April 1, 2004
7 Days In Arts
Francophile or Franco-reviler, ya gotta give credit where it's due. Screening as part of the "City of Lights, City of Angels" French cinema festival is "La Petite Prairie Aux Bouleaux." Translated to English, it means "A Birch Tree Meadow." But they're actually both translations of the word Brzezinka, better known as Birkenau. The film tells the story of Myriam, who returns to the death camp where she was imprisoned at the age of 15. An official selection of the 2003 Berlin Film Festival, it might just be worth a bravo. 3:45 p.m. $6-$9. Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. www.colcoa.com.
Government-sponsored programming gets you in the holiday spirit today. First, on PBS, catch the Jewish Television Network's "A Passover Celebration." Jeffrey Tambor ("Arrested Develpoment") hosts, chef Jeff Nathan talks dessert, The Journal's Teresa Strasser offers home decorating tips and Dom DeLuise makes a special appearance. Later, tune your radio to KPCC to hear "Passover: Time for Freedom." Sponsored by the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, the show features stories and thoughts on the nature of freedom. "A Passover Celebration": 4 p.m., KCET. 7 p.m., KOCE. www.pbs.org. "Passover: Time for Freedom": 9 p.m. KPCC 89.3 FM.
Passover 2004. The festivities begin, but for some reason you're forgoing the many seder options offered you in The Journal's calendar section. How to still make this night different from all other nights? There's always a DVD. New out from Eurobay Entertainment and director Alexandre Arcady are two French Jewish options, to help alleviate some of your guilt. "For Sacha," tells of three young men who make aliyah from France in the 1960s to help build Israel and pursue the same love interest, Sacha, while "Brothers in Arms" follows Parisian detectives reluctantly partnered to catch fundamentalist criminals working for a Middle Eastern Islamic country that is bent on destabilizing all of Europe. $14.99 (each). www.eurobayentertainment.com.
Day 2. Our suggestion for taking one's mind off of the strategic seder seating arrangements: The new "Voices for Israel" double CD is said to be the largest compilation by Jewish music stars, featuring songs by Dudu Fisher, Yehuda Solomon and the Moshav Band, Sam Glaser, Avraham Fried, and some 30 others, as well as a "We Are The World-esque" tribute song, "Chazak Amenu: We Stand As One." Created to raise funds for victims of terror, the collection will inspire, while placing your problems in proper perspective. You'll rock out, abandoning all neurotic mental images of an angry Aunt Sylvia knocking over the cup of Elijah as she lunges across the table at Uncle Mortie. $25. www.voicesforisrael.org.
In "Johnny Boy," the 1955 Yankees/Dodgers World Series serves as the backdrop for Jeff Mandels' Jewish "Wonder Years" coming-of-age story of two very different brothers -- one wheelchair-bound, one not. Directed by Arnold Margolin, the play opens this week at the Falcon Theatre. 8 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.), 4 p.m. (Sun.). $25.-$37.50. 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. (818) 955-8101.
In line with the whole Passover-freedom theme this week, Roy Zimmerman persists in his exercise of free speech as "Roy Zimmerman's Patriot Act" continues its run. The show is a satirical stab at WMDs, George Bush and conservatism through songs like "Homeland Security," "The Multi-national Anthem" and "Defenders of Marriage." Zimmerman also promises a new song from the latest headlines weekly. Recently signed on to join him is comedian Andy Kindler. 8 p.m. Runs Thursdays through May 13 (except April 15). $12. San Gennaro, 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City. (310) 828-4497.
Julianne Grossman promises to make depression funny in her play, "From Bonkers to Botox: A Serious Comedy." Based on her own struggle with attempted suicide, hospitalization and recovery, the show is meant to be humorous, while still alerting people to the serious issues it tackles. (Her dad's response to her suicide attempt: "Didn't you read the label on the bottle of Ambien? It specifically says, 'Do NOT take with rat poison.'") The April 11 performance is for the in-patient recovery program at Beit T'Shuvah, but you can catch it tonight at the Stella Adler Theatre. 8 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.), 3 p.m. (Sun.). Runs through April 25. $18. 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (818) 753-7788.