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Start your summer of concerts and festivals this weekend

A man in a black leather sombrero, underwear and chaps.
An image from Orlando Bedolla’s documentary “Encuerados.”
(Orlando Bedolla)
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ICYMI, Rūts Dance Studio has a new location! The Koreatown dance studio, co-owned by Diny and Eileen Kim, has moved to a bigger space on Western Avenue. The studio first caught my eye for its variety of classes — from whacking to K-pop. Its expansion means more dance and more community. If you want to get moving this weekend, check out the brand-new space. I’m Steven Vargas, your L.A. Goes Out host, and here are the top events for this coming weekend recommended by the crew (sign up here for the newsletter):

Weekly countdown

Men in head-to-toe leather on stage.
“It’s not only about practicing the kinks and the fetishes, or wearing the leather, but a lot of the work they do is charity work and fundraising,” Orlando Bedolla says about the leather subculture.
(Orlando Bedolla)

1. “Encuerados” at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival
When Orlando Bedolla went to his first gay leather bar about 15 years ago, the patrons at the Eagle in Silver Lake ostracized him. He realized he was the only Latino there. He recalled hearing, “You don’t look like you belong here,” Bedolla told The Times.

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In 2021, he was invited to a leather party by a friend and experienced the complete opposite — there were many more Latinos. As Bedolla witnessed the rise in Latino representation in the leather community, he started to document it. “Encuerados,” his documentary highlighting the underground subculture of the L.A. Latino LGBTQ+ leather community, is now being screened at the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles InFocus festival dedicated to LGBTQ+ cinema.

His story centers around Payasos L.A., a club founded by Leo Iriarte, and the fight for representation in the community. Iriarte started to “receive death threats on Facebook” after being named Mr. Los Angeles Leather in 2011.

Bedolla began filming “Encuerados” about a year ago and witnessed firsthand the growth of the subculture. Once he found his place in the community, both through the documentary and in his personal life, Bedolla recognized the importance of brotherhood, which is vital to the subculture.

“When it comes to leather, everybody knows everybody,” he said. “It’s not only about practicing the kinks and the fetishes, or wearing the leather, but a lot of the work they do is charity work and fundraising.”

“They’re always trying to help each other out,” he added.

“Encuerados” screens at the NFMLA festival at 4 p.m. Saturday. The festival runs from 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. and tickets range from $10 to $30. More details can be found on NFMLA’s website.

A side profile shot of a man.
Helen Cammock, “I Will Keep My Soul,” 2022.
(Courtesy of Helen Cammock)
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2. “Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My Soul”
Helen Cammock’s landmark exhibition organized by the Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought, and presented by the California African American Museum and Art + Practice, runs through the end of summer, so be sure to add it to your calendar before it closes Aug. 5. “In a languid pace, it weaves together current and historic footage of the city, with interviews with artists — a rapper, a writer, a painter and a designer who produces suits for Mardi Gras Indians — all reflecting on their lives and what it means to make meaningful work in a gentrifying city and a commodified art market,” Times art and design columnist Carolina A. Miranda said of her recommendation. The nearly two-hour, two-channel video installation is worth seeing as well, Miranda added. If you’d like to take an even deeper dive into Cammock’s work, join a reading group session in collaboration with CAAM at Art + Practice in Leimert Park, where you can discuss Toni Morrison’sSula,” a text that was pivotal to the exhibition. The session will be led by Tameka Blackshir of the Reparations Club from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday and is free with RSVP. Art + Practice is free and open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More details on the exhibition can be found on the gallery’s website.

A black and white watercolor of women dancing.
Silke Otto-Knapp, “Untitled 16,” 2018. Watercolor on paper, 11 x 14 in.
(Silke Otto-Knapp / Regen Projects)

3. Silke Otto-Knapp
Artist Silke Otto-Knapp died in October of cancer at age 52. Now, Regen Projects is presenting the first solo exhibition of her work in Los Angeles since her death. The exhibition shares some of Otto-Knapp’s late works that highlight her unique painting technique of layering watercolor on canvas to portray figures in motion. The results were works with dancing women and moving bodies in an abstract landscape. Meanwhile, other paintings portrayed layered landscapes. Regen Projects in Hollywood is free and open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More details on Otto-Knapp’s exhibition can be found on the gallery’s website.

A blurred image of dancers in motion on stage.
Los Angeles Ballet will present the world premiere of Melissa Barak’s “Memoryhouse” at the Broad Stage.
(Rachel Weber)

4. “Memoryhouse”
Los Angeles Ballet’s 2022-23 season is coming to a close with a new full-length work by Melissa Barak. “Memoryhouse” tells the story of the Holocaust through abstract movement and vignettes that document World War II on stage. The piece will highlight the somber, dark times of the war, as well as heroic moments. The performance is set to Max Richter’s album of the same name. The production, taking place at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, marks a new beginning for the ballet company as Barak takes the reins of LAB following her appointment as artistic director in August. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and remaining tickets range from $50 to $75. More details can be found on LAB’s website.

Six women dance and sing on stage in the musical "Six."
“Six,” a musical comedy about the six wives of Henry VIII, will play at Segerstrom Center for the Arts from June 13 to 25.
(Joan Marcus)
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5. ‘Six’
Get on your feet and pull out your phones for this pop music-filled comedy that will soon be leaving SoCal. “Six,” which won the Tony Award in 2022 for original score, will be moving its production from the Hollywood Pantages Theatre to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, with shows running until June 25. The musical by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss is a modern retelling of the stories of the six wives of Henry VIII and the trauma they experienced being married to the English king. “Six” incorporates social media into the narrative and urges audiences to commit one of theater’s biggest faux pas: record the performance. Experience the exhilarating show for yourself before it leaves SoCal at the end of the month. Tickets range from $39 to $139 and more details can be found on Segerstrom’s website.

Bonus round: ‘Julius Eastman Vol. 3’ release party

Two men stand in a field as one of them plays the violin.
Wild Up releases a third anthology of Julius Eastman’s compositions.
(Christine Rusiniak)

As part of Wild Up’s Endless Summer music series in L.A., the band will be celebrating the release of its third anthology album of composer Julius Eastman’s work. The album, “Julius Eastman Vol 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?,” adds Dev Hynes and Adam Tendler as pianists. The album includes performances of Eastman’s “The Moon’s Silent Modulation” and prolific composition “Evil N–.” Since Eastman’s death in 1990, the music community has slowly started to recognize his importance to the art form. The artist, who was gay and Black, centered his work on his identity. As a result, he was alienated. Times classical music critic Mark Swed reflected on Eastman finally getting his due in 2021, writing, “For Eastman, an anodyne new music culture that prided itself on functioning outside of personal identity is what needed changing.” The release party takes place at 2220 Arts + Archives in Westlake and tickets cost $20. More details can be found on Dice and Wild Up’s 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: Your guide to the top concerts of the summer

Kamasi Washington, Raphael Saadiq, Leon Bridges, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Digable Planets, Samara Joy and more.
Kamasi Washington, left, Raphael Saadiq, Leon Bridges, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Digable Planets, Samara Joy, Poncho Sanchez and Aziza.
(Kamasi Washington photo by Russell Hamilton / Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

Summer is not just the season full of sun. It is also the season full of music. There are some big artists coming through Los Angeles that you won’t want to miss. Check out these highlights to add to your calendar today:

  • Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival is the big event happening in the Hollywood Hills with performances by artists including Kamasi Washington and Samara Joy. The festival starts at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and remaining tickets range from $57 to $112. More details can be found on the Hollywood Bowl’s website.
  • Erykah Badu will be performing at Crypto.com Arena in downtown L.A. with Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Resale tickets start at $80 and more information can be found on Ticketmaster.
  • Donna Missal will be at the Roxy in West Hollywood with Loyal Lobos on July 20. Tickets cost $25 and more details can be found on AXS.
  • Drake and 21 Savage will be hitting Crypto.com Arena from Aug. 21 to 22 for their It’s All a Blur tour. Remaining tickets start at $246 and more details can be found on Ticketmaster.
  • Beyoncé is bringing the Renaissance tour to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood come September. Remaining tickets start at $165 and can be found on Ticketmaster.
  • Madonna will be in L.A. for the Celebration Tour in September with special guest Bob the Drag Queen. Performances are from Sept. 27 to Oct.1 at Crypto.com Arena. Remaining tickets start at $89 and more information can be found on Ticketmaster.

And let’s not forget Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. Even after adding two nights to her time at SoFi Stadium, tickets to her five shows are sold out on Ticketmaster. If you’re one of the lucky few to snag a seat, you’re in for a treat. SZA will be at Crypto.com Arena in October (not summer, but start planning early ) for her S.O.S. North American tour. Remaining tickets start at $188 and more details can be found on Ticketmaster.

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Go out speed round

Go out before it closes: Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale has an exhibition curated by Galia Linn closing on Friday that is filled with work by more than a dozen artists. “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” explores how artists manage negative self-talk. This introspective prompt spurred everything from paintings to performances. The free exhibition is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. More details can be found on the center’s website.

Go out for free: The Pasadena Chorale will be hosting a free concert full of new music composed by local high school students from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The concert at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena is the perfect event for the family or music lovers interested in a taste of the work of the next generation. Tickets and more details can be found on Pasadena Chorale’s website.

Go out and learn: Get moving at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Mid-Wilshire with a dance workshop led by artist Analivia Cordeiro and computer scientist Nilton Lobo. You might be wondering what computer science has to do with dance, but in this workshop the connection is seamless. As part of the two-day workshop, you’ll be guided through movement explorations and create choreography inspired and informed by technology. Workshops are from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and each workshop is $25 for members and $30 for the general public. More information can be found on LACMA’s website.

Go out with the kids: Youth programming at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures continues with a workshop for teens interested in drag. In collaboration with drag queen Pickle, this youth workshop will provide the ins and outs of drag — from the history and theory of drag to an intro course on voguing. The event takes place in the Shirley Temple Education Studio from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday and tickets range from $15 to $25. More details can be found on the Academy Museum’s website.

Two ballet dancers in nude leotards.
ACB dancers Brittany Yevoli, left, and Hannah Barr will perform in ACB’s “Concerto Barocco.”
(Victor Demarchelier)

Go out on a date: Take your date to the ballet to see American Contemporary Ballet’s latest gproduction, “Concerto Barocco.” The production includes a performance of George Balanchine’s work of the same name set to Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, in addition to a new ballet by ACB director Lincoln Jones. If you haven’t seen an ACB show, prepare to be mesmerized; the productions take place in a downtown L.A. skyscraper overlooking the city. Opening night is Thursday and shows are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets range from $40 to $110 and more information can be found on ACB’s website.

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Go out all day: Put down your phones and pause your Wes Anderson-style TikToks to check out this immersive experience inspired by the filmmaker’s latest work, “Asteroid City.” Focus Features transformed Landmark Theatres Sunset in Hollywood Hills West into a real-life Asteroid City for two weeks. Starting Thursday, you can walk through the immersive experience before stepping into the theater to see Anderson’s new film. Tickets range from $25 to $50 and can be found on Landmark Theatres website.

Go out and wander: MAK Center for Art and Architecture presents the 21st iteration of “Garage Exchange Vienna — Los Angeles: Plastic, Plastic, Plastic.” The exhibition features new work by Vienna-based artist Kerstin von Gabain and L.A.-based Ellen Schafer that explores the impact of mass-produced materials on the city. The exhibition takes place at the Mackey Apartments Garage Top in Mid-Wilshire. Tickets are free and visiting hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. More details can be found on MAK Center’s website.

The cast of "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove."
From left, Sarah Scott Davis, Ellen D. Williams, Stephanie Pardi, Lindsay LaVanchy, Tamika Katon-Donegal, Ann Sonneville, Noelle Messier and Stasha Surdyke in “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove.”
(Frank Ishman)

Go out with your friends: Take your Pride plans with friends to the Fountain Theatre for a historic show known for being one of the first plays depicting love between women. “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove” by Jane Chambers follows a group of queer women who venture to a remote seaside town for the summer. When a naive straight woman falls for one of the girls in the friend group, friendships are challenged. The show opens Saturday with $20 previews until then. Tickets range from $25 to $45 and more details can be found on Fountain Theatre’s website.

Go out and celebrate Juneteenth: Lower Depth Theatre is hosting its annual Juneteenth Jamboree filled with performances and activities. This year, the event will be headlined by L.A.-based African dance company Le Ballet Dembaya. The afternoon celebration will also include a kids’ craft table, catered tacos, an African drum circle and a reading of a Juneteenth-inspired 10-minute play, “Abolitionist Biscuits,” by T. Tara Turk-Haynes. The Juneteenth Jamboree takes place at Boston Court in Pasadena from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. More details can be found on Eventbrite.

More from the crew here

Planning to spend your weekends reading on the beach this summer? Check out the 65 best bookstores in L.A. to find the perfect read by the ocean breeze.

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Celebrating Pride can bring on some hankering hunger. Grab quick, affordable sushi at one of the 11 best hand roll bars in L.A.

Hamburger Mary’s brought drag brunch to L.A. in 2001. Here are 13 spots to celebrate the tradition now.

If you love a good puzzle, take those sleuthing skills to new heights at one of these 12 hidden labyrinths in SoCal.

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 steven.vargas@latimes.com.

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