Jewish Journal


August 1, 2008

Calendar Girls Picks and Clicks for August 1-7, 2008: Dance, comedy, sports, theater, politics


Rosanna Gamson in 'Tov'
See Sunday's listing

Rosanna Gamson in 'Tov'
See Sunday's listing



"Gamzu l'tovah." This saying, attributed to a talmudic scholar renowned for his unwavering belief that everything that happens is God's will, means "This, too, is for the good." It is the inspiration for the title of choreographer Rosanna Gamson's dance theater piece, "Tov" ("Good"), which weaves the history of her Polish Jewish ancestors, who were horse traders descended from this scholar, and the fate of the tarpan horse, a wild species that no longer exists in its pure form and is being bred back. Drawing upon these stories, Gamson explores the themes of reinvention and groundless optimism with dance, vocal music and text spoken and sung in Hebrew, Polish, English and German. This performance is part of the New Original Works Festival at REDCAT, encouraging Los Angeles artists to develop innovative and interdisciplinary projects for the stage. Sat. 8:30 p.m. $14-$18. REDCAT, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 631 W. Second St., Los Angeles. (213) 237-2800. http://www.redcat.org.


Quite often, comedians will draw upon personal experiences to color their performances, but what about comedy for the more intellectually inclined? Enter Emily Levine, a Harvard alumna whose sense of humor is anything but straight-laced. "I take abstract concepts and show how they impact our everyday lives. I make connections, like Newton's 'Principia' and The National Enquirer. I connect the high and the low and the sublime and the ridiculous, in ways that are obviously funny and I hope have an emotional impact on people." Be prepared as this Angeleno "comedian-philosopher" makes you laugh as well as think in "Five Easy Steps to Metaphysical Fitness: They Actually Work!" Sat. 8 p.m. Also, Aug. 3 and 5. $20-$25. Steinway Hall at Fields Pianos, 12121 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 471-3979. Jeannine@FrankEntertainment.com.


Eliza Jane Schneider, the star of her own award-winning one-woman show "Freedom of Speech," puts overachievers to shame. Her accomplishments include doing the voice of almost all the characters on "South Park," playing 11 instruments and writing several plays. The show's concept was born out of Schneider's senior thesis, which led her to remote corners of the United States to explore regional dialects. Schneider's excursions, which involved more than 300,000 miles and a second-hand ambulance, resulted in an overabundance of interviews, a great thesis and a play. In "Freedom of Speech," she portrays more than 30 of the individuals she encountered on her odyssey and turns the spotlight on real, raw American life. Sat. 8 p.m. Through Sept. 7. $7.50 (Aug. 2 and 3), $15 (regular). Sidewalk Studio Theatre, 4150 Riverside Drive, Burbank. (818) 754-4264. http://www.elizajane.com/freedom.html.



What do an Israeli, a South Korean and an Indian visiting Irvine have in common? No, this isn't a riddle. It's a historic multicultural celebration. The three vastly distinct nations are all celebrating their 60th anniversaries this year, and the Irvine Multicultural Association is throwing them one huge birthday bash with entertainment, presentations, exhibits, a kids play area, food and information booths. StandWithUs is the major sponsor and their international director, Roz Rothstein, will speak, along with other notables. You may have been to several events marking Israel's 60th, but we bet none of them have featured doughy naan bread and coconut chutney or K-pop -- Korean popular music. Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Irvine City Hall, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine. irvinemulticultural@hotmail.com.


Marla Fields and Yoella Razili are two artists not jaded by 21st-century attitudes toward the ordinary tools they find inspirational. On display at the L.A. Artcore Union Center for the Arts, Fields uses the method of hollowing out layers of paper to discover the hidden textures and beauties underneath, while Razili uses everyday materials from aluminum to wood to wax to reveal the "relationship between the matters." The combination of these two women's work opens your eyes to the beauty of the seemingly mundane. Sun. 3-5 p.m. (artists' reception). Through Aug. 30. Free. L.A. Artcore Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles. (213) 617-3274. http://www.laartcore.org.


Apparently the performers in the Broadway hit "Wicked" aren't the only ones interested in defying the laws of nature. Herbert Gold, bestselling author of "A Girl of Forty," is back with another testimony to the ability -- and responsibility -- of those who have gone "over the hill" to get out and have fun! "Still Alive! A Temporary Condition" has attracted both loyal readers who have been following Gold's literary career and new fans intrigued by his avant-garde look at the benefits of aging. The septuagenarian has authored more than 10 books and is proving that there's no need to hide your age or sugarcoat the challenges faced later in life. Come meet the man whose triumphs and struggles are a source of inspiration and laughter. Sun. 4 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. R.S.V.P. to (323) 954-7510. http://www.booksoup.com.


Adat Chaverim is the only Humanistic Jewish congregation in Los Angeles, and it caters to perhaps the most populous sect of them all: "cultural Jews" -- Jews who love the traditions of Judaism but feel that we, not God, determine the course of our lives. If you're interested in learning more, drop by one of the cultral school's Open Houses, marking their move to a new location, at the American Jewish University. The move to the big hill separating valley and city dwellers may be just the incentive you need to join Congregation Adat Chaverim and take advantage of the classes they offer for secular Jews of all ages. Sun. 2 p.m. Also, Sep. 7. Free. The American Jewish University. 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. R.S.V.P. to (310) 839-9793. Ksilbiger@juno.com.


Super Sal Market, Aroma Bakery and Café and Sababa parties not enough Israel for you? Well, the Fullerton/North Orange County Chapter of ORT America is hosting two Israeli teenagers who will be bringing "A Taste of Israel" to our city. Sixteen-year-old high school students Dafna Heiman and David Yagazo, guest speakers for the event, are staying in Orange County for the summer, a visit sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Orange County, during which they are set to meet with various local organizations. Back home, the young ambassadors are gifted students, athletes and community-service volunteers. The teens will field questions as refreshments are served after their presentation. Sun. 3-5 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Tikvah, 1600 N. Avacia, Fullerton. (714) 738-1987. For more information, call (714) 871-6326. http://www.jewishorangecounty.org.


This little-known Arthur Miller drama tells a sordid love story. Rumored to be partly autobiographical, "Some Kind of Love Story" is about a private eye who befriends a prostitute whom he believes holds information crucial to solving his case. Their intimacy deepens, but also threatens to unravel past traumas and unleash inner demons. Sun. 7 p.m. Also, 8 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.) Through Aug. 24. $20. The Hayworth Theatre, 2509 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 960-4442. http://www.thehayworth.com.



During "Pageant of the Masters: All the World's a Stage," art comes to life —literally. Dressed in costumes that evoke certain periods, moods or styles, actors recreate classic and contemporary masterworks in painting and sculpture before a live audience. This field trip begins by bus at American Jewish University (AJU) and travels all the way to pretty Laguna Beach where the scenery is as artful as the scene. Mon. 2 p.m. $85. Bus departs for Laguna Beach from AJU Familian Campus, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 440-1246. http://www.ajula.edu.



I know what you're thinking: Chanukah? In August? Well, sort of. The deal is that PBS asked Jewish music man Craig Taubman to put together a Chanukah special, which will air this winter on national television. Taubman jumped at the opportunity to see our beloved holiday on the big screen and pulled together some rockin' Jewish talent in music and dance (plus a rabbi for spiritual insights) to stage a Chanukah spectacular titled "Lights: A Live Concert Event." Taubman joins rocker Josh Nelson, Jewish gospel singer Joshua Nelson (yes, these are two different people), Mare Winningham, Dave Koz, Alberto Mizrahi, Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble, The Klezmatics and Sinai Temple's Rabbi David Wolpe for the brightest Hanukkah you ever did see. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $36. The Aratani Japan America Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles. (818) 986-7332. http://www.craignco.com.



Sports stars from football, baseball, basketball and boxing will give generously to this gathering, which goes from the golf course to a dinner gala. "The Ninth Harold Pump Foundation Golf Tournament and Celebrity Dinner" with its sport-studded following, will honor Super Bowl MVP quarterback John Elway, Hall of Fame college basketball coach Pat Summitt and entrepreneur Barry Rudin. The annual gathering is rumored to include Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Doc Rivers and Sugar Ray Leonard and will celebrate civic activism. The best bonus is that all money raised goes to cancer research and technology. Thu. 9 a.m. (golf tournament), 6:30 p.m. (dinner). $400 (per person, per event). Robinson Ranch Golf Club, 27734 Sand Canyon Road, Santa Clarita. Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 445-2588. http://www.doublepump.com.


In a shifting political climate, one thing remains constant: Israel needs American Jewish support in order to survive. AIPAC's new leadership division in Los Angeles, the Ambassador Club, aims to equip the next generation with the knowledge and skills needed to become effective pro-Israel advocates. Think you fit the bill? This AIPAC Young Leadership Event is your starting point. Thu. 7-9:30 p.m. $20. Call for location. (323) 937-1184.La-office@aipac.org.

-- Jina Davidovich contributed to this article.

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