Start your Cinco de Mayo fiesta early with Mariachi El Bronx at the Greek on Saturday. (Ashley Maile)
Perhaps I should title this column: Stuff to keep you busy before drinking yourself silly on Cinco de Mayo. Although, you could always start the fiesta early by imbibing some beer and tequila after heading out to some of these events over the weekend. Either way, May the Fourth be with you on Sunday and every day!
Friday, May 2
Cinco de Mayan Spectacular @ The Mayan (Downtown)
What could say ‘let’s celebrate Mexican heritage and pride’ more than the high-octane lucha libre wrestling, burlesque striptease routines and hilarious comedic commentary of Lucha VaVoom? While they put on shows for various other holidays throughout the year, their Cinco de Mayo spectaculars are probably the most popular. If you’re a regular, then you most likely already have your ticket for Thursday or tonight’s show in hand. But if you have never experienced the outrageous sexo y violencia at one of their events, you better hop to it because it will undoubtedly sell out.
Wayne Federman International Film Festival @ The Cinefamily (Mid-City West)
Although you might not recognize his name, you’ll surely remember Wayne Federman’s face from his numerous film and TV credits that include Step Brothers, Funny People and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Work by the actor, and former “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” writer, is celebrated in this annual event. Each film being screened over the four-day festival is curated by a stand-up comedian – The Dead Zone/Kathy Griffin, The Bank Dick/T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) and Sweet Smell of Success/Jeff Garlin to name a few – who will also be on hand to introduce and field Q&A questions after the movie.
Galantis @ El Rey (Miracle Mile)
Fresh off their debut performances at both weekends of Coachella, the Swedish duo spins into the El Rey for a set that’s guaranteed to have you working up a sweat. Christian “Bloodshy” Karlsson of Miike Snow and Linus Eklöw (aka Style of Eye) successfully meld different forms of electronic music into a multi-textured sound. Whether it’s the soulful “Smile” and “Friend (Hard Times)” or the piano-tinged “You” and “Revolution,” you will definitely lose yourself to dance tonight.
Philip Glass @ Royce Hall (Westwood)
If you’ve never heard of Philip Glass, I’m not sure I want you reading my column. Just kidding, well, kind of. He is one of the most influential composers in the world today, and his scores for the Qatsi film trilogy are epic. He has also scored films like Kundun, The Truman Show and The Hours, written operas, symphonies and sonatas, and has collaborated with artists that range from David Byrne and Allen Ginsberg to Aphex Twin and Leonard Cohen. See Glass perform in his interpretation of La Belle et la Bête tonight, with the Philip Glass Ensemble Saturday or with Maki Namekawa and Sally Whitewell on Sunday. It’s for your own good.
Saturday, May 3
Broccoli City Festival LA @ LA Mart (Downtown)
Don’t worry, all you non-broccoli lovers out there. This isn’t a festival where only broccoli is being served. It’s named for the Broccoli City Lifestyle group whose mission is to promote healthy and sustainable living, and it combines music (the schedule includes acts like JoJo, Chuck Inglish and Dizzy Wright), eco-friendly vendors, food trucks, craft beer, an organic juice bar, an acupuncture and massage center and free yoga, zumba and dance classes for an entire day of education and fun.
California Bookstore Day @ Various bookshops (Citywide)
Independent bookstores are taking part in this party throughout the state with 13 exclusive books and art pieces being offered in addition to their regular inventory. Think Record Store Day, but for book lovers. Some of the special items are a limited bound copy of Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle, a signed Hugo lithograph and a cool punk rock writers journal from artist Wendy MacNaughton. Local purveyors taking part include Skylight Books in Los Feliz, Small World Books in Venice and Book Soup in West Hollywood.
Los Lobos Cinco de Mayo Festival @ Greek Theatre (Griffith Park)
The Greek presents its third annual Cinco de Mayo headlined by three L.A. groups, who not only have a strong connection to the Mexican community in the area but appeal to music lovers of any cultural background. Los Lobos made a name for themselves locally in the bars of East L.A. and catapulted to international fame with their Ritchie Valens covers on the La Bamba soundtrack. They celebrated their 40th anniversary last year with the release of a live album, Disconnected in New York City, but it’s even better to experience them live for yourself. Also on the bill are the Grammy-winning, genre-busting Ozomatli and the mariachi stylings of hardcore punchers the Bronx, Mariachi El Bronx.
Kings vs. Ducks @ Honda Center (Anaheim)
It’s a SoCal battle to advance to the Conference Finals in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, but aaahhh, who do I root for, my childhood hometown Ducks or my current hometown Kings? Anaheim finished the regular season at the top of the west, just one point behind Boston, while Los Angeles became only the fourth team in NHL history to win a series after losing their first three games when they overcame San Jose on Wednesday. For my own sanity, I think I’m going to stay neutral on this one and just be happy for whichever team goes on to face Chicago or Minnesota.
Sunday, May 4
Spaceballs @ Egyptian Theatre (Hollywood)
If you got my little May the Fourth joke in the intro, then a) we should be friends and b) you are probably already planning some kind of Star Wars-related activity for today. If you love the George Lucas movies and can’t wait to see what J.J. Abrams does with the franchise, then you will love this Mel Brooks satire starring Bill Pullman, Rick Moranis, John Candy and Daphne Zuniga as much as I do. Even if you have seen Spaceballs 20-plus times, lines like “We were told to comb the desert so we’re combing it” and “May the schwartz be with you!” never get old.
Rock Star Wars @ Avalon (Hollywood)
After watching all six of the Star Wars films, why not head out to meet some fellow sci-fi fans while rocking out to some great young local acts. The lineup includes bands like Cherri Bomb, Stitched Up Heart, Diamante and Galvanized Souls among others. Your ticket includes entrance to an E-Wok N Roll Party before the show with food, drinks and fun with all of the performers.