Take an artistic voyage from Troy to Bahia with these shows inspired by history

A gallery filled with paintings of people looking out into the distance.
Yuri Yuan’s “A Thousand Ships” at Make Room Los Angeles investigates the feeling of longing for someone miles away, drawing parallels between Greek myth and the present day.
(Nice Day Photo / Yuri Yuan / Make Room Los Angeles)

Welcome back! I’m dedicating the new year to spending more time at the movie theater. I purchased my AMC Stubs membership and have already sobbed to “All of Us Strangers.” Before I book my next movie showing, let’s get to the exciting 2024 happenings. 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

A gallery with dark paintings of people longing.
Installation view of Yuri Yuan’s “A Thousand Ships” at Make Room Los Angeles until Feb. 2.
(Nice Day Photo / Yuri Yuan / Make Room Los Angeles)

1. ‘Yuri Yuan: A Thousand Ships’
Voyage through Yuri Yuan’s latest works in her latest gallery exhibition titled “A Thousand Ships.” The show pulls from Natalie Haynes’ book of the same name that reimagines Homer’s “The Iliad” from the perspective of women in the story. Following the Trojan War, the Greeks took a 10-year trip home that resulted in only one ship finishing the journey. Drawing from the book, these paintings capture moments of loneliness and anticipation.
📍: Make Room in Hollywood
⏰: On view until Feb. 2. Gallery open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
💲: Free

Installation view of "Bahia Reverb: Artists and Place" presented by the California African American Museum at Art + Practice.
(Charles White)

2. ‘Bahia Reverb: Artists and Place’
The California African American Museum presents “Bahia Reverb: Artists and Place,” a group exhibition at Art + Practice featuring work by 10 former fellows at Bahia, Brazil’s Sacatar Institute. The pieces reflect on Bahia’s history as an epicenter of the African diaspora and a point of entry during the transatlantic slave trade, exploring topics of forced migration and displacement, spirituality, history, myth, environmental justice and inequality.
📍: Art + Practice in Leimert Park
⏰: On view until March 2. Gallery open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
💲: Free

A dancer mid-air while other dancers move around him on the ground.
Camille A. Brown & Dancers head to the Wallis in Beverly Hills to perform “ink,” a piece exploring self-empowerment and Black life.
(Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)

3. ‘ink’
Camille A. Brown & Dancers head to the Wallis this weekend to perform “ink,” a show that weaves together movement styles like Black social dance, African, tap, jazz, modern and hip-hop to share a story about Black resilience. CABD is a Bessie Award-winning dance company based in New York known for works centering on race, culture and identity. Brown recently made history as the first Black director in the history of the MET opera and the first Black woman to be nominated for both best direction and choreography at the Tony Awards.
📍: The Wallis in Beverly Hills
⏰: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
💲: $49 to $79

A woman playing the piano.
Althea Waites will bring the music of Margaret Bonds to the Nimoy in “Momentum: Time and Space,” an evening of musical discovery.
(Michael Owen Baker)

4. ‘Momentum: Time and Space’
Pianist Althea Waites will perform an evening of music by Margaret Bonds, a composer who often collaborated with Langston Hughes and created popular arrangements of African American spirituals. Waites, known for performing and bringing new life to African American composers like William Grant Still and Ed Bland, compiled their music into her 1993 album “Black Diamonds.” The show at the Nimoy is presented by the Center for the Art of Performance UCLA in partnership with Piano Spheres.
📍: The Nimoy in Westwood
⏰: 8 p.m. Tuesday
💲: $32

A graphic of a house in black and white.
In partnership with Los Angeles Public Library’s LA MADE cultural enrichment program, Interact Theatre Company starts its series of Pulitzer Prize-winning theater with “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris.
(Interact Theatre Company)

5. ‘Clybourne Park’
Interact Theatre Company partners with the Los Angeles Public Library for an exciting series that stages readings of five Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. The series begins with “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris, a comedic play inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” which investigates the impact of gentrification on a Chicago neighborhood, first in 1959 and 50 years on. Readings take place on the second Saturday of each month through May 2024.
📍: Studio City Branch Library
⏰: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday
💲: Free

Bonus round: The 404 Community featuring Tolliver

A graphic of an open meadow with faces on top of it.
The Times’ 404 community hosts an evening filled with music, stories and the typical social media antics — but, you know, IRL.
(404 by Los Angeles Times)

The Times’ 404 Community is taking its URL platform IRL. 404 is a cohort of creators, filmmakers, artists, writers and puppets dedicated to bringing you the latest L.A. news with interesting videos and social posts online. For their upcoming event at the Lodge Room, the team will join musician Tolliver and author Aiden Arata for an evening full of storytelling and music.
📍: Lodge Room in Highland Park
⏰: 8:30 p.m. Friday
💲: $15

Go out speed round

A British painting of a men mourning someone's death.
“The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve,” about 1826, William Blake (British, 1757-1827). Ink, tempera, and gold on mahogany. Tate, London. Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1949.
(Photo © Tate)

Go out before it closes: The Getty’s exhibition of work by William Blake is ending Sunday. “Visionary” dives into Blake’s practice of combining poetry with imagery that depicts forces of creation and destruction. 📍: The Getty Center in Brentwood. / ⏰: On view until Jan. 14. / 💲: Free / 🔗:


Go out for free: Justin Torres, the author behind book-turned-film “We the Animals,” has a reading of his latest novel coming up at the Hammer Museum. “Blackouts,” which received the 2023 National Book Award for fiction, excavates the once-erased stories of the 1941 report “Sex Variants: A Study of Homosexual Patterns” into an engaging fable. The reading is followed by a discussion with author and UCLA professor Mona Simpson. 📍: The Hammer Museum in Westwood. / ⏰: 7:30 p.m. Thursday / 💲: Free / 🔗:

A dancer moving to the left while the other swings their foot up.
Choreographer Rebecca Pappas presents “Dance Wreckings” from Jan. 12 to 14 as part of the “Dance at the Odyssey” Festival.
(John Atashian)

Go out and learn: Every year, the Odyssey Theatre presents a festival of dance highlighting exciting new work. The festival begins this weekend with Rebecca Pappas’ “We Are Destroying Ourselves: A Dance Wrecking.” The performances aim to expose the choreographic process and invite audiences into the world of dance — the perfect invitation for newbies to the art form. 📍: The Odyssey Theatre in Sawtelle / ⏰: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday / 💲: $25 / 🔗:

Go out with the kids: Take the kids to the Academy Museum for a day of crafty animation. The latest series of drop-in workshops in the Shirley Temple Education Studio invites the little ones to create stop-motion animation using paper cutouts to tell a story about friendship. After the workshop, be sure to check out the “Inventing Worlds and Characters: Animation” gallery in the “Stories of Cinema” exhibition. 📍: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Mid-Wilshire / ⏰: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday / 💲: Free with museum admission / 🔗:

Go out all day: The Southern California Slack Key Festival is back at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. The festival includes some of the best Hawaiian music by Grammy-winning slack key guitarists, award-winning Hula Hālau and a free island marketplace. 📍: Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center / ⏰: 2 p.m. Sunday / 💲: $25 to $150 / 🔗:

A band performing on stage.
Acoustic Generation will perform their “Laurel Canyon Love!” show to celebrate the Whiskey’s 60th anniversary.
(Darren Howell)

Go out on a date: Acoustic Generation performs music from the Laurel Canyon scene in celebration of Whiskey a Go Go’s 60th anniversary. Captain Flashback’s “Laurel Canyon Love!” is a nostalgic ride through the history of classic rock during the 60s and 70s, immersing the audience with live music, first-hand stories about the songs, sing-alongs and more. 📍: Whiskey a Go Go in West Hollywood / ⏰: 6 p.m. Monday / 💲: $20 to $600 / 🔗:

Go out all night: Attention all Latin music fans! Calibash is taking over Arena with artists like Feid, Prince Royce, Maria Becerra, Grupo Frontera and Yandel. The two-day festival also launches Calibash MX, a Mexican live music concert brand by SBS Entertainment dedicated to highlighting the rising stars in Mexican music. 📍: Arena in downtown L.A. / ⏰: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday / 💲: Starting at $77 / 🔗:

Go out and wander: The Pasadena Bead & Design Show brings together about 300 exhibits and workshops centered on the artistry of handcrafted jewelry and gems. Wander through all the felted hats, hand-dyed silks, hand-tooled leather and upcycled clothing at the weekend-long event. Maybe you’ll find your next best birthday gift. 📍: Pasadena Convention Center / ⏰: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday / 💲: $10 general admission / 🔗:

Go out and celebrate: In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Skirball Cultural Center will offer free admission to “This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement.” The day will also include spoken-word performances by Alyesha Wise and Get Lit, a cooking demo and exhibition tours. Be sure to check out the full rundown of activities in honor of Dr. King online. 📍: Skirball Cultural Center in Brentwood / ⏰: Noon to 3 p.m. Monday / 💲: Free / 🔗:

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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