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Best Activities To Do This Week In L.A. - May 23

(Credit: Michael Lamont)

Get ready to laugh, cry, and eat this week, with shows ranging from hilarious to devastating, bookended by some great opportunities to stuff your face. A new restaurant and bakeshop is adding some sweetness to the Valley, while a Fairfax eatery is offering some of the best signature bites for just $6. A scripted sketch comedy show will take you to a town hall meeting in Pocomoke City, Maryland, while a musical celebrating one of America's most noteworthy movie musical lyricists will transport you back to 1930s Hollywood. On a more tragic side of the stage, two different stories of complicated young love will be performed, with Italian opera La Boheme, and a beautifully danced Romeo and Juliet ballet. A fun foodie event that takes over Main Street in Santa Monica is the perfect way to spend Sunday this upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Monday, May 23
New Shop Opening: Claudine Artisan Kitchen & Bakeshop
(Credit: Ryan Tanaka )

New Shop Opening: Claudine Artisan Kitchen & Bakeshop
16350 Ventura Blvd., Suite F
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 616-3838

Ventura Boulevard in Encino just got a little sweeter with the opening of Claudine Artisan Kitchen & Bakeshop. Owned by Valley natives Chef Anthony Jacquet and Pastry Chef Lea Newton, the shop focuses on local, sustainable, and responsibly sourced ingredients in their breakfast, brunch, and lunch menus. Sit a spell for malted milk pancakes or a short rib grilled cheese, and watch pastry chef Lea Newton create her confections in the kitchen. Or if you're on the run, snag something from the grab n' go deli case, or a sweet treat to go. A full coffee bar, as well as a selection of local beer and wine, offer a nice brew for any time of day.

Tuesday, May 24
(Credit: Bill Esparza)

Six Dollar Signatures
Plan Check Fairfax
351 N Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 591-0094

Every day of the week, Plan Check Fairfax is offering one of their signature menu items for just $6 at the bar. Today's Tacos Hamburgesa, two ground beef tacos topped with habanero salsa, cheese, guacamole, and cilantro, are the perfect way to make it a Taco Tuesday. In addition to the rotating food specials, the restaurant is also offering $2 off all draft beers and well cocktails, $5 wine, and discounts on their own unique drinks, like a jalapeno-infused tequila with blood orange or mango, and an "Adulterated Soda" spiked with vodka (available until 7:00pm). The meal deal is offered from noon to 4:00pm Monday - Friday, great for a lunch outing or an early dinner.

Wednesday, May 25
(Credit: Ken Howard / LA Opera )

LA Opera Presents La Boheme
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, 90012
(213) 972-8001

One of the world's most beloved and most frequently performed operas is hitting the stage tonight, as LA Opera presents La Boheme. The opera follows six lively and impoverished bohemians as they live life on the rooftops, cafes, and garrets of Paris. Their stories of love and loss are told through achingly beautiful music and riveting theater. Nino Machaidze will play the role of Mimi along with an amazingly talented cast and orchestra conducted by Speranza Scappucci. Puccini's Italian opera will be performed in Italian, with English translation projections, and will feature members from the Los Angeles Children's Chorus. In case you can't make it tonight, another performance takes place Saturday.

Thursday, May 26
(Credit: Matt Hobby)

"American Town Hall" Sketch Comedy Show
The Copper Still Bar
4485 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(212) 792-9520

Each month, hosts and producers Cass Bugge, Mary Grill, and Matt Hobby hold a town hall meeting, and tonight's meeting will take place in Pocomoke City, Maryland AKA The Copper Still Bar in Hollywood. Dubbed "The Friendliest Town on the Eastern Shore," Pocomoke City is ready to host a lively discussion with the city council, mayor, secretary, and more of the city's finest. As with every town hall meeting, this mostly scripted sketch comedy show will bring new characters, a new theme song, and new propositions on which to vote. Additional talent includes Tim Baltz, Allison Fields, Alison Rich, and Blaine Swen. After a successful year and a half of performances, the show often sells out, so be sure to get your tickets before they're gone.

Friday, May 27
(Credit: Michael Lamont )

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU - The Life and Lyrics of Al Dubin
Montalban Theatre
1615 Vine St.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 461-6999

Be transported back to the Golden Age of Hollywood in the all-singing, all-dancing story of legendary lyricist Al Dubin. Back in the 1930s, Dubin was part of a group who took movie musicals to new heights during the Great Depression, a time when people needed an escape the most. The entire country was signing his hits, including "We're in the Money," "About a Quarter to Nine," and of course, "I Only Have Eyes For You." This musical brings to light not only his extraordinary talent, but a life full of drama that paled in comparison to what he wrote for the stage. Along with Dubin's lyrics, music will be by composer Harry Warren, and the book by Jerry Leichtling and Arlene Sarner. Olivier nominee and The Book of Mormon alum Jared Gertner stars as Al Dubin.

Saturday, May 28
(Credit: Photo: Reed Hutchinson; Photo Composition: Catherine Kanner )

Los Angeles Ballet's Romeo and Juliet
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
(310) 998-7782

You may have seen Romeo and Juliet as a play or film, but seeing it as a ballet offers a whole new way to appreciate one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies. The Los Angeles Ballet is closing out their extremely successful tenth anniversary season with a performance of the piece that rounds out their theme of The Great Romantics. Elaborate and beautiful costuming transports you back to fair Verona where a pair of star-crossed lovers express their passionate love story through dance. LAB is making history as the first American company to perform Sir Frederick Ashton's choreography, set to Prokofiev's timeless score. Tickets start at $31, and showtime is at 7:30pm.

Sunday, May 29
(Credit: Courtesy of MAINopoly )

MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street
Main Street (Between Bay St. & Navy St.)
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Food and games collide at the 3rd annual MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street event. Start the game by checking in at Areal Restaurant to get your wristband, and then venture out to eat and drink your way through Main Street with tastings from participating eateries. Pulled pork sliders, lobster shooters, gelato, and coffee are just some of the eats you'll be enjoying while checking off the locations on your game board. Once you've hit up all the spots, head back to Areal Restaurant for the official After Party at 8:00pm, and be entered to win a Taste of Main Street prize package. Both General Admission and VIP tickets are available (save some cash by buying them in advance here). General Admission includes 20 tastings, food and drink specials, and admission to the After Party. Upgrade to a VIP ticket to access the VIP Lounge & Beer Garden. Proceeds benefit Heal the Bay and Summer SOULstice.

Article by Kellie Fell.
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