Ride the monorail to the Getty on select evenings during the summer for this experimental series of ephemeral performances. Formerly known as Friday Flights, the monthly series includes live music and a cash bar, and it takes its name from an engraving that marks the entrance to Robert Irwin’s central garden at the museum: “Ever present / Never twice the same / Ever changing / Never less than whole.” Ever Present kicks off with a guided meditation from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith on the Getty’s sloping lawn (a limited number of yoga mats will be provided), plus an opening set by Cool Maritime and Emily Sprague.
Refreshing, artistic and boundlessly confident, Atsuko Okatsuka’s sense of humor makes audiences feel like they have always been on her side, even when she’s taking them to task. Join her on her birthday for a pair of shows at Dynasty Typewriter, where she’ll be recording her next full-length for Comedy Dynamics. Daniel Franzese and Baron Vaughn open the show, along with Atsuko’s grandma serving dumplings—yes, seriously.
One of L.A.’s best free live music offerings, Jazz at LACMA has featured such legends as Wayne Shorter, John Clayton, Kenny Burrell, Les McCann, Billy Childs, Arturo Sandoval, Cannonball-Coltrane Project and Ernie Watts. Celebrating over two decades at the museum, the program continues to be one of the museum’s most recognizable (and beloved) programs. It’s a celebration of L.A.’s finest jazz musicians, and more than 42,000 visitors attend the program annually from April through November, making it a true L.A. rite of passage.
The Los Angeles Times’ annual monthlong celebration of all things food finally returns, and this year there are more than 200 events to choose from. Whether you’re looking for film screenings, chef panels, cookbook dinners, vegan festivals, pizza festivals or food tours, this is the event for you. We suggest starting with these 10 standout events.
Forget blogs: Get out from behind your computer screen and into the world of printed lit at L.A. Zine Fest. The all-day event showcases over 175 exhibitors of zines and small press publications from across the country, bringing together the best of SoCal nerds for the exchange of art, ideas and more. Don't miss the fest's free readings and workshops.
It isn’t summer in L.A. until the first cemetery screening brings hoards of movie-lovers to Hollywood Forever, toting folding chairs, picnic blankets, snack spreads and lots of booze. Each year, Cinespia brings classic cult favorites to the hallowed resting place of such Hollywood greats as Rudolph Valentino and Bugsy Siegel. This year’s first batch of screenings includes Beetlejuice, The Matrix, Legally Blonde and Rear Window. Angelenos line up for hours to partake in the concept—and to enjoy DJ sets, dance parties, sleepovers and more magical mischief otherwise strictly forbidden behind the cemetery gates. It’s an L.A. rite of passage, a quintessential summer experience and one of the best film venues in the city. Just be sure to get your ticket early, arrive early (doors open at 6:45pm), pee early… it’s getting a bit overcrowded, to say the least.
Everybody likes a good theme party, and this Memorial Day Weekend, Main Street in Santa Monica is giving the people what they want. In an effort not only to entertain Westsiders, but also to raise funds for Summer SOULstice, Main Street between Pier Avenue and Strand Street will transform into an interactive Monopoly board game, allotting attendees special “MAINopoly dollars,” to be exchanged for food tastings across the street's finest establishments. Trade a couple fake bucks for fresh fish ceviche from Enterprise Fish Co, goat cheese tostada from Manchego and more. Fuel yourself with happy hour draft beers and cocktails, before cracking up in the event's official “Go to Jail” VIP lounge and beer garden. As with any balls-out theme party, guests are encouraged to dress in Monopoly-inspired attire. Nab your tickets in advance for $25—$5 cheaper than the day-of price.
This 10-day event brings a sense of purpose and engagement to a series of programs, performances, workshops and an art exhibition, with artists including Shepard Fairey, Geoff McFetridge, Andrea Bowers, James Jean, Swoon and more. WeRise, based at 1262 Palmetto Street, tackles the critical need for early intervention, treatment and care for mental wellbeing.
Eat|See|Hear travels to different locales throughout the city each Saturday during the summer, showing cult flicks on an inflatable screen taller than your average Malibu mansion. Bring your own bites or sample snacks from the impressive roster of resident food trucks and show up early for a set from local L.A. bands. Parking is free at most of the venues, and tickets for screenings at the Autry even include admission to the museum. What’s more? If you want to skip the crowds and stroll in casually during the opening credits, spring for an exclusive “Fashionably Late” pass, which guarantees you a reserved seat in front. All of the events dog-friendly, and a portion of ticket sales benefit Best Friends Animal Society.
Roam the 400 stalls at this arts festival, sample the fine foods and listen to the music—and then take a dip in the nearby Pacific. Look out for the Fiesta over both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
As a throwback to the gasoline genrator-fueled desert parties in the early ’90s, this on-the-down-low offshoot of Desert Generator is celebrating stoner rock and the desert music scene with a two-day campout. The event kicks off at Pappy & Harriet’s with sets from Melvins, Fu Manchu and Brant Bjork, co-founder of seminal stoner rock band Kyuss. Then the action moves into the Mojave for a show with Black Mountain, Acid King, Mark Lanegan and more. Details are hush-hush; we just know it’s somewhere near Joshua Tree.
Celebrate gender swapping culture and couture at this colossal convention from drag juggernaut RuPaul and World of Wonder. Meet queens, pop culture personalities and the winners of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and catch a keynote speech by RuPaul, panels on drag and disco and more.
Angel City Brewery celebrates its birthday with the Heritage Music & Arts Festival. The annual beer, food, art and music festival features brewmaster-led tours every hour for a behind-the-scenes look at how house craft brews are made. Fill up on grub from local food trucks, and when you’re ready to break from eating and drinking, rock out to L.A. musical talents, check out live painting, and rummage through artisanal wares from local artisans at the Beer Bazaar.
While there are several festivals enticing families over Memorial Day weekend, this is the only option that will (figuratively) transport its 15,000 attendees to New Orleans. The two-day annual Cajun & Blues Festival in scenic Simi Valley will satisfy different musical tastes with both a Cajun/zydeco stage as well as a blues Stage. Snack on food options straight out of Louisiana like jambalaya and alligator sausage, and take part in a bead-filled Mardi Gras parade each day. As a cherry (or rather crawfish) on top, the proceeds will go to charitable, educational and humanitarian causes.
What are our personal decisions worth? Two estranged brothers find out as they meet to sell off their father’s belongings, in Arthur Miller’s classic 1968 play.
Forget the Museum of Ice Cream and 29 Rooms—the latest selfie-bait experience to hit L.A. trades cutesy for creepy, hurling you into some of the most beloved and recognizable horror films of all time. I Like Scary Movies, a 25,000-square-foot wonderland of terror-fueled photo ops, is a walkthrough experience that flips the script on the social-media "museum" craze and allows you to pose and interact with scenes and settings from IT, Beetlejuice, The Lost Boys, The Shining and Nightmare on Elm Street. Note: I Like Scary Movies runs every Thursday to Sunday in April and May, and Wednesday to Sunday in June, on the second floor of the Desmond building, at 5514 Wilshire Blvd.
Tucked away in picturesque Topanga Canyon, this Memorial Day weekend festival has become a favorite local tradition. Bohemian locals of all ages as well as curious onlookers converge to celebrate music, food, arts and Mother Earth. Some complain that the masses have commercialized this neighborhood event, but there are still plenty of true ’60s hippies, vegan food vendors and healing arts to make you think you’re in Woodstock. Let the kids enjoy their own arts and crafts section, dance to local bands and don’t miss the quirky DIY Memorial Day parade on Monday morning. Parking troubles are alleviated by a free shuttle along Topanga Canyon Boulevard. No pets are allowed, but you’ll definitely be able to connect with your spirit animal.
The LA Phil celebrates Fluxus—an art movement in the 1960s and ’70s that stressed process—with a series of performances both within the Walt Disney Concert Hall and at off-site locations. Highlights include violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja at the Getty, Ragnar Kjartansson’s staging of a twelve-hour loop of the final scene of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at REDCAT, and a trio of pieces at the Disney Hall that include a Yoko Ono survey, a piano recital, immersive theater and crowdsourced singing.
The newest flea market on the block, the Venice outpost of this artisan/craft-focused flea market mini-empire is bringing records, vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, cosmetics, jewelry and more to the Westminster Avenue Elementary School. A handful of small batch confectioners provide sweet treats to snack on or take home, while food trucks and nearby restaurants provide heartier bites. Though relatively small in size, owing perhaps to its prime location bookending the neighborhood’s famed Abbot Kinney stretch, vendors hawk a diverse range of hand-made and expertly curated wares that seems to simultaneously fit in and stand out in one of the nation’s most unusual neighborhoods.
Maebe A Girl and Indica Sativa host this Saturday morning drag brunch at the Standard, Downtown L.A. Expect bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys plus an all-you-can-eat brunch with pastries, eggs, waffles and biscuits.
See Robert Rauschenberg’s magnum opus, a nearly quarter-mile display of 190 painted panels, on display at LACMA. The piece was completed over the span of 17 years and signified the distance between his studio and home on Capitiva Island in Florida. LACMA’s exhibition marks the first time that all of the panels have been displayed together, and it’s easy to see why: the piece takes practically every surface of the museum’s third-floor gallery. A self-contained retrospective of sorts, the installation is displayed chronologically, but there’s no wrong way to navigate it. Fans of Rauschenberg will find something familiar in its mix of paint, photographs, mass media images, textiles, paint, cardboard boxes and found objects like chairs and traffic lights.
In Cicely Hamilton’s 1908 comedy, a shop assistant escapes her drudgery but cannot escape the way society sees her. Casey Stangl directs.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise’s longest-running, most beloved showcase starts when a base cast of the theater’s current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that’s deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who’s there—that’s part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early.
Weave your way across the gallery floor as nine office chairs zip by in this technology-driven installation from imagination Swiss artist Urs Fischer. The office chairs are outfitted with wires and sensors that’ll propel them across the floor in increasingly less artifical-looking fashion thanks to an onboard AI that learns from each encounter with viewers.
Attend enough Cirque du Soleil shows and you’ll catch on to a pattern in the performances: Introduce a familiar stunt, complicate that sequence with an impressive alteration and then obliterate your expectations with the sort of physics-defying finish that only the Montreal acrobatic company can pull off. But even when you know that some astounding twist is coming, Cirque’s set pieces are still literally edge-of-your-seat entertainment every step of the way. That’s certainly the case in Amaluna, the latest big top touring show to swing by Los Angeles. Its story of goddesses, seamen and determined love is loosely based on The Tempest—if your knowledge of the Shakespearean romance starts and ends with “There was a storm,” well, that’s about all you need to know. The show mixes high-flying teeterboard and tossing tricks with quieter feats of endurance, like a balance routine above (and into) a bowl of water and an anxiety-inducing, breathe-and-it’ll-topple assembly of palm leaf ribs. Every aspect of the show is slickly themed, with earth and sea tones tying together a pageant of peacock dancers, Amazonian gymnasts and a saucy, juggling lizard-man. Its predominantly female cast and women-empowering plot make a memorable splash early on in the show’s storm sequence: A trio of aerialists twist and swing above the crowd while a duo of guitarists with Prince-like presence channel prog metal fretwork on the edge of the stage, all while the featured vocalist tears it up on cello. Amo