8 Cool Things to do in L.A. This Weekend

Aliens in the desert, a wine fest, rock en español, and modernism downtown

TALK: Tracy K. Smith
Smith’s Pulitzer-winning 2011 poetry collection, Life on Mars, was largely dedicated to her father, who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. Her latest writing delves more deeply into family. Tonight she discusses Ordinary Light: A Memoir, about her childhood. More information (May 28; Los Angeles Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium)

CONFABS: Contact in the Desert
Binge-watching The X-Files alone? Connect with fellow UFO enthusiasts at this symposium of experts, astronauts, and possibly some friendly conspiracy theorists. Speakers include Travis Walton, whose abduction story was the basis for the movie Fire in the Sky, and Erich von Däniken, who came up with the “ancient aliens” concept. More information (May 29-31; Joshua Tree Retreat Center)

CONFABS: Dwell on Design
For its tenth edition the design expo highlights the latest innovations for home and garden. Seleta Reynolds, who originated the plan for Great Streets for Los Angeles, is among the speakers, as is musician and part-time blogger Moby. More information (May 29-31; Los Angeles Convention Center)

THEATER: Matilda the Musical
By way of a vivid imagination and clever schemes, Matilda Wormwood navigates a world of irritating parents and overbearing teachers. The Tony-winning musical, which accompanies the Roald Dahl children’s story with music by Australian Tim Minchin, kicks off its national tour. More information (May 29; Ahmanson Theatre)

MUSIC: Caifanes
As leaders of the rock en español movement, the energetic act headlined stadiums worldwide. After a 15-year hiatus, the band reunited in 2010, led by Saúl Hernández’s powerful anthems. More information (May 29; Nokia Theatre)

CONFABS: Downtown Modernism
Vintage furniture vendors flaunt finds by midcentury design titans, providing ample opportunity to acquire envy-inducing objects, while food trucks sustain shoppers at the outdoor marketplace. More information (May 31; Modernica Showroom)

MUSIC: Music on the Meadows
Kick off your summer with a night of music on the oceanfront. Check out Old 97’s with frontman Rhett Miller, Dustbowl Revival, Tyler Hilton, and Lindsey Harper. More information (May 31; Terranea Resort)

CONFABS: L.A. Wine Festival
The festival of fermentation draws scores of local and international vintners. Along with the red and white stuff, there are regional craft beers for sampling what the city has on tap. More information (May 30-31; Raleigh Studios)