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

Brand Boulevard closes to cars for Sunday's CicLAvia.
Brand Boulevard closes to cars for Sunday's CicLAvia.
Ed Carrasco

A night with the Advice King, a Penny Marshall double feature, a closed-streets bike ride from Atwater Village to Glendale, and more fun stuff to do and see this week for 10 bucks or less.

Carlo Rotella, Mike Ezra and contributor Robert Anasi discuss their new book, The Bittersweet Science: Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside. Edited by Rotella, a professor at Boston College, and Ezra, a professor at Sonoma State University, the anthology features essays by writers, authors, academics, former amateur boxers, managers and musicians who offer different perspectives on boxing not only as a bloodsport but as a business, with chapters on such "marquee attractions" as Roy Jones Jr., Antonio Margarito, Bernard Hopkins, two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields and other boxers. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., June 9, 7 p.m.; free, book is $19. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

Fans of schlock cinema, B movies, obscure film and being kind and rewinding won't want to miss Lo-Fi Video's VHSwap at counterculture gallery Lethal Amounts. The event features vendors selling vintage VHS tapes, independent video companies presenting reissues and new VHS and DVDs, and film posters and art for sale. Actors from some of your favorite cult classics will be on hand to sign autographs, including James Duval (Frank the Bunny in Donnie Darko), Robert Ray Shafer (Psycho Cop) and Ruth Collins (Doom Asylum, Psychos in Love). Attendees are welcome to bring their own VHS tapes to swap, so if you're tired of rewatching Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, you might just be able to trade it for Amazon Women on the Moon. Lethal Amounts, 1226 W. Seventh St., Westlake; Sat., June 10, noon-5 p.m.; $5 suggested donation. (213) 265-7452, lethalamounts.com. —Matt Stromberg

If you're like most Angelenos (who live east of the Westside), chances are you've driven from Atwater Village up to Glendale more times than you could possibly count. Still, there's something totally different about experiencing an otherwise mundane drive on a bicycle on a street with no cars around to honk and bum you out. This month's closed-streets, biking-walking-skating extravaganza CicLAvia is entitled Glendale Meets Atwater Village. The three-mile route begins (or ends, depending) at Glendale Boulevard and Glenhurst Avenue in Atwater Village. Then cyclists travel via Glendale Boulevard to Central to Brand, ending at a hub at Brand Boulevard and Doran Street. As always, there are free bike maintenance tents, and several businesses along the route are offering specials, such as $1 off pints at Pacific Plate Brewery Taproom in Glendale. Glenhurst Avenue and Glendale Boulevard, Atwater Village, or Brand Boulevard and Doran Street, Glendale; Sun., June 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. ciclavia.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Suarez Dance Theater's latest, Family Dinner, began with three hosted potlucks with games and improvisation that led to a consideration of the parallels between the Bible's Book of Ruth and contemporary issues of immigration, politics and family. The resulting work promises Christine Suarez's distinctive blend of dance, music and spoken word; it also reunites Bernard Brown, Kai Hazelwood and Nguyen Nguyen, the dancers who dazzled in Suarez's highly praised Mother.Father. Suarez "tours" to multiple venues rather than presenting all the shows in one place. These performances are followed by a potluck, and audience members are encouraged to bring a dish to share. Reservations encouraged by email to familydinnerpotluck@gmail.com. Christine Reed Park, 1133 Seventh St., Santa Monica; Sat., June 10, noon. Also in private home (address provided with reservation), Sun., June 11, 5:30 p.m.; free. suarezdance.org/upcoming-events/. —Ann Haskins

Since 2014, stand-up comic and actor Chris Crofton has been the "Advice King" for Nashville's alt-weekly, Nashville Scene, doling out hysterical responses to such questions as "Should I start a food truck?," "Should I try cocaine?" and "How should I prepare for the zombie apocalypse?" (Recently, a reader asked: "What kind of guns should I get, and how many?" Crofton's reply: "It depends on what kind of damage you want to do to your brother-in-law.") Crofton, who lives in Los Angeles, also is a musician and hosts the podcast The Chris Crofton Show, as well as a YouTube version of his column. For his first Chris Crofton Advice King: Live!, Crofton performs stand-up and live music, screens videos and answers audience questions with guests and fellow comedians Josh Fadem and Lizzy Cooperman. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., June 12, 9-10:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

As part of its series of political films, People Power, the Hammer Museum screens Steve York's 2002 Bringing Down a Dictator. York directed the 2000 PBS series A Force More Powerful, about various nonviolent movements throughout the 20th century, beginning with Gandhi and the end of British colonialism in India. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the documentary follows members of the Serbian student group Otpor (which stands for "resistance") and other protesters, who used peaceful means to fight for a democratic regime and to overthrow the notorious dictator and former president of Yugoslavia and Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, in 2000. Indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity, Milosevic died in 2006. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., June 13, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Siran Babayan

The sensation of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Beasts of the Southern Wild went on to garner Oscar nods for Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay and Actress — the last of which made history for 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest person nominated in that category. Director Benh Zeitlin frames the story of a girl's courage against a vivid post-Katrina wasteland, taking a bold, magical-realist approach to a recent historical tragedy. Fans of Terrence Malick might appreciate the wide vision and religious undertones of this film, which basks in the same brand of visual splendor and awestruck narration. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles; Tue., June 13, 1:30 p.m.; free. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Upcoming Events

Back in the mid-'80s, it wasn't every day that a black female comedian got her own film. Hell, it isn't a thing that happens every day in 2017. In that respect, Penny Marshall's 1986 action-comedy Jumpin' Jack Flash, starring Whoopi Goldberg, is as rare as it is genuinely funny. In true '80s action-comedy fashion, Goldberg plays a spunky but bored bank employee who intercepts a cry for help via computer and winds up on the wrong side of an international crime ring that's suddenly out to get her. There's Supremes lip-synching, sequined-dress shredding and an amazing scene in which Goldberg's character is dragged around New York City inside a phone booth ("I'm a little black woman in a big silver box"). For its event Two by Penny Marshall, the New Beverly screens the film along with Marshall's other mid-'80s blockbuster, Big. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Thu., June 15, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Spam is a nuisance. You probably spend hours each day deleting emails about male enhancement drugs, diet pills or money scams from Nigerian princes. Mark as Spam: The Email Game Show, however, turns the scourge of the internet into comedy. Hosted by Joey Clift and special guest Laura Silverman, comedians Danielle Radford, Jamie Loftus, Brodie Reed and Allegra Ringo share emails that are real and some fake ones culled from Amanda Meadows' forthcoming parody book, The Best American Emails: Re: A Collection of the Finest Accidental Reply Alls, Pharma Spams, and Anonymous Death Threats. (Meadows is co-founder of comedy book publisher the Devastator Press.) Audience members determine which messages are actual or made up, and the winner with the most correct answers receives email-themed prizes, including a tote bag from the movie You've Got Mail and a signed copy of Meadows' book. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Thu., June 15, 7:30 p.m.; free, RSVP requested. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan


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