5 Upbeat Things to Do in L.A. This Week for $13 or Less
Attendant at last year's Doggie Street Festival.
Courtesy of Doggie Street Festival
Didn't catch the fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl this Fourth of July? Now's your chance to see them, at a family-friendly show featuring live orchestra performances to DreamWorks animated scenes. You can snag seats for just $13.
The rest of this week's best events are all 100 percent free, from a mystical art show to an exhibition of TV's best costumes (just in time for Emmy season) for the art-inclined, and a dog-friendly festival for our four-legged pals. Wanna get really weird? Join the Llano del Rio Collective for a screening of cult movies — movies about cults, that is.
5. Get Animated
It seems as if DreamWorks has been around a lot longer than 20 years — yet it also feels like it was just yesterday when Hollywood big shots Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen banded together to form a new company that rocked the entertainment industry with its unique, collaborative approach to film production. Either way, there’s certainly enough material to fill a two-day concert series at the Hollywood Bowl, DreamWorks Animation in Concert, dedicated entirely to the studio’s blockbuster animated films. Hosted by Jack Black, the shows screen best-loved scenes from films such as Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, paired with live performances by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The work of composers Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman features prominently, while singer Judith Hill also makes an appearance to belt out Stephen Schwartz’s “When You Believe,” from The Prince of Egypt. In true eye-popping DreamWorks (and Hollywood Bowl) fashion, the shows culminate with fireworks. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; Fri., July 18, and Sat., July 19, $13-$144. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com/tickets/dreamworks-animation-concert-?celebrating-20-years. —Tanja M. Laden
4. Read the Cards
Since roughly the year 1540, tarot cards have been used for entertainment and divination across the world. Scads of full decks and/or Major Arcana have been designed for purposes of self-expression, political allegory, feminism, humor, sexology and even plain old beauty. This weekend, Last Projects Gallery’s Tarot Show opens up the format a bit, with a host of contemporary L.A. artists taking on the tarot, whether as a matter of individual cards or as a symbol of magical thinking and secular occultism. Artists working in an array of styles from the pop surrealist to the conceptual, and with varying degrees of reverence for the paranormal, include Seth Styles, Lisa Ingeles, R.K. Shuquem, Elena Brocade, Anthony Ausgang, Victor Balogh, Michael Dee, Scott Lawrence, Amanda O’Connor, Olivia Beall, John Ciulik, Jasmine Bazzi, Phillip Haut, Nico Zurita and Jason Lynn. Whether you’re a fool or a high priestess, or somewhere lost in all those cups and swords, there’s no denying that art and magic make for a colorful future. Last Projects Gallery, 6546 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 215, Hlywd.; Sat., July 19, 7-10 p.m.; free. (323) 356-4225, last?projects.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot
See also: 30 Free Things to Do in LA Any Time.
3. Party with Your Pooch
When economic times are tough, it’s not only humans who suffer. Job loss and foreclosure have consequences for four-legged companions as well: The worse off people are, the more family pets are abandoned or turned in to shelters. San Diego documentarian Jude Artenstein got a good lesson on this in 2008 while doing research for a film about homeless dogs. With her golden retriever, Scout, by her side, Artenstein was moved to found the nonprofit Doggie Street Festival, now in its sixth year in San Diego and third in L.A. On July 20, you can power-walk your pooches (leashed only, please) down to the Westfield Century City Mall and join in the animal-advocacy good times at the third annual Los Angeles Doggie Street Festival. If you’ve been seeking more love and companionship in your life, ditch the dating sites and adopt a dog on-site. If you’ve already found true love with a fur baby, the festival features veterinarian booths for medical tips, dog boutiques showcasing luxury grooming menus and the latest toy technologies, plus a “Cupcake Lounge,” whose inspiration sounds Marie Antoinette–level in its indulgence. There could not be a more perfect venue for whiling away a Sunday, consuming heaps of sugar with your dog and pretending the recession never happened. Bring the kids, as this is a family-friendly event. Whether you want to put them on a leash, too, is up to you. Westfield Century City Mall, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City; Sun., July 20, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. doggiestreetfestival.org. —Rena Kosnett
Keep reading for two more fun and free events, including an exhibit of TV's best costume designs.
2. See the Costumes of TV
Emmy season is the perfect time to focus our attention on the beautiful costumes that make our favorite shows come to life. After all, what would Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones or Mad Men be without the costume designers who make those far-off worlds believable? Once a year, the FIDM Museum & Galleries’ Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibition gives these costumes the spotlight. Curated by Mary Rose, president of the Costume Designers Guild (as well as a governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which presents the Emmys), the exhibit allows up-close and personal access to 75 designs otherwise only visible on the screen. Pick your favorites before the Emmys air on Aug. 25, or come back after watching the show to marvel at the winning designs. FIDM Museum, 919 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tue. July 2; continues through Sept. 20; Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (213) 623-5821, fidm?museum.org. —Sascha Bos
1. Visit Utopia
Bergamot Station is a fantastic place full of free art shows and free parking and lovely people, but it doesn’t exactly top the list of utopian social experiments and spiritual collectives in Southern California history. No, there are many more candidates for those top spots — among them, the 1970s-era Source Family and the Llano del Rio experiment, the subjects of tonight’s documentary screenings. You probably know about the Source Family, but Llano del Rio, founded in the Antelope Valley in 1914, was a socialist colony that lasted just four years. Nearly 100 years later, it inspired a namesake art collective whose version of modern utopian living comes with more visual art, alt-culture guidebooks and philological snark than their socialist forebears ever dreamed of. As part of the Llano del Rio Collective’s current Santa Monica Museum of Art residency, the collective has released a new book, built a treehouse in the Bergamot Station parking lot and hosted a series of interdisciplinary exercises, the latest of which is tonight’s free, public dinner and documentary program, Utopia, A Double Feature: Dear Comrade and The Source Family. Dear Comrade (2013) uses a kind of interpretive, palimpsestic dream-logic to evoke the spirit of the original Llano del Rio in all its gritty glory, while The Source Family (2012) explores the true-life legend of Father Yod, with his fabulous wardrobe, nubile coterie, inevitable scandal and restaurant on Sunset — the one that gave Woody Allen mashed-yeast agita in Annie Hall. California, we love you forever. Santa Monica Museum of Art, Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., G1., Santa Monica; Wed., July 23, 7-10:30 p.m.; free. (310) 586-6488, smmoa.org. — S.N.D.
See also: The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week.
Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter:
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Los Angeles.