Pulp Fiction screens at Electric Dusk Drive-In on Saturday.EXPAND
Pulp Fiction screens at Electric Dusk Drive-In on Saturday.

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

An outdoor screening of Pulp Fiction, a Mexican Independence Day Celebration at City Hall, a comedy show based on Stranger Things and more to do and see this week for 10 bucks or less.

The struggle for Mexican independence began with a cry — un grito — and each year it's celebrated on Sept. 16 with a few more shouts (and live music and dancing) on the steps of L.A.'s City Hall. Presented by City Councilman José Huizar, this year's El Grito Mexican Independence Day Celebration includes performances by Los Tigres del Norte and Christian Felix, plus kids stuff and food. And Mexico is graciously sharing the occasion with other Central and South American countries that celebrate their own independence days in September: Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., downtown; Fri., Sept. 16, 5:30-11:30 p.m.; free. (323) 526-9332, josehuizar.com/grito2016. —Gwynedd Stuart

Twenty years ago, Sarah McLachlan organized the first Lilith Fair concert and later tour, which ran for four years and was one of the biggest feminist moments in music history. But where have all the cowgirls gone? UCB imagines what the all-girl, man-repellent festival would look like today in musical parody Lilith Fair 20-Year Reunion Show. Kat Palardy and Kaitlin Thompson host a (mostly) female cast as they impersonate concert headliners such as McLachlan, Ani DiFranco, Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant, Linda Perry and others while singing original parodies and cover songs. So start growing out your armpit hair and relive the folky female fun of the late '90s, before Britney Spears came along and ruined everything. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 16, 10:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

Read any good books about same-sex haikus and cats lately? Oakland-based sex and relationship columnist Anna Pulley and her illustrator partner, Kelsey Beyer, discuss The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (With Cats!), their new collection of nearly 500 examples of the Japanese form of poetry, which pokes fun at the mysteries and stereotypes of lesbian sex and dating. Pulley organizes her humorous haikus, such as "Lesbianism: So much more than folk music and hemp shorteralls," into chapters with such titles as "How to Pick Up a Lesbian" and "U-Hauling," which are paired with Beyer's watercolors of "cats in various states of lesbian anxiety." Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 16, 7 p.m.; free, book is $14.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

Of all the iconic images to be immortalized in paint on black velvet, the clown — the sad hobo clown, in particular — is among the most glorious and kitschy. In celebration of our red-nosed friends, weeping and mirthful alike, Velveteria: The Museum of Velvet Paintings hosts its Clowntacular, a show of "clowns of renown from all around," which join the museum's other treasures, from a portrait of Anderson Cooper in a thong to one of Liberace in a fur-lined cape. Velveteria: The Museum of Velvet Paintings, 711 New High St., Chinatown; Sat., Sept. 17, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.; $10. facebook.com/events/299446430418275. —Gwynedd Stuart

Quentin Tarantino's decade-defining Pulp Fiction is as entertaining the 10th time as it is the first, perhaps more so. Endlessly quotable and filled with some of cinema's most memorably amoral characters, it has inspired countless imitators that have never come close to matching its verbose dialogue — ironic, considering how heavily QT relies on homage. This screening takes place at the drive-in, so you might have trouble getting Zed's chopper in. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 2930 Fletcher Drive, Glassell Park; Sat., Sept. 17, 8 p.m. (doors at 6:30); $10 lawn, $14 car, $60 VIP. (818) 653-8591, electricduskdrivein.com. —Michael Nordine

Of all the varieties of martial arts, not many are commonly referred to as "games." But that's exactly what capoeira is. With roots in west and central Africa, capoeira was created in Brazil by slaves from various nations and tribal traditions in the 16th century. Judging by the 18th International Capoeira Festival and Batizado, its popularity has not only increased but has become a worldwide phenomenon. The Afro-Brazilian martial art is an electric combination of dance, street fighting, acrobatics and music, yet its purpose is less about self-defense and more about bringing communities together. This six-day capoeira juggernaut is full of performances, workshops, lectures, seminars and, of course, parties. Free evening rodas (circles where practitioners play capoeira) follow the intimate workshops, and the festival culminates with a free batizado (graduation) ceremony at noon on Sunday, Sept. 25. Capoeira Brasil Los Angeles, 5557 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City; Tue.-Sun., Sept. 20-25; workshop prices vary, rodas and batizado free. (323) 935-2224, capoeirabrasil.com/batizado. —Tanja M. Laden

In a week of screenings marked by master filmmakers, Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander is the most subtly epic of them all. Originally made for Swedish television, this three-hour drama (the original version is nearly twice as long) centers around the two siblings of the title as they grow up in Sweden in the early 20th century. LACMA screens Bergman's domestic opus as part of Fuel for Nightmares, a series curated by Guillermo del Toro in conjunction with the museum's ongoing exhibit devoted to the Spanish auteur. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Sept. 20, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

Stranger Things, Netflix's '80s-inspired, sci-fi/fantasy/horror drama about missing kids, horny teens, monsters and government bad men running amok in a small Midwestern town, was recently renewed for a second season. Until then, fans will just have to wonder what's in store for the folks of Hawkins, Indiana, next year. But you can let your imagination run wild at Westside Comedy Theater's improvised spoof, Strangerer Things. Cast members Shaun Boylan, Amy Bury, Judd Cherry, Jennifer Cowan, Morgan Christensen, Charlie Farrell, Joey Greer, Mary Gutfleisch, Miranda Shade, Jennifer Smedley McAdams and Cole Stratton will play the series' major roles while taking audience members' suggestions about plot lines involving their respective characters — even what '80 songs will be used. The parody is complete with costumes, soundtrack and Christmas lights that communicate from the beyond. M.i. Westside Comedy Theater, 1323-A Third St. Promenade, Santa Monica; Wed., Sept. 21, 10 p.m.; $5. (310) 451-0850, westsidecomedy.com. —Siran Babayan

Now a few weeks into its semester-long Robert Bresson retrospective, Cal State Northridge screens the French director's first masterwork: Diary of a Country Priest. Claude Laydu's performance as the titular young priest, who arrives to his new parish of a small French village, has long been hailed as one of the greatest ever; Jean Tulard wrote in his Dictionary of Film that "no other actor deserves to go to heaven as much as Laydu." CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories