The Best Things to Do in L.A. in January

A Sting musical, MLK Day, the Women’s March, and more
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The new year is upon us, and we’re here to help you kick it off right. From a photo fair to the last episode of a much-loved podcast, here are the best things to do in L.A. this January.


Winter Day Camp

January 2-3

From 8 a.m. to noon, kids (ages 7-12) get a crash course in cold-water marine life at the Aquarium of the Pacific. The first day edutains campers about the Northern Pacific Gallery (i.e., sea otters, jellies, octopus), and the second is all about polar bears and penguins. Both have attendees touring food-prep rooms, examining biofacts (penguin beaks and otter fur), interviewing husbandry teams, and feeding animals.

The Outsider

January 12

HBO kicks off 2020 with The Outsider, based on Stephen King’s 2018 novel of the same name. The 10-part miniseries follows seasoned cop Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) and budding King-universe investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo) as they try to solve the puzzling murder of a young boy. Ozark’s Jason Bateman appears as the initial suspect. He also directs the first two episodes, which debut back-to-back at 9 and 10 p.m. on HBO.

The Last Ship

January 14–February 16

After a successful Canadian, U.K., and Irish tour, this Tony-nominated musical about a British shipbuilding city in turmoil makes its West Coast premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre. Sting—yes, that one—wrote original music for the show about his hometown; he also stars each night as Jackie White, a foreman trying to keep the community together.

The West Wing Weekly

January 17

When Joshua Malina (cast member) and Hrishikesh Hirway (superfan) embarked in 2016 on a quest to rewatch every episode of Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing for an aptly named podcast, it sounded like something that would never end. Sadly, The West Wing Weekly will wrap with a live finale at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. Special guests Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford, and Mary McCormack will be on hand for additional commentary.

iHeartRadio ALTer Ego

January 18

The third iteration of iHeartRadio’s (radio-friendly) music showcase welcomes Billie Eilish, the Black Keys, Blink-182, the Lumineers, and more to the Forum. Woody, of ALT 98.7’s The Woody Show, hosts the popular alt-rock concert, which will be streamed via LiveXLive.

MLK Day Concert

January 18

To commemorate the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Skirball Cultural Center hosts the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and its Community Chorus. Led by Charles Dickerson, they will perform a variety of pieces, among them the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” and an orchestral-and-choral version of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Women’s March

January 18

The fourth annual Women’s March in L.A. starts at 10 a.m. in Pershing Square and concludes at City Hall with a three-hour program of speakers, including Jane Fonda, Ava DuVernay, Laverne Cox, and live music.

Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans

January 26

In 1929 the very first Academy Awards hailed F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise. But the silent-era classic was not known for its music. Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal (House of Cards) plans to fix that with a new score, to be performed live by the Los Angeles Master Chorale (62 voices plus a chamber orchestra) alongside a screening at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Lula Washington Dance Theatre

January 30–February 1

Lula Washington started her eponymous company in 1980 to showcase local minority dancers. To mark the organization’s 40th anniversary, the ensemble heads to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for a program of works by its founder and other choreographers.

Photo L.A.

January 30–February 2

The fair continues to grow 28 years in. This run at the Barker Hangar boasts more than 65
exhibitors and grub from Food Lab. Highlights include works by Norwegian self-portraitist Anja Niemi, Japanese street photog Daidō Moriyama, and late documentarian Ida Wyman.


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