DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - In this week's Don't Miss List: Mardi Gras Jazz, A Theatrical Farce & A Baroque Mashup Fill Downtown This Week
1. Fat Tuesday is upon us and, in keeping with the recent spate of Big Easy-inspired restaurants in Downtown, Union Station is hosting the Mudbug Brass Band. On Tuesday, Feb. 17, the eight-piece ensemble dedicated to New Orleans-style entertainment will thrill rush-hour commuters and the otherwise jazz curious from 4-6 p.m. No one will be flinging plastic beads and people won’t carouse through the concourse with Hurricanes in hand, but you can still enjoy the Mudbug’s brassy celebrations of this mortal coil. At 800 N. Alameda St., (213) 683-6729 or metro.net.
2. It is with great relief that we proudly announce that the latest farce to strike Downtown Los Angeles has nothing to do with politics. Instead, theater company East West Players’ Washer/Dryer is a tension-filled exploration of contemporary domestic life. Set in an apartment building, the play finds a couple yearning for acceptance amidst the ever-so-comedic backdrop of their idiosyncratic neighbors. The work written by Nandita Shenoy and directed by Peter J. Kuo opens Wednesday, Feb. 18, and runs through March 15. Showtimes this week are Wednesday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. At 120 Judge John Aiso St., (213) 625-7000 or eastwestplayers.org.
3. The bustling corner of Fourth and Main streets is alive with its curious blend of Centeno-helmed restaurants, a krav maga gym, a cheeky dive bar and a humble market with an ebullient owner. This week, add in some rich classical music. San Francisco-based Musica Pacifica joins with bits of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Da Camera Society to fill the Farmers & Merchants Bank with a Baroque Mashup on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 4 p.m. The space will ring with works from Vivaldi, Bach and more as some of the finest Baroque practitioners in America combine in a rare collaboration. At 401 S. Main St., (213) 477-2952 or dacamera.org.
4. Afrofuturism is the word of the day on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7:15 p.m. as the Aloud series at the Central Library hosts multimedia artist and performer DJ Spooky. For those not in the know, Afrofuturism blends the traditional forms of African-American heritage and cultural milieus with the broad opportunism of contemporary techno-centric society. Think of it as James Baldwin meeting broadband or hip-hop blending with online hosting. Any way you slice it, DJ Spooky promises to deliver a rousing performance that poses as many questions as it answers. Tickets are free, but be smart and reserve one in advance. At 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org.
5. What does everyone in L.A. have in common? We all complain about traffic. On Wednesday, Feb. 18, public affairs forum Town Hall-Los Angeles digs into the issue with the program “Real Solutions to Reduce Congestion and Improve Accessibility and Your Quality of Life.” The noon luncheon at the City Club is a panel discussion with city planners, policy experts and journalist Patt Morrison. Prepare to dig deep into traffic flow and mass transit. You may even walk away knowing whether our city is prepared to handle population growth. At 555 S. Flower St., (213) 628-8141 or townhall-la.org.