Yeehaw! Generations of gay cowboys take over the Autry Museum

A group of cowboys posed together.
Blake Little, “Los Angeles Cowboys,” Sun Valley, Calif., 1991. From the exhibition “Blake Little: Photographs From the Gay Rodeo.”
(Autry Museum)
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This week’s newsletter is the 50th edition of L.A. Goes Out (cue the fireworks!). There’s so much to celebrate and more surprises along the way, but before I get ahead of myself, let me get down to what I do best. I’m Steven Vargas, your L.A. Goes Out host, and here are the top events for the upcoming weekend recommended by the crew (sign up here for the newsletter):

Weekly Countdown

Two cowboys standing side-by-side with arms wrapped around each other.
Blake Little, “Rodeo Partners Gene Hubert and Rick Ferreira,” Sun Valley, Calif., 1991. From the exhibition “Blake Little: Photographs From the Gay Rodeo.”
(Autry Museum)

1. ‘That Damn Horse’
Giddyap, cowboy! The Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park is hosting a performance of “That Damn Horse.” The theatrical show compiles more than 60 interviews from the Gay Rodeo Oral History Project, which is housed in the Autry archives, getting at the familial experience of rodeo. The performance is at 7 p.m. Thursday and is followed by a conversation with the former president of the International Gay Rodeo Assn., Roger Bergmann, and Voices of Gay Rodeo Oral History Project team members Rebecca Scofield and Court Fund. Tickets are $5 for Autry members and $10 for nonmembers. For more information on the performance at Wells Fargo Theater, check out the Autry Museum’s website.

A person sings while people reach for him.
Thomas Winter as Melchior Gabor, center, and the cast of “Spring Awakening” perform “The Mirror-Blue Night” at East West Players.
(Jenny Graham)

2. ‘Spring Awakening’
The Tony Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening” is now at East West Players with a historic interpretation. The show, which takes place in 1891 Germany, tells the story of a group of adolescents navigating the complexities of relationships and adulthood. Tim Dang, former artistic director of the troupe, directs this revival with an emphasis on diverse casting that displays the intersectionality of the Asian American experience. “Expect a bracing and refreshingly diverse new look at this brooding alt-rock show,” Times theater critic Charles McNulty said of the recommendation. “Spring Awakening” runs until Nov. 19 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in downtown L.A. Tickets range from $12 to $69, and more information can be found on EWP’s website.

A gallery space with paintings on the wall and a sculpture of a woman sitting in grass at the center.
Installation view of Carolyn Castaño’s “Cumanday-Beautiful Mountain,” 2023, at Craft Contemporary.
(Josh Schaedel / Craft Contemporary)

3. ‘Carolyn Castaño: Cumanday-Beautiful Mountain’
Colombian American painter Carolyn Castaño has a new solo show at Craft Contemporary in Mid-Wilshire that explores climate change on the Andean tropical glacier chains. “Cumanday-Beautiful Mountain” shares works that blend mixed-media watercolors, hard-edge techniques and 19th-century map-making to address colonialism’s effects on the environment. “Her use of material — which, in addition to paint, includes appliques, sequins, textiles and other objects — is staggeringly rich,” Times art and design columnist Carolina A. Miranda said of her recommendation. The exhibition is on view until Jan. 7 and tickets to the museum range from free to $9. Craft Contemporary is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and until 8 p.m. the first Thursday of each month. More details on the exhibition can be found online.

A person stands in front of a microphone.
Choreographer, author and singer Dorothée Munyaneza brings “Mailles” to REDCAT this week.
(Leslie Artomonow)

4. ‘Mailles’
REDCAT in downtown L.A. presents “Mailles” by choreographer, singer and author Dorothée Munyaneza. The show sews together the stories of five African and Afro-descendent female and nonbinary people. The ensemble questions femininity and bodily freedom, documenting their own histories through movement and music. The piece celebrates resilience, highlighting the challenges of rejection and discrimination present in everyday life. Performances are at 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets cost $30, and more details can be found on REDCAT’s website.

A man sits in a chair while singing into a microphone.
Omar Offendum blends hip-hop, Arabic instrumentation and ḥakawātī oral storytelling traditions in “The Little Syria Show” coming to the Nimoy.
(Ridwan Adhami)

5. ‘The Little Syria Show’
Omar Offendum’s genre-bridging performance of “The Little Syria Show’’ comes to the Nimoy in Westwood this weekend, sharing the story of a Lower Manhattan neighborhood that was once a heart of Arab America. The performance, which combines hip-hop with Arabic instrumentation and ḥakawātī oral storytelling, explores the landscape of Little Syria from 1880 to 1940. Offendum, with the help of Ronnie Malley on the oud and piano and producer Thanks Joey, shares the underrepresented stories of New York’s Middle Eastern immigrants pursuing the American dream. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $32, and more details can be found on the Nimoy’s website.

Bonus round: GuadaLAjara Film Festival

A couple recline on a bed with a child.
A still from “Los Bilbao,” one of the movies screening at the GuadaLAjara Film Festival.
(Pedro Speroni)

The latest film festival to bring new cinema to L.A. is the GuadaLAjara Film Festival, running from Wednesday to Friday. The festival is part of the University of Guadalajara and aims to bridge generations of Latino and BIPOC storytellers across continents. The festival opens with Netflix’sNo Voy a Pedirle a Nadie que me Crea,” a feature directed by Fernando Frías De la Parra, and closes with “Maestra,” a documentary by Maggie Contreras. The festival is screening films across downtown L.A. For more information on the films movies and how to get your tickets, check out the event’s website.

On My Mind

Dancers stretching their hands above their heads in unison.
Akram Khan Company’s “Jungle Book Reimagined” brings the classic stories by Rudyard Kipling to today.
(Camila Greenwell)

This past weekend, I embarked on a dance marathon. On Thursday, I went to the Broad Stage in Santa Monica to see Akram Khan Company’sJungle BookReimagined.” The show took tales from Rudyard Kipling‘s 1894 book and reframed them in the future when environmental catastrophe is upon us. The show, which documents Mowgli’s story, was a mesmerizing medley of elaborate projections with narrative movement onstage. For example, as Mowgli prepared to shoot a bow and arrow, the moments learning how to do so with her mother were projected onto a downstage screen. The score was primarily made up of pre-recorded dialogue, challenging the performers to move with specificity and speed so as to hit each word and inflection just right. Dancers inhabited different animals, and their body language crafted a full-body mask of each character. “Jungle Book Reimagined” was an immersive show that sucked you into a story that had limitless possibilities of coming to life.

A dancer collapsed on the ground.
Moriah Evans’ “Remains Persist” explores power dynamics and the concept of remains through movement.
(Maria Baranova)

On Saturday, I went to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in downtown L.A. to see Moriah Evans’Remains Persist.” The piece was a meditation on how the body shapes who we are. Throughout the four-hour piece, performers were questioned about their bodies, facilitating both trivial and heavy discussions, from topics of violence to “jiggling butts.” Dancers were challenged to share details of who they are in their bodies, talking about sexuality, gender, abortion and all the complexities of humanity, no matter how taboo.

The audience was just as much a part of the performance. The space was separated into four quadrants and audience members were invited to roam and sit close to each of the four stages. Audience members seemed to be deeply absorbing the movements, which embraced the discomfort of being intimate with live performance. Remaining performances are from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for MOCA members. More details can be found on MOCA’s website.

A dancer leaping forward with a leg pointed forward.
Tiler Peck performs “The Barre Project” at the Soraya as part of “Turn it Out With Tiler Peck.”
(CLI Studios)

On Sunday, I saw “Turn It Out With Tiler Peck & Friends” at the Soraya in Northridge. The heartbeat of the show was “Time Spell,” choreographed by Michelle Dorrance, Jillian Meyers and Peck, in collaboration with the ensemble. The tour de force production blended the artistry of ballet, contemporary and tap. Myers shone in the piece, commanding the stage with sharp and emotionally packed movement. When four ballet dancers performed in unison, Myers popped up behind them, moving similarly with a contemporary spin. Although the four ballerinas were taller on pointe and performed center stage, Myers commanded attention.

The performance had a particularly poignant importance in Los Angeles. The show brought together faces of the ballet world with those of the entertainment industry. Oftentimes, the communities are severed in the dance world, working in their own silos. “Time Spell” bridged them together to depict their parallel stories and artistry. This celebration of dance, no matter the genre, proved what‘s possible when we work in community.


If you missed the Soraya show, “Turn It Out with Tiler Peck & Friends” is heading to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa this weekend, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $29 and details can be found online.

Go out speed round

A gallery with two paintings depicting naked women in nature.
Installation view of Sara Anstis’ “The Petal and the Wrist,” 2023, at Various Small Fires, Los Angeles.
(Sara Anstis / Various Small Fires, Los Angeles / Dallas / Seoul)

Go out before it closes: Sara Anstis’The Petal and the Wrist” is coming to a close on Saturday at Various Small Fires in Hollywood. The exhibition tells a story of resistance and the power of imagination through works on paper and canvas, as well as support from a short story written by Anstis titled “The Thick Shadow.” The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and more information can be found online.

Go out for free: Son Little is on tour promoting his latest album, “Like Neptune,” and his next stop is the Skirball Cultural Center in Brentwood. The R&B artist pulls on heartstrings to bring out the emotional core of the musical genre. The musical performance is free and takes place at 8 p.m. Thursday. More details can be found on Skirball’s website.

Go out with the kids: Bring the little ones out to the Santa Monica pier to see Amal, a 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl. Through November, Amal is journeying across the U.S. to offer free public art festivals to raise awareness of human rights and the Amal Fund with Choose Love. Her event at the pier is in partnership with CARS, Santa Monica, Kumu Hula Kealii Ceballos and Hālau Hula Kealii O Nālani. Crafting begins at 4 p.m. and Amal arrives at 5 p.m. Thursday. To check out her remaining journey on the West Coast, head to the Walk With Amal website.

A woman wearing an upcycled, multicolored hoodie.
“In Our Hands: Upcycling and Accessibility” is a group exhibition at Sovern L.A. that highlights 5 local BIPOC artists and designers creating sustainable works.
(Jan Lim / Parsons)

Go out and craft: In conjunction with its latest exhibition, “In Our Hands: Upcycling and Accessibility,” Sovern L.A. in West Adams is hosting an upcycling ice dying workshop. Exhibiting artist Todd Alexander will guide participants on the process to create one-of-a-kind garments out of old clothing. The workshop is from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, and tickets are a suggested donation of $40 (with a sliding scale). While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the group exhibition that highlights five L.A.-based BIPOC Upcycling artists and designers. More details can be found on Sovern L.A.‘s website.

Go out on a date: Head out to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A. to help E.T. phone home. The 1982 film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” will be screened alongside a live Los Angeles Philharmonic performance of John Williams’ score led by Gustavo Dudamel. The event is at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and tickets range from $74 to $246. For more information, check out L.A. Phil’s website.

Go out all day: Spend your day at a festival of live podcasts and immersive audio. On Air L.A. Annex brings fans and creators together to celebrate the artistry of podcasting. Events include live tapings, site-specific stories, discussions and mixers. Events stretch between KCRW HQ in Santa Monica and dublab in University Park from Wednesday to Saturday. Tickets range from $75 to $225, and more information can be found on the festival’s website.

Go out all week: Classical music lovers, get prepared for a statewide festival packed with new music. From Friday to Nov. 19, California Festival presents more than 180 new works written within the last five years. Some familiar names performing in L.A. include Wild Up, Takács Quartet and the L.A. Phil. To see what shows are in your area, check out the California Festival website.

Go out and wander: Laguna Art Museum presents its annual Art + Nature initiative that raises environmental awareness through art. Highlights include Cristopher Cichocki’sRising Inversion” installation on Main Beach in front of the Inn at Laguna Beach, Luciana Abait’sEscape — Route” exhibition, an art workshop and a party in the museum. The bulk of the programming ringing in the annual celebration runs from Thursday to Saturday. For all the details, check out LAM’s website.

Go out and discover: It’s the start of a new month, which means the next installment of WIP is just around the corner. On the first Monday of every month, WIP brings two L.A.-based dance artists to share works-in-progress and participate in a fruitful discussion with the audience. The series in partnership with G-Son Studios in Atwater Village welcomes Lindsey Red-tail and Tom Tsai to its upcoming presentation at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $15, and more information can be found online.


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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