10 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week
Celebrate Stan and Ollie on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
A Laurel & Hardy Festival, a Christmas parade in East L.A., a Christmas tree lighting downtown and more to do and see in L.A. this week for 10 bucks or less.
"Shop local" is a common refrain this time of year, but now that an evil billionaire is president, it feels more important than ever to stick it to his CEO buddies by putting our money where our mouths are. Shopping goes hyper-local at ¡AyE! Boyle Heights: Alternative to Black Friday Marketplace, Leadership for Urban Renewal Network's art and crafts market for local makers and artists. The impressive roster of vendors offers everything from jewelry and leather goods to nail decals and hand-sewn plush dolls to elotes to snack on. Stretch your holiday shopping dollars and feel good about whose pockets they ended up in. City Labs Boyle Heights, 553 S. Clarence St., Boyle Heights; Fri., Nov. 25, noon-4 p.m.; free with RSVP. ayeboyleheights.splashthat.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Return to those chortlesome days of yesteryear at the Laurel & Hardy Festival, screening some of the comic duo's best short films, both silent and sound. Many of these shorts were shot right here in Southern California — everywhere from Echo Park to Cheviot Hills to Highland Park — and the decades-strong enthusiasm in keeping Stan and Ollie topmost in the comedy pantheon is thanks directly to the support of venues like the Music Hall. As always, each show starts with a selection of American popular favorites played on the Mighty Wurlitzer, accompanied by a faintly mortifying audience sing-along. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri., Nov. 25, 8:15 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 26, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m.; $10, $8 seniors. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org/films.html. —David Cotner
If you're looking for some post-election-and-Thanksgiving commiserating, the Hammer Museum invites you to Women's Center for Creative Work: Thank You for This Community — A Dinner at the Hammer. The Frogtown-based feminist nonprofit hosts programs, performances and workshops for fellow creative and professional females, everything from yoga to theater to auto shop classes, as well as a feminist library. For tonight's gathering, the collective's founders and members invite nine other local projects and organizations — Sewing Rebellion, Everything Is Medicine, Thank You for Coming, Decolonize L.A., Las Fotos Project, Project Q, Mujeres de Maiz, Honey Power and Craftswoman House — each of which takes charge of some aspect of the meal, whether it's the food, decorations or entertainment. More than just breaking bread, the evening is also a discussion on "our individual communities and the layering of them to create a larger feminist and creative community in Los Angeles." Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Nov. 26, 2-5 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events. —Siran Babayan
J.K. Rowling is credited with being one of the most creative minds in modern literature — but she never managed to come up with a Small Business Saturday event that would benefit the independent merchants of Diagon Alley, did she? The day after Black Friday, Geeky Teas & Games in Burbank hosts the Diagon Alley–Style Small Business Saturday, a market for people who wish they were wizards. Attendees — who are encouraged to wear their school uniforms — can browse Potter-themed wares by local crafters, and then hang out for Potter trivia and a sandwich from the Grilled Cheese Truck. Let the muggles have the mall. Geeky Teas & Games, 2120 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Sat., Nov. 26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. facebook.com/events/1118559618238869. —Gwynedd Stuart
Actor Stephen Kramer Glickman, visually self-described as "Kingpin from Daredevil crossed with Grumpy Cat" yet surprisingly affable, co-starred for five years on Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush and voiced Pigeon Toady in the animated feature Storks. Nonetheless, stand-up remains his true love, the craft from which he created The Night Time Show, a monthly extravaganza delivering guest stand-ups, nontraditional acts, an offbeat backing band, interstitial videos, audience contest giveaways and Glickman, seated behind a desk, conducting interviews. This month's show features Brody Stevens, Quincy Jones, Jimmy O. Yang and other heavy hitters, a karate demonstration and free Fireball shots. Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Nov. 26, 10 p.m.; $10. (323) 651-2583, hollywood.improv.com. —Adam Gropman
John Cassavetes is better remembered for his work behind the camera than he is for what he did in front of it — he mostly took acting gigs as a means of financing his independent productions — and the New Beverly is offering a chance to see both. First up is Gloria, quite possibly the most accessible film Cassavetes ever directed, followed by Machine Gun McCain. The former stars his wife and frequent collaborator Gena Rowlands (who earned an Oscar nomination) as a woman on the run from the mob; the latter also concerns organized crime, with Cassavetes as a recently released prisoner who quickly gets back to his old ways. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., Nov. 26, 7 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine
It's not beginning to look at all like Christmas on the streets of L.A., but for a little while, Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles will be decidedly more seasonal. The East Los Angeles Christmas Parade, one of the longest-running Christmas parades for the Latino community, has returned to march down Whittier from Eastern Avenue to Goodrich Boulevard, bringing the classic assortment of parade participants, like marching bands, floats, car clubs and maybe even the odd celebrity. After the parade, expect a holiday festival with music, food and more. Whittier Blvd., East Los Angeles; Sun., Nov. 27, noon-5 p.m.; free. elachristmasparade.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
While New York City may have the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, Los Angeles has its own holiday tree-lighting tradition at the Music Center Plaza. This year, the official L.A. County Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony features Christmas music from the versatile five-piece ensemble Brass Pacifica, as well as melodies from the Antelope Valley Master Chorale. And, as if the dazzling lights and dizzying tunes weren't enough, this free event further warms the cockles of our cold, dead hearts with free hot chocolate for everyone. Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Mon., Nov. 28, 5 p.m.; free. (213) 972-7211, musiccenter.org/events/special-events/la-county-tree-lighting. —Tanja M. Laden
L.A. is probably one of the few places where it's possible to ice skate in 72-degree weather. Now, the biggest ice rink in the city is adding another perk with a spin on the classical ice-skating tradition. Silent Night Skate Party is a brand-new ice-skating experience that has headphoned skaters moving to the tunes of three different music channels. Onlookers can watch people moving around in silence from the VIP Igloo, while skaters take breaks to pose for pictures in front of L.A. artist Kasey Blaustein's angel-wings mural. Costumes are encouraged, adding yet another fun (albeit surreal) dimension to the whole experience of quietly skating in silence in warm weather. Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., downtown; Thu., Dec. 1, 7-8 p.m. & 8:30-9:30 p.m.; $9 general admission, $4 skate rental. (213) 624-4289, holidayicerinkdowntownla.com/los-angeles-events. —Tanja M. Laden
As part of Central Library's ALOUD lecture series, writer-director David France discusses his new book, How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS, with Dr. Mark H. Katz and writer-activist Tony Valenzuela. France, a contributing editor for New York magazine and former senior editor for Newsweek, covered the outbreak of the disease from the beginning. (He also wrote Our Fathers, about the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, which was adapted into a 2005, Emmy-nominated Showtime movie.) France's memoir is a companion to his excellent, Oscar-nominated 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague, which chronicled the founding of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) in New York, and how its activists fought not only the government and pharmaceutical companies but a homophobic society to get access to effective drug treatments at the height of the epidemic during the mid-1980s. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Thu., Dec. 1, 7:15 p.m.; free. (213) 228-7500, lfla.org/calendar/category/aloud. —Siran Babayan
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