LA Weekend Calendar: Kathy Griffin, Stair Trek And LA-Style Superbowl

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FRIDAY
Surf's Up At The Aero Theater
What: In Southern California, surfers have a reputation of being laid-back beach dudes with long hair. But in Papua New Guinea, surfers hope that their boards will carry them to a better life. The new documentary "Splinters" tells this story: "Twenty years after the first board was introduced on the island, surfing has become a way of life. This spirited documentary, tinged by joyful music and fascinating glimpses into a rare culture, follows four local surfers competing in the country's first-ever national surfing championships." To get a sense of the charm, beautiful setting and epic surf scenes, check out the trailer.
When: Friday, Feb. 3, 7:30pm, $11
Where: Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA

Kathy Griffin Dishes
What: Kathy Griffin is good for the Hollywood soul. She makes fun of the rich and famous and brings us all back down to reality. The "My Life On The D-List" star removes the veil in front of the seemingly perfect Hollywood folk and tells us the gossip and stories she shouldn't. Who knows what she'll say in this brand new stand-up comedy show (expanded to two nights in LA due to "overwhelming demand"). All's we know is she'll shoot straight to you, and you'll laugh, damnit.
When: Friday, Feb. 3 - Saturday, Feb. 4, 8pm, $45-$95
Where: Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA

To Be Persuaded
What: Didn't get to go to Sundance this year? Early Morning Opera's "Abacus," one of the only two live performances at the Salt Lake City event, topped the list for one of the most edgy, thought-provoking spectacles at the festival. And it opens this weekend at REDCAT theater in LA. "Abacus" employs "high-tech wizardy" (live video Steadicams and large-scale projections) to simulate TED-style presentations and video-enhanced megachurch events. The odd pairing of the two makes you re-think the power of persuasion.
When: Friday, Feb. 3 - Saturday, Feb. 4, 8:30pm, $16-25
Where: REDCAT, Roy & Edna Disney CalArts Theater, 631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA

SATURDAY
Stair Steppin'
What: Feeling like some pre-Super Bowl exercise to justify those jalapeno poppers? Dan Koeppel, leader of the fifth "Stair Trek," is ready to kick your butt. Stair Trek, a stair version of LA's Big Parade walk, is just that: a trek up and down stairs... lots of them. According to Dan, "You will walk every single staircase in the area bounded by the 101 Freeway (south); Riverside Drive (north); Elysian Park (east) and Hyperion Avenue (west)." It's 24 miles, 80 stairways and there are only three scheduled short breaks. If you're not a morning person, you can try to meet up with the group at Change Coffee in Echo Park at noon (suggestion: arrive early)--a good option for those of us who are more than happy to trim eight miles off the walk.
When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 8am-7pm
Where: Begins and ends at the Music Box Steps in Silverlake. Meet at Laurel & Hardy Park, across from the steps, at the intersection of Vendome and Del Monte.

Cycle, Cycle, Cycle!
What: Prefer some team work and a good cause with your fitness? Exercise option two: LA's first-ever Cycle for Survival event. Indoor cycling: it's like a roller rink but for bikes, complete with the tunes in the background. This event consists of four, consecutive one-hour cycle classes. iVolunteer explains how it works: "Designate yourself as a team captain, recruit a few friends to ride with you (unless you really can do the 4 hour workout yourself!), and in the process, raise crucial funds for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Every dollar raised goes directly to lifesaving research on rare cancers, an area of cancer research that is often drastically underfunded." Burn calories for a cause!
When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 8am-noon
Where: Equinox Westwood, 10960 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Funky Sole For Don Cornelius
What: Finally, we are writing about, arguably, the most fun, long-standing night out in Los Angeles. It's a free, weekly Saturday night dance party (yes, FREE on a Saturday) that's existed at various venues in LA since 2001. It's reminiscent of the Northern soul all-nighter's in England--where the original ravers (more dance skills, less drugs) would bring an extra set of clothes because they danced so hard and 'til the sun came up. Even if you come to Funky Sole planning on not dancing, you will. And, you will see some of the best "street" moves from Angelenos who come from across the city for the funky beats. Why this week? Because the one-and-only Don Cornelius, father of the original "Soul Train," has passed away, and the best way to celebrate his legacy is to cut a rug in his honor.
When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 10pm-2am, Free
Where: The Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

SUNDAY
Superbowl, LA-Style
What: Whether you're a football fan who's been desperately waiting for this day or someone whose football knowledge comes solely from "Friday Night Lights," Sunday's a party - so get in on it. "Whether you want a raucous restaurant with cheap drinks, a hidden bar by the beach or vegan-style action," we've got you covered courtesy of Marpop. It's an east coast battle, New York Giants versus New England Patriots. And if you don't care, check out the much-anticipated commercials; this year, a 30-second commercial costs $3.5 million (up from $400,000 last year)!
When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 3:30pm PST
Where: Check out Marpop's suggestions.

"24-Hour Musical"
What: Imagine performing in a musical and not finding out your role, or even the musical itself, until 24 hours before the performance. That's what UCLA's fourth annual "24-Hour Musical" is. The script and cast is chosen months prior to the performance, but the cast are kept in the dark until the day before. Previous shows have included "Grease," "Guys and Dolls" and "Bye Bye Birdie" -- they go for the crowd-pleasers and promise to do so again this year. Half of the fun, of course, is seeing some "actors run on stage with scripts, some forget their lines and others just improvise." The adreneline of improv meets the charm of a musical. Better yet, the event benefits No Limits, an LA organization for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Three cheers!
When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 8-11pm, Free (with a suggested donation to No Limits); first-come-first-serve seating
Where: UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

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