Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

Photo: sterlingdavisphoto/Flickr/Creative Commons License

This is the week you really get out there and start treating yourself to the experiences of Los Angeles. From the beach to the Eastside, there are events this week that will nourish your mind, feed your soul and warm your stomach. Of course, we couldn't mention them all here, but our constantly updated events page should have all of the information you require.

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You can satisfy your soul and start to heal the world while you're at it this week, thanks to Earth Week at Santa Monica College. The five day event will focus on the air, sand and sea that have all helped to make Santa Monica the city that it is, and hopefully help return some what's been lost by years of big city encroachment. All week long, there will be lectures, guest speakers and interactive exhibits to coincide with weekend beach cleanup efforts and documentary screenings. On Saturday, you can try out some of that city air yourself at the River Bike + Walk Spectacular, a free and family-friendly event aimed at introducing people to the L.A. River bike path. The easygoing event begins at 4pm and will allow for walkers, riders, joggers and more to experience the updated beauty of the outdoors surrounding our city's waterway. Once the sun goes down, a free screening of "Beetlejuice" at Marsh Park will commence.

Now to feed your mind. Beginning on Wednesday night, the Phylicia Rashad-directed play Joe Turner's Come and Gone hits the Mark Taper Forum downtown. The fantastic play is one of a long line of African American-centric stories from August Wilson, and focuses a group of early 1900's workers caught up in The Great Migration to the north. The play will run through early June. On the other side of town, The Actors' Gang is staging a one-man version of Heart of Darkness, an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's famed novel of the same name. Gang actor Brian T. Finney plays the pared down roles as a series of monologues, effortlessly adapting to the needs of each as the show progresses. The show runs Thursdays through Saturdays, and is already gaining citywide praise. Or try Pasadena, where the Pasadena Dance Festival continues on. Two shows in particular (one on Thursday and one on Friday) illuminate the work of some of the city's finest choreographers. Works from Datugan Dance Theatre, HD Movement Project and MODA Dance Collective will be on display at the Lineage Performing Arts Center on Fair Oaks Boulevard.

Finally, let your stomach guide you to a slew of great food events this weekend. First is Le Grand Fooding Crush, a two-day event that will pair some of our city's most notorious chefs (think Roy Choi, Nancy Silverton and Ludo) with Parisian delights and lots of Champagne. The pricey fete is sure to please every palate, with cheese tasting and lots of sweets on the menu at downtown's Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Or, if you can't swing Le Grand Fooding, you can spend $30 to enjoy the official Valiant Party Brewing Kickoff at SideDoor in Corona Del Mar. Valiant Brewing is the latest in the ever-expanding Orange County brew scene, and the husband and wife pair behind the suds are bringing their tasty concoctions to SideDoor, already a drinking and dining destination in itself. Come Saturday, you can sip closer to home thanks to the Atwater Beer, Wine and Food Festival. The whole thing is being put on by Andy Hasroun, whose 55 Degree Wine and Link N Hops destinations have been supplying the local area with drinks for a while now. You can expect sample pours from nearby breweries such as Angel City and Firestone Walker, with food trucks to fill up your belly as well. Over in East Hollywood, the locals will be eating well thanks to the return of Taste of the Eastside, an east-of-the-river culinary excursion happening at the Barnsdall Art Park. There will be bites from some of the city's most notorious easterly spots, plus boutique wines and craft beers for all to enjoy.

This week offers theater, dance, food, booze and plenty to think about once you've gone home for the night. There are always fantastic things to do, eat and see in this city, so stop by our updated events page for a fresh look at the constantly changing city and all that it has to offer you.

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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