5 Awesome Free Things To Do in L.A. This Week
Photo courtesy of Kevin Vast Roof Piece in the Trisha Brown Retrospective
*Our Calendar Section, Listing More Great Things to Do in L.A.
*5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Fans of a good laugh, Tom Sizemore and the realm of the fantastic need not break their wallets this week. Check out these free offerings that make even the dullest weekday interesting, from the folks in our calendar section.
5. Three Men and a Giant Robot
Giant Robot's GR2 Gallery is a beloved staple of avant-garde cartoon culture in L.A., combining art, publications and events into a sort of vortex where retro-futuristic, plastic and nostalgic, Asian-influenced and expressively fine-art smart sets of visual culture meet and mesh. Its latest exhibition is "Facial Recognition," in which three artists -- James Kochalka, Matt Furie and Mark Todd -- join forces to show off their achievements in painting, illustration, indie publishing and the expanding universe of alt-comics. Matt Furie makes graphically crisp, chromatically vibrating images that feature original yet familiar-seeming characters and creatures in hilari-ous and vaguely threatening congress. Kochalka is the cartoonist laureate (yes, that is a real thing) of his home state of Vermont, and his comic book art and sometime rock musicianship are known for their cheeky melding of puckish humor and whimsically real-istic style. Todd is perhaps the most overt in referencing classic comic lore in his contemporary illustration, even as he breaks down the visual components into a deconstructed homage. Each man also will show new and classic selections of their comics, chaps and editions -- a cross-platform formula that's something of a Giant Robot specialty. GR2, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., W.L.A.; Sat., April 6, 6:30-10 p.m.; runs through April 24; Wed.-Fri., noon-6 p.m.; Sat., noon-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-7 p.m.; free. (310) 445-9276, gr2.net. -- Shana Nys Dambrot
4. How to Win Friends and Piss Away an Acting Career
Tough-guy character actor Tom Sizemore's mind-boggling devotion to the fine art of self-destruction has long been legendary. With his new tell-all memoir, By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There, Sizemore details his life as a meth-head so resolute that in 2006 alone he managed, while living in a drug-treatment center no less, to fail court-imposed drug tests seven times in one month, along the way famously employing -- and getting caught with -- the bizarre prosthetic Whizzinator device. Despite personal alliances with heavy hitters Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Johnny Depp, Sizemore also managed to nearly piss away a prestigious film career and ultimately, as a homeless amphetamine-fueled psychotic, hit the most hellish rock bottom conceivable. Revealing the most tawdry and degrading minutiae of his existence -- a cornucopia of sleaze, meth busts in Bakersfield, imprisonment for the assault and battery of Heidi Fleiss and innumerable parole/probation violations, served up with a gaudy gravy of demented desperation -- is either an admirable act of contrition or a cynical attempt at exploitation. Who cares? Either way, it's a hell of a read. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Tues., April 9, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. -- Jonny Whiteside
3. Bouncing Off the Walls
The monthlong Trisha Brown Retrospective Project crests this weekend with two different performances at UCLA's Royce Hall, plus outdoor ones at UCLA, the Hammer Museum and the Getty Center. As part of the 1960s postmodern dance movement centered at New York's Judson Church, Brown enjoyed a 50-year career as a choreographer that defies easy categorization. Long before Cirque du Soleil, in 1970, she harnessed a dancer who bounced and twirled down the side of a building, and tonight at 6 p.m., Man Walking Down the Side of a Building is re-created with Bandaloop's Amelia Rudolph performing down the side of UCLA's Broad Art Center. That free event precedes the first of two proscenium performances at Royce Hall, with four dances surveying Brown's deft eye for movement, wry humor and shifting concerns over five decades. Saturday offers another free event, this time Brown's 1973 Roof Piece, with a dozen dancers playing a terpsichorean game of telephone on the rooftops of the Getty Center. Sunday offers another Royce Hall concert, with four more dances, and an ongoing installation continues daily at the Hammer. The eponymous Brown, now 76, announced last month that she was withdrawing from her company, turning it over to two long-term associates. That sad announcement injected an unintended literal meaning into this "retrospective." For a complete list of events, go to cap.ucla.edu/tbdc. UCLA Broad Art Center, Wstwd.; Fri., April 5, 6 p.m.; free. Also at UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Wstwd.; Fri., April 5, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 7, 2 p.m.; $20-$55. cap.ucla.edu; and J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, W. L.A.; Sat., April 6, 1 & 3 p.m.; free. getty.edu/museum. Floor of the Forest at UCLA Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; through Sun., April 21, check for times; free. hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/detail/exhibition_id/233. -- Ann Haskins
2. Knock 'Em Dead
Against all odds, there is yet another reason to frequent Eagle Rock's All Star Lanes. If glow-in-the-dark bowling, embarrass-ment-indifferent karaoke and recession-friendly drinks aren't enough to tempt, here's another delight: novice comedy. The 4 & 20 is a weekly selection of four of the city's up-and-coming comedians, hand-picked by host Brandie Posey, eagerly trying out new material in the loveliest dive bar in L.A. Sets are 20 minutes long. And if you need a break from laughter-induced muscle cramps, you can regain your strength with Chinese munchies from the Red Dragon restaurant one stumble away. Little tip: The servers will deliver the food to you at the bar. Heaven. All Star Lanes, 4459 Eagle Rock Blvd., Eagle Rock; Tues., April 9, 8 p.m.; free. (323) 254-2579, twitter.com/brandazzle. -- Rena Kosnett
1. A Different Kind of Fantasy League
For many people, knowing what Dungeons & Dragons is and finally getting on board with Game of Thrones is about as deep into the realm of fantasy as they're willing to go. But there's no denying -- between the wildly resurgent popularity of titles like The Lord of the Rings, Dragon Age and Zelda, and the proliferation of adventure-themed movies, books, role-playing and video games -- that this is a huge moment in our culture. It might be time to learn more about it. That's where the ambitious Fantasy Art group show opening this week at Meltdown Comics can help. Curated by Meltdown maven Satine Phoenix (who runs the place's weekly D&D group and Cosplay life-drawing classes), it features more than 35 contemporary artists offering homages to the mythologies that make these alternative universes spin. From 7 to 8 p.m., Liz Katz models from Time of the Faeries for your life-drawing pleasure, and throughout the night, pop-up performances by the Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade crew and surprises courtesy of the new quarterly adventure gaming magazine Gygax keep things interesting. Cosplay is encouraged, but the simply curious are welcome to come sans costume. Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., April 5, 7-10 p.m.; runs Wed.-Fri., noon-6 p.m.; Sat., noon-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-7 p.m.; through April 24; free. (323) 851-7223, meltdowncomics.com.-- S.N.D.
2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA