Spring officially arrives this week—and with it comes plenty of excitement. Start the week off with a cabaret benefit show, French films, a wagyu steak tasting and a special presentation at the Grammy Museum. Later in the week, the zoo brings back its sustainable wine and dinner series, Paleyfest showcases some of the best in television and March Madness heats up. And that’s all before the weekend, when locals can view the stars, explore a mermaid museum and attend a beauty convention.
Monday, March 19

(credit: istockphoto)

A Week of French-Language Cinema
Theatre Raymond Kabbaz, Century City
This film festival, now in its ninth year, continues through Friday, with the film “Wallay” from Burkina Faso being screened on Monday evening. The rest of the week will feature movies from Canada, France and Belgium in celebration of the French language.

Arabian Nights: A Benefit Concert
Upstairs At Vitello’s Supper Club, Studio City
Listen to live, cabaret-style songs and stories from the road, as told by cast members from the current “Aladdin” show at the Pantages. There will also be an auction, and the special event will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

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Monday Night Fiction Workshop
Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Venice
Screenwriter and director Barra Grant leads this free weekly class on how to write fiction, touching on topics like characterization, plot, language, point-of-view and realization of an idea. All participants should being a few pages of fiction they’ve written for critique as well.

Tuesday, March 20

Credit: Roku Sunset)

Wagyu Flights
Roku Sunset, Hollywood
For the rest of the week, enjoy a special promotion that gives guests the chance to savor three wagyu appetizers with drink pairings. The Bungo wagyu skewer will be complemented by the Ginza no Suzume Kohaku shochu; there will also be Bungo wagyu sushi paired with Soto sake and Bungo wagyu steak with Japanese Akashi whisky.

Brian Swartz Quartet
Perch L.A., Los Angeles
Take in the panoramic views of the downtown lights as trumpeter Brian Swartz and friends fill the night air with jazz standards. The diverse musician knows a wide range of songs to keep everyone entertained throughout the evening.

Wednesday, March 21

(Credit: Elizabeth Daniels)

“Il Classico Tiramisù: Hands-On Italian Desserts”
Eataly L.A., Century City
Learn about the different ways to make this elegant Italian dessert during Eataly’s tiramisu workshop then try your hand at making your own. Take home the recipe to try it again later on—but not before indulging in a buffet of pastries, included in the price of the class.

Screening of “Harlem to Hollywood”
Grammy Museum, Los Angeles
This documentary follows the life of Billy Vera, a songwriter who was the first white male to perform at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. It focuses on what it takes to build a career in the music industry. Once the film is over, there will be a conversation with Vera as well as director Alan Swyer.

Babes in Toyland: Pet Edition
The Avalon, Hollywood
Throughout the last decade, celebrities and influencers have come together to raise money for a variety of charities, but five years ago, a separate event was started: a pet edition. Buy a ticket and bring pet beds and blankets, pet food, treats, collars, leashes and harnesses, bowls, clothes, toys, shampoo or any other pet-related item to donate.

Thursday, March 22

(Credit: GLAZA/Jamie Pham)

Sustainable Wine+Dinner with Fiddlehead Cellars
Los Angeles Zoo, Los Angeles
Last year’s popular Sustainable Wine+Dinner Series returns to the zoo this week, focusing on wines by Lompoc-based Fiddlehead Cellars. The four-course meal, dessert and complementary wine pairings will take place in the zoo’s Australian habitat.

March Madness
Staples Center, Los Angeles
The Division I Men’s Basketball Championship West Regional comes to Los Angeles on Thursday, with more games on Saturday. Watch as the competition plays out live, allowing you to be a part of the road to the Final Four.

Paleyfest: “The Good Doctor”
Dolby Theatre, Hollywood
Be present at the industry panel for one of the season’s most popular new television, “The Good Doctor.” Following the life of surgical resident Dr. Shaun Murphy, who has autism, as he works in St. Bonaventure Hospital in San Jose. The cast will discuss the show and take questions from the audience during the panel.

Friday, March 23

(Credit: Joel D. Castro)

“Into the Woods”
Cupcake Theater, North Hollywood
Through Sunday, catch this popular musical by Stephen Sondheim on a local stage. The play combines several fairytales and Brothers Grimm stories, focusing on the quests of Cinderella and Rapunzel as well as Jack from “Jack and the Beanstalk,” characters from “Little Red Riding Hood” and several others.

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Latin Food Fest
Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica
This annual festival kicks off on Friday night with a Chefs Night Out event, combining tapas, music, photos and cocktails for a fun evening on the sand. Then, Saturday, enjoy drinks, a spirits expo, beer tasting and Latin rock music in addition to Latin food samples. The fest benefits the Westside Food Bank.

Screening of “First Position”
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena
Celebrate Women’s History Month with a screening of “First Position,” film directed by Bess Kargman that follows six young ballet dancers who face injuries and exhaustion on their way to becoming professional dancers.

Saturday, March 24

(Credit: Griffith Observatory)

Public Star Party
Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park
Held once a month, these special parties on the lawn of the observatory give locals a chance to look through different types of telescopes to see things in the sky above, from the sun and the moon to plants and stars. Astronomers will also be on hand to discuss the sky and equipment.

Bach in the Subways
Various Locations, Los Angeles
Celebrate what would have been the 333rd birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach with free pop-up performances of his music in the L.A. subways stations in North Hollywood and Glendale as well as at the well-known Union Station.

A Night in Focus: Degas
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena
Celebrate 19th century French artist Edgar Degas with an interactive event at the museum. Visitors will have a chance to sketch live dancers or to work alongside others to create sculptures. There will also be musical performances throughout the evening.

Sunday, March 25

(Credit: The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens)

Annual Bonsai Show
The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens, San Marino
For more than 60 years, the California Bonsai Society has presented its annual show featuring dozens of the beautiful trees. Each artfully crafted by a bonsai master, it is a thing of beauty and peace to experience. The show at The Huntington will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Mermaid Museum
Goya Studios Sound Stage C, Hollywood
Sunday marks the last day of this limited-time pop-up museum, which opened on Thursday. In celebration of the new television drama “Siren,” Freeform and POPSUGAR have come together to create a mermaid-themed museum with photo illustrations, unique illusions, an underwater projection room and a live mermaid, all part of the fictional town of Bristol Cove.

Generation Beauty
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
This beauty convention gives makeup enthusiasts the chance to come together with beauty influencers and brands for one weekend. Sunday is the last day of the convention, and all attendees will get a goodie bag filled with beauty products to take home.

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Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.