A Night Out

What to Do in L.A. This Week: September 16–22

Photo courtesy of L.A. County Fair/Facebook

Monday, September 16

Photo courtesy of Ben Folds/Facebook

An Evening With Ben Folds: A Conversation
Given Folds’s insightful and confessional lyrics, it comes as no surprise that the adored singer-songwriter makes a smooth transition into books with his memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs. He’ll be joined in conversation by his friend Bob Saget, which should make for an unconventional and interesting dynamic, to say the least. The Regent, 448 South Main Street

L.A. County Fair
It’s hard not to have a blast at the L.A. County Fair, which can be pretty much whatever you want it to be—just get there soon, because this is the last week it’s open. Music person? Take in smaller free shows around the fair before heading to see a popular act at the grandstand. Foodie? There’s enough here to fill you up until October. Thrill seeker? Head to the rides at the Fun Zone—just remember to do it before you hit the food stands. Through September 22. 1101 West McKinley Avenue, Pomona

Tuesday, September 17

Photo courtesy of Anat Ebgi Gallery‎/Facebook

“Tammi Campbell: Boring Art”
Part homage, part tongue-in-cheek, Campbell reworks iconic pieces by famous white male contemporary masters by wrapping them in Bubble Wrap or adding materials to carefully constructed replicas. Through October 26. Anat Ebgi, 2660 South La Cienega Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Rachel Bloom/Facebook

Hi I’m Rachel and This is My Show Starring Rachel Bloom
It’s a beautiful thing when you let Bloom, star of the award-winning musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, to do whatever she wants. One of those things is the aforementioned show that is simultaneously a satire, a romantic comedy, a dark comedy, a sharpened commentary on gender and sexuality stereotypes, and, of course, an expertly crafted musical. For 90 minutes this evening (and once a month afterward), you’ll get to see Bloom, once again, do whatever she wants and bear witness to the comedic force of nature that she is. Largo at the Coronet, 366 North La Cienega Boulevard

Wednesday, September 18

Photo courtesy of Hammer Museum/Facebook

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
A cathartic viewing for an immeasurable loss, this recent documentary, released a month before her passing, explores the pioneering career of national treasure Morrison. The film weaves together art, history, and literature, so expect an inspiring tribute, seen through the intersection of race, American culture, history, and the human condition. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard

17 Blocks
In 1999, documentarian Davy Rothbart lent his camera to eager 9-year-old Emmanuel Sanford, an African-American kid living in the rough part of Washington, D.C. Twenty years later, Sanford’s decades of family film was edited together by Rothbart and landed at the Tribeca Film Festival. At once a harrowing look at inner-city life, a powerful family epic, and a unique form of cinematic collaboration, 17 Blocks is one of 2019’s most important films you’ve never heard of. Rothbart will join for a Q&A. The Landmark, 10850 West Pico Boulevard

Thursday, September 19

“Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Tears of Things”
In the artist’s first show in Los Angeles in four years, large-scale paintings revolve around promise and risk, imbued with poetry and literature. With references to individual loss and memory, the works are beautifully, hauntingly melancholic. Through October 11. Kohn Gallery, 1227 North Highland Avenue

Photo courtesy of Claude Fontaine/Facebook

Claude Fontaine
Fontaine isn’t actually French, but if you judged her solely by her late-’70s Serge Gainsbourg sound, you wouldn’t know it. She sprinkles bossa nova, dub, and seductive lounge vibes into her highly personal, delightfully retro music. Lodge Room, 104 North Avenue 56, 2nd Floor

Friday, September 20

Photo courtesy of Pasadena Greek Fest/Facebook

Pasadena Greek Fest
For more than 50 years, the St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church has invited everyone to indulge in Greek dishes like pastitsio, spanakopita, grilled lamb, honey-drenched loukoumades, and other desserts. The days and nights are filled with dancing, live music, and more. Admission is $4 for adults (kids 12 and under get in for free). Food and drink are pay-as-you-go—taking home an extra box of cookies and pastries is pretty much mandatory. Through Sunday, September 22. St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church, 778 South Rosemead Boulevard, Pasadena

Flying Lotus 3-D
Psycho-spiritual musician Flying Lotus made a recent album about the transition from life to death and beyond. For this very special performance, he pulls the audience through a moving, at times melancholic, ecstatic, and audiovisual 3-D underworld of trippy electronica, free jazz, psychedelic rock, and hip hop. The Novo, 800 West Olympic Boulevard

Saturday, September 21

Photo courtesy of Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County/Facebook

Dino Fest
What’s cooler for kids than the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur exhibition? How about a whole Dino Fest full of hands-on fun, special collections, and dino experts? The takeover of Triassic terrors, Jurassic jawbreakers, and Cretaceous creatures is open to all with museum admission. Natural History Museum, 900 West Exposition Boulevard

Photo courtesy of A Current Affair/Facebook

A Current Affair
This biannual bonanza is the best of the best in all things vintage and wearable, spanning many decades and styles, pulled from more than 70 premier collectors, stores, and private dealers in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, and even further. Vogue calls it a “cult shopping event,” a great way to try on aspirational pieces you’d otherwise never find on your own and up your style game quite a bit. Beautiful cocktails and pop-up foodie things keep you going all day; there’s an entrance fee to shop, and it’s worth it. Preview passes available. Also on Sunday, September 22. Cooper Design Space, 860 South Los Angeles Street

The Drowsy Chaperone
This postmodern oddball farce has been described by New York magazine as “the perfect Broadway musical.” The story follows a man as he listens to the recording of his favorite (fictional) musical, all the while knowingly poking fun at the tropes we’ve seen again and again onstage. Through October 13. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica
(Psst! See more of our fall theater recommendations here)

Free Museum Day
Get yourself some culture as museums across Los Angeles (and the country) open their doors for free for one magnificent day. Admission requires a Museum Day ticket, which you can sign up for online. Various locations throughout Los Angeles.

Sunday, September 22

Caitlin Gill Album Release Party
Gill is a simultaneously very sweet and unstoppable comedic force. Such craft was shown on her latest, very delightful (and surprisingly clean) album, Major. This special night at Dynasty Typewriter caps off a mini tour to celebrate its release. Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth, 2511 Wilshire Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Blackalicious/Facebook

Blackalicious: 20th Anniversary of Nia
Sacramento alternative rap legends Blackalicious were at the crest of the early 2000s wave of superpositive rap music. Producer Chief Xcel and lyricist Gift of Gab were drenched in nostalgia even at their start, incorporating old-school funk and soul into every song, and their message endures. The Roxy, 9009 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood