Top 10 Things to Do Around LA This Weekend: January 3-5

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A photo from Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, part of The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years exhibit. (Joel Sartore/National Geographic)

A photo from Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, part of The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years exhibit. (Joel Sartore/National Geographic)

This is it, the last weekend of holiday break for many of you. So make the most of the next three days at these events and kick off 2014 with a bang. Having more fun is the best medicine for the post-holiday blues. Happy New Year!

Friday, January 3


The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years @ Annenberg Space for Photography (Century City)

Have some presents to exchange or gift cards to redeem at Westfield Century City? Cleanse yourself of the madness from the crowded mall and its parking structure with a few hours at this free exhibit. If you love the photography that the iconic publication is known for, then looking at the The Power of Photography‘s stunning portraits, landscapes and nature images up close and personal will take your breath away. Through April 27.


First Friday on Abbot Kinney Boulevard (Venice)

Since the monthly event started in 2008, attendance has grown from 50 to around 1,000 people because it’s so much fun. All of the shops on the busy street keep their doors open later than usual and often offer special deals or discounts. There us plenty of art to view and music to listen to as you support the local merchants. Of course, all of the boulevard’s great restaurants, like Joe’s, Willie Jane and Primitivo Wine Bistro, are open as well.


Rebel Without a Cause @ Aero Theatre (Santa Monica)

I was just talking about the 1955 film with family from out of town when we went for a visit to Griffith Observatory. It’s hard not to think about Rebel Without a Cause when you go to the L.A. landmark since two of the movie’s major sequences were filmed there and a bust of its star, James Dean, sits on the observatory’s grounds. The drama, about disenfranchised middle-class teens (Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo), marks the only time Dean received top billing in a film and became his most celebrated role. The film was released less than a month after the actor died in a car crash, but it thankfully captures his iconic mug and performance with groundbreaking cinematography for its time.


“The Steward of Christendom” @ Mark Taper Forum (Downtown)

Another great American actor of film, stage and television, Brian Dennehy, stars in this powerful play. He portrays Thomas Dunne, a character based on the playwright Sebastian Barry’s great-grandfather, a former chief superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan Police who was loyal to the British crown during Ireland’s struggle for independence and eventually falls into madness. Catch Dennehy’s moving performance before the play closes this Sunday.

Saturday, January 4


Back to the Future Triple Bill @ Egyptian Theatre (Hollywood)

While Michael J. Fox will always be Alex P. Keaton or Mike Flaherty to most people, his role as Marty McFly in the three Back to the Future films made him a big screen star. Starring alongside Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown, Fox traveled from 1985 to 1955, 2015 and 1885 throughout the trilogy, with audiences rooting for Marty every step of the way. Whether he had to help cement his parents’ relationship, save Doc’s life or set the future right for the world, Fox rode into cinematic history in the silver DeLorean. American Cinematheque celebrates all three of the films tonight, starting at 7:30 p.m.


Canucks vs. Kings @ Staples Center (Downtown)

While the Kings beat the Canucks at their last meeting in Vancouver on Nov. 25, it was by one goal and in overtime. The two teams are currently three (Los Angeles) and four (Vancouver) in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division, so expect another close one. But those are the most exciting games to witness in person, so get your tickets and head over to Staples Center for an action-packed night.

Sunday, January 5


Totem Stories @ Aero Theatre (Santa Monica)

Cirque du Soleil unveiled “Totem” in 2010, and the captivating production made its L.A. debut in October. Before it begins a Santa Monica run (Jan. 17-March 16), you can go behind the scenes to get to know the talented dancers, jugglers and acrobats of the show’s troupe in director Francis Legault’s documentary. The film is introduced by “Totem” company manager Jeff Lund and cast member Pippo Crotti, and you might even win tickets to one of the show’s dates in Santa Monica.


Elvis Birthday Bash @ The Echo (Echo Park)

If he was still alive, the King would turn 79 on Wednesday, and a slew of performers pay tribute to his legacy a few days early at the Echo at this 28th annual event. Hosted by Art Fein and Ronnie Mack, the $20 ticket price goes to the L.A. Mission, which provides aid to homeless men, women and children. So know that you’re supporting a good cause while dancing to some of Elvis’ greatest songs as interpreted by over 30 acts, including Jimmy Angel, Skip Heller, Hot Rod Trio and South Bay Surfers.


USC vs. UCLA @ Pauley Pavilion (Westwood)

This is the match-up that L.A. college basketball fans look forward to every season, as the crosstown rivals have their first meeting of the year. While the Bruins are currently 11-2 and Trojans are 9-4, not only is hometown glory at stake before their next bout on Feb. 8, but this game marks the beginning of Pac-12 action for both squads, so it’s a crucial one. Whether you bleed blue or cardinal, it’s going to be a fun one.


“Hershey Felder in Abe Lincoln’s Piano” @ Geffen Playhouse (Westwood)

Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer and director Hershey Felder stars in this new musical play that examines the evening go April 14, 1865 – the night of Abraham Lincoln’s death. The world premiere production features a score and book by Felder that were inspired by his visit to the Chicago History Museum’s attic to see President Lincoln’s White House piano and takes a look at the artistry, politics and individuals surrounding the evening at Ford’s Theatre. Through Jan. 13.

Yuri Shimoda is a Staff Reporter for, covering entertainment, culture and lifestyle.
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