Labor Day weekend is coming up with lots of fun things to do. But, before that, you’re not going to want to miss all the other great things going on in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for some good art and culture to fill your week, you’re in luck, as we kick things off with a new memory play wrought with family drama. Keep it going with Shakespeare at the Hollywood Bowl, a special art installation at Union Station that closes this week, and the return of beloved musical Newsies to the Pantages Theatre. You also won’t want to miss a few of our favorite things to do this Labor Day weekend, which include a block party just steps from the beach, as well as the return of the Los Angeles County Fair and foodie favorite The Los Angeles Times’ The Taste.
Please Don’t Ask About Becket
Sacred Fools Theater Black Box
6322 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
It’s been years since Emily Diamond’s twin brother, Becket, has gone missing, but her dreams are still being haunted by his disappearance. Always in her charismatic brother’s shadow, Emily is left to deal with the aftermath, as her parents sift through the emotional wreckage left behind. A play rooted in the idea of nature vs nurture, Please Don’t Ask About Becket is a new family drama that forces us to ask to what extent are parents responsible for their children’s behavior, both good and bad. The memory play spans the decades from the 1970s through today, and is sure to resonate with anyone who has dealt with family drama. This latest play by Wendy Graf’s has been enjoying its world premiere at the Sacred Fools Theater, but will end its run September 18.
Shakespeare at the Bowl
2301 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
The Hollywood Bowl has another great performance to add to your summer to do list, as they celebrate the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death 400 years ago with two special performances. Bramwell Tovey conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a series of works inspired by the great playwright, including music from Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, and Korngold. Actors from Shakespeare’s Globe will bring the music to life by acting out classic scenes from Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, and Romeo and Juliet. If you can’t make it tonight, another performance will take place this Thursday, September 1.
Last Chance to See “Cabinet of Curiosities”
800 N Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
If you haven’t been to the historic Union Station to see the art installment “Cabinet of Curiosities,” today is your very last chance to see it. The original installation created by a group of Los Angeles-based artists features a series of mysterious worlds, viewed through peepholes. Set in Union Station’s Grand Waiting Room, the pieces in this exhibition are mostly handmade by the artists themselves, and are a throwback to the 16th Century when “wonder-rooms” full of encyclopedic collections of objects predated museums. Viewable by only one person at a time, the exhibit creates an unusually intimate experience amidst the hustle and bustle of the train station, and should not be missed.
6233 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Broadway smash-hit musical Newsies has made its way back to the Pantages Theatre, and is ready to please crowds of all ages. With a Tony Award winning score and choreography, the musical has been an audience favorite since its inception five years ago. Newsies is based on the 1992 Disney film about the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City, and includes catchy, toe-tapping songs like “Watch What Happens,” “Seize the Day,” “The World Will Know,” and so many more. A day-of-performance digital lottery being held for a limited number of $20 orchestra seats beginning at 8am the day of the performance (enter here).
Opening Day: Los Angeles County Fair
Los Angeles County Fair Grounds
1011 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
Is there any better way to kick off your long Labor Day weekend than with music, rides, and deep fried everything? America’s largest county fair returns for its 94th year today, and is kicking things off with an Old School Funk & Soul Festival, with performances by The Brothers Johnson, Rose Royce, Jimmie Walker, and more. Guests of the Los Angeles County Fair can enjoy old favorites like carnival rides, games, and animals, and a slew of new attractions. An all-new Jurassic Planet with 35 animatronic dinosaurs, a reimagined “Our Bodies” exhibit, and a summer ice-skating rink and sledding village are just a few of the fun new additions to this year’s fair. The fair opens today, and runs through September 26.
Experience ‘The Taste’
5555 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
It’s a three-day food-lover’s dream as The Taste returns for another weekend of amazing tastings and demos. Owners and chefs from Providence, B.S. Taqueria, Border Grill, and Night + Market are just a few of the talents leading demos and discussions, along with countless tastings from the city’s best restaurants. Today’s lineup includes Field To Fork (11am – 2pm), dedicated to the local flavors and seasonal ingredients that make up California cuisine, and Dinner With A Twist (7:30pm – 10:30pm), bringing together star chefs and bartenders on stage in a live duet to reveal the chemistry behind their signature dishes and drinks. The event will once again be held on the Paramount Studios lot, and runs Friday through Sunday.
Labor Day Block Party
119 Culver Blvd.
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
Nothing screams Labor Day weekend like a block party, and today Playa Provisions is throwing a big one. Starting at noon, and running until 5pm, the restaurant’s parking lot will transform into party central. The Stone Hop Wagon will be there pouring a variety of Stone Brewing craft beers on-tap, along with cocktails, grilled burgers, and hot dogs (tickets available at the door). Like any good block party, a DJ will be spinning contemporary hits, and an inflatable obstacle course will be set up for kids to run amok. Best of all, Playa Provisions is located right across the street from the beach, so you can easily make the event a pre-or-post-beach day stop.