Bob Odenkirk takes the hot seat for the show So, You Do Comedy ...? at UCB Sunset.EXPAND
Bob Odenkirk takes the hot seat for the show So, You Do Comedy ...? at UCB Sunset.
Photo by Sharon Alagna

8 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

From a screening of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira to a live show with Bob Odenkirk, there's plenty of stuff to do this week for $11.24 or less. 

It was once the case, dear reader, that Hollywood turned to the radio for source material almost as often as it plundered the literary canon. UCLA's Out of the Ether: Radio Mysteries and Thrillers on Screen looks to investigate this phenomenon over the coming weeks, beginning with The Trial of Vivienne Ware and Night Editor. Made in 1932 and 1946, respectively, these hourlong dramas are dialogue-heavy explorations of the legal system and the darker end of newspaper reportage (use your context clues to determine which title corresponds to which premise). UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, —Michael Nordine

In keeping with the long-held belief that all acclaimed anime must be watched at midnight on Friday (which I just made up), the Nuart screens Akira. Katsuhiro Otomo's 1988 sci-fi drama is considered by many to be the high-water mark of the genre, its dystopian vision of 2019 Tokyo having long ago garnered a cult following that persists to this day. Loyal devotees may never see the long-rumored live-action adaptation, which has been in one stage of development hell or another for more than a decade now, but at least the original isn't going anywhere. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Jan. 22, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, —Michael Nordine

No disrespect to Beavis or Butt-head, but there was no bigger knucklehead on MTV in the '90s than Tom Green. (Remember when he sucked on a cow's udders and scuba-dived for loose change in a mall water fountain on The Tom Green Show?) So it's only fitting that the Canadian comedian hosts Seriously '90s, his own, live, '90s-themed game show. Though the organizers are tight-lipped about the details, including the surprise celebrity guests, the show's expert contestants will compete in physical challenges, trivia rounds and other games to answer questions about the decade's most popular movies, music, TV, fashion, toys and other trends. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Jan. 23, 8-9:30 p.m.; $11.24. (323) 851-7223, —Siran Babayan

Anne V. Coates was recently honored with a Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Her career spans more than six decades and any number of classics — The Elephant Man and Out of Sight among them — but her legacy has always been defined chiefly by her revolutionary work on Lawrence of Arabia. The Aero screens David Lean's enduring epic as part of the American Cinematheque's Seeing the Big Picture: 70mm Favorites program, which includes the likes of Ben-Hur and VertigoAero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, —Michael Nordine

Not every Akira Kurosawa film is marked by samurai and swordplay. Red Beard, which closes the Egyptian's two-weekend retrospective devoted to the Japanese luminary, is about something ostensibly mundane: a doctor. (It is a period piece, however.) Constant Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune is the physician in question, and in addition to healing people he's also given to speechifying. The result may not be the pair's most traditionally rousing effort, but it does rank among their most humanist. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.; Sun., Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, —Michael Nordine

You know Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, or half of Mr. Show With Bob and David. Comedian-writer Chris Witaske knows him as his manager Naomi's husband. The Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad actor will be the first guest on Witaske's monthly interview show, So, you do comedy ...?, where famous funny folk talk about working in the business. Witaske will grill Odenkirk about his start in Chicago, how to maintain career longevity, etc. If you're lucky, you might get to ask Odenkirk a few questions in a Q&A. Originally from Chicago, Witaske — whose credits include Second City and iO — has performed and toured with Odenkirk, and will appear in the upcoming Judd Apatow–produced Netflix comedy series, Love. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Mon., Jan. 25, 7 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, —Siran Babayan

The Syrian civil war and the refugees that have been displaced by it have become the biggest humanitarian crisis in recent times. More than 4 million refugees have fled to safety in neighboring countries and Europe, and there are more than 7 million displaced people within Syria. As part of the Hammer Museum's Hammer Forum, KPFK host Ian Masters leads The Migrant Tide From Syria, a discussion on how European countries — and the United States — are responding to the migrant situation. Panelists include Jana Mason, a senior adviser for the U.N. Refugee Agency; Daryl Grisgraber, a senior advocate for the Middle East and North Africa for Refugees International; and, according to the museum, a recently arrived Syrian refugee who goes by the name "Yazan." Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, —Siran Babayan

If you haven't seen North by Northwest, all you really need to know is that Alfred Hitchcock directed it, Bernard Herrmann composed the score and Saul Bass designed the title sequence. As tends to be the case when those three conditions are met, the film is a classic of suspense. Also very much of note: the screenplay by Ernest Lehman, who set out to write "the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures." North by Northwest doesn't lack for competition in that regard, but neither does it have much difficulty standing out among so many other masterworks. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Jan. 26, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, —Michael Nordine


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