Saving your pennies for a jaunt to Paris or Peru?

No need to feel deprived while being thrifty.

Check out these three FREE events for a weekend that’s L.A.-fab and frugal to boot!



FISHEYES  — We’re big fans of DTLA’s FREE Grand Performances AND Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre‘s site-specific performances.  Tonight, Duckler and her troupe of performers will dance under the stars  with a giant fish: a 15 foot stainless steel structure designed by architect Alex Ward. The performance, inspired by themes of water, drought and (of course) fish, will take place, appropriately, in the fountain area of California Plaza. FishEyes is the first segment in an L.A. series (and a larger tour) that includes A Fish Out of Water and Fancy Fish and features a score by Andrew McIntosh, projections by Josephine Wang and costumes designed by Valerj Pobega.  Why: Imagining what it would be like to be Jonah (or Giuseppe and Pinocchio) in the whale.


Mary Austin-Klein

See this painting by Mary-Austin Klein at the Frogtown Art Walk on August 13, 2016


FROGTOWN ART WALK 2016 — The official name of this Los Angeles river-adjacent area is Elysian Valley but it got its “Frogtown” nickname from the (sadly long-ago) days when the river was full enough to deposit croaking critters on either side.   These days, instead of amphibians, the river banks are home to artists who will open their studios this Saturday for the 10th annual FREE art celebration in Northeast Los Angeles. Visit 30 artists studios and listen to music and more at seven stages (one curated by Spaceland of Echo Park).  Art walk guests can also get a sneak preview of the new Los Angeles River VR Experience: a virtual reality documentary produced by Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) that “takes viewers on a journey from the mountains to the sea, from the past, through the present, and into the future of the Los Angeles River.” Parking is limited: RIDESHARE HIGHLY ADVISED!  Why: Checking out art installations on the river path via foot or pedi-cab.




CicLAvia – ICONIC WILSHIRE — This Sunday, one of the city’s most historical connectors is once again being opened up for a FREE, all-day, car-free experience as cyclists, walkers, sprinters, peddlers, skaters and scooters travel the boulevard en masse. Explore the neighborhoods of Koreatown, Westlake and Downtown Los Angeles with PokeStops, coffee and water refueling opportunities and public art participation spots at three hubs: One Wilshire, MacArthur Park and the Wiltern in Koreatown.  All three hubs have great giveaways (while supplies last).  Check out the link above for information on a pre-CicLAvia 5K run as well as walks and feeder rides to the main event.  Why:  A chance for open air exploration including pedi-cabs for the less ambulatory.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go…. 

Eye-bending sounds at Peter Manning Robinson's Refractor Piano Concert.

Eye-bending sounds at Peter Manning Robinson’s Refractor Piano Concert. (Photo credit: Klaus Hoch)

May Day! May Day!

Fab weekend ahead!

Here’s your manual for fun….

THE REFRACTOR PIANO CONCERT — This is not your grandma’s piano concert.  Or your grandma’s piano for that matter.  This Thursday, Emmy Award-winning pianist/composer Peter Manning Robinson debuts his new invention — The Refractor Piano™ — with a FREE, World Premiere performance at Bergamot Station.  Robinson has pioneered an innovative new sound — “refracted music” — that eschews  prerecorded tracks, triggered samples, external sounds and MIDI instruments.  Instead, Robinson uses the keyboard, fingers, mallets, and other implements to generate never-before-heard sounds. “Refracting” the raw acoustic sounds makes each performance a unique, one of a kind event.  Working with Robinson and his creative collaborator Klaus Hoch,  Hana Kim, an award-winning set and projection designer for theater (Fallujah for the Long Beach Opera), has created an immersive,  visual landscape to heighten the visceral experience of Robinson’s music.  Tickets are going fast so RSVP ASAP!  Can’t make Thursday?  A second concert is in the works; keep an eye Robinson’s website!  Why:  A transplendent musical and visual treat…for FREE!

Indoor spaces in the great outdoors at A Street (Af)fair in WeHo

Indoor spaces in the great outdoors at A Street Affair in the West Hollywood Design District.

A STREET AFFAIR — Whether you’re an avid design junkie or just a garden variety looky lou, you’ll want to wend your way to the West Hollywood Design District, which is co-producing a FREE street fair with Parachute Market. Saturday’s  one-day-only event brings Eastside and Westside designers together in WeHo to celebrate two historic and influential design movements: European-inspired Hollywood Glamour and California Modernism. Get to the fest early to avoid the lines for the hotter-than-hot Shake Shack; enjoy the East Coast transplant’s iconic “concretes” (frozen custard blended with mix-ins) while checking out makers, artists and environmental designers under a floating “roof” of translucent panels.  Why: The great indoors meets the great outdoors.

Bon Vivant Market & Cafe at Taste of the Eastside. Food almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Bon Vivant Market & Cafe at Taste of the Eastside. Food almost too pretty to eat.  Almost. (Photo courtesy of Bon Vivant Market & Cafe.)

TASTE OF THE EASTSIDE — What better way to welcome the month of May than with a premier food and drink festival in a gorgeous outdoor setting?  Mosey over to the gorgeous, mission-style L.A. River Center & Gardens on Sunday to taste your way through more than two dozen of the best eating and drinking establishments in Silver Lake, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Atwater and beyond.  Sip oh-so-refreshing cocktails made with organic, locally sourced ingredients from DTLA’s Greenbar Craft Distillery: L.A.’s first distillery since Prohibition.  Sample early bites from RBTA: a Robata-style den opening in June  on Figueroa in Highland Park.  Sample the sweet stuff from Choctal Single Origin Ice Cream. Garth Trinidad, Anthony Valadez and DJ Aire will provide the perfect  soundtrack to your first Sunday in May.  Why: Getting hot and sweaty to Charlie Overbey & the Broken Arrows then cooling down with a sour, salty, spicy Silverlake Diable Pop.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Art Show #1

The start of “Art Weekend 2016 – LA

Go Go’ers, here’s your plan for the weekend

Clone yourself.

Then hit the ground running for the start of five days of non-stop fun.

Did Ms. Go Go mention taking the rest of the week off?

Do that first….

“art weekend LA is a biannual exploration of art fairs, galleries, & museums across Los Angeles.  art weekend LA East edition begins Jan 27 – 31st”

L.A. Art Show — Modern & contemporary art (120 galleries/20 countries) in DTLA.  Littletopia (Dismaland collaborator Jeff Gillette!)  Special exhibits.  After-parties.  Tours (including one with legendary mural artist Kent Twitchell!)  Performances (Melanie Pullen’s High Fashion Crime Scenes)!  Wednesday night benefit gala!

Why: Checking out the Ping Pong Exhibit and Rogue Taxidermy at one of L.A.’s premier art shows.

Los Angeles Fine Art Fair  — Hop next door for this adjunct to the L.A. Art Show featuring premier Historic and Contemporary Art including fine and decorative art spanning all styles and centuries and targeted at collectors.

Why: Sometimes you just need to chill out with Greek columns and still lifes.

Art Los Angeles Contemporary – In SaMo, Art Los Angeles Contemporary highlights the very new-and-now with a looser vibe in a stunning, airy space.  There’s a Thursday night Gala: Gala #2!  Approximately a third of ALAC’s 73 exhibitor booths feature Los Angeles-based galleries. Emerging galleries under four years old can be found in the Freeways section; independent publishing gets its own section as well.

Why:  Buffing your edgy art credentials and seeing a performance piece based on high school tuba thefts.

Nobuho Nagasawa’s Synaesthesia Playground at Fabrik Expo!

Nobuho Nagasawa’s Synaesthesia Playground at Fabrik Expo!

Fabrik Expo — Find cutting edge art and a more intimate experience at this innovative art happening in DTLA’s mural-centric Arts District. Check out 40+ artists, exhibitors, makers, fashion designers, and creators at this virtual intersection of art, architecture and design, which kicks off Friday, with Gala #3.

Why: Ogling JT Burke’s pretty/tough/kitty Katmobl Art Car and seeing an art version of your senses with Nobuho Nagasawa’s Synaesthesia Playground.

Riot L.A.  — Comedy impresario Abbey Londer assembles a high-octane, three-night/two-day   comedy fest that’s a combination block party and comedy crawl as well as powerhouse performance weekend.  150 performers include: David, Cross, Patton Oswalt, Bridget Everett and hundreds more.  Head to the Lot for food trucks, dancing, confessionals, Snapchat lessons, and the world’s largest open mic.

Why:  Natasha Leggero/Maria Bamford/Janeane Garofolo triple-header!  Canine caricature artists at dog-friendly 2 Girls 1 Pup!  First Comes Love with Kyle Akers reading amateur porn scripts…hilarity ensues!

Coffee Con — Saturday’s coffee convention for consumers and enthusiasts!  Labs, classes and presentations about coffee art, extraction methods, home roasting, Yemeni and Turkish coffee and more; free with ticket!  Swag, giveaways, $3000 in prizes!

Why: Learning how coffee is good for your body and how specialty coffee can save the world…a.k.a. justifying your coffee habit.

Museums Free-for-All Day(s) — Check out 20+ museums for free on Saturday and a few on Sunday (Museum of Tolerance, Zimmer Children’s Museum!)  General admission only; special exhibitions are extra (e.g. Space Shuttle Endeavor exhibit at California Science Center; Noah’s Ark at Skirball Cultural Center.)  Many museums are Metro-adjacent; otherwise, plan to pay for parking.

Why: You can never have too much art….

Burgundy Bells at Los Angeles Theater - Night on Broadway

Burgundy Bells at Los Angeles Theater during Night on Broadway

Night on Broadway 2016 — FREE, all ages, rain or shine street party from 3rd to Olympic! Multicultural performances in seven of Downtown L.A.’s historic theaters (Lucent Dossier Experience at the Los Angeles!)  Musical stage (Ozomatli! Aloe Blacc!)  Block-by-block art and performance pop-ups curated by Silent Disco Party (4th to 5th), Art Share L.A. and Two Bit Circus (5th to 6th) and more!  Family friendly area between 5th & 6th!

Why: A chance to ride a Ferris wheel, peep burlesque and play Rebel Bingo in one giddy night.


Ready?  U Know U Want to Go Go….

Don't miss the Pacifico Dance Company at L.A. County Holiday Celebration!

Don’t miss the Pacifico Dance Company at L.A. County Holiday Celebration!

It’s the Christmas countdown.

Whether you want to embrace holiday tradition, dish your deluded relatives, or release Xmas stress with some vicarious whoop-ass, Ms. Go Go’s got you covered….

Wishing you the holiday you’re dreaming of….

Celebrate Art!

New Year’s Day may have the Rose Parade but Christmas Eve has the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’56th Annual LA County Holiday Celebration.

All of the color, all of the spectacle, none of the Colorado Boulevard sleeping bags.

The celebration features 20+ performing groups from L.A.’s many cultures and neighborhoods including indie-folk band Run River North (Jimmy Kimmel Live), dance companies like narrative-oriented Invertigo Dance Company and choral groups such as the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers: a group that preserves and promotes “Negro Spirituals and other music of the African Diaspora.”

Pies to bake?  Presents to wrap?  Mulled wine to drink?  Watch the three-hour, family friendly celebration on PBS SoCal and 

Or head to the Music Center; doors open at 2:30 p.m. for the FREE,  first come, first seated celebration.

You’ll want to get there earlier, though, not only to have your pick of seats but also to check out pre-concert activities on the Music Center plaza: strolling poets from  Melrose Poetry Bureau and sing-a-long holiday songs with the National In-Choir.

While you’re standing in line, work off your love (sugar cookies) handles with interactive Bollywood dancing courtesy of Achinta McDaniel & Blue13 Dance Company.

You merry multi-tasker you.

56TH ANNUAL L.A. COUNTY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION — Wed, Dec 24th; 3 – 6pm.  FREE/all agesThe Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave LA 90012.  For more info, including directions, parking and broadcast times, go HERE.

Definitely on the naughty list.... (Photo courtesy of Cinefamily)

Definitely on the naughty list…. (Photo courtesy of Cinefamily)

Baiiju Beats Eggnog

Muzak carols and mistletoe mishaps making you feel more ho hum than ho ho ho?

Cinefamily has stepped up with genius counter-programming: the chop-socky Christmas in Hong Kong  series.

Starting December 24 with Enter the Dragon, in which Bruce Lee battles shifty billionaires (Boy, could we use Bruce now….), skipping December 25, then continuing through January 5th with Zu Warriors battling Insomnia (a demon, not a sleep condition), the hai ya. alt-holiday film-a-thon is the perfect antidote to Too Much Christmas.

Also, too much Boxing Day, too much New Year’s, and too much early 2016.

Karate chops make everything alright.

CHRISTMAS IN HONG KONG — Thurs, Dec 24;  Sat, Dec 26 – Tues, Jan 5, 2016; various times. $12; FREE for membersCinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Ave, LA 90036.  Tix and more info, including schedules, HERE.

Your family...plu a fish and an alien.

Your family…plus a fish and an alien.

They’re Reading Your Mind!!!

Whether your family is fab or…less than, you’ll probably be ready to blow off a little “home for the holidays” steam by the end of the weekend.

Funnyman and host Josh di Donato delivers the opportunity to laugh ’til you cry with I’m Going Somewhere with This: Family Stuff Part 4.

The monthly storytelling and music event is ending the year with a bang.  The final show of 2015 features FREE entry and a clutch of funny people telling too-true stories about their families.

You can relate.

Those letting it all hang out include Nikki Levy, founder of Don’t Tell My Mother, Becky Thyre (Transparent and Mr. Show), Atsuko Okatsuka (Family Reunion) and a clutch of storytelling pros from The Moth including Brandon Burkhart, Jenna Brister, and Moth host Brian Finkelstein.

All of the above plus music from Eli Braden, parody songwriter for the Howard Stern show, and Salmons.

You might not want to bring Great Aunt Ethel….

I’M GOING SOMEWHERE WITH THIS ~FAMILY STUFF: PART 4 — Sun, Dec 27 @ 8pm. FREE/21+The Lost Knight, 1538 W Sunset Blvd, LA 90026.  More info HERE.

Holidayed: now a condition....

Holidayed: now an official  condition….

Extend the Holiday Spirits

Whether you’re wringing out every last drop of Christmas joy or training for New Year’s Eve, you’ll want to head to the Hollywood Roosevelt’s Spare Room bar, gaming parlour and bowling alley this Sunday.

Legendary bar men Erik Trickett, Michael Neff, and Danny Neff, who may or may not have a more-than-passing acquaintance with the Holiday Cocktail Lounge in NYC, will be shaking, stirring and otherwise getting cozy with Hennessy: all in the service of getting you Holidayed.

You’ll feel the love from the first sip to the last to the “just one more”.

In addition to All Things Cognac, songs will be sung, bingo will be played and industry bowling champs announced.

You are powerless resist….

HOLIDAYED — Sun, Dec 27 @ 8pm. FREE entry/21Spare Room, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028.  More info HERE.

More Weekend Go Go!

It’s a Wonderful Life — Christmas Day show!  See it in 3-D!  An angel WILL get its wings!  Fri 12/25

Church & Key Guest Chef Series ~ Santa Anita Race Track Opening Day — Thoroughbred racing!  Specialty cocktails by Julian Cox!  Music!  Sat 12/26

L.A. Chocolate & Pastry Fest — L.A.’s best chocolate & pastry chefs!  Champagne, wine & spirits included!  Benefit for St. Baldrick’s Foundation!  Sun 12/27

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….


Faith Wilding - Fearful Symmetries at Armory Center of the Arts, ArtNight Pasadena

Faith Wilding – Fearful Symmetries at Armory Center of the Arts, ArtNight Pasadena

It’s hot as hell.

Perfect weather for the month of devils and the flames of the damned.

Party like there’s no hot tomorrow.


What makes for a perfect Friday  night event?

No set start time.  (Fighting traffic for a curtain = crankiness.)

Walking…if you want.  It’s like you’re waking up for the weekend.

Free.  Good any day of the week but on Friday, you deserve it.

Hitting the Friday trifecta: ArtNight Pasadena.

Whether you stroll or shuttle, peruse the galleries or the street art, hit two or all twenty-one venues, Pasadena’s free, four-hour, biannual art event is a feast for the senses.

OUTSIDE/IN is a series of giant, graffiti-inspired murals by international artists at Art Center College of Design.  SOUL POWER at Lightbringer Project @ Day One is a happening with sights and sounds of the 1960’s including a digital storytelling installation by Rasheed Ali, L.A. born artist Frank Romero, and Robbie Conal.  Get interactive with hands-on printmaking and screenprinting at artWORKS TEEN CENTER.

No curtains.  No crankiness.  Just art.

ARTNIGHT PASADENA — Fri, Oct 9; 6 – 10 pm.  FREE/all agesVarious locations.  For more info, including a list of participating museums, maps,  and shuttle information, go HERE.

Artisanal L.A. delivers fall this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Artisanal L.A.)

Artisanal L.A. delivers fall this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Artisanal L.A.)

There Will Be Pumpkins There

Imagine the crispness of fall in the air.

Then head down to two days of Artisanal L.A. – Fall and the crispness of AC at The Reef .

The offerings will be seasonal even if the weather is not.

Think Eagle Rock Homebrewing Supply for your backyard Oktoberfest, Sophab lights for those dimming days,  and Spiced Demerara Syrup from Cocktail & Sons for libations that at least taste like fall, dammit.

Peruse the 200+ vendors, then flaunt your finds via photo strip at the Social Booth. Rest and restore at the Cafe, the Milk + Cookie Corner or the Solid Coffee Roasters java lounge.  Get inspired by chef demos, DIY workshops, Birch & Bone‘s artful seasonal displays and art from DTLA’s Ren Gallery.  Also, baby animals….

There’s so much to do you may need a sweater for the AC chill.

ARTISANAL L.A. ~ FALL — Sat, Oct 10 & Sun, Oct 11; 11am – 6pm.  $12 – $18; all agesThe Reef, 1933 S Broadway, DTLA 90007. Tix and more info HERE.

Bakers Will Bake: Apple Crisp Muffin by Christine Moore from Lincoln Pasadena

Bakers Will Bake: Apple Crisp Muffins by Christine Moore from Lincoln, Pasadena


Sweet Sunday.

Brunch and done.

Bake Sale on Steroids.

Whatever you call it, add awesome as an adjective.

Organized by baker extraordinaire Roxana Jullapat, twenty of L.A.’s top pastry, dough, crust, frosting and glaze wranglers  will gather together at Bakers Will Bake to raise money for edible school gardens.

The other winner: you.

This Sunday will be about cooperation, not competition at the ultimate sweets sale with all proceeds going to: Edible Schoolyard, a gardening and cooking program founded in 2009 as part of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation.  The event has tapped some of the town’s top baking talent including: Jullapat, Zoe Nathan (Huckleberry), Na Young Ma (Proof Bakery) and Christine Moore (Lincoln, Little Flower Candy Company).

Don’t mosey in near closing.  At the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, the early bird definitely gets the honey-glazed sticky bun.

BAKERS WILL BAKE — Sun, Oct 11; 8am – 1pm/rain (we wish!) or shine.   FREE admissionHollywood Farmer’s Market btwn Ivar Avenue and Selma Avenue and btwn Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd; Hollywood 90068.  More event info HERE

TEN FEET: Photo by Diana Markessinis (Courtesy of deLab)

TEN FEET: Art Meets the River.  Photo by Diana Markessinis (Courtesy of deLab)

More Weekend Go Go Fun!

Taste of Italy — Cuisine & wine of Italy’s 20 regions!  Chef demos!  Benefits Italian-American Museum!  Sat 10/10

Beer, Art & Music Fest — 100+ beers!  International artists!  Supports the 18th Street Arts Center!  Sat 10/10

TEN FEET: Art Meets The River — Free!  5 artists/5 art sites along the river!  Artist talk!  Sat 10/10

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

FREE Salsa at Union Station!

FREE Salsa at Union Station!

Doesn’t spring seem springier than usual?

Check it out.

Report back.

You can do it.

TGIF and Free

Ms. Go Go’s multiple choice quiz.

On Friday nights you are…

a) raring to go

b) a limp dish rag

c) broke

d) two of the above

No matter what your state of mind and/or wallet, make Union Station your destination this Friday.

Son Mayor, one of L.A.’s best Latin bands, dishes up high-octane, vintage and contemporary Cuban salsa music in the Fred Harvey Room.  There are two, 45-minute, all-ages shows; fine-tune your fancy footwork with mini-dance lessons between sets.

Also, FREE!

It doesn’t get much easier than free.

SON MAYOR AT UNION STATION  — Fri, April 10, 8pm & 9pm  All ages/FREEUnion Station ~ Fred Harvey Room, 800 N Alameda St, LA 90012.  For more info, go HERE.

It's always the right season for horror.

Spring chill

Fright Night

There’s nothing like the chill of death to highlight the warmth of spring,

And the gold standard of Los Angeles theater terror is Urban Death: the signature production of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group.

Directed by Zombie Joe and Jana Wimer and opening this Saturday, the late night assemblage of Grand Guignol vignettes uses the classic combination of humor and horror for maximum effectiveness; the former relaxes you and puts you at ease, which makes the emotional gut punch of the real, raw, up-close-and-personal horror all the more effective.

Think shock value underscored by existential horror.

So…pretty much the quintessential Los Angeles experience.

URBAN DEATHSat, April 11 – Sat, May 16; 11 pm.  $15; 15+Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, 4850 Lankershim Blvd, NoHo 91601.  For tix & more info, go HERE.  For reservations, call 818. 202.4120.

Ground control to Major Tom...

Yuri’s Night at the Space Shuttle Endeavor

It’s Not Rocket Science…

…you will definitely want to blast off this Sunday at Yuri’s Night Los Angeles: a space bash under the Endeavor Space Shuttle!

Rock it with rocket scientists including astronaut Dr. Mae Jamison, JPL’s “Mohawk Guy” Bobak Ferdosi, and  Tina Merrie Newman (Mars Art Car).

Wave glow sticks with space oddities from Star Trek, Babylon 5, and The X-Files.

Do the Robot with R2D2 and the Dalek from Dr. Who.

Sip space-themed cocktails and soar through 200,000 galaxies to the farthest reaches of the universe via the COSMOS astronomical survey courtesy of astronomer Miguel Angel Argon Calvo.

This year’s Yuri’s Night theme is “A New Hope” so rock your Star Wars Throne Room best and Space Jam with stormtroopers.

One small dance step for man, one giant leap for wookie-kind.

YURI’S NIGHTSun, April 12; 8-11pm.  $25-$60; drink/food tix  $5-$10 ~ Tix only available online until Sat, 4/11 @10am  — Science Center, Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion, 700 Exposition Park Dr, LA 90037.  For tix and more info, go HERE.

Cinema at the Edge: edgy cinema at the edge of the continent.

Cinema at the Edge: edgy cinema at the edge of the continent.

More Weekend Go Go Fun!

Cinema at the Edge Film Festival

Narrative feature, documentary and short film programs!

Thursday night opening party!

Jury prizes & audience awards!

Thurs, 4/9 & Fri 4/10

4th Annual Kite Festival  FREE unique kite!  Color theory advice!  Kite artists!  Sat, 4/11

Long Beach Zine Fest 100+ writers, designers, cartoonists, photographers, artists and DIYers!  Lectures, workshops, panel discussions!  FREE!  Sun 4/12

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….