10 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week
L.A. hosts its first Fleet Week
Port of Los Angeles
A radio show, a Marx Brothers screening, a celebration of chingóna culture and more to do and see in L.A. this week for 10 bucks or less.
You know how faces in old photographs look different from the faces you see around you today? Radio Phonic Audio is your doorway into the minds behind those faces, filtered through the minds of newer faces. Performed in the style of an old-time radio program, complete with commercials, terrible jokes and musical segments, it features Radio Phonic writer and prime mover Zak White, fromage fanatic Becca Flinn and Paul "Stop Asking Me About Bernie" Goetz, along with guests including The Eric Andre Show writer Heather Anne Campbell, Skull Orchard musician Tawny Newsome, Metalocalypse creator Brendon Small and the constitutionally right-on DeMorge Brown. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 2, 7-8:30 p.m.; $10, $8 in advance. (323) 851-7223, holdmyticket.com/event/255224. —David Cotner
You may use them only as condensation catchers in bars or at home, but the 1,000 four-inch coasters at the fourth annual Coaster Show are miniature masterpieces. Among the hundreds of artists who've participated in the gallery's popular group exhibit are Elizabeth McGrath, Ron English, Simone Gad and horror-movie actor Sid Haig. This year's painters, animators, sculptors and tattoo artists have been inspired by everything from animals and religious iconography to the 2016 election and the deaths of Bowie and Prince to create their tiny works of art, which are priced between $10 and $250. That's a lot of money to keep your coffee table clean, but they're also good conversation pieces. The show runs in conjunction with "Covered," a collection of comics-themed paintings by Mark Todd. La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; opening reception Fri., Sept. 2, 8-11 p.m. (runs through Oct. 2); free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. —Siran Babayan
Anyone who's never experienced an evening at Old Town Music Hall would be hard-pressed to find a better occasion than At the Circus, the Marx Brothers' big-tent comedy from 1939. Best remembered for Groucho's epochal rendition of "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady," the film also featured Buster Keaton in an advisory role that saw him attempting to reconcile his comic sensibilities with those of the Marx Brothers — a mismatched pairing that apparently did no favors for anyone involved, final product notwithstanding. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri., Sept. 2, 8:15 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 3, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org. —Michael Nordine
If you frequent UCB's long-running sketch show The Midnight Show, you're probably familiar with cast member and instructor Hal Rudnick (Key & Peele, Community) and his alter ego, Eric Jennifer, a dopey man-child whom Rudnick describes as the darker version of Pee-wee Herman. For summer's last hurrah, Jennifer hosts The Midnight Show Presents: Eric Jennifer's Labor Day BBQ, a variety show with other UCB actors, featuring sketches, character bits and audience participation, as well as food and possibly live music. But instead of saluting workers across America, Jennifer has something else in mind when he thinks of Labor Day. UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 3, 11:59 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, franklin.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
Chingón is a bit of Mexican-Spanish slang that defines something or someone as "cool" or "badass." A chingóna, then, would be a badass woman. Organized by Muy Monte — a DIY crew of musicians, writers and artists based in the San Gabriel Valley — the Chingóna Festival is an all-ages women's music and arts festival that continues the legacy of Eastside Chicana punk legends such as Alice Bag and The Brat. The event features a range of female-fronted bands — from the Riot Grrrl–influenced indie sound of Pardon Me Sir to Myriad Slits, who layer soulful vocals atop stripped-down synthy beats — alongside visual artists, DJs, food vendors, even palm readings. Green's Center for Plant-Based Nutrition and Gluten-Free Education, 4906 E. Olympic Blvd., East L.A.; Sat., Sept. 3, 4-11 p.m. $5, $3 before 6 p.m. facebook.com/events/1715836342005389. —Matthew Stromberg
If you've been to a state fair in the past decade or so, fried Oreos and Twinkies are pretty been-there-done-that fair food items. But leave it to the L.A. County Fair to yet again take fried food on a stick to the next level with "chicken in a waffle" on a stick, deep-fried bacon-wrapped chicken legs and, most astoundingly, deep-fried hot sauce (yeah, I don't get it either). Whatever you do, gorge wisely, and save some pocket money for the 70 rides and 40 carnival games, plus the Igloo (which features an ice-skating rink and sledding hill), acrobatics by Esmeralda's Traveling Circus, folksy things like pig races, and that sort-of-gross "Bodies" exhibit of corpses with their skin peeled off. Maybe hold off on the chicken legs till after you've seen that. 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona; Fri., Sept. 2-Sun., Sept. 25 (closed Mon. & Tue., except Labor Day); $8-$20, free for kids 5 and younger. lacountyfair.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
If your perception of Fleet Week has been informed by film and television, you no doubt picture handsome young sailors in their bell-bottomed dress whites walking the streets of New York City looking for a little excitement. It's about time they — and the lady soldiers, too — get a change of scenery. Over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-5), San Pedro hosts the first-ever L.A. Fleet Week. The long weekend of festivities includes aerial demonstrations, live music, food trucks and, from 7-11 a.m. on Monday, a 5.3-mile fun run, but the centerpiece is a variety of public tours of Navy and Coast Guard ships docked at the Port of Los Angeles. Can't make it? The event website is live-streaming the ships arriving at port. Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro; Fri., Sept. 2-Mon., Sept. 5; free. lafleetweek.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
The Moth plunges headlong into its second decade as it presents tonight's StorySLAM meditation on the topic of money. Founded in 1997 by writer George Dawes Green to bring together like-minded loudmouths to tell stories both glorious and gory, this latest StorySLAM covers anything that money corrupts or encompasses. Whether it's a story about a marathon session of sperm donation, getting a callback for a snuff video or just finding $20 between the couch cushions, a welcoming and reliably enthusiastic audience awaits. Los Globos, 3040 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Tue., Sept. 6, 7 p.m.; $10. (323) 666-6669, themoth.org/events/money-los-angeles. —David Cotner
"What we wear is dangerous gear," The Clash's Joe Strummer once sang. "It'll get you picked on anywhere." Punk fashion might be commonplace these days, but in the late 1970s punk rockers were routinely harassed and beaten up by cops just because of the way they looked. In his new book, Punk London 1977., photographer Derek Ridgers shares more than 130 startling images from England's punk scene. Although the veteran author (The Dark Carnival, Skinheads: 1979-1984) starkly captures such charismatic musicians as The Slits' Ari Up, Adam Ant and Blondie's Deborah Harry early in their careers, he's most interested in documenting the young fans who ripped up their old clothes and repurposed them into garishly shocking new statements. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., Sept. 7, 7 p.m.; free, book is $19.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Falling James
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is so synonymous with George Miller's postapocalyptic series that people often forget about the original film. Less austere and heady than 1979's Mad Max, the envelope-pushing sequel envisions a primitive future run by roving gangs who maim, rape and kill in the name of gasoline. Most fearful among these is Lord Humungus, one of cinema's most absurd(ly awesome) villains, who has no recourse but to once again unleash his dogs of war on our down-under hero. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thu., Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
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