Shmuel Tikvah, a young Nigerian, heard time and time again about the Igbo people, who claim descent from ancient Israelites. Research at an Internet cafe leads him on a quest to find this Nigerian Jewish community, which keeps kosher, lights Shabbat candles and prays in Hebrew.
The old country just got a little newer. Taking traditional sounds and themes and infusing them with some modern funk, the Grammy-winning band brings rhythm and timeless spirit to its audiences. With 25 years of experience and a growing fan base, the Klezmatics have changed the face of the Yiddish imprint on popular culture.
A Chanukah miracle couldn’t hurt as the Clippers face off against the top-ranked Indiana Pacers. Stephen S. Wise Temple’s Cantor Nathan Lam opens the game with the singing of the national anthem. There will also be a menorah lighting, a Q-and-A session with rabbis and a special halftime performance by the Body Poets. Add in kosher food and a free T-shirt, and this Chanukah celebration is bound to be a slam-dunk.
If you like to laugh and hear happy Chanukah songs, then this is the show for you. It will be a special night of funny people, including Stephanie Blum, Jimmy Brogan and Mark Schiff. Hosted by Kenny Ellis, who has long made it a mission to marry the cantor and the comic within, there will be nods to his top-rated CD, “Hanukkah Swings!” Make the sixth night of Chanukah the best night.
It might mean sharing someone’s television or it might mean sharing someone’s HBO GO, but the Jewess of comedy is set to headline her first HBO comedy special, and it’s your job to watch. The program, which will be presented in association with Funny or Die, promises to be fresh, fearless and utterly original.
Learn, do and share — be a part of sustainable Los Angeles. Come hear about projects that are having local and global impacts from passionate speakers. Presenters include Elizabeth Stewart, founder and CEO of Hub Los Angeles; Nirvan Mullick, co-creator of the Imagination Foundation; Mick Ebeling, founder of Not Impossible Labs and creator of the EyeWriter; and Tara Tiger Brown, founder of Los Angeles Makerspace.
Siblings Deborah Strobin and Ilie Wacs, survivors of Kristallnacht, will share their experience and discuss their memoir, “An Uncommon Journey,” during the Museum of Tolerance’s Kristallnacht commemoration. A book signing will follow.
In honor of Rosh Chodesh, a holiday dedicated to women, tonight’s performance is dedicated to the women who make us laugh. Hilarious, poignant and risqué, these comedians make up the SheBREWS — eight fabulous female comics who dominate the L.A. Jewish comedy scene.
John Malkovich and Julian Sands collaborate on a personal and unusual tribute to one of the most influential British dramatists of the 20th century. The Nobel Prize-winning playwright is responsible for “Betrayal,” “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” “Sleuth” and much more.
Forget the “Seinfeld” reruns, and come laugh live! “Tales From the Mouth: Failures, Fiascos & Other Triumphs” will get you giggling, guffawing and getting it. Whether you love Korzen for her role as Doris Klompus, her National Public Radio humor or as a Moth Mainstage artist, you’ll love her all the more for her witty insights.
Yeehaw! Shelley Fisher’s Hollywood journey begins in Memphis, Tenn. — and growing up Jewish in the Deep South with dreams of performing can make for a colorful childhood. This one-woman musical show, with 14 original songs by Fisher, Kenneth Hirsch and Harold Payne, is a deeply personal and hilarious ride. Directed by Chris DeCarlo.
If you thought your beautiful new spouse was cheating on you, wouldn’t you create a disguise and test her fidelity? Ferenc Molnar’s comic game of love and marriage may or may not remind you of you and yours, but with wit and deception aplenty, it’ll certainly be fun to watch. Directed by Michael Michetti. Sat. 8 p.m. Through Nov. 30. $34-$54. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 356-3100. anoisewithin.org.
Written with honesty, curiosity and humor by Hélène Cixous, “Oy” follows sisters Selma and Jenny as they return home to Paris after a trip to their German hometown to testify about the horrors they endured during the Holocaust. Based on the experiences of the playwright’s family members, the piece works to untangle the memories and emotions of a shared journey. Sat. 8 p.m. Through Oct. 20. $34.99 (general), $30 (students, seniors). The Actors’ Gang, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 838-4264. theactorsgang.com.
Get your harvesting on in Malibu! The Shalom Institute is offering a day filled with organic gardening, ziplining, nature walks and music. Families can also indulge in arts and crafts and meet animals in the Pinat Chai Animal Center. Kosher lunch and snacks provided. Sun. 10 a.m. $10 (general), Free (Ages 6 and under). Shalom Institute, 34342 Mulholland Highway, Malibu. (818) 889-5500. shalominstitute.com.
It’s no secret: as a people, we wander. Lawrence Baron discusses the various migrations of Jews in world history and how global cinema has portrayed these movements. Author of “The Wandering View: Modern Jewish Experiences in World Cinema and Projecting the Holocaust Into the Present,” Baron knows a thing or two about Jews and movies.
How well can you ever really know your family? If you are Jonathan Holiff, there is only one option — perpetual discovery. Following his father Saul’s suicide, Holiff finds hundreds of letters, audio diaries and recorded phone calls the late music manager had with his client Johnny Cash. Embarking on a moving journey to know his father, Holiff creates a documentary with heart and perhaps some healing. Fri. Various times. $11 (general admission), $8 (ages 11 and under, 62 and over, bargain matinee). Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 478-3836.
It’s pie. Pie! Join KCRW and the upper crust of L.A.’s baking scene as pies are imagined, created and then deliciously devoured. “Good Food’s” Evan Kleinman hosts an afternoon of fruit, nut, cream, silk, savory, vegan and LACMA art-inspired pies.
Academy Award winner and peace activist Yuval Ron brings his ensemble to a stage near you. With focused efforts to lessen the national, racial, religious and cultural divides that often dominate the Middle East, Ron chooses to celebrate, unite and bridge these gaps.
This Iranian-American knows a thing or two about uniting sounds. Along with his Texas-based ensemble, Shafinury creates music that not only denies geography, but also time. He combines Iranian, Indian, Mexican and Texan sounds with modern electronic beats and American folk/rock; pinpointing an exact origin might be a challenge — so just sit back and enjoy. Hosted by KCRW DJ Tom Schnabel. Sat. 8 p.m. Free. Grand Performances, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown. (213) 687-2159. grandperformances.org.
Events around Los Angeles
Celebrate Jewish culture with Southern California-based klezmer band Mostly Kosher’s bandleader and singer Leeav Sofer and Janice “Rachele the Matchmaker” Mautner Markham on violin. They perform songs and stories from across the globe as part of the family series “Big!World!Fun!” at the Ford. Sat. 10 a.m. $5 (adults), free (ages 12 and younger). John Anson Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood. (323) 461-3673.
While it might not be your usual cantorial music resource, the band has had a long relationship with Hebrew and Judaism.
The Marx man is back. Almost. Award-winning actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante re-creates his PBS portrayal of the famous comedian. The evening will include some of the best Groucho anecdotes and songs, like “Hooray for Captain Spaulding” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.” Accompanied by an on-stage pianist, it will be a lively night full of laughter. Sat. 8 p.m. $30 (general admission). Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. (626) 356-7529. pasadenaplayhouse.org.
Isn’t February just too far away? Valentine’s Day comes early courtesy of East Side Jews, Jewlicious and Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
Join Gustavo Bulgach as he leads his band in a unique exploration of gypsy jazz, old European street songs and Jewish folk music. Representing a new generation of musicians reviving some ancient rhythmic traditions, Klezmer Juice will make noise that the whole family can enjoy. The international group has offered fresh interpretations of classics like “Ot Azoi” and “Zemer Atik,” which promises to be familiar but never dull. All ages. Sun. Noon and 2 p.m. Included with admission. $10 (general), $7 (seniors and students), $5 (ages 2-12), free (ages 2 and under). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
The rush of publishers into the e-book market became a tidal wave when Microsoft announced last week it was investing close to $300 million in e-textbooks.
There are so many issues and problems in the world. How does one know what to focus on? Why do we, in the United States, need to worry about this faraway region of Africa, which is just part of a larger continent of peoples who also need our money and support?