Unpack your daddy issues with a performance about paternal relationships

Andrew Pearson in "Abbale."
(Brian Hashimoto)

After two decades, the Hammer Museum’s $90-million reinvention is complete. The Westwood art museum introduced the additions — a new lobby, bank gallery and sculpture terrace — with a bang. I attended the opening celebration Saturday and danced to music by DJ Pee Wee (a.k.a. Anderson .Paak) between browsing the new exhibitions and installations. The Times’ Deborah Vankin reported on the Hammer’s large-scale, immersive installations and all the updates to the space. If you’re still intrigued, check it out for yourself this weekend. I’m Steven Vargas, your L.A. Goes Out host, and here are the top events for this upcoming weekend recommended by the crew (sign up here for the newsletter):

Weekly Countdown

Andrew Pearson in "Abbale."
(Brian Hashimoto)

1. ‘Abbale’
Who’s your daddy? Well, that’s a long story for Andrew Pearson. His solo show “Abbale” is a dance-theater memoir that explores three parental relationships. These stories center on a disabled father, a Jewish Israeli U.S. immigrant and an intergenerational gay relationship. The performance uses narrative storytelling and dance to dissect the definition of “dad” and what it means to be a child, lover and creator. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Broadwater‘s main stage in Hollywood, and tickets range from $20 to $40. The show also coincides with a food drive in support of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. For more details on the event, check out the Bodies in Play website.

Sequins and beads on cotton.
Myrlande Constant (born. 1968, Port-au-Prince, Haiti), Baron Lakwa, Met Jan Simon, 2013; sequins and beads on cotton; collection of Laurie K. Silverman.
(Myrlande Constant; Central Fine; photograph by George Echevarria, 2017)

2. ‘Myrlande Constant: The Work of Radiance’
This retrospective exhibition displays the work of Myrlande Constant, a Haitian artist whose large-scale tapestries and textile art are inspired by the “drapo” Vodou tradition and depict Haitian history and everyday life. Each piece is intricately beaded and packed with stories. This L.A. exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, recommended by The Times’ Carolina A. Miranda, runs through July 16. The museum is free and open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. More details can be found on the Fowler’s website.

Dustin Vuong Nguyen and Hannah Mariah in rehearsal.
Dustin Vuong Nguyen and Hannah Mariah in rehearsal for “Colonialism Is Terrible, but Pho Is Delicious.”
(Casey and Camryn Long / Chance Theater)

3. ‘Colonialism Is Terrible, but Pho Is Delicious’
What began as a fall down a rabbit hole into viral videos about cultural appropriation and food became Dustin Chinn’s play “Colonialism Is Terrible, but Pho Is Delicious.” The comedy consists of three vignettes: a Vietnamese cook in 1880s French Indochina, American tourists in 1999 Vietnam and present-day Brooklyn, where a social war on ownership and authenticity brews. This recommendation from Times theater critic Charles McNulty opens for previews at Chance Theater in Anaheim on Friday. Tickets range from $20 to $39 and can be found on the venue’s website.

Brent Jennings.
Brent Jennings.
(Bobby Quillard)

4. ‘That Perfect Place’
Brent Jennings offers an intimate and introspective look at his family by tapping into the perspective of his brother. “That Perfect Place,” presented by Echo Theater Company, shares what Jennings believes his brother, who is intellectually disabled, might have said had he been able to speak growing up. The solo show written and performed by Jennings depicts household power dynamics and the familial challenges present during the 1960s amid antiwar protests. The show runs at 7:30 p.m. Sundays until April 23 at Atwater Village Theatre. Tickets are $10 and can be found on Echo Theater’s website.

Poet Ashley Vargas at LA Get Down Festival.
(Steffany Ayala / Greenway Arts Alliance)

5. Seventh L.A. Get Down Festival
If you’re a fan of poetry and hip-hop, Greenway Arts Alliance has you set with events for April. The seventh L.A. Get Down Festival starts at 8 p.m. Saturday with a performance of local legends, headlined by Ruby Ibarra and hosted by Arianna Lady Basco and Dionysio Basco. The festival, in association with Da Poetry Lounge, coincides with national poetry month and features poetry slams, musical performances and workshops. There’s programming every weekend at Greenway Court Theatre in Fairfax, and each event costs $10. Details can be found on the theater’s website.

Bonus round: ‘Menstruation: A Period Piece’

Bibi Mama.
Bibi Mama.
(Lex Ryan)

Yes, this is a period piece, but probably not the period piece you’re thinking of. Big Little Theater Company, in association with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, presents the world premiere of a musical that dives into the menstrual cycle with a queer love story. “Menstruation: A Period Piece” is led by Claire, a woman trying to discover what the “lesbian period” is, and Emily, a hormone inside Claire’s body that helps her find out. This musical takes you from the living room all the way to the uterus to demystify and destigmatize menstruation. The show runs until April 16 at L.A. LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre, and tickets cost $35. More details can be found on the musical’s ticketing website.

Your L.A. weekend, all mapped out

For a more comprehensive roundup of exhibitions, concerts, screenings, festivals and other events, check out Matt Cooper’s Culture Guide. The mapped list is a go-to for those who make plans based on the commute, and it also can be filtered by event type and price.


Insights: April Fools’ Fun

If your April Fools’ jokes didn’t land the way you wanted, get some pointers from stand-up comics. Here are a few comedy shows to check out this April Fools’ Day to start your month with some levity:

  • This show benefits Glenfeliz Boulevard Elementary School. Led by comic Kurt Braunohler, the 7:30 p.m. show at the Elysian also features comedians Cristela Alonzo, Chris Estrada and Beth Stelling. Tickets are $25, and more details can be found on the theater’s website.
  • The Hollywood Comedy presents a special edition of “Saturday Night With Dan,” hosted by Dan King. Other comedians who will take the stage include Pancho Moler, Lia Richardson and Yashar Kafi. The show starts at 9:30 p.m., and tickets cost $15 online and $20 at the door. Details can be found on Eventbrite.
  • And, of course, you can always check out Lyric Hyperion’s lineup of comics.

Go out speed round

Sandra Tsing Loh.
(Ben Gibbs)

Go out before it closes: While this is technically not closing, it is a one-weekend-only opportunity to see works in progress at the Odyssey Theatre in Sawtelle. “Thresholds of Invention” shares two pop-ups: “A Madwoman of the Theatre: 25 F Years of Sandra Tsing Loh” at 8 p.m. Saturday and “It Must Be Him” by Michael Kearns at 2 p.m. Sunday. Loh’s piece offers a sneak peek at her new comedy, “Madwoman of the West,” coming to the Odyssey in May. Tickets to each show are $25 and can be found on the theater’s website.

Go out for free: A Noise Within in Pasadena continues its resident artist-reading series with “An Improbable Fiction” by James DeVita at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The play takes place in the early 1600s; theaters are shuttered because of the plague and six of Shakespeare’s leading characters are out of work. They meet up at the Boar’s Head Tavern to commiserate, celebrate life and reflect on the world in a pandemic. The reading requires RSVP on the theater’s website.

Go out and learn: Some consider him an inventor and scientist. I consider him the leading legend of public school education. The Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal State Long Beach presents “An Evening With Bill Nye” at 8 p.m. Saturday, where the titular star of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” shares his knowledge and comedic flair in conversation with Shark Lab Director Chris Lowe. Tickets range from $65 to $175 and can be found on the Carpenter Center’s website.

Go out with the kids: SpringTopia Fest 2023 is here and is filled with puppies, light shows, a 3-D circus, spooky mazes and more. This family-friendly event takes over 200,000 square feet of the Topanga Promenade Mall in Woodland Hills and opens Wednesday. Tickets range from $35 to $52 and can be found on the event’s website.


Go out on a date: The Odyssey Theatre is hosting not only new work but also musical classics at “Music at the Odyssey.” If you’re looking for a night of romantic and fun music with your date, or want to surprise your theater-geek lover with a night to remember, this one is for you. The event at 8 p.m. Friday includes music by Rodgers and Hammerstein, George Gershwin and Cole Porter. Tickets are $30, and details can be found at the Odyssey’s website.

Go out all day: Craft Contemporary’s annual ceramic marketplace and fundraiser, Clay L.A., runs Saturday and Sunday and will be attended by emerging ceramicists and art-lovers alike. The festival at the Mid-Wilshire gallery includes art, an air-dry clay activity and a raffle. Tickets for general admission are $9, but if you’re eager and want first dibs on the ceramic sale, tickets to a special preview are $40. The rundown of the event and participating artists can be found on Craft Contemporary’s website.

Go out and wander: “King Pleasure” is an immersive exhibition on the work and impact of Jean-Michel Basquiat, presented by the family of the artist. The exhibition includes more than 200 never-before-seen paintings, drawings and ephemera that help document Basquiat‘s life. The exhibition opens Friday at downtown’s Grand L.A., and tickets range from $25 to $65. The show is open for reserved time slots Wednesday through Monday. More details can be found on the exhibition’s website.

Bill T. Jones in rehearsal with students with arms raised.
(Rosalynde LeBlanc)

Go out from your couch: I debated whether I should recommend staying in, but this one is too good of an opportunity to not share. Documentary series “AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange” kicks off its latest season with “Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters.” The documentary traces the legacy of Bill T. Jones’ ”D-Man in the Waters,” his famous dance piece created at the height of the AIDS crisis. The film will be available to stream exclusively on Black Public Media’s YouTube channel starting at 9 p.m. Sunday and shown at 5 p.m. Monday on the World Channel. More details on the streaming event can be found on Black Public Media’s website.

Go out and celebrate Easter early: The Lakes at Thousand Oaks is celebrating Easter early with a celebration perfect for the kids. The shopping mall will have a petting zoo, egg hunt, face painting and Easter bunny photo ops from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The event is free and open to the public, and more details can be found on the Lakes’ website.


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Looking at art with a grumbling stomach is never fun. Check out these 18 places to eat near L.A. museums.

I’m all ears!

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Follow our feed of recommendations and itineraries on Instagram and Twitter, and if you have recs of your own, send them to