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Big Kahuna Burger from ‘Pulp Fiction’ Pops Up in Hollywood This Week for Two Days Only

October 29, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Image via Fat Sal’s

Are you ready for your IG story to be inundated with Pulp Fiction culinary cosplay? Well if you want to get in on the fun, you’re gonna want to hit Fat Sal’s in Hollywood tomorrow and Thursday – Halloween! – when they transform the space into the famed ‘Big Kahuna Burger’ referenced in the infinitely quotable classic film. Now that is a tasty burger!

Stuff yourself with loco moco fries, shakes, and hella burgers in Hawaiian themed environs. They’re even recreating the famed pawn shop from the film. This is what commitment looks like.  This is also more than enough impetus to dress up as one of the movie’s characters and make friends with the scores of other people in referential garb. Sal’s doesn’t skimp on the meats, so come prepared to eat and use an environmentally-unfriendly amount of napkins. Can’t get ketchup on that Winnfield-white shirt.

Image via Fat Sal’s

Double-entendre alert: expect lines. This is gonna be very popular, and folks will be quoting the movie at you non stop, probably. Be sure to brush up before you head out.

Fat Sal’s Hollywood is located at 1300 N. Highland Ave. It will be open starting at 11 a.m. on both days and is pretty close to the red line and some big bus lines. Get thee to this bunnery!

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This Super-Secret Comedy Series is a Quiet Riot

October 18, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Photo by Jonathan Tolliver

Do Laugh, Don’t Tell: The country’s most-elusive, invitation-only comedy show is can’t miss, despite the secrecy. Ticket-holders don’t know the lineup ahead of time, and shows are typically in unfamiliar, DIY settings. You don’t know who amongst the crowd is a comic or just another tipsy person ready to laugh. Aye caramba. 

On an unseasonably warm Saturday night in Los Angeles, a curious crowd made up mostly of newcomers shuffles into an unmarked Mid-City art gallery for this BYOB show, wine in tow.

The show is tight (see: on time) and the acts are laser sharp. Sean Leary opens the night with a set that is half-improvised and unrelentingly funny. He mixes deft crowd work with big, brash punchlines.

“I’m a bro, but I’m one of the good ones. I’ll fuckin shotgun a beer while I do a fantasy football draft, but I’ll pick your ass up at the airport. I’ll talk to your mom on the phone, and it’ll be a good conversation,” he quips. 

Anna Simeri brings the same energy, performing a boisterous set that pokes fun at skimpy music festival fashion and conservative Midwest values. 

“I’m almost 30 and I’m from Indiana. I’m a fugitive of the state, they won’t let me back because I’m not married. The last time I went back they were like ‘Where are your babies? Go back to California and burn!’ So that’s what I’m doing,” she says. 

The audience is made up mostly of mid-twenties young urban professionals, all of whom seem pretty primed to laugh. Something about the mythology of this show and its SoFar Sounds meets Laugh-in energy is irresistible. You feel like the coolest person in L.A., let in on a secret no nerd dare possess. 

There’s also the hope that someone huge will show, as earlier drop-ins include SNL’s Chris Redd and famed actor / comic Ali Wong. No wonder these 50-75ish person rooms regularly sell out. Nothing sells like sexy mystery. 

Fabrizio Copano, he of the dead-on Jerry Seinfeld impression, jokes about confusion around his race.

“I moved here with my girlfriend. She’s from Texas and I’m from Chile, so she thinks I’m Mexican,” Copano says. 

He follows up with an extended bit about fooling Netflix’s algorithm by watching Peppa Pig followed by a documentary about ‘gay dogs in Indonesia.’ 

“At the end, Netflix is like, ‘Well, we recommend you kill yourself.’ And they’re right,” he jokes.

The swiftly-rising Subhah Agarwal (The Jim Jeffries Show) is a big hit, delivering a sarcastic and endlessly approachable set laced with scathing takedowns of racist white guys. 

“I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos of Neo-nazis. Before you judge me, white people watch an entire week of videos dedicated to sharks, we just have different predators.” 

Grant Kotter closes the night with a scatological set rife with dark humor about his not-great relationship with his father – “My relationship with my dad is like Fetty Wap’s eye. There’s something there, but what is it?” – to jokes about audience members sleeping together. 

“We are just mere feet away from a black light room, do you think any of us have any good intentions tonight?” he muses. 

His set builds to a fever pitch; by the end the room is both dying of laughter and fully scandalized by his sex-obsessed stoner bro with a heart of gold schtick.  

This was a great night. There was real life to the room, a refreshing change of pace from the sort of “show-me-the-funny” vibe of Hollywood comedy clubs and the too-cool-to-laugh energy at a lot of Eastside haunts. There look to be a ton of shows coming up all over Los Angeles, so pick one that works for you and act fast. This won’t be a secret for much longer.

Tickets for Don’t Tell Comedy performances range from $15-$25. The next show is this Friday, Oct. 18 in Mar Visita. You can find the complete upcoming Los Angeles schedule here.

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Happenings

You Can Book This Lisa Frank Penthouse in DTLA Starting Friday

October 10, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Courtesy: Hotels.com

Calling all Frank-o-philes: You can now live among the Polyphonic acid trip artwork of Lisa Frank, and for pretty cheap, too. Hotels.com is giving folks the chance to rent a room decked out in the beloved and brilliant unicorn candy dreamscapes featured in the school supplies of literally 90s kid for a measly $199 bucks a night.

The Lisa Frank Flat is a penthouse in a DTLA hotel pop-up, and is stocked with pretty much exactly what you’d expect: hella candy, coloring supplies and more nostalgia than you can shake a trapper keeper at.

You remember those iconic gay dolphins? Well you can find a painting of them hanging out in the bathroom, beaming at you during one of life’s most private moments. Not sure how you’ll go back to your off-white, pizza stained apartment walls after staying here, but you’re an adult and you can make your own choices.

Courtesy: Hotels.com

The room is available for a very limited Oct. 11-27 run. You can reserve a night starting on Friday (that’s tomorrow, Oct. 11) at this link.

Courtesy: Hotels.com

Unfortunately no specific time on Friday is specified for when reservations go live, but know they’ll probably be booked up before you can say “Did I do thaaat?” Get it? The 90s? Act fast!

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Happenings

This Haunted House-Inspired Art Show is Now Open in DTLA

October 10, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Artist: Kimy Kask. Ask her about Prince.

Downtown Los Angeles teems with spooky haunts; long shuttered theaters reopened, abandoned warehouses turned into rave dungeons, and myriad one way streets. Miss a turn, lose your day! It’s only fitting that a haunted gallery pops up during this, the spookiest of months. Picture it:

It’s Saturday night and DTLA pulses. A small line forms on a bustling Spring St. sidewalk. Shuffle in and you’re surrounded by kitschy and super-freaky art from floor to ceiling. You’re not sure what to make of it, but your senses are instantly engaged. This is the The Haunted 2: Welcome Foolish Mortals, a fully engrossing and ghastly walk-through experience at The Hive Gallery.

Offerings at The Haunted 2 run the gamut. Artist Cody Doran’s work is intense as hell; his painting of a mouse with its face-skin pulled back to reveal a gaping and grisly maw will live in my nightmares for some time. 

Artist: Cody Doran. Creepy, right?

Gray Oddities showcases some particularly well done and esoteric work, these handcrafted horror figurines that are at once lifelike and otherworldly. Arachnikita, which looks like the woman from The Ring with like, 12 legs, was a standout, and a relative steal at $100. That’s a conversation piece if there ever was one. 

Are you my mother?

It’s not all spooky stuff, though. Artist Kate Laird’s work is poppy and bright. Her painting of Ilana from Broad City captures the spirit of that offbeat TV show, a wacky inflatable arm man dancing next to the show’s famous morphine induced hallucination of a purple dinosaur, next to a cheeseburger. 

Kimy Kask’s work leans heavy on 80’s pop music iconography, with Debbie Harry and Prince prominently featured in her diverse, mixed-media presentation. There’s real joy and slight unease in her art, and if you ask, she’ll talk to you with real passion about the process and emotion behind the pieces. She’s rad. 

For gallery owner and curator Nathan Cartwright, this is both old hat and a very-exciting new pop-up. He’s impossibly cordial and sarcastic as hell, a reluctant promoter who’d rather talk about the nuts and bolts of the show. 

“There’s all the cheesy shit like, see what all the buzz is about at The Hive. We’ve been doing this for 15 years, or I’ve been involved for 15 years. This was made just for this show,” Cartwright told We Like L.A., pointing to a sturdy and imposing installation. 

He wants folks to get the full experience, which on opening night includes Ghost Host tours and tarot readings by Seraphime Angelis. The space is inspired by haunted houses, with big, cryptic pieces providing the jump scares. The website specifically cites the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland as an inspiration, which you can totally see in the whimsy-meets-terror vibe permeating the space. 

Pengu Labs, an animatronic media house, designed the environment, and totally went all in. Their ghost fly was a big hit, a piece that at first looks static until you notice the, well, ghost fly, floating through the glitchy frame. They also brought an imposing coffin rocking chair, a gnarly and gorgeous piece in a gallery mostly filled with paintings. 

As an aside, I must mention the fantastic shaved ice on hand for the opening, a lovely treat in this extended L..A Summer. Also, shoutout to DJs Big Epoch and The One and Only Super Bee! for keeping the room ghoulish and poppin.

The Hive Gallery is located 29 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA. The exhibit runs now now through Nov. 3, open Wednesday to Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. It is pretty easy to get to via train or bus.

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Happenings

Vidiots Video Store to get a Second Life in Eagle Rock in 2020

October 4, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Rendering via Vidiots Foundation

Be Kind, Rewind: Vidiots is back! The beloved video store and cultural institution is coming to Eagle Rock in 2020 with a restored 90-year-old, 200-seat theater and a storefront with over 50,000 videos for rent in DVD, VHS and Blu-ray. The eagle has landed, sheesh. 

Vidiots’ new digs will be the former Eagle Theatre at 4884 Eagle Rock Blvd, which first opened as the Yosemite Theatre in 1929. According to Cinema Treasures the venue’s multi-purpose past includes early days as a vaudeville and silent film spot, multiple 20th century renovations, a 70’s run as an adult film theatre, and most recently as home to a church for the Brazilian based Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

The new tenants aim include a smaller screening room for special events, workshops and more esoteric programming. The folks behind the relaunch are also partnering with local restaurants on a rotating menu. What better place for something like this than L.A., a city teeming with film-junkies and fantastic food. Mwah.

Rendering via Vidiots Foundation

Vidiots first-opened in Santa Monica in 1985, and is slated to come back in fall of 2020, just before its 35th birthday. It’s long been a home for cinephiles, lovers of cult-classics and devotees of brick-and-mortar film-finding expeditions. This new location carries the same spirit, or hopes to, and lands smack dab in one of L.A.’s quirkiest neighborhoods. 

Famed director Jason Reitman donated a 35mm projection system to the theater, and the new build-out already includes plans for state-of-the-art sound and visuals. The Vidiots team have been busy – even though the theater doesn’t open for another year – partnering with Alamo Drafthouse on Video Vortex, which offers free movie rentals at L.A. Drafthouse. They’ve also struck up partnerships with other L.A. institutions, including an upcoming series of 16mm films at The Bootleg Theater. 

For more information on Vidiots visit vidiotsfoundation.org

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Happenings

These Giant Glowing Human Sculptures Will Invade DTLA in October

October 1, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Photo via The Rose Group

Honey, they blew up the fig! A massive humanoid light installation descends on DTLA’s bustling FIGAt7th shopping plaza Oct. 30 through Nov. 10, and of course it’s free to check out.

The imposing-in-a-thoughtful-way luminous beings are part of Fantastic Planet, a daring public art piece by Australian Artist Amanda Parer. They’ll live among us, observing the crowds at FIG while serving as the backdrop to countless selfies. 

These sound so wonderfully terrifying, a jaunty scare while you eat froyo and watch your own Instagram story. They’re also thought-provoking and gobsmackingly pretty. 

Parer’s work is pop, it’s ethereal and it’s curious about the natural world. She’s acclaimed the world over, and blessed Los Angeles with giant bunny light sculptures back in 2016

Intrude Bunny Sculptures
Intrude sculpture installation at FIGat7th back in 2016. Photo credit: Brian Champlin

The human-looking sculptures she’s bringing this time around are inspired by a 1973 Czech / French film La Planète Sauvage, a movie that features, you guessed it, giant human-esque creatures. 

You’re allowed to lightly touch the sculptures, take pics, gawk and start a cult based on their imagined lives, but you can’t kick, punch, lie on them or bring dogs near them.

FIGat7th is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and is located at 735 S. Figueroa. The installations will be there Oct. 30 through Nov. 10. It’s free and open to the public, and not terribly far from the 7th Street Metro stop. 

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Happenings

Enchanted Forest of Light Returns to Descanso Gardens on Nov. 17

September 25, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Ancient Forest. Photo via Descanso Gardens

Everything is illuminated is more than an enchanting movie title; it’s a way of light. The rabidly popular -and unrelated to the film-Enchanted Forest of Light is back for its 4th year from Nov. 17, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020, and promises a semi-surreal, lush and luminous one-mile walk through Descanso Gardens.

Think interactive installations: you stroll along the path, manipulating bright and brilliant displays, living your full Fern Gully fantasy under the glow of multi-watt magic.

Crowd-favorite ‘Celestial Shadows’ by HYBYCOZO is back, with twirling jagged, geometric installations that play with perception through shadow and light.

‘Celestial Shadows’ by HYBYCOZO. Photo via Descanso Gardens

The uber-romantic ‘Lightwave Lake’ light show is also back, as is ‘Aqueous,’ artist Jen Lewis’ multi-pathway, loosely-structured interactive light eleganza.

New this year is sculptor Tom Fruin’s stained glass installation at Descanso’s beloved Mulberry Pond, which sounds meditative and magical.

They’re also adding some live razzle dazzle to this already lit event, with performances by California School of the Arts students in Van De Camp Hall, as well as DJs on December 6, 7, 13 and 14.

Tickets to a special Nov. 16 preview party are on sale now. Descanso Gardens members can buy tickets to the Nov. 17 through Jan. 5 run of shows starting at 10 a.m. Oct. 1, while non-members can purchase tickets starting at 10 a.m. Oct. 15. Snag yours at enchantedLA.com.

This is a timed-entry event, so you select your preferred block of time to stroll the gardens. As mentioned before, Enchanted is also super-popular, so be sure to choose your times ASAP.

There are also ‘Members Only’ nights listed below, so plan accordingly.* General admission (adults, seniors, children 2–18): $28 & up (depending on date and time selected)
* Descanso Gardens members pay $23 & up (depending on date and time selected)
* Children under 2 are free, but still require a ticket
* Member-Only Nights: ‪Dec. 20‬, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28. $25
* Enchanted with Entertainment Nights: ‪Dec. 6‬, 7, 13, 14. $27-32

If you want to get more of the flavor of an Enchanted Forest of Light experience, check out a video of We Like L.A.’s visit from 2017 below.

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Happenings

Malibu Wine Safaris is Launching a ‘Haunted Nights’ Tour Starting This October

September 16, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Photo via Malibu Wine Safaris

Do you like your Riesling spine tingling? Your vino, screamo? Well if you’ve ever wanted to enjoy a luxurious, pastoral wine tasting tour and safari while also living in measured terror, then Malibu Lights: Haunted Nights tour is right up your alley.

The Halloween edition of the uber-popular Malibu Wine Safaris promises “otherworldly dimensions, haunted forests, psychedelic sci-fi tunnels and beyond,” attractions that sound equal parts haunting and picturesque, like watching a scary movie under the northern lights. This sounds like an instagrammer’s dream; your story will be the envy of all your friends.

It all goes down at the famed Saddlerock Ranch, where you’ll ride in a truck to elegant tastings peppered with the occasional spooky encounter. Make sure you hold those glasses by the base, not by the stem! Wouldn’t want to spill your cab during a jump scare.

Tours are 21+ and run you $55 for 90 minutes and six tastings. If you want a little more time on this haunted ChardonnHAY ride, there’s a $75 deluxe option that includes an extra tour stop and two tastings.

These tours run Oct. 4 thru Nov. 3 on select Thursday through Sunday dates. Tickets are available here.

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Happenings

Motherland Comedy Show Brings You Big Laughs for Small Bucks in Eagle Rock

September 10, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Motherland Comedy at Kusina Filipina. Photo by Jonathan Tolliver

Home is in a strip mall in Eagle Rock, it turns out. Or at least that’s what the newish standup comedy series Motherland, would have you believe. Housed at the very-fine Filipino restaurant Kusina Filipina, Motherland features a murderer’s row of known comics, and they’re worth more than the price of admission, which just happens to be free.

Produced by Mike Joyce, Rob Haze and C.J. Toledano, the show feels like stumbling into a speakeasy, a very low-key and dimly lit affair in an unassuming location. 

The show is free, but you’d be a fool to not order this inexpensive, delicious Filipino food to devour while you take in the show. The portions are unbelievably large; you could eat one entree over the course of s day and still have leftovers.

Haze hosted the mid-August show I recently attended, and he kicked things off with a delirious story about getting drunk in the Dominican Republic and worrying he’d never get back to the U.S., a story anyone who likes drinking in strange locations can relate to. So many missed flights, so little time.

Rosebud Baker (Inside Jokes on Amazon Prime) opened her night with a casual braggadocio, explaining how much easier it is to have sex in LA, and how she’s committed herself to the much-maligned vaping community. ‘

“I’m on the vaping side of history, I chose my side,” she quipped. “I’m just treating vaping like my dad treats climate change. If it kills me then it’s not my problem!”

Amy Silverberg (also from Inside Jokes), talked about her Grandma’s new man Bill, who recently confessed his decades old love to her. During a family gathering, grandma insisted she wouldn’t sleep in the same bed as her new man if it made Amy uncomfortable.

“Grandma, the only thing that would make me uncomfortable is if you don’t fuck Bill tonight,” she joked.

Matty Ryan (Comedy Central) was a standout, a lanky, sarcastic wit with a talent for fully acting a story out. Ryan, who is from Chicago, recently had a man sneeze into his mouth on the L train, a harrowing experience that now haunts both him and members of the audience who saw his set at Motherland.

“I was worried my water was going to wash his sneeze into my belly,” he said. “Please god. I’m not positive but I’m pretty sure that’s how a plague starts.” 

Motherland is fresh on the very-crowded standup scene, but it’s set apart by an extra lean production. Hosts and producers keep their personal sets short, and a it’s hip-if-you-know-what’s-up location. Tucked next to the worst target in L.A. (one man’s opinion), across the street from the best 7-11 in L.A. (same man’s opinion), it’s in an area rife with slowly simmering nightlife, a rising hipster bubble away from the Silver Lake / East Hollywood / Hollywood morass.

Motherland convenes in a restaurant, which makes the show a winning date idea, a 2-for-1 eating and entertainment experience for folks looking for love with maximum efficiency. It’s the big city, baby! Gotta move fast.

The lineup, at least on the night I attended, offers significant racial diversity that reflects the cultural brilliance of the city at large. Chris Garcia really drove this home, cracking jokes about the culture clash he faces being married to a white woman. There’s a ferocious bit where he does Spanish dirty talk to non-Spanish-speaking wife during sex, and how he eventually runs out of material and starts saying random, unsexy phrases. Those jokes had the room in pieces. 

This setup and punchline also crushed: “My wife is white, she’s from Iowa. I went there for Christmas, I was the only Black guy there,” said the not-black Garcia. “Her family was like, are you…Scottie Pippen?’ 

While this particular show had seating available–much to chagrin of Haze, who lightly prodded the audience to sit up front all night–this show is going to take off pretty soon. If you want a seat, get there early.  

Motherland takes place weekly on Thursday nights at Kusina Filipina, located at 4157 Eagle Rock Blvd Los Angeles, CA. Doors open at 8:30, the show starts at 9, and it’s a steal to see this caliber of talent for no cover.

It’s not the easiest place to get to by public transit, though there are buses from downtown / Chinatown, and carpooling is always a good idea. For updates on the lineup of the week, you can visit the Motherland Comedy Facebook page.

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Happenings

This Interactive Halloween House Brings ‘Hocus Pocus’ and ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ to Life

September 4, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Image via Freeform

There are myriad spooky options for Halloween thrill seekers, but if you want a little camp with your frights, then Freeform’s Halloween House is where you wanna be. Hocus Pocus, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Addams Family, and more classic films from Freeform’s ‘31 Nights of Halloween’ come to life at this ghostly locale.

Expect an interactive Halloween Town, a stop at the Sanderson Sisters magical cottage, and a prize-filled Oogie Boogie’s lair. Things get extra-festive at a special October 3 event with drag queens performing songs as the Sanderson Sisters, giving a whole new meaning to the words ‘death drop.’ That night there will also be witchy cocktails. Who can resist themed drinks and drag? Who?!

The Halloween House event runs Oct 2-7, and sounds equal parts funny and frightening, a lighthearted immersive experience for folks 13 and up. The aforementioned Oct 3 drag night is 21+ after 6 p.m. and will run you $37, which includes two drink vouchers for beer, wine or cocktails. It’s $27 to attend any other day.

Tickets are available here, and are limited and sold in 20-minute intervals, so if you’re looking to go at a specific time, be sure to hop on tickets early. Weekend times are 11am till 11:20 p.m., and weekdays are 4 to 10:40 p.m. Plan on arriving 15 minutes before your ticketed time. This is Hollywood, where parking is the real scare, so plan accordingly.

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Happenings

The La Brea Tar Pits Are Being Renovated and You Can Help Influence the New Design

September 3, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Concept rendering by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Welcome to Extreme Makeover: La Brea Tar Pits Edition. The world-famous museum and park is on track for a major redesign, with three architectural firms in the running to lead the ambitious overhaul. Models, renderings and drawings are on display at the museum through September 15, and the public is encouraged to give feedback via the Tar Pits official website, where you can see detailed proposals and renderings from three architectural team finalists

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County unveiled the designs at a recent presentation. The organization hopes to more seamlessly integrate the museum with surrounding Hancock Park, and while each rendering accomplishes that goal, they designers take radically different approaches. New York firm WEISS/MANFREDI takes perhaps the most ambitious approach, reimagining the park as a series of intertwining loops that link everything together, ostensibly fostering community and collaboration between researchers, attendees and museum staff. 

Changes like these are overdue. The Tar Pits haven’t been renovated since they opened over 40 years ago, despite their significance to Los Angeles and researchers the world over. A visit to the museum right now is a great and too-rare chance to weigh in on big ticket public item, but also just to appreciate the only active urban Ice Age excavation site in the world. 

The museum is easy to get to by public transportation, though there is a metered parking and paid parking in the area if you want to drive. It’s open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except major holidays. You can buy tickets to the museum, but there are also plenty of free options. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by the adjacent Second Home Serpentine Pavilion, a hyper-colorful installation open daily now through November 24.

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Happenings

DTLA Proud Brings Bevy of Entertainment to Pershing Square This Weekend

August 22, 2019 by Jonathan Tolliver
Image via DTLA Proud

Don’t put the rainbow flags in storage just yet. DTLA Proud lands at Pershing Square August 23-25, and it boasts a bevy of diverse entertainment and culturally enriching pop-ups. 

Friday is a free, all-ages, alcohol-free affair, with Drag Queen Storytime, a Gaymers Lounge and fierce mainstage performances. More on that later. 

Have you ever wanted a water park smack dab in the heart of downtown during Summer’s peak? Everyone has, you can admit it. Starting Saturday, Summertramp has you covered.

The brainchild of nightlife impresario Andres Rigal, the monthly outdoor pool party is ramping things up for DTLA Proud, with water slides, an expanded water park, DJs and massive floaties. It’s an explosion of color and creativity, or in their words, ‘A Magical Brigadoon of Decadence and Delight.’ 

A DTLA Proud lounge gives you a place to recharge your literal and figurative batteries, while a rehydrate station cools you off and staves off that hangover. There are food trucks, a barber and a clothes check for those who wanna show some skin. 

Over on the east side of the park, the mainstage boasts over 100 queer performers, with a focus on local talent; the folks working DTLA clubs year round. 

Highlights from this year include Dragula season one winner Vander Von Odd, The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Queer as Punk review, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, RuPaul’s Drag Race favorite Ongina along with some new to the scene queens and the ballroom bonanza of HIV/AIDS non-profit REACH LA.

The Oakland-based, LA-raised Mimi Tempestt is also bringing her firebrand mix of poetry, rap and stadium-sized vocals to the mainstage Saturday alongside LA’s finest DJ Willyouarenot. She came of age in downtown’s queer scene, cutting her teeth in half-empty clubs, a diamond in the rough.

‘Imma rap, sing all my love songs, and smear lipstick on my face,’ says Tempestt. ‘This is my goodbye kiss to L.A. for showing me a beautiful summer as I head back to Oakland for the fall.’

The event’s promoters stress that this weekend is for the community and by the community, an ethos that separates this gathering from its glitzier WeHo counterpart.

Like many pride celebrations, the event curators here are acknowledging the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Riots, but are also partnering with the One National Gay and Lesbian Archives to pay tribute to L.A.’s own queer history dating 10 years before that historic event.

There’s also a massive marketplace featuring 20 queer entrepreneurs who’ve partnered with visual merchandisers to present custom stores. Take a trip down artists alley to see the vibrant work of queer artists. Hell, take some home.

Friday runs from 4 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday run from noon to 10 p.m.

Don’t forget that Friday is free. $10 tickets for Saturday and Sunday are on sale here, with all proceeds going toward the DTLA Proud Community Center. 

Pershing Square is super easy to get to by train or bus, and rideshare can drop you right at an entrance. For more info go to dtlaproud.org.

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