Lynsey Addario, Omar Victor Diop, Graciela Iturbide, Martin Schoeller, and Tom Stoddart—who captured photos that illuminate the global refugee crisis. The images are of people from throughout the world, taken in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Myanmar, Serbia, Slovenia and the U.S. Refugee will be on view from April 23-Aug. 21.

April 23

BROKE LA (Music)
The poor wo/man’s alternative to Coachella—Brokechella—returns on April 23 with a new name: Broke L.A. The day-long art and music festival takes place at Imperial Art Studios in DTLA with more than 50 emerging musical acts. The ticket price—$20 plus $2.50 service fee—certainly won’t break the bank. The music begins at 3 pm. 21+.

April 24

Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, the defense attorneys for Steven Avery in the Netflix documentary series Making A Murderer are currently on a speaking tour. They bring A Conversation on Justice to L.A. on April 24 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on April 24 at 8 pm. Strang and Buting will discuss the Avery case, its broader implications and the American justice system as a whole. They will also discuss suggestions for improving the imperfect system. There will be an audience Q&A following the discussion. Tickets: $49.50-$95.

April 28-May 1

The seventh annual TCM Classic Film Festivalopens on April 28 with a 40th anniversary screening of the Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman political thriller All The President’s Men (1976). The festival, which takes place in Hollywood, also features these two cool-sounding live events: The North American premiere of Holiday in Spain aka Scent of Mystery (1960) presented in “Smell-O-Vision” at the Cinerama Dome and a poolside screening at the Hollywood Roosevelt of Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman (1925), featuring DJ Thomas Golubić spinning a an accompanying soundtrack for the silent film. Individual tickets are $20 for most screenings and events.

April 29

Will Ferrell and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers are throwing a party—a quinceanera—on April 29 at the Shrine Auditorium. The Red Hot Benefit Comedy + Music Show & Quinceanera features music and comedy with performances from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Devo and sets from comedians Jim Gaffigan, Nick Offerman and others. Proceeds benefit two charitable organizations: Cancer for College (helping more than 1,000 cancer survivors get a college education) and the nonprofit Silverlake Conservatory of Music (Flea’s school). Tickets $75-$250 are scarce so get ‘em quick.

April 29-30

Bob's Burgers Live is a music and comedy show that brings together the cast and creator of FOX’s Bob’s Burgers for two nights at the Wiltern on April 29-30. The promised extravaganza celebrates 100 episodes of the series, with the 100th scheduled to air May 22. The event includes a live table read of a classic episode, standup-comedy and clips from future episodes and musical performances. Tickets: $49.50 to $69.50.

April 29

RY X (Music)
Hollywood Forever presents RY X on April 29 at 8 pm in the Masonic Lodge. The Australian singer-songwriter reminds us of Bon Iver with a beautiful voice to complement his lyrics. Tickets: $20.

April 29-30

On April 29-30, there’s a book launch party for the Stickerbomb book series with select prints for sale on the 29th at Start Los Angeles. The following day, there’s a pop-up shop and live illustration battle hosted by Secret Walls. Free admission.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in L.A.? Follow @LAistor me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.

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