8 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives screens for free on Thursday.
Between Record Store Day — hey, it's free to browse — an erotic fan-fic comepetition and a five buck 4/20 show, there's all sorts of cheap and free stuff to do in L.A. this week.
Judging by the prodigious number of California outlets participating in Record Store Day 2016, purists can declare that vinyl is far from dead. Actually, they can gloat: 2015 vinyl sales outpaced cash generated by streaming music, the world's most popular method of auditory acquisition, by a cool $30 million. Today, celebrate analog, knowing there will never be a national "Mp3apalooza." Celebrate the knowledgeable clerk (as brick-and-mortar shops are making a comeback) and celebrate — from Poo-Bah in Pasadena to Freakbeat in the SFV, from Claremont's Rhino to Covina's Kaos — the warmth of analog and the human touch. Various locations; Sat., April 16. recordstoreday.com. —Skylaire Alfvegren
NBC's Seeso streaming platform boasts both classic and cutting-edge comedy, from seminal Saturday Night Live up through original offerings from Upright Citizens Brigade. This weekend, new meta-series The Comedy Show Show — which captures the live experience of the industry's top weeklies and monthlies — films an episode of Bryan Cook's Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction. The writers' free-for-all/festival darling/Nerdist podcast invites a return lineup of former CEFF champions Moshe Kasher, Eliza Skinner, Ben Roy, Dave Hill, Ian Karmel, Guy Branum, Andres du Bouchet, Jackie Kashian and Solomon Georgio. Meaning it'll be creative, delightfully dirty and available online soon. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood; Sun., April 17, 8 p.m.; free. (323) 660-4540, thevirgil.com. —Julie Seabaugh
A Josef von Sternberg double feature at the New Beverly: The King Steps Out and Ana-ta-han, his final film. Von Sternberg wrote, directed, shot and narrated the Japanese war drama that ended up being his swan song; after multiple attempts to re-edit it following a disappointing domestic release, the filmmaker eventually abandoned the project in favor of his teaching gig at UCLA. A master of lavish mise-en-scène, von Sternberg brought to each of his films an arresting visual sense that's no less remarkable half a century later. The King Steps Out will be shown on 35mm, Ana-ta-han on 16mm. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sun., April 17, 6:30 p.m.; Mon., April 18, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine
It's one thing when you have to deal with your neighbors after they've found out you've got chickens in your condo — but when Joseph Stalin moves in? Longtime L.A. Weekly drama critic Steven Leigh Morris reads from his new book, Fowl Play ($16, Padaro Press), a surreal confection in which art not only imitates life, it makes it incredibly annoyed. As metaphors go, the chickens that frame Morris' book, subtitled "A Novel in Three Acts," are effective and trenchant. Siri, how do you say "hilarity ensues" in Russian? Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Mon., April 18, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —David Cotner
REDCAT pays tribute to an avant-garde icon with Radical Intimacies: The 8mm Cinema of Saul Levine. Levine, who's crafted more than 100 small-gauge films in a career spanning 50-plus years, will appear in person to discuss the smattering of work on display. Said offering includes Light Licks, Portrayals and other examples of his tactile, improvisatory corpus. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., April 18, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Michael Nordine
Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn float downriver and have a better time than just about anyone else involved with World War I in The African Queen, John Huston's classic adventure. He's a riverboat captain who never met a gin joint he didn't like; she's a missionary who never met a soul she didn't want to save. You can probably guess what happens next, but that's not to say The African Queen hasn't earned its reputation — considering the funereal mood of most action-oriented fare made today, Huston's deft balance of drama and swashbuckling is to be admired. Bogart won his only Oscar for this performance. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., April 19, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
UCB's annual 420 Show celebrates the herb-honoring holiday with all things weed all night long. First, UCB co-founder Matt Besser and guests bring you "comedy, music and trippy shit" in The 420 Show With Matt Besser. Later, the six-man comedy troupe of Bath Boys Presents: Foggy Noggin performs "inside a stoner's brain," followed by Stoned Scenes with Big Grande, in which the club's top cast members stage famous scenes and monologues from film and TV while under the influence. Finishing out the evening is Weed Cram, where more UCB actors, writers and directors create an entirely new sketch show also while high. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., April 20, 4:20 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
Between Bernie's "are you ready for a political revolution" battle cry, our delirious coast-to-coast illuminati-oligarchy paranoia and the right wing's delicious, fist-shaking outrage over "paid professional protesters," Micah White's new book, The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution, could not have arrived at a more propitious moment. White, one of Occupy's original Zucotti Park spearheads, has perpetrated a rich reflection on our quagmire of culture, corruption and the future of activism, politics and spirituality, which provides compelling context and proposes a call to action at a critical point in time when misery-infused doom seems like the prevailing national menu selection. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Thu., April 21, 7 p.m.; free, book is $20. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Jonny Whiteside
Matters pertaining to past and present, life and death and almost everything exist on a sliding scale in the fictional worlds of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, many of which are sly political reveries about his native Thailand. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, which would be his crowning achievement even if it hadn't won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, makes its fantastical elements (reincarnation, talking fish) feel familiar and even comforting. It stands as one of the best, most beguiling films in recent memory — and certainly the only one featuring ghost monkeys. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., April 21, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine
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