12 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

Hey, hey, they're The Monkees and they definitely do monkey around.EXPAND
Hey, hey, they're The Monkees and they definitely do monkey around.
National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Raybert Productions, Screen Gems Television

Insane sand art, a live dance performance, episodes of The Monkees' really fun sitcom and more to do and see in L.A. this week, all for 11 bucks or less.


Known for its site-specific events in unusual venues ranging from historic jails to the concrete bed of the L.A. River, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre also has done small-scale performances with classic Cadillacs and a '60s Airstream RV as the "site." This time Duckler and her band of dancers, actors, musicians and writers tackle a 15-foot stainless steel fish sculpture from architect Alex Ward for a series of performances considering water and drought (and fish). This episode, Fish Eyes, set in the fountain area of California Plaza, is just one of three segments; the others are Fancy Fish and Fish Out of Water. Upcoming venues include Tree People (Aug. 25) and Pershing Square (Aug. 30) before a wider SoCal tour. Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 12, 8 p.m.; free. heididuckler.org. —Ann Haskins

Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton appeared onscreen together only once: in Limelight, which Old Town Music Hall screens throughout the weekend. Chaplin — who wrote, directed, produced, starred and composed the score — was denied re-entry to the United States after premiering the film in London, having been accused of holding communist sympathies. A deeply personal, autobiographical endeavor, the film stars Chaplin as a former music-hall star whose popularity has waned in recent years — a clear parallel to the Tramp himself. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Fri.-Sat., Aug. 12-13, 8:15 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., Aug. 13-14, 2:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.org—Michael Nordine

Before he was the picture of discomfort while standing next to Kanye, Mike Myers was considerably more carefree as Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Powers' flame was bright but brief, with three successful movies made over just five years, and the Nuart celebrates the spy-sendup franchise's legacy with a midnight screening of the original entry. What this one lacks in Fat Bastard and Mini-Me it more than makes up for in Elizabeth Hurley. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Aug. 12, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com—Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

Long Beach has hosted an annual sand-sculpture showcase for 83 years, making it one of the longest-running of its kind in the world. But the Long Beach Sand Sculpture Art & Music Festival isn't just about fancy monuments fashioned from sand; it's about bringing together beachside communities for one big celebration full of vendors, live music, drinks and food. The sand sculptures are the biggest highlight, with a masterpiece built by pros as the centerpiece. But you don't have to be a professional sand artisan to take part; there's also a semi-pro category as well as an amateur competition. You'll never be bored at a beach party again (as if you ever were). Granada Beach, 1 Granada Ave., Long Beach; Sat., Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 14, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. lbsandcastle.com. —Tanja M. Laden

The Monkees' heyday lasted all of two years, but the popularity of their music has endured since the debut of their TV show on Sept. 12, 1966. To commemorate the band's 50th anniversary, surviving members Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork are once again on tour and have released a new album, Good Times!, featuring songs written by Rivers Cuomo, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and XTC's Andy Partridge. The American Cinematheque also marks the occasion with tonight's The 50th Anniversary of The Monkees, a screening of four episodes of The Monkees: "Monkee vs. Machine," where the group infiltrates a toy factory; "Monkees Get Out More Dirt," where they crush on Julie Newmar; "The Devil and Peter Tork," where they make a deal with the Devil; and "The Frodis Caper," the series' last, Dolenz-directed episode, which includes a performance by Tim Buckley. The screening of episode two is followed by a discussion with Dolenz, moderated by Illeana Douglas. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 461-2020, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Siran Babayan

UCLA presents a night of Nitrate Noir featuring Leave Her to Heaven and Nightmare Alley, both on the highly flammable material that once was the norm for film projection. Both halves of the double feature are of the rarely seen, mid-'40s variety of noir, with Leave Her to Heaven marked by atypically bright (and Oscar-winning) cinematography and Nightmare Alley centering around a scheming would-be psychic. Hollywood historian Mark A. Vieira will be on hand to sign copies of Into the Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941 to 1950 starting at 6:30. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Forty years ago, Ciclovía first popped up in Bogotá, Colombia, where the congested streets since are regularly closed to automobile traffic so that bicyclists can temporarily claim them as their own. The idea has long since traveled to Los Angeles, where it's been renamed CicLAvia. Today's CicLAvia — Iconic Wilshire Boulevard is an opportunity to see the famed thoroughfare in a whole new way. With a 3.5-mile course between Koreatown and downtown, you can actually cruise along Wilshire without cursing under your breath while trapped in gridlock. But if you're driving, remember to expect even more traffic, because Wilshire will be temporarily closed to cars. Wilshire Boulevard between Grand and Western avenues; Sun., Aug. 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (213) 355-8500, ciclavia.org/ciclavia_wilshire16. —Tanja M. Laden

Lady Snowblood and its sequel, Love Song of Vengeance, are among many old-school genre curious known to many for their influence on Quentin Tarantino (namely Kill Bill), but Toshiya Fujita's two-part revenge cycle has much more to offer than influence. Meiko Kaji is Yuki, whose entire life revolves around avenging the mother she never knew. An aesthetic treat that delivers on the promise of its title, the first film in particular is an essential part of the vengeance canon. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Aug. 14, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

Just because you're dead doesn't mean you can't have a sense of humor, and tonight's Historical Roast of Marilyn Monroe is proof perfect, as hosts Eddie Furth and Ryan Pigg gather a caustic roundtable of comedians — Bill Dixon, Scout Durwood, Dave Ross and Jessica Michelle Singleton — to deliver unto Marilyn the roasting she's needed all these years. From "You have to sleep forever next to Hugh Hefner?" to "Shouldn't that song be 'Candle in the Mud' now?" to "What's Arthur Miller look like naked?" it's like a night at the Friars Club, only with fewer guests of honor. Nerdist Showroom at MeltDown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Aug. 16, 8:45 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com or holdmyticket.com/event/253749. —David Cotner

The Getty's latest exhibit, "Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road" (through Sept. 4), explores the history, art and conservation of the Mogao Buddhist cave temples that date between the fourth and 14th centuries, and are located in morthwest China along the ancient Silk Road. The "three complementary experiences" include paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, three full-scale cave replicas and a multimedia area with 3-D technology for visitors. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Hammer Museum hosts a discussion with Buddhist studies historian D. Neil Schmid, who lectures on the history of Buddhism in China. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2016/08/body-of-the-buddha-art-of-the-dunhuang-temples-with-d-neil-schmid. —Siran Babayan

He helped kick off the rockabilly revival. He owned L.A.'s Cat Club. He married Britt Ekland. There's more to his life than those high points, of course — and tonight he'll tell you about the shitty parts, too, when Slim Jim Phantom blabs about A Stray Cat Struts: My Life as a Rockabilly Rebel. From humble Brooklyn beginnings to his rocket to fame drumming with The Stray Cats and recording hits such as "Stray Cat Strut" and "Rock This Town," which would both dazzle fans and annoy mall shoppers 30-plus years later, he's lived a life most would only dream of. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., Aug. 17, 7 p.m.; free, book is $25.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner

The Aero's annual Best of Recent Belgian Cinema spotlights Joachim Lafosse's The White Knights, the writer-director's follow-up to his wrenching Our Children. A dramatization of the Zoé's Ark controversy, it stars Vincent Lindon as a Frenchman who travels to Darfur in order to rescue hundreds of orphans. Come for the humanitarian drama, stay for the postscreening Belgian beer reception. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Wed., Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine


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