5 Star-Spangled Things to Do in L.A. This Week for Less Than $15

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Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 12:16 PM
click to enlarge Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl. - COURTESY OF THE LA PHILHARMONIC
  • Courtesy of the LA Philharmonic
  • Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl.
It's the week before the 4th of July and a surprisingly not-awful World Cup performance by the U.S. national soccer team has put everyone in a patriotic mood. So let's celebrate with a musical comedy poking fun at all-American rocker Bob Seger and a fireworks show (with Steve Martin on banjo!) at the Hollywood Bowl - stay on budget with $13 seats that will still provide a nice view of the sparklers. Also worth celebrating is our community of queer artists, many of whom have come together to produce an exciting Biennial show on display for most of July.

As if that's not enough, we've also got a fun-filled $5 comedy show in Eagle Rock, and a politically-charged experimental dance performance in Torrance. Forget the relaxing BBQ - you've got a lot to do this week!

5. Dance About It

Stories ripped from the headlines and dancing with art are the varied approaches taken by choreographers in this concert shared by Liz Hoefner Adamis' Immediate Action Dance and John Pennington's Pennington Dance Group. Adamis' two new works consider activists in Pakistan and South Africa who have galvanized international outrage. Malala Yousafzai was propelled to worldwide prominence after a thug stormed her school bus in Pakistan and shot her three times in the face. In Gul Makai, Adamis goes beyond the sound bite to explore the relationship between Yousafzai and her activist father, Ziauddin Yousafzai. In Like the Arabesques of a Blind Mind, Adamis tackles another politically charged topic: It's inspired by South African poet and apartheid activist Breyten Breytenbach's seven-year imprisonment in South Africa, including two years in solitary confinement. Adamis' dancers include Rebekah Davidson, Sinnamon Hauser, Lindsey Lollie, Paula Present and Sarri Sanchez. Choreographer Pennington contributes two works employing onstage art. In OUT OF, five dancers perform with floor-to-ceiling watercolor panels by Susan Rankaitis to a commissioned score by Edgar Rothermich. In OVERLAY, Pennington launches six dancers, who make the stage their canvas. The evening also includes live experimental music from the Yorgos Adamis Ensemble. El Camino College, Marsee Auditorium, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance; Fri., June 27, 8 p.m.; $15. (310) 329-5345, 800-832-ARTS, facebook.com/events/622940134468914. - Ann Haskins

4. Get Your Seger On
If you've spent precious work hours watching an Internet gift called Yacht Rock, you're familiar with J.D. Ryznar. In 2005, Ryznar and his comedian and writer friends (David B. Lyons, Hunter Stair, Drew Carey, Dan Harmon, Jason Lee and Doug Benson) created the web series, which gently spoofed a time when music was smooth, thanks to soft-rock bands such as The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Loggins & Messina, Hall & Oates, Christopher Cross and the smoothest of them all, Michael McDonald. Now Ryznar is turning his attention to another bearded classic-rock icon, Bob Seger. Ryznar describes A Night of 1,000 Bob Segers as a "low-budget play wrapped around a tribute band," with Ryznar acting as narrator, while Jason Makiaris and the Bobsegers play Seger songs from the '60s to the '80s and a cast - including Stair, Tim Heidecker (Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), John Konesky (Tenacious D) and stand-up comics Matt Braunger, Kyle Kinane and Mike Burns - liberally reinterprets Seger's life and career. Audience members are encouraged to come dressed as Seger. Wearing underwear and socks à la Risky Business doesn't count. The Satellite, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; Sat., June 28, 9 p.m. (doors open at 8:30); $12. (323) 661-4380, thesatellitela.com. - Siran Babayan

See also: 15 Things to Do in L.A. If You're Having a Bad Day

3. See (Art) Differently 
The first Queer Biennial is a national survey focusing on the current moment in out/queer/LGBT visual culture - a salient idea, and one that's sure to be expanded upon in the future. Though its curator, Ruben Esparza, and its first venue, Coagula Curatorial, are both L.A. institutions, the Biennial has elements planned for New York, Mexico and Europe and includes artists from the American West, East and Mid, and even a little bit of Canada. Contributions come from bondage-friendly photographer and director Rick Castro; jewelry designer and metalworker Angela Gleason; filmmaker, writer, photographer and mixed-media artist Bruce LaBruce; photocollagist and neon sculptor Lili Lakich; and portraitist, muralist and illustrator Miguel Angel Reyes. Musicians and performers include Themegoman, Crystal Powers and Devan M, along with photographer and indie-erotica provocateur Dave Naz; Austin Young, champion of transgender fabulosity in photography, performance, film and public spectacle; and conceptualist and curator Esparza, whose pun-laden, mixed-media work mashes up commercial and alternative cultural signifiers. As you might expect, the exhibition (and related happenings both at the opening and during the July 26 Perform Chinatown festival) is provocative in its ideas and inclusive in its style, with artists sharing only a sensibility that Esparza describes as "not shying away from sexuality, identity, the body and all-around queerness." What you might not have anticipated? The familiarity and accessibility that are on display here. After all, the show is fundamentally just about the human experience. Coagula Curatorial, 974 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Sat., June 28, 7-11 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Wed.-Sat., noon-5 p.m., through July 26. (424) 226-2485, queerbiennial.com. - Shana Nys Dambrot

Keep reading for two more great events, including an all-star comedy show and a sparkly way to spend 4th of July weekend...

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