13 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

From Daniel Clowes' Patience. The book isn't free but seeing Clowes is!
From Daniel Clowes' Patience. The book isn't free but seeing Clowes is!


A Riot Grrrl film and music fest, a cat art show and comedy from a suburban gangster — all for 10 bucks or less.

Five years in the making, graphic author Daniel Clowes' aptly titled novel Patience is finally being released. The creator of Ghost World, Eightball and Wilson returns with a love story shot through with psychotropic images and science-fiction intrigue, which walks a tightrope between annihilation and redemption. Throughout its 180 full-color pages, you'll see Clowes at his creative height, rendering alternate realities in which maladjusted and schlubby outcasts verge on heroism. Twenty years ago, he designed Meltdown mascot Mel, so tonight represents a kind of homecoming for the ever-insouciant Clowes. Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., March 18, 7 p.m.; free, book is $29.99. (323) 851-7223, meltcomics.com. —David Cotner

A big deal was made this year — rightfully so — about the Oscars' overwhelming whiteness and, to a lesser extent, the awards' overwhelming maleness outside of the acting categories. LMU's Grrrls on Film music and film festival offers a more diverse look at arts and culture through a female lens with a weekend of feminist panels, screenings, workshops and shows. Among the extremely cool women slated to appear are Wayne's World director Penelope Spheeris, The Runaways writer-director Floria Sigismondi and Born in Flames director Lizzie Borden. Loyola Marymount University, Mayer Theater, 1 Loyola Marymount University Drive, Westchester; Fri.-Sun., March 18-20, times vary; free. lmu.edu/grrrlsonfilm. —Gwynedd Stuart

Technically the Iranian holiday Nowruz coincides with the vernal equinox on March 21, but local people of Persian descent will be ringing it in early this year at the second annual Los Angeles Persian Parade on Saturday. The celebration was modeled after NYC's Persian Parade, but as organizers note, there are more Iranian expats living in L.A. than anywhere else in the United States. And it's not a political event but rather a celebration of Persia's 2,500-year-plus history. A party in Grand Park follows the procession. Spring Street, downtown; Sat., March 19, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 645-6585, la-persianparade.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, an ongoing restoration project with a focus on queer film and video, hosts a 20th-anniversary screening of Deepa Mehta's Fire. Deeply controversial in the filmmaker's native India but renowned the world over, this portrayal of a love affair between a new bride and her sister-in-law is also the first entry in Mehta's Elements trilogy: Earth followed in 1998, Water in 2005. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., March 19, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

This year's edition of the Vegan Street Fair brings together dozens of L.A.'s vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, offering affordable bites for $3 or less. Last year's fair had 44 vendors, and this year's is supposed to be three times larger, so expect even more meat- and dairy-free goodness, from vegan beer to vegan Puerto Rican food and vegan ice cream. The fair lasts eight hours, so wander, nibble and feel confident that the only harm you're doing to a living thing is to your engorged midsection. 11223 Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood; Sun., March 20, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. (347) 508-3343, veganstreetfair.com. —David Cotner

Photographer Catherine Opie is the subject of three concurrent exhibits at LACMA, MOCA Pacific Design Center and the Hammer Museum. As part of MOCA's new Artists on Artists series, Miranda July discusses "Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road" at MOCA, which displays photographs Opie took at the Bel-Air home of Elizabeth Taylor. July is among the dozen visual artists, authors and fashion designers in "Catherine Opie: Portraits" at the Hammer Museum, which includes images of John Baldessari, Raymond Pettibon, Jonathan Franzen, Matthew Barney and Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Opie and July have collaborated before on July's 2013 email project "We Think Alone," which also included Lena Dunham, Kirsten Dunst and others. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; Sun., March 20, 3 p.m.; free. (213) 621-1741, moca.org. —Siran Babayan

The culmination of three days of celebrations of Johann Sebastian Bach's 331st birthday, Bach in the Subways is the free initiative spreading the beauty of Bach's cantatas and other compositions. Founded in the New York subways in 2010 by cellist Dale Henderson, the program spread from there to Seattle to Singapore to São Paulo, with musicians in each city playing Bach for the public for the sheer joy of it. Septet DuselForty58 will play a variety of Bach solos, duos and chamber music pieces in Union Station; performances by musicians in locations from Van Nuys to Highland Park also are scheduled. Grand Waiting Hall by Traxx, Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown; Mon., March 21, 11:15 a.m.; free. (310) 415-5270, bachinthesubways.org/losangeles. —David Cotner

Ain't no meat in them corn dogs. The Vegan Street Fair is free on Sunday.
Ain't no meat in them corn dogs. The Vegan Street Fair is free on Sunday.
Courtesy Vegan Street Fair

Travina Springer's Suburban Gangster Comedy doesn't involve stories about her days spent slangin' or a soundtrack of hardcore rap — the BET Comic View alumnus grew up in the kind of suburbia where the more prevalent threat was a citation from the home owners association for the color of your mailbox. Still, the self-proclaimed central Florida army brat draws from her sheltered upbringing to produce a multitude of hilarious stories and characters. An ever-changing cast of notable comedians with credits from Comedy Central, HBO, NBC, BET, BuzzFeed and more rounds out the night of sketch, stand-up and improv. iO West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., March 21, 8 p.m.; $5. (323) 962-7560, ioimprov.com/west. —Neha Talreja

If you've ever watched those hokey after-school specials that warned you about sex, drugs, drinking and other heavy issues, prepare to squirm in your seat again. For more than two years now, Lux Alptraum, a New York writer, comedian, sex educator and former editor of Gawker's porn blog, Fleshbot, has been traveling around the country hosting The Wonderful World of Boning, in which she screens chuckle-worthy sex-ed videos that she collected while teaching teens at prevention programs. For her first L.A. visit, Alptraum is joined by comics Lucas Hazlett and Allen Strickland Williams as they provide funny commentary on these videos of kids and parents having earnest discussions about puberty, erections and STDS. It'll still be less awkward than when your parents talked to you about the birds and the bees. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., March 22, 7-8:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

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How's this for kismet: Mulholland Dr.'s amnesiac heroine (Laura Elena Harring) takes the name of Rita after seeing a movie poster for Gilda, which stars Rita Hayworth as the eponymous femme fatale. Charles Vidor's noir benchmark was so popular, particularly for Hayworth's performance, that an atomic bomb tested at the Bikini Atoll in 1946 was nicknamed Gilda (because she's a bombshell, see?); Hayworth was none too pleased with the tribute, but it stands as a testament to her presence all the same. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., March 22, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

This probably comes as little surprise, but Quentin Tarantino's taste is pretty out there. Anyone who follows along with the New Beverly's calendar can attest to this — Tarantino owns the theater, and many of the films played there are personal favorites of his — with When Women Had Tails and When Women Lost Their Tails being just the latest example. Made two years apart (1970 and 1972) by Pasquale Festa Campanile, the prehistoric, fantastical comedies star Senta Berger as a cavewoman whose beauty draws the attention of seven male counterparts. Maybe some of those cave drawings were of her? New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Tue., March 22, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

You've probably never thought about the narrators behind your favorite audiobooks, but a lot happens on the part of the voice-over artists. Kelly Gildea, who's executive producer of Penguin Random House Audio and has directed titles by Bill Clinton, John Updike, Elie Wiesel, Stephen King and Anne Rice, moderates the panel discussion Inside the Audiobook Studio, which goes behind the scenes on how audiobooks are recorded. She'll be joined by L.A. actors and voice-over artists Cassandra Campbell, Kirby Heyborne and Steve West, who've collectively worked on hundreds of audiobooks. Together, they'll discuss their careers and what makes a good narrator. Beverly Hills Public Library, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills; Wed., March 23, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 288-2220, beverlyhills.org/exploring/beverlyhillspubliclibrary. —Siran Babayan

The ancient Egyptians worshiped cats as godlike beings, and these slinky, cuddly and enigmatic feline muses have been hissing at, rubbing up against, shedding their fur on and otherwise inspiring countless artists across numerous cultures for several millennia. While organizing Cat Art Show L.A. 2: The Sequel, a reprise of the popular exhibition that was first presented in L.A. in 2014, curator Susan Michals posed this question to her latest group of artists, "What is the true meaning of cat for you?" Several dozen painters and photographers responded, ranging from such notably catty fine artists as Marion Peck, Tim Biskup, Natalia Fabia and Mark Ryden to unexpected figures like filmmaker Michael Lindsay-Hogg, tattoo maven Kat Von D, actor Norman Reedus, David Bowie photographer Mick Rock, Incubus singer Brandon Boyd and shamanistic cat wrangler Paul Koudounaris. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., downtown; Thu., March 24, 8-10 p.m.; runs through Sun., March 27; free. (916) 670-3801, catartshow.com. —Falling James

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