Entertainment in Los Angeles

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Hollywood

    Hollywood Bowl

    Summers in LA just wouldn’t be the same without alfresco melodies under the stars at the Bowl, a huge natural amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills. Its annual season – which usually runs from June to September – includes symphonies, jazz bands and iconic acts such as Blondie, Bryan Ferry and Angélique Kidjo. Bring a sweater or blanket as it gets cool at night. Thankfully, big projection screens ensure that even folks in the ‘nosebleed’ sections (from around $18) enjoy close-ups of the performers. Come early to claim a table in the park-like grounds for a preshow picnic (some picnic areas open up to four hours before show time and alcohol is permitted). There are numerous food stands on-site if you don’t want to lug your own grub. The bowl is the summer home of the LA Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Open rehearsals are held on some Tuesdays and Thursdays during the season (always call ahead to confirm). Parking is free during the day, but expensive and limited on performance nights. Save yourself the headache and take a shuttle, such as the one running from Hollywood & Highland, which costs $6 per person round trip (or walk to and from there in about 15 minutes).

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Los Feliz & Griffith Park

    Greek Theatre

    The 'Greek' in the 2010 film Get Him to the Greek is this 5900-capacity outdoor amphitheater, tucked into a woodsy Griffith Park hillside. A more intimate version of the Hollywood Bowl, it's much loved for its vibe and variety – recent acts include PJ Harvey, John Legend and Pepe Aguilar. Parking (cash only) is stacked, so plan on a postshow wait. Alternatively, regular shuttle buses run between the venue and the cheaper off-site Pony Ride Train parking lot from two hours before show time to 30 minutes after the show. The parking lot is located in Griffith Park, on the northeast corner of Crystal Springs Dr and Los Feliz Blvd.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Silver Lake & Echo Park

    Dodger Stadium

    Few clubs can match the Dodgers' history (Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Kirk Gibson and sportscaster Vin Scully), success and fan loyalty, and this 1950s-era stadium is still considered one of baseball's most beautiful, framed by views of palm trees and the San Gabriel Mountains. Best views are from behind home plate, or gorge in the all-you-can-eat pavilion in right field. LA Lakers great Magic Johnson is among an ownership group that has re-invigorated the team with talent and lured baseball's most dedicated fan base back to the ballpark. The season runs from April to October. Parking costs $20 ($10 if purchased online in advance).

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Westlake & Koreatown

    Wiltern Theatre

    Soaring confidently at the intersection of Wilshire and Western Blvds (get it?), this extraordinary, turquoise-hued deco landmark started life as a movie theater ( West Side Story premiered here). These days it's an epic venue for live music, comedy and occasional screenings of cult-status movies: recent live acts included Passenger, David Crosby and comic Adam Devine of Modern Family fame. If you find a show you like, don't miss it. This stage has a way about bringing out the best in a performer.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Silver Lake & Echo Park

    Echo

    Eastsiders hungry for an eclectic alchemy of sounds pack this super-packed dive, basically a sweaty bar with a stage and a back patio. On the music front, expect anything from indie and electronica, to dub reggae and dream and power pop. Monday nights are dedicated to up-and-coming local bands, with regular club nights including Saturday's always-a-blast Funky Sole party. Downstairs lies sister venue Echoplex, entered separately from the alley at 1154 Glendale Blvd, just around the corner.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Hollywood

    Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

    Founded in New York by Saturday Night Live alums Amy Poehler and Ian Roberts along with Matt Besser and Matt Walsh, this sketch-comedy group cloned itself in Hollywood in 2005. With numerous nightly shows spanning anything from stand-up comedy to improv and sketch, it's arguably the best comedy hub in town. Valet parking costs $7. There's a second location southeast at 5419 W Sunset Blvd, near Thai Town and off Western Ave.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights

    Mark Taper Forum

    Part of the Music Center, the Mark Taper is one of the three venues used by the Center Theatre Group, SoCal’s leading resident ensemble and producer of Tony-, Pulitzer- and Emmy-winning plays. It’s an intimate space with only 15 rows of seats arranged around a thrust stage, so you can see every sweat pearl on the actors’ faces.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights

    Blue Whale

    An intimate, concrete-floored space on the top floor of Weller Court in Little Tokyo, Blue Whale serves top-notch jazz nightly from 9pm. The crowd is eclectic, the beers craft and the bar bites decent. Acts span emerging and edgy to established, and the acoustics are excellent. Note: bring cash for the cover charge.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in South Bay Beaches

    Comedy & Magic Club

    Live music and comedy right on the Hermosa strip. It has something going almost every night, including some big names: David Spade, Arsenio Hall, Alonzo Bodden, Jon Lovitz, and 10 – count 'em, 10! – comedians most Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday means Jay Leno live and up close; he's the place's big draw.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Santa Monica

    Harvelle’s

    This dark blues grotto has been packing 'em in since 1931, but somehow still manages to feel like a well-kept secret. There are no big-name acts here, but the quality is usually high. Sunday’s Toledo Show mixes soul, jazz and cabaret, and Wednesday night brings the always-funky House of Vibe All-Stars.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood & Westwood

    Off the 405

    On selected Saturdays from May to September, the Getty Center courtyard fills with evening crowds for a delicious collision of art, brilliant live acts and beat-pumping DJ sets. Admission is free, but parking costs $15 from 3pm to 6pm, and $10 after 6pm.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood & Westwood

    Geffen Playhouse

    Entertainment megamogul David Geffen forked over $17 million to get his Mediterranean-style playhouse back into shape. The center's season includes both American classics and freshly minted works, and it's not unusual to see well-known film and TV actors treading the boards.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    The world-class LA Phil performs classics and cutting-edge works at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, under the baton of Venezuelan phenom Gustavo Dudamel.

  • Entertainment in Malibu & Pacific Palisades

    Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum

    Actor Will Geer (TV’s Grandpa Walton) founded this beloved open-air theater as a refuge for blacklisted actors like himself during the McCarthy years. The woodsy setting is a perfect backdrop for such classic crowd pleasers as Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and modern works such as Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities. The season runs from June to early October. To get there, head north on Pacific Coast Hwy, turn inland on Topanga Canyon Blvd and proceed for 6 miles; the theater will be on your left. Bring extra layers for nighttime performances. Topanga nights can get chilly, even in summer.

  • Entertainment in West Hollywood & Mid-City

    Comedy Store

    There’s no comedy club in the city with more street cred than Sammy and Mitzi Shore’s Comedy Store on the strip. Sammy launched the club, but Mitzi was the one who brought in hot young comics such as Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams and David Letterman. There are three stages, meaning something's on just about every night. These days Mitzi's son, Pauly, runs it, and it still gigs in this generation's big names: Marc Maron, Helen Hong, Dane Cook, Ali Wong and more.

  • Entertainment in Los Feliz & Griffith Park

    Rockwell

    If you like to be entertained while you chew, come to this table and stage. Make a reservation for Wednesday night, when Jeff Goldblum and his Mildred Snitzer Orchestra usually take to the stage. The Hollywood veteran knows how to charm his crowd, encouraging selfies with the star. Tip: when making an online reservation for the Goldblum show, avoid the side tables directly to the left of the stage.

  • Entertainment in Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights

    Staples Center

    South Park got its first jolt in 1999 with the opening of this saucer-shaped sports and entertainment arena. It’s home court for the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Sparks basketball teams, and home ice for the LA Kings. The stadium also hosts pop and rock concerts. Parking costs $10 to $30, depending on the event.

  • Entertainment in Hollywood

    ArcLight Cinemas

    Assigned seats, exceptional celeb-sighting potential and a varied program that covers mainstream and art-house movies make this 14-screen multiplex the best around. If your taste dovetails with its schedule, the awesome 1963 geodesic Cinerama Dome is a must. Bonuses: age-21-plus screenings where you can booze it up, and Q&As with directors, writers and actors. Parking is $3 for four hours.

  • Entertainment in Los Feliz & Griffith Park

    Vista Theatre

    Dating back to 1923, the single-screen Vista has played some colorful roles, nominally vaudeville theater and gay-porn cinema. It's now back to screening mainstream new releases in its wonderfully kitsch 'ancient Egyptian' interior. At the front is a humbler, more indie-orientated version of Hollywood's Chinese Theatre forecourt, with the concrete imprints of names such as Spike Jonze.

  • Entertainment in Santa Monica

    Arclight Cinemas

    New Santa Monica outpost of LA's most admired cinema chain. Sitting atop Santa Monica Pl, the cinema offers assigned seating in plush seats, ultra-clean theaters, cocktails in the snack bar, hosts who make sure the projection is just so and – our favorite part – no commercials. Sure, it's pricey, but what price perfection? Discounted weekday matinee tickets are available.