This is such a busy weekend for local events (especially for those who love books, art and film) that you should probably get started today…which is National Pretzel Day (hey, we don’t make these up – we just report them). The closest celebration we could find is at Wetzel’s Pretzels, at both the Grove and the Beverly Center, where they will be handing out free “Original” pretzels all day. (You’re welcome.)
Moving on to the actual weekend, Saturday dawns with a free LADWP California Friendly Landscape Training session, starting at 9 a.m. “Ready to become a water-wise gardener and get a beautiful, sustainable landscape?,” asks the utility. If you are, “LADWP customers will learn how to use a holistic approach to gardening, build a living soil sponge, understand the elements of their landscaping site, select the right plants, capture rainwater and manage irrigation. Registration is required. Parking is free.” The workshop address will be provided when registration is confirmed at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (800) 544-4498 and selecting option 5. You must be an LADWP customer to attend (they’ll ask for your service address) and you can bring one guest.
Just a bit later on Saturday morning, starting at 10 a.m., Chevalier’s Books, 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., will be celebrating what it calls “the most magical time of the year”…a.k.a. Independent Bookstore Day. The store will be celebrating all day long, with a full schedule of visits by dozens of local authors (including the Buzz’s own Patty Lombard) and librarians. They include:
10AM: Derek Haas, Chris Harris, John August, Nick Goldberg, Julie Buxbaum, Charlotte Huang, Patricia Lombard, Julia Claiborne Johnson, Kerry Kletter, Amy Wilentz, Rich Ferguson, Abbi Waxman, Tim Hallinan, Brendan Schallert, Hilary Liftin, John Hamburg
11AM: Steph Cha, Darryl Holter, Nicelle Davis, Bali James, Stuart Gibbs, Heidi Singh
12PM: Maryrose Wood, Brendan Constantine, Rex Weiner, Suzanne Tenner, Victoria Harwood Butler-Sloss, F Douglas Brown
1PM: Joe Donnelly, Kayla Cagan, Robert Inman, Michael Tolkin, Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.
1:30PM: Gil Garcetti
2PM: Ben Loory, Elizabeth Aquino, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Stephanie Barbé Hammer, Kristine Williams, Carole Koneff
3PM: Michelle Latiolais, Kim Dower
3:30PM: Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Devon O’Brien
4PM: Douglas Woods
See the store’s website for the full list of the day’s events.
Meanwhile, over at the Wilshire Branch Library, 149 N. St. Andrews Place, the Friends of Wilshire Library (or FOWL, which may be one of our all-time favorite acronyms) will be hosting a Book and Bake Sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Come get some great deals on books…and some great tasty tidbits to go with them. All proceeds benefit the library and its free programs.
At this point, you might as well stay in the literary groove just a bit longer, and head over to the John C. Fremont Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, to join the branch’s Play Readers for an organizational meeting for their next staged reading. If you love plays, and would like to exercise your reading and/or acting skills, this meeting – where they’ll choose their next play to perform – is the perfect chance.
A bit later, at 2 p.m., on Saturday, if you’d rather watch than read your great literature, the American Cinematheque will be hosting a full screening of the 1967 epic Russian film version of Tolstoy’s classic “War and Peace,” at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard. The extravaganza will be shown in four parts, with beginning and end sequences:
Part One A: 104:46 and Part One B: 42:11
Part Two: 97:35
Part Three: 81:19
Part Four: 96:11
There will be 10-minute breaks after Part One and Part Three, and an extended intermission after Part Two. The film will end shortly before 10:30 p.m. (Whew!)
For a different (and shorter) art experience, the LaunchLA Gallery, 170 S. La Brea, will host an exhibition walk-through and artist talk for the show “Leigh Salgado: A Feminist for Our Time,” led by Gary Brewer and starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday. According to the gallery: “In her three-decade career, San Diego-born Leigh Salgado, whose labor-intensive, feminist-driven work – sometimes labeled Sculpted Drawing and includes altering monotypes with cutting, painting and the addition of eyelets or fasteners, with each drawing resembling a range of readymade objects such as bustiers, underwear, lace, corsets, netting, fabrics, metal and other articles of clothing – plumbs her own psychological depths only to discover what makes her love work and life.”
And not far away, TAG (The Artists’ Gallery), 5458 Wilshire Blvd., will hold a reception from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, for its three new shows featuring member artists David Leeds (“At the Still Point of the Turning World”), Douglas Tieger (“Beyond Reflection”) and Taft McWhorter (“Double Entendre”). Leeds’ show, “At the Still Point of the Turning World,” features a series of mixed media paintings and sculptural works in clay/bronze and stone. Tieger’s “Beyond Reflection” features paintings meant to evoke a sense of peace and tranquility. And McWhorter’s “Double Entendre” blends abstract expressionist sensibilities, folk practices and text art.
Then, just a few blocks down the street at the Craft Contemporary, for those who would like to make some art of their own, you could try “The People’s Workshop on Radical Organizing and Making: Felt Flower Workshop,” from 7- 9 p.m. on Saturday. This is the museum’s inaugural program with The People’s Workshop, “a social craft collective that uses the power of making to impart social change.” Participants will “learn about the emerging collective and create felt flowers representative of your community and histories for a collaborative heritage garden.” The cost is $10 (including materials) for the public and free for museum members. Space is limited, so please register in advance at the event link above.
And finally on Saturday, another great opportunity to see some great newer film work is the Sistas are Doin’ It for Themselves Film Festival, starting at 7 p.m. at Raleigh Studios’ Chaplin Theater, 5300 Melrose Ave. Sponsored by the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center, the event spotlights short films created by female filmmakers of African-American descent, giving them an opportunity to showcase their skills, talent and vision, and to discuss their work with the audience. Online ticket sales have closed, but additional tickets will be available at the door. $25 general admission, and $15 for students and seniors. See the flier and/or the event link for the full schedule of films.
As with Saturday, Sunday events begin bright and early this week, with the monthly Breakfast Club Cruise-In event at the Petersen Museum, starting at 8 a.m. on the third level of the museum’s parking garage. Come see some extraordinary cars that owners bring just for this event – including classics, custom, performance and exotic cars, trucks motorcycles and more. Parking is free, and coffee and bagels are provide for all attendees. Museum members also have early access to the museum, starting at 9 a.m. (membership card required). It’s free, but please RSVP if you’d like to attend.
Later, starting at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, the First Congregational Church, 540 Commonwealth Ave., will present a Commonwealth Community Chorus Concert, “Wait For It,” with Dr. David Harris, Music Director. This free event is the culminating concert of the Chorus’ first season – a staged musical production, including music from “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” featuring “children and teen voices singing music that promotes constructive conversations about belonging, the celebration of diversity, and the imbalance of money as a driving force in society.” The Commonwealth Community Chorus is a community-wide project that brings the voices of a new generation together to sing, connect, learn, and promote the benefits of diversity and social justice in our changing world.
For those who’d like to go back to the (vintage) movies on Sunday, the Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N. Highland Ave., will present a special Afternoon at the Barn event, starting at 2 p.m., with author Victoria Riskin, who will discuss and sign copies of her new book, “Fay Wray and Robert Riskin,” about the legendary actress and distinguished screenwriter who also happen to be the author’s parents. Victoria Riskin is herself a film producer, psychologist, former director of the Writers Guild of America West, and former director of Human Rights Watch. Sunday’s event includes a presentation by Riskin, followed by a Q&A session and some rare film and TV clips. Also, there will be special movie memorabilia on display, including items from Wray’s most famous movie, the original “King Kong.” See https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4191796 for tickets.
Meanwhile, also starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, the Hollywood Regional Library, 1623 Ivar Ave., presents a lecture on the history of the world-famous Hollywood sign, with “Hollywoodland” author Mary Mallory. Built as a temporary billboard to advertise an upscale hillside housing development in 1923, the sign now ranks as one of Los Angeles’ top tourist attractions and one of the most iconic images in the world. Mallory will tell “the fascinating story of how this emblem of glamour and opportunity has come to symbolize the city in which it resides.”
And finally, starting at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, and still living in Hollywood-land, the Art Directors’ Guild and the American Cinematheque will present “Practically Poppin’ with Mary Poppins,” a special panel discussion and film screening, back at the Egyptian Theater. The panel features Tony Walton, Harrison Ellenshaw, and Theodore Thomas talking about the design of the beloved Mary Poppins films, while author Jeff Kurtti will sign his book, “Practically Poppins In Every Way,” which looks at both big film versions of the story. The discussion will be followed by a screening of the 1964 film version of “Mary Poppins,” starring the always supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.
Have a great weekend!