Los Angeles This Week: UH-OH Art and an Improvised Musical

The five coolest things to do in and around Los Angeles this week

It's a bittersweet week in Los Angeles as we prepare to say goodbye to Alma, the restaurant that was doing innovative farm-to-table flavors before it was even a thing. At least ioWest Theatre is starting up a new improvised musical. Make sure to catch the opening night, which is, well, every night. If you'd rather wallow a little, check out The LA Phil's presentation of the music from The Rite of Spring, which is nowhere near as upbeat as it sounds. And you have till next year to enjoy the blast of creativity that is Frances Stark's exhibition at the Hammer—but it's worth going now because you might see the streets of LA in a whole new way.

October 11–January 24 2016 | Art
UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015
Frances Stark is a rare artist who dabbles in many different mediums yet seems to master them all. From a visual piece set to music by Compton artist DJ Quik (a frequent collaborator), to a collage of words and fabrics on paper that stretches the length of a gallery wall, to photographs that are entirely NSFW, Stark’s creative energy bounces around the museum space in this survey of her career to date. She’s a Los Angeles native who is inspired by the gritty streets but is not afraid of them. UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015 is a love letter to the city that nurtures her.
11a.m.–8 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, till 5 p.m. weekends | Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles | (310) 443-7000 | Free | website

October 15–19 | Music
The Rite of Spring with Dudamel
The Rite of Spring, a ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky and composed by Igor Stravinsky, caused a bit of a riot when it was introduced to the Parisian public in 1913. There was shouting and hissing from a surprised audience watching a new art form play out before their eyes. It was billed as ballet but it was jerky and strange. Dancers usually rise up in ballet, but Stravinsky’s dramatic music caused the dancers to look and move toward the ground. Centuries later, even without the accompanying dancers, hearing The Rite of Spring is still a stirring experience. Los Angeles Philharmonic director, Gustavo Dudamel, is drawn to the unusual chords and the bassoon solo, and you won’t want to miss a moment.
Times vary | Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles | (323) 850-2000 | From $26.50 | website

Until October 24 | Restaurant last chance
Before farm-to-table was a household phrase, there was Alma. For the past three years, chefs Ari Taymor and Ahleigh Parsons have found ways to introduce unusual and innovative flavors and combinations using ingredients from farmers' markets across Los Angeles. Geraniums, fermented walnuts, carmelized sunchokes, and even coffee granola have all been fair game in an Alma menu. Alas, the restaurant business is cutthroat, even for the most talented of chefs. So it’s with a great deal of sadness that Alma shuts its doors for good on October 24th. Get there before then for one last taste.
Alma, 952 S. Broadway, Los Angeles | (213) 244-1422 | website

AFAR Local is published every Wednesday, so check back for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? The AFAR guide to Los Angeles has you covered.

New show | Comedy
Opening Night: The Improvised Musical
Musicals have a way of getting into your subconscious, thus ensuring you won’t forget a single word. Actors spend months rehearsing dialogue in song and the fruits of their labor are very much on display. So how do you go about performing a musical with no script? It takes a good bit of fumbling and a willingness to laugh, which is why Opening Night: The Improvised Musical is performed by a comedy improv troupe. The audience participates and suggests the show’s direction, which can veer from opera to tap dancing. When every night is opening night, nothing is off limits. 
9 p.m. Fridays | The ioWest Theatre, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles | (323) 962-7560 | $10 | website

Weekend escape
Denmark is a beautiful country but not your classic weekend getaway from LA. So what if you’re really jonesing for some frikadeller (kind of like Danish meatballs) and Tuborg beer? Enter Solvang: A Danish village in the Santa Ynez Valley. It is just 132 miles north of Los Angeles but it feels so much further. Founded by a group of Danes near the start of the twentieth century, the village is the dictionary definition of "quaint," with traditional Danish wooden architecture, a windmill, and a Little Mermaid fountain. Boutique stores sell local and imported crafts, including amber, pottery, glasswork, and jewelry from Skagen; there are bakeries selling flaky Danish pastries; and there are plenty of excellent winetasting rooms in town. If you're there with kids, make sure to check out the nearby ostrich farm, too—you can even feed them if you are brave enough!

Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.