It's a thinkin' man's week here in Los Angeles, with enough engaging events around town to make your brain steam. Because the high holy holidays are upon us, the city is rife with art and cultural celebrations, plus the usual assortment of movie screenings and museum discussions. Of course, exerting all that mental energy is sure to make you want to let loose a little bit, so the weekend is full of both easygoing and hard-drinking events. What else would you expect from one of the greatest cities in America?
First up is a collision of celebrity and culture in North Hollywood. The long-running KCET Cinema Series premieres and promotes new works weekly, with Q&A's to follow from a film's cast and crew. Tonight is the premiere of Quartet, a stellar ensemble piece starring Dame Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon and others. It also features the directorial debut of one Dustin Hoffman, who will himself be in attendance to answer any post-screening queries you may have. Or, you can wait until the weekend to catch up with L.A. EigaFest at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The festival, which screens current Japanese films and offers up plenty of conversation on the works, runs through the weekend and comes complete with a short film competition.
If you're more of a Westsider, you can satiate your creative needs with a walk through Meg Cranston's new exhibition at the Hammer Museum on Wilshire. The L.A. artist's work is a bright and effusive look at culture in Los Angeles and beyond. Plus, Cranston herself will be on hand Thursday at 7:30 to discuss that nature of her work and what the Hammer Museum has meant for her. Those of us looking for something a bit more traditional can enjoy a holiday-themed evening of choral crooning at the Alex Theater in Glendale. The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will run three shows between Saturday and Sunday, each full of cheer, beauty and the undeniable holiday spirit.
If all the hustle and bustle of the season is driving you to drink, you'll be in good company this weekend. Downtown drink spot Far Bar in Little Tokyo is hosting their second annual Winter Beer Fest, and they're dedicating all their tap lines to the seasonal pours. There will be rare winter suds from all corners of the globe, with a nice contingent of local breweries like Beachwood BBQ, The Bruery and Hangar 24 on tap as well. Anyone looking for something a bit more high society might consider the Champagne Tasting at The Sky Room in Long Beach. The Saturday afternoon event costs $75, but provides a nearly unlimited tasting of rare and delicate bubblies. There will also be a curated selection of Italian proseccos and bruts from around the world, including right here in the Golden State. Then, alas, Sunday brings the King Eddy Saloon's Final Day. While the nearly 80-year old Skid Row haunt buttons up for renovations after being sold off to downtown restauranteurs, it will eventually be back - in one form or another. Until then, head down to say goodbye to a Los Angeles institution, help drink the taps dry, and you might even walk home with a bit of paraphernalia from the place. Sounds like a great way to round out your week.
For more food and drink events visit kcet.org/events/food.