8 Great Free and Cheap Things to Do in L.A. This Week

Amber Tamblyn reads her poetry at Book Soup on Tuesday.EXPAND
Amber Tamblyn reads her poetry at Book Soup on Tuesday.
Photo by Katie Jacobs

Crawl (not really) around Venice, hear from the author of a graphic novel about Andre the Giant, see a punk themed Christmas art show and more — all for 10 bucks or less.

Author Brandon Easton wrote about the larger-than-life Andre the Giant in his new graphic novel, Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven (IDW, $12.99), and today he discusses it with Andre's daughter, Robin Christensen Roussimoff, who wrote the foreword. For fans familiar with Andre Roussimoff only as a wrestler, Fezzik in the beloved The Princess Bride or inspiration for Shepard Fairey's "Obey" street art, the book, illustrated by Denis Medri, chronicles his life in and out of the ring: growing up on a farm in France (he was 6 feet tall by the time he was 12); his WWF stardom and famously feuding with Hulk Hogan; and working in Hollywood TV and films in the '70s and '80s. The artistic renderings also look back on Andre's notorious drinking and his gigantism, which led to his death from congestive heart failure in 1993. Barnes & Noble, 1201 Third St., Santa Monica; Fri., Dec. 11, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 260-9110, stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061748018-0. —Siran Babayan

The Los Angeles Punk Museum gives the city a dose of underground history for the holidays at the second annual Xmas Art Show. The two-day event launches on Friday at Chinatown's KGB Gallery with performances by cover band Joy Revision, Silver Star, Siggy and first-wave L.A. punk Taquila Mockingbird. Famed pop surrealist Anthony Ausgang leads the list of visual artists participating in the event. Festivities continue Saturday night with performances from Gitane Demone Quartet, Trulio Disgracias and Bunny Fontaine. This is an all-ages event that runs from 6 p.m. to midnight both nights, so if you're looking for a punk outing for the whole family, here's your chance. KGB Gallery, 1640-1646 N. Spring St., Chinatown; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 11-12, 6 p.m.-mid.; $7, $5 with museum membership. (323) 892-1515, lapunkmuseum.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Eddie Furth and Ryan Pigg return to host their monthly Historical Roast comedy show, which puts in the hot seat historic and pop culture figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Disney, Hitler, Einstein, Elvis and Michael Jackson. Comedians poke fun at the dirty little secrets of the roastee, who in turn gets to roast the roasters. Tonight's edition skewers Thomas Jefferson: our country's third president, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, slave owner and Sally Hemings' rumored baby daddy. The lineup includes Bennie Arthur, Sara Benincasa, Ahmed Bharoocha, Willie Hunter and Kim Congdon, with Keith Powell (30 Rock) as Jefferson, as well as a possible appearance by a fellow Founding Father. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 11, 7 p.m.; $8 in advance, $10 at the door. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

As you may have heard, the hills are occasionally alive with The Sound of Music. This Sunday morning, UCLA is, too — for free, no less, as the classic musical screens as part of the Family Flicks series. Watch Julie Andrews and the rest of that brave family fight the Nazis with their gift of song and be grateful for their contribution to keeping The Man in the High Castle from becoming reality. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Dec. 13, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Filmforum has been killing it with its Los Angeles premieres lately. The latest of these is Pedro Costa's Horse Money, which debuted at the Locarno Film Festival last year and is just now arriving in L.A. for the first (and perhaps only) time. The Portuguese auteur is among the most celebrated in world cinema, and his heady, demanding works are exactly the sort of movies that fall through the theatrical cracks if you don't live in New York — which is to say, sleep on this rare opportunity at your peril. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-3456, lafilmforum.org. —Michael Nordine

Watch Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire do what they do best at LACMA, where Holiday Inn is this week's Tuesday Matinee. Bearing no official relation to the hotel chain of the same name (though it did inspire the name), the 1942 musical stars the crooners as two-thirds of a musical act, both of whom are in love with the third (Virginia Dale). More than its love-triangle plot, the film is best remembered for introducing "White Christmas" to the world. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Dec. 15, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

Amber Tamblyn is especially attuned to the many ways in which Hollywood devours the hopes and even lives of countless sensitive, talented women. The Santa Monica native might be best known as the star of TV series Joan of Arcadia, but she's also a startling, inventive writer whose latest poetry collection, Dark Sparkler (Harper Collins, $17.99), exhumes the damaged souls of such tragically silenced actresses as Thelma Todd, Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Tate and Dana Plato with a bold, unsentimental style, which segues seamlessly from soulful empathy to morbid humor and baleful outrage. As Tamblyn wades through these heroines' bittersweet lives, she artfully tries to "tag the train of every dress, leave my mark/on their scars." She sits down tonight for a chat with redoubtable L.A. novelist Janet Fitch (White Oleander). Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Tue., Dec. 15, 7 p.m.; free, book is $17.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Falling James

Stop and assume an upright position as you experience the culture portion of the Venice Art Crawl. At dusk, you'll be bathed in the radiance of the LightFall Lighting Exhibit, for which the white walls of the former Venice City Hall are used as a canvas for painters of light to apply their talents in all the colors of the rainbow. Also, theater troupe Voices in the Well reads Dylan Thomas'Under Milk Wood, originally a radio drama in which a godlike narrator clues the audience in to the dreams of the residents of the Welsh fishing hamlet of Llareggub. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Thu., Dec. 17, 6:30 p.m.; LightFall is free; $10 for the Under Milk Wood reading. (310) 822-3006, beyondbaroque.org. —David Cotner

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >