Things to do in Los Angeles today

Today's best things to do in Los Angeles—including free and cheap activities, concerts, screenings, shows, parties and more. It's your social emergency savior.

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Free things to do today

  1. Forest Lawn Glendale 1712 S Glendale Ave
  2. Fri Jun 27 - Mon Jan 5
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Sequel

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. iam8bit 2147 W Sunset
  2. Thu Nov 13 - Sun Nov 23
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  1. Heath Ceramics 7525 Beverly Blvd
  2. Fri Nov 21 - Tue Nov 25
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Rasputin: Russian Love Machine

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Free
  1. Robertson Food & Bar 655 N Robertson Blvd
  2. Sat Nov 22
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Tonight's best film screenings

The Past is a Grotesque Animal.

The Past is a Grotesque Animal. Photograph: Courtesy No Budget Film Festival

No Budget Film Festival

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Mack Sennett Studios 1215 Bates Ave
  2. Fri Nov 21 - Sun Nov 23
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Still from "Mary Poppins." Costumes from the movie will featured in the "Hollywood Costume" exhibition.

Still from "Mary Poppins." Costumes from the movie will featured in the "Hollywood Costume" exhibition. Photograph: courtesy of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Hollywood Costume

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 6067 Wilshire Blvd
  2. Thu Oct 2 - Mon Mar 2
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Detail from Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks, illustrations by Dan Christensen and story by Jamie S. Rich, 2014

Detail from Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks, illustrations by Dan Christensen and story by Jamie S. Rich, 2014 Photograph: courtesy of the Skirball Cultural Center

The Noir Effect

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd
  2. Thu Oct 23 - Sun Mar 1
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Planes, Trains & Automobiles screening

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Electric Dusk Drive-In 1000 San Julian St
  2. Sat Nov 22
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Tonight's best shows and performances

The Tempest

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

This fall, Shakespeare's final work will kickstart A Noise Within's 2014-15 season. Directed by Timothy Douglas, The Tempest will star a female lead—Deborah Strang—as the sorcerer Prospero. For an extra treat, make sure to get tickets for the performances on October 3 or 26 (2 pm show) or November 7, after which the performers will host a discussion. For those on a budget, mark September 11 on your calendar because the cast will do a special pay-what-you-can performance; you can buy tickets at the box office (limit 2 per person, cash only) starting at 2pm.  

  1. A Noise Within 3352 E Foothill Boulevard
  2. Sun Sep 7 - Sat Nov 22
Buy tickets

Photograph: Courtesy Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots

  • Price band: 3/4

If you haven’t heard of Charlie and Lola, you will soon. Based on Harvey Fierstein’s book of the same name and the 2005 British-American comedy film, Kinky Boots defied all odds and won six Tonys. An unlikely friendship between Charlie, a shoe factory owner and Lola, a drag queen, makes for some interesting (to say the least) business. Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots offers what we all need: a good pair of stilettos and a musical score written by Cyndi Lauper. Emotional and brassy, the story behind Kinky Boots is much more than just about shoes, and will push you to seriously consider your relationships and tolerance with others. Recommended for ages 10 and up. 

  1. Pantages Theatre 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, between Argyle Avenue & Vine Street
  2. Tue Nov 11 - Sun Nov 30
More info
"Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin" at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood Village.

"Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin" at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood Village.

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

  • Price band: 2/4

"God Bless America," "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "White Christmas" are a glimpse into Irving Berlin's portfolio of over a thousand songs written during his 60-year career. The Russian-born composer, one of America's greatest songwriters, will come to back to life in LA courtesy of Hershey Felder, writer and star of the performance, to tell the story of a man who wasted no time in achieving the American Dream. This performance at the Geffen Playhouse will surely be a feel-good treat for the holiday season.

  1. Geffen Playhouse 10886 Le Conte Avenue
  2. Tue Nov 11 - Sun Dec 21
Buy tickets
The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart Photograph: Shawn Brackbill

The Head and the Heart

  • Price band: 2/4

Sub Pop indie folk-rockers the Head and the Heart are a word-of-mouth success story from Seattle whose self-titled debut album sold 10,000 copies before it even had a label behind it. If you dig Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers, you're in for a treat as the band plays from their 2013 release, Let's Be Still at the Theater at the Ace Hotel—that is, if you can find spare tickets, since this November show is technically sold out.  

  1. The Theatre at Ace Hotel 929 S Broadway
  2. Sat Nov 22
More info

Photograph: Courtesy Dangerbird Records

Minus the Bear

  • Price band: 2/4

Seattle indie rockers Minus the Bear have been fiddling around with synthesizers and experimenting with unconventional time signatures since the early aughts. The group's 2012 release, Infinity Overhead, dialed back some of the group's more technical tendencies while last year's acoustic stripped away the electronics that typically populate the band's songs. Don't worry though—the band will be armed with plenty of electric guitars and keyboards when they hit The Glass House this November.

  1. The Glass House 200 W Second St
  2. Sat Nov 22
Buy tickets

Today's best food and drink event

Stouts N Staches Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

Don your fake moustache or grow out a real one in time for Stouts N Staches, the second annual Venice Beach fundraiser that benefits the Movember Foundation. Starting at the Hotel Erwin, guests can enjoy a beer garden, photo booth, stache contest and live music before taking their hairy accessories to the streets for $5 food and drink specials at participating restaurants. $10 in advance, $15 the day of the event, and $50 for a VIP ticket.

  1. Hotel Erwin 1697 Pacific Ave
  2. Sat Nov 22
Buy tickets

Tonight's best comedy show

Asssscat

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  • Free

Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise's longest-running, most beloved showcase starts when a base cast of the theater's current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that's deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who's there—that's part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB Sunset) 5419 W Sunset Blvd
  2. Sat Nov 22 - Sun Dec 20
More info

Today's best arts and culture

iam8bit's show "Sequel" is about imagining never-made sequels to beloved movies.

iam8bit's show "Sequel" is about imagining never-made sequels to beloved movies. Photograph: Drew Wise, courtesy of iam8bit

Sequel

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Ever wondered what would have happened in a sequel to Fight Club? Or The Goonies? Or Blade Runner? Or Lord of The Rings? (wait... scratch that last one.) Local gallery iam8bit is showcasing ideas for never-made movie sequels by more than 40 artists. The show's opening night is Nov. 13 from 7-11pm. Regular hours for the gallery are Thurs and Fri 3-9pm, Sat 1-10pm and Sun 12-6pm. More information is on the event's Facebook page.

  1. iam8bit 2147 W Sunset
  2. Thu Nov 13 - Sun Nov 23
More info
Still from "Mary Poppins." Costumes from the movie will featured in the "Hollywood Costume" exhibition.

Still from "Mary Poppins." Costumes from the movie will featured in the "Hollywood Costume" exhibition. Photograph: courtesy of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Hollywood Costume

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The last stop of this exhibition's world tour is at the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures—in the Wilshire May Company building next to LACMA. It's a collaboration between the Academy and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. See some of the film world's most well known costumes in person, and get to know the designers who made them a reality. In addition to the 150 costumes in the original show, the Academy will add 50 more to this exhibition from its collection, including Dorothy's ruby slippers and her blue gingham dress. Watch the trailer (for the exhibition, of course—it is the Academy after all) and make sure to book your time-slot tickets in advance.

  1. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 6067 Wilshire Blvd
  2. Thu Oct 2 - Mon Mar 2
Buy tickets
Detail from Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks, illustrations by Dan Christensen and story by Jamie S. Rich, 2014

Detail from Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks, illustrations by Dan Christensen and story by Jamie S. Rich, 2014 Photograph: courtesy of the Skirball Cultural Center

The Noir Effect

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Accompanying the Skirball's "Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950" exhibit, "The Noir Effect" promises an insight into the impact of the film noir genre on American culture. Take a look at the femme fatales, private eyes and anti-heroes of early 20th century films such as Chinatown as well as graphic novels—think Spiderman Noir—photography and contemporary works and how they permeated the art, media and pop culture of American society. 

  1. Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd
  2. Thu Oct 23 - Sun Mar 1
Buy tickets
Skirball Cultural Center

Skirball Cultural Center Photograph: Cbl62/Wikimedia Commons

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The rise of Nazi Germany drove numerous artists to flee Europe and settle in America, where they helped create Hollywood's Golden Age. The Skirball Cultural Center celebrates these émigrés through an exhibition featuring the works of notables such as Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder and Marlene Dietrich. You'll have the opportunity to see clips of anti-Nazi, comedy and flim noir movies starring these "exiles and émigrés" as well as costumes, manuscripts and photos—with contributions from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences library—that'll give you a comprehensive look at early 20th century cinema.

  1. Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd
  2. Thu Oct 23 - Sun Mar 1
Buy tickets


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Orsa & Winston

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4
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  1. 122 W 4th St, 90013
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Gusto

  • Price band: 3/4
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  1. 8432 West 3rd St
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Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen

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  1. 1119 Wilshire Blvd
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Tar & Roses

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  1. 602 Santa Monica Blvd
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