Circus Vargas The animal-free Circus Vargas sets up its big top in Hollywood to thrill audiences with feats of human strength, speed, grace and dexterity, plus plenty of old-fashioned clowning around. A free, interactive pre-show welcomes kids into the center ring and gives them a crash course in circus skills such as juggling, feather balancing and hula-hooping. Off the 101 Freeway at Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood. 7:30 p.m. Runs daily through Monday. See website for complete schedule. $15-$50. https://www.circusvargas.com.
Weekend of Horrors The Southland’s traditional May gray has nothing on the pitch-black darkness of Weekend of Horrors, a fan convention celebrating all things gruesome and gory. The program features workshops, panels, screenings, a tattoo exhibition, an art show, a zombie walk and more. Headlining guests include filmmaker John Carpenter, actors Asia Argento and Robert Englund, and makeup whiz Tom Savini. Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 5855 W. Century Blvd., L.A. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. $20-$199. (818) 409-0960. https://www.weekendofhorrors.net
JPL Open House As the saying goes, “It’s not rocket science” — except when it is, as when NASA opens its Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the public for exhibits and demonstrations about space exploration and cutting-edge technology. Lab scientists and engineers will be on hand to answer questions, and there will be activities for children. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. and Sun. Free. (818) 354-4321. https://www.jpl.nasa.gov.
The LA Comedy Fest In its ninth year, the fest features film, live comedy acts and a screenplay competition — in other words, plenty of opportunity to make discoveries or be discovered. Recent bragging rights for the fest include alumnus Luke Matheny, who nabbed an Oscar for “God of Love,” in the live-action short film category. For hopefuls who want more hands-on instruction, there is also a Sunday workshop for turning your movie idea into a screenplay with William Morris Endeavor story editor Christopher Lockhart and professional screenwriter and UC Santa Barbara screenwriting instructor Cindy McCreery. Acme Comedy Hollywood, 135 N. La Brea Ave. Through May 22. See full schedule at https://www.lacomedyfest.com.
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