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Pencil This In: Smashburger Opens, Free Shakespeare, the Duplass Brothers & a Literary Death Match

Robert DeLong. Photo via Facebook.
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By Jessica McQueen

Need something to do tonight? L.A. has a lot to offer you. Smashburger opens its first L.A.-area location, Cinefamily will screen a film by the Duplass brothers, Book Soup will hold a signing with the author of an inspirational memoir, and the Hammer will host a comedic literary contest. Read on for more details and Wednesday happenings.

Literature fiends, beware. The Hammer Museum presents Literary Death Match, a comedic reading contest in which four authors perform their best writing to win over judges and move on to the final round. Authors Rex Pickett (“Sideways,” “Vertical”), Tupelo Hassman (“Girlchild”), Jeanne Darst (“Fiction Ruined My Family”), and Javon Johnson (featured on Def Poetry Jam) will battle it out in front of celebrity judges Henry Rollins, Tig Notaro, and Rob Delaney for the chance to take home the crown. 7:30 pm. Free.

Smashburger will finally grace the L.A. area with its presence with a new location opening in Thousand Oaks today. The burger joint is famous for smashing and seasoning its beef to order. The restaurant will offer an Angeleno-inspired burger, called the “LA Fusion,” which has a sesame seed bun stacked with cilantro, cucumber, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, wontons, and a Japanese steakhouse ginger dressing. 650 N. Moorpark Rd, Thousand Oaks.

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Cinefamily will host a screening of “The Do-Deca-Pentathlon,” a film from brothers Jay and Mark Duplass, the writers/directors of “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” and “Cyrus.” The film stars Mark Kelly and Steve Zissis and tells the story of two grown brothers who cause trouble when they compete in their own version of the Olympics at their family reunion. 5pm and 10pm. Tickets for each show are available here and here. $12 (free for members).

For those interested in theater, Shakespeare by the Sea will present a production of Romeo and Juliet tonight at Adventure Park in Whittier. The theater company is reliving the tragic tale as part of its free summer theater series. 7pm. Free (donations accepted).

Author Carissa Phelps will discuss and sign her new book “Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time” at Book Soup tonight. The book tells of her struggles as a drop-out and prostitute and her successful turn-around. 7pm. Free with purchase.

KROQ Locals Only presents Robert DeLong at the Troubadour. Tapioca and the Flea and Incan Abraham will open the night. Doors open 8pm. $10.

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*Pencil Pick

Want more events? Follow Lauren Lloyd (@LadyyyLloyd) and Christine Ziemba (@christineziemba) on Twitter.

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