I’m not one of those writers who replies, “Can’t complain!” when asked how I am. And now that writers are on strike and picketing all over town, I’m not alone. Everyone is fed up. Everyone is complaining. It’s the ultimate solidarity.
Complaining never gets old. But in L.A., it seems the only acceptable complaint is: I’m getting old. You can bitch and moan about looking old, feeling old, getting old – nobody minds. Why? Because it’s universal.
But complain about not having work? No one has tolerance for that. The other day, I was telling an (employed) friend about all of the various projects that fell apart.
“You’ll be fine,” she said. “Your talent will see you through.”
Later that afternoon, I was leaving the dentist.
“How would you like to pay?” The receptionist asked.
I told her I’d like to pay with my talent.
I found her reaction to be very unsympathetic.
“You don’t take talent?” I asked.
The fact that doctors and landlords and dentists won’t accept payment in talent is unfair. It got me thinking. What if they did take payment in talent? What level of talent would qualify for bridgework? Would my talent be enough to cover a cleaning? If it was my writing talent, maybe. If it was my talent for making money, definitely not.
Here are 5 things to do this weekend you can’t complain about
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Even though Los Angeles isn’t exactly known as a farming community (Bristol Farms doesn’t count) that’s how it all began. The El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is near the site of the early Los Angeles pueblo where forty-four settlers of Native American, African and European heritage traveled from the desert of northern Mexico and established a farming community in September 1781.
Olvera street is considered to be the official birthplace of Los Angeles and there are loads of shops and restaurants. There is also the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument – which is a living museum. I had to look this term up because I didn’t know what it meant. A living museum, in case you didn’t know, is a type of museum which recreates historical settings to simulate a past time period.
So visiting this part of the historic district – you can learn about the origins of the city you live in – and get the feeling of going back in time. And who wouldn’t want to do that right now?
There’s a El Pueblo Historical Monument tour every Saturday.
When: 10am, 11am ad 12pm
Location: 125 Paseo de la Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90012
Apart from everything else he does, Andy Cohen is a best-selling author. I don’t know when he finds time to write, but he’ll be in L.A. discussing his book, “The Daddy Diaries: The Year I Grew Up.”
His book events attract die hard Bravo fans. As Liza says, “They’re like Bravo cos play. You’ll see people dressed up as Housewives, people with cocktails and clever T-shirts, and people with way too much make-up.”
Also at this event, he’ll be appearing with Casey and Danielle who host the incredibly popular comedy podcast Bitch Sesh. The podcast breaks down Housewives episodes and gets high brow guests to discuss low brow trash. I’ve heard it’s a cult for the Bravo obsessed.
If there was a Bravoland (like Disneyland) Andy Cohen would be Mickey Mouse.
When: Thursday May 18th at 8pm
Location: The Aratani Theatre | 244 San Pedro St Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012
Parking: Garage available at the venue
Following success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018, the SIX wives of Henry VIII remixes 500 years of historical heartbreak and reframes their stories into modern day girl power. It won multiple awards including the Tony Award for Best Original Score and propels the stories of the discarded and beheaded wives right into the 21st century. They got tired of being overshadowed by their husband’s affairs and brutal treatment of women. Who can’t relate!
According to the Guardian, “Six takes the proto-feminism of Hamilton’s women along with the populist feminism of the 2010s, and folds them into a bright, short and snappy musical revue that sees the Queens go from competing with to supporting one another. This happens via often funny and occasionally moving musical numbers that are drenched with a love for pure pop, royal history, and giving women their due.”
With a score that includes power ballads, techno beats, and anthems, it’s the second-most streamed cast album in the world. Don’t ask me the first.
All the Queens have “Queenspirations” in real life. Catherine of Aragon (nods at Beyonce and Shakira), Anne Boleyn (Avril Lavigne), Jane Seymour (Adele and Sia), Anne of Cleves (Nicki Minaj and Rihanna), Katherine Howard (Ariana Grande and Britney Spears), and Catherine Parr (Alicia Keys).
A lighthearted, upbeat take on Tudor history – you go girl.
When: May 9th through June 10th
Time: Tuesday – Friday at 8pm | Saturday at 2pm & 8pm | Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm + weekday matinees at 2pm Wed, 6/7 and Fri, 6/9
Where: Pantages Theatre | 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Parking: Independently managed parking lots are located adjacent to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre on Argyle Street, both North and South of Hollywood Boulevard, as well as the Northwest corner of Hollywood & Vine.
Take The Kids To
This is not the name of a musical, but an actual car show in Culver City. I once went to one of these once when I was ten years old at the Jacob Javitz convention center in Manhattan and I remember how exciting it felt. I thought: one day I will grow up and drive! Having that up ahead gave me something to look forward to. (It still does amaze me that I drive.)
This is kid-friendly event. There will be live music featuring the bands Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, 400 classic cars and hot rods, live music, and on-site food trucks.
When: Saturday, May 13th from 9am to 3pm
Where: West Los Angeles College | 9000 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
Parking: On site and $10
Formed in 2003, BADWest is the Black Association of Documentary filmmakers — a collective of artists who advocate for the recognition and professional advancement of Black documentary filmmakers.
This Saturday will be entirely devoted to a celebration of documentaries directed and/or produced by Black filmmakers.
Held at the American Film Institute – and now in its 16th year — it brings together black filmmakers, highlights the Black Experience, and spotlights filmmakers from around the world. There will be screenings, panel discussions, and Q&A’s – all moderated by film critic Tim Cogshell.
Storytellers telling their stories keeps the conversation going…exactly what we need right now.
When: Saturday, May 13th from 12pm – 5pm
Location: American Film Institute | 2021 N. Western Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027
Parking: Free parking at AFI