This person is not a tiny, naughty puppet. (Photo by Clarence Alford)

This person is not a tiny, naughty puppet. (Photo by Clarence Alford)

Yes!   More fun things to do on Labor Day weekend!

Read on for four reasons to be happy you live in L.A.

Tiny, Naughty Puppets

Come for the absinthe, stay for the insane asylum.

That’s the double-whammy allure of pleasure and danger in A Final Kiss & A Crime in the Madhouse, the Grand Guignolers’ only-slightly-modernized take on the Theater of Laughter and Terror, which was popular in Paris in the Twenties.   Gruesome effects such as exposed brains, gouged eyes and burned faces were commonplace.

The pre-show absinthe isn’t for the faint of heart either.

Fresh off sold-out shows at Cirque-a-Palooza in Pasadena, Artistic Director Debbie McMahon and her Grand Guignol  troupe bring their demented, immersive theater to a more intimate setting at ArtWorks in Hollywood for two shows only on Friday and Saturday.  Vintage/cocktail attire is encouraged as is arriving early for cash-only absinthe, drinks, and “savoury treats”.

You don’t want be hopped up on sugary treats when the blood stars to geyser.

In addition to the two plays, the evening includes an appearance by the “annoyingly popular” Petits Guignolers:  finger puppets who perform Even More Final Than the Final Kiss.  Due to the aforementioned eye-gouging and puppet naughtiness, the show is not appropriate for children.

Unless their bed time stories feature spurting blood and a cuckoo trapped in a young girl’s head….

A FINAL KISS & A CRIME IN THE MADHOUSE — Fri, Aug 30 & Sat, Aug 31; absinthe @ 7:30/doors @ 8pm.  $20/$25 — Artworks Theater, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd. LA 90038 http://guignolers.brownpapertickets.com/

Believe in Art

Believe in Art

Strange Tales Art

In ages past, artists were inspired by battles, bowls of fruit, and nude women.

In True Believers, the artists are inspired by ray guns, bowl haircuts, and naked aliens.

Chalk it up to progress.

The work in the free group show, which opens Saturday, August 31 at the TAM Torrance Art Museum, is inspired by horror films, comic books, sci-fi, and general weirdness cross-pollinated with contemporary art and pop culture to produce work that is amusing, thought-provoking and often disturbing depending on your point-of-view.

Let’s face it: if you’re reading this, your POV is probably a bit skewed anyway.

In addition to artists Justin Bower, The Clayton Brothers, Monica Cook , The Date Farmers, David French, Charles Irvin, Patrick Jackson, Joel Kyack, Candice Lin, Chad Person, Jon Pylypchuk, Colin Roberts, Robert Williams, and Eric Yahnker,  the exhibit includes creature props and effects from Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. (Oscar winner Tom Woodruff Jr. from Pumpkinhead, Terminator, Predator, and the Alien Franchise, etc.)

Go Go’ers, it’s not an art show without Pumpkinhead.

TRUE BELIEVERSSat, Aug 31, 6-9pm. Show runs through Oct 12; FREETAM The Torrance Art Museum, 3320 Civic Center Dr, Torrance 90503  https://www.facebook.com/events/504717496273933/

You don't have to ride an old-fashioned bike.

Any kind of bike will do.

More than a Movie: A Party!

Outdoor movies — the contemporary version of the drive-in — have sprouted like mushrooms in recent years.

Here’s the best addition to the bunch: Bike-in Movies on the L.A. River courtesy of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corp.

Movies on the L.A. River.  Yes, it’s a thing.

On Saturday, August 31, bike to Elysian Valley’s Marsh Park, one of the L.A. River’s loveliest green spaces, for a free screening of Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. The ubiquitous food offerings are especially delish: Po’ Boys from Brun’s Creole Soul Kitchen and, in a thematically inspired pairing, pedal-powered ice cream from Peddler’s Creamery.  LA River Corp’s Regatta Club will also have popcorn, lemonade and other goodies for sale.

You’ll need the sustenance. This is a party as well as a screening.

Come as early as 6:30 p.m. to play lawn games, dance to a pedal-powered DJ, check out the skate park, or unleash your inner kid on the snake sculpture playground.  Natch, there’s a bike valet courtesy of Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

The only downside?  You can’t make out on the back seat of your bike.

RUSHMORE ON THE L.A. RIVER Sat, Aug 31; doors @ 6:30/food @7/screening 8; FREE screeningMarsh Park, 2960 Marsh St., LA 90039 http://www.thelarrc.com/bike_in_3

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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