8 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week
Night on Broadway returns
A music and arts fest on Broadway, a musical about flop musicals, a book event with a pro hiker and more to do and see in L.A. this week for 10 bucks or less.
In 1997, Mexico City–based rock photographer Fernando Aceves was contacted by a concert promoter and offered the chance to document David Bowie's first and only visit to Mexico. With Bowie's band along for the ride, Aceves photographed the legendary musician with a variety of cultural landmarks, from early Mesoamerican pyramids to Diego Rivera murals. Aceves' photos come to L.A. for the first time for the "David Bowie: Among the Mexican Masters." The exhibit at Forest Lawn Museum features 27 color images taken while Bowie was in Mexico for his Earthling Tour. Forest Lawn Museum, 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale; Fri., Jan. 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (runs through June 15); free. forestlawn.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Molly Haskell's recent book Steven Spielberg: A Life in Film points to an unexpected movie as the director's best: Empire of the Sun. An adaptation of J.G. Ballard's World War II novel, it introduced the world at large to Christian Bale and is, in Spielberg's own words, like "the opposite of Peter Pan." It thus marked something of a departure for the filmmaker, who was still better known for the likes of Jaws and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial than Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Color Purple — part of a cinematic adolescence that saw him grow into the director we now know. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine
Produced to tout councilmember José Huizar's Bringing Back Broadway initiative, the third annual Night on Broadway is a radiant evening of art and music set along one of the oldest and most-loved movie theater rows in the world. Inside Broadway's classic theaters, music and art abound, from a tech-art-music showcase called "The Advent of the VJ" at the Orpheum to musical and stand-up comedy at the Palace (plus a psychedelic black-light installation downstairs). The art and music spill out onto the street, where you'll find a dodgeball cagematch, chess boxing, food trucks and more. Open to all ages, rain or shine. Broadway between Third Street & Olympic Boulevard, downtown; Sat., Jan. 28, 4-11 p.m.; free (registration requested). (213) 200-9974, nightonbroadway.la. —David Cotner
Casey Schreiner has written one hell of a useful guidebook. Day Hiking: Los Angeles is packed with trails that span the county and range from beginner trails to treks for the experienced outdoors person. Schreiner, who founded the popular website Modern Hiker, rates trails according to difficulty, points out which ones are dog- and/or kid-friendly and keeps readers informed on great views and historical details. He's spending the weekend promoting the book and will be leading a Saturday hike at the Audubon Center at Debs Park. If you would rather read the book before hitting the trail, get your copy signed on Sunday, when he'll be talking about it with Curbed's Alissa Walker. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Sun., Jan. 29., 6 p.m.; free (books to be signed must be bought at the Last Bookstore). (213) 488-0599; lastbookstorela.com. —Liz Ohanesian
Los Angeles is home to a thriving Iranian community — the largest outside of Iran — where traditional Persian customs, music, art and cuisine are kept alive. The second biennial exhibition "Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video" presents the work of dozens of artists who explore Iranian culture and heritage. An international jury of citizen journalists, archivists and storytellers — who are connected to Iran by ancestry or simple admiration of its culture — selected work by emerging and midcareer artists to reflect the diversity of contemporary Iranian life. The resulting show presents a culture that is deeply connected to history yet constantly evolving and very much alive. Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; opens Sun., Jan. 29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (runs through May 7); $7; $5 students, teachers and seniors; free CAFAM members; pay what you can Sundays. (323) 937-4230, cafam.org/exhibitions. —Matt Stromberg
Before he died in 1987, essayist and social critic James Baldwin was working on a book called Remember This House, which summarized his memories of civil rights figures Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Tonight's screening of I Am Not Your Negro — director Raoul Peck's documentary encompassing the subject matter of Baldwin's memoirs — spans the breadth of those civil rights legacies, interweaving them with footage of its leaders, the Black Power movement and other milestones in race relations, all narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Peck will be present for a Q&A after the screening. Billy Wilder Theatre, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Mon., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner
Not about moderate Republicans (remember those?) but rather a bizarre love triangle, In Name Only finds Cary Grant as a well-to-do suburbanite who falls in love with a widow (Carole Lombard) long after he's fallen out of love with his wife (Kay Francis). His attempt to consciously decouple is rebuffed, however, as the missus openly admits to being with him only for his high rung on the social ladder. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Jan. 31, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Tim Rice and Stephen Schwartz are behind some of the biggest musicals of all time, but they were also responsible for some Broadway fails — ever heard of Pipe Dream, Anyone Can Whistle or The Baker's Wife? Originally staged in 2013, Proof Doubt Closer theater company's "Carrie" That Tune: Hit Songs From Flop Musicals showcases tunes from ill-fated or forgotten productions that became successful after they were recorded by other artists, such as "Feeling Good" from The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd, "He Touched Me" from Drat! The Cat! and "One Night in Bangkok" from Chess, whose music was co-written by ABBA's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. Complete with props and costumes, the cast sings selections from other flop musicals, including 1988's Carrie: The Musical, which, after only five performances, was one of the Great White Way's costliest disasters. Au Lac, 710 W. First St., downtown; Thu., Feb. 2, 8 p.m. (runs through March 2); $10. proofdoubtcloser.com. —Siran Babayan
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