Soapbox derby racers speed downhill in Elysian Park on Sunday.EXPAND
Soapbox derby racers speed downhill in Elysian Park on Sunday.
Fermin Tellez

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

A pop-up tribute to the Trial of the Century, a Japanese family festival, a solar eclipse viewing at Griffith Observatory and more fun stuff to do this week for $10 or less.

Since he was in high school, Brentwood native Adam Papagan has been giving tours — unofficial and later official — of locations pertinent to the O.J. Simpson case, from Sydney Simpson's middle school to the condo where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. Over the years he's also collected pop-cultural artifacts associated with the crime and subsequent "trial of the century," including bootleg T-shirts, books, games and even a '94 Ford Bronco. For the first time, Papagan displays his collection at the O.J. Museum Pop-Up at Coagula Curatorial in Chinatown. Besides Papagan's artifacts, the pop-up put out an open call for people to loan their own O.J. memorabilia and art to the show, so expect surprises. Morbid, sad, sensational surprises. Coagula Curatorial, 974 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Fri.-Tue., Aug. 18-22, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Sat. 11-8 p.m., Sun. 11-4 p.m.); $5, $4 in advance. coagulacuratorial.com/OJ-Simpson-Museum.xhtml. —Gwynedd Stuart

Natsumatsuri Family Festival is a gold mine of performances, crafts and activities for anyone with an interest in all things Japanese. This year's performances include drumming by Koshin Taiko and Yuujou Daiko, Japanese folk music troupe Minyo Station and dance with Bon Odori Community Dance. There's also a pinwheel workshop, an origami corner, frog-shaped balloons with the Balloon Guy, and more. Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., downtown; Sat., Aug. 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (213) 625-0414, janm.org. —John Payne

Turning Elysian Park into a surreally comical drag strip, Red Bull Soapbox Race returns to L.A. with some heavy-duty street-racing action — and it's totally legal. Seventy teams of gear geeks and speed freaks build and compete in audacious/ludicrous custom-crafted, nonmotorized vehicles with a view to wow the crowds and, of course, cross the finish line first. Participants break like the wind down Angels Point Road in Elysian Park in this exciting and amusing spectacle that challenges experienced racers and amateurs alike to use their imaginations and their street-racing skills to beat the clock and get the checkered flag. Free parking at Dodger Stadium with a free shuttle to the park. Elysian Park, 835 Academy Road, Elysian Park; Sun., Aug. 20, pits open 9:30 a.m., races 10:15 a.m.-4:15 p.m.; free. redbullsoapboxrace.com. —John Payne

¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicano/Chicana Murals Under Siege is a companion publication to an upcoming exhibit of the same name at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes as part of the Getty's SoCal-wide arts initiative "Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA." With a foreword and afterword by OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano, as well as contributions by writers Erin M. Curtis, Jessica Hough, Guisela Latorre and photographer Oscar R. Castillo, the book highlights eight murals created by Barbara Carrasco, Roberto Chavez, Sergio O'Cadiz Moctezuma, David Botello, Yreina D. Cervantez, Ernesto de la Loza, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Willie Herrón III, Alma Lopez and George Yepes from the 1970s to the '90s in downtown, Echo Park, Boyle Heights and Fountain Valley. Accompanied by essays, the more than 175 images and sketches explore the history and creative process of these wall paintings, many of which have disappeared over time thanks to weather, development or whitewashing of their controversial content. Arellano moderates a panel discussion with Curtis, Hough, Carrasco and Botello. Vroman's, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., Aug. 20, 4 p.m.; free, book is $40. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan

David Arquette, a producer-actor best known for his roles in Never Been Kissed and the Scream franchise and for being the brother of Patricia and Alexis Arquette and the ex-husband of Courteney Cox, is hitting the UCB stage for Improv With David Arquette. Improv actually runs in the family — David's great-grandparents were vaudevillians, and his father, Lewis, was an established short-form improviser when David was growing up, working with improv pioneers Viola Spolin and Paul Sills in L.A., and was very involved with Second City in Chicago. The actor will perform three different long-form improvisational styles with three different teams. UCB Sunset, 5419 Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 20, 9 p.m.; $8. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com/performance/56201. —Katie Buenneke

The continued popularity of 12 Angry Men is astounding given its age and subject. It currently stands at No. 5 on IMDb's Top 250 films as rated by users, sandwiched between The Dark Knight and Schindler's List. What's so amazing about 96 minutes of sweaty men arguing in a room? Everything, actually. As a cross-section of Eisenhower-era masculinity, it is without peer, but it unfolds like a thriller as a lone juror (Henry Fonda) tries to convince the other 11 that their "guilty" votes against a boy on trial for murder should be reassessed. Not a moment, gesture or line is wasted en route to one of the most powerful codas in American cinema. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Aug. 20, 7 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Nathaniel Bell

The United States of America is about to experience its first total solar eclipse since 1979, and everyone is very pumped about it. People are booking flights to Middle America and paying jacked-up hotel prices to be in the ominous-sounding "path of totality," where the sun will be completely blocked out for as long as 2½ minutes in some places. Here in L.A., we'll only see 70 percent coverage of the sun's surface, but it's still bound to be cool. Organizations — scientific and otherwise — are hosting Solar Eclipse 2017 viewings, from L.A. Public Library branches to Glendale Community College's planetarium, but the biggie is obviously Griffith Observatory, where you can watch from the grounds alongside other rapt Angelenos; the coelostat (solar telescope) will be available to visitors too. It's bound to be busy, so the facility is recommending taking the DART bus from the Vermont/Sunset Red Line station. Griffith Observatory, 2800 E. Observatory Road, Griffith Park; Mon., Aug. 21, 9 a.m.-noon; free. griffithobservatory.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Between 1997 and 2011, MTV aired Daria, an animated series about a brainy, sardonic, deadpan suburban teenager, who had not low self-esteem but "low esteem for everyone else." She was a heroine to many females, including Brittany Ashley and Laura Zak. Ashley is a writer-actress who's created videos for BuzzFeed, and Zak co-wrote the 2016 Emmy-nominated web series Her Story, about transgender women. Ashley and Zak share their appreciation for the bespectacled redhead on their new podcast, Sicker Sadder World, where they break down Daria episodes and characters and how they relate to our current culture. For the podcast's first live taping, the two will screen and discuss season-one episode "Malled" — the one where Daria and her classmates go on a field trip to "that repository of human greed and debasement" — with guests Gaby Dunn, Ira Madison III and Navid Sinaki, as well as singer Mindy James, who'll perform a cover of the cartoon's theme song, "You're Standing on My Neck." Segovia Hall at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Tue., Aug. 22, 7 p.m.; free with RSVP. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/sicker-sadder-world-podcast-live. —Siran Babayan

There's a new flea market in town, and it's 100 percent vegan, queer and family-friendly. "We are about breaking down barriers and opening up communities and acknowledging all genders, sexualities, abilities and peoples," says Iris Green, a cookbook author, educator and nutritional activist who is behind the East Los Queer Flea Market, along with drag persona, community leader and POC LGBTQ advocate Phillip Hurt. Vendors sell everything from herbal tinctures and art to clothing, terrariums and hand-crafted pipes. There's also an open mic and an altar celebrating the lives of trans women who were murdered this year. As Green explains, "The idea is that queer is about the individual defining themselves. This is a space and place for people to feel safe inside their definition of that identity." Green's Center for Plant Based Nutrition and Gluten Free Education, 4906 E. Olympic Blvd., East L.A.; Thu., Aug. 24, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 422-5762, facebook.com/events/929266340549830. —Tanja M. Laden

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