The To-Do List: November Happenings in L.A.

A brief summary of your cultural agenda for the month (before the holidays officially take over everything)
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SHAKE IT UP. With sonically capacious singles like “The Lightning” and the anthemic “Age of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole),” Arcade Fire’s latest album, WE, debuted at No. 6 on the charts upon its release last spring. But if you’ve been a fan of the band since its 2005 hit “Rebellion (Lies),” then you know that Arcade Fire’s WE Tour will be different: Since the release of WE, frontman Win Butler and his brother, Will, have left the band, and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner is now filling in. The two bands have often toured together, with Wolf Parade drummer Arlen Thompson playing on Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up,” and synth player Hadji Bakara sitting in on Neon Bible. This time Wolf Parade won’t be there. Instead, the opening act is one of our hometown favorites, Beck. The Forum, November 16 and 17. thekiaforum.com

(PHOTO: COURTESY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE)

DOUBLE YOUR TROUBLE. He’s calling them a duet. Sixteen years after winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Road, Cormac McCarthy has two books coming out this fall. The first, The Passenger, features Bobby, a diver investigating a downed jet. All onboard the plane have perished, with the possible exception of one. Bobby is the older brother of Alicia, the protagonist of Stella Maris, a schizophrenic doctoral candidate. Through transcripts, readers learn of Alice’s thoughts on the purpose of life while she avoids the topic of her brother. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, the 89-year-old author is considered one of the best living American novelists. October 25 and December 6.

GET SPOOKED. Jenny and Sam live in a new home that she says is haunted and he says is not. While hashing it out over dinner, an ethereal presence enters the scene with a revelation pegged to 2:22 a.m. Nominated for three Olivier Awards including Best New Play, Danny Robins’s 2:22—A Ghost Story is a hit in London. Ahmanson Theatre, October 29 through December 4. centertheatregroup.org

BE SMART. Reza Aslan is practically a god among religious scholars. Recipient of the prestigious James Joyce Award, he authored several books including the No. 1 New York Times best-seller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He also bears the distinction of getting fired from CNN for calling Donald Trump a POS, so An Evening With Reza Aslan promises to be fun and edifying. The Wallis, November 1. thewallis.org

BELINDA CARLISLE (PHOTO: STEVE JENNINGS/WIREIMAGE)

GO! GO! She was the lead singer of the Go-Go’s. And if you never heard of them, ask your mom. With a career spanning four decades, Belinda Carlisle opens a songbook from her solo years in the ’80s and ’90s and throws in a few Go-Go’s  classics. Segerstrom Center, November 2. scfta.org

LAUGH A LITTLE. A family classic, Snow White gets a sideways telling when two actors take on 14 roles in this hilarious staging. Our favorite princess and one dwarf (the other six have split) recall what really happened after her new mother became queen. South Coast Rep, November 4 through 20. scr.org

SEE THE KING. If they can do it with Van Gogh and Kahlo, why not King Tut? On the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the pharaoh’s tomb, Nat Geo celebrates with this journey through the ancient Egyptian underworld using large-scale digital projections in Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience. The Reef, November 4 through January 2. the-reef.com

DAY DRINK. Come sober with room to spare because CraftoberFest isn’t messing around. With over 20 SoCal craft breweries, there’s something for everyone, so bring the kids! (No, really—it’s a family event.) While you’re sampling Spaten, Paperback, and Elysian, they can scarf down pretzels and bratwurst. Rose Bowl, November 5. rosebowlstadium.com

(ART OF COUTURE IS ORGANIZED BY THE BOWERS MUSEUM WITH SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT FROM DR. FRANK CINTAMANI ON BEHALF OF GUO PEI AND THE ASIAN COUTURE FEDERATION AND CURATED BY SCAD FASH MUSEUM OF FASHION+ FILM AND SCAD: THE UNIVERSITY FOR CREATIVE CAREERS.)

GET GOWN. More than 40 works of haute couture were curated by the world-renowned Chinese fashion designer herself for Guo Pei: Art of Couture. Making its North American debut, Pei’s Chinese Bride collection features gowns that draw not only from the designer’s rich cultural heritage but also from art, architecture, and mythology. Bowers Museum, November 12. bowers.org

PAINT IT BLACK. It’s Kentridge season in L.A. with William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows, the first major exhibition by the South African multimedia artist in two decades. The show includes more than 130 drawings, prints, sculptures, and animated films complementing the world premiere of Houseboy, a performance exploring postcolonial identity in Africa. The Broad, November 12 through April 9. thebroad.org

LIGHTEN UP. Former First Lady Michelle Obama is preaching hope and balance in her new book, The Light We Carry, by posing practical solutions to tempestuous times. She’s aiming to repeat the success of Becoming, her 2018 New York Times best-selling autobiography, which remained in the top ten for over a year. November 15.

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE’S HOUSEBOY (PHOTO: ZIVANAI MATANGI/COURTESY THE CENTRE FOR THE LESS GOOD IDEA AND WILLIAM KENTRIDGE STUDIO)

TRUCK PLAY
Clyde’s matters because two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage wrote it. Nominated for a Best New Play Tony Award, this West Coast premiere focuses on the formerly incarcerated staff of Clyde’s truck stop diner who yearn to break free of their oppressive boss and the pursuit of the perfect sandwich.
Taper Forum, November 15 through December 18. centertheatregroup.org

MAKE NOISE. Filmmaker Noah Baumbach is a thing. He wrote and directed 2019’s Oscar-nominated Marriage Story. The star of that film, Adam Driver, is also a thing. He stars in White Noise, Baumbach’s new film based on the classic novel by Don DeLillo, which is another thing. With so many things, the new movie is bound to be a thing, even if it’s only about the mundanity of everyday existence in the face of life’s biggest questions. In theaters November 25.

TAKE A HIKE. Sure, you can roam Mt. Hollywood for its postcard views of downtown, but that trail’s for tourists. Brentwood’s Mandeville Canyon is a full eight-mile hike from its beginning at Mandeville Canyon Park to the abandoned Nike radar station, a relic from the Cold War. A four-mile hike in the Santa Monica Mountains leads to the Murphy Ranch, a Nazi compound built by American fascists during World War II.

(PHOTO: RICHARD STOW)

BE COOL. The dress code is swimsuits and cowboy boots at Desert 5 Spot’s weekly Sunday shindig atop Hollywood’s Tommie hotel. Go before it gets too cold for a dip, but rain or shine, the tequila will continue to flow—along with cowboy karaoke, live country music, and a playfully curated trading post in the open-air Pioneertown-inspired space. 6516 Selma Ave., Hollywood, desertfivespotla.com.

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This story is featured in the November 2022 issue of Los Angeles

Los Angeles magazine, November 2022 cover