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Pencil This In: Playtime at the Skirball, Music at the Zoo, Zombies and Hecklevision and the Venice Beach Biennale

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Who cares about Comic-Con when there is an absurd—yes, absurd—number of great events happening tonight in LA. For example, the Skirball is holding a night of fun, games and music with Sea Wolf as headliners; there's a screening of Night of the Living Dead with Hecklevision, scary readings at The Last Bookstore, up-and-coming performers from the Asian/Pacific Islander community play at the Ford, after-hours music and food at the zoo, NerdMelt hosts a Pizza Con and the Venice Beach Biennale opens. See? A ridiculous number of options. Read on for the details.FUN+GAMES
The Skirball hosts an evening of music and games tonight with Into the Night: Playtime, held from 9 pm to 1 am. Sea Wolf headlines the music bill, which also features SF-based synth-rock trio Geographer and KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez spinning his mix outdoors in the Skirball’s courtyard. Guests get to roam the campus after dark, which includes the Noah’s Ark exhibit, participate in a museum-wide scavenger hunt, create non-kiddie crafts with Julianna Parr of CraftNight at Akbar. The event also features a screening of Jacques Tati’s Play Time, as well as card and board games—including oversized Jenga and checkers—and experimental arcade games from UCLA’s Game Lab. This is a 21+ event. $20 day of show/door.
Cash bar.

The Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles closes out its festival at the Hayworth Theater at 8 pm with a screening of the “film-that-started-the-whole-Zombie-thang-in-the-first-place”: George Romero's Night Of the Living Dead. But the film is being presented with Hecklevision—a new app that allows smart-phone users to post their comments on the screen as the film plays. Prizes for the best comments (get snarky, funny or creative). We think the festival producers are providing drinks, too, to close the festival...especially those who come in Zombie gear. It’s free, so get there early.

Slake: LA visits The Last Bookstore in Downtown LAto celebrate Friday the 13th with a few spine-tingling stories from the most recent Slake: Los Angeles, Issue #4: Dirt. Free. 7 pm.

The Ford Amphitheatre welcomes Kollaboration Los Angeles tonight at 8:30 pm. It’s an annual raw talent competition between singers, songwriters and musicians from LA’s Asian/Pacific Islander communities. This year's contestants include: St. Andrew, Brooke Taylor, Jeremy Crooks, Nate Tao, Ms Laney, Kaitlin Obien and Dave & the Cousins. Tickets: $20-$40.

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Outfest 2012: The 30th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival opened yesterday and continues through July 22. Screening on the Third Street Promenade tonight for Santa Monica’s Cinema on the Street series is Ghostbusters at approximately at 7:30 pm, depending on the sunset.

It’s an evening of Music in the Zoo tonight from 6-9 pm. Performances by classic rock and blues bands take place throughout the zoo and Botanical Gardens serenading people and the animals that are allowed to stay up past their bedtimes. (The animals are put to bed at 8 pm, though.) Bands include Cubensis (Grateful Dead cover band), Long Beach Caravan Trio (jazz), Masanga Marimba (Zimbabwean marimabas), Caravana (Latin reggae), Patrolled by Radar (alt-country), Wayward Sons (arena rock cover band), David Vito Gregoli and Primordial Sonics (ambient aboriginal fusion) and The Heist (classic rock cover band). Picnics are permitted, but a number of diverse and eclectic food stations will be set up around the zoo with food available for purchase. Local micro brewery Golden Road and Eagle Rock beers are available, too. Admission: $20 for adults, $15 for children ages 2-12. Children under age 2 are free. Discounts for Zoo Association members.

In a cheeky take on the prestigious Venice Biennale, the Hammer’s Made in LA exhibition opens the first and only Venice Beach Biennial today through Sunday. Artists from across Los Angeles will exhibit and sell their work alongside veteran boardwalk vendors and performers. There are also several temporary sculptures, installations, and performances nearby as well. Today and Saturday from 11 am to sunset. Sunday: 11 am-6 pm. Free.

NerdMelt hosts a free Pizza Con evening tonight when the folks behind Fox's new late night animation block, ADHD, show unaired Cartoon Network/Adult Swim pilots intro-ed by the creators. Also included are stand-up from writers and contributors working on shows in development. "There will also be a ton of pizza, cool art, pizza, contests and pizza!" 8 pm. Free. Doors at 7:45 pm

*Pencil pick of the day

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Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).