Dec 312018
 

If you are in Palm Springs for New Year’s Eve, take some time and visit Robolights. This is the last year it will be at its current location on an estate in the Movie Colony area.

Robolights is an ongoing work created by artist Kenny Irwin Jr., at his childhood home. The sprawling installation incorporates Christmas holiday themes, robots, aliens and, of course, numerous lights. The various creations are made from found, recycled, and donated objects.

There are some Disneyland influences, seen in a castle similar to the It’s A Small World Castle, and a boat with creatures singing holiday songs (you see it while crossing a bridge over the water), reminiscent of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. There are also merry-go-rounds, animatronics, video games, and music which give the place the feeling of an amusement park.

Also worth mentioning are the Islamic details seen around the installation, adding to the uniqueness of the space. The artist converted to Islam as an adult.

Robolights is a maze of larger than life creatures as well as little details that become more and more noticeable on each pass through. It’s eccentric, fun, chaotic, a little bit dark at times (so many skulls and skeletons) and well worth spending some time exploring.

Keep in mind if you go that there is no neighborhood parking around Robolights- only for residents. Parking is located a short walk away at Ruth Hardy Park.  Robolights will close on January 2nd, 2019.

 

 

 

Oct 282017
 

Today in Los Angeles celebrate Día de Los Muertos at the huge Hollywood Forever celebration which will have ceremonial altars, theatrical performances, Aztec Ritual Dancers, face painting, food trucks, a marketplace,  music that includes Aterciopelados, Cuco, Ximena Sariñana, Very Be Careful, La Chamba, and more.  Get there early, it gets very crowded.

You can also celebrate the holiday in Grand Park- the altars will remain set up until 11/5, but tonight is Noche de Ofrenda, which will feature traditional dance and prayer led by the local indigenous community, as well as Los Angeles-based poets and musicians.

 

Nov 272016
 

hollywood xmas parade hollywood scenes la scenes

hollywoodparadeshortcake

 

The Hollywood Christmas Parade is your annual chance to check out this odd, but oddly charming event as it takes over the streets of Hollywood with balloons, marching bands, cars with celebrities/sitcom stars in them, and more. If you get there early head to La Brea and Hollywood where you can take some fun pictures of the balloons in their preparatory stages before they begin their journey. There are usually loads of places to stand along the parade route (seated tickets are already sold out). This year Olivia Newton-John is the Grand Marshal. It’s free to attend but remember that getting around will be difficult as there are many street closures.

Oct 282016
 

cityofladayofthedead

Here are some of the things to do to celebrate Día de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead in and around Los Angeles-

Saturday (10/29)

One of the biggest Día de los Muertos celebrations in Los Angeles is at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. For its 17th Annual event the theme is The Tree of Life. This year the featured performer is Julieta Venegas, and there are numerous music and dance performances on the various stages around the cemetery, as well as altars, an art exhibition, local food and arts and crafts vendors and more. ($20)

Sunday (10/30)

MOLAA (Museum of Latin American Art)  in Long Beach is having an all day festival including a Day of the Dead procession, live music and performances, sugar skull decorating, face painting and more. You can also check out the Museum’s Day of the Dead art and altars exhibit. (free)

San Pedro is having a big Day of the Dead festival with live entertainment, food, an altar competition and more

Downey is having its 4th Annual Día de los Muertos Art Festival. Along with several dance performances, musical performances, two film screenings Macario and Book of Life, an altar contest, an exhibition with local artists and more plus free admission and parking

As part of Pasadena’s Day of the Dead celebrations they are having a free screening of Book of Life at One Colorado

Through November 2

Día de los Muertos events are occurring all week on Olvera Street– with community altars on display, performances, face painting and more

November 2

Self Help Graphics and Art is hosting a free Día de los Muertos party in Boyle Heights with Alice Bag among the musical guests performing, food and craft vendors, face painting, children’s workshops and a traditional ceremonial blessing

Through November 6

Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos Altars and Art Exhibition spans the park with many creative altars, some traditional and some more contemporary. There is a community altar created by Ofelia Esparza and there are lunchtime tours running through 11/5 with some of the artists.

Oct 282016
 

halloweenhouselosangelespentagram

 

Los Angeles is a great place to celebrate Halloween and with so many things to do it can get hard to choose. Here are some suggestions:

Friday (10/28/16)

It’s sold out on Saturday and Sunday but there are tickets available tonight to see Danny Elfman perform as Jack Skellington, Catherine O’Hara as Sally, Ken Page as Oogie Boogie, and Paul Reubens as Lock while a live orchestra plays in sync with the film for Halloween at the Hollywood Bowl: “Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas”

L.A. Girlfriend along with Nicky Blitz and Disco Shrine are playing The Goth Ball at Resident where costumes are encouraged

LACMA is screening Pan’s Labyrinth in conjunction with their exhibit Guillermo del Toro: at Home with Monsters

Saturday

The Santa Monica Zombie Crawl starts at 6pm and has food and drink specials all night as well as an after party ($12 for the wristband)

Villains Tavern in the Arts District is having a free Halloween bash with Rumprollers Organ Trio and a traditional NOLA jazz band

The Boulet Brothers 16th Annual Halloween Ball is at The Globe Theater which will be turned into a night club/haunted mansion. The party includes three floors of DJs, “interactive horror areas”, carnival games, performances and more, with Clive Barker and Drag Race star Violet Chachki in attendance for a meet and greet  ($30)

Cinefamily is showing Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie

Sunday

Cinefamily has two showings of the 1959 Vincent Price film The Tingler with their seats wired to simulate the effect used at the original film’s screening which had seats equipped with buzzer shocks for certain key moments in the film

cARTel Collaborative Arts LA is hosting SpiritSpirit: a cocktail and ghost story pairing at Think Tank Gallery with performances, music, a DJ, craft cocktails, “Summon the Spirits” immersive game, and one prize each for the best dressed- theme and non-theme ($15) . You can also combine it with Think Tank’s escape room and get $5 off with code SPIRITX2

All weekend and Halloween

The theme for this year’s free Haunted House presented by Rotten Apple 907 in Burbank is The Not So Enchanted Forest. Although it is free to go, donations are requested- this year’s charity is VBAS (Volunteers of Burbank Animal Shelter)

The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride in Griffith Park has a “Secret Society” theme this year and for the first time ever passengers will leave the safety of the hay wagon for a section of the trip. There is also a haunted suburb to go trick or treating in, a haunted maze, and more.

Think Tank Gallery is hosting Trap House-a combination art show/ escape room running all day and night. The sci fi/ horror themed art show is free. The escape room is a ticketed half hour experience with a human trafficking and organ harvesting theme.

If you missed The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Hollywood Bowl you could see it in 4D at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood

Halloween (Monday)

The biggest event in the city has to be the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval– a massive free street party (500,000 people!) on Santa Monica Blvd.  with multiple music stages and a chance to see some of the most creative costumes around.  Palihouse nearby has tickets for their rooftop party ($20) and there are also additional parties at several places in the area. Definitely don’t drive there though- it gets pretty hectic!

Organ virtuoso Clark Wilson is improvising a soundtrack for a screening of the classic silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

LA Opera’s incoming Artist in Residence, Matthew Aucoin will create and conduct a new score for chamber orchestra for the film Nosferatu at The Theatre at Ace Hotel

LACMA is showing The Bride of Frankenstein with extended access to the Guillermo de Toro (5-8pm) included in the ticket price ($15-20)

 

 

Oct 312015
 

Thinking of staying in this Halloween? You can still enjoy the spirit of Halloween from the comfort of your home, courtesy of two films currently streaming on Netflix.

The first, The American Scream, is the story of three families in Fairhaven, Massachussetts and their personal quests to turn their homes into Halloween haunted houses. The perfectionism and creativity of the attraction creators combined with the support and help of their families, make for an incredibly touching film with plenty of humor mixed in. It’s also a portrait of the community, and it’s a joy to see people come out in large numbers to see the finished work on Halloween.

Part love story, part vampire film, part Western, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, takes place in the fictional, often seemingly deserted Bad City in Iran (it was shot in California). With its ghostly oil rigs and a mysterious pit full of dead bodies, it’s also a place with a lot of bad things going on beyond just the local vampire. The Girl spends her nights wandering around town doling out justice and interacting with the troubled locals. One night she ends up making a connection with a young gardener who has done some bad things himself. Although less a traditional horror movie and more a surreal look at isolation and loneliness with horror themes, it is also beautifully shot with a great soundtrack.