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If you want to lend a hand in helping fight California’s devastating wildfires, we suggest using your mouth. Tonight, Hail Mary Pizza in Atwater Village is hosting a community dinner, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Wildfire Relief Fund.
L.A.’s star-studded lecture series has outdone itself this season with a lineup of writers, artists, performers, scientists and business leaders. This week’s lineup includes Michael Connelly and Tom Hanks.
Head to Botanica for some raw, all-natural wine pours by some of the best producers in the game.
See free, advance screenings of blockbusters and indie flicks about to hit it big during this Hollywood-wide film fest.
Wind down with a flight of three wines and a culinary creation during this weekday special.
While a book talk at the Forum doesn’t exactly scream intimate, we’ll allow it: Former first lady Michelle Obama will discuss her incredible life experiences following the release of her upcoming memoir, Becoming.
Partake in an evening that’s party comedy show and part live dating experience at the Copper Still.
Lin-Manuel Miranda will sit down with his father, Luis A. Miranda Jr., for a conversation at the Geffen Playhouse’s Gil Cates Theater, where they’ll discuss the long-term recovery of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, advocacy and Hamilton’s run in Puerto Rico.
See the Griffith Park-area zoo illuminate after dark during this holiday tradition.
Get up close and personal with some aircraft at this annual Long Beach Airport open house.
Hundreds of walkers start the free urban hike on one side of the city and, nine hours and 17 miles later, end up at the other.
Every Saturday and Sunday in November, Ansel is turning his full-service restaurant at the Grove into “DHOP,” Dominique’s House of Pancakes.
See Q&As, sneak peeks and table reads during this celeb-filled pop culture fest from New York Magazine’s Vulture.
Descanso Gardens’ light-up experience has ditched the kitsch in favor of a whimsical, wondrous, curiosity-driven display that’s among L.A.’s most stunning and, more importantly, most fun.
Attention toy geeks, illustrators, underground-art lovers and anyone with a sense of humor and a love for plushy things: Find your inner child at the annual DesignerCon, where more than 700 vendors and artists will showcase toys, art, design and collectibles at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The masters of alfresco rooftop movie viewing have returned for another season of screenings in Hollywood and Downtown L.A. Known for excellent film choices and a steady supply of snacks and booze, Rooftop Cinema Club is your snazzy, comfortable and less stressful alternative to other outdoor movie screenings. You don’t even need to bring your own blanket or camping chair—Rooftop Cinema Club provides you with your very own comfy lawn chair, as well as blankets on request for the ultimate cozy experience. And instead of listening to the movie over loudspeakers, you’ll get a set of wireless headphones so you never have to miss a word.
Descanso Gardens’ light-up experience has ditched the kitsch in favor of a whimsical, wondrous, curiosity-driven display that’s among L.A.’s most stunning and, more importantly, most fun. The interactive, nighttime program has set up 10 illuminated installations around the botanical garden grounds, from luminescent forests to free-standing hands-on art pieces. Find out more about it in our preview of what’s new at this year’s Enchanted: Forest of Light.
L.A. doesn’t typically seem like much of a winter wonderland, until, that is, you create an ice skating rink right in the midst of Downtown skyscrapers and L.A. icons. Come glide and pretend there’s snow on the ground at Pershing Square’s outdoor holiday skating rink—one of the biggest in the city. Look out for special events throughout the season, like curling lessons, a silent disco skate and DJ nights. RECOMMENDED: The best places to go ice skating in Los Angeles
What happens when some of L.A.'s best Filipino chefs team up for a collaborative dinner? We're about to find out when LASA's Chad Valencia joins forces with Paramount Coffee Project's Ria Barbosa, who are cooking a seasonal, six-course dinner in ode to their heritage and to Southern California produce. Dishes include Santa Barbara uni mousse atop rice crackers; lechon manok with brown-rice polenta, swiss chard and toyomansi jus; roasted pork collar with sweet potato and a chili-peanut-bagoong salsa seca; and condensed milk ice cream with black sesame polvoron. Snag your spot for either the 6pm or 8pm seatings, then prepare to feast.
On Sunday, November 11, head to Botanica for some raw, all-natural wine pours by some of the best producers in the game. Husband-and-wife team La Grange Tiphaine will be pouring their selection from Loire, while Baja California's Bichi showcases their wines made from Old World vines. To rep CA, Populis Wine and Les Lunes Wine from Northern California—who are also staples on Botanica's wine list—will be there, too, and a cool $25 gets you a taste of everything and a whole glass of your favorite pour. Drop by between 6:30 and 8:30pm, no reservations necessary. In the mood for more of a shindig? The following night, Monday, November 12, Botanica's going wild with a party on the patio where you can mix and mingle with some of the world's top raw-wine producers and importers. There's no fee to enter, but you may want to reserve your table ahead of time to lock down a space. From 6pm, on, snack on "wine-y bites" and pours from these vintners, in addition to Botanica's full menu.
Indulge your inner foodie and shopaholic at this weekly food-focused market. The Brooklyn export has landed in the Arts District and become a hotbed of fantastic food and retail vendors, with some that are testing out their dishes before launching a full-blown brick-and-mortar in the city. Bonus: there is plentiful (and free, for two hours!) parking in the nearby parking garage.
Silver Lake's legit little music venue offers up some of the best local music in the city every Monday night... for free. Check out LA bands that are about to make it big (acts like Fitz & the Tantrums, Superhumanoids and even Local Natives have graced the residency stage) without spending a dime—well, except on maybe a beer, or a round for the folks onstage. Check the Satellite calendar to see who's on the bill each month. Acts often have a rotating cast of openers, so you can see different bands each week while watching the main act work on material, become more comfortable onstage and find their rhythm as the month goes on. Then a few years from now, you can say "I saw them when...."
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.
It's free music every Monday when sponsored, up-and-coming local bands call the Echo stage home for a one-month stint, honing their stage presence and giving various opening acts a chance at the spotlight as well. If you're worried a Monday night will fill up to capacity, you can RSVP on the Echo website for VIP entry. When a band is on its third or fourth Monday and killing it, this is a pretty convenient way to make sure you're in on the action.
AFI Fest presented by Audi features red carpet galas, acclaimed international films and the best of independent cinema. It also presents conversations and panels with notable filmmakers, as well as a tech showcase featuring immersive virtual reality experiences. Each day, a mix of films, lectures and special discussions will be offered at a variety of venues, including the Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 and the Egyptian Theatre. The complete schedule of events is listed online, but highlights include centerpiece galas; special screenings; as well as world cinema, shorts, virtual reality films and a competition for first- and second-time filmmakers. All film tickets are free, but limited. Special packages that include such privileges as priority access, reserved seats, access to the VIP lounge and invitations to festival parties are available for $400–$2,500.
Groundbreaking L.A. art-pop outsiders Ron and Russell Mael steam back into town as Sparks. Nearly five decades into their career, the brothers are touting a newie, Hippopotamus, which finds them as mutinous and irreverent as ever. Turn up for oddball pop that is as intelligent as it is absurd.
The post-hardcore band performs its breakout 2001 album, Full Collapse, in full.
Ghost combines the creepy theatricality of black metal—evil clergy outfits, band members known collectively as a Group of Nameless Ghouls—with crisp, hook-crammed rock and roll.
“Keep your head up. Keep your eyes forward. Keep your ego down.” That’s advice from the mother of young Jamel Smith, who witnesses a violent act in his inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood and must learn how to interact with the police there. Playwright-actor Keith A. Wallace plays both characters and more as he brings his 55-minute, utterly compelling solo show to the outdoor terrace at the Wallis. The early word suggests that Wallace recrafts each show to bring in issues of the day. Deborah Stein co-created, Malika Oyetimein directs. A note from the Wallis: “Wear warm attire and comfortable shoes, expect strong language.”
In this captivating original musical, high school student Evan Hansen is thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. The play has already proven to be an incredibly popular production at the Ahmanson, with even the back of the balcony fetching high prices—but you can enter a daily digital lottery for a shot at $25 tickets. Read the review of its run on Broadway.
Visions of what his life has been and could be scare the dickens out of Ebenezer Scrooge in perhaps the most famous Christmas-themed story ever written—besides, you know, the story of Christmas. Here, Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife) brings the world premiere of his adaptation to the Geffen stage—and plays all of the parts, based on a version the wannabe actor Charles Dickens performed throughout his own life.
A stellar injustice: Hollywood has made a movie about a faked Mars landing—1977’s deliriously silly Capricorn One—but has never given the historic first moon landing its due. That’s not so hard to explain. While inspiring on a global scale, the 1969 accomplishment was pretty straightforward, dramatically speaking. Cool competence ruled the day and made it happen. The real thing was better than any film could be. Thrilling when it escapes the gravity of drab living rooms and offices, First Man does an admirable job of complexifying a well-told tale. It presents Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling, suitably square) as a guy who, in 1961, was both puncturing the barriers of human knowledge by flying experimental planes 140,000 feet over the Mojave Desert, as well as someone who was banging his head against the finite limits of a medical science that couldn’t save his daughter from a malignant brain tumor. Faced with that pain, Armstrong (if we’re to believe Josh Singer’s script, sourced from James R. Hansen’s authorized 2005 biography) did what many military men of the ’50s and ’60s did: shut off emotionally and turn inward. First Man makes Gosling colder than he was in Blade Runner 2049 as a replicant, itself a NASA-level achievement. Claire Foy, already stranded in one of those underwritten astronaut-wife roles, has so little to work with from Gosling, her big meltdown scene takes on a desperate grandeur. But you come to appreciate Gosling’s reserve, his shirt-and-tie starchiness
Calling the new A Star Is Born a “valentine” from its star, Lady Gaga, to her fans sounds a bit coy and delicate, so let’s call it what it really is: a hot French kiss (with full-on tongue), filled with passion, tears and a staggering amount of chutzpah. Generously emotional and all the more fun for it, the movie functions as something akin to a Marvel-esque origin story, with Gaga’s own mythology—vamping it up at drag cabarets, etc.—subbing in for her character’s background. It's more than smart to have cast her; it's essential to the movie even working. But to watch her character, Ally, become a star—especially onstage during the film’s live moments, which feel frightening, massive and deafening—is an incredible piece of evolution. Gaga is really acting here: shy, somehow smaller, trembling with excitement. Incrementally, she blooms in the spotlight, proudly waving around that Streisand schnozz, the big voice completing the transformation. She’s extraordinary, and you root for her to go supernova per the scenario’s time-honored trajectory. Director-co-star Bradley Cooper has something else in mind, though. Just as his own performance—as Jackson Maine, this film’s rocker on the downslide—ends up being one of those grumbly beard chews (if you remember the 1976 version, you might describe it as "Kristoffersonian"), his steering of the drama is understated: modest and unshowy. He’s trying to make a “real” version of this glitziest of stories (whatever that means), and you lov
As an actor, Paul Dano is always up for the odd, the disconcerting, the complicated. Drink in his highlights reel: Little Miss Sunshine (confused adolescent), There Will Be Blood (conflicted preacher), 12 Years a Slave (sadistic tyrant), Love & Mercy (broken Beach Boy genius). Reassuringly, his first film as writer-director follows suit—Wildlife is a finely detailed, darkly humorous powder keg of a character study. With the help of Zoe Kazan, his longtime girlfriend, Dano has adapted it from Richard Ford’s novel. The book was published in 1990 but is set in 1960, where, in Great Falls, Montana, a seemingly picture-perfect young family begins to crack. Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal), always keeping his clan on the move as he drifts from job to job, loses another one. Perhaps in search of some misplaced masculinity, he flees to fight fires in the mountains instead of the metaphorical ones building at home. While he’s gone, his wife Jeanette (Carey Mulligan) snaps; her dutiful days of housewife chores and buttoning her lip are done. Mulligan’s characters have often been buttoned up, well-meaning types who emanate goodness, but the shackles are off here. For better or worse (let’s go with both) Jeanette discards her maternal instincts, reclaiming her younger self, elemental and instinctual, regardless of what the neighbors—and even her teenage son (Ed Oxenbould)—might think. “Did you have a nice chat about me?” Jeanette asks her husband at one point. “All my character flaws on parade?
“You used to be so beautiful,” says an ex-lover to the battle-scarred journalist Marie Colvin (Gone Girl’s underutilized Rosamund Pike), a drunken shambles on her London doorstep. It’s a hissable line because she’s still so beautiful: bold in her disarray, driven to the truth, owning that eye patch like a pirate. A Private War, about the real-life Colvin, who died reporting from Syria in 2012, feels like the kind of movie that would have been designed for Meryl Streep or Sigourney Weaver back in the day, ragged yet sumptuous, filled with moments for devastating monologues yet never so obvious as to be self-aggrandizing. Colvin’s pain—she had PTSD, it's been theorized, and blocked out the horrors of what she saw—plays like a death wish at times. Pivoting ably from his hot-spot documentaries Cartel Land and City of Ghosts, director Matthew Heineman supplies plenty of realism to the front lines, the bullets pinging in your ears (they’ll make you jump). Even more impressively, he pushes Arash Amel’s script, based on a Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner, into the realm of acutely observed dramatic minutiae à la Michael Mann’s The Insider. Pike’s Colvin is a full-bodied creation, surrounded by totems of her Long Island past, her difficulties in having children (she never did), her relationships with unworthy men—and better ones like her devoted photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) and protective editor Sean Ryan (Tom Hollander). It was a life lived in the back of jeeps, rarel
Timothée Chalamet, all of 22 years old and indelible as two radically different kind of boyfriends in last year’s Call Me by Your Name and Lady Bird, is doing major things in his new movie, Beautiful Boy—things that no other actor of his generation is attempting. You have to go back to Marlon Brando to see these kind of heartbreaking frowns, the angelic face turned upward, wrestling with frustration. Chalamet is playing a college-bound kid derailed by drugs: meth, pills, everything. What he’s pulling off in a diner with Steve Carell (as the panicky out-of-his-depths dad)—a combination of cajoling, breaking down, acting fake-tough—is incredibly tricky. Even subtler are Chalamet’s wordless moments: a slack-jawed, Christian Bale–like zombie walk through a campus quad; a sober drive up the sunny California coast, Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” on the stereo, the dissatisfaction slowly creeping in. How much easier it would be to focus on Chalamet, doing the most overwhelming work of his young career, and not the earnest, seesawing movie around him. Beautiful Boy is perfectly fine: unflinching where it needs to be, keenly attuned to the cyclical nature of relapsing along with the deeper blows to pride, trust and identity. It sometimes feels strenuous in making its points, but you’ll be too wrecked to call that a demerit. The script, loaded with sharp details, comes from the dual father-son memoirs of David and Nic Sheff; director Felix Van Groeningen gets out of the way of his perfo