Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

Photo: stevebev/Flickr/Creative Commons License

The days are warming up but the nights are still cool around Los Angeles, an early indication that the best months are still ahead of us. But things are waking up, and there's more to do than ever around town, especially for those looking to sip, chew or take in a little culture. Here are some of the best events happening this week in Southern California.

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Today starts the week off with a bang, thanks in part to Tony's Darts Away in Burbank. The progressive beer destination is known for their local devotion to brews and vegan sausage options. Both will be on heavy display tonight as Tony Yanow and the gang welcome in Figueroa Mountain Brewing from Buellton. The smallish operation, run by husband and wife team Jamie and Meighan Dietenhofer, features a few award-winning pours, such as their Stagecoach Stout and namesake pale ale. Guests will be able to sample a flight for a wider look into the brewery's offerings, or purchase by the pint for easy drinking all night long.

Just across town, you could opt instead for a screening of new indie darling film Starbuck, which follows one French Canadian man's journey as he learns of the staggering success rate of his sperm donations, and seeks to reconcile with all 533 new children. The KCET Cinema Series screenings, held weekly, also offer post-show Q&A sessions, and the Starbuck showing will have writer/director Ken Scott on hand. Or, if you can hold out until Thursday, there is a free daytime screening of the hard-hitting new documentary A Place at the Table, which chronicles hunger in America. The noon screening at Loyola Marymount University will feature a box lunch beforehand, and a panel discussion to follow the film. Come Saturday, you could dip into a bit of cinematic history thanks to Cinespia, which is screening legendary science fiction film Blade Runner inside the Million Dollar Theater, where several of the film's scenes were shot. As a bonus, there will be a full bar on premises!

In the world of global sustainability, it's a big week as well. At the ongoing Aloud Discussion Series, local coffee mavens will be on hand to discuss the $100 billion global coffee industry, including the "role of organic farming and the livelihood of producers". Of course, there will also be plenty of discussion the taste and trends that have made coffee one of the world's most popular drinks. If you'd rather work the soil yourself, there are two different gardening workshops happening this weekend. The first is a Plant Propagation Workshop at the L.A. County Arboretum in Arcadia, which focuses on growing plants from simple cuttings and seeds. The $30 class focuses on the tools and maintenance that are simple (but required) to make your garden truly flourish. On Sunday at the Whole Foods market in Redondo Beach, there will be a free Spring Garden Workshop, leading potential gardeners through the basics of growing and tending to their own organic garden at home. The focus will be on small gardens, including the use of eco-pots, and the ten first steps that one can take to really ensure success in their springtime planting.

On the culture front, the Los Angeles Ballet continues its run through Southern California in remembrance of famed choreographer George Balanchine. The progressive dancer helped to shape the ballet through the middle of the last century, and now his moves are being reproduced across the southland, including a show on Saturday night at UCLA's Royce Hall. Or, if you're looking for something a bit lighter, consider the 1st Annual L.A. Scripted Comedy Festival. The four-day event is happening at the iO West comedy theater on Hollywood Blvd., long a home for the great comedy minds of our generation. There will be shows running all evening long from Thursday through Sunday, with celebrity drop-ins and concurrent shows on one of the theater's three stages.

There's much more happening than we can share here, including a Marina del Rey wine dinner and discussions of the changing nature of music criticism today, so head over to our KCET events page to check it all out. You won't be disappointed.

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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