9 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

A free, al fresco dance celebration for exactly no dollars
A free, al fresco dance celebration for exactly no dollars
Courtesy the Music Center

A rock & roll flea market, a pride celebration in August, a performance in a fountain and more to do this week for 10 bucks or less.

It's salsa night this week at Dance Downtown, the Music Center's free, al fresco summer dance party. Of course, watching is an option, but with beginner lessons available, everyone can join the party for hours of open dance to a live band. After tonight, there are only two more Dance Downtown Friday nights — samba (Aug. 19) and disco (Sept. 2). Before the summer slips away, grab those dancing shoes and join the fun. Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., Aug. 5, 7-11 p.m., free. musiccenter.org. —Ann Haskins

Once a year, the radically feminist and strictly WOC bicycle posse Ovarian Psycos organizes Clitoral Mass, L.A.'s biggest critical mass by and for women, more specifically "womxn of color, trans, queer, two-spirited and gender nonconforming folx." The subjects of a recent eponymous documentary, Ovarian Psycos set out to raise social consciousness — of poverty, gentrification and cycling, of course — by physically taking up space on the streets, and for five years, the Clitoral Mass has successfully spoken louder than words. This year's route is approximately 35 miles with curated pit stops along the way. Ride begins at Lou Costello Jr. Recreation Center, 3141 E. Olympic Blvd., Boyle Heights; Sat., Aug. 6, 9 a.m. (departure at 11 a.m.); free. facebook.com/events/1789249477978168. —Gwynedd Stuart

Comedy festivals with big-name talent cost big bucks. As long as you have the stamina to watch nearly 200 local improv teams perform for 13 hours straight, the free L.A. Indie Improv Festival is the best bargain in town. These performers love the element of surprise and are fast on their feet. They've made the rounds at theaters including UCB, Groundlings, iO West and Second City, they produce their own shows, and their acting and writing credits include Saturday Night Live, MADtv, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Key & Peele. Shows take place at Los Feliz–area venues the Clubhouse, Impro Theatre, Moving Arts Theater and Lyric-Hyperion Theater & Cafe, as well as on a shuttle, which will transport attendees between stages. The festival also features beverages and food trucks during lunchtime. Various locations; Sat., Aug. 6, noon-1 a.m.; free, donations requested. (323) 540-0935, laindieimprovfestival.com. —Siran Babayan

Upcoming Events

Two Maurice Pialat/Gérard Depardieu collaborations at UCLA: Loulou and Under the Sun of Satan. Made in 1980, the sexually charged Loulou finds Depardieu opposite another Gallic icon of the screen, Isabelle Huppert — a pairing that wasn't repeated until this year's enigmatic Valley of LoveSatan, which was greeted by a chorus of boos when it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1987, is a controversial drama about a priest's dealing with a murderess; it's a dark, hard-won look at the intricacies of grace, temptation and forgiveness. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine

Summer is supposedly flea market season, but who feels like rummaging through stuff — old or new — when it's approximately 10 degrees hotter than hell outside? On the first Sunday of every month, the Regent Theater's Great Rock & Roll Flea Market offers a pleasant, climate-controlled alternative to outdoor swap meets. In addition to the obvious — vendors selling vinyl, vintage clothes, jewelry and a variety of handcrafted food stuffs — there's a full bar, DJs and even brunch. Sure beats sweating all over a crate of someone's old VHS tapes. Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown; Sun., Aug. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. rnrflea.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

This afternoon's inaugural DTLA Proud Festival, featuring parties, performances and DJ sets, rockets like a firework into the sky to celebrate both the energized DTLA area and the LGBTQI movement. High-minded matters of community will be at hand, but at its heart, DTLA Proud is a party that just happens to feature things like community booths showcasing dozens of local restaurants and shops, as well as DJs, a pop-up water park, parties by Queen Kong, Dragalicious, legendary performance troupe The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Jackie Beat, Carole Pope and scads of others in performance spaces ranging from the New Jalisco to the new Globe Theater. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., downtown; Sun., Aug. 7, noon-10 p.m.; $10. (213) 847-4970, dtlaproudfestival.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Disney's animated version is a classic and we've little reason not to give the new live-action version starring Emma Watson a chance, but Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast likely will remain unmatched in its visual sumptuousness. Josette Day and Jean Marais are la belle et la bête in this 1946 adaptation of the fairy tale, which turns on a rose surreptitiously plucked from a garden and the death sentence doled out as a result. LACMA screens the romantic fantasy as part of Fuel for Nightmares, a series curated by Guillermo del Toro. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Aug. 9, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

Selfish is an intersectional art-and-lit magazine born out of the desire to see a world where female-identified storytellers "create without consequence," i.e., a world where women are encouraged to be selfish. The publication's last two years of experimental output has included innovative forms of memoir — recent issues have delved into themes like losing one's innocence, the "modern woman" and the general fluidity of female identity (duh). Latest issue "Hot and Bothered" unpacks the ever-present tension underlying women's daily lives (and no, it's not always the good kind). Join six of the badass women featured in the issue — A. Nicole Kelly, Bonnilee Kaufman, Allison Noelle Conner, Dacy Lim, Kelsey Nolan and Chloe Isabella Parks — for an evening reading with plenty of wine. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Wed., Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Neha Talreja

Dallas Clayton is an L.A.-based children's author, poet, illustrator and public speaker behind the Awesome Book series (An Awesome Book!, An Awesome Book of Thanks!, An Awesome Book of Love!). In 2015, Amazon Prime ran a series based on Clayton's other children's book, Lily the Unicorn, produced by the Jim Henson Company. That year, he collaborated with Amy Poehler's online network, Smart Girls, to create a mural at Downtown Disney to celebrate the release of Inside Out. Clayton also has performed at UCB, where he's hosting new, monthly adult show Radical Feelism With Dallas Clayton, which will mix personal storytelling with poetry. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Aug. 10, 7 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan


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