Find the best Los Angeles things to do for the weekend of 04.22.11
April 23. Gorge on more than 30,000 grilled cheese sandwiches at the largest grilled cheese contest in the nation. Tillamook Cheese sponsors the event where revelers can feast on complimentary grilled cheese samples and enjoy an array of entertainment, while seeing which competitor wins in each grilled cheese judging category. This year the festival as added a new grilling category, “Love, American Style” to the competition, specifically dedicated to the classic American grilled cheese. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Los Angeles Center Studios, 1201 West Fifth St., L.A. www.grilledcheeseinvitational.com
April 23. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the former U.S. poets laureate take the stage at UCLA Live for readings of their works and a question-and-answer session followed by a book signing. See Collins and Ryan wax poetic in Royce Hall. UCLA, Royce Hall, Westwood, 310.825.2101 Map J10 www.uclalive.org
April 22-24. 12th annual festival features musical performances, guest speakers, a gallery of ecological artists, non-profit organizations, complimentary workshops; biodegradable & sustainable solutions, innovative environmental demonstration area and much more. Topanga Community House Fair Grounds, 1440 North Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. www.topangaearthday.org
April 21. Spend the evening checking out live music art, theater, movies shopping and dining at more than 25 locations in Westwood at Westwood Live, that kicks off Thursday, April 21 and continues monthly on every third Thursday. This month drop in for happy hour and karaoke at Barney’s Beanery, hear jazz in the Geffen Playhouse’s whimsical courtyard, get free admission to the Hammer museum (along with extended hours and a cash bar), run into street performances by the Hooligan Theatre Company and more. To continue the celebration, Whiskey Blue at W Los Angeles – Westwood will host Westwood LIVE’s official after-party starting at 9 p.m. Check out local DJs, extend happy hour and specialty cocktails. Events start at 5 p.m. For more information check out: www.facebook.com/westwoodlive or www.westwoodlive.org
April 21-22. Get a taste of the Nikki Beach club experience as its touring party stops in LA on its way to the Las Vegas grand opening on Memorial Day. At each LA event–one at Rolling Stone Restaurant & Lounge (Aril 21) and Voyeur (April 22)–sip signature cocktails from Rémy Martin, Cointreau and Piper Heidsieck; international DJs provide the soundtrack to your evening and addition; entertainment is sure to capture your imagination. To register for the Rolling Stone Restaurant & Lounge guest list visit: nikkibeachtourrollingstone-eorg.eventbrite.com; To register for the Voyeur guest list visit: nikkibeachtourvoyeur-eorg.eventbrite.com.
Debuting its weekend brunch buffet last week, just in time for easter, Chef Scott Conant’s Beverly Hills outpost at the Montage Hotel offers a luxurious brunch experience. Find everything from sashimi offerings like yellowtail and ahi tuna, citrus cured salmon, raw bar with freshly shucked oysters, shrimp and lobster; an array of baked pastries; salads such as roasted asparagus, caramelized cauliflower, roasted tomato and mozzarella; carving stations for fish, beef and lamb; omelets made to order, fresh fruit selection and fresh cheese plates made to order by The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. Topping off the experience is a room full of desserts including macaroons and others themed for Easter. Children dining at Scarpetta or staying at the Montage can join the easter egg hunt (noon and 3 p.m.) being held in the gardens adjacent to the Scarpetta/Montage patio. $88 adults (includes a complementary Mimosa or Bloody Mary) $35/children 12-5, children under 5 free. 225 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.860.7970. www.scottconant.com/restaurants/scarpetta/beverly-hills
The lauded West Hollywood restaurant (and former rat-pack hangout) has relaunched its weekend brunch for Easter and beyond. Relax on the quaint outdoor patio and dive into menu selections such as Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, smokey Wood Grilled Oysters, Creamed Ramps with Hackelback Caviar on homemade Brioche, Smoked Salmon with Herbed Waffles, and Poached Eggs with Dill Hollandaise; Steak and Eggs, poached with Pollen Hollandaise; Fried Potatoes with Garlic and Lemon, Wild Boar Bacon and More. Eye opener brunch cocktails include the Cardamom Crisp with Plymouth Dry Gin, Cardamom Bitters, Muddled Cucumber, Lemon and Soda; Straberry-Ginger Mule, Mint Julip (with 3 oz. of bourbon), Bloody Mary, Arnold Palmer and more. 8715 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.652.2335. www.dominicksrestaurant.com
Prix-fixe Easter Brunch includes items such as Pan con Tomate toasted bread, tomato and olive oil, Gazpacho with traditional condiments, and a Smoked Salmon Display with Russ & Daughters diamond selection, caper berries, minced red onions, quail eggs, chives and Greek yogurt. A number of a la carte items are available as well, including 12 Quail Eggs Sunny Side Up huevos a la cubana “Andy Garcia,” SLS Eggs Benedict with eggs 63, toasted brioche, hollandaise air, and Russ & Daughters smoked salmon or Jamon Serrano, Croissantini a pressed croissant sandwich, eggs, chicken sausage and herb cream cheese, and the Rack of Lamb with mint oil and paired with a glass of Cain Cuvee specially prepared for Easter. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $49/pp. 465 South La Cienega Boulevard, 310.246.5551. www.slshotels.com/experience/trés
April 23. Dynamic comedy duo of hilarious, smart and snarky singer-songwriters show up at Largo with their songs and some special guests. Their new album “All Over Your Face” was released earlier this year to national praise and recognition. $25. Doors 7 p.m.; show 8:30 p.m. Largo at the Coronet, 366 North La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310.855.0350. www.largo-la.com
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
Through April 24. Academy Award winner, F. Murray Abraham attacks the role of Shylock in this riveting update of the Bard’s darkest of comedies, where religion, race and sexuality collide with love, family and justice. The currency of society and humanity has never been so changeable in this Royal Shakespeare Company commissioned production, the first production by an American company to be invited to the RSC’s Complete Works Festival. The Broad Stage, Santa Monica Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, 310.434.3200. www.thebroadstage.com
Through May 29. This straight-from-Broadway comedy, the 2009 Tony Award winner for Best Play, is re-created in an exclusive engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre downtown. It reunites an outstanding cast featuring Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772 Map H16
Through May 1. This international touring production, directed by Tony Award® winner Garry Hynes (Beauty Queen of Leenane), and originally mounted by Druid theatre company of Galway, Ireland, has already racked up awards in New York, the UK and Ireland. This international touring production, directed by Tony Award® winner Garry Hynes (Beauty Queen of Leenane), and originally mounted by Druid theatre company of Galway, Ireland, has already racked up awards in New York, the UK and Ireland. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772.
Through May 8. A high-class call girl challenges the limits of a liberally minded family. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood Village, 310.208.5454 Map J10
Through May 1. Romantic drama about a choreographer who, after losing her best friend in an accident, is visited by his brother in the middle of the night. This passionate modern classic, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lanford Wilson (Talley’s Folly), features original music by Peter Golub, and is directed by Nicholas Martin (Dead End at the Ahmanson, The House of Blue Leaves at the Taper). Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772 Map H16