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Things to Do in L.A. This Week: May 20-26

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Ru Paul’s Drag Con, an experimental film fest, celebrating Lou Reed, a Billie Holiday play and more.

Margaret Cho & Friends

Monday, May 20, 2019 / 8:30-11 p.m. / Largo at the Coronet

Since starring in the groundbreaking, albeit short-lived, Asian American sitcom “All-American Girl” 25 years ago, Margaret Cho has blossomed into an endearingly edgy comedian slash actress, songwriter and activist.

In a time of political absurdity and social chaos, audiences need entertainers like Cho to lighten the mood, while simultaneously participating in our collective anxiety about the state of the world. With a reputation for bluntness around taboo subjects, it will be very interesting to see what she has to say about the latest incomprehensible turn of current events.

Tickets: $30 / More Information

‘My Week Beats Your Year’

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 / 7:30-9:30 p.m. / Skylight Books

Pat Thomas and Michael Heath discuss their new rock and roll anthology, “My Week Beats Your Year: Encounters with Lou Reed.” The book compiles more than 30 interviews spanning Reed’s solo career, from print media’s golden era to the first online blogs, offering an intriguing portrait of a complex, fiercely intelligent and occasionally abrasive personality.

Elvis Costello once said, “I don’t really listen to Lou Reed’s records, but I never miss an interview with him.” Indeed, Reed took a page from Andy Warhol’s book and seized any press opportunity as a form of artistic expression.

Free event / More Information

One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 / 6:30-9 p.m. / West Hollywood City Council Chambers

While the annual L.A. Pride festival and parade take place in June, West Hollywood starts the party early with its One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, 40 days and nights of mostly free art events and exhibits starting on Harvey Milk Day (May 22) through June 30. This year’s festival theme is “Love is Love,” honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — a series of violent confrontations that served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.

One City One Pride kicks off with a free staged reading of Patricia Loughrey’s play “Dear Harvey.” The reading is preceded by a reception and two queer poetry pop-ups: Jason Jenn’s “Let Love Flourish,” featuring performances by queer poets; and Brian Sonia-Wallace’s “Everyone Deserves (A) Love (Poem),” an interactive installation where attendees can request a personalized spontaneous love poem.

RSVP is required / More Information

‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’

Thursday, May 23, 2019 / 8-10:30 p.m. / Garry Marshall Theatre

Billie Holiday sure didn’t have it easy. Experience the laughs and tears through some of her most beautiful, haunting songs in this play recounting formative moments of her life. Originally premiered in 1986, the story is set in 1959 at a seedy Philadelphia bar, as a dazed Billie Holiday gives one of her last performances just four months before her tragic death.

The show stars Deidrie Henry as Holiday and features more than a dozen musical numbers, including “Strange Fruit,” “What a Moonlight Can Do,” “Crazy He Calls Me,” “Easy Living,” “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do,” and “God Bless the Child.” Pay a little extra and nab a seat directly on stage.

Tickets: $57-$100 / More Information

The Fine Arts Film Festival

Friday, May 24, 2019 / 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. / Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center

This three-day festival features the most creative new films in every imaginable format, from documentaries and experimental film to video art and virtual reality. Of the 18 films screening today, some profile artists, dancers and music experiments, others question the nature of art, and another goes behind the scenes with a renowned “art doctor” whose task it is to fix hand-signed snowballs and giant sculptures of animal dung. Check out the schedule.

Friday and Saturday’s screenings take place at the historic Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, which is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year. On Sunday, the festival moves to the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art in San Pedro.

Tickets: $12.50-$50 / More Information

Las Fotos Project’s Viva La Muxer Festival

Saturday, May 25, 2019 / 6-10 p.m. / Plaza De La Raza

Viva La Muxer is Las Fotos Project’s annual fundraiser celebrating women-identified artists, entrepreneurs and visionaries from all over Los Angeles. The arts and music benefit brings together more than 100 curated art exhibits, along with workshops and resource booths. The night also includes live performances by Irka Mateo, Linafornia, Te Aho Nui, Welfair, Bloco Obini, Banda Femenil Oaxaqueña, Shakti Circus and DJ Alima Lee. This year is dedicated “Migrant Mamas,” whose journeys continue to shape and inspire future generations.

Event proceeds support the nonprofit’s free programs, which provide space and resources for teenage girls to feel empowered by learning photography.

Tickets: $25-$35 / More Information

RuPaul’s DragCon L.A.

Sunday, May 26, 2019 / 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. / Los Angeles Convention Center

Kiki with some of the most fabulous queens to ever stomp the runway while dipping your toes in the holy waters of everything drag. The gods of shopping bless attendees with more than 300 exhibitors, while those seeking enlightenment can sit in on panels covering a variety of topics like tips for drag, art, culture and political resistance.

The fun doesn’t stop there. Head over to the Theatre at Ace Hotel afterward as the queens from season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” show up, showdown and work that runway to show off their most gag-worthy looks.

DragCon runs from May 24-26 / Tickets: $40-$300 / More Information

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 Tour: More Information

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