Cameron Diaz presents and signs copies of her recently released The Body Book at Vroman's on Saturday.
Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and there are several ways to honor the legacy of the Civil Rights activist and humanitarian. You could dedicate some hours to community service, visit one of Los Angeles’ cultural museums or partake in the annual Kingdom Day Parade in South Los Angeles, which is the largest MLK Day parade in the country. But before Monday rolls around, there are plenty of things to do this weekend in the city, too.
Friday, January 17:
Joan Rivers @ Saban Theatre (Beverly Hills)
Awards season is when Rivers’ “Fashion Police” are in full force, but if you still crave more of the comedienne’s unfiltered commentary after the TV program then grab a seat at the Saban for an entire evening with her. If you love her spitfire quips on the E! network show, you must witness her shine on the stage, where she began her legendary career. No pop culture personality is safe from ridicule during her uncensored and uninhibited standup comedy routines. Bring some tissue, because you will end up crying laughing for sure.
Eagles @ The Forum (Inglewood)
It’s only fitting that an iconic L.A. band like the Eagles inaugurate the new and improved Forum with over a week full of shows. Beginning last Wednesday and continuing tonight, Jan. 18, 22, 24 and 25, the prolific foursome of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit takeover the reinvented venue with their History of the Eagles tour. Songs from the entirety of their 40-year career are included in each night’s setlist, even some that have never been performed in concert. Beware of belting out the lyrics to “Witchy Woman,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Heartache Tonight” and, of course, “Hotel California” too loud at the show, or you might not have a voice tomorrow.
“Jason and the Argonauts” @ Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Beverly Hills)
I am so obsessed with Greek mythology that I even took a few courses on the subject in college so I could have an excuse to delve further into the fantastic tales. One of my favorite stories was of Jason, the Argonauts and their quest of the Golden Fleece. Scotland’s Visible Fictions Theatre Company recreates the classic myth in an innovative production running through Feb. 2 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Comprised of just two actors (Tim Settle and Simon Donaldson), some action figures standing in for the hero, his group and those that they come across, an Argo crafted out of newspaper and an incredible wooden cart, the show is utterly unique, captivating and a definite must-see.
“Totem” @ Santa Monica Pier (Santa Monica)
Cirque du Soleil’s latest production returns to the Southland with its stunning visuals and acrobatic acts that include trapezes, hoops, unicycles, rings and roller skates. “Totem” follows the development of the human species – from its original amphibian state to an ultimate desire to fly – on a stage designed to resemble a giant turtle. The dynamic performers, bedecked in vibrant costumes as they perform unbelievable choreography, are guaranteed to take your breath away.
Saturday, January 18:
Cameron Diaz @ Vroman’s (Pasadena)
Since making her feature-film debut at 21, the SoCal native has not only captivated millions on the big screen but has also become a role model as an advocate for education, the environment and the empowerment of women and girls. In her recently released The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body, Diaz shares her own journey of learning about nutrition, exercise and the mind/body connection. She discusses and signs copies of the book at 4 p.m. today, so if you’ve always admired how fit the actress appears, now’s your chance to hear her formula on staying healthy.
Lunar New Year Festival @ Pacific Asian Museum (Pasadena)
Although the Chinese Lunar New Year falls on Jan. 31, USC’s Pacific Asia Museum is celebrating the Year of the Horse’s onset today, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stroll through the museum’s galleries in between the myriad of performances and demonstrations taking place throughout the course of the free event. The schedule includes dance, acrobatic, Taiko drum and Taekwondo exhibits. Inside the museum, there are craft and flower arrangement demos. Several food trucks, such as Mighty Boba, India Jones and Mandoline Grill, are going to be on hand as well, so come hungry and ready for some cultural fun.
Goonies @ Electric Dusk Drive-In (Downtown)
One of the most beloved films from my childhood is Richard Donner’s 1985 action-adventure/comedy, and I’m pretty sure that I saw it for the first time at an actual drive-in in Fullerton, Calif with my parents and little sister. Written by Chris Columbus and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Goonies was so appealing because the main characters were a bunch of regular kids – and was one was even Asian, just like me! – who get caught up in a pirate treasure hunt and are pursued by baddies through a series of awesome booby traps. The film boasts some incredibly memorable scenes and lines: “Goonies never die,” Chunk’s Truffle Shuffle and Sloth’s unforgettable “Hey, you guys!.” Plus, the cast includes a young Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton and Joe Pantoliano.
Sunday, January 19:
Olivia Laing @ Book Soup (West Hollywood)
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennesee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver – six of America’s greatest literary men were all alcoholics. In her latest book,The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking, Laing examines the link between their creativity and alcohol. The author grew up in an alcoholic family, and as she explored the United States on her own personal journey, she crossed paths with places where the six greats once sated their liquid desire and pieced together the book, which details the price their addictions cost them and their families, as well as the beautiful hope that comes with recovery.
The Nerdist Writer’s Panel @ Meltdown Comics (Hollywood)
Ben Blacker (co-creator of “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” and writer for “Supah Ninjas,” “Supernatural”) moderates a series of talks with professional writers of television, film, comic books, music and novels about their process and the business in general at the NerdMelt Showroom housed at Meltdown Comics. This afternoon’s chat is with TV writer/producer Bryan Fuller, the mind behind amazing programs like “Hannibal,” “Pushing Daisies” and “Dead Like Me.” The self-professed Star Trek geek has also worked on shows like “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Heroes” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” It should be interested to learn about Fuller’s writing process and his views on the entertainment business as well.
Target Sunday @ California African American Museum (South Los Angeles)
Actor Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter hosts a once-a-month celebration of art, community, activism and history at the museum. This Sunday coincides with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, so the event celebrates Dr. King’s legacy, in addition to that of Nelson Mandela, who passed away last month. Mandela’s 1990 speech at the L.A. Coliseum and of several speeches by Dr. King are to be screened, while several community leaders give lectures and a community art project takes place. Television and film personality Jackée Harry joins Anderson-Gunter to host a program of music, theater and dance performances throughout the day.