This exhibition is crawling with Pokémon. Can you catch ’em all?

Pikachu-shaped garland hanging on yellow thread.
Reiko Sudo’s installation at Japan House’s “Pokémon x Kogei” exhibition. “Pikachu’s Adventures in a Forest” (Installation Detail), 2022.
(Masayuki Hayashi)

Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the TikTok AI Live trend. Social media users are making upwards of thousands of dollars by going live on the video app and reacting to “gifts” people send. The gifts, which are equivalent to money, are TikTok coins in the form of emojis and stickers. In response, creators act out a reaction that coincides with the specific item they are sent. For example, if a viewer sends a cowboy hat gift, the creator on live might say, “Yee haw, I’m a cowgirl.” Still confused? Check it out for yourself on @pinkydollreal and @seasquish’s profiles, or with this feature in the New York Times. 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

A copper sculpture of the Pokémon Jolteon.
Taiichiro Yoshida, “Jolteon,” 2022.
(Taku Saiki)

1. ‘Pokémon x Kogei’
Pokémon are taking over a Hollywood gallery. Can you catch ‘em all? Japan House Los Angeles presents “Pokémon x Kogei,” an exhibition in which the beloved animated creatures come to life with the work of Japanese craft. Supervised by the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan — with support from the Pokémon Co. — the exhibition consists of 70 works by 20 artists using traditional Japanese art techniques, varying from ceramics to copper.


As a Pokémon fan growing up, I felt like a kid in a candy store when I went to the exhibit on Friday. The entrance invites you in with large-scale sculptures of Pokémon. Taiichiro Yoshida’s copper sculptures of Eevee’s evolution particularly stood out. Eevee and its water, fire and electric evolutions — Vaporeon, Flareon and Jolteon, respectively — are made with small copper pieces chiseled into unique shapes like tiny flames and thunderbolts.

Keiko Masumoto’s vessels best represent the beauty of the exhibition by combining the 12th century practice of Shigaraki ware with Pokémon — for example, Charizard pokes its limbs out of a traditional ceramic jar. Masumoto embraces Fire-type Pokémon by highlighting the kilning process and embracing the natural effects of the flames on the work. Other standouts include a vase by Yuki Hayama decorated with more than 500 Pokémon and a forest of Pikachus by Reiko Sudo made with cotton and lace hanging from the ceiling in a sea of yellow. In the middle of the immersive piece by Sudo, you might notice one discolored Pikachu that is more golden than the others. Pikachu is difficult to capture in the Pokémon universe. Perhaps you could be the Pokémon master who finds it.

The free exhibition runs until January 2024. Japan House is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More details on “Pokémon x Kogei” can be found on the gallery’s website.

2. ‘Parsifal’
This event takes place in Germany, but you can experience it from the comfort of your couch. A new production of “Parsifal” composed by Richard Wagner will be presented at the Bayreuth Festival in the same theater that the German composer conceived “Bühnenweihfestspiel.” The work, reimagined by director Jay Scheib, will use augmented reality and immerse those in the theater with headsets. Pablo Heras-Casado makes his Bayreuth conducting debut and will be leading tenor Andreas Schager and mezzo Elīna Garanča. If you couldn’t attend in-person, watch the exciting production on Stage+, a streaming service for classical music. The show premiered Wednesday morning and will reair at 4 p.m. Wednesday and 3 p.m. Thursday PT. The recommendation comes from Times classical music critic Mark Swed and more information can be found on the Stage+ website.

Two women in colorful clothes chatting in church.
Angie Green, left, as Hero and Nedra Snipes as Beatrice in Hero Theatre’s production of “Nothing, Nothing” by Amina Henry.
(Aaron Gallegos)

3. ‘Nothing, Nothing’
Put on your Sunday best for Hero Theatre’s site-specific adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy “Much Ado About Nothing,” set and performed in a Baptist church — live gospel music and all. “Nothing, Nothing” follows the romantic twists and turns of those in the congregation and focuses on the stories of Black women in the church community. The reimagined classic presents its own set of archetypes for the comedy of errors, from a recent divorcée who is the victim of church gossip to the innocent daughter of an overbearing mother. Like any Shakespeare comedy, it is full of witty banter, comedic plot twists and joyous resolutions. Hero Theatre commissioned the piece by Amina Henry and partnered with Downtown Women’s Center and Alexandria House, two organizations providing assistance and support to women experiencing homelessness. The show takes place at the Friendship Baptist Church, a historic Black church in Pasadena, and runs until Saturday. Tickets are $25 and the remaining shows are at 8 p.m. Friday, and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday. More details can be found on Hero Theatre’s website.

A painting of a man sitting on a chair with one leg crossed.
Ronnie Robinson, “At What Time Were We Not The Zeitgeist,” 2023. Oil on canvas, 80 x 72 in.
(Ronnie Robinson)

4. ‘Art Genesis: 100 Days of Summer
Curator Mashonda Tifrere presents her third summer exhibition, “Art Genesis: 100 Days of Summer,” with her organization ArtLeadHER. The group exhibition shares the work of eight early-to-mid-career artists — Arielle Austin, Akilah Watts, Jewel Ham, Lanise Howard, Tawny Chatmon, Victor Ubah, Natalie Lauren and Ronnie Robinson. The works depict themes of love, growth and mystery and range from Howard’s portraiture to Chatmon’s blend of photography and paintings about Black childhood. The exhibition immediately follows Megan Lewis’ solo exhibition curated by Tifrere titled “Soft Landing.” “Art Genesis: 100 Days of Summer” opens Wednesday and runs until Aug. 5 with a panel discussion by artists, curators and collectors at 6:30 p.m. on closing day. The exhibition is free at Art Genesis Space pop-up at the 3110 Gallery in Silver Lake, and it is open from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. More details can be found on the exhibition’s Eventbrite.

Four people are dancing on stage. A man is twirling a woman in front.
Eduardo Enrikez, left, Marlene Martinez, Tristan Turner and Maria Jimena Gastelum in the South Coast Repertory production of “La Havana Madrid” by Sandra Delgado, directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce.
(Paul Lester / South Coast Repertory)

5. ‘La Havana Madrid’
Travel back in time to 1960s Chicago with a play filled with mambo, salsa and romance. South Coast Repertory’s “La Havana Madrid” transports you to the legendary Chicago nightclub of the same name, where Latino immigrants found community through dancing and dining. The play by Sandra Delgado documents the stories of Cuban, Puerto Rican and Colombian settlers seeking refuge in the city. Delgado pulls from historical writing, photographs and personal interviews to craft the narrative — all while immersing the audience in the music that scored Latino life throughout the decade. SCR’s production takes you even deeper into the story by setting the performance at Mission San Juan Capistrano in Orange County. The show runs until Aug. 4 and tickets range from $20 to $50. More information can be found on SCR’s website.

Bonus round: Quincy Jones’ 90th-Birthday Tribute: A Musical Celebration

Quincy Jones in a white collared shirt and black suit jacket.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic presents “Quincy Jones’ 90th-Birthday Tribute: A Musical Celebration” featuring performances by H.E.R., Samara Joy, BJ The Chicago Kid and Alfredo Rodriguez.
(Quincy Jones / L.A. Phil)

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. presents a musical celebration tribute to Grammy-winning artist Quincy Jones at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood Hills. In celebration of his 90th birthday, artists including H.E.R., Samara Joy, BJ The Chicago Kid and Alfredo Rodriguez are coming together to perform some of his top hits, from “P.Y.T.” to “Thriller.” Renowned conductor Jules Buckley will lead the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra for the event. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and remaining tickets range from $18 to $129. For more information, check out the Hollywood Bowl’s website.

On My Mind

A woman sitting in a tree.
Composer Micaela Tobin in “APOLAKI: Opera of the Scorched Earth.”
(Joshua Hill)

This weekend, I took in a marathon of performances that began Friday with “APOLAKI: Opera of the Scorched Earth.” The experimental opera presented by Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions follows Apolaki, the god of sun and war in Filipino mythology, who becomes lost on Tongva Land (Los Angeles) after being displaced by Spanish colonizers. The performance was led by director and composer Micaela Tobin, who also played the serpent deity Bakunawa, and choreographer Jay Carlon, who played Apolaki.

A shirtless man with the sun shining behind him.
Dancer/choreographer Jay Carlon in “APOLAKI: Opera of the Scorched Earth.”
(Joshua Hill)

The opera was performed outdoors at Zorthian Ranch in Altadena. It began softly with a chorus of elders singing, sweeping the ground and swatting away flies. The peace was soon disrupted as Carlon pulled away the layers of Carlo Maghirang’s installation design and threw strips of carpet to the sides of the stage. Tobin’s soft vocals evolved into pained growls as she declared “What was stolen from us by them,” “I’ve been displaced” and “I’m still here.” Through Filipino mythology, Tobin and Carlon shared the common experience that people of color face in the U.S. Apolaki’s destructive behavior was a result of losing himself in an attempt to assimilate. As he realized the strength of his ancestral roots and the beauty in his identity, a celebration of authenticity began. In the final moments of the performance, Carlon guided the audience into a Filipino liberation disco on the grounds of the performance space.

On Saturday, I went to WORDTheatre’s Jazz Re-Evolution,” in partnership with the L.A. Phil at the Ford Amphitheater. The performance combined the music of jazz legends with the writing of literary luminaries. The art forms merged smoothly as musicians played out moments memorialized on paper. For example, as an author described the feeling of listening to Buddy Bolden, the musicians imitated the environment. Among the star-studded cast, Antonique Smith performed the music of Bessie Smith and Mahalia Jackson, filling the performance space with awe-inspiring vocals. I was surprised to also hear the writings of those critiquing jazz at the time of its rise, from newspaper and magazine articles calling the genre “sinful” and “vulgar.” The ensemble took the audience across the country with the stories presented, including Central Avenue in South Central, where jazz flourished amid segregation. Eventually, Tracie Thoms performed Nina Simone‘s music, commanding the stage with soulful vocals that were incredibly poignant and led to a proclamation about the impact of jazz on culture, history and people.

A man addressing a crowd at the center of a room.
Brian Weir in the Ghost Road Company’s production of “Super Duper” at Los Angeles Theatre Center.
(Austin Crowley)

On Sunday, I went to the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown L.A. to check out the Ghost Road Company’s production of “Super Duper.” The performance was an immersive experience that tells the story of an eclectic artist through the people he influenced throughout his life, including a romantic partner and an art critic. A docent played by Brian Weir guided the audience through replicated art galleries with remarkable wit that kept us on our toes. However, the show is more of an experience than a theatrical performance. The story itself is staggered and ends abruptly and ambiguously, but the experience of getting to know other theatergoers is what kept me invested in “Super Duper.” I surprised myself as I shared more with the strangers around me than I had anticipated.

Go out speed round

Varying shapes and shades of wood.
Billy Al Bengston, “Sorta Memorial,” 2023 (installation view).
(Evan Bedford / Billy Al Bengston and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles / Dallas / Seoul)

Go out before it closes: Various Small Fires’ “sorta” memorial to Billy Al Bengston, who died in October, comes to a close Saturday. The exhibition features his 1971 installation “Lumberjack Luncheon” at the center of the space and is surrounded by “Kahuna” and “Pa’Pepa” watercolor collages and paintings. “Sorta Memorial” is a joyful celebration of Bengston’s life and approach to art. The free gallery in Hollywood is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and more information on the exhibition can be found online.

Go out for free: The Geffen Playhouse presents a free culmination show of monologues created during the Veterans Cultural Identity Monologue Writing & Performance Workshop, an eight-week theater-making intensive for military veterans. The event is at 8 p.m. Monday and tickets can be found on Geffen Playouse’s website.

Go out and learn: Boot scoot boogie your way to the Music Center for its upcoming beginner dance class. Although I mentioned the summer class series when it started in June, it would be remiss of me, a Southern boy, to not highlight the upcoming free lesson: country line dancing night. The class, led by Felicity Morales and Andrea Valero with DJ Rick Dominguez, takes place at Jerry Moss Plaza in downtown L.A. from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday. More information can be found on the Music Center’s website.

Go out with the kids: Celebrate the release of Maxwell Poth’s new book, “Young Queer America: Real Stories and Faces of LGBTQ+ Youth,” at Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza in Hollywood. The book shares the stories of 73 LGBTQ+ kids and teens as they reflect on their queer journey. The event features a gallery with portraits from the book and a discussion between Poth and trans actress and model Isis King. The gallery opening and book release is from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are free and can be reserved on Eventbrite.


Go out on a date: This date idea is perfect for your cinephile significant other who loves a day at the gallery. Yul Brynner, the Oscar- and Tony-winning actor known for “The King and I” and “The Magnificent Seven,” has a photography exhibit at Leica Gallery Los Angeles in West Hollywood. Brynner’s exhibition, “An Extraordinary Vision,” is best described as an inside look at Old Hollywood. As an entertainer and renowned photographer, he captured rare portraits of celebs including Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Frank Sinatra. The exhibition runs until Monday and the gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is free to visit and more information can be found on Leica Gallery’s website.

Go out all day: The Petersen Automotive Museum in Mid-Wilshire is celebrating 70 years of the Chevrolet Corvette with a community cruise-in. The car synonymous with American racing will take over the museum’s parking lot as Corvette owners put their hot rods on display. Tickets to P3 are sold out but tickets to show off your car on P4 are still available for $15. To attend but not participate, you can purchase a spectator ticket for $10. All tickets include complimentary parking and lunch by Pink’s. The event is from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday and more details can be found on the museum’s website.

Go out all night: Bring out the disco ball and get ready to groove at “THIS GOES!” The inaugural queer disco dance party at the Plaza in Fairfax features a DJ, drag and pop-up performances. Tickets cost $20 at the door and the disco runs from 8 p.m. Thursday to midnight. More details can be found on the event’s Instagram page.

Go out and wander: Trace the makings of clothing from the comfort of … a Himalayan salt cave. The nonprofit organization Fair Trade L.A. is sponsoring a screening of the documentary “The True Cost” at the Valley Salt Cave in Woodland Hills. The film chronicles the origins of the clothing industry by exploring the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion. To get into the nitty-gritty of clothing manufacturing, you’ll have to wander into the salt caves. Tickets cost $10 and the screening is from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday. More information can be found on Eventbrite.

Go out again: I’ve mentioned this exhibition before, but this weekend Regen Projects is adding a special twist that is worth a revisit. In honor of the exhibition “Silke Otto-Knapp,” the Hollywood gallery will screen dances from films and videos selected by Otto-Knapp and originally presented by the Renaissance Society as part of her exhibition “In the waiting room.” The footage includes work by dance legends Merce Cunningham captured by Charles Atlas, Trisha Brown filmed by Babette Mangold and two works by Yvonne Rainer. The screenings will play on loop in the exhibition space from Thursday to Saturday. The free exhibition — recommended by The Times’ Carolina A. Miranda — is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More details can be found on Regen Projects’ website.

Go out and read: To celebrate the release of Lydia Kiesling’s new novel, “Mobility,” Dynasty Typewriter in Westlake will host a conversation with the author and Crooked Media co-founder Tommy Vietor. The coming-of-age tale investigates class, power and politics through the story of an American teenager in Azerbaijan who travels between the two countries. The event is free, but you can also RSVP with a purchase of the book for $28. The conversation is from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday and more details can be found on Dynasty Typewriter’s website.


More from the crew here

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Escape traffic and hitch a ride on a bike at these 8 breezy trails that teach you about L.A. as you ride.

Planning a beach day? Take away the stress of finding one that’s dog-friendly with this guide to the 31 beaches in L.A. and Orange counties perfect for your pup.

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