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Labor Day Weekend Fun in Santa Monica  

As of September 1, 2011, ALL 1,875
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By Lookout Staff

September 2, 2011 -- For those who want to stay home this Labor Day – and who in Santa Monica wouldn't? – the long weekend is an ideal time to find out what fun can be had just around the corner.

Take the local farmers markets. This Saturday, an authentic southwest chili roast will be the high point of the Pico Farmers Market at Virginia Park. The roaster will keep turning until all the chili's are gone, so get there in time – the market starts at 9 a.m.

And all Santa Monica's farmers markets will be giving away free reusable shopping bags this weekend, in case you forgot to stock up in time for the plastic bag ban which started Thursday. Go to the farmers market website for details.

The pool and fitness room at the Annenberg Beach House will be open all weekend, though stand-up paddleboard classes and rentals will be nixed because of rough ocean conditions – the result of a storm swell originating in Australia.

Those wishing to get out of the sun can enjoy a stroll through the beach house gallery to see an exhibition of contemporary figurative painters from the Santa Monica College Art Mentor Program. To learn more, go to the beach house website.

Downtown, active fun can be had on the Dining Deck at Santa Monica Place. Zumba – the new “it” workout – is led by an instructor from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday. If you miss that class, you can try yoga on Sunday led by an instructor from Yogis Anonymous, also at 9 a.m. – don't forget your mat.

Then again, you can skip all the exercise and go straight to Santa Monica Place's happy hours. For details on those and other specials, go to the Santa Monica Place website.

After all that fun, you might enjoy a little culture in the evening.

“Los Angeles Plays Itself” at the Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue Saturday and Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m. Director Thom Anderson will appear at Sunday's screening of what's being billed as a “nearly secret history of Los Angeles, both real and imagined by the movies.” No, you can't get it on DVD, so this is your chance to see it. For details, go to the Aero website.

If your taste runs more to pistol targets rendered into art, Ellwood T. Risk's opening at the Roger Berman Gallery is not to be missed. “Bad News” features Risk's signature bulls-eye patterns superimposed on pages from the daily news. The reception is from 6 to 9 p.m, Saturday, and the show runs through September 24. For more information, go to the gallery website.

On the more conventional side, Swedish-Japanese pianist Fuzjko Hemming is performing at the Broad Stage to raise money to aide victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. His classical program includes Chopin Preludes, a Bach Partita, Moussorgky's “Pictures at an Exhibition” and “La Campanella” by Liszt. He's doing two performances: Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. For ticket information, call 424-888-4022.

Finally, the Santa Monica Playhouse is presenting “The World Is My Home – The Life of Paul Robeson” Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. This intellectual giant of African-American history is brought to life by Stogie Kenyatta who says “Armed with nothing more than the strength of his convictions and his vision of a world where men live as brothers. His message was his life. He shows us that in spite of our differences, we still have more in common than we do in conflict.” For tickets information, go to the playhouse website.

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