Rose Festival at Descanso Gardens
Rose Festival at Descanso Gardens. Photo courtesy of Descanso Gardens.

From food and wine festivals to outdoor film and top theater, check out the best Los Angeles things to do this month.

Edited by Christina Xenos

Taste of the Eastside
May 1. Sixth annual food and drink festival held in Cypress Park showcases the culinary diversity of eastern neighborhoods such as Silver Lake, Echo Park and Los Feliz, with proceeds benefiting local nonprofits. Participating purveyors include Mohawk Bend, Donut Farm and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. 4-8 p.m. (VIP 3 pm). General admission $40-$50, kids ages 2-12 $8, under 2 free; VIP $70-$80. Los Angeles River Center & Gardens, 570 W. Ave. 26, L.A.

Los Angeles Bacon Festival
May 1. Dozens of restaurants and bakeries pay homage to all things bacon, presented in both sweet and savory dishes. Taste signature dishes while you drink unlimited beer from more than 20 breweries and more. $64.29. Sessions from noon-3 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. Los Angeles Center Studios, 1201 W 5th St., downtown.

May 1. The wine and music festival rocks the waterfront lawn at the Marina del Rey Hotel. Sample more than 60 wines, spirits, craft beers and small bites, while you enjoy intimate acoustic performances by artists like Yellowcard, Nash Overstreet (from Hot Chelle Rae), Komox (featuring Bryce Soderberg from Lifehouse), Tyler Ward, Runaway Saints, Sophie Tweed-Simmons and other surprise guests. $65/$80. 13534 Bali Way, Marina Del Rey.

TCM Classic Film Festival
Through May 1. View beloved classic films on the big screen at iconic Hollywood venues—oftentimes with the people who made them—at this annual film festival. This year’s theme—”Moving Pictures”—explores the emotion cinema evokes, with an emphasis on films that “bring us to tears, rouse us to action or inspire us.” Choose from a wide range of movie screenings including The Endless Summer (which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year), It’s a Wonderful Life and The King and I. Check website for schedule. Individual tickets $20-$30, students $10-$15. Festival passes $299-$1,649. Children under 4 not admitted. TCL Chinese Theatre Imax, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 877.826.5764.

Hollywood Farmers Market 25th Anniversary Celebration
May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. Each Sunday in May, the Hollywood Farmers Market is celebrating 25 years of bringing fresh produce and community to Hollywood, marking the occasion with cooking demos by high-profile chefs, including Susan Feniger and Curtis Stone, book signings and more. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti kicks off the festivities on May 1. See website for complete schedule. 1600 Ivar Ave., Hollywood, 323.463.3171.

Rooftop Film Club
May 1-31. The U.K.’s “Number One Outdoor Cinema Series” returns to the rooftop of the historic Montalbán Theatre for its second season in L.A. Enjoy street food from Farmer’s Belly while you take in Hollywood views and watch classic (Casablanca), cult (Mulholland Drive) and contemporary (The Big Short) flicks. See website for schedule. $17 plus booking fees. 1615 Vine St., Hollywood.

David Sedaris
May 3.  Laugh-out-loud author David Sedaris brings his stories, anecdotes and personal essays to the Valley Performing Arts Center. Sedaris is the author of bestsellers Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and his most recent book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., Westwood, 310.825.2101.

In & Of Itself
Opening May 3. Performance artist Derek DelGaudio (David Blaine is a fan of his) both wrote and stars in this metaphorical labyrinth of a play, directed by the legendary Frank Oz. Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454.

Wine Women & Shoes
May 3. At one of the Westside’s premiere “shop for a cause” events party-goers can shop from a selection of curated brands including, Fiorentini + Baker, Hayward and Rory Beca, while savoring delicious bites from top restaurants including Knuckle & Claw, Baltaire, Katsuya and many more. The event will also feature pourings from prestige wineries including Blackbird Vineyards, Ferrari, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery. Proceeds benefit benefit the Children’s Action Network. $150/pp. Address revealed with ticket purchase. Tickets.

Create & Cultivate
May 7. Trendy conference for female entrepreneurs in the digital space focuses on millennials and offers mentor sessions, panels and talks by keynote speakers. The lineup includes Clique Media Group CEOs/founders Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power; Olive & June CEO/founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle; and keynote speakers Jessica Alba, Chelsea Handler and Rachel Zoe. Attendees will enjoy lunch from Sweetgreen, ice cream from CoolHaus, Sprinkles cupcakes, shopping at pop-up shops and a beauty loft. 8 a.m.-9 p.m. $300; VIP ticket $500. Hudson Loft, 1200 Hope St., downtown.

Echo Park Craft Fair
May 7-8. This popular homegrown arts and design event showcases the wares of talented local artisans. Shop jewelry, shoes, ceramics, food items and more. Check website for hours. One day $10; weekend pass $16. Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., Silver Lake.

Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road
Opening May 7. Discard any mental images of caves as dark and dank. China’s Mogao caves, the subjects of the Getty Center’s new Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road, are cultural treasure troves. Hand-carved some 1700 years ago, the caves housed the world’s largest collection of Buddhist art and 50,000 ancient documents. In addition to displaying paintings like the example pictured above, the Getty has built immersive, full-scale replicas of three of Mogao’s most exquisite cave temples. 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A., 310.440.7300.

Kentucky Derby Party at Shade Hotel
May 7. Enjoy champagne, mint juleps and other Derby-inspired cocktails, as well as partake in contests to win prizes when the hotel turns Zinc restaurant and lounge into the perfect venue to watch the Run for the Roses. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Richstone Family Center, an organization dedicated to family services, including the prevention of child abuse. Please see the press release below for more details. 1221 N. Valley Dr., Manhattan Beach, 310.469.3466.

Dodgers vs. Mets
May 9-12. The boys in blue face their right-coast rivals again after the Mets narrowly defeated them last year in the National League Division Series. 1000 Elysian Park Ave., downtown, 866.363.4377.

Piatigorsky International Cello Festival
May 13-22. Master cellists from around the world converge on Los Angeles to share their artistry and teaching experience through orchestral concerts, chamber music performances, master classes and other events. The unique 10-day cello spectacular showcases 26 handpicked international artists—including Yo-Yo Ma— and is presented by USC Thornton School of Music and the LA Phil. See website for event dates and locations.

La Bohème
May 14, 19, 22, 25, 28; June 5, 10, 12. The timeless classic blending exciting theater and beautiful music follows the tale of six impoverished young bohemians, surviving only on laughter and the promise of love. Gustavo Dudamel makes his LA Opera debut conducting the final two performances on June 10 and 12 only. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.0711.

Rose Festival
May 14-15. Explore a magnificent rose garden and see “human vase” living art at Descanso Gardens’ celebration of America’s favorite flower. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, 818.949.4200.

La Nuit en Rosé
May 13-15. The first festival dedicated exclusively to rosé returns to the Mondrian hotel with a trio of events dedicated to the pink wine: a wine-pairing dinner at restaurant Ivory on Sunset, a poolside Rosé Sunset Soirée and a Rosé Pool Party at SkyBar. Each event will feature a selection of over 50 rosés, live music and a VIP Lounge. Check website for detailed schedule. Mondrian Los Angeles, 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323.650.8999.

West Coast BBQ Classic
May 14. The food feast invites barbeque experts and amateur grill masters to take part in a classic showdown that will leave your taste buds filled with the unmistakable sweet ‘n’ smoky flavors of barbeque. Taste barbeque styles from across the country including slow-cooked hickory barbeque from Texas and southern Memphis-style barbeque. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, 800.437.2934.

May 14, 21, 28, 29. Cinespia cemetery screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery find crowds jostling for spots to watch cult films projected on a mausoleum wall. Also on hand are pre-movie DJs and themed photo booths. This month, the series kicks off its 15th season with highlights including Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Singin’ in the Rain. See website for full schedule. 8:30 pm. $16. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, 877.435.9849.

Ciclavia—Southeast Cities Presented by Metro
May 15. Several miles of L.A.’s normally congested streets turn into a car-free park for a walking and biking tour of the city’s most celebrated attractions. This month marks the first time CicLAvia is connecting six cities in southeastern Los Angeles—Huntington Park, Walnut Park, South Gate, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood and Watts—creating the country’s largest open-streets event. See for additional route details. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 213.355.8500.

The City of Conversation
Opening May 17. A timely entry for campaign season, this play follows a well-known liberal who must adapt to her son’s new girlfriend—and newfound conservative worldview. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.746.4000.

Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival
May 21. Taste 200 vibrant wines from Rioja, ranging from Blancos to Rosados to Gran Reservas and everything in between. Pair these wines with interpretations of Rioja-inspired tapas from 30 notable American chefs from LA and beyond. Groove to live music while you sample delicious hams at the jamón bar and savor some of Spain’s finest cheeses in the cheese cave. 1-5 p.m. Los Angeles Union Station, 800 N Alameda St., downtown.

Venice Art Walk & Auctions
May 22. Google’s Los Angeles headquarters hosts the Venice Family Clinic’s annual fundraiser, where a silent art auction and street festival help raise funds to provide primary health care to people in need (ticketed artist studio tours also are available for $50). This free community celebration includes entertainment, food, music and family activities that begin at noon. See website for details. 340 Main St., Venice, 310.664.7916.

Fiesta Hermosa
May 28-30. This semiannual festival, which calls itself the “largest arts and crafts fair in Southern California,” features some 300 artists and crafters, as well as food, live music, a “kiddie carnival,” a charity beer and wine garden and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. See website for free parking and shuttle information. Hermosa Beach pier, Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, 310.376.0951.

Topanga Days 2016
May 28-30. Enjoy music, a parade (May 29, 8:30 am) and old-fashioned fun at this 43nd annual fair. Spend Memorial Day weekend listening to live music by bands like the Avery Rose Band and Los Lobos and participating in sack races, an egg toss and a pie-eating contest. 10 a.m.-7 pm.. $15-$25 per day; $40-$60 three-day pass, under 6 free. 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 310.455.1980.

42nd Street
Opening May 31. See this classic musical and long-running hit, set on Broadway at the height of the Great Depression, and hear songs including “We’re in the Money” and “I Only Have Eyes for You.” This iteration is a slightly updated version of the Tony-winning 2001 revival. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.

Chicago the Musical
Through May 1. Grammy winner Brandy Norwood takes the stage as Roxie Hart, after making the role her own on Broadway. See the story about corruption and celebrity unfold and hear the musical’s iconic songs, including “All That Jazz” and “Razzle Dazzle.” Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Through May 1. This acclaimed musical comedy—it earned the 2014 Tony for best musical—arrives at the Ahmanson straight from New York. The play tells the story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune, who opts to take matters into his own hands by killing the eight relatives (all played by the same man) who stand in his way. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
Through May 15. This epic tale—receiving its West Coast premiere here—takes place throughout the Civil War and follows a slave who is offered freedom if he joins his master in fighting with the Confederacy. The poignant work by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the 2015 Kennedy Center Prize for Drama. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Stage Kiss
Through May 15. MacArthur “genius” Sarah Ruhl wrote this romantic comedy, a raucous play-within-a-play about two co-stars igniting an old flame. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454.

Through May 22. Often considered Samuel Beckett’s single greatest work, Endgame dives into his absurdist world and finds four characters preparing for oblivion throughout the course of one act. The prolific Alan Mandell both directs and stars in this version of the macabre comedy. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772.

Borrowed Rime
Through May 29. L.A.-based magician Helder Guimarães—the youngest-ever World Champion of Card Magic—provides audiences with a memorable night at his immersive new one-man show, held in a top-secret location near Larchmont Village. Director J.J. Abrams and actor Paul Scheer are just two attendees who have left the limited-engagement experience astounded.

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