Top 5 Things to Do in L.A. This Week

The Echo Park Craft Fair showcases local artisans this weekend. Photo by Kimberly Genevieve

What do Peter Pan, Dorothy Parker, arts and crafts, tamales, and Amanda Palmer have in common? Any other time, the correct answer would probably be "not much," but this week they just so happen to represent some of the Southland's best events. Read on for more information on where and what to eat, drink, buy, see and listen to over the next seven days.

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"Peter and the Starcatcher" at the Ahmanson Theatre | Event details
The young mischief maker known as Peter Pan may never grow up, but he had to come from someplace, and this Tony Award-winning play (based on the 2006 children's novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson) recounts where and how. Directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, the swashbuckling musical tells the story of a British orphan who travels to a faraway land, discovers love and friendship, and faces off against ruthless pirates. The cast features a dozen actors playing more than 100 different characters. Performances run through January 12.

"Under the Table" Book Release Party at L.A. Athletic Club and Reading at Book Soup | LAAC details | Book Soup details
The writer, poet and critic Dorothy Parker is remembered as much for her razor-sharp wit as her fondness for booze, and Kevin C. Fitzpatrick's new book "Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide" celebrates both with recipes, profiles of Parker and her associates (the infamous Algonquin Round Table), and excerpts from her writings. This week Fitzpatrick -- who is also the president of the Dorothy Parker Society in New York -- will raise a glass to Parker, tour some of her old homes and haunts, and read from and sign copies of his new book.

Renegade Craft Fair at L.A. State Historic Park and Echo Park Craft Fair at Mack Sennett Studios | Renegade details | EPCF details
'Tis the season for craft fairs. Hot on the heels of last week's Unique L.A. Holiday Show, two more events will showcase work by local artisans, designers, crafters, jewelers and food purveyors. The sprawling Renegade Craft Fair will feature more than 200 makers, plus screenprinting demos, a photo booth, food trucks and a bar; the more intimate Echo Park Craft Fair (which will actually take place in Silver Lake) will offer a curated selection of everything from ceramics to fresh flowers to cold-pressed juice. Both events are free and open Saturday and Sunday, so with a bit of planning you should be able to hit both of them.

Taste of Tamales at Placita Olvera | Event details
Consider the tamale: an unassuming dish of of masa stuffed with a sweet or savory filling and steamed in a husk or leaf. Delicious, labor-intensive, a holiday staple -- and for those reasons especially, the perfect food to feast on when someone else is doing all the hard work. This daylong festival at historic Olvera Street will demonstrate the nearly endless variety of tamales and will also feature music, crafts, exhibits, games, cookbooks and a toy giveaway. ¡Buen provecho!

A Total Disruption at the Echoplex | Event details
Four distinctive (dare we say disruptive?) artists will perform at this multidisciplinary evening of music, film and storytelling. Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls will show off her punk-cabaret repertoire, Sundance-winning director Ondi Timoner ("Dig," "We Live in Public") will premiere new short films, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian will share stories from the front lines of the tech revolution, and DJ Diabetic (better known as graphic artist Shepard Fairey) will spin tunes. YouTube favorite Jhameel and tech mogul Tim Chang will also be in the house.

For more options this week and every week, go to kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Oliver Gettell is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles.
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