Top Los Angeles Things to Do in May

Street Food Cinema is back with movies and eats.

As summer nears, outdoor fun beckons with music, art and food fests, movies and more…Check out our 30 top things to do in Los Angeles this May.

Edited by William Yelles.

Los Angeles Times Food Bowl
All Month. The Los Angeles Times’ monthlong food festival celebrates the city’s dynamic food scene with almost 200 culinary events. L.A.’s most notable chefs and restaurants participate, as well as internationally renowned chefs. One highlight is the Night Market, featuring dozens of food vendors, pop-up experiences, chef collaborations, performances and art installations May 8-12 at Grand Park. See website for full lineup of events and tickets.

Melrose Rooftop Theatre
All Month. This film series screens a mix of new releases and classic movies Monday through Wednesday nights on the rooftop of hot spot E.P. & L.P. Relax on individual bean bags and enjoy a custom menu, specialty cocktails and views of the Hollywood Hills. The VIP seated experience + dinner package offers a three-course modern Asian meal at E.P. Rooftop opens 5 p.m.; movie 8:30 p.m. $27.50-$65. E.P. & L.P., 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.855.9955.

Rooftop Cinema Club
All Month. The U.K.’s “Number One Outdoor Cinema Series” returns to the rooftops of Hollywood’s private NeueHouse and downtown‘s Level for its fifth season in L.A. Enjoy street food and drinks while you take in views and watch acclaimed films. This month spotlights the best films of the ‘80s with special events and themed screenings. See website for full lineup and schedule. Ages 18+. $17-$25. 6121 Sunset Blvd., L.A.; 888 S. Olive St., downtown.

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
May 2-10. The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival by Visual Communications is dedicated to showcasing films by and about Asians and Pacific Islanders from around the world. See website for screening schedules, locations and ticket prices.

The BeachLife Festival
May 3-5. Performers include Brian Wilson, Bob Weir, Willie Nelson, Ziggy Marley, Violent Femmes, Steel Pulse, Grace Potter, Bruce Hornsby, Everclear, Chevy Metal, Sugar Ray, Donavon Frankenreiter and more. While music takes center stage, top chefs will have a stage of their own—a 50-seat, sit-down, pop-up restaurant that will give festival-goers access to an upscale dining experience. F-Sa 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Su 11 a.m.-9 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Redondo Beach Marina, 137 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach.

May 4-27. California’s first themed pop-up outdoor roller-skating rink features all-ages fun with performances, contests and themed nights like disco, ’80s and “La La SK8 Land” (movie musicals and show tunes). Quad skate rental included with admission. You may also bring your own quad or inline skates. M-Th 2-10 p.m., F 2 p.m.-midnight, Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-10 p.m. $15+. Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia, 818.508.0082.

Try some paella from The Bazaar by Jose Andres at Taste of the Nation.

Taste of the Nation
May 4. At No Kid Hungry’s annual L.A. foodie event—celebrating its 30th anniversary this year—award-winning chefs, sommeliers and mixologists from the region come together to help end childhood hunger in America. Taste offerings from top restaurants including Jaffa, Maude, Ms Chi Cafe and Tesse. There’s also a silent auction, photo booth, kids corner and prizes. 1-4 p.m. (VIP admission 12:30 p.m.) $115; VIP $165; kids 6-13 $25, under 6 free. Media Park, 9091 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 800.969.4767.

May 4, 11, 18, 25. Traveling outdoor movie-event series, presented by Showtime, boasts the largest outdoor inflatable screen on the West Coast, as well as food trucks and live musical performances. Venues include the Autry Museum in Griffith Park and Los Angeles State Historic Park. See website for a full schedule. Doors 5:30 p.m.; band 7 p.m.; movie 8:30 p.m. $8-$21, under 5 free. 213.267.4393.

Street Food Cinema
May 4, 11, 18, 25. This outdoor film series hosts screenings on Saturday nights at various locations across L.A., including Exposition Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park. Features live music and food from the city’s top trucks. See website for a full schedule. Doors 5:30 p.m.; band 6:30 p.m.; movie 8:30 p.m. $6-$22, under 6 free. 323.254.5068.

Fiddler on the Roof
Through May 5. This version of the beloved theatrical classic is directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher and features the Broadway hits “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise Sunset” and “Tradition.” See website for show times and ticket prices. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.

Ride for Ronnie Motorcycle Ride and Concert
May 5. A motorcycle ride originates in Glendale and culminates with a concert, raffle, food trucks and auctions in Encino. The fifth annual event raises awareness and funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. Continental breakfast precedes the ride. Registration 9 a.m.; ride begins 11 a.m.; rally and concert 11:45 a.m.-5 p.m. $35-$55. Harley-Davidson of Glendale, 3717 San Fernando Road, Glendale; Concert: Los Encinos State Historic Park, 16756 Moorpark St., Encino.

Invisible Tango
Opens May 7. Magic sensation Helder Guimarães returns to the Geffen with the world premiere of this one-man show, directed by film producer Frank Marshall (Jurassic World, The Goonies, Back to the Future) and featuring original music by Moby. See website for show times and ticket prices. Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A., 310.208.5454.

Les Miserables
Opens May 7. One of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history has been reborn with new staging and reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo—but the beloved score is still intact, featuring memorable songs like “I Dreamed a Dream” and “One Day More.” See website for show times and ticket prices. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.

Queen Mary’s Waterfront Cook-Off
May 11. Treat your taste buds to an all-new food festival and competition where dozens of top barbecue pitmaster teams and chili cooks vie for awards and cash prizes. Non-meat eaters can enjoy corn, funnel cakes and vegetarian options. Plus breweries, wine, music, family-friendly games, entertainment and free watermelon and pie-eating contests. Noon-5 p.m. $23-$75. Queen Mary Events Park, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0742.

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema
Through May 11. The UCLA Film & Television Archive’s annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema sponsored by Farhang Foundation marks its milestone third decade with a program of comedies, dramas and documentaries that explore the complex realities of contemporary life in Iran and the difficult history that shaped it. All films originate from Iran and are in Persian with English subtitles. See website for film titles and schedule. $10 GA, each screening. Billy Wilder Theater at The Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood.

Echo Park Craft Fair
May 11-12. This popular homegrown arts and design event, which showcases the wares of local artisans, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Shop jewelry, ceramics, perfume, clothes and more. The fair’s new family-friendly space, the Connection, is located across the street at 1110 Bates Ave. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. One day $15; weekend pass $24. Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., Echo Park.

May 11, 18, 25-26. Watch films projected on a mausoleum wall during this popular Amazon Studios-sponsored film series at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Also on hand are pre-movie DJs and themed photo booths. Beetlejuice kicks off this summer’s lineup. See website for full schedule. Doors 6:45 pm; movie 8:30 pm. $18. Parking $12-$20. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, 877.435.9849.

The Niceties
Through May 12. This play about a university professor and her brilliant student finds them engaged in an academic debate about race and grappling with who gets to determine American history. See website for show times and ticket prices. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454.

Happy Days
Opens May 15. Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest stars as the buoyant and optimistic Winnie in Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of this funny and compassionate play by Samuel Beckett. See website for show times and ticket prices. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

ARTsea returns May 18-19.

May 18-19. This artsy party from the team behind CicLAvia brings art, shopping, dancing, music and food to the beach. Sa 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Su 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Marina Beach, 4101 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, 424.526.7900.

Beverly Hills artSHOW
May 18-19. This long-running outdoor art showcase displays artwork by over 245 exhibitors twice a year. Browse paintings, sculptures, watercolors, photography, ceramics, jewelry, drawings and more. Wine and beer gardens and food trucks are also on-site. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Beverly Gardens Park, along Santa Monica Boulevard from Rodeo to Rexford drives, Beverly Hills, 310.285.6830.

Downtown Burbank Arts Festival
May 18-19. A world of creativity and imagination will be revealed at the Downtown Burbank Arts Festival featuring 200 world-famous animators, trendsetting indie creators, cosplayers recreating favorite animated characters, live entertainment, and much more. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. San Fernando Boulevard between Burbank Town Center and the Holiday Inn.

Cuban-American Music Festival
May 19. The third annual Cuban-American Music Festival brings together Latinx music lovers from throughout Southern California for a day-long celebration of Cuban music, culture, and cuisine. 21+. Noon-8 p.m. $25-$50. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown.

Through May 19. The Lincoln Center Theater production of William Finn and James Lapine’s groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical about a gay man, his wife, his lover and his son was recently nominated for a Tony for best revival of a musical. See website for show times and ticket prices. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Venice Family Clinic’s Art Walk & Auction
May 19. Google’s L.A. headquarters hosts the Venice Family Clinic’s annual fundraiser, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. A silent art auction, live music and a craft-beer and wine garden help raise funds to provide primary health care to people in need. See website for details. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Google Los Angeles, 340 Main St., Venice, 310.664.7916.

Fiesta Hermosa
May 25-27. This semiannual festival 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. Pier Plaza, Hermosa Avenue and lower Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, 310.376.0951.

Topanga Days
May 25-27. Enjoy concerts, a parade (May 27, 8:30 a.m.) and old-fashioned fun at this 46th annual fair. Spend Memorial Day weekend listening to live music and participating in games like sack races and horseshoes. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $15-$35 per day; $40- $70 three-day pass, under 6 free; Fun Zone passes $15-$40. 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 310.455.1980.

Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna
Through May 26. The famous circus troupe heads to the L.A. Waterfront with a show about a mysterious island ruled by goddesses. The acrobatic tale of romance features aerial straps, uneven bars, a teeterboard and a water bowl. See website for show times. $45-$270. L.A. Waterfront, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro.

Dana H.
Opens May 26. This play tells the story of Dana Higginbotham—a psych-ward chaplain who was held captive by an ex-convict for five months—in Dana’s own words and reconstructed for the stage by her son, award-winning playwright Lucas Hnath. See website for show times and ticket prices. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772.

Hola Mexico Film Festival
Opens May 31. The largest Mexican film festival outside of Mexico strives to highlight the best and brightest talents in Mexican filmmaking. In addition to the lineup of comedies, dramas, horror films and documentaries, the festival features parties and outdoor concerts. Screenings, galas and other events will be held at the Montalbán Theatre, Regal Cinemas LA Live and LA Plaza De Cultura Y Artes. See website for show times, film schedule and ticket prices.

Photos: Taste of the Nation by Dustin Downing. Street Food Cinema courtesy Street Food Cinema. ARTsea by Eddie Frank.


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