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

CoproGallery is celebrating 40 years of Heavy Metal magazine on Saturday.
CoproGallery is celebrating 40 years of Heavy Metal magazine on Saturday.
Ryan Brown

A political comedy showcase, a celebration of the art of Heavy Metal magazine, a night at the Hollywood Bowl with Vin Scully, and more to do and see this week for $10 or less.

Friday Flights soars again with tonight's titanic triad of creative energies: artist Molly Surno and Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase meld choreography and barbering with We of Me, a soundscape mixed live and propelled by 20 men and their amplified, hand-crafted hairbrushes. There's also a set by Long Beach psychedelic velvet jammer Sun Araw and site-specific work by the Institute for New Feeling, a cabal of artists who unite New Age thinking and corporate mindsets to create "new ways of feeling and ways of feeling new." Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Fri., July 14, 6-9 p.m.; free (parking is $15, $10 after 3 p.m.). (310) 440-7300, getty.edu. —David Cotner

In 2016, PBS aired John Fugelsang's excellent road-trip documentary Dream On, which followed Fugelsang as he traveled through 17 states to retrace the 1831 journey of Alexis de Tocqueville, author of the book Democracy in America, and find out if the American dream is still accessible to working-class people. Since 2013, the New York–based comedian and SiriusXM host (he's also been a host on VH1 and of America's Funniest Home Videos), has applied that same political sensibility when emceeing Comedy Nation, a stand-up show where fellow comics crack wise about such topics as sex, sexism, gambling and legalizing drugs, followed by a panel discussion. Tonight's lineup for Comedy Nation: Patriotism vs. Party: Are They All Drunk on Power?, features Dulcé Sloan, Rick Overton, Felicia Michaels, Tamer Kattan, Bill Dixon and Robin Tran. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., July 14, 7-8:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

Before dying in the same infamous plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly and J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson, Ritchie Valens achieved legendary status as the granddaddy of Chicano rock. As played by Lou Diamond Phillips in La Bamba, Valens comes across as a sweet, sensitive soul who overcame a culturally stacked deck to become an American success story. The Skirball Cultural Center will screen the film as part of its outdoor Movies That Rock series. Get there early and check out the exhibit "Paul Simon: Words & Music." Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Fri., July 14, 8:30 p.m. (doors 6:30 p.m.); $10. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Upcoming Events

Heavy Metal Magazine — or "Naked Chicks With Wings Monthly," as it was known in eighth grade — embarks upon its fifth decade of riveting fantasy, science fiction and artistic vibrancy at the opening of the Heavy Metal 40th-Anniversary Art Show. The group exhibition presents works by more than 80 artists — everyone from European greats like Moebius and Milo Manara to American visionaries such as Richard Corben and the late genius Jeffrey Catherine Jones. From the breadth and depths of the magazine's history, you'll also see live body painting, cels from the 1981 Heavy Metal film, limited-edition prints, memorabilia and more. Copro Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Ste. T-5, Santa Monica; Sat., July 15, 8-11 p.m. (exhibit runs through Aug. 19); free. (310) 829-2156, copronason.com. —David Cotner

Every year Echo Park Lake becomes the site of a festival timed to coincide with the awe-inspiring bloom of countless lotus flowers along the northwest shore. Thanks to last winter's much-needed rain, the lakeside blossoms are particularly showy this year, which is as good a reason as any to drop by the 37th annual Lotus Festival. Each year's festival is hosted by a different country, and this year it's Bangladesh. Dancers from the host country join vendors selling street food and handmade crafts, adding to a range of other multiculti attractions that have become part of an L.A. tradition spanning nearly four decades. Echo Park Lake, 751 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park; Sat., July 16-Sun., July 17, noon-9 p.m.; free. (213) 485-5027, laparks.org/lotusfestival. —Tanja M. Laden

One of L.A.'s best kept secrets is the Silent Society, an offshoot of the Hollywood Heritage Museum that screens vintage 16mm flicks at Paramount Ranch, deep in the hills of Agoura. There you can eat a leisurely picnic dinner and take a guided tour of the derelict sets of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman while you wait for the sun to go down and the show to begin. It doesn't really matter what's playing; it's the rustic, family-friendly, congenial atmosphere that appeals. The summer season kicks off with the 1926 Beau Geste, starring a handsomely mustachioed Ronald Colman. Be sure to bring a lawn chair for comfort and a flashlight for the moonless walk back to the parking lot. Paramount Ranch, 2903 Cornell Road, Agoura; Sun., July 16, 8 p.m.; $6 ($3 for kids under 12). hollywoodheritage.org. —Nathaniel Bell

One of the quintessential elements of any proper Southern California summer soundtrack has long been the affable voice of Vin Scully deftly weaving in references to Shakespeare and postwar Brooklyn in his broadcasts of L.A. Dodgers games. Because of the ongoing limitations of the Dodgers' current television deal, most local fans couldn't see much of Scully's final seasons covering the baseball team before he retired last year, but he emerges from retirement tonight, putting his reassuring, mellifluous voice to use in his orchestral debut with the L.A. Phil as the narrator of Lincoln Portrait, composed by fellow New York native Aaron Copland. Conductor Gustavo Dudamel throws out the first pitch with Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man before guiding the orchestra through Beethoven's epic, choral-infused Ninth Symphony. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tue., July 18, 8 p.m.; $1-$154. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —Falling James

The boldly ever-morphing Zola Jesus is not one to shy away from the scary potentialities to be encountered in trekking the outer parameters of a new "pop" sound. The singer-composer's somewhat gothy path along several sonics-stretching albums of uncanny vocal acrobatics laced with electronic atmospheres — and, more recently, big brass and beats on her choicely ultra-widescreen Taiga album of 2014 — is a thrilling one, if only for her brave-hearted determination to do things her very own way. Also performing: singer-songwriter Lawrence Rothman, Norwegian electronic duo Smerz and the Echo's Part Time Punks DJ Michael Stock. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown; Thu., July 20, 6:30 p.m.; free with reservation. (213) 621-1741, moca.org. —John Payne


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