Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

Photo: kristelyoneda/Flickr/Creative Commons License

There's no better way to prep yourself for next week's Christmas festivities than with a little holiday cheer this week. From downtown to North Hollywood, everyone is in the giving spirit, and the gifts of the season include songs, storytelling and at least one ugly sweater contest. It's a wonderfully charming time to be living in Los Angeles, with wintertime events happening all over the city. Here are a few of our favorites.

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FIrst up is KCET's continuing Cinema Series, which offers members and non-members alike exclusive access to early showings of the season's top films. The fall series has shifted from Santa Monica to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in North Hollywood, but the screenings and accompanying Q&A sessions haven't slowed down one bit. Tonight's selection is Les Miserables, the highly anticipated movie musical set to be released on Christmas day. Instead, you can catch it tonight at 7pm, with a Q&A to follow with actor Eddie Redmayne.

Or, if you're downtown but still looking for the soothing sounds of music, head over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. There, famous falsetto Aaron Neville will be belting out an eclectic mix of Christmas choral numbers, catchy pop tunes and classics from his own repertoire. At $35 for the nosebleed seats, the event doesn't come cheap, but is sure to be filled with the delights of the holiday season. Then again, if you're looking for something more upbeat you can hold off until Friday, when Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will be taking over the same space. The late-90's swing band is bringing their big, brassy sound to popular Christmas carols such as Jingle Bells and Blue Christmas, so expect a high-energy performance.

On Wednesday night, Bar One in North Hollywood is pulling out all the stops for anyone looking to grab a pre-family drink. They'll be celebrating their own 2nd Annual Bar One Christmas party, with a night dedicated to beer, wine, booze and food specials. Additionally, the bar is hosting a best ugly Christmas sweater contest, so knock the cobwebs off of grandma's old sweater gems and you might win yourself a prize. And, if you're out late enough, you could even transition over to The Last Bookstore in downtown, where noted writer / performer / producer B.J. Novak will be reading selections from his yet-to-be-released compilation of short stories. The late night event kicks off at 10pm and is for the 21+ crowd only, as drinks will be served.

If you're in the bah humbug spirit, the rolling variety show Everything is Terrible will be back at Cinefamily for their own twisted holiday special on Saturday night. You can expect plenty of found footage that's been clipped together, plus "erotic Santas, Nazi elves, misplaced sentimentalities" and so much more. It sounds a bit twisted and certainly isn't for the easily offended, but the Everything is Terrible shows really do make for a great run-up to the hectic holiday season. But no matter what you choose to do this week, there's love behind it all, and fun to be had for everyone.

For more weekly events visit kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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