There are a lot of purely fun events this weekend, but also – helpfully scheduled on Saturday morning, before some of the others get going – a couple of nice opportunities to do good as well as have a good time. First up is a neighborhood cleanup in the Wilshire Center/Koreatown neighborhood, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sponsored by the Wilshire Center Business Improvement District, the Koreatown Youth and Community Center, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Herb Wesson’s City Council District 10 office, the event offers official community service hours for teens who may need them to fufill school requirements…as well as a free breakfast snack to all volunteers.
Also from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, and also sponsored by City Council Member Herb Wesson, is a CD10 Community Town Hall Workshop at the CD 10 field office at 1819 S. Western Ave. The council member will listen to questions and concerns from the community, and there will be booths from “every single City department” (or at least 26 of them, as listed on the event flier), where stakeholders can ask questions or address concerns and receive a guaranteed response within seven business days.
Meanwhile, back on Larchmont Blvd., Landis Labyrinth will be holding a “Connect & Create” storytelling experience with WRiTE BRAiN founder Merdith Scott Lynn, who will guide families through a fun writing and storytelling experience, creating short-form original children’s stories. Everyone will leave with a colorfully-illustrated art poster containing their unique story. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Landis’ Labyrinth Classic Toy Shop, 140 N. Larchmont Blvd.
For the grownups, the LA Beer and Food Fest, taking place from 3-6 p.m. at the historic Mack Sennett Studios in Silverlake (1215 Bates Ave., 90029), will present unlimited tastings of more than 100 beers from more than 40 independently-owned Los Angeles County craft brewers, along with complimentary bites from some favorite local restaurants and purveyors of fine foods. A series of educational panels discussing beer and food pairings, and the art of fermentation, will also be on the schedule. General admission is $60 (or $70 for a VIP pass that includes early admission), and includes keepsake tasting glassware.
Later, it’s time for one of Downtown’s biggest events of the year, the 9th Annual Night on Broadway, a huge evening of arts, culture and entertainment billed as “the fastest-growing, one-day art & music festival in North America.” The free event, running from 4 p.m. to midnight and produced in celebration of Councilmember José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway economic development initiative, “awakens beautiful historic theatres and the blocks between them along the Broadway corridor in Downtown Los Angeles.” It includes just about everything from emerging musical acts to national stars, artists to acrobats, and fashion designers to food trucks…all along a full mile stretch of historic Broadway between Third Street and Olympic Blvd., including historic venues such as The Globe Theatre, The Orpheum, Million Dollar Theater, and the ACE Hotel (formerly United Artist Theatre). About 60,000 people attended last year’s event, and the organizers think that will be exceeded this year. See the above link for full schedule, list of performers, maps and more.
If you’d rather see a classic film on Saturday night, the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater will be showing a double feature of Brazil and Time Bandits, starting at 7:30 p.m. Brazil is director Terry Gilliam’s groundbreaking science fiction satire, inspired by George Orwell’s 1984 and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, which pits Everyman Jonathan Pryce against a world of crushing conformity, pursuing elusive love Kim Greist. Time Bandits follows 11-year old history buff Kevin as a time-and-space portal opens in his bedroom wall, and a band of dwarves takes him on a series of rousing, funny and scary quests…involving Robin Hood, Napoleon and Agamemnon, and a search for “The Most Fabulous Object in the World.”
For those who prefer the intersection of film and music, LACMA’s Film Independent will host Bring the Noise: Welcome to the Dollhouse. Seth Bogart, of Hunx and His Punx, will provide a memorable musical experience including a brand new score for Todd Solondz’s Welcome to The Dollhouse. The 7:30 p.m. screening and performance will be followed by a reception hosted by Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Tickets are $25 for LACMA Film Club members and Film Independent members, and $50 for the general public. See the link above for details.
On Sunday, the really big deal (in both senses of that term) is the annual SoCal Museums Free For All Day. More than 30 southern California museums, of all kinds, will open their doors and welcome visitors free of charge (for general admission; does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions…and parking fees still apply). Check the participating museums below for hours, directions, and other visitor information:
Annenberg Space for Photography
Armory Center for the Arts
Autry Museum of the American West
California African American Museum
California Science Center
Excludes IMAX films and The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition. A timed reservation with a convenience fee is required for Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Columbia Memorial Space Center
Offering free admission on Saturday, January 28, instead of Sunday, January 29
Craft & Folk Art Museum
Two new exhibits opening on Sunday: Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California…and Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video.
Free, timed tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at www.descansogardens.org
Fowler Museum at UCLA
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine
Free, timed tickets are required. Visit www.getty.edu.
Japanese American National Museum
Kidspace Children’s Museum
Laguna Art Museum
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
General admission only; free tickets available at tarpits.org/freeforall
La Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
Museum of Tolerance
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Free tickets available at nhm.org/freeforall
Orange County Museum of Art
The Paley Center for Media
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Petersen Automotive Museum
Reserve timed tickets in advance here
Pomona College Museum of Art
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Skirball Cultural Center
Noah’s Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are limited and distributed first-come, first-served
Zimmer Children’s Museum
Meanwhile, for Hollywood history buffs, the American Cinematheque will host An Afternoon at Earl Carroll’s, at the Egyptian Theater at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The program will feature an illustrated presentation on Sunset Boulevard’s Art Deco-era Earl Carroll Theatre, Hollywood’s newest Historic Cultural Monument, by Richard Adkins of Hollywood Heritage, and Marc Wanamaker of the Bison Archives. The Earl Carroll nightclub, famous for its “Vanities” showgirl stage revues, opened on December 26, 1938 with a jaw-dropping Art Deco interior designed by Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, who invented the Streamline Moderne style. Adkins and Wanamaker will give a history of the glamorous supper club, which had the words “Through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world,” emblazoned over the door…and will talk about the impending renovations to the building that most recently housed Nickelodeon. Wanamaker will also detail his personal history with the building in the 1960s, when it was known as The Aquarius Theatre and the Kaleidoscope psychedelic night club, where The Doors famously performed. After the program, around 2 p.m., there will also be a screening of the 1940 musical, A Night at Earl Carroll’s, which stars Ken Murray and Rose Hobart, along with radio stars Brenda & Cobina (Blake Steward and Elvia Allman) and songs by Hobart, William Brady, Mary Lou Cook, Lillian Cornell…and an old vaudeville dance by Lela Moore. The plot revolves around Earl Carroll (playing himself) being kidnapped by mobsters at a mayor’s convention.
Also, a bit later at the Egyptian, the Cinematheque will screen Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest, starring Cary Grand and Eva Marie Saint, to celebrate the birthday of legendary casting director Marvin Paige. There will be a pre-screening reception at 4:30, and the movie starts at 5:30…with a post-screening discussion afterward with co-star Martin Landau, moderated by Foster Hirsch.
Of course, one of the other big happenings this weekend is the Lunar New Year, which will be celebrated locally at both The Grove and The Original Farmers Market. From 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, visitors can celebrate the Year of the Rooster with live dance and martial arts performances, arts and crafts, decorations including hand-formed fan sculptures, brilliant red Chinese New Year lanterns, giant Moso bamboo poles, Qilin Foo Dogs, and a giant rooster sculpture…along with dumpling-making workshops and bright horticulture. Guests will receive lucky red envelopes containing cash and prizes from the God of Wealth, and there will be a variety of “Lucky 8” food and merchandise specials from select Farmers Market merchants.
And, finally on Sunday, at 5 p.m., the Ebell of Los Angeles’ PLAYdate series presents a staged reading of The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World, adapted from author Mimi Sheraton’s book, The Bialy Eaters, and directed by Ellen Sandler. The play recounts Sheraton’s personal, worldwide search for a Polish town’s lost world and the daily bread that sustained it. Starring Phil Abrams, Peter Basch, Ellen Gerstein, and Kerry Shear…with music performed by Evangeline Kelly. The event includes a special Polish supper, immediately following the reading. The Ebell is located at 741 S. Lucerne Blvd….and free parking is available in the large lot to the east of the building, across Lucerne.
Have a great weekend!