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Pencil This In: Friday

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Photo by ~db~ via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Dance Downtown kicks up its heels tonight for the first installment of the summer-long Friday night series. Free admission to anyone who feels like trying a little salsa out on the Music Center Plaza. Beginner lessons are at 6:30, and a live DJ provides the tunes from 7:15-10.

6:30-10 p.m. // Music Center Plaza // 135 North Grand Avenue, Downtown // Free

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Every Friday night at Bar One in NoHo is Think, featuring Reggae Rog of the Aggrolites as DJ providing patrons with funk and soul mixes for your listening and chilling pleasure.

9 p.m.-2 a.m. // Bar One // 12518 Burbank Boulevard, NoHo // Free (not counting your booze, pal)

Lani Guinier is the author of the forthcoming book, Meritocracy, Inc. How Wealth Became Merit, Class Became Race and Higher Education Became a Gift From the Poor to the Rich. She was the first black woman tenured professor at Harvard Law School, and has worked extensively in Civil Rights since the 1980s. Guinier's talk tonight is presented in partnership with the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies as part of the Center's College Access Project for African Americans conference.

7 p.m. // Hammer Museum: Billy Wilder Theater // 10899 Wilshire Boulevard // (310) 443-7000 // Free tickets are required for program entry and are available from the Billy Wilder Theater box office

One hour of totally off the cuff performance inspired by the audience suggestions featuring the Magic Meathands. They promise a kid-friendly "squeaky clean" show.

8-9 p.m. // Terrace Cafe // 626 Coronado Terrace (adjacent to L.A. Dream Center), Echo Park // (213) 273-7075 // Free

The Capitol Steps are in Lancaster tonight, with their usual witticisms and send-ups of current events and politics. The performers are all current or former Congressional staffers, and "No one on Capitol Hill, in the Oval Office or around the world is safe" when these folks--who put the "mock" in Democracy (groan!)--take on the issues.

8 p.m. // Lancaster Performing Arts Center // 750 Lancaster Boulevard, Lancaster // (661) 726-5950 // $35