It’s a week that’s got it all, with a whale migration celebration, jazz, food festivals, a Hindu high holiday, a new wave of R&B, self-care, lots of laughs, a site-specific architectural exhibition, and more. Our experts have it covered, from family fun to late-night prowling.
Monday, March 4
Hot Tub With Kurt & Kristen
If you haven’t checked this out yet, now is as good a time as any. Hosted by Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal, Hot Tub With Kurt & Kristen is an outrageous weekly variety show with performances from “today’s best comedians, music artists, and the occasional oddity.” It just celebrated its 14-year anniversary last month, and if something can last that long in this city (and stay fresh), you know it’s a gold mine of entertainment. March’s lineup features Molly Austin, Mary Beth Barone, Mikey Kampmann, Matt McCarthy, Harry Moroz, and Esther Povitsky. Past guests include Janeane Garofalo, Patton Oswalt, John Hodgeman, Eugene Mirman, and more. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Boulevard; 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 5
Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson chronicles his childhood, growing up in the 1950s on the banks of Lake Erie. The actor plays more than 20 characters and is accompanied by Grammy-winning blues guitarist Chris Thomas King. Through Sunday, April 21; Mark Taper Forum, 135 North Grand Avenue
Black Super Hero Magic Mama
The always daring Robert O’Hara directs this touching piece about the lies we tell ourselves to get through the day. When a 14-year-old boy is killed in a police shooting, his mother is unable to deal with the grief. She takes solace in the fantasy world of her son’s comic, where she can be a superhero and battle her way to wholeness. Through Sunday, April 14; Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Avenue
Wednesday, March 6
Jazz Is Dead Presents: Keyon Harrold & Marcus Strickland
The Lodge Room’s very cool monthly night of jazz performance, Jazz Is Dead, hosts crossover kings Harrold (former trumpeter for Common and featured in Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead) and award-winning saxophonist Strickland. Make a date of it and dine at Checker Hall, situated above the venue, beforehand. The Lodge Room, 104 North Avenue 56, 2nd Floor; 8 p.m.
“Final Projects: Group XLVII—The Santee Alley”
An exhibition of the 47th group of MAK Center artists and architects in residence: Eva Engelbert, Philipp Timischl, and Jenni Tischer. An immersive and interactive indoor-outdoor experience, this showcase features a retrospective investigation of works by Austrian-American modernist architect Liane Zimbler; a look at power dynamics through paintings of raccoons; and an architectural exploration of grids digital, physical, and sociological. Mackey Garage Top, 1137 South Cochran Avenue
Thursday, March 7
PPLA Food Fare
What started as a simple cooking demo by the one-and-only Julia Child in 1979 has become a food extravaganza so large it needs two separate sessions on one day to feed the crowds. Today, more than 150 chefs, restaurants, caterers, and wineries are pulling together to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. Sampling is unlimited; the food is always phenomenal; and with boutiques and craftspeople set among the tables, there’s lots of opportunities for gift shopping, too. Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica
Friday, March 8
Twenty-year-old local heartthrob Bones showcases his R&B-inflected, heavy reverb–meets–smooth rock that’s all too hip with the kids right now. It’s his very first headlining show; catch him while you can! Roxy Theatre, 9009 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood; 9 p.m.
Known for its dynamic theatricality while pushing the boundaries of contemporary dance, BodyTraffic considers a variety of themes through the energy of movement. Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks; 8 p.m.
Carrie Mae Weems, one of our greatest living artists, brings this new performance piece to the stage, featuring music, text, projection, video, and live singers, to investigate the impact of the enduring Greek myth Antigone. Presented by CAP UCLA at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway; 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 9
Festival of Colors
Become a walking human rainbow at this two-day event (March 9 and 10) celebrating Holi, the Hindu high holiday heralding spring, love, and the triumph of good over evil. In addition to colored-powder throwing, the festival will also offer kirtan, yoga, various forms of dance (Bollywood, traditional Indian, Bhakti fusion), DJs, workshops, food, and more. Note: This is not BYOC (C standing for colors)—there’s an assortment of 10 washable, nontoxic hues available for purchase on the grounds. Whittier Narrows Park, The Meadows, 750 South Santa Anita Avenue, South El Monte
Lorely Rodriguez’s project Empress Of covers a lot of musical ground—R&B, alt-pop, electro-house—and, as of her latest album, it’s also got a lot of mainstream appeal. What ties it all together is Rodriguez’s exuberant, charming singing voice. If dream-dance were a genre, Empress Of would be its queen…or, er, empress. El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Boulevard; 9 p.m.
Multi-instrumentalist Holter makes what is essentially experimental chamber pop music—buoyant, dramatic, and, most of all, composed. Because above all else, Holter is a talented composer, which is why it’s so exciting that she’s now touring with five backing musicians, her biggest lineup yet, to execute her musical vision. The Lodge Room, 104 North Avenue 56, 2nd Floor; 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 10
Dana Point Festival of Whales
Today’s the last day of the two-weekend-long, 48th annual celebration of whales as they pass along the shore during their ancient ritual. Held in Dana Point, a coastal ecosystem teeming with marine life—dolphins, sea lions, whales (of course), and more—the entire town comes to life in appreciation. Besides whale watching from land and on-ocean expeditions, this festival includes barbecue, music, an eco-carnival, an operatic interpretation of whale songs, art, a kids’ fishing clinic, a clam chowder cook-off, and more. Check out the website for a full schedule of events and locations throughout Dana Point.
Bear and Star BBQ Pop Up at Jar
Central Coast gem The Bear and Star brings their Texas smoker from the Fess Parker Ranch to Suzanne Tracht’s Beverly Grove chophouse for a special dinner. The menu includes everything: a smoky Mezcal cocktail; deviled farm eggs and fancy jalapeño poppers; platters of Wagyu beef tartare and big, crisp salads; slow-smoked rack of lamb with grits and baby fava beans; smoked brisket with coleslaw; and Jar’s always excellent banana cream pie and butterscotch pudding for dessert. 8225 Beverly Boulevard
A full-spectrum self-care event held at metaphysical shop Open Eye Crystals. There’s something here for every seeker: natural perfumery, body work, personal steam saunas, palm readings, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and more. Advance registration recommended. Open Eye Crystals, 6110 Pico Boulevard; noon–6 p.m.