40 + Los Angeles Things to do in September

Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours

Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours is one of the best Los Angeles things to do this September.

From twilight concerts and food festivals—find the best Los Angeles things to do in September.

Edited by Christina Xenos

Twilight Concert Series
Sept. 1, 8. Annual summer concert series at the Santa Monica Pier featuring contemporary up-and-comers and classic bands. Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Ohio Players headline this month. 7-10 pm. Free. 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, 310.458.8901. santamonicapier.org/twilightconcerts

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sept. 1-Oct. 16. Phylicia Rashad directs August Wilson’s groundbreaking play—inspired by the real-life Gertrude “Ma” Rainey—which depicts the racism and exploitation in the music industry present during a 1927 recording session in Chicago. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

The Taste
Sept. 2-4. The Los Angeles Times’ annual food and wine fest offers a look at what’s hot in the city’s vibrant food and cocktail culture. Eat your way through a weekend packed full of tastings, chef demos and discussions. Take a closer look into The Taste. $100-$150; weekend pass $300. 21 and up. Paramount Pictures Studios, 783 N. Van Ness Ave., L.A., 213.237.5000. events.latimes.com/taste

John Williams: Maestro of the Movies
Sept. 2-4. Composer John Williams returns to the Hollywood Bowl to conduct music from hit movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, along with other favorite themes from a galaxy far, far away. Bowl movie night maestro David Newman conducts the first half of film score classics, including a selection of clips shown on the big screen. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A. hollywoodbowl.com

L.A. County Fair
Sept. 2-25. We admit it: Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily scream “country living.” But once a year, the city’s residents head to Pomona for the L.A. County Fair—a tradition since 1922—where they can milk a goat, ride on the Big Top Swinger and chow down on deep-fried everything. Beyond the typical fairground draws, this year’s event offers an “igloo,” complete with ice-skating rink; an interactive dinosaur exhibit; and a concert series with headliners including Blondie, Chicago and Iggy Azalea. W noon-10 p.m.; Th noon-11 p.m.; F noon-midnight; Sa 10 a.m.-midnight; Su 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $8-$20, under 6 free. 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, 909.623.3111. lacountyfair.com

LA Fleet Week
Sept. 2-5. The free public event at the Port of Los Angeles features guided ship tours, military and aerial demonstrations. Entertainment includes live music, educational programs, fireworks and “Galley Wars” cooking competition on the fantail of the Battleship IOWA. Event takes place at locations along the LA waterfront, including the Los Angeles World Cruise Center, Battleship IOWA, and downtown harbor in San Pedro. lafleetweek.com

The Queen Mary WET Carnival
Sept. 3. Cool off this Labor Day weekend at The Queen Mary’s new WET Carnival, a waterfront beach club festival featuring live music, water-themed activities, dancing and more. The inaugural festival will include live entertainment from top artists such as B.o.B., Lil Jon, Tyga, DJ Mauricio and more. Enjoy multiple bars, waterslides, a foam dance floor, cabanas and food vendors—all overlooking the skyline of downtown Long Beach. SoCal’s KIIS FM Radio and top LA DJs, along with headlining artists, will be joining in on the fun. 2-10 p.m. $39-$95. After party 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. $50. 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, 877.342.0738. queenmary.com

Street Food Cinema
Sept. 3-24. Outdoor film series features screenings every Saturday night at various locations across L.A., as well as live music and food from the city’s top trucks. Highlights this month include Grease and Bridesmaids. See website for a full schedule and times. $6-$21, under 6 free. 323.254.5068. streetfoodcinema.com

Cinespia
Sept. 3-4, 10, 17. Cinespia’s screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery find crowds jostling for spots to watch cult flicks projected on a mausoleum wall. Also on hand are DJs and themed photo booths. Closing out the season this month are highlights like The Birds and Moonrise Kingdom. Check website for full schedule. $16. Parking $12-$15. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, 877.435.9849. cinespia.org

Katana Red Sun BBQ
Sept. 4. Spend Sunday summer nights dining on a special menu from the Sunset Strip restaurant paired with specialty cocktails and DJ tunes at the Katana Red Sun BBQ. This year the dining destination offers an exclusive Yakiniku (Japanese-style grilled meats over bincho-tan charcoals) menu with selections like shrimp with chimichurri, king crab leg with uni butter, American Kobe beef with black pepper, lamb chops with soy garlic, and supplemental items like shrimp and chips and tako ceviche. Also find boozy popsicles and Katana’s signature Red Sun BBQ cocktail, the Tropical Fusion with vodka, watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe and cranberry juice. 6-11 p.m. 8439 West Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323.650.8585. innovativedining.com

Barbecue
Sept. 6-Oct. 16. Award-winning playwright Robert O’Hara’s comedy about a dysfunctional family barbecue that turns into an intervention for a drug-addicted sister makes its West Coast premiere, with a cast including Yvette Cason, Dale Dickey and Frances Fisher. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454. geffenplayhouse.com

Plan Check “Comfort Masters” Guest Chef Series
Sept. 6-7, 13-14, 18, 21. The popular Los Angeles eatery welcomes 10 chefs from across the country for an exclusive six-month pop-up dining series in collaboration with with food writer, Andy Wang and Table8. The series debuts this month with a lineup that includes Chris Anderson (Moto, Alinea, and L2O), Jamie DeRosa (Izzy’s Fish & Oyster), Mary Shenouda (The Paleo Chef) and Jeremie and Nissa Banet (Monsieur Madame). Visit website for complete details and Plan Check locations. comfortmasters.table8.com

Burbank International Film Festival
Sept. 7-11. Eighth-annual festival features an opening-night ceremony, film screenings, Q&A’s with celebrities and industry professionals, red-carpet receptions, a gala reception and an awards ceremony. Check website for schedule and ticket prices. AMC Burbank 16, 125 E. Palm Ave., Burbank. burbankfilmfest.org

A View from the Bridge
Sept. 7-Oct. 16. Fresh off recent Tony wins and sold-out runs on Broadway and the West End, Arthur Miller’s play follows a Brooklyn longshoreman obsessed with his 17-year-old niece and his raging jealousy over her love of an immigrant. For a more intimate experience, opt for onstage seating. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

PaleyFest Fall TV Previews
Sept. 8-15. The week-long festival features the biggest stars of fall TV’s most anticipated new series. Fans enjoy premiere screenings and panel conversations with the stars, all in the elegant West Coast Paley Center. Over the last decade, the PaleyFest Fall TV Previews have brought fans some of the hottest shows. This fall’s lineup includes events surrounding shows like Pitch, Lethal Weapon, American Housewife, Frequency and many others. The Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills. paley.me/previews

Hollywood Bowl Fireworks Finale with Jeff Lynne’s ELO
Sept. 9-11. It’s been nearly 30 years since ELO has toured in the United States, but visionary songwriter, singer and producer Jeff Lynne and his band join the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to close out the season with a supersonic flight through a glittering galaxy of songs, such as “Mr. Blue Sky,” “Do Ya,” and “Evil Woman.” 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A. hollywoodbowl.com

Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up
Sept. 10-Oct. 2. Lucy Alibar, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind Beasts of the Southern Wild, spins yarns about a unique childhood that included a run-in with a lecherous goat and Pentecostals on the radio in this play, having its official world premiere here. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Sept. 10. Over 50 top chefs—including Giada De Laurentiis and Michael Voltaggio—and mixologists serve signature menu items at this philanthropic culinary event that helps fund the fight against childhood cancer. Noon–4 pm. $195; meet-and-greet $1,200. Royce Quad, UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., L.A., 610.649.3034. alexslemonade.org

Shoreline Jam Reggae Festival

Sept. 10. See popular reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration as they headline the 6th annual Shoreline Jam at The Queen Mary. The all ages event will also feature some of the hottest surf roots reggae bands in California such as Josh Heinrichs/Skillinjah, Mike Love, The Movement, Bad Apples and more. Enjoy yard-games, beer, cocktails and food to keep you going all day and night. Visit website for full schedule of events. 1-10 p.m. Tickets start at $45. $20 parking. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0738. queenmary.com

Wilco
Sept. 13-15. On the heels of their new album, Schmilco, which is set to drop Sept. 9, Jeff Tweedy and his band of sincere Chicago alt-rockers Wilco take the stage at downtown’s Theatre at Ace Hotel. theatre.acehotel.com

Beyoncé
Sept. 14. Superstar singer Beyoncé graces fans at Dodger Stadium with her Formation World Tour. ticketmaster.com

Halloween Horror Nights
Sept. 16-Nov. 5. Universal Studios Hollywood’s iconic—and crazy packed—Halloween attraction features a fully re-imagined “Terror Tram” experience, four scare zones, seven movie-and TV-themed mazes based on the likes of American Horror Story, The Exorcist, Halloween – Hell Comes to Haddonfield, Freddy vs. Jason and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. $89+. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 800.864.8377. halloweenhorrornights.com

Long Beach Folk Revival Festival
Sept. 16. The annual festival showcases live folk, roots, Americana and Bluegrass music. Headliners include the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The White Buffalo, Chuck Ragan, among many others. Also find fun events like a beard and mustache contest and a banjo contest. 21 and over. General admission $40; VIP $75. See website for tickets and full line up. Across from Shoreline Village and the Marina, Downtown Long Beach. folkrevivalfestival.com

Macbeth
Sept. 17, 22, 25; Oct. 5, 8, 13, 16. LA Opera kicks off its 2016-2017 season with a new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth. Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak directs this adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic tale, with LA. Opera general director Plácido Domingo playing the title role. It’s the company’s first staging of the opera since 1987—a reprise that music director/conductor James Conlon calls his and Domingo’s “offering to the international recognition of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.” Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave. laopera.org

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
Sept. 17. Celebrate the 78th traditional Chinese lunar festival in Chinatown with a moon viewing, live music, a craft-beer garden and more. 5 pm-midnight. Free. Central & West Plazas, 943-951 N. Broadway, downtown, 213.680.0243. chinatownla.com

Nautica Malibu Triathlon presented by Equinox
Sept. 18. Athletes, philanthropists and celebrities are among those who turn out to swim, bike and run at this annual Zuma Beach event, all to benefit the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ pediatric-cancer research program. Race begins at 7 am. Check website for registration prices. 30000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, 818.707.8866. nauticamalibutri.com

For the Record: Scorsese
Sept. 21-Oct. 16. Subtitled American Crime Requiem, this production explores over 40 years of the legendary Martin Scorsese’s storytelling by bringing his films’ soundtracks (including Goodfellas, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street) to life. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.746.4000. thewallis.org

Lobster Fest
Sept 22-24. Feast on Maine lobster dinners, steak and lobster dinners and more. The fest also features performances from Grammy-nominated band Ambrosia, activities like stand-up paddle boarding, children’s area and more. Seaside Lagoon, 200 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach. lobsterfestival.com

The Original Catalina Wine Mixer
Sept. 23-25. Plan your weekend getaway with a three-day Step Brothers-inspired event taking place at Catalina Island’s ocean-front Descanso Beach Club. Enjoy live entertainment from alternative rock band Kongos, gourmet food, fine wine, a screening of the movie Step Brothers and much more. See website for full lineup of events. One-day passes start at $69/pp. Two-day VIP tickets $399; two-day General Admission $149. 1 St. Catherine Way, Avalon. visitcatalinaisland.com

Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours
Sept. 23. The Music Center’s  immersive multi-sensory event returns this fall to transform the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and adjacent spaces into a portal to the past while providing a glimpse into the future. Late-night revelers will experience kaleidoscopic telescopes, space-age dance parties, vintage arcade video games and time-travel phone booths, all to a sound track provided by a line-up of some of the city’s top “cosmic” artists. 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.0711. musiccenter.org/sleepless

James Beard Foundation’s Taste America
Sept. 23-24. The national epicurean tour kicks off in Los Angeles with a weekend-long celebration that includes A Night of Culinary Stars (Sept. 23), which features some of LA’s best chefs collaborating on a four-course seated dinner preceded by a cocktail and tasting reception. On Sept. 24, enjoy free cooking demos by All-Star and James Beard Award-winner Suzanne Goin, book signings, culinary treats from local producers and artisans at Sur La Table in Westwood. $275+. jbftasteamerica.org

Feast of San Gennaro, Los Angeles
Sept. 23-25. The annual street festival celebrates everything that it means to be Italian. The savory smells of Italian sausage and peppers, meatballs simmering in homemade sauce, baked clams on the half shell, warm cheese on perfectly crusted pizza and sugar-powdered zeppole fill the streets of Hollywood while patrons enjoy cold glasses of sangria and listen to the sweet sounds of opera, jazz and big band late into the night. $5, children under 12 are free. 1651 N. Highland Ave., L.A. feastofla.com

Tarfest
Sept. 24. Enjoy live music, a biergarten, food trucks, kids’ activities and more at this fun cultural event in Hancock Park. 4–10 p.m. Free. La Brea Tar Pits, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. tarfest.com

Dino Fest
Sept. 24-25. The new weekend festival at the Natural History Museum celebrates dinosaurs of all kinds. This signature festival will give dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages an inside look at the work of paleontologists, and how artists and filmmakers use science to create pop culture beasts. Find talks, performances, tours, hands-on activities and special museum specimens on rare view. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. 900 Exposition Blvd., L.A. nhm.org/dinofest

Abbot Kinney Festival
Sept. 25. This festival, now in its 32nd year, spotlights the eclectic offerings along the boulevard. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, 310.396.3772. abbotkinney.org

Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings at The Broad
Sept. 25. The series of nighttime events happening through September at The Broad museum gives you an enriched opportunity to visit the collection and special exhibition, Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life. Art viewing is coupled with live performances. This month, Sophie will share his high-octane sounds made for late-night dance floors. The pitch will pique as a live video mix by Charles Atlas graces the lush, looping echolalia of Julianna Barwick. DJ Lauren Bousfield will permeate the space with smart, complex electronic music that will bring a true crescendo to the summer nights series and Elysia Crampton presents a performance of audio-visual play, Dissolution of the Sovereign: A Time Slide into the Future. $35. (photo Dicko Chan) 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.232.6200. thebroad.org

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Sept. 27, 29-30; Oct. 2. Walt Disney Concert Hall Opening Night Gala, featuring Los Angeles Philharmonic, conductor Gustavo Dudamel Following a star-studded gala on Sept. 27, Walt Disney Concert Hall’s season revs up Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 2 with the L.A. premiere of Los Angeles Philharmonic creative chair John Adams’ Absolute Jest, a reworking of archetypal Beethoven excerpts. Gustavo Dudamel conducts and pianist Yefim Bronfman crowns the program with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 323.850.2000. laphil.com

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
Sept. 29-Oct. 31. Live your nightmares aboard the haunted Queen Mary among ghouls, spirits and the un-dead. This year, discover new monsters, more attractions and a hauntingly horrifying new maze. Scary Mary’s Lullaby Maze takes you on a spine-tingling trip through the story of little Scary Mary who’s looking for new playmates. End your frightening night at the Big Top Bar featuring tantalizing absinthe concoctions. See website for Happy Haunting Hour and VIP packages. Sun-Th 7 p.m.-midnight; F-Sat 7 p.m.-1 a.m. General Admission $29. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0742. queenmary.com

Longines Masters
Sept. 29-Oct. 2. The Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping, a premier equestrian event, arrives at the Long Beach Convention Center. 300 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach. longinesmasters.com

Oasis Pool Party
Through Sept. 25. Party poolside all summer long with brunch and tunes poolside at Viviane at the Avalon Beverly Hills Hotel. Viviane’s weekly Summer Sundays, which runs through September, offers unrestricted pool access throughout brunch service—a perk typically reserved exclusively for hotel guests. Enjoy tunes from Dart DJs and drinks from Head Bartender Ryan Wainwright, which feature Moët & Chandon Belvedere and Hennessy. Executive Chef Michael Hung delivers a menu of fun yet epicurean finger foods perfect for noshing between splashes. Sundays. Regular brunch menu: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Oasis Pool Party: noon-5 p.m.; $40 minimum for pool access. Every Sunday through September. The Avalon Hotel, 9400 West Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.407.7791. vivianerestaurant.com

Rooftop BBQ at the Peninsula Beverly Hills
Through Sept. 25. Summer weekends bring a special BBQ menu to the poolside Roof Garden restaurant at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. In lush Mediterranean surroundings—five floors above Beverly Hills—you can dine on menu offerings like smoked baby back ribs,  Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can 1/2 chicken, 28-day dry-aged rib eye with barrel-aged house steak sauce, charred whole branzino and pulled pork biscuits. Sat.-Sun., 5 p.m.-9 p.m. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills 310.975.2855. beverlyhills.peninsula.com

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