Think outside the box with Micaela Taylor and TL Collective’s short film ‘MisFit’
This weekend was packed with new music from KAYTRAMINÉ(Kaytranada and Aminé’slatest collaboration), Bad Bunny, Summer Walker and — let’s not forget — the surprise drop by Beyoncé featuring Kendrick Lamar. Music has been blasting nonstop in my car since Friday. 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):
1. ‘MisFit’ screening at L.A. Dance Project
The TL Collective and founder Micaela Taylor will host the West Coast premiere of a new film at the L.A. Dance Project in downtown L.A. this weekend. “MisFit,” a 12-minute short, follows a choreographer on her way home from rehearsal as she reflects on her identity and how she feels like a misfit.
“I always felt like a misfit all through my life,” Taylor, who also stars in the film, told The Times. “I don’t really fit within one box or one category.”
Growing up in L.A., Taylor was heavily influenced by the film industry. In this new project, she had the opportunity to combine her interests of film and dance. She previously explored the synthesis of mediums by adding dialogue to stage choreography, but “MisFit” is a larger leap forward.
Although the TL Collective has previously created films, such as “Toughskin” in 2020, Taylor says this is the first time that it has shot a film that has a strong narrative driving the choreography. The storyline took form as Taylor collaborated with director Conner Bell, narrowing down her idea into a character’s battle with her internal monologue.
“How do I feel when I go into the studio?” Taylor asked herself when making the movie. “How am I feeling outside of the studio and in the mundane everyday life?”
The answer: a misfit. As her character ventures from the studio to the corner store to the parking lot, her thoughts come to life through dance. The film premiered at American Dance Festival in North Carolina earlier this month and is now coming to L.A. The screening at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will be followed by a Q&A with Taylor and the team behind “MisFit.” Tickets range from $15 to $20 and can be found on L.A. Dance Project’s website.
2. Dudamel leads Beethoven and Smith
Gustavo Dudamel returns to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A. this weekend with a Beethoven classic and two world premieres. The program begins with new works commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic (with support from the Esa-Pekka Salonen Commissions Fund and Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg Fund). “Lost Coast,” composed by Gabriella Smith and performed by cellist Gabriel Cabezas, will debut Thursday and be performed until Saturday. Ellen Reid’s “West Coast Sky Eternal” will have its world premiere Thursday and play again Saturday night. The program concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. This recommendation comes from The Times’ Mark Swed. Performances are at 8 p.m. and remaining tickets range from $87 to $279. More details can be found on L.A. Phil’s website.
3. ‘Thomas J Price: Beyond Measure’
Hauser & Wirth’s new exhibition allows viewers to get up close to a series of large-scale sculptures, ranging from 9 to 12 feet. Thomas J Price’s “Beyond Measure” at the gallery’s downtown L.A. location marks his first comprehensive U.S. solo exhibition. The bronze sculptures depict fictional people, as well as 3-D scannings of those who attended an open call by the artist in L.A. last summer. His work shows marginalized bodies on a larger scale, urging viewers to ponder power dynamics that lead to racial profiling. The exhibition is free and available to view until Aug. 20. There will be an opening reception at the gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. If you can’t make it, the gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. More information can be found on Hauser & Wirth’s website.
4. Kara Jackson
Bring some poetry and music to your night with Kara Jackson at Stories bookstore in Echo Park. The 2019 youth poet laureate will be performing music from her latest album, “Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love?” Jackson combines folk music with poetic, unapologetic lyrics that are sharp and profound. The night will also promote her 2019 book, “Bloodstone Cowboy,” a culmination of poetry that dives into the meaning of womanhood and self-love, all while reclaiming her Southern family lineage. This event comes on the heels of a sold-out performance with headliner Danielle Ponder at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. The free performance is from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. More details can be found on the bookstore’s website.
5. ‘Adaku, part 1: the road opens’
REDCAT presents a multidisciplinary performance by Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born. The show marks the first chapter of a speculative mythology that imagines a precolonial African village on the verge of an upheaval that threatens the community. It explores the relationship between ancestors and future generations. Okpokwasili, who is a writer, choreographer and performer based in Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for creating experimental work about the histories of Nigeria and the Bronx, N.Y. Born is a director, composer and designer who frequently collaborates with Okpokwasili. Performances are at 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and tickets cost $25. More details can be found on REDCAT’s website.
Bonus round: ‘Didier William: Things Like This Don’t Happen Here’
I’ve mentioned this one before in the speed round as a new gallery to check out, but it’s worth re-spotlighting the exhibition that marked the opening of James Fuentes’ new gallery in Hollywood. Didier William’s “Things Like This Don’t Happen Here” includes works that create mythological terrains inspired by his personal narratives and the history of the Caribbean. For example, the ocean depicts immigration across the Caribbean while caves — which were plentiful in his birthplace of Haiti — touch the sky more than the ground, highlighting the importance caves have for documenting history. By getting up close to the figures in his work, The Times’ Carolina A. Miranda said, “you’ll find that you’re being watched by hundreds of tiny eyes — your gaze returned by the painting.” This exhibition is free and runs until June 17.James Fuentes is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More details on the exhibition can be found on the gallery’s website.
Your L.A. weekend, all mapped out
For a more comprehensive roundup of exhibitions, concerts, screenings, festivals and other events, check outMatt Cooper’sCulture 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.
On My Mind
I attended Momix’s “Alice” as part of Dance atthe Music Center (technically, at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown L.A. this time around) on Friday. The performance was a whimsical whirlwind based on the story of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Momix is known for its illusionistic and acrobatic works that offer constant visual stimulation. In fact, the company members are called “dancer-illusionists.” The performance was splendid in that regard, but plateaued as the themes lacked consistency. In other words, there’s only so much spectacle you can enjoy without substance.
The visuals ranged from dancers wearing oversize baby heads — two were crying while two others were happy — to dancers depicting a frenzied herd of rabbits. The production also paired absurd performance with Indian and Spanish music that don’t have a logical place in the world of “Alice in Wonderland.” For example, as creepy rabbits hopped, “Taal Se Taal” by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan played in the background. The song originates from the 1999 Hindi-language Indian romantic comedy “Taal.” While one of the queens spun in what seemed to be flamenco dress, “1977” by Ana Tijoux played. “1977” is an autobiographic song about Tijoux growing up in France with Chilean parents who fled Pinochet’s dictatorship. Momix’s “Alice” pulled all the stops to make you aww, often at the expense of artistry. The result was a disconnect between spectacle and culture. “Alice” had nothing genuine to say.
On Monday, I went to the Renberg Theatre in Hollywood to see “The Bottoming Process” by Nicholas Pilapil. The play, co-produced by IAMA Theatre Company and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, began as part of IAMA’s inaugural Under 30 Playwrights Lab in 2019 and finally came to fruition in 2023. “The Bottoming Process” follows the relationship of Milo (George Salazar) and John (Rick Cosnett). Milo is a young, Filipino aspiring writer. John is an older, white, well-known YA author. As an unexpected encounter grew into a committed relationship, complications of race and power arose.
It is a complex story about what it means to be in a gay interracial relationship. Over the course of the show, Milo achieved his dream of becoming a beloved writer and John inched closer to obscurity. Fights ensued. As the arguments piled atop one another, John’s white privilege peeked through. Underneath the common arguments and power dynamics of sexual positions, Pilapil’s voice and commentary shined. The story addressed the sexual stereotypes placed on Asian Americans and how they manifest in relationships, and the reason people of color date white people.
“The Bottoming Process” is about the desire to be loved in a world that tells you that you are unlovable. After looking for it in all the wrong ways and in all the wrong places, Milo reclaimed his story. He had all the love he needed within himself. “The Bottoming Process” runs until June 12 and tickets cost $35. More details can be found on IAMA Theatre Company’s website.
Go out speed round
Go out before it closes: Latino Theater Company at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown L.A. presents Flaco Navaja’s first full-length solo show. The story pays homage to musical icons that have influenced Navaja’s artistry, from Janis Joplin to Rubén Blades. The play, produced in association with UrbanTheater Company, is full of humor and reflects Navaja’s love for the Bronx. The show closes Sunday with remaining performances at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $18.50 to $23.50 and can be found on LATC’s website.
Go out for free: Shulamit Nazarian in Hancock Park is opening a new exhibition by Missouri-based artist Mikey Yates on Saturday. “Overtime” marks Yates’ first solo exhibition in Los Angeles and is filled with paintings that reference his past. The exhibition documents his experience as a Filipino American with military parents, frequently moving around the globe. As you explore the exhibition, his story of evolving environments and memories unfolds. There will be a free opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Otherwise, the exhibition can be viewed during regular gallery hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More details can be found on Shulamit Nazarian’s website.
Go out and learn/craft: The Fiber Maker’s Circle is back at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Mid-Wilshire. The free event allows both experienced knitters and newbies to create in community. Be sure to bring your latest knit, crochet, embroidery or hand-sewing project if you’d like to get some tips and feedback. Or start new with materials from LACMA’s fiber stash. The upcoming session is from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. If you can’t make it to this weekend’s session, the program runs throughout June. More details can be found on LACMA’s website.
Go out all night: In collaboration with Carl Craig’s exhibition “Party/After-Party” at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in downtown L.A., the art museum will be hosting party sessions throughout the run of the show with a star-studded lineup of DJs. Thursday’s session includes sets by DJ Holographic, King Britt, Moritz von Oswald and Craig. The party is from 6:30 p.m. to midnight and tickets are $15 or free for MOCA members. Event details can be found on MOCA’s website.
Go out with the kids: It’s the end of the school year so you know what that means: prom! Latino Equality Alliance, Reach L.A., Rainbow Labs and Chicxs Rockerxs SELA present a special prom dedicated to queer and trans youth. “Fresa Discoteca” is a free LGBTQ+ prom filled with music, dancing, food and performances by Die Anna, Homo Clown and DJ Cakemixx. The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Mi Centro in Boyle Heights. More information can be found on social media and teens interested in joining can sign up online.
Go out on a date: Show your date your moves with “Te Amo, Argentina 2” at the BroadStage in Santa Monica. At 11 a.m. Sunday, cellist Antonio Lysy launches the “Sunday Morning Music” series with a performance full of the music of Argentina. The chamber concert features Lysy, soprano Jessica Rivera, pianist Bryan Pezzone and tango dancers Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo. The performance is followed by a post-show chat and a 45-minute tango lesson on the plaza. Tickets range from $50 to $60 and more information can be found on BroadStage’s website.
Go out to a new gallery: David Zwirner opened its Los Angeles gallery space in East Hollywood on Tuesday with solo exhibitions by Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Stan Douglas. Crosby’s “Coming Back to See Through, Again” includes work that uses doorways, windows and posters to depict new worlds. Douglas’ “ISDN” is a two-channel video installation that places viewers in the middle of an intercontinental call-and-response jam session. The free gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. More details can be found on David Zwirner’s website.
Go out and wander: It feels like just yesterday Truly L.A. opened its first bricks-and-mortar location in downtown L.A. Well, surprise! The store is turning a year old. Join in on the celebration of the hard seltzer company from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. The birthday party will have a DJ, food, drinks , an onsite mermaid and cake. While you’re out in the Arts District, feel free to wander through galleries like Hauser & Wirth and Over the Influence. Admission is free and you can RSVP on Eventbrite.
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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 [email protected].