Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

The Week Ahead – Events for May 20-26, 2023

After 10 years on the Boulevard, Vernetti will host its final patrons for a Larchmont Village fundraising event on Thursday, May 25. To purchase tickets, please see details in ‘Community’ section below.

My goodness are my finger pads on fire! With so much going on this week, an unusual amount of typing has taken place and now it’s time to rest my weary pads and leave you to reading. I will, however, give you one more sentence for good measure, which includes a very brief description of all the events to come. In no particular order, besides alphabetical, they include: Amy Klobuchar, Anne Frank Day, Baguazhang, Bug Fair 2023, CicLAmini, Ebell Chorale, Fleet Week, Home, The Paramount Showcase, Stranger Love, Sweet Home Sweet, and a sweet Vernetti Farewell. See you there!

Arts, Culture, Anne Frank, and Stranger Love

Inspired by the story of Anne Frank, a 10-year-old girl named Olivia, with the support of Anne Frank LA, approached former Councilmember Paul Koretz about declaring an official day to honor Anne’s legacy…and he agreed! On April 26, 2022, the LA City Council declared May 12th to be Anne Frank Day, and to celebrate this year, AFLA is hosting a slew of events with its local partners, including one this Saturday, May 20, with best selling author, educator, and Freedom Writer founder Erin Gruwell. Join The Ebell of Los Angeles for a thought-provoking panel discussion – “Dear Freedom Writer: Penning a Path to Write the Wrong” – that highlights “the transformative power of writing,” drawing from the experiences of both the original Freedom Writer authors and the next generation. The event will take place in the Lounge from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Admission is FREE. Also, be sure to check out these other Anne Frank Day events happening later in the week at the historic Los Angeles Breakfast Club, and LA Central Library in DTLA.

Also going down this FYC Emmy season, Paramount will present for the first time – drum roll please – The Paramount Showcase – “a physical manifestation of the broad and popular content from across Paramount’s portfolio of leading brands.” Guests will enjoy an immersive experience with interactive rooms and themed installations, including the 1923 experience; YELLOWSTONE’s iconic Great Room; original vocals from GEORGE & TAMMY; the hallways of Rydell High from GREASE: RISE OF THE PINK LADIES; TULSA KING’s Bred 2 Buck Saloon; and the YELLOWJACKETS compound. More fan favorite series like COUPLES THERAPY; RUPAUL’s DRAG RACE; STAR TREK: PICARD; THE DAILY SHOW, and ZIWE will also be included. The Showcase will take over the iconic Hollywood Athletic Club from now through Saturday, May 20 from 12-3 p.m. Reserve your spot here.

As soon as I read the quote, “Stranger Love is not practical,” I knew I had to include it.  Stranger Love: An Impossible, Countercultural, Six-Hour Operatic Odyssey into the Sublime will be happening from 4-11 p.m. this Saturday, May 20 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Stranger Love is “the fruit of a conversation” between composer Mattingly and librettist Bartscherer about music and language over many years. It follows two lovers whose romance blossoms to the rhythm of the seasons, set on a vast time scale against the ever-expanding universe – It’s six hours of music and theater with an orchestra built on three microtonal pianos…“but at a time when everything in our lives is cut shorter and shorter, taking six hours to discover a world where time bends to love like gravity, and moments of bliss, of fear and of rapture – the moments in which you’ve felt most alive – is entirely the point.”  Few tickets are left, so hurry up.. Life’s too short for practicality! Tickets range from $20-$64. And why not enhance your experience with a special Dinner Intermission preceding Acts II & III, available for purchase to concert attendees. Get details here.

Are you ready to immerse yourself in ‘home’ and dance this week? Well, good, because Reborn Arts is presenting Home: An Immersive Dance Experience. This two-hour performance will use dance, architecture, music, video projection, and audience reaction to explore the various themes of Home on a micro and macro level. Through “an abstract, dreamscape narrative”, the evening will take the audience through fragments of memories and relationships that exist within this theme. ​The production is housed in the eclectic Sugar Bank / Monk Space, where audiences will have free reign to explore three connecting 1920s warehouses, complete with a showcase of portrait and dance photography, immersive props, and live dancers. Performances take place on Saturday, May 20 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. (followed by a Gala) and on Sunday, May 21 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sugar Bank is located at 4414 W 2nd St. Tickets range from $40-$80. 

Can I get a shout out to all the bugs out there who complete the vast ecosystems of Earth? Well, on Saturday and Sunday, May 20-21, the 37th Annual Bug Fair at the Natural History Museum, aka NHM, will give me and you the chance to do it ourselves, and with over one million species, there’s plenty to thank! Visit a variety of exhibitors with everything from exotic insect collections to unique and cool bug-related products for sale. Learn all about insects and their benefits to the environment, like our highlight bug, the emerald cockroach (no thanks, but again, vital to the ecosystem), and so much more! The schedule of events includes stage presentations, museum display tables, and ongoing activities from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., such as a Coloring Station & Butterfly Barrette Activity; Bugtopia; Insects of LA; viewings of AppleTV’s groundbreaking series, Prehistoric Planet (Season 2); and Nickelodeon Slime Booth! The event is FREE with paid Museum admission and for NHM Members.

And yet another CicLAvia, open streets for all, event is happening this year and this time it’s on a slightly smaller scale, yet still makes a big impact. On Sunday, May 21, CicLAmini: Watts will transform about 2 miles of the city into a public park for the day, and while, normally, all people powered vehicles would be allowed, this CicLAmini is a more of a pedestrian-oriented experience, with activities sprinkled along the entire route, including scavenger hunts, street games, local business engagements, and art and cultural activities for all-ages. Some things to know before you go: CicLAmini is FREE and lasts from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; streets are closed to car traffic and open to people of all ages and abilities; and, finally, CicLAmini is not a race! There’s no starting point or finish line—begin where you like and enjoy the day your way. Check out more rules of the route here.  

Exhibit openings are exciting – are they not? – and this one happening on Sunday, May 21 at the Holocaust Museum LA surely is, and at 3 p.m. you’ll bear witness to the opening of Sweet Home Sweet, A Story of Survival, Memory, and Returns. Born to a Polish Jewish family in Krakow in 1923, Richard Ores was just a teenager when WWII broke out. He was also an avid amateur photographer in pre-war life, who managed to smuggle in his camera and courageously document what was going on around him (including in the Krakow Ghetto), burying his photos in a pickle jar to create “symbolic proof of the existence of family and friends”, most of whom were killed. What an incredible story! The photos that were unearthed post-war will be displayed for the first time in the US, following an exhibition at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland. There will also be a panel discussion with Richard Ores’ daughter, Jakub Nowakowski, Director of the Galicia Museum and the Holocaust Museum’s own Jordanna Gessler. RSVP HERE.

And the events just keep coming like wildfire with two more at The Ebell this week, including A Tale To Sing: Spring Chorale Concert & Lunch on Monday, May 22, one of the longest running female chorales in Los Angeles, The Ebell Chorale, performing “a journey of songs to the memories of the past, the dreams of a child, and the human desire for love and peace that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries”. With narration by members of the Chorale throughout the concert. Come celebrate the joy of community and take in the beautiful music! The 11 a.m. performance is FREE, or you could opt for the 12 p.m. Lunch at $45 a ticket for Member/Member Guest and $60 for Non-Members. Then on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m., Minnesota Senator and 2020 U.S. Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar will be in town for a Writers Bloc event for her new memoir, The Joy of Politics: Surviving Cancer, a Campaign, a Pandemic, An Insurrection, and Life’s Other Unexpected Curveballs the story of “an exceptional woman who strives for humor and grace in the face of personal peril, professionally challenging relationships in the Senate, and some heartbreak.” Please note that masks will be required.  Tickets are $25 per person. Ebell Members receive $5 off with code “Ebell2023”.

If you’re a regular browser of The Week Ahead, then you’ve probably noticed the extra amount of wellness/self-healing workshops I’ve been including lately, and it’s for a good reason – life balance and rejuvenation of spirit! And LACMA is the catalyst this week, offering Decoding the Abstract Body with Yunuen Rhi on Wednesday, May 24 from 6-8 p.m. In dialogue with the exhibition New Abstracts: Recent Acquisitions, wellness coach and fifth-generation Baguazhang martial arts instructor Yunuen Rhi (we/they/them) will lead a self-healing movement-based workshop where participants can “reflect on the abstract vocabularies” of the new collection pieces and to “imprint the exhibition space with the movement calligraphy of their Taoist-Buddhist ancestral practice.” No experience necessary. Open to all bodies and abilities, 18 years and older. ASL interpretation is also available. The cost for Members is $20; General public $25. An RSVP is required.

And lastly, but not leastly, I’ve thrown in two different types of FREE concert series to end your week with a gentle bang. First up, on Wednesday, May 24 from 1-2 p.m., the Original Farmers Market will host the Marine Band San Diego, bringing a taste of the “Big Easy” to the Plaza with its mix of traditional New Orleans brass music and current top 40 music for LA’s 2023 Fleet Week Neighborhood Concert Series. Head over to the market for a tasty lunch paired with music that will surely get anyone on their feet!Then, to officially finish up the week, oldie but goodie, Jazz at LACMA will be bringing it with the Dwight Trible Trio this Friday, May 26 from 6-8 p.m. Dwight Trible’s remarkable career has included collaboration with musicians ranging from Bobby Hutcherson to Charles Lloyd to Harry Belafonte. He is also Executive Director of the famed World Stage in Leimert Park. Jazz at LACMA is FREE and open to all. Seating is limited and first come, first served. Masks are encouraged but not required.

Community and Local Government

What What! On Tuesday, May 23, the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works, the Office of Community Beautification and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful will be hosting the 5th Annual Virtual Beautification Conference starting at 10 a.m. sharp! Please join for an opportunity to network and collaborate on topics focused around beautifying Los Angeles, including topics such as Littering and Personal Responsibility, Organics LA, and Beautification Opportunities for LA residents. Register here.

And sadly, but going out on a high note, the Last Night at Vernetti’s has come (read Buzz co-publisher, Patty Lombard’s full article by clicking on the link). On Thursday, May 25, you can enjoy Vernetti’s wonderful cuisine one more time and help raise funds to continue Larchmont’s bistro light project to install lights in the city parking lot, creating a welcoming place for events such as night markets, summer movie nights, and more! Thanks to the generosity of Joanna and Steve Vernetti, the installation of the bistro lights on Larchmont Blvd. (a joint effort of the Larchmont Village BID and the Larchmont Boulevard Association) will get another round of contributions from guests who want to celebrate the Vernettis and their lasting impact on the street. Tickets are $125 per person; price includes dinner with a starter glass of wine. See you there! Click here for tickets.

The Mid City West Neighborhood Council has another full-ish week this time ‘round, starting on the second day of the work week, Tuesday, May 23, with a meeting for the Social and Racial Equity Committee, followed by a (pending, it may be canceled) Outreach and Civic Engagement meeting on Wednesday, May 24 and Executive Council gathering on Thursday, May 25. Check Mid City’s calendar for more info and full schedule of meetings. Please Note: all MCW meetings will now be held at the Pan Pacific Park Senior Center (lunch room) located at 141 S. Gardner St., Los Angeles

And your local NC, voted “least likely to get arrested” back in high school, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council has no meetings on the schedule this week due to cancellations, but be sure to check the GWNC’s website for agendas and full calendar.


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Julia Christiansen
Julia Christiansen
Julia is a native Angeleno and jack of all trades, having worked in television, visual effects, professional sports, health and wellness, and custom design. She currently resides in El Segundo.

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