Things To Do in Los Angeles This Week [9-18-2023 to 9-22-2023]

The Other Art Fair. Photo by Brian Champlin.

Art, performance, food and… whistling?

This September 18-22 in L.A., you’ll find IRL dating at The Montalbán, a sketch party at Benny Boy, a secret comedy headliner at Roguelike Tavern, the 2023 premier of the L.A. Haunted Hayride, The Other Art Fair in Santa Monica, a Musical Whistling competition at Barnsdall Theater, and more. Let’s get into the full rundown below!


Things To Do This Week

M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick

John Waters: Pope of Trash -> Celebrate the prolific artist John Waters and his remarkable cinematic contributions through a new exhibition at The Academy Museum, on view now through August 4, 2024. Pope of Trash explores Waters’ creative process, iconic themes, and unparalleled style through an array of artifacts. View costumes up-close like Ricki Lake’s roach dress from “Hairspray” or Debbie Harry’s explosive prop wig. Handwritten scripts, posters, film clips and so much more are also on display. Museum admission costs $25. Hours are Wednesday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More info here.

Spider Pavilion at NHMM > Now on view at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, explore the secret lives of spiders at the NHM’s Spider Pavilion, a unique seasonal attraction which will run through November 26. Walk among hundreds of orb weavers and their intricate webs, then peek into enclosed habitats showcasing a variety of spider species, including tarantulas and jumping spiders. Admission is $8 with a timed ticket (required in addition to museum admission) or free for members. More info here.

Meet Cute at The MontalbánM > Single and over the apps? Beginning this week, the Montalbán Theatre is hosting a series of IRL dating events held over three-day blocks (Monday to Wednesday) through October 25. Expect a mix of speeding dating, happy hours, and icebreaker games, all held on the Theatre’s iconic outdoor rooftop. One-day entry is $15, or you can purchase a three-day set for $35. More info here.

Sketch Party at Benny BoyFA TP > Sketch Party’s twice-monthly drawing/drinking meet-up comes to Benny Boy Brewing this Tuesday. They’ll hook you up with sketch paper, pens, pencils, and markers, then it’s up to you to create, mingle, hang out, and enjoy BB’s solid lineup of craft beers and ciders. All artistic levels welcome. Free to attend. Runs 7 to 11 p.m. 21+ only. More info here.

Free Garden Days -> The South Coast Botanic GardenL.A. Arboretum, and Descanso Gardens all offer free admission on the third Tuesday of every month. Note that all three required advance reservations, and space is limited. If you miss this Tuesday’s free days, make sure to check out our big list of free museum days to see other upcoming options.

Street Dance Orixás Performance at Art + PracticeM FA TP > On Tuesday, the California African American Museum and Art + Practice team up to present a live dance performance in conjunction with the exhibition Bahia Reverb, which is a collaboration between the two institutions. Expect an evening of captivating dance duets celebrate the orixás (spirits) of Brazilian Candomblé​​: Exu, Ogum, Iansã, Xangô, Oxum, Oxóssi, and Iemanjá. It all goes down at A+P’s Leimert Park space beginning at 7 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

No Photos Please at Roguelike Tavern -> Super Secret Comedy brings their semi-anonymous stand-up series to Burbank’s Roguelike Tavern this Wednesday. The lineup features Jamie Lee, Rory Scovel, Asif Ali, Hunter Hill, and one secret headliner who will be working on new material. Just don’t take any photos during the set! Tickets are $25, and there is a two-item minimum. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show starts at 7:30. More info here.

Play Readings at Greystone Mansion – > On Wednesdays in September, Theatre 40 and the City of Beverly Hills team up to present a series of new play readings inside the the renovated Greystone Theatre (located inside the historic Greystone Mansion). This week, the series features The Ice Cream Sunday by Frank Salisbury. Tickets are $10 for Beverly Hills residents, or $15 for non-residents. All shows begin at 6:30 p.m. More info here.

Earth Edition, A Festival of Eco-Consciousness -> The Festival of Eco-Consciousness at CalArts invites guests to immerse themselves in an Earth-optimistic atmosphere. Explore the futuristic Lumisphere’s dream domes and partake in activities like goat yoga, Indigenous storytelling, live music, and art installations. Tickets range from $15 to $100, and festival programming continues daily through this Sunday. More info here

Wellness Break at Grand ParkM FA > On Wednesday and Fridays, enjoy a complimentary mid-day yoga class on the performance lawn at Gloria Molina Grand Park backdropped by City Hall. Instructor Beverly O’Donohue leads a 45-minute session beginning at noon. Bring your own mat, and a snack if you want to picnic after the class is over. Free to attend. More info here.

The Other Art FairTP > This four-day event at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica showcases a curated selection of over 140 independent artists. Spy art for sale while enjoying live DJ sets, activations, installations, and a cash bar. Opening night tickets (Thursday) are $50-$55, and individual tix (Friday to Sunday) run $25-$30. Get more info here.

Knott’s Scary Farm -> Starting Thursday, Knott’s Scary Farm returns with their signature lineup of haunted attractions, mazes and thousands of monsters ready to scare the living daylight out of you and your crew. The haunt continues on select nights through October 31. Tickets start at $59.99 More info here

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride -> The signature Halloween experience held in Griffith Park is back for 2023, beginning this Friday to Sunday. Fictional horror-town Midnight Falls is once again your setting, filled with roaming monsters, a haunted mortuary and of course the iconic Hayride. Tickets start at $29.99. The scares continue on select dates through October 31. More info here.


L.A. Times Food Bowl Night Market -> Night Market returns to the Paramount Pictures Studios Backlot for a three-day outdoor food and drink festival, running this Friday to Sunday, and featuring a who’s who of local restaurants and vendors including, Anajak Thai, CevicheStop, Maple Block Meat, Belles Beach House, Tacos 1986, Wanderlust Creamery, Ronan, Genghis Cohen, Osteria Momma, Lunetta, Girl & The Goat, Evil Cooks, Holbox, and MANY more. GA tickets start at $150 per person. More info here.

Goldenvoice Night MarketM FA TP > Goldenvoice takes over Grand Central Market this Friday with an evening of DJ sets, flea market vendors, and (most importantly!) ticket giveaways to 200+ concerts. The event runs 8 p.m. to midnight and is free to attend. More info here.

Masters of Musical WhistlingFA > This Friday to Sunday, 60 musical whistlers from 10 countries gather to meet and compete with popular and classical songs to vie for the title of World Champion Whistler. at biennial Masters of Musical Whistling International Festival and Competitionin. The competition will be held at the Barnsdall Gallery Theater with some events ticketed (including Friday’s Concert of the Masters) while others (including competition portions on Saturday and Sunday) are free to attend. Check the full programming schedule and get more info here.

BeachLife Ranch – > Beach vibes meet country music this Friday to Sunday as BeachLife Ranch takes over Redondo Beach with performances by Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, Brad Paisley and more. Tickets start at $189. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
The L’Haute Dog at Coucou. Photo by Christina Champlin.

Coucou in Venice Beach marries the charm of a French bistro with the casual, creative spirit of California. Kick off the meal with an order of fried zucchini balls to start. These crispy delights are not only delicious but also pair well with a cocktail. Speaking of which, the restaurant boasts an extensive cocktail menu, featuring French classics like the kir royale to three different martinis.

While the menu includes classic Parisian staples such as Steak frites, it’s the inventive reimaginings that stands out. Take the $25 “L’Haute Dog,” made with Peads + Barnetts’ sausage. This is pure decadence. Topped with cheese fondue and French onion marmalade, it’s best enjoyed with a knife and fork.


If you’re in the mood for something lighter, Coucou offers a fantastic whole roasted white fish, dressed in a zesty lemon-forward herb and caper brown butter sauce. The delicate flavors of the fish perfectly balance the richness of some of the other menu items.

If there is room to spare after the mains, the restaurant’s chic vanilla soft serve is the way to go. 

* Be mindful there is a 20% surcharge before gratuity added to each bill In an effort to benefit Coucou employees. 

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