This week offers not one but two special events from the gourmandeers at Smorgasburg, plus another festival for gorging presented by Los Angeles Magazine. Already full? Try the week’s best comedy, theater, art, and more.
Monday, January 28
The always-working Dramatist Guild Fellow James McLindon brings a new play to The Blank Theatre’s intimate “The Living Room” series of readings, this one about a man who picks up a teenage hitchhiker who challenges his preconceived notions of the younger generation. 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles; 8 p.m.
The Moth GrandSLAM Championship
Gather for the championship of all storytelling championships, where you watch the magic of true stories told extremely well up close. While The Moth’s been the preeminent forum for premium storytelling for a decade, tonight the best of the best will share their winning tales of love, loss, revenge, hysteria, and more. The Regent Theater, 448 South Main Street, Los Angeles; 8 p.m.
Tuesday, January 29
Los Angeles Magazine’s Best New Restaurants Celebration
Every year the editors of Los Angeles Magazine select the best new restaurants from around our fair city, and this year’s lot is as impressive as ever. At this walk-around tasting event, you can sample dishes from their select faves. If anything, it’s a lot easier than getting a reservation at most of these places. Participants include stunners like Alta, Bavel, Freedman’s, Majordomo, and Ma’am Sir. Tickets include unlimited sampling, but a tip: Get there early to beat the lines. Rolling Greens Downtown Los Angeles, 1005 Mateo Street, Los Angeles; 7–9 p.m.
Matt Walsh Presents: Dodo’s Retirement Party!
Matt Walsh, one of the creators of UCB and an actor on HBO’s Veep, is hosting a retirement party for a character named Dodo Portencasso (played by Mo Gaffney). It’s an incredible variety show, where actors and comedians play people in Dodo’s life who are wishing her well into retirement, and the audience members are treated as partygoers. The lineup includes Andy Daly, Sasheer Zamata, Rich Fulcher, Jerry Minor, and more. Take note: Matt Walsh hardly does improv anymore so this show isn’t one to miss. UCB Theatre’s Inner Sanctum, 5419 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles; 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 30
Urs Fischer: Images
If you haven’t seen the new paintings and sculptures by Urs Fischer, do it now—the show is up for only another week. His large modernist paintings are first created digitally, then silk screened onto aluminum panels, a process that adds a certain hallucinatory quality to his already deeply imaginative scenarios. Gagosian, 456 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills
Thursday, January 31
Kenturah Davis: “Blur In The Interest of Precision”
Local artist (also part-time Ghana resident) and recent Yale MFA graduate Kenturah Davis presents a series of drawings of her inner circle. Text-based markings repeated and overlapped blur the actual words, designed to emerge as vibrating, semi-surreal, emotionally layered portraits of her friends. This is the inaugural show for new West Hollywood gallery Matthew Brown, an eponymous endeavor by the independent curator who has formerly worked with Gagosian, Hannah Hoffman, and Moran Moran. Davis’s exhibition will run through March 3. Matthew Brown Los Angeles, 633 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
Friday, February 1
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Seun Kuti (son of legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela) and his band Egypt 80 perform live, with opening sets by local psych rockers Allah-Las, DJ sets from Reverberation Radio, and projections by Stranger Liquids, all presented by tastemakers Dublab and Zebulon. Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 North Spring Street, Los Angeles; 5–11 p.m.
Saturday, February 2
Smorgasburg Dumpling Day at the Races
If the big, colorful dumplings at Smorgasburg aren’t enough, this one-day-only extravaganza should do the trick. The weekly food fest pops up at Santa Anita Park, featuring favorites like Workaholics and Brothecary, plus a few special guest dumplings to round things out. Tickets, which range from $30 to $110, include food and beer sampling, clubhouse access, and betting vouchers—this is the home to world-class thoroughbred horse racing, after all. Santa Anita Park, 285 West Huntington Drive, Arcadia; 12–4:30 p.m.
Cameron Esposito always wanted to be a priest until she found out women aren’t allowed to do that, so she picked the next best thing: stand-up comedian. Her charisma and warmth onstage feels more like a sermon than a stand-up set. Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth, 2511 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles; 8 p.m.
San Junipero L.A. – A Retrowave Party
Live out the fantasy of the most talked about episode of Black Mirror at Echoplex. DJs BLK SLK, Valentine, and JAK SYN spin retrowave and synthwave artists influenced by the sounds and celebratory vibes of cinema, underground clubs, and video games from the 1980s. Free if you RSVP before 10 p.m. Echoplex, enter through alley at 1154 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles
Sunday, February 3
Smorgasburg’s Second Annual Super Vegan Sunday
It’s a big weekend for L.A.’s weekly Smorgasburg. Not only is there a special off-site event for dumpling lovers (see above), it’s also presenting an annual celebration of all things vegan. Though it’s already home to popular vegan vendors like Donut Friend, Señoreata, and Cena Vegan, for the second year in a row, the lineup will feature even more pop-ups. Expect rare appearances from Superiority Burger (NYC) and Mort and Betty’s (Jewish deli), and more. Non-vegan vendors will also showcase vegan specials for the occasion. Row DTLA, 777 South Alameda Street, Los Angeles; 10 a.m.–4 p.m.