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Home / Events / Fun things to do in SoCal this week: May 12-18

Fun things to do in SoCal this week: May 12-18

by F Diaz
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If you still don’t know what to get the mother figures in your life, you might want to consider treating her to one of many experiences in SoCal. Does she like the theater? Does she enjoy a little adrenaline rush? Is she a fan of Shakespeare? Or is bluegrass music more her speed? Whatever your mom enjoys, I hope she has a very happy Mother’s Day!

May 12 

Happy Birthday Monterey Park

Barnes Park | 350 S. McPherrin Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91754 | May 12-14 | montereypark.ca.gov

Monterey Park is turning 107 and is celebrating with live music, carnival rides, food trucks, vendor booths, and raffles. 

LA Dance Project ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Suite

Segerstrom Hall | 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | May 12-13 | scfta.org

Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” is choreographed and reimagined as the tale of two young adults in an urban environment where social norms prevent them from living their love story. Each show will feature a different, diverse cast.

From the Euro Tour of LA Dance Project. | Photo courtesy of Segerstrom Center for the Arts

RuPaul’s DragCon

LA Convention Center | 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 | May 12-13 | la.rupaulsdragcon.com

Show up and show off at drag’s biggest weekend featuring drag icons, shopping experiences, the Walk of All Walks runway, drag performances, and the chance to meet other fans of drag, artists and some surprises.

Mento Buru

The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage | 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 | May 12 | broadstage.org

Mento Buru is a 7-piece band, combining an energetic blend of Latin rhythms, Jamaican SKA, jazz, funk, and reggae creating a unique live musical experience.

Mento Buru. | Photo courtesy of The BroadStage

May 13

Just Like Heaven

Brookside at the Rose Bowl | 1133 Rosemont Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103 | May 13 | justlikeheavenfest.com

The festival lineup includes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Empire of the Sun, Future Islands, MGMT, M83 and many other acts. You’ll also have a variety of establishments to eat from like Burritos La Palma, Maneatingplant, Angeleno’s Wood Fire Pizza and more. 

Jared’s Epic Blaster Battle

SoFi Stadium | 3919 Pincay Drive, Inglewood, CA 90305 | May 13 | blasterbattle.com

Battle with toy blasters over four hours, meet celebrity guests, and try out pre-release toy blaster items, plus get your hands on exclusive merchandise and collectibles. 

‘The Book Of Will’

A Noise Within | 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 | May 13–June 7 | anoisewithin.org

You don’t have to love Shakespeare to enjoy “The Book of Will,” playwright Lauren Gunderson’s re-imagining of the desperate search to find, preserve and print Shakespeare’s words that otherwise might have disappeared forever. Three years after the Bard’s death, John Heminges and Henry Condell, former friends and colleagues from Shakespeare’s acting troupe, the King’s Men, contend with egotistical actors, bootleg knockoffs and a ticking clock to ensure that the First Folio gets published, and that the works of William Shakespeare don’t end up on the trash heap of history. Backstage comedy meets detective adventure as this group of aging actors race against time to reassemble their repertoire — including “Lear,” “Macbeth” and “Hamlet” — some of which may only exist only in the lines they have memorized.

Ensemble. | Photo by Craig Schwartz

Careers In Film Summit

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures | 6067 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | May 13 | academymuseum.org

The Careers in Film Summit is a free annual program that raises awareness of the range of film-related industry job pathways for students from under-resourced communities and those interested in pursuing filmmaking as a career. Tickets are free with registration and allow visitors to access Academy member panels in the David Geffen Theater where attendees will learn about a variety of filmmaking crafts; attend workshops, demonstrations, and photo activations in the Shirley Temple Education Studio; and explore the museum’s galleries and exhibitions all day long.

Palm Tree Music Festival

Doheny State Beach | 25300 Park Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629 | May 13 | palmtreemusicfestival.com

The festival will feature Kygo, Ellie Goulding, Tove Lo, The Midnight, The Knocks, Two Feet, and Forester.

Calico Bluegrass Festival 

Calico Ghost Town Regional Park | 36600 Ghost Town Road, Yermo, CA 92398 | May 13 | parks.sbcounty.gov

Calico Ghost Town brings Americana, Blues and folk-rock bands together alongside pig races, clogging performances, gunfights, historical performances and activities. 

Mental Health Awareness Run/Walk/Bike

Baldwin Park City Hall | 14403 Pacific Ave., Baldwin Park, CA 91706 | May 13 | dmh.lacounty.gov

Baldwin Park, in collaboration with the LA County Department of Mental Health, is hosting his one-mile walk to shed light on mental health within the community during Mental Health Awareness Month. The walk starts at 9 a.m. and will be followed by a vendor fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a kids fun zone. Registration is not required and participation is free of charge.

Second Saturday ArtWalk

Downtown Pomona | Pomona, 119 W. Second St., Pomona, CA 91766 | May 13 | downtownpomona.org

More than a dozen galleries host artist receptions and shops and restaurants are open late. This special fiesta-themed ArtWalk will feature live mariachi and folklorico, free dance class, food and vendors. 

‘Evolution Of A Sonero’

The Los Angeles Theatre Center | 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles CA 90013 | May 13-28 | latinotheaterco.org

Sonero [noun]: an improvising lead singer in salsa music. Hip-hop meets salsa when poet, actor and singer Flaco Navaja, backed by a live, five-piece salsa band, creates a love letter to his native Bronx, imbuing it with the charm, rhythm, soul and improvisational spirit of a true sonero.

Flaco Navaja. | Photo by Victoria Sanders

Fiesta De Taco

Silverlakes Park | 5555 Hamner Ave., Norco, CA 92860 | May 13 | fiestadetaco.com

This daylong fiesta will be filled with tacos, tequila tasting, beer, margaritas, Lucha Libre wrestling, a car show, and performances from hip-hop artists like Flo Rida, T-Pain, 2 Chainz, Lil Jon, O.T. Gena$is, Too $hort, and the Ying Yang Twins.

Emo Night Brooklyn

Riverside Municipal Auditorium | 3485 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501 | May 13 | emonightbk.com

Clean up your looks and dance, dance as DJs play the best emo and pop punk hits. Some of your favorite artists may be invited to surprise the crowd and join the party. 

Street Food Cinema: ‘Golden Girls’ Night

The Autry | 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027 | May 13 | theautry.org

Aside from four episodes of the classic comedy, you’ll also enjoy live music from The “Original” Golden Girls Live: On Stage cast, a themed bar, food trucks, games and photo opportunities.

626 Night Market Mini

Downtown Santa Monica | 1324 E. Fifth St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 | May 13-14 | 626nightmarket.com

Three dozen vendors selling food, merchandise and crafts gather in downtown Santa Monica this spring and admission is free.

818 Night Market

Mission Hills Christian Church | 14941 Devonshire St., Mission Hills, CA 91345 | May 13 | the818nightmarket.com

Stop by from 5-10 p.m. and do a little shopping from small vendors, get a bite to eat and enjoy some music.

May 14

‘MOMentum Place’

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum | 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga CA 90290 | May 14 | theatricum.com

Every year on Mother’s Day, “MOMentum Place” creates a fantastical world of aerial and circus performers, dancers and musicians in the rustic outdoor amphitheater at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. For an extra treat, enjoy brunch in the Theatricum gardens before the performance.

Lexi Pearl. | Photo courtesy of Theatricum Botanicum

Mother’s Day Paint And Sip

Cafe On Lemon | 120 E. Lemon Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016 | May 14 | eventbrite.com

Each guest will receive a drink (cocktail or smoothie), appetizers, and supplies for the evening with their ticket.

Free 2nd Sunday@PAM

USC Pacific Asia Museum | 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 | May 14 | calendar.usc.edu

Celebrate Mother’s Day and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and make a special bouquet using the Japanese art of flower arranging known as ikebana. You can also make a card at the artmaking station and little ones can listen to stories. Plus enjoy free admission to to the galleries all day.

Celebrando El Dia De Las Madres Con Mariachi

Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet | 13963 Alondra Blvd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 | May 14 | sfsswapmeet.com

Celebrate Mother’s Day with El KCheChente Fernández and his Mariachi Premier.

Rose Bowl Flea Market

Rose Bowl Stadium | 1001 Rose Bowl Drive Pasadena, CA 91103 | May 14 | eventbrite.com

Find antiques, collectibles and one-of-a-kind finds from more than 2,500 vendors.

May 15

Tom Hanks

The Ebell of Los Angeles | 4401 W. Eighth St., Los Angeles, CA 90005 | May 15 | eventbrite.com

Tom Hanks, America’s most beloved actor, discusses “The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece,” his satirical new novel that takes on superhero movies.

Country Line Dancing

The Pour House | 405 S. Myrtle Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016 | May 15 | eventbrite.com

Put on your cowboy boots for line dancing starting at 6 p.m. If you’re not familiar with line dancing, there are lessons starting at 7 p.m. for $8. There are also pool tables, music, drinks and food. 

May 16

‘Chicago’

Segerstrom Hall | 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | May 16-21 | scfta.org

Start the car. I know a whoopee spot where the piano’s hot. Head back to the age of jazz with the critically acclaimed musical that has enraptured audiences all over the world. 

“Chicago” 2020 national tour company during “All That Jazz.” | Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Hayley Kiyoko

The Wiltern | 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010 | May 16 | thewiltern.net

After making waves in Tennessee, the pop star brings her first headlining tour to LA with fan favorite songs and new music off “Panorama.”

The Backyard By Stater Bros. Community Concert Series

Toyota Arena | 4000 East Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764 | May 16 | toyota-arena.com

Rockstars of Tomorrow presents rising talent at the next installment of the community concert series. Featured food (not included in the price of admission) includes roasted shrimp, lobster salad, roasted chicken and jalapeño meatballs. 

May 17

Cuisines Of The Foothills

Glendora Country Club | 2400 Country Club Drive, Glendora, CA 91741 | May 17 | cuisinesofthefoothills.com

Sample what dining and drink establishments around the San Gabriel Valley have to offer and enter for a chance to win some prizes.

Stroll & Savor

Belmont Shore | 5200 E. Second St., Long Beach, CA, 90803 | May 17-18 | belmontshore.org

Belmont Shore’s most popular summer event is back with more than 40 restaurants offering the best eats off their menus, local musicians and more.

San Dimas Farmers Market

San Dimas | 245 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas, CA 91773 | May 17 | sandimasfarmersmarket.com 

The San Dimas Farmers Market is opening up for the season. Pick up fresh produce or artisanal goods. 

May 18

Outlier Podcast Festival

Fab Factory Studios | 7240 Fulton Ave., Los Angeles, CA 91605 | May 18-19 | eventbrite.com

Filled with keynotes, workshops, panels, and live shows, Outlier is the perfect opportunity to meet industry experts, other podcasters, and learn the latest techniques and equipment.

Montebello Night Market

Behind parking lot of Wells Fargo Bank | 777 W. Whittier Blvd,, Montebello, CA 90640 | May 18 | montebelloca.gov

Entertainment and vendors selling farmers market items, homemade goods, arts, crafts and food will gather from 6-9 p.m. 

Ongoing

‘(Im)migrants Of The State’

The Actors’ Gangat The Ivy Substation | 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA, 90232 | Extended through May 13 | theactorsgang.com 

Created by and based on the real-life experiences of formerly incarcerated actors, these stories run the full gamut of emotions, and the creators have found a way to employ humor, joy, and hope as they face even the darkest moments. An ensemble of Prison Project alumni with over 240 years of combined incarceration who have found their way to freedom now want to share their stories with audiences. “People have shared with us that they’re [coming] to the theater for the very first time because they heard the play would contain stories that represented their lived experiences,” shared co-director Jeremie Loncka. “While some regular theatergoers said that the cast’s courage and vulnerability restored and inspired their belief in theater to create change.”

Gershwin’s Rhapsody

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall | 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Through May 13 | scfta.org

Party like it’s 1923! Over three days enjoy music from the Roaring Twenties, including George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris,” a Gatsby-esque party and the 1927 silent film “It.”

Pen America World Voices Festival

LA | Through May 13 | worldvoices.pen.org

Celebrating how literature can change the world, the Pen America World Voices Festival features conversations with writers and activists on topics such as human rights, environmental action, gendered power structures, artistic freedom, political polarization, and birds. Each event will be held at a different LA-area institution. 

‘Las Diosas Subterráneas’

The Los Angeles Theatre Center | 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 | Through May 14 | latinotheaterco.org 

Latino Theater Company presents Mexico City’s interdisciplinary, experimental ensemble Organización Secreta Teatro in the second of two new performance works. “Las Diosas Subterráneas” (“Subterranean Goddesses”) uses the Greek myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, kidnapped by Hades, god of the underworld, to tell a story of mothers looking for their missing daughters who have been kidnapped by human traffickers.

“Las Diosas Subterráneas.” | Photo by Erika Gómez

‘Under The Skin’

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center | 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach, CA 90802 | Through May 14 | ictlongbeach.org

Lou needs a kidney. His daughter Raina has one to spare, but she’s also got issues. Like, how come he had sex with so many women who weren’t her mother? And never went to any of her birthday parties when she was a kid? Or can even remember the name or sex of her daughter? Secrets get aired and truths revealed in this lively, unpredictable dark comedy that asks just how much parents and children really owe one another.

Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area | 15501 Arrow Highway, Irwindale, CA 91706 | Through May 21 | renfair.com

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Renaissance Pleasure Faire returns to SoCal with entertaining shows ranging from falconry and magic to drinking songs and jousting. With delicious food, flowing drinks, a marketplace like nowhere else, and actors getting everyone into the spirit, you will undoubtedly have a good time. Huzzah!

‘A Little Night Music’

Pasadena Playhouse | 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 | Through May 21 | pasadenaplayhouse.org

Based on Ingmar Bergman’s “Smiles of a Summer Night,” and featuring a score primarily in waltz time, the production was one of Stephen Sondheim’s greatest commercial successes. Set in 1900 Sweden, “A Little Night Music” explores the tangled web of affairs centered around actress Desirée Armfeldt, and the men who love her: a lawyer by the name of Fredrik Egerman and the Count Carl-Magnus Malcom. When Desirée performs in Fredrik’s town, the estranged lovers’ passion rekindles. This strikes a flurry of jealousy and suspicion between Desirée; Fredrik; Fredrick’s wife, Anne; Desirée’s current lover, the Count; and the Count’s wife, Charlotte. Both men – as well as their jealous wives – agree to join Desirée and her family for a weekend in the country at Desirée’s mother’s estate. With everyone in one place, infinite possibilities of new romances and second chances bring endless surprises.

Pasadena Showcase House Of Design

Pasadena | Through May 21 | pasadenashowcase.org

Leading interior and exterior designers renovate an existing home top to bottom to raise funds for music programs and grants for nonprofits. This year’s home is a 1933 grand colonial designed by Marston & Maybury. This year, the Restaurant at Showcase will be catered by Roe Fusion and executive chef Phillip Ozaki.

‘Whittier Boulevard’

The Los Angeles Theatre Center | 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 | Through May 28 | latinotheaterco.org

Years of fires, torrential rain, anarchy and bloodshed have led to a totalitarian city-state where the elderly disappear, their stories forgotten in 2042 Los Angeles. When authorities make a surprise visit to the home of faded Chicana starlet Veronica Del Rio on the eve of her 75th birthday, she enlists the help of her loudmouth nurse, a kindhearted policeman-fan, and a down-on-his-luck poet. Will Veronica disappear and be forgotten before she finds true love?

Geoffrey Rivas in “Whittier Boulevard.” | Photo courtesy of Latino Theater Company

LA County Fair

Fairplex |1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768 | Through May 29 | lacountyfair.com

The fair is back, this year with a theme all about spring. Get ready for rides, an eclectic music lineup, all kinds of fried foods, cars, baby animals at the farm, and exhibitions ranging from art forestry.

‘On This Side Of The World’

David Henry Hwang Theater | 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Through June 4 | eastwestplayers.org

A woman flies from the Philippines to America with a one-way ticket and a suitcase full of stories. Each story is collected from immigrants who came before her—tales of overseas workers, young lovers, and gossipy church ladies; snapshots of undocumented immigrants, millennial princesses and first-generation Americans. Suspended above the ocean, she replays these stories in her mind as she searches for the courage to embrace her future. This world premiere musical gives voices to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, eight-thousand miles from home.

‘Six’

Pantages Theatre | 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 | Through June 10 | broadwayinhollywood.com

Divorced. Beheaded. Survived. The six wives of Henry VII were so much more than the wives of a fickle king. The new musical turns their stories into ones of female empowerment. 

Anna Uzele (Catherine Parr, center) with (l – r) Adrianna Hicks (Catherine of Aragon), Andrea Macasaet (Anne Boleyn), Abby Mueller (Jane Seymou), Brittney Mack (Anna of Cleves) & Samantha Pauly (Katherine Howard). | Photo by by Joan Marcus

‘The Hilton Als Series: Njideka Akunyili Crosby’

The Huntington | 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108 | Through June 12 | huntington.org

The exhibit features a selection of works by Nigerian-born, Los Angeles–based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby in the final exhibition curated by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and New Yorker magazine critic Hilton Als, in collaboration with the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) and Akynyili Crosby. The two selected five collage-based paintings from “The Beautyful Ones,” Crosby’s ongoing series of intimate portraits of Nigerian children, including members of her own family.

‘Symbiosis: Living Island’

Japan House | 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Level 2, Los Angeles, CA 90028 | Through July 5 | japanhousela.com

The Inujima “Art House Project” creates a unique symbiosis between art, architecture, community, and ecology that has been transforming the landscape of the Japanese island of Inujima, which now is home to just 25 homes with more than half of the inhabitants over 70 years of age. The exhibition celebrates and transports visitors to this “living art” island through the sights and sounds of everyday island life, captured through an experiential diorama of the island and its art pavilions.

Butterfly Pavilion

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County | 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007 | Through Aug. 13 | nhm.org

The Natural History Museum’s seasonal Butterfly Pavilion featuring hundreds of butterflies of various species, native plants and natural light is finally opening. 

‘Peter Krasnow: Breathing Joy And Light’ 

Skirball Cultural Center | 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049 | Through Sept. 3 | skirball.org

The “Peter Krasnow: Breathing Joy and Light” exhibition showcases 20 paintings and drawings from the Skirball’s collection of the artist’s work. The exhibition focuses on works made primarily during the decades after World War II and the Holocaust. To ease the despair brought on by that painful period, Krasnow created vibrant paintings teeming with exuberant, abstract forms, radiating optimism, and evoking a spiritual world of renewal. Krasnow emigrated from Ukraine to the United States at age 20 in 1907 and established himself in the Los Angeles art community in the 1920s, where he was inspired by the hope and possibility of Southern California. His paintings incorporate elements of his Jewish heritage and the organic forms and vivid hues found in the plant life of his Atwater Village home and studio.  

Peter Krasnow, “Casa Verdugo,” 1923, repainted 1963. Oil on board. Collection of the Skirball Cultural Center, gift of Peter and Rose Krasnow. | Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

‘The Power Of Song: A Songwriters Hall Of Fame Exhibit’

The Grammy Museum | 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015 | Through Sept. 4 | grammymuseum.org

The newly expanded exhibition celebrates iconic American songwriters. Through artifact displays, an original film, and interactive experiences, the exhibit examines the songwriter’s creative process, tells the stories of great songwriters – all of whom are Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees or special award recipients – and digs deep into the celebrated compositional works that make up the American music treasury.

‘Printed In 1085: The Chinese Buddhist Canon From The Song Dynasty’

The Huntington | 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108 | Through  Dec. 4 | huntington.org

The Huntington will exhibit for the first time the oldest printed book in its collection, “The Scripture of the Great Flower Ornament of the Buddha.”  The exhibit will show the connection between religion and China’s printmaking, which had been practiced centuries before the first use of movable metal type in Europe.

‘Journeys Continued: LA Communities Through The Eyes Of Artists’

Los Angeles Union Station | 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Through Dec. 31 | art.metro.net

In “Journeys Continued: LA Communities Through the Eyes of Artists,” 12 featured pieces focus on a specific area, neighborhood or city Metro serves within greater Los Angeles and will be on view in the Passageway Art Gallery, between Union Station East and West.

Shakira, Shakira: The Grammy Museum Experience

The Grammy Museum | 800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 | Through Winter 2024 | grammymuseum.org

If you’ve had “Las mujeres ya no lloran, las mujeres facturan” stuck in your head the last few weeks then you’ll want to stop by this exhibit honoring the multi-Grammy Award-winning and Latin Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, philanthropist and international icon. The exhibit explores the artist’s musical evolution, from her origins as a Latin rock-loving singer-songwriter in Barranquilla, Colombia, to a global superstar whose catalog spans multiple genres, from bhangra and bachata to rock and reggaetón. The exhibit features interactives, artifacts from Shakira’s personal archive, three original films, handwritten lyrics, costumes, guitars and more.

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