5 Great Things to Do in L.A. This Week for $5 or Less

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
Photo by David Khinda

Artist-actress-author-comedian Charlyne Yi, known for her quirky and memorable supporting roles in Knocked Up and House, launches her new book, Oh the Moon. The collection of short stories is about characters wrestling with their varying levels of individuality, from giant babies to women who are only legs and a head. These tales of turmoil unfold alongside Yi's drawings. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $16.99. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —David Cotner

Drew Barrymore signs her new memoir, Wildflower, which reflects on her early years, including the death of her father, John Drew Barrymore, plus the wanderlust of her adolescence and the pitfalls of both child stardom and baring her breasts for David Letterman. Barnes & Noble, 189 Grove Drive, Fairfax; Wed., Nov. 4, 7 p.m.; free, book is $28. (323) 525-0270, stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061719023-0. —David Cotner

"Like a dog!" In one of those dream director/novel adaptations it's hard to believe actually happened, Orson Welles brought Kafka's The Trial to the screen in 1962. Most of the game-changing filmmaker's works were deeply personal affairs, but this was his first post–Citizen Kane project that allowed Welles something resembling creative freedom. He was quite pleased with the results, declaring The Trial "the best film I have ever made." The Magnificent Ambersons might have something to say about that, but this one is essential nevertheless. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Nov. 5, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine

Ever wonder why the Coen brothers named their Odyssean comedy O Brother, Where Art Thou? Watch Sullivan's Travels on 35mm at LACMA and find out. (Or look it up online. Either way is cool, but this method's way more rewarding.) "They don't make them like they used to" is an overused, rarely accurate and often silly complaint when it comes to the movies, but in the case of Preston Sturges it's all too true — Hollywood comedies have rarely risen to his level in the half-century since his death. In this classic, a director of comedies longs to make a more serious contribution to the world and goes to great lengths in order to do so. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Nov. 3, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

A product of Spanish colonial influence on an ancient Aztec festival honoring the goddess of the underworld, Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico every Nov. 1 and 2 by visiting the graves of loved ones and making ofrendas (offerings), calaveras (skulls, usually of sugar) and pan de muerto (sweet bread). In Boyle Heights, Self Help Graphics & Art presents its 42nd Día de los Muertos festival, complete with performances by Brenton Wood and Barrio Stomp and dozens of food and arts vendors. SHG has collaborated with downtown's Grand Park to create a community altar, which stands alongside sculptures and installations exploring both the history of the holiday and current issues from gang violence to immigration reform. If you want to get a little closer to the dead, head to Santa Monica's Woodlawn Cemetery for a traditional celebration that includes a tour of the graves of famous Angelenos. The only museum in the world dedicated to contemporary Latin American art, Long Beach's MoLAA, presents a family celebration that features an altar exhibition as well as the opportunity to create your own crafts. Die-hard Día de los Muertos fans can watch Olvera Street's Novenario processions every night through Nov. 2, and Grupo Folklórico de UCLA keeps the party going until next week, with an annual performance showcasing dance styles from multiple regions of Mexico. Mendez Learning Center, 1200 Plaza del Sol E., Boyle Heights; Sun., Nov. 1, 4-10 p.m. (323) 881-6444, selfhelp0x200Bgraphics.com. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; through Mon., Nov. 2, all day (20-minute weekday lunchtime tours). (213) 972-8080, grandparkla.org. Woodlawn Cemetery, 1847 14th St., Santa Monica; Sun., Nov. 1, 1-4 p.m. (310) 458-8688, smgov.net. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Sun., Nov. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (562) 437-1689, molaa.org. El Pueblo Historical Monument, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, downtown; through Nov. 3, 7 p.m. (213) 625-7074, olvera-street.com. UCLA, Ackerman Union Grand Ballroom, Westwood; Sun., Nov. 8, 5:30-11 p.m. (562) 965-9476, happenings.ucla.edu. All events are free. —Sascha Bos


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