It’s beginning to look a lot like Día de Muertos in L.A., especially at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, where former Mattel and Barbie creative director Lily Martinez is exhibiting her intricate catrina costume collection. It’s a whole vibe. If you’re in the mood for music, Peso Pluma is in town, bringing corridos tumbados to San Bernardino ahead of his Anaheim shows next weekend. The best of Chicano comedy comes to Pico Rivera, the new home of Ave 26 Night Market. With everything going on in the world, we all could use some comfort food and laughs.
Peso Pluma Doble P Tour: Much like gangsta rap riveted ’90s mainstream music, Peso Pluma’s corridos tumbados have propelled him to global stardom. Just last week, the Mexican singer-songwriter took home eight Billboard Latin Music Awards, including debut artist of the year. But that fame has also come with controversy. The artist, who’s been accused of glorifying drug kingpins in his music, canceled a Tijuana show following alleged drug cartel threats. He is set to take the stage in San Bernardino this weekend, the day after a canceled show. And he’ll be in Anaheim for a two-day run next weekend.
When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Glen Helen Amphitheater, 2575 Glen Helen Pkwy, San Bernardino
Admission: Tickets start at $36.50
El Alfa at the Peacock Theater: The King of Dembow will pack the dance floor Sunday at the L.A. Live theater as he delivers his Dominican spin on a genre rooted in Jamaican dancehall. El Alfa recently signed a $70-million deal with Sound Royalties that allows the rapper to maintain his independent status and market his upcoming “El Rey Del Dembow” album, which drops Oct. 19 on his El Jefe Records label. With collaborations including Kali Uchis, Cardi B and Bad Bunny, there’s no telling how far this king will go.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Peacock Theater, 777 Chick Hearn Court
Admission: Tickets start at $112
Lila Downs Dos Corazones Día de Muertos: The Oaxacan-born singer with Mixtec and American roots pays tribute to the ancient holiday with her infamous soulful ballads and ballet folklórico dancers at this captivating Cal State Northridge performing arts theater. Having lost her husband last year, Downs honors her own dearly departed with songs from her recently released album “La Sánchez,” a love letter to the northern Mexican rancheras, cumbia and corridos that have influenced the southern Mexican artivist.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Soraya, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge
Admission: Tickets start at $58
Becky G back at the Novo: Last weekend, the five-time Latin Grammy-nominated artist played the first of three nights at the intimate club as part of her Mi Casa, Tu Casa tour. Now she’s back again for shows Thursday and Sunday with openers Conexión Divina, Los Angeles’ own all-female sierreño trio.
When: Thursday and Sunday
Where: The Novo, 800 W. Olympic Blvd.
Admission: Tickets start at $99
ON THE STAGE
The Travellers’ closing at the Latino Theater Co.: USC professor and playwright Luis Alfaro brings to life the rocky relationship of four priests whose faith is questioned after a stranger stumbles inside their rundown Central Valley monastery with a gunshot wound. Alfaro, who was raised in nearby Pico-Union by a Mexican Catholic father and a Chicana Pentecostal mother, knows the hold that religion has on gente and explores the idea of breaking free. The play stars Bay Area DJ and actor Juan Amador, who plays an injured street soldier, and San Francisco’s Campo Santo theater company co-founder Sean San José, who restaged it and plays Brother Santo, the God-fearing leader of the pack who tries desperately to rally his troops.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Latino Theater Company at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St.
Admission: Tickets start at $10
Latin América: A Spoken Word Play: Colombian American poet Davina Ferreira created Alegría Media & Publishing to promote Latine/x storytellers with a mobile bookstore, podcast and magazine. This production brings together 20 Latinx artists, poets and performers, including Jean-Pierre Rueda, Virginia Bulacio and Franceli Chapman Varela to explore what it means to be an artist of color. Be prepared to feel all the feels and meet the talented crew — from seasoned performers to emerging talent — at the post-show meet-and-greet and book signing.
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Hudson Theatres, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
Admission: Tickets start at $22
Chicano Comedy Festival: Wear stretchy pants and drain that bladder because this crew knows how to deliver a punchline. O.G. comedian Paul Rodriguez is joined by such newcomers as Alfred Robles, Martin Rizo and Richard Villa to do what they do best: make light of life’s ups and downs. They’re billed as the funniest lineup of Chicano comedians in the industry, and many of these pros have appeared on HBO, Netflix, Prime Video and Comedy Central. Come with an appetite: Ave 26 Night Market’s new home is here, so expect 100+ vendors selling the best street food and snacks in the city.
When: Doors open at 5 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Pico Rivera Sports Arena, 11003 Sports Arena Drive, Pico Rivera
Admission: Tickets start at $26
BOOKS & ART
Qué lo Qué Plática at LA Plaza: Dominican culture is alive at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, where an art exhibition by “Little Heroes of Color” author David Heredia is popping up alongside panelists such as “Abbott Elementary” actress Adargiza De Los Santos and “Fighting Words” comedian, actress and producer Aida Rodriguez, (she wrote an opinion piece about her tumultuous rise to fame for this publication last year). “Golden Flower” filmmaker Isadora Ortega, who brings the language of Taino to the screen for the first time, will moderate this event that opens eyes to the intersection of Dominican culture and art.
When: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St.
Admission: Free with reservation
Papier-mâché, Printmaking & Movement: Enjoy a day in the park with indigenous-based arts and culture organization Meztli Projects for a series of workshops creating portable papier-mâché sculptures of local wildlife, block-printing river flora and fauna wearable art and native song and dances taught by cultural bearers. Through storytelling and sharing, participants will prepare for a final procession next weekend along the L.A. River to connect these teachings to our sacred land.
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring St.
Admission: Free with reservation
Latinx Literary Festival: Where were books about emotional self-awareness, growth mind-set and resilience when we were growing up? Kid lit writer and La Belle Lune Publishing House founder Cecilia Caballero tackles these topics in her books and empowers fellow Southeast L.A. storytellers to publish their own stories. This family-friendly fest showcases Latinx authors, artists and performers curated by Caballero and her crew that uplift the community through cultural representation in literature.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Beer Thug Brewing Co., 4400 Gage Ave., Bell
DÍA DE MUERTOS
Siempre en Mi Corazon Catrina Costume Exhibit: What better place to kick off Día De Muertos than the birthplace of L.A.? Lily Martinez’s elaborate catrina costume collection is on display at El Pueblo de Los Angeles. The former Mattel and Barbie creative director curated more than 25 costumes that she’s been perfecting since first attending Hollywood Forever’s Día de Muertos event in 2014. Now, she’s bringing her masterpieces for the whole family to admire. Prepare to be inspired to step up your calavera face paint game.
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday,
Where: Gateway to Nature Center & Museum, 130 Paseo de la Plaza
El Velorio Day of the Dead Music & Arts Festival: Since 2010, L.A. artist Antonio Pelayo has been producing one of L.A.’s largest 21 and over Día de Muertos festivals at Lincoln Heights’ Plaza de la Raza. This year’s event features an art exhibit by 150 local artists dedicated to fallen female icons and two stages featuring performances by cumbia band La Diabla, Los Muertos-inspired DeCalifornia, a fashion show by actor Loretta Vampz and a bike show by Viclasos Motorcycle Club. A portion of proceeds from art and ticket sales benefit the Pelayo Foundation, a nonprofit promoting the transformative power of art.
When: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday
Where: Plaza de la Raza, 3540 N. Mission Road
Admission: Tickets start at $20
Honoring Our Ancestors & Sacred Sites: The longtime Highland Park art gallery’s annual Day of the Dead exhibit features two exhibits honoring the dead. The first is by a Latinx-heavy lineup of artists, including Adriana Diaz, Dolores Udave, Jose Lozano and Chicano Moratorium organizer Mita Cuaron. The second is by African American artist duo Theresa Polley-Shellcroft and Jan Collins Eaglin, whose Sacred Sites installation is a whimsical collection of quilting, fiber work, foods and family recipes that keep them connected to their cultural, spiritual and historical roots as African people in the diaspora.
When: 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Avenue 50 Studio, 131 N. Ave. 50
Admission: Free, donations appreciated
L.A. is too big for us to know about all the events happening this weekend. If we missed something you think we should know about, let us know.
Kamren Curiel is a fourth-generation Xicana born in East L.A. and raised in Monterey Park and South San Gabriel. She’s written for the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Taco, Latina magazine, LAist, KCET, Alta and the Huffington Post, and was the senior editor at Remezcla and Sí TV.
This story originally Appeared on LATimes