See The Wiz for four bucks at LACMA on Tuesday afternoon.EXPAND
See The Wiz for four bucks at LACMA on Tuesday afternoon.
Universal Pictures

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

A celebration of Latin American composers, a free magic show and a screening of Sidney Lumet's The Wiz, all for 10 bucks or less.

Budd Friedman discusses the evolution of his live-comedy institution in his new memoir, The Improv: An Oral History of the Comedy Club That Revolutionized Stand-Up, with co-author Tripp Whetsell. Opened in New York in 1963, the Improv was originally an after-hours space for Broadway performers, most famously Bette Midler. After comedians took over the lineup, it expanded to Los Angeles in 1975 and would become one of the biggest "global brands of humor." Friedman recalls some of the legendary names — Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, Richard Pryor, Andy Kaufman, Rodney Dangerfield, Freddie Prinze, Robin Williams, Larry David — who've passed through the venue during its 50-plus years. The book includes interviews with former employees and a who's who of comics who've honed their skills in front of the club's famed brick wall, including Danny Aiello, Robert Klein, Dick Cavett, Jerry Stiller, Jay Leno, Al Franken, Lily Tomlin, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, Judd Apatow and Jimmy Fallon. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; free, book is $26.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

Last month, Continental Art Supplies in Reseda began the process of closing its doors after 57 years of keeping the Valley's artists, well, supplied. Steve Aufhauser's family business has long boosted the local art scene, and it continues that tradition by sponsoring live art by muralist Levi Ponce and others at Reseda Rising Artwalk & Night Market. Besides the art in progress, the one-night event, produced by the art collective 11:11, features several installations, a market with dozens of artists' work for sale, a drawing workshop and even a zine fest. Sister Mantos, Potato Hands and others provide a live soundtrack, while food trucks including Tackle Box, Phillyfornia, the Taco Chef and Spyros Gyros serve up eats. Sherman Way between Reseda Boulevard and Lindley Avenue, Reseda; Sat., Sept. 23, 5-10 p.m.; free. 1111acc.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

USC professor and author Josh Kun hosts Sonorama! Latin American Composers in Hollywood, a performance featuring the Mexican Institute of Sound, Sergio Mendoza, Alberto López and others paying tribute to the film and TV credits of Juan García Esquivel, Maria Grever, Johnny Richards and Lalo Schifrin. The latter, a six-time Oscar nominee, scored more than 100 films, including Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry and The Cincinnati Kid, and wrote the theme to TV's Mission: Impossible. The program is the first in Kun's "Musical Interventions," a series of live events, a sound installation, curated playlist and an accompanying album that are part of the Getty's citywide Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Sat., Sept. 23, 7-9 p.m.; free. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu/museum/programs/performances/sonorama.html. —Siran Babayan

Los Angeles was once a premier destination for Spanish-language cinema, its downtown venues packed with classic films from Mexico, Argentina and other Latin American countries. UCLA is launching an ambitious attempt to "re-create the Spanish-language film culture of downtown" with a series titled Recuerdos de un cine en español: Classic Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles, 1930-1960. The programming is rich and varied, encompassing multiple genres and territories. The first title to screen is Enamorada, a Mexican melodrama starring María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz, loosely based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Series passes cost a mere $50, a sweet deal considering the scope of the enterprise: 38 films stretched over three months. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Nathaniel Bell

According to the 2012 Sight & Sound poll, Quentin Tarantino's personal top-10 list includes Pretty Maids All in a Row, an oddball concoction of 1971 directed by French expat Roger Vadim and adapted from a Francis Pollini novel by Gene Roddenberry (his only feature writing credit). Its main draw, besides the pulchritudinous females referenced in the film's title, is an offbeat performance by Rock Hudson as the world's most cynical high school counselor. Tarantino's New Beverly Cinema pairs it with Revenge of the Cheerleaders, a raunchy sex comedy from 1976. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Mon., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

Sidney Lumet was the unlikely director of The Wiz, the 1978 all-black remake of The Wizard of Oz. (But is he any stranger a fit than John Huston directing Annie?) Relatively unloved when originally released, the downbeat musical has several things going for it, including Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as Scarecrow and Richard Pryor as the Wiz. LACMA offers it up as part of its Tuesday Matinees series. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Sept. 26, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell

In the world of magic, women have been relegated to the role of "lovely assistant" for way too long. In a crafty bit of sleight of hand, more and more ladies are making inroads into the scene here in L.A., and you can count the duo Mystiki among them. Simone Turkington and Elizabeth Messick combine three of L.A.'s favorite things — magic, retro style and tiki — for a magic show that's as stylish as it is mysterious. For An Evening of Magic, Turkington and Messick invite magician Handsome Jack to be their guest, and the whole affair is free — how's that for a cool trick? The Edison, 108 W. Second St., #101, downtown; Wed., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; free. (213) 613-0000, edisondowntown.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

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