With May Day come sundry outdoor celebrations. At today's Venice Garden Tour, the beach city's green thumbs flaunt their flora and fauna for the benefit of at-risk youth. The fundraiser for the Neighborhood Youth Association's Las Doradas Children's Center and Learning Center showcases some 25 unique area gardens. Just up the road, classical Indian, Afro-Cuban, Latin soul and klezmer hip-hop music all find a forum at the Santa Monica Festival. The all-day celebration offers workshops, environmental demonstrations, art and poetry exhibitions and a solar-powered stage of rotating musicians, including DJ Socalled and the Alef Project, purveyors of klezmer hip-hop beats.
Self-guided Garden Tour starts at 804 Broadway, Venice. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free (children under 12), $50 (general). (310) 577-6668.
Santa Monica Festival: Noon-7 p.m. Free. Clover Park, 2600 Ocean Blvd. (310) 458-8350.
Continue northbound today to round out the weekend
festivities -- this time, strictly Jewish. The 18th annual Jewish Festival of
Santa Barbara features Israeli dancing, food, crafts, musical entertainment, a
used book sale, art and a children's park complete with rock climbing wall, moon
bounce, face painting, games and crafts. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Oak Park, 300 W.
Alamar Ave., Santa Barbara. www.sbjf.org
Theater buffs will recognize the name of Jerome Lawrence
as half of the team that created "Inherit the Wind," "Auntie Mame" and "The
Night Thoreau Spent in Jail." Feb. 29, 2004 marked his passing, but tonight he
is remembered by several colleagues, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Jerry
Herman, Eva Marie Saint, Michael York, Tyne Daly, Bea Arthur and Hal Kanter. The
public is invited to attend, as well. 7:30 p.m. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand
Ave., Los Angeles. www.taperahmanson.com
The oddly named Odds Bodkin helps encourage the kids to use their imaginations with the release of his latest spoken-word CD, "The Harper and the King: The Story of Young David." Opt for the car CD player over the DVD on the next family outing, and allow Bodkin to bring to life the biblical story of David and Goliath.
At long last singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman gives us
"Unstoppable Forces," his first solo album in nearly five years. Though very
much his own artist, those unfamiliar with Himmelman's style will detect the
influence of The Beatles and Elvis Costello, and perhaps touches of Simon and
Garfunkel and John Melencamp. His voice, though prettier, carries a weight that
moves from Tom Waits to Tom Petty. Fans will be pleased by the inclusion of a
bonus CD, his latest collection of unreleased songs, titled "The Himmelvaults
Vol. 3." $13.99. www.amazon.com
Known for uniquely capturing celebrity personalities through her work, portrait photographer to the stars Annie Leibovitz displays an extensive collection of her work at the Pacific Design Center, now through July 1. Titled "Rewarding Lives," the exhibit includes images of Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., Rob Reiner and Tiger Woods and his mother, in a colorful viewing space created to evoke a sense of intimacy.
10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Free. Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood. (310) 657-0800.
Out this week is the Ben Stiller and Jack Black
scatalogically minded comedy, "Envy." When one friend becomes filthy rich
hawking an invention that seemed just another stupid get-rich-quick scheme -- a
spray that makes doggie doo disappear -- the other becomes insanely jealous of
his best friend's success, moreso because he turned down the chance to be a
partner. In theaters everywhere. www.envy-themovie.com