One nation, under God, hip to disco, with Macy Gray and
justice for all. A lofty ideal, perhaps. But that's the breakdown for tonight's
Justice Ball. Sponsored by Bet Tzedek (The House of Justice), the ball supports
the organization's mission of providing free legal services to the poor, elderly
and disabled without regard to race, religion or ethnicity. The night itself is
one big young professionals party at the Wiltern Theater, complete with drinks,
dancing and entertainment by the triple-platinum artist Gray and the disco cover
band The Boogie Knights. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $75-$175. 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los
Angeles. (323) 656-9069. www.justiceball.org
Tonight, Sandra Bernhard contributes some token Jewish-American comic attitude to the Levantine Cultural Center's Middle Eastern variety show "To Baghdad With Love." The center's mission of forging unity between the peoples of that region makes this virtual "love letter" a way "for people to experience those cultures not through the prism of violence, but through ... the arts," according to Jordan Elgrably, director of The Levantine Cultural Center. The message of solidarity includes Gnawa trance artist Hassan Hakmoun, Palestinian singer Woroud and Bedouin/Israeli/Turkish grooves by the Yuval Ron Ensemble. Bernhard is scheduled to perform a comedy sketch with emcee Soumaya Akaaboune about a Jewish woman in a Morrocan bathhouse.
7 p.m. $20-$50. Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City. (323) 650-7010.
According to Ms. Candye Kane's press release, she's been
described as voluptuous, a teenage mom from East L.A., a sex-positive feminist,
a former stripper and porn queen, a sex-advice columnist, a fat activist, a
divorced bisexual, Jewish, provocative and a novelty act [who] plays piano with
her breasts. Did we mention she can sing, too? Her new CD, "Whole Lotta Love" is
a compilation of covers and original blues music on the subject of love, belted
impressively by a woman who's worn many hats, and often, not much else. $15. www.candyekane.com
Seven Days' odd pairing of the week award goes to Theater League, who presents Erin Brockovitch in Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues," at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Strange though it may seem, the candor for which both the show and Brockovitch are known may just make this unlikely choice work. She ditches the legal jargon in favor of more visceral concerns starting tonight.
8 p.m. (Tuesday-Friday), 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. (Saturday), 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Sunday). $24.50-$44.50. Runs July 15-20. 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (213) 365-3500. Also at Long Beach Performing Arts Center, July 22-27, and the Glendale Alex Theatre, July 29-Aug. 3.
Responding to the question of Yiddish's relevance in modern life is David Lawrence's new short film, "Yiddish Songs of Love and Loss." By interweaving performances by "Yiddish diva" Sharon Bernstein with other footage, Lawrence draws out the universal themes behind songs like "S'loyfn, s'yogn" and "Shmilik Gavrilik." The film will be screened today at the Workmen's Circle, where the filmmaker first encountered Bernstein's singing.
3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $5-$6. 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007.
Cuban-born singer, percussionist and Yoruba-Lucumi priestess Bobi Céspedes works her musical magic tonight, kicking off the Skirball's free Summer Concert Series. Shows continue through the end of August, with series highlights including performances by Zohar, a group that blends Middle Eastern song samples with dance grooves, and Gypsy-klezmer ensemble Les Yeux Noirs.
7:30 p.m. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500.
Lest we forget there's nothing new about cross-dressing, Shakespeare Festival/LA offers up an entertaining reminder. July 9-26, "The Merry Wives of Windsor" goes al fresco in Pershing Square, before moving on to a production in the South Coast Botanic Garden, July 31-Aug. 10. This production adds new layers to the Bard's farce by including 1950s sitcom-inspired elements.
8 p.m. (Tuesday-Sunday). Free (with canned food donation). 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles. (213) 481-2273.