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Explore Broadway, the main thoroughfare of historic DTLA, with native Angeleno Mike the Poet, who?ll give dramatic recitations of his poems while pointing out cultural, historical and architectural tidbits. The hour-and-a-half tour ($20) is sponsored by the A+D Museum.
The Independent Shakespeare Co. puts on Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew in Griffith Park with the abandoned zoo cages as a backdrop. Performances are free and take place Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at about 7 p.m., through August 31. (Check the schedule here.) Bring a picnic and come early to grab a good spot.
Old Zoo, Griffith Park; iscla.org
What’s better than watching fireworks explode over the waves? Doing so after you’ve made an afternoon of eyeballing a bunch of over-muscled men and women as they compete for the top honor at this bodybuilding smackdown.
Venice Recreation Center, 1800 Ocean Front Walk; californiabeachbodybuilding.com
Through August 30, the Festival of Arts takes over the seaside village of Laguna Beach. The biggest draw? The 80-year-old Pageant of the Masters, a nightly show in which locals dress up as characters from paintings.
650 Laguna Canyon Rd.; foapom.com
All summer long, Thursday nights in Santa Monica belong to the outdoor Twilight Concert Series, an eclectic set of performances from the opening night act’s indie tunes (Cults) to Arabic Electro (Omar Souleyman, July 31) to classic rock (The Zombies, August 21).
Santa Monica Pier, santamonicapier.org
Old Hollywood meets new DTLA at the Electric Dusk Drive-In. Tickets are selling fast to Sunset Boulevard, the 1950 classic starring Gloria Swanson as a washed-up silent film star and William Holden as her doomed screenwriter boy toy, so buy online now. Don’t worry about packing snacks--carhops bring burgers to your car or your spot on the Astroturf lawn.
1000 San Julian St.; electricduskdrivein.com
Granted, you’ll have to drive to Huntington Beach for this one, but what could be better than hanging with a chill crowd of brahs watching the world’s top surfers compete for a $100,000 prize? Stick around to see them do something uniquely gnarly called “shooting the pier.”
Huntington Beach; vansusopenofsurfing.com
At this annual feast of crabby deliciousness, chef David Lentz flies in a planeload of Maryland crabs for a five-course feast ($75 a person) enjoyed alfresco on the patio at The Hungry Cat in Hollywood.
1535 N. Vine St.; thehungrycat.com
All summer at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, you can visit the Butterfly Pavilion to watch the life cycle of the little winged pollinators. But at 1 p.m. on August 3, when the pavilion closes for the year, visitors are given a butterfly to escort out of the enclosure and release into the gardens.
1500 N. College Ave., Claremont; rsabg.org
Sure, you’ve seen hot-dog-eating competitions. But have you ever seen a grown man shove fistfuls of gyoza (aka pot stickers) in his mouth? This fun part of the nine-day Nisei Week Japanese festival takes place at 3 p.m. on the JACCC Plaza, designed by native Angeleno sculptor Isamu Noguchi.
244 S. San Pedro St.; niseiweek.org
Fifty years ago, the Fab Four played their iconic show at the Bowl. To celebrate, Dave Stewart acts as musical director for a surprise cast of performers who?ll run through a night of hits including ?Twist and Shout? and ?I Want to Hold Your Hand,? accompanied by vintage film clips.
2301 N. Highland Ave.; hollywoodbowl.com
Catch the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo, a weekend-long competition in which America’s top 30 cowboys compete. Saddle bronc and bareback riding, roping, steer wrestling, bull riding and team roping--it’s all here, to the tune of $200,000 in prizes.
30753 La Pata Rd., San Juan Capistrano; rmvrodeo.com
It happens every year: We inevitably miss some great events we really would have loved to check out. (Hello, world championship of surfing!) So this summer, we’re determined to make the most of the season--starting now.
Fire up those calendar reminders: Here’s your Guide to Summer 2014.
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