A improv take on Hamilton, a fall fest in Griffith Park, a free Día de los Muertos celebration in Boyle Heights and more to do and see in L.A. this week for 10 bucks or less.
Patrick Stewart's rise from British thespian to movie superstar is, in retrospect, unexpected and wholly earned. The American Cinematheque has programmed a double feature that shows two sides of this beloved actor's film career. In Logan, he quietly gathers sympathy as Professor X, the world's most powerful telepath, now suffering from a destructive brain disease. In Match, he vanishes into the role of a Juilliard ballet instructor suddenly confronted with the ghosts of his past. Taken together, they demonstrate Stewart's deft, compassionate touch. Stewart will appear for a discussion in between films. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell
Technically Día de los Muertos ended Nov. 2, but on Saturday Boyle Heights gallery Self Help Graphics & Art hosts its 44th annual Día de los Muertos Celebration. The evening features a traditional ceremonial blessing, young musicians from the Eastside, craft and food vendors, live music from Almalafa Mexican Ska and Morrissey tribute band Mariachi Manchester, and scads of people dressed in only the finest skeletal calaca outfits. Self Help Graphics & Art, 1300 E. First St., Boyle Heights; Sat., Nov. 4, 5 p.m.; free. (323) 881-6444, selfhelpgraphics.com. —David Cotner
The sight of young people smoking cannabis lost its edge long before Proposition 64 passed, but oh, to see it in 1958! High School Confidential, intended as a lightly shocking piece of Beat-sploitation, has aged into a fine piece of cheese. Russ Tamblyn stars as a knife-wielding hipster ("Too young to be careful, too tough to be afraid!" as the trailer exclaims) commercially constructed to titillate the kids and terrify the grownups. Jerry Lee Lewis even drops in for a cameo. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., Nov. 4, 11:59 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell
Lin-Manuel Miranda spent some six years creating Hamilton. The cast of UCB's Shamilton! An Improvised American Musical will spend just a few seconds. Co-directed by Al Samuels and Peter Gwinn, actors Joey Bland, Ross Bryant, Amanda Blake Davis, Chris Grace, John Hartman, Lucas Kavner, Jiavani Linayao, Jessica McKenna, Zeke Nicholson, Zach Reino, Ashley Ward and Lou Wilson will ask the audience to suggest a historical or popular figure, accompanied by three interesting facts about him or her. (Past characters have included everyone from Genghis Khan and Rasputin to Mark Wahlberg and Kim Kardashian.) They then improvise an entire, 75-minute musical, complete with story, lyrics, choreography and a live band. It may be the next best thing to seeing Hamilton, and the ticket price is cheaper than the cost of parking at the Pantages. A former writer for The Colbert Report, Gwinn is the founder of another musical improv group at UCB, Baby Wants Candy!, which counts Aidy Bryant, Thomas Middleditch and Jack McBrayer as alumni. UCB Sunset, 5419 Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Sun., Nov. 5, 9 p.m.; $7. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
Griffith Park has come a long way since its humble beginnings as an ostrich farm. Beginning in 1919, following the death of its founder Griffith J. Griffith (yes, that was really his name), the park expanded to include the Greek Theatre and Griffith Observatory, and has since become an L.A. landmark as a whole. Now, thanks to the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, along with the L.A. Parks Foundation and the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, there's the Griffith Park Fall Festival, which features live music, food, games and local craft brews. The whole event is designed to be car-free, complete with a bike valet and pedestrian street. Everyone is welcome, including dogs (just make sure they're leashed). Griffith Park, 4740 Crystal Springs Drive, Griffith Park; Sun., Nov. 5, noon-4 p.m., free. laparksfoundation.org. —Tanja M. Laden
Best known as one-half of legendary stoner comedy duo Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin is also a prolific art collector. Since the 1990s, the actor and director has amassed more than 700 examples of Chicano art, some of which have been on loan to museums, including LACMA's 2008 exhibit "Los Angelenos/Chicano Painters of L.A.: Selections From the Cheech Marin Collection." And earlier this year it was announced that Marin is establishing the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry in Riverside, the only museum in the country that will showcase exclusively Mexican-American art. Tonight, LACMA hosts The Director's Series: Michael Govan and Cheech Marin, during which Marin will discuss his contributions to the museum's current exhibit, "Playing With Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz" (through Dec. 3). LACMA, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Mon., Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m.; free, tickets required. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org. —Siran Babayan
Lucrecia Martel's 2001 breakout feature, La Ciénaga, announced a major talent in world cinema. The story of a well-to-do Argentine family's summer vacation reverberates with disturbing undertones even while nothing of consequence appears to be happening. Each carefully composed image seems ready to erupt into violence, while the densely layered soundtrack keeps the viewer continually on edge. Martel will be present to discuss her film. Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Mon., Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m.; $5. (310) 247-3000, oscars.org. —Nathaniel Bell
Beginning on Nov. 2 and continuing through Nov. 19, 14 theater companies from all over the Americas — including L.A.'s very own Latino Theater Company — are holing up at the Los Angeles Theatre Center for Encuentro de las Americas for 17 days of performances that celebrate Latin American voices. Today the programming takes a break from theater for an evening entitled Cinema + Music. The festival screens Chavela, a new documentary about Mexican music icon Chavela Vargas, who toyed with notions of gender before that was a thing to do. The evening also features live music, naturally. Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Tue., Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.; free with registration. (866) 811-4111, encuentrodelasamericas.org. —Gwynedd Stuart
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