On Saturday January 31st, a section of Broadway between 3rd and 11th streets in Downtown Los Angeles will be transformed into a pedestrian-friendly playground, complete with food trucks, pop-up exhibitions, flash mobs, and live music and performances in several of Broadway’s grand theaters. Here is your insider’s guide to making the most out of the event.
What is Night on Broadway?
Night on Broadway is a celebration of the 7th anniversary of Councilmember Jose Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative – a 10-year plan for Broadway’s revitalization. Night on Broadway will feature innovative, multi-cultural entertainment programming in more than a half dozen of Broadway’s historic theaters, open to the public especially for this event. An on-street festival area will feature booths and pop-up shops from DTLA businesses, a vintage car show, a family-friendly kids’ area, and a main stage featuring live musical performances.
Broadway restaurants, bars and businesses will be open, many offering specials for Night on Broadway participants. Local artists will exhibit their work. More than a dozen food trucks will be on site, and Broadway’s historic Grand Central Market vendors will be open late with special Night on Broadway programming.
Six of Broadway’s theaters will feature ongoing performances throughout the night.
The Million Dollar Theater at Broadway and 4th starts off with the Conundrum Theater Company (6:15), followed by two consecutive magic shows (7:00, 7:45), and two performances by L.A.-based chanteuse, songwriter and accordionist Jessica Fischot (8;30, 9:15).
The Los Angeles Theater south of 6th Street offers three consecutive showings of Nova Han Productions presents Wilderbe (6:00, 7:00, 8:00), a reality-altering experience that will transport audiences into otherworldly realms. Additionally, the NOH8 Campaign will host an open (fee required) photo shoot in the ballroom (5:00-10:00) by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska.
Also south of 6th at the Palace Theater, audiences will be treated to a ukulele performance by the Honolulu Strummers (5:30), two shows by seven-piece folk band The Skylarks (7:35, 8:15), and a burlesque performance by Burgundy Bells (8:30). In other parts of the Palace, look for flash mob performances by Dance Mob Nation, and a Casino Speakeasy (both 5:00 – 10:00).
Further south at Broadway and 8th, the Tower Theater presents five consecutive Chess Boxing performances (every 45 minutes beginning at 5:30), a new hybrid sport in which a multi-round match-up between opponents alternates between a 3-minute round of chess followed by a 3-minute round of boxing.
Main Festival Area and Stage
In addition to the Theater programming, Night on Broadway will feature a main Festival Area and Festival Stage located between 4th and 7th streets. This central point will hold a kids’ activity area, a vintage car show, live entertainment by Two-Bit Circus, Honolulu Strummers, Dance Mob Nation, and Sexy Sax Man, and Neon Sign Tours by the Museum of Neon Art.
Downtown Art Walk: Pop-Ups and Performances
The Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk will be presenting visual arts and performance-based programming at various locations between 3rd and 9th Streets.
5:00 – 10:00 PM – Look for the official Downtown Art Walk Pop-Up Gallery at 353 S. Broadway, featuring the works of photographer Sia Aryai, with music by DJ Damien Allen. Curated by yours truly, the one-night exhibition will focus on Aryai’s oversized figurative works celebrating the female form. The Downtown Art Walk crew will also be in attendance with free maps and other goodies.
5:00 – 10:00 PM – Just south of the Art Walk pop-up at 401-425 S. Broadway, Street Shakespeare will set up their sidewalk stage for some truly rowdy, crowd-pleasing performances of the famous playwright’s comedies, tragedies and romances, with an urban twist.
7:00 – 9:00 PM – At 431 S. Broadway, DAC Gallery presents a group exhibition benefiting artists with disabilities. Focusing on paintings and mixed media works on paper, the show shines a light on several professional artists from two local nonprofits, United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles and ECF Art Centers, who use gesture and intuition to create colorful and compelling abstractions.
5:00 – 10:00 PM – Further south on Broadway between 8th and 9th, look for pop-up exhibitions by two female artists who create architecture-based works. At The Palace, Teale Hatheway presents a body of mixed media paintings, while at The Orpheum, Nancy Harasz exhibits architectural portraits. Both artists focus on Downtown’s classic theaters and iconic deco structures.
Expect a plethora of food and drink options; in addition to food trucks, most restaurants, bars and coffee shops along Broadway and in the surrounding area will be open for the event, many offering discounts. Grand Central Market (above 3rd St.) will be open late and has something for everyone, from decadent breakfast sandwiches, to fresh oysters and out-of-this-world tacos. Most of the mobile venues now accept credit cards but do bring cash, just in case.
The pedestrian area will be located on Broadway between 4th and 7th streets, but the event takes place at various venues between 3rd and 11th. Expect street closures and diverted traffic on surrounding streets as early as 1pm. A safe bet would be to navigate to Pershing Square or Grand Central Market, park in the immediate area, and make your way to Broadway. If you’re using public transportation, get off at the Pershing Square station (Metro red or purple lines), take the Pershing Square exit and walk east toward Broadway.
Pershing Square: 532 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Grand Central Market: 317 South Broadway Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Please visit www.nightonbroadway.la for updates.
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