Live Talks LA Brings Rainn Wilson, Danny Trejo and More to Public Events in Santa Monica


Live Talks Los Angeles, an onstage series featuring authors in conversation, is starting its spring season. We have many upcoming events taking place in Santa Monica and Culver City. Immediately below are the Santa Monica events, with the Culver City ones at the bottom of the article.

MATTHEW DESMOND in conversation with MICHAEL TUBBS (In-Person)Thursday, March 30, 2023, 8pmWilliam Turner Galleryat Bergamot Arts Station2525 Michigan Ave, E-1Santa Monica, CA 90404Tickets: $20-$46 with signed book option.

Matthew Desmond, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of Evicted, talks about his new book POVERTY, BY AMERICA, one of the most anticipated titles of 2023. Desmond does a deep dive into this persistent national problem, spending time with dozens of people who live in poverty and he compares it to abundant data and research. He will be in conversation with former Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs, founder of End Poverty in California and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income about how our society works to keep poor people poor, while rewarding its richest citizens. More importantly,Desmond will address how we can think about this morally urgent problem in new ways.

ARI SHAPIRO in conversation with PAMELA ADLON (In-Person & Virtual)Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 8pmAnn and Jerry Moss Theatre
at New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Tickets: $46-$66 includes signed book and virtual viewing.Virtual viewing: Monday, April 10, 2023, 6pmPT/9pmETDetails:
Award-winning NPR journalist Ari Shapiro talks to Pamela Adlon about his debut book, THE BEST STRANGERS IN THE WORLD: STORIES FROM A LIFE SPENT LISTENING. Shapiro steps from behind the mic in a quest to help people listen to each other, and to find connection and commonality with people outside their bubbles. He shares stories behind the heartwarming and poignant narratives included in this memoir. Adlon is the Emmy Award-winning creator, actor, writer, producer and director, best known for her groundbreaking Peabody Award-winning and Critic’s Choice Award-nominated comedy series FX’s “Better Things.”

SUSANNA HOFFS in conversation with SUSAN ORLEAN (In-Person & Virtual)

*Hoffs will perform a short acoustic set at this eventMonday, April 10, 2023, 8pmAnn and Jerry Moss Theatre
at New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Tickets: $46-$66 includes signed book and virtual viewing

Virtual viewing: Sunday, April 16, 2023, 3pmPT/6pmETDetails:
Susanna Hoffs, co-founder of The Bangles, talks about her debut novel THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN with Susan Orlean. Hoffs has tapped into the musical world she knows well to craft this funny and steamy novel about music, fate, redemption and love. At the center of the story is a thirty-something pop star who’s hit rock bottom and, thanks to a chance encounter, revives her life and career. Orlean is the author of The Library BookThe Orchid Thief, Rin Tin Tin, and six more book titles. NOTE: Hoffs will perform a short acoustic set.

AN EVENING with CLINT SMITH (In-Person & Virtual)

Thursday, April 13, 2023, 8pmWilliam Turner GalleryBergamot Arts Station2525 Michigan Ave, E-1Santa Monica, CA 90404Tickets: $20-$46 includes virtual viewing with signed book option for Above Ground [Signed copies of How the Word is Passed will also be available for purchase.]Virtual viewing: Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 6pmPT/9pmETDetails: Smith is that rare writer who has mastered both poetry and prose. A staff writer for The Atlantic, Smith will talk about HOW THE WORD IS PASSED: A RECKONING WITH THE HISTORY OF SLAVERY ACROSS AMERICA, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction,and ABOVE GROUND, a poetry collection. His first book of poetry, Counting Descent was awarded the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. How the Word is Passed, which also won the 2022 Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, is a deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history.

Danny Trejo — April 18 (Santa Monica & virtual)

Known for playing “merciless, shirtless, tattooed, gun-toting, vengeance-thirsty, knife-throwing tough guys,” Danny Trejo has become the face of a restaurant group that sells award-winning tacos, authentic barbacoa, and kale salad. His new book is Trejo’s Cantina: Cocktails, Snacks & Amazing Non-Alcoholic Drinks from the Heart of Hollywood

Purchase tickets here.

AN EVENING with GRETCHEN RUBIN (In-Person & Virtual)Monday, April 24, 2023, 8pmAnn and Jerry Moss Theatre
at New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Tickets: $20-$46 includes virtual viewing with signed book option

Virtual viewing: April 30, 2023, 3pmPT/6pmETDetails:
New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness ProjectGretchen Rubin returns to the LTLA stage to talk about a surprising path to a life of more energy, creativity, luck and love as shared in her new book LIFE IN FIVE SENSES: HOW EXPLORING THE SENSES GOT ME OUT OF MY HEAD AND INTO THE WORLD. Rubin, one of today’s most influential observers of happiness and human nature, tells of how she was lifted from a fog of preoccupation by rediscovering the power of her senses. Drawing on cutting-edge science, philosophy, and literature, she investigates the profound power of tuningin to the physical world.
AN EVENING with ABRAHAM VERGHESE (In-Person & Virtual)
Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 8pm William Turner GalleryBergamot Arts Station2525 Michigan Ave, E-1Santa Monica, CA 90404Tickets: $20-$46 includes virtual viewing with signed book optionVirtual viewing: Tuesday, May 9, 2023, 6pmPT/9pmETDetails:
Abraham Verghese, the bestselling author of Cutting for Stone, discusses his new novel THE COVENANT OF WATERa stunning and magisterial epic of love, faith and medicine set in Kerala, South India. Fourteen years in the making, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and is also a humbling testament to the sacrifices past generations made for the sake of those alive today. Verghese’s acclaimed earlier books are My Own CountryThe Tennis Partner, and Cutting for Stone, which spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list, was translated into more than 20 languages, and sold more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone.

AN EVENING with MICHIO KAKU (In-Person & Virtual)Friday, May 5, 2023, 8pmWilliam Turner GalleryBergamot Arts Station2525 Michigan Ave, E-1Santa Monica, CA 90404Tickets: $25-$46 includes virtual viewing with signed book option. Virtual viewing: Wednesday, May 10, 2023, 6pmPT/9pmETDetails:
Michio Kaku, the bestselling author of The God Equation, discusses his new book, QUANTUM SUPREMACY: HOW THE QUANTUM COMPUTER REVOLUTION WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING. In it, heoffers an exhilarating tour of humanity’s next great technological achievement—quantum computing—which may eventually illuminate the deepest mysteries of science and solve some of humanity’s biggest problems, like global warming, world hunger, and incurable disease. Some are touting quantum computing as humanity’s next great technological achievement—as revolutionary as the transistor and microchip before it. Now, Dr. Kaku explores how it might illuminate the deepest mysteries of science and impact every aspect of our daily lives.

AN AFTERNOON with RAINN WILSON (In-Person & virtual)Sunday, May 7, 2023, 3pmAnn and Jerry Moss Theatre
at New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Tickets: $46-$66 includes signed book and virtual viewing

Virtual viewing: Monday, May 15 2023, 6pmPT/9pmETDetails:
Actor, producer, writer, and New York Times bestselling author Rainn Wilson, explores the benefits of spirituality as a means to creating solutions for an increasingly challenging world. You may know Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute on TV’s “The Office.” But he’s also a writer, thinker and media executive. He will talk about his new book, SOUL BOOM: WHY WE NEED A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION and the need for profound healing that can only be provided by faith and the sacred. Sparked by his personal struggles with loss, addiction and mental health, Wilson delves into ancient wisdom for answers to life’s deepest questions.

LAURA DERN and DIANE LADD in conversation with CLEO WADE (In-person & virtual)

Monday, May 8, 2023, 8pmAnn and Jerry Moss Theatre
at New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Tickets: $25-$46 includes virtual viewing with signed book option

Virtual viewing: Thursday, May 11, 2023, 6pmPT/9pmETDetails:
Award-winning actress and activist Laura Dern and her mother, legendary actress Diane Ladd, come together for a deeply personal conversation on love, art, ambition and legacy. Their joint memoir HONEY, BABY, MINE: A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER TALK LIFE, DEATH, LOVE (AND BANANA PUDDING) which documents these topics, rose out of their long walks together when Ladd’s doctor prescribed the exercise to treat a life-threatening illness. Dern, in an effort to distract her mother from the physical exertion, joined the walk and they shared stories which drew them closer than ever. The two talk to Cleo Wade, a New York Times bestselling author and poet, whose work explores love, freedom and healing.

AN EVENING with ANDY COHENThursday, May 18, 2023, 8pm

The Aratani Theatre244 San Pedro St,Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012Tickets: $48-$68 includes signed book and virtual viewingVirtual viewing: Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 6pmPT/9pmETDetails:

New York Times bestselling author Andy Cohen, everyone’s favorite busiest man in show business, talks about going from bottle service to baby bottles in a hilarious, heartwarming, and name-dropping account of the most important year of his life. Cohen returns to the Live Talks Los Angeles stage with his fifth memoir, THE DADDY DIARIES: THE YEAR I GREW UP which chronicles how parenting two kids has changed Cohen’s once-glamorous existence. Hear what he has to say about shifting from the clubs to the playground as he digests the most important job of his life.

DANIEL SIEGEL in conversation with LUTHERN WILLIAMS (In-Person & Virtual)Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 8pmAnn and Jerry Moss Theatre
at New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Tickets: $20-$46 includes virtual viewing with signed book option

Virtual viewing: Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 6pmPT/9pmET


Dr. Daniel J. Siegel discusses his new book, INTRACONNECTED: MWe (ME & WE) AS THE INTEGRATION OF SELF, IDENTITY AND BELONGING,which combines personal reflections with scientific discussions of how the mind, brain and our relationships shape who we are. In conversation with Luthern Williams, Siegel shares his observations on how our culture may give us a message of separation as a solo, isolated self, but a wider perspective unveils that who we are may be something more—broader than the brain, bigger even than the body—and fundamental to social systems and the natural world. He explores the nature of how our experiences of what we call “self” emerges across the lifespan and helps us build an inclusive understanding of self in relation to others. Williams is the Head of School at New Roads School in Santa Monica, California. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an Ed.M. in School Leadership from Harvard University. Williams has over twenty-five years of experience as an administrator and English teacher in independent schools in New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles.

Andrew Rannells — May 22 (Santa Monica & Virtual)

Tony-award nominee Andrew Rannells (Book of Mormon, Girls) joins us with his latest memoir, Uncle of the Year: And Other Debatable Triumphs, in which he writes about dating, aging, mental health, bad jobs, and falling in love with a man who has two children. Purchase tickets here.

Colson Whitehead — July 26 (Santa Monica & virtual)

Two-time Pulitzer prize-winner Colson Whitehead brings his latest novel to our stage: Crook Manifesto, a kaleidoscopic portrait of 1970s Harlem. In his trademark scalpel-sharp prose and with unnerving clarity and wit, he writes about cronyism, threats, ego, ambition, incompetence and even, sometimes, pride. 

Purchase tickets here.


REPRESENTATIVE KATIE PORTER in conversation with LARRY WILMORE (In-Person & Virtual)

Friday, April 14, 2023, 8pm

Robert Frost Auditorium

4401 Elenda Street

Culver City, CA 90230

Tickets $46-$66 includes signed book and virtual viewingVirtual viewing: Thursday, April 20, 2023, 6pmPT/9pmETDetails:
In 2018, political newbie Katie Porter broke the mold when she was elected to Congress as a Democrat in historically conservative Orange County. She continued to defy expectations as she used her progressive values and a whiteboard to take CEOS and corrupt government officials to task in Congressional hearings. She discusses her memoir I SWEAR: POLITICS IS MESSIER THAN MY MINIVAN with Larry Wilmore and shares candid and inspiring stories of how she went from an Iowa farm to the Ivy League and eventually to a single mom of three kids while serving in Congress. Emmy Award winner Larry Wilmore can currently be heard as host of “Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air” on The Ringer Podcast Network. His career as a television producer, actor, comedian and writer has flourished for more than 25 years and continues currently with “Reasonable Doubt” (Hulu)  and “Amend: The Fight for America” (Netflix).

Damien Newton
Damien Newton
Damien is the executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative which publishes Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, Streetsblog California and Longbeachize.

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