Cypres' vast sports collection, which fills 30 well-lighted galleries, is extraordinary and reflects its owner's deep love of sports history.
When the Dodgers celebrated their 50th anniversary in Los Angeles on March 29 with an exhibition game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it seemed almost fitting that a Jewish ballplayer, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, would hit a pivotal home run that helped Boston win the game. During the Dodgers' final home game against the Chicago Cubs at the Coliseum in 1961, a young left-handed pitcher named Sandy Koufax won the ballgame for Los Angeles.
Seated at his office in Beverly Hills, Ben Mittleman, 57, doesn't have a trace of gray in his sandy-brown hair. He says his mother used to kid him that he must have had a "facelift or something," but despite the fact that this veteran TV actor turned director-producer looks 10 years younger than his age, he underwent heart surgery in 2001. That experience is the subject of "Dying to Live," along with his response to the cancers that later took the lives of both his mother and his wife, Valerie. The film premieres Thursday, March 13, at Laemmle's Music Hall, where it will screen for two weeks.
I signed up for Sar-El, an international program affiliated with the U.S.-based group, Volunteers for Israel, through which participants from all over the world travel to Israel to help out the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for up to three weeks.
"The Kid From Brooklyn," a musical based on the life of Danny Kaye, now playing at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood, takes us back to the heyday of Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky), a versatile performer whose tongue-twisting verbal artistry and physical high jinks have influenced such modern-day performers as Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.
In the living room of novelist Merrill Joan Gerber's home in Sierra Madre is a harpsichord that is most often played by her husband, a retired Pasadena City College history professor. The presence of this musical instrument is fitting, because music plays a major role in Gerber's latest book, "The Victory Gardens of Brooklyn." At one point in "Victory Gardens," Gerber's 27th book, the central character, Musetta, a pianist and stand-in for Gerber's own mother, ponders the magic of music. It "made her feel she was flying outside over the treetops, over the river, away past Brooklyn, past the cemeteries and the houses and the endless stores of dead chickens and glassy-eyed fish."
While the Darfur crisis enters its fifth year, the American Jewish Committee and Warner Independent Pictures have taken a lead in raising awareness of and combating the genocide in the Western Sudan region, where an estimated 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced. For some time now, the AJC has had a national task force dedicated to Darfur, but in the past year and a half, members of the AJC's Los Angeles branch developed a film proposal that ultimately led to "Darfur Now," a documentary from Warner Independent that follows the efforts of six people to resolve the humanitarian disaster. The film will be released in theaters on Nov. 2.
For the past 10 years, Dinah Lenney, author of the memoir, "Bigger Than Life," has lived with the memory of the murder of her father, a prominent New Jersey businessman and onetime senatorial candidate who was knifed to death by three teens in Manhattan.
A one-story structure nestled beneath the mountains 25 miles north of Los Angeles, Congregation Beth Shalom looks a bit like those temporary schools on blacktop that dot the Southland. But it is in fact spiritual home to 220 families, 150 of whom were involved in the focus groups to choose the new rabbi and cantor: Rabbi Ira Rosenfeld and his wife, Beth Wasserman Rosenfeld, the latter a former stage actress and singer. The pair began their tenure on July 1, though they were not officially "installed" until Aug. 24.
Zimmerman's installation is one of three works from the Skirball's permanent collection on view in the exhibition "Artful Dwellings: Sukkot at the Skirball." The other two are by artists Sam Erenberg and Therman Statom.
Ethan Margolis, co-founder of Arte y Pureza (Art and Purity), a Seville, Spain-based flamenco troupe, says three influences stand out as soon as you begin reading about flamenco: Sephardic, Arabic and Indian.
It was only a matter of time before hi-tech came to the High Holy Days. This year the Jewish Television Network will webcast Wilshire Boulevard Temple's entire Kol Nidre service, the first time viewers will be able to watch such a service live over the Internet.
Rabbi Chaim Cunin, 33, executive producer of the telethon and CEO of Chabad of California, may represent a movement that dates back to the 1700s, but on a recent August day he wasn't wearing a dark frock coat. Instead, he sported casual attire: a blue button-down shirt, a brown tie and a yarmulke, that, when flipped around, bore the trademark dancing rabbi logo.
Yet Rabbi Mike Comins, author of "A Wild Faith," wants us to know that Judaism and nature have long been entwined, and that there is nothing paganistic about a Jew, let alone a rabbi, talking to trees.
Woody Allen's oft-told joke about the paucity of Jewish sports heroes reinforces stereotypes going back centuries. A noteworthy example comes from sociologist Edward Ross, a Protestant, who about 100 years ago had this to say about Jews: "On the physical side, the Hebrews are the polar opposite of our pioneer breed. Not only are they undersized and weak-muscled, but they shun bodily activity and are exceedingly sensitive to pain."
Mickey Birnbaum recently spent a year as an Inge Fellow in Independence, Kan., boyhood home of the late playwright William Inge, best known for his 1950s plays, "Picnic" and "Bus Stop." Birnbaum's "Big Death & Little Death," now being staged at the Road Theater Company in North Hollywood, does evoke playwrights of the past, but it is Thornton Wilder, not Inge, whose work has influenced Birnbaum.
Even at 86 years old, Joe Weider gives you the sense he might have once been one of those Olympians. As he approaches the head of the table inside this wood-paneled room, Weider appears dapper and powerful, his muscular torso still filling out the gray pinstriped suit he wears with a starched white shirt and red power tie.
Fifteen years since it was last exhibited at the Spertus Museum in Chicago, Ruth Weisberg's "The Scroll," a 94-foot mixed-media painting that encompasses the Jewish feminist narrative in mural form, will be displayed at the Skirball Cultural Center as part of a mid-career retrospective of her work titled "Ruth Weisberg: Unfurled," opening Tuesday, May 8.
Esther Netter, CEO of the Zimmer Children's Museum, speaks with infectious enthusiasm about her museum's upcoming exhibition, "Show & Tell: The Art of Harmony," which opens Sunday, May 6.
With meteoric technological advances presenting many businesses with crises verging on the existential, there is a growing need for nimble minds able to adapt to changes in the marketplace. Given this environment, it is fitting that Jonathan Feinstein, a professor at the Yale School of Management, should come out with "The Nature of Creative Development," a book that attempts to model the trajectory of creativity within individuals.
The New York Post may be the oldest continuously operating daily publication in the United States, but The Forward, which began publication in 1897 during the waves of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe, was the first paper in this country to have a national readership. In its heyday, the Yiddish- language daily, once known as The Forverts, had a larger circulation than even The New York Times.
Crossroads School in Santa Monica might not be where one would expect to find the archived works of a celebrated composer who survived Dachau and Buchenwald, especially when one considers that the Vienna-born Herbert Zipper worked as an educator at a variety of institutions of higher learning, including USC and the New School for Social Research in New York. But when Zipper died at the age of 93 in 1997, he left his papers to the K-12 school where he taught musical composition and theory in his retirement years. His relationship with the school was such that co-founder and former headmaster Paul Cummins wrote Zipper's biography.
Before David Rouda became a stage director and writer, he was an internationally ranked rower who placed 17th in the 1999 World Rowing Championships. Rouda, who started training as a sculler at 13, won six Gold Medals at the Maccabee Games and just missed qualifying for the 2000 Olympics.
Equal parts existentialist rant and theater of the absurd, Robert Trebor's "The Return of Brother Theodore," now playing at the Skylight Theater, honors the late monologist, who died in 2001 at 94, with a performance that combines the deceased's black-comedy act with some of Trebor's own writing.
Roughly 20 years ago, Sudan, whose western Darfur region has been engulfed in genocide for four years, watched another other tragedy unfold -- the deaths of thousands of Ethiopian Jews trying to escape to Israel via Operation Moses.
In the mid-1990s, following the Oslo peace accords and with the prospect of a thriving Israeli economy, the debate raged in Jewish philanthropic circles about what might change if Israel "was going to grow up and not be a poor cousin," said Lois Weinsaft, senior vice president at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, who oversees Israeli and other overseas programs.
The International Court of Justice recently handed down two rulings refusing to characterize the atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Darfur as genocide. While The Hague is reluctant to use the G-word, filmmakers around the world are not.
The "goal is to use the entire event, not just a seder" to raise awareness and funds for Darfur, Jewish World Watch Executive Director Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug said.
The upcoming Israel Film Festival represents the culmination of the consulate's developing ties with Hollywood.
In a showbiz career that has spanned nearly six decades, Israeli American actor Mike Burstyn has played everyone from Al Jolson and Tevye to Nathan Detroit and P.T. Barnum.
"It's terrible being far away," said Israeli-born photographer Elinor Milchan, about watching the news of last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war on CNN or Fox. "They only show you brief moments of terror. They don't show you in-between moments that give you strength."
Through Project Magic, Copperfield has changed the outlook and brought out the talent of patients who feel disempowered and, in some cases, stigmatized.
If Schulberg's literary debut led to his temporary estrangement from Hollywood, where he had grown up as the son of Paramount executive B.P. Schulberg, it did not affect his association with the fight game.
The film, "Alpha Dog," based on the 2000 kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old West Hills resident Nick Markowitz, has received mixed reviews but growing notoriety.
Alex Baum, who will be celebrating his 84th birthday on Dec. 30, fought in the French Resistance, survived two and a half years in the concentration camps, and has since dedicated his life to performing good deeds, most notably in his advocacy of amateur athletics.
"We want to give the women of Los Angeles a voice," said Levine, pointing out that every world song in their repertoire "has a population right here" in Los Angeles. She added that world music is "the music of the people."
When asked whether he is Jewish, Mark Troy responds, "You will be needing proof of that?"
The Chanukah show has been a staple in Los Angeles, which, before its first airing in 1978, had been missing this classic blend of Yiddishkeit: folk music, readings of Isaac Bashevis Singer's stories, memorials to Holocaust victims, Second Avenue "hit parade" songs.
The Skirball Cultural Center has chosen to focus on Italian Jewry as the theme for its upcoming "Hanukkah Family Festival," a series of performances, workshops, exhibits and other activities on Sunday, Dec. 10.
"I don't think it's possible to write a really interesting or good book without the Holocaust being in it. Even if you're not Jewish, you're a Jewish writer. If it doesn't enter your consciousness, you're not a serious artist." So said novelist Leslie Epstein, author most recently of "The Eighth Wonder of the World" in a phone interview from his office at Boston University, where he chairs the creative writing department.
They climb a rope upside down. They scale a pole 15 feet high. They leap through an obstacle course.It's not boot camp at Camp Pendleton. It's the Moscow Cats Theater, whose lead performers, 30 or so felines, are not deprived of sleep and not subjected to verbal abuse like Marines in basic training.
Arabian rugs and pillows are spread out in a tent as Holofernes, the general of the Assyrians, plots his victory over the Israelites. Wearing a tunic, he speaks lines of great beauty: "I am overcome with wonder, trembling with a terrible infatuation." He is speaking of war, yet he might be anticipating the woman who will take him to bed later in the evening.That woman, the eponymous star of "Judith: A Parting From the Body," resuming its run at the Theater of NOTE on Nov. 30, is the Jewish heroine known to readers of the Apocrypha.
Just when the film world seems to have examined the Holocaust from every possible angle, a new film comes along that shakes up our complacency."Forgiving Dr. Mengele" focuses on the story of Eva Kor, one of the so-called "Mengele twins," who along with her sister was subjected to the Nazi doctor's experiments. Most notably, it deals with the forgiveness of Nazis, a concept antithetical to many Holocaust survivors.
Wendy Graf was at the women's group at her synagogue when she discovered that a number of her colleagues were the children of Holocaust survivors. She became fascinated with the repercussions of the tragedy on their lives, but put aside the subject as she wrote "Lessons," a play about a widower who decides to have a bar mitzvah. More recently, a person close to her developed Alzheimer's disease. The synchronicity of memory loss with so-called "second-generation" syndrome provided the raw material for Graf's new play, "Leipzig," the latest offering of the West Coast Jewish Theater, now playing at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
Jonathan Kirsch's compelling new book, "A History of the End of the World" is discussed and compared to other views about the end-time.
Initial reservations about staging a play about Auschwitz's Sonderkommando, Jews who cleaned the gas chambers and crematoria in exchange for a few extra months of life.
The inaugural State of Humanity Forum, held Oct. 17 at Valley Beth Shalom.
Mixing punk rock and opera may be about as heretical as it gets, yet that is precisely what Julien Nitzberg, librettist and lyricist of "The Beastly Bombing," has done.
Goldberg recently won the Anti-Defamation League's Daniel Pearl Award and goes so far as to suggest that being Jewish has benefited him in his dealings with terrorists.
Just south of the 10 Freeway, in a nondescript part of Culver City stands Club Fais Do-Do.
"Barney Ross" by Douglas Century.
Melinda Lopez's "Sonia Flew," which opens at the Laguna Playhouse on Sept. 16, depicts the parallel struggles of a Cuban girl in 1961 and a half-Jewish, half-Cuban American boy just after Sept. 11.
At the command of God, Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac. Bernard Cooper's father merely presented him with a $2 million invoice for child-rearing services. And God had nothing to do with it.
Cooper will appear on a panel, moderated by Jewish Journal Religion Editor Amy Klein, at the West Hollywood Book Fair this Sunday. He says that "The Bill from My Father," his latest book, is perhaps the most conventional of his three memoirs, in that it follows a more "chronological narrative," the story of his relationship with his cantankerous father.
If Barry Gordon seems to be one of the lone liberal voices on the radio (he jokes that listeners are as likely to hear Gordon Liddy as him on KCAA), he follows in a tradition that goes back to FDR.
Based upon Edward Hopper's famous painting of a late-night coffee shop on a desolate city street corner, Douglas Steinberg's new play, "Nighthawks," which is having its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theater, features a painter who says only one word in the entire first act.
The Czech nation, in its many incarnations, has figured prominently in Jewish lore and literature. It has spawned the Golem and Franz Kafka, to say nothing of the recent Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner collaboration, "Brundibar," a play that was staged by the Berkeley and Yale repertory theaters and that took its story of children who vanquish a monstrous adult, a stand-in for Hitler or fascism in general, from an opera written in the Terezin ghetto at the time of the Holocaust.
With all of the negative images about Jewish-Muslim clashes in the world, it is nice to see a documentary, directed and produced by a Jew and a Muslim, about a Muslim son taking over his father's slaughterhouse business in Queens, N.Y.
"We have always existed, even though we've been hidden from history. The friends we met in childhood, it turns out they were gay. We gravitate to one another." So speaks playwright Zsa Zsa Gershick when asked why her four principal characters are all gay or sexually experimental in her play, "Bluebonnet Court," at the Hudson Mainstage Theater.
The film "City of God" shed light on a long-neglected subject, the Third World conditions and inescapable warfare existing in Rio de Janeiro's slums. Now comes "Favela Rising," a documentary that not only limns the tragedy of the favelas, the Brazilian ghettoes, but also tells the inspirational tale of Anderson Sá, a black Messiah figure who founds a reggae music club that offers a nonviolent alternative to their rampant drug and gang activity.
Especially during the McCourts' first year of ownership, the Times sports section for the most part depicted Jamie and Frank McCourt, the latter known by Simers as the parking lot attendant, as carpetbaggers who have little interest in or knowledge of Los Angeles, social climbers who lack the financial resources to run the team and public relations novices.
While each show follows its own trajectory, Chaiken points out that many Jewish-themed plays explore the issue of legacy. These performers describe conflicted feelings about their parents and the aspirations held out for them. As clichéd as such scenarios may seem, they speak to the pain and humor of family, a commonality that usually resonates with audiences.
Bryan Singer's first real understanding of evil came when, as a boy of 9 or 10, he dressed up as a Nazi one day while playing a World War II game with his German neighbors in Princeton Junction, N.J. He came home wearing a swastika.
Singer's mother admonished him, but it wasn't until a few years later, when his junior high school teacher, Miss Fiscarelli, taught an entire unit in social studies on the Holocaust, that he gained a greater understanding as to why his mother had been so troubled. That class changed Singer's "whole perception of what people are capable of anywhere," he said.
Alfred Uhry's "Without Walls," starring Laurence Fishburne, deals not only with race but also sexuality.
In "Pound of Flesh," at the Odyssey Theater, Ezra Pound spars with Pvt. Cooper, a young soldier who keeps him company while he awaits trial in Italy for his crimes of treachery against the United States in World War II. If this private is not Pound's intellectual match, he more than matches the poet on moral grounds.
Michael Halperin, who wrote "All Steps Necessary," a new Holocaust-themed play being staged by the Inkwell Theater, concurs with Milgram. Taking place just after Kristallnacht, his play dramatizes a meeting of Nazi leaders and their formal response to the fallout from the pogrom.
Roger Mayer lounges in the living room of his house on Benedict Canyon Road, a comfortable two-story clapboard structure in Beverly Hills. The newly minted octogenarian, who looks at least 10 years younger, effortlessly recalls dates, numbers and deals from decades ago.
Local leaders of the Green Party are working to overturn an anti-Israel resolution that has become official party policy.
Writers as varied as Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott have written of the exotic beauty of Jewish women. But what about Jewish men?
Amos Oz has explored the subject in novels. Amos Elon has penned essays about it. Politicians as varied as Abba Eban, Mahmoud Abbas, Bill Clinton and even Ariel Sharon have tried to solve it. So, what can a 26-year-old Ivy League graduate add to the long and storied history of the region with the world's most intractable political problem? Plenty of inspiration, if we are to judge by Jennifer Miller's new book, "Inheriting the Holy Land."
It has long been a cliché that Los Angeles does not respect the culture of the book. It is true that this town famously eviscerated Faulkner and Fitzgerald, that Hollywood suits to this day treat screenwriters the way Henry VIII treated his wives. Yet, it is also true that Los Angeles has spawned unique brands of literature, such as the hard-boiled detective story.
Ameenah Kaplan, who calls herself a "hybrid" -- the product of an African American mother who converted to Judaism and a Jewish father -- is directing, choreographing and co-producing "Everyman for Himself." Appearing weekends at the Unknown Theatre in Hollywood, the show is a hybrid itself, in that it blends music, dance, theater and capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance form that incorporates self-defense maneuvers.
You didn't see many Jews amid the sea of Mexican and American flags during the recent pro-immigrant rallies that filled city streets, but Jews and Jewish groups, in largely liberal Los Angeles, have been advocating on behalf of immigrants, mostly outside the view of television cameras.
It is not only illegal immigrants for whom the Passover tale holds appeal. The story of the Exodus can be easily updated for any of the numerous people in the Third World seeking freedom from oppression.
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival runs April 1-6 at a variety of venues around town. Below are the reviews for two of the films.
Joellen Lapidus points out that klezmer, which has famously experienced a revival since the late 1970s, has never been performed exclusively at Jewish functions, and the bands have often included non-Jewish musicians. Likewise, Extreme Klezmer Makeover is not comprised solely of Jews.
An adept impressionist, Solomon imitates his Old World Italian and Jewish relatives, as well as Jamaicans, Indian taxi drivers, pet dogs, even metal detectors. While many comedians draw upon the clashes between their parents, few would characterize them as Solomon does in a phone interview -- "the cup is half-full for my dad; for my mom, it's half-empty with poison in it."
At the heart of Los Angeles' Jewish community lies a paradox. As the community grows and spreads into different areas in the Southland, can it still be a community? It is this very question that Hilary Helstein, executive director of the latest incarnation of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, has had to confront.
In his first decade as a filmmaker, Spike Lee wrote or co-wrote all of his films, which typically examined race in New York and featured African American protagonists. He began to diverge a bit in "Clockers" (1995), which he scripted with novelist Richard Price. Although "Clockers" was told more from the point of view of the teenage African American drug dealer than the half-Jewish, half-Italian cop played by Harvey Keitel, it led to other pictures like "Summer of Sam" (1999), with its ensemble cast of white characters from a Bronx Italian neighborhood, and the more recent "25th Hour" (2002), a film in which Lee does not have a screenwriting credit and which stars Edward Norton as a convict on his way to jail.
Upcoming Photographic exhibitions.
Caroline Baron, the film's producer who worked with Hoffman on "Flawless" and has known screenwriter Dan Futterman and Miller for a number of years, said that all films present challenges, but that from the outset, she had "100 percent confidence in Bennett as a director and Phil as an actor."
Harry Sondheim, a retired criminal prosecutor for the L.A. County D.A.'s office, was traveling in Holland when he simply noticed an artifact that appealed to him. "They had a museum, Der Weg, which means the Weighing House. They had an artist named Bicart. I bought some postcards with depictions of Jewish ceremonies on them. You can't buy those postcards any longer."
Josh Kornbluth grew up in a secular, communist household in New York City. He says that he's not trying to be flippant when he notes that his parents had an almost "Talmudic reverence for Marxism."
Inside this cavernous barn with Persian rugs draped like curtains over the back walls of the elevated stage, there are no mobsters or secret cells from what we can tell. There are just ordinary citizens, but that doesn't stop the host, Jordan Elgrably, a svelte man in a black shirt, from saying, "All those who are working here for Homeland Security, please raise your hand."
"Frantic Transmissions to and From Los Angeles: An Accidental Memoir," by Kate Braverman (Graywolf, $15).
"Did I say that my work has been translated into Turkish? Apparently, it will be read in Istanbul, but not in Los Angeles."
Yes, Kate Braverman did say that in a telephone conversation from her new home in San Francisco. On more than one occasion, in fact, she mentioned this, digressing, ranting, in as polite a rant as possible, that she is merely "referenced" in Los Angeles, where she grew up and lived much of her adult life. The references have even taken on a funereal character.
Despite apparently being characterized by the Los Angeles Times a year or so ago as "the late, legendary Kate Braverman," despite coincidentally bearing the same last name as the deceased character in Sidney Lumet's film, "Bye Bye, Braverman," Kate Braverman, 55, author of the underground classic, "Lithium for Medea," three other novels, countless anthologized short stories and now a new "accidental memoir" titled, "Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles," is anything but dead. "Frantic Transmissions" has just been published by Graywolf Press, a small, literary press in Minnesota, which awarded her its first-ever nonfiction prize for this latest effort.
"This isn't the kind of musical where it's 'OK, we're going to have a production number now,'" said Herb Isaacs, artistic director of the West Coast Jewish Theatre, about the upcoming world premiere of "American Klezmer." "Every song is integrated into the plot."
"Makor/Source" marks the first time that the Hillels of the two universities have collaborated on an exhibition. Roughly 20 local artists submitted works to the show, including collages, paintings and photographs.
Martin Scorsese has famously influenced a whole generation of American filmmakers, from Abel Ferrara and Quentin Tarantino to Rob Weiss and Nick Gomez. But his influence is not limited to filmmakers in this country.
With a gift for diction, Kadosh explores the cultural absurdities and political hypocrisies of America, dedicating one spoken-word poem to SUVs, and another to the cheese at the heart of America.
Guitarist and composer Adam Del Monte has the musical sophistication and spiritual depth to explore Jewish mysticism beyond the trendy or superficial.
"It's cozy out here," says Arthur Golden, author of "Memoirs of a Geisha." Out here is in the Japanese garden in the back of Elixir, a teahouse in West Hollywood.
Two winters ago, in one of its traditional Victorian teas, A Noise Within (ANW), the classical repertory theater company in Glendale, staged a series of holiday readings from actors as varied as Ed Asner and Fred Savage.
In an age of assimilation, a couple of generations removed from the ghetto, can Jews still be funny? Yes, says David Steinberg, host of the new talk show, "Sit Down Comedy With David Steinberg," which premiered this past Wednesday on TV Land.
The intelligent design vs. Darwinism debate presumes that one or the other theory provides the answer to life and all its mysteries. Playwright Seth Greenland explores the falsity of this dichotomy in "Jerusalem," his play opening Friday at the NoHo Arts Center. Greenland's five principal characters -- a Jewish psychiatrist, his Protestant wife and his in-laws -- have varying degrees of religious faith, as well as varying degrees of conviction about psychoanalysis. In the end, Greenland seems to say, the wise man understands the merits of both religion and science. Even the wise man, though, knows the limits of his knowledge.
In New York, parents tell horror stories about the pressure to get their 5-year-old kids into the right kindergartens, the kind attended by Woody Allen's kids. In Los Angeles, the social cachet may be even more skewed.
"So and so from the Lakers' kid goes to some school," says playwright David Levinson, whose play, "Early Decision," at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica, has tapped into the Zeitgeist about the mania surrounding college admissions.
The Kinkster is nothing if not irreverent. But this Texas cowboy, who has morphed from recording artist to postmodern mystery writer, may have redefined chutzpah with his current campaign to become governor of Texas.
Cynics contend that dying young can be "a good career move." It worked out that way for Lenny Bruce, a rebel hero of the Beat-era comedy scene who has been lionized since his premature death by drug overdose in 1966. At 40, Bruce had, for five years, been hounded by law enforcement, standing trial in San Francisco, Chicago and New York.
When asked how he differs from documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Robert Greenwald deadpans, "He's taller than me. He has a beard."
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has joined the long list of solons who have dabbled in writing. Unlike John Kennedy, she admits to collaborating with a professional writer. Also unlike Kennedy, she is not likely to win the Pulitzer Prize.
With or without a Jewish theme, "The Manhattan Beach Project" skewers Hollywood the way Tom Wolfe lampooned Wall Street in "Bonfire of the Vanities." Lefcourt shows the callowness of these show biz Masters of the Universe.
While some admirers have envisioned Wiesenthal as a Jewish John Wayne or James Bond, the diminutive Kingsley, who has played numerous Jewish characters in his film career, including Meyer Lansky in "Bugsy" and Fagin in the current "Oliver Twist," depicts him as a much more modest man, frail after the camps, dedicated to his work, not given to swagger or seduction.
The juxtaposition of a Jew (Schanberg) and a Cambodian with the defaced Star of David subtly links the Holocaust, a genocide of the past, to the more recent Cambodian tragedy.
It is the synchronicity between peoples who have been massacred that inspired the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust to exhibit "Encountering the Cambodian Genocide." The exhibit features the photographs of Chantal Prunier, who visited Cambodia in the past year and came back with haunting images of mass graves, torture devices and survivors.