There’s rain in the forecast this weekend, but don’t let that stop you from making it a weekend to remember. From a free collection of mini-museum exhibits to an ambitious dance performance focusing on the mysteries of life and death, a head-first dive into the city’s food scene and a chance to meet your senator, here are the 8 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.
The Great Tamer
Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou’s The Great Tamer is a magical piece of theater that is part dream, part nightmare, and part riddle, with plenty of room left for the audience to draw their own associations and meanings. The stage’s floor shifts and rises in overlapping layers as naked dancers lift one another up and seem to walk vertically in space or erupt from the ground. The effect is a visually stunning and surreal pageant that grapples with the meaning of life, the mystery of death, time, destruction and reconstruction against the occasional strains of a slowed down version of Strauss’ The Blue Danube. Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood; Fri., Jan. 11, 8 p.m.; $29-$79. (310)825-4401, roycehall.org.
Night Hike in Griffith Park
Night hikes have become somewhat of a tradition for L.A. locals. Participants will meet in the merry-go-round parking lot at Griffith Park for the first night hike of 2019. The trail is rated as Level 4 intermediate (light pace hike, some workout with uphill sections; 3-4.5 miles), so hiking shoes are recommended. Get ready for some of the best nighttime views—and you’ll probably meet some great people too! Griffith Park, Los Angeles, starting at Merry-Go-Round Parking Lot #1; Jan. 11, 7 p.m.
This performance explores the music of two notable composers—Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw and Grawemeyer Prize-winner Andrew Norman. Hosted by Peabody-Award-winner Nadia Sirota and performed live at The Theatre at Ace Hotel with L.A.’s own contemporary music ensemble, Wild Up, described by the New York Times as “raucous, gungy, irresistibly exuberant and exceptionally virtuosic.” This concert fuses live performance, interviews, storytelling and sound design to create an enhanced experience, tracing Shaw’s and Norman’s artistic development to provide in-depth insight into the work and background of these two significant composers. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Jan. 12, 8 p.m.; $26-$56. (213) 623-3233.
Chingonas: The Rise of a Chicana Pop Aesthetic
Head down to the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach for this round table discussion featuring prominent Chicana influencers including legendary muralist Barbara Carrasco and Mujeres de Maiz founder Felicia Montes, as well as moderator Denise M. Sandoval of California State University. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Jan. 12, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The Mobile Museum Fair
Check out L.A.’s cultural institutions during this literary and museum pop-up at the Central Library. Over 15 libraries on wheels will roll into Downtown L.A., along with portable exhibits from the likes of LACMA, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, International Printing Museum, Self Help Graphics & Art, the Natural History Museum, and all sorts of obscure and focused collections. This event is part of the library’s current exhibition “21 Collections: Every Object Has a Story,” which takes an innovative look at the poetic inventories of area institutional holdings, with a focus on the artist-run and/or topically eccentric. Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. 5th St., downtown; Sun., Jan. 13, 1 p.m.; free. (213)228-7500.
One of the Wittiest
Patton Oswalt is known for mixing together wry observations about the excesses of American culture and mainstream attitudes with deeper meditations on the difficulties of spiritual belief, racism, and fatherhood. After the death of his wife, Michelle McNamara, two years ago, Oswalt has continued to wield his art as a kind of cultural yardstick to measure and make sense of deeper truths that are often buried in society. This performance won’t disappoint. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Sun., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350.
Meet Your Senator
Wow, the 2020 presidential campaign nearly upon us. But before that, there’s presidential candidate book season. Whether policy manifesto or humanizing autobiography, every future presidential candidate has one. Take California’s own Sen. Kamala Harris, for example. She has recently published her standard Oval Office-hopeful book, The Truths We Hold, as well as a picture book for kids, Superheroes Are Everywhere. On Sunday, January 13, Harris will be in L.A. for a literary double-header; a moderated discussion of the former at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and a reading of the latter at the Grove’s Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble, 189 The Grove Drive, Fairfax; Sun., Jan. 13, noon – 2 p.m.; free with purchase of book, first come, first serve. Wilshire Ebell, 4401 W. 8th St., Mid-Wilshire; Sun., Jan. 13, 4 – 6 p.m., $41 (includes book).
Friday 1/11 – Friday 1/25
Eat Up L.A.
The winter edition of the semiannual dineL.A. event is a great way to explore the city’s food scene. The nation’s most comprehensive restaurant week offers two-course-plus lunches for $15, $20, $25 and $35, while three-course-plus dinners run $29, $39, $49 and $59. If you’re looking for something a bit posher, the dineL.A. Exclusive Series, which includes eateries such as Providence, Spago Beverly Hills and Mélisse, starts at $99. Walk-ins are O.K., but reservations are recommended. Check online for the incredibly extensive full list of restaurants. Los Angeles; Fri., Jan. 11 – Fri., $29-$99+.