Happy Independence Day, America! Have a side of Arts and Culture with your burgers and BBQ this weekend. There are plenty of fireworks shows and family-friendly entertainment to go around. Take the kids to a Dodger game, funk it up at the Hollywood Bowl with Kool and the Gang, or if you’d rather just chill out and enjoy nature, head up to Griffith Park and experience sound artist Ellen Reid’s SOUNDWALK. And last but certainly not least…if you’ve been feeling a little depleted and need to stock up on some laughs, take in a comedy show or two for a refill. After all, laughter is the best medicine!
Yes, after a pandemic pause in 2020, 4th of July fireworks are back with a bang this year.
Of course the fireworks show closest to home – as we mentioned yesterday – will be the always-reliable display at the Wilshire Country Club at 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 4. Depending on the tree cover where you are, it’s visible from most of our nearby neighborhoods.
If you’d like to venture a bit further afield for sparkly explosives, however, you do have lots of other options.
For example, you could join Kool and the Gang for a disco-funky, Independence Day Hollywood Bowl Fireworks Spectacular weekend. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra will also be there performing all your favorite patriotic jams on July 3rd and 4th. Gates: 6 p.m./concert: 7:30 p.m. Tickets still available.
If you went to high school in the ’90s like me, Dazed and Confused was probably one of your favorite movies. So here’s a chance to relive your youth at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery this Saturday, July 3rd. Oh, and, yes, there will be fireworks. Gates: 7:15 p.m./movie: 9 p.m. ($42). And for even more coming-of-age delightfulness, catch a showing of Dirty Dancing + Fireworks on the 4th. Gates – 7:15 p.m./movie – 9 p.m. ($42). Presented by Cinespia. (Note: The movies are sold out, but you can probably still see fireworks if you live nearby.)
On Sunday, July 4th there’s also the 95th Annual AmericaFest at the Rose Bowl – one of the nation’s largest and longest running Independence Day celebrations. The program includes musical performances, a motocross stunt show, and the “Biggest Fireworks Show in Southern California.” The theme of this year’s annual celebration is “Celebrating America’s Perseverance,” and it’s billed as stadium’s welcome back event for 2021. Parking: 3:00 p.m./gates: 5:30 p.m./event: 7 p.m. Tickets are still available and start at $20.
Even with so many great spots for viewing, Marina Del Rey might be one of the best places in Los Angeles to see 4th of July fireworks. Wine, dine, and watch fireworks from a waterfront restaurant or get fancy and charter a yacht with friends and family. You can also head over to Burton Chace Park (free advance online tickets are required) or Fisherman’s Village for a more family-friendly party atmosphere. Fireworks start around 9 p.m.
And finally, to round out the week in fireworks…you can join your 2020 World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, on Friday,July 9th, for Friday Night Fireworks at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks game starts at 7:10 p.m., and the fireworks follow. Tickets start at $38.
Arts & Culture
On Saturday, July 3 and Friday, July 9, the New Beverly Cinema, 7165 W. Beverly Blvd., will have midnight screenings of two classic Quentin Tarantino films, Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill Vol.1. “If you want to see one of my movies in 35mm, any week of the year, there is one place you can go to,” says the legendary director. (Tarantino actually bought the historic theater back in 2007, after the previous owner’s death, to save it from redevelopment.) Other non-Tarantino gems on the schedule this week include Red Dawn, Rocky IV, Excalibur, Fist of Fury Part II and the original Dracula (1931). Show times vary. Note that if advance tickets sell out online, some additional tickets will be available for purchase at the door on a first come, first served basis (limit 2 per person). Midnight Shows: $10, Double Features: $12.
On the next two Saturdays, July 3 and 10, Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth Theater, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., will present Dynasty Tonight!, a live variety show featuring stand-up comedy, musical acts, and “out-of-this-worrrrlllld popcorn.” Very famous people tend to make an appearance (Hanna Einbinder, now starring in HBO Max’s “Hacks” is on the bill) and the founders only choose performers they holistically love. Doors: 6:30 p.m./show: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20 Advanced / $25 Day of Show (if available). There is no late entry, and the lineup is subject to change. All guests must be 18 and over and show proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within 48 hrs. Also note that parking can be tricky, so using a ride-share service is highly recommended.
TAG Gallery, 5458 Wilshire Blvd., takes a detour from fine art to performance art on Saturday, July 3, with TAG Performs in the storefront window from 8-9 p.m. Meanwhile, inside the gallery, solo exhibits from artists James Lane, John Waiblinger, and K Ryan Henisey will close this weekend, and new fine art exhibits open July 7. The gallery is also still accepting submissions for its 2021 California Open show, until July 7.
Over in Exposition Park, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has announced extended summer hours from 5-8 p.m. every Friday from July 9 through August 6. According to the museum, “visitors can enjoy an evening with live DJs in the Nature Gardens, DIY activities for the family, and food and beverages at the NHM Grill. The ground and first floors of the Museum will remain open, with the two newest exhibitions, Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of L.A. and Rise Up L.A.: A History of Votes for Women on view in the first floor galleries. Advanced reservations are no longer required, and walk-ups are welcome. However, reserving advanced tickets is encouraged.”
Community & History
Ken Bernstein, Principal City Planner for the City of Los Angeles and a national advocate for historic preservation, will join the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society on Wednesday, July 7, at 7 p.m., via Zoom, for a presentation based on his new book, “Preserving Los Angeles” How Historic Places Can Transform America’s Cities.” Bernstein will talk about “how Los Angeles has led the nation in historic preservation and shares how other cities can do the same.” Tickets are $10 for WSHPHS members, and $15 for non-members (with book purchases available, too), with reservations available here.
And if you’re looking for more local history, rejoice – the LA Conservancy’s Walking Tours are back in person on Saturdays! You can shed some of those COVID-19 pounds by walking while learning about LA’s historic architecture – all socially distanced, of course. Choose between Art Deco, Historic Downtown, Modern Skyline, Past Meets Present, or Union Station. Cost is $15 for adults, or $10 for Conservancy members and kids (17 and under). Kids are FREE with the purchase of an adult ticket every last Saturday of the month this summer.
Health & Wellness
For another nice and healthy outdoor-in-real-life experience you can enjoy alone or with others, try Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer and sound artist Ellen Reid’s SOUNDWALK. Reid’s cinematic score was created specifically for Griffith Park and features a world-premiere recording by Kronos Quartet. Just install the FREE app, download the Griffith Park SOUNDWALK and choose your path. Presented by CAP UCLA. Park hours are 5 a.m.-10:30 p.m. The Soundwalk will be available through 2023.
I know Buzz readers are sharp, but if you’re wondering why a comedy show is listed under Health & Wellness this week, let me clarify. Laughter is healing and good for the soul, so get off the couch and over to the Whitley Theater, 1716 Whitley Avenue this Saturday, July 3rd, for Comedy at the Whitley. If you already have plans with Netflix this weekend, no worries, there will be two more chances to catch a Whitley show, on Thursday, July 8 and Saturday, July 10. This outdoor theater, in the heart of Hollywood, has table seating and a full bar and menu for “a complete dinner and show experience.” There is a two-item minimum and seating is limited. Masks are required.
Finally, on this first weekend of the month, we’d usually be giving you a heads-up to catch the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s monthly Outreach Committee meeting on Saturday morning…but this week, instead, we’re notifying you that because of the holiday weekend, the meeting has been postponed until next Saturday, July 10, at 9:30 a.m. Connect via Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/98276791581 or by telephone at (669) 900-6833 or (877) 853-5257 (toll-free), and enter Zoom ID 982 7679 1581, then press #. Supporting documents will be made available at www.greaterwilshire.org/OCdocs/.