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Los Angeles This Week: Jesse Eisenberg, Ira Glass, Made of Oak

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Catalina Island
Photo by dzung tran

Catalina Island

Here are the five coolest things to do in and around LA this week

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While every week in Los Angeles is a celebrity smorgasbord, this one offers you the chance to get up close and personal with some really interesting characters. Jesse Eisenberg, AKA "He Who Excels at EVERYTHING," is signing his debut collection of short stories at Skylight Books, while Ira Glass is actually on stage as part of an intriguing show at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Nick Sanborn, of Sylvan Esso fame, is performing at Bootleg Theater, and at LACMA there's an exhibition featuring the most desirable yet elusive celebrity of all: rain.

November 1–March 6 2016 | Art
The Rain Room
Rain has become a foreign concept in drought-ridden Los Angeles, and it's been so long we are in danger of forgetting how magical it truly is. That’s why the newest exhibit at LACMA feels like the proverbial oasis in the desert, and is absolutely not to be missed. A dark room is transformed into a monsoon, but as you walk though it, you remain completely dry. It’s magical and mysterious and delightful, one of those exhibits you can come back to again and again. Organizers assure the public that all of the water is reused. The installation is made possible by RH Restoration Hardware.
Times vary | Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles | 323-857-6010 | From $10 | website

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November 5 | Music
Made of Oak
Made of Oak is Nick Sanborn's solo project. Chances are good that you’ve heard his sound before: Sanborn is half of Sylvan Esso, a band that has enjoyed much recent success. Made of Oak is a mesmerizing electronic synthesis, a mix of beats that range from smooth to disjointed and with every possible variation in between. The intimate yet no frills Bootleg Theater is a solid venue for the performance—just close your eyes and the let the music envelop you.
8:30 p.m. | Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles | From $12 | website

November 7 | Theater
KCRW Presents: Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host
Ira Glass has transformed the way we listen to the radio, long after people predicted its demise. He is behind many popular radio programs and podcasts, but is not normally seen front and center on a theater stage. Here he joins forces with Monica Bill Barnes & Company to create a three-part show whose premise is almost unbelievable. In Act One, Glass offers up archived stories from This American Life that are interpreted as dance sequences. In Act Two, the dancers tell their own stories. And Act Three? You have to buy tickets to have the answers revealed in person. The 7 p.m. show sold out, so hurry!
10 p.m. | The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles | 213-623-3233 | From $30 | 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.

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November 10 | Reading
Jesse Eisenberg
If Jesse Eisenberg seems like a jack of all trades, that’s because he most certainly is. Actor, playwright, and now published short story author, Eisenberg will be reading from and signing his new collection of short stories, Bream Gives Me Hiccups, at Skylight Books on Tuesday. The 44 stories, some of which first appeared in The New Yorker and McSweeney's, are paired brilliantly with drawings by award-winning French illustrator, Jean Jullien. The event is free, but if you want your copy of the book signed you must buy it from Skylight Books either on the night or in advance.
8 p.m. | Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles | 323-660-1175 | Free | website

Weekend Escape
Catalina Island
Catalina Island is an oasis for Angelenos seeking an island paradise without the long-haul fares or travel time. All it takes is a ferry ride to be whisked away to beautiful views of Avalon Bay and the Pacific Ocean, with nary a freeway in sight. Stay at Mt. Ada, a converted mansion turned B&B and with the most fantastic hosts. (It was formerly home to William Wrigley Jr. and his wife, Ada.) Breakfast, lunch, and complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres are available each day of your stay. There are also tennis courts, a golf course, and a spa. If you venture into the city, hit up the zip line for a truly memorable experience.

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