16 Things to Do This Weekend in L.A.: White Denim, Talented Fame-Seekers, A Balanchine Ballet, and New Orleans Cuisine

The agenda is packed for the second weekend of February 2014

First Fridays returns with a discussion of L.A.’s coastal ecosystems and a set by Baths. There’s a chocolate and cheese pairing, a sexy event at the L.A. Zoo, and a very unusual screening of the The Shining. In other words, the agenda is packed on the second weekend of February 2014.

HEAR + LEARN: First Fridays
The year’s second installment of the monthly music and lecture series features a performance by Will Wiesenfeld, aka Baths, whose pop songs follow a scientific discussion in keeping with 2014’s theme, “L.A. Stories…Walk on the Wild Side.” More information (February 7; Natural History Museum)

EAT: L.A. Bacon Festival
Bacon is the new kale. Celebrate the sizzling stuff with chefs, bakers, and bartenders as they offer their interpretations of the prized porcine meat. More information (February 8; Petersen Automotive Museum)

EXPERIENCE: Sex and the City Zoo
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, celebrate the mating, dating, and cohabitating rituals of the “lower” animals at an intimate three-course dinner on the grounds of the L.A. Zoo. More information (February 8; L.A. Zoo)

SEE: The Shining Forwards and Backwards
Experience the infamous 1980 horror flick The Shining both backwards and forwards—at the same time. The two versions will be superimposed on top of each other with both audio tracks playing at the same time. More information (February 8; Trepany House) 

HEAR: White Denim
Experience the jazzy prog-rock sound that helped make the Austin band’s Corsicana Lemonade one of 2013’s most acclaimed albums. More information (February 7; The Troubadour)

SEE: American Contemporary Ballet/Dance+Design I
This is the first of a two-part Dance+Design 2014 program, The Best in a Century, which celebrates 20th-century dance masterpieces. The focus here is on George Balanchine’s Chaconne. ACB associate director and dancer Theresa Farrell partners with ACB dancer Zsolt Banki for the show, accompanied by live chamber music. A reception with the dancers and musicians follows. More information (February 8 – 9; 5900 Wilshire Building Annex)

COMPETE: America’s Got Talent Season Nine Open Auditions
If you excel at plate spinning to Stevie Nicks songs, reciting the Gettysburg Address while skipping rope, or singing like a closeted opera star, get in line for this opportunity to impress the judges and secure a spot on the reality show America’s Got Talent. More information (February 8-9; Los Angeles Biltmore)

SEE: Jamaica Farewell
Debra Ehrardt’s solo performance tells the seemingly apocryphal (yet true) story of the quest to leave behind her native Jamaica. Combining humor, romance, and cross-border smuggling, Jamaica Farewell examines the pull of the American dream and the ways those on the outside strive to reach it. More information (February 8 – March 2; Santa Monica Playhouse)

EXPERIENCE: True Pablove: A Valentine’s Family Celebration
This event benefits the Pablove Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that works to improve the lives of children with cancer. The philanthropic bonanza includes Valentine-themed craft booths and live music and a silent auction featuring items such as front-row Dodger tickets, a guitar autographed by Katy Perry, and a Fotomatic Photo Booth Party. More information (February 8; Lot 614)

HEAR: Mary Chapin Carpenter
This very special evening features the country and Americana singer-songwriter performing alongside the L.A. Phil, with original orchestral arrangements from six-time Grammy winner Vince Mendoza. More information (February 8; Disney Hall)

EAT: Chocolate and Cheese Pairing
The Culver City chocolate shop hosts a cheese and wine flight night to welcome their soon-to-be neighbor Wheel House Cheese. The $20 tasting features five chocolates, three cheeses, and seasonal fruits. Reservations can be made online. More information (February 7; Chocovivo)

LEARN: LA Print 4.0–Printmaking Goes Digital
At the fourth consecutive annual event, which brings together the who’s who of L.A. printmaking, the focus is on printmaking in the digital realm. More information (February 8; LACMA)

HEAR: The Odes of Pablo Neruda: A Bilingual Reading
Whether he was reciting odes to vegetables or writing proclamations of love, Pablo Neruda was a mighty wordsmith. A reading in Spanish and English, accompanied by guitarist Gerardo Morales, highlights the poet and Nobel laureate’s works. More information (February 8; Mark Taper Auditorium)

SEE: The Wrong Man
Murder mystery meets underground musical in a tale that chronicles the story of a man who meets the wrong girl and is suddenly at the mercy of a flawed judicial

LEARN: Eating New Orleans: The Crescent City’s Evolving Cuisine
Food and drink historian Liz Williams, author of New Orleans: A Food Biography, highlights the history and present of the New Orleans’ ever-evolving culinary culture. Philip Dobard joins her to discuss their work in documenting that culture at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum. More information (February 8; Mark Taper Forum)

SEE: A Field in England
Set during the English Civil War in the 17th century, Ben Wheatley’s drama follows a group of AWOL men who are forced by an alchemist to look for unexplained treasure in, well, a field. At first everything’s a dark and grimy slog. Then things become increasingly strange, comic, and hallucinatory. More information (February 7-14; Downtown Independent)