Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival
Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival
Photo by Timothy Norris

7 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week

Watch experimental opera
Is the Industry turning opera — that most old-school of performing arts disciplines — into an L.A. indie hipster's paradise? For the second year, the company is offering a free program peeking into half a dozen of its projects, and this time, First Take is definitely not safe for work. Featuring performances of scenes from operas on topics ranging from the discovery of LSD to coed murder, the story of Bonnie and Clyde, and Revolutionary War–era censorship, First Take rewards the curious and the skeptical alike with some scintillating reasons to take a fresh look at the classical medium. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., Feb. 21, 1-4:30 p.m.; free. (310) 246-3800, theindustryla.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Celebrate another New Year
Ring in the Lunar New Year with the 116th annual Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival. The Chinatown tradition has swelled into an event with live bands, food, lots of confetti and acrobats and others performing throughout the day on the main stage in Central Plaza. Plus, of course, a parade circles around Hill and Broadway between 1 and 3 p.m. Check out the Culinary Stage for cooking demonstrations and grab a bite at one of the food trucks. Buzzbands L.A.'s Kevin Bronson curated this year's music lineup, headlined by Lili Haydn. Note that Chinatown streets will be very crowded, and the hunt for parking may be intense. Take the Metro. Central and West Plazas, 943-951 N. Broadway, Chinatown; Sat., Feb. 21, noon-9 p.m.; free. (213) 617-0396, chinatownla.com. —Liz Ohanesian

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Learn to throw a party at a museum
In this latest one-hour installment in the art-for-kids salon Look Together: How to Throw a Party About Art, families wander through the Hammer galleries and make a game out of what they see. The idea is to take what you've learned and enjoyed in today's party and apply it to your own fantastic happenings at other museums throughout Los Angeles. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwd.; Sun., Feb. 22, 10:30 a.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

Party to pop surrealism
In Los Angeles especially, it's impossible to imagine the contemporary art landscape without the subversive vision of the lowbrow art movement. Equally hard to imagine, Juxtapoz — the magazine synonymous with the revolution — is now 20 years old. The survey "20 Years Under the Influence," co-curated by Thinkspace and Copro Nason galleries, celebrates with a new show at Barnsdall. It's paired with "SLANG Aesthetics!," a solo show by the journal's founding father, legendary painter Robert Williams, in his first offering of major new work in L.A. in more than 10 years. This afternoon's public viewing features a screening of the uproarious biographical documentary on Williams, Mr. Bitchin'. Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., Feb. 22, noon-5 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Thu.-Sun., noon-5 p.m., through April 19. (323) 660-4254, barnsdall.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Find out Princess Bride secrets
Occasionally a film so breathlessly joyous slips into theaters, lodging itself firmly in the heart of the body politic. At USC's Movies We Love series' An Evening With Cary Elwes and screening of The Princess Bride, Elwes will sign copies of his New York Times best-seller As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride, which includes everything from how Elwes researched his famous sword fight to his crush on co-star Robin Wright. Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Bldg., USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Wed., Feb. 25, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu. —David Cotner

Learn why minorities are underrepresented in Hollywood
Organized by Zócalo and UCLA's Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, and moderated by The Hollywood Reporter executive editor Matthew Belloni, Why Can't Hollywood Look Like America? addresses that age-old question, namely how, even in 2015, there's still a disproportionate lack of people of color in film and TV roles. Panelists include the Black List founder-CEO Franklin Leonard; Brian Dobbins, executive producer of ABC's Black-ish; UCLA Bunche Center director Darnell Hunt; and CAA agent Christy Haubegger, whose clients include Sophia Vergara and Salma Hayek. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 381-2541, zocalopublicsqure.org. —Siran Babayan

Get your space geek on
Jim Bell discusses his new book, The Interstellar Age: Inside the 40-Year Voyager Mission, in which he chronicles how NASA launched the twin Voyager probes to explore the outer planets in our solar system. The author also goes behind the team responsible for the mission, including Voyager's chief scientist and former director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ed Stone. Bell is an Arizona State University professor who's been involved in many NASA space exploration missions. Vroman's, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Thu., Feb. 26, 7 p.m.; free, book is $27.95. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan

See more events at laweekly.com/calendar

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