Some of the Best Things to Do in L.A. This Weekend

Three big shows at the Hollywood Bowl, a pretzel pop-up for charity, and more
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After a long pandemic shutdown, Los Angeles is open—and that means there’s fun stuff to do all across the city. Still not ready for in-person partying? That’s cool. We’ve sprinkled in some virtual and car-bound events too.


Lovett or Leave It: Live or Else

Thursday, September 23 (and Thursdays through November 4)

Comedian and podcast host Jon Lovett is bringing his popular weekly live show Lovett or Leave It back to the Cinelounge Outdoors stage in Hollywood on September 23. Each Thursday night through November 4, Lovett will be joined by a hilarious guest like Emily Heller to discuss what’s going on in the news and more. General Admission tickets are $25 and VIP tickets are $50. All guests must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the show to enter. [More info and tickets]

ReSound: Kathak in the Streets

Through September 26

Leela Dance Collective is bringing its ReSound tour to the streets of Los Angeles this week to celebrate the art of kathak dance. The five-day event, which kicked off Wednesday, features free street performances from members of the dance collective throughout the city at places like DTLA’s Grand Park, Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, and Culver City’s Town Plaza. The collective, which is led by founder Rina Mehta, will also be offering workshops about the origins of kathak dance for $10 at various locations. [More info and tickets]

Shappy Pretzel Pop-Up for HFC

Shappy Pretzel Co. is baking up something special to raise money for actor Seth Rogen’s Alzheimer’s charity HFC. At a pair of pop-ups—one at the Grove and one at the Americana at Brand—the local dough twister is selling packs of three pretzels for $10, little bites for $6, and Oreo-filled pretzels for $12. You can order in advance on the Shappy Pretzel Co. site; all proceeds to to HFC. [More info and ordering]

WithOthers’ No More Sidelines

From September 24 through October 29

WithOthers, a new media platform built to support the next generation of activists through music events, is launching a nine-day event series that runs from September 24 through October 29. The series will feature intimate live music performances from emerging artists like Lee Rodriguez, Fiona Grey, and TRISHES. There will also be music-led events to help raise money for nonprofits like the ACLU, the Loveland Foundation, and RAINN. All of the events are open-air, and attendees are required to show proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours. Ticket prices vary per show. [More info and tickets]

Dine Alhambra Restaurant Week

Friday, September 24-Friday, October 1

L.A. foodies looking to try something new should head to Downtown Alhambra for the fourth annual Dine Alhambra Restaurant Week. From Friday, September 24 through Friday, October 1, participating eateries including 28 West Bar, Big Catch Seafood, and Mahan Indian Restaurant, will be offering two- to three-course menus priced from $15-$25 for lunch and $25-$50 for dinner. All you have to do is call the restaurant you’d like to visit and make a reservation, or visit the restaurant and ask for their “Dine Alhambra” prix-fixe menus. [More info]

Our Man in Santiago

Opens Friday, September 24 (through October 24)

Emmy nominee and Writers Guild Awards winner Mark Wilding will be premiering his latest production, Our Man in Santiago, at Theatre West on Friday. The show is a comic spy thriller inspired by the story of the United State’s failed attempt to overthrow Chile’s democratically elected leader in the 1970s. Performances are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and at 2 p.m. on Sundays through October 24. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Proof of vaccination will be required of all patrons. [More info and tickets]

Our Man in Santiago

Three Big Shows at the Hollywood Bowl: St. Vincent, James Blake, and Herbie Hancock 

Friday-Sunday, September 24-26

It feels like just about every week there’s an exciting concert happening at the Hollywood Bowl, and this weekend is no exception. On September 24, Grammy-winning genius St. Vincent graces the stage, with indie rock legends Spoon and singer Mereba opening. The following day, singer-producer James Blake performs with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and conductor Thomas Wilkins. Then jazz legend Herbie Hancock will be wrapping up the music-filled weekend on September 26 with opening performances from Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese. Ticket prices vary for each show and proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test is required. [More info and tickets]

Queen of Flavor’s Farmhouse Dessert Pop-Up

Saturday, September 25

Powerhouse pastry chef and Best Baker in America finalist Lasheeda Perry will be serving up various delicious treats on September 25 during her Farmhouse Dessert Pop-Up at Moonwater Farm in Compton. The featured dessert is crème brûlée, but the Queen of Flavor will also be offering savory bites and mocktails. In addition to the food, the pop-up will also feature baby goat visits, raffles, and chats about food waste. The event runs from 1-4 p.m., and tickets are $25 per person (kids under 16 are free). [More info]

Boardwalk Through the Ages

Saturday, September 25

In an effort to continue raising funds to build the Venice Heritage Museum, the nonprofit is hosting a group photo exhibition on Saturday at VICE Media in Venice. Titled Boardwalk Through The Ages, the show will transport visitors through the many eras of Venice’s famed Oceanfront Walk, which is still a major tourist destination today. The event will also feature a silent auction of large-format gallery images including photos by Gerry Beckley from the classic-rock band America, street photography legends Estevan Oriol and Pep Williams, and others. Admission to the exhibit is free, but limited tickets are available for a VIP meet and greet with Oriol and legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz prior to the exhibition, from 3 to 5 p.m. [More info and tickets]

Hola México Film Festival

Through Saturday, September 25

What better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month than watching compelling films that highlight and uplift the community’s culture? Hola México Film Festival, the largest Mexican film event outside of Mexico, will be showing 21 new and recent Mexican films—including opening-night feature Perdida and closing-night feature Chilangolandia—from September 17 through 25 at Regal Cinemas LA Live. The 13th annual fest also includes opening and closing ceremonies at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. [More info and tickets]

Asphalt Comedy 

Saturdays through October 30 

If you’re craving some laughter, but don’t feel comfortable sitting in a comedy club around strangers just yet, try visiting the new outdoor theater experience Asphalt Comedy. Tammy Jo Dearen and Nikole Larson’s L.A. pop-up series, which was born during the pandemic, is returning for seven weeks of comedy starting September 18 and continuing through October 30. The seated, outdoor event will feature a different lineup each show, with comics like Iliza, Chris Redd, and Atsuko Okatsuka. Showtimes are 7 and 9:30 p.m. with tickets starting at $30. Food will also be available for purchase and alcohol is complimentary (you read that right!) with purchase of ticket. [More info and tickets

Americana in the Park

Sundays through October 10 

Despite the season winding down, it still very much feels like summer in L.A. If you’re in the mood for Americana music in the park, check out this four-part series that runs every Sunday from September 19 through October 10 in Gandara Park from 3 to 6 p.m. The family-friendly concert, which showcases a diverse lineup of Southern California artists, explores the range of Americana music and its roots in traditional African, Appalachian, blues, and bluegrass, to its modern forms of folk, and country music. Plus, it’s free! [More info and tickets]

Masanga Marimba Ensemble
Photo Courtesy of Americana in the Park

Bite-Sized Fair

Through September 26

The L.A. County Fair is scheduled for May 2022, but you don’t have to wait that long to enjoy ooey-gooey delectables, mouth watering sweets, adorable farm animals, and carnival rides. The Bite-Sized Fair, which, as the name suggests, is a mini version of the full-scale event, is taking place September 10 through 26 and only costs $2 for entry if you purchase your tickets online. [More info and tickets]

Troubadour Theater Company’s LIZASTRATA

Through October 2

After an 18-month hiatus, the Getty Villa is celebrating the return of live theater with the L.A.-based Troubadour Theater Company’s LIZASTRATA. The ancient comedy production, which will be set to a mash-up of Liza Minelli’s greatest hits, will be held Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from September 9 through October 2 at the outdoor venue. [More info and tickets]

The Last Cruze at California African American Museum

Through March 20, 2022 

Stopping by a local museum to view artwork by diverse artists is always a good idea—and it’s free! LaToya Ruby Frazier, an acclaimed artist from Chicago, is bringing her traveling exhibition The Last Cruze to the California African American Museum beginning this week through March 20, 2022. The exhibit, which includes 66 photographs, video, and an architectural installation, chronicles the lives of workers at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that shut down in 2019 due to the global outsourcing of labor, the growing demand of electric cars, and other circumstances. [More info]

Corey Pemberton, Home/Body

Through October 18

Mixed-media artist Corey Pemberton is debuting his first West Coast solo exhibition at UNREPD in Melrose Hill. According to Pemberton, “to feel ordinary is a luxury,” and that’s what he tries to channel and celebrate in Home/Body. Through a series of portraits, Pemberton “extends that luxury to people in his life whose bodies and identities fall outside of traditional raced, gendered, and sexualized boundaries of ordinariness,” according to the gallery’s website. Home/Body runs from September 18 through October 18, and entrance is free. [More info]

Maurice, 2021 by Corey Pemberton

Jazz at LACMA Limited Edition

Fridays through October 29

There are few things more pleasant than kicking off a little early and taking in a jazz concert in front of Urban Light at LACMA. The series is back for its 30th season, but with a new limited-capacity and ticketed (but still totally free) format for safety purposes. Tickets are already sold out for this Friday’s performance, but you can RSVP for future Fridays to see acts including Phil Ranelin and Leslie Bee. The shows are free and start at 6 p.m. [More info and RSVP]

immersive van gogh
Photo courtesy Immersive Van Gogh Los Angeles

Immersive Van Gogh

Through January 2022

The old Amoeba in Hollywood is looking mighty different these days. After a long build out, the space’s hallowed confines reopen this weekend as the home of Immersive Van Gogh, a walk-through experience that lets you hang out in Van Gogh’s most famous paintings (and even correspond with a AI version of the long-dead Dutchman). Opening weekend is sold out, but the show is open through the beginning of January 2022. [More info and tickets]

Nothing But Blk Flea Market

Ongoing

Many Black-owned businesses saw an influx of business following the global civil rights protests last summer. But that support shouldn’t stop a year later—or ever for that matter. Melanin Market L.A. makes it easy to support Black-owned businesses and vendors at their Nothing But Blk Market, which features an array of products ranging from jewelry, organic food and beverage, and beauty products. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Outdoor Promenade. [More info]

Smorgasburg L.A.

Sundays

Like most other things that are good, Smorgasburg L.A. had to pack it in and endure a long hiatus thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sunday, July 4, the Brooklyn-transplanted outdoor food market returned to ROW DTLA with a bunch of new vendors, including some you’ve probably seen on Instagram and have been dying to try, like fried fish sandwich pop-up Little Fish and Caribbean street food pop-up Bridgetown Roti. According to organizers 75 percent of the markets former vendors will be returning too. The market runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and entry is free. [More info]

Pop-Up Drive-Ins and Outdoor Movies

Ongoing

Theaters are opening up again, but there’s still plenty of fun stuff to see at pop-up drive-ins and outdoor pop-ups throughout the region. This weekend’s offerings include Coming to America, Gone with the Wind, and more. [More info]

Chocolate Sundaes Comedy at The Laugh Factory Hollywood

Ongoing

This one of a kind comedy show, which features a mix of seasoned veterans and up-and-coming comics, takes place every Sunday at the infamous Laugh Factory on the Sunset Strip. Recent performers include the likes of Kevin Hart, Katt Williams and Tracy Morgan. It’s also not uncommon to catch a celebrity in the crowd as folks like Beyonce and husband Jay Z, Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner have showed up. [More info and tickets]

Chocolate Sundaes
Photo courtesy of chocolatesundaes.com/hollywood

Rights and Rituals: The Making of African American Debutante Culture

Through February 27, 2022

Debutante balls have existed since the 18th century, but there’s nuance to how they evolved in America. This exhibit at the California African American Museum takes a closer look at the role debutante balls have played in Black life, particularly in L.A., through photographs from the 1950s and ’60s culled from libraries and collections, in addition to gowns, souvenirs, oral interviews, and other objects. [More info]

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK

Through 2023

Composer and sound artist Ellen Reid has created a soundtrack for your next walk in Griffith Park. Download the SOUNDWALK app to experience a public work of audio art that’s determined by which way you decide to walk (using GPS). “We miss our communities, and we miss the very thing that makes our cities special: the people,” Reid says. “I hope SOUNDWALK will inspire us and make us feel connected to something larger than ourselves.” [More info]

Vineland, Paramount, and Mission Tiki Drive-Ins

Ongoing

Pop-up screenings sell out fast, but the L.A. area’s stationary drive-ins don’t require advance tickets and have plenty of great movies to check out—and double features galore. It’s a throwback that’s become very welcome in the era of social distancing.

Stream away…

Ongoing

Check out what we have in this week’s roundup of streaming recommendations because sometimes the best things to do are the most low-effort of all.

Looking for even more things to watch, eat, and do during the COVID-19 outbreak? Check out our Inside Guide.


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