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Arts and Entertainment

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

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We found a number of notable happenings in February—from a couple of storytelling events to a zine fest—so we're ready to help you plan your social calendar. Read on for all the event picks and details.


STORYTELLING: Eat Your Words—a live storytelling event, hosted by Greg Walloch, is at The Standard, Hollywood’s Cactus Lounge from 8-10 pm. The evening features stories that are inspired by a food theme, told by storytellers and comedians with special guest appearances by LA area chefs, bartenders and foodies. On the program are: Margot Leitman, Caroline on Crack, Nadya Ginsburg, Danny Lobell and Drew Marks. Free, but RSVP is strongly encouraged.

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FILM FESTIVAL: The Pan African Film & Arts Festivalshowcases “the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes.” Through the festival, the organizers hope to bridge a better understanding among people of diverse culture and backgrounds and kick start a dialogue of important issues. The festival takes over The Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The centerpiece film is the new About Last Night remake. Tickets/passes: $10-$300.


FIRST FRIDAYS: The Natural History Museum’s popular First Fridaysreturns this month with the theme of LA Stories... Walk on the Wild Side. The tour is "Tracking and Trapping L.A.'s Wildlife" with Dr. Regina Wetzer, a discussion "Wet and Wild—Coastal Ecosystems and the Future of Southern California" with Dr. Roberta Marinelli and performances by Peaking Lights and Baths. DJ sets by Anthony Valadez and King Most. Programs begin at 5 pm. Concert + museum admission: $18 (a few tickets may be available at the door). Museum admission only: $5-$12.

FILM: There’s a free screening of Nebraska presented by Film Independent at LACMA and the New York Times Film Club at 7:30 pm. The spare, black-and-white film features much-lauded performances by Bruce Dern and June Squibb and also Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk. The evening includes a conversation with actor Dern at LACMA's Bing Theater. The screening is free; standby line only.


ZINES: Celebrate the local zine scene by participating in any number of events planned for L.A. Zine Week. Check out the crafts and other goods created by the city’s “zinemakers, artists, self-publishers, musicians and others interested in DIY.” The week culminates on Feb. 16 with L.A. Zine Fest at Helms Bakery with 175+ exhibitors of zines and small press publications.


ZOO: The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association presents Sex and the City Zoo 2014 at 5 pm. The adults-only event begins with a wine and dessert reception and “animal walk-abouts," which include chats with keepers and a chance to observe small animals up close. The main program features a performance by musician and entertainer Whitney Hall and a “provocative presentation about animal mating, dating and cohabitating” by former Los Angeles Zoo general curator Michael Dee. The evening also includes an intimate four-course dinner (for an additional fee) at Reggie’s Bistro inside the Zoo. Tickets: $30/$40 for GLAZA members/nonmembers. Additional dinner option: $65/$75 for members/nonmembers. The event is 21+.


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FOOD+ ART: LACMA presents another edition of Cur-ATE at 6:30 pm, where participants learn about how the modernization of Paris in the 19th century helped birth the city’s culture cafe. Get a tour French art at the museum with food historian Maite Gomez-Rejon of Artbites and then enjoy a French-inspired meal designed by Executive Chef Kris Morningstar of Ray's and Stark Bar. Tickets (tour, dinner and parking) for LACMA members: $90 / general: $100.


MEXICAN WRESTLING: LUCHA VaVOOM the Mexican masked wrestling/burlesque/comedy ensemble brings its exo y Violenciashow to the Mayan Theater for two nights. For the first time in its 11-year history, Lucha va Voom includes a music act, and the troupe’s booked electronic musician and performance artist—Peaches— to kick off both nights. Tickets: $35.


SCREENING: The Flux Screening Series returns to the Hammer Museum at 7:30 pm. The night includes screenings of innovative short films, music videos, feature films and visual art from around the world. While the event is free, tickets are required and are available at the Billy Wilder Theater Box Office at 6:30 pm. Limit one ticket per person on a first-come, first-served basis. There’s an afterparty that follows the screening, too.

ANIMATION + MUSIC: Brooklyn’s premier animation fest—the Animation Block Party—makes a stop at The Troubadour for the Animation Block Valentine's Day Showcase at 8 pm. Music provided by Colleen Green at 9 pm and Blackbird Blackbird at 10 pm. Advanced tickets $12 / $15 day of show.


MUSIC: Riding high off their energizing Grammy and SNL performances, Imagine Dragons returns to LA on Valentine’s Day to play the forum. What’s even better is that the two openers—The Naked and the Famous and Nico Vega—are ones to catch, too, making the ticket price ($41.50-$69.10) totally worth it. 7 pm.

READING: Writer-actor B.J. Novak reads from and signs his debut novel One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories at New Beverly Cinema at 7 pm. “... One More Thing has at its heart the most human of phenomena: love, fear, hope, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that might just make a person complete.” Tickets: $29.95 and includes a copy of the book and two tickets.


DANCE: The Theatre at Ace Hotel Los Angeles presents works by Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project. The program includes two U.S. premieres: Millepied’s Reflections with music by Bang on a Can co-founder David Lang and visual concepts by Barbara Kruger; and Justin Peck’s Murder Ballads, with music by The National’s Bryce Dessner and visual concepts by Sterling Ruby. The dance recitals also include a sneak-peek of a new piece by Hiroaki Umeda, which premieres in Paris in March. Tickets: $20-$125.

LIT: The Los Angeles Public Library and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles will host nearly two days of readings discussions and interviews in a conference Writing from California: Tales From Two Cities. The L.A. schedule is the sister conference of one held in San Francisco in October. The SoCal portion kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the ALOUD series with an evening with Walter Mosley, and continues Friday and Saturday day at the Central Library. While reservations are required for the ALOUD program, no advance registration is required for Friday and Saturday programming. The schedule looks at the works of notable Californians, including Joan Didion, Carey McWilliams and Thomas Pynchon, among others.


FILM: Film Independent at LACMA presents another HFPA Restoration Tribute with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow Of A Doubtat 7:30 pm. The 1943 drama stars Teresa Wright as a young girl who cherishes her uncle (Joseph Cotten), but begins to think that his charm and charisma might just be a facade for a much darker side. The evening includes an introductory conversation with actor Bill Hader. Tickets: $7 for LACMA members, students with valid ID, and seniors (62+); $10 for the general public.

FILM: At 11:59 pm, Cinefamily screens the 1997 sci-fi satirical saga Starship Troopers. Directed by Paul Verhoeven (Robocop and Total Recall), the film stars Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris. Writer Ed Neumeier and SFX guru Phil Tippett are in person, too. Screened in 35m. Tickets: $12/free for members.


PERFORMANCE: The Broadway @ The Broad series welcomes Megan Mullally for the Broadway @ The Broad theatre series for two shows at 5 pm and 8 pm. The Emmy-winning actress will mix bits of conversational comedy and song, sharing the stage with her friend, comedian and pianist Seth Rudetsky. Nick Offerman (Parks & Rec and Mullally’s husband) will also join the fun as a special guest. Tickets: $69-$120.


TV TALK: The Paley Center brings together one of TV's most influential showrunners, Aaron Sorkin, with noted cultural reporter Dave Itzkoff to discuss the “cultural relevance of early TV's master writer, Paddy Chayefsky, through the lens of his 1976 film masterwork, Network.” A book signing of Itzkoff's book Mad As Hell: the Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Moviesfollows the 7 pm program. Tickets: $10-$27.

LIT: Literary Death Match teams with Los Angeles Review of Books for an evening of wit and words at Largo. In the matchup, four authors read their own work for seven minutes or less and are judged—often with hilarious results—by a panel of three on literary merit, performance and “intangibles” before selecting two to square off in the finale. Judges include Stephen Tobolowsky (The Dangerous Animals Club) and actress Molly Shannon. Readers include Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief); Kristin Newman, writer for Chuck and The Neighbors & author of What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding; Brendan Constantine, poet and author of Birthday Girl With Possum and Calamity Joe; and one more contestant TBD. Doors at 6:30 pm. Show at 8:05 pm sharp. Tickets: 30.


ART: OHWOW opens As Above, So Below, the gallery’s first exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work. This show features more than 40 of Mapplethorpe’s images, including silver gelatin prints and Polaroids. Many of the pieces have been rarely shown. The opening reception is 7-9 pm. The exhibition runs through March 29.