July 3, 2008
Calendar Girls picks and clicks for July 5 - 11
SAT | JULY 5|
Only a psychotherapist-cum-theater entertainer could do justice to the zany and improbable Jewish journey spotlighted in the play "Rose." The one-woman show runs the gamut of 20th-century Jewish geography, "from a Ukrainian shtetl to the Warsaw Ghetto, to Atlantic City and Miami, with side trips to a hippie commune in Connecticut, onboard the ship Exodus, to an Israeli settlement on the West Bank." Actress Naomi Newman, the aforementioned shrink, is also the co-founder of San Francisco's Traveling Jewish Theatre and will be bringing Martin Sherman's script to life. Sat. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sun. Through Aug. 31. $25-$45. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 477-2055. http://www.odysseytheatre.com.
SUN | JULY 6
Celebrate the Fourth of July all weekend long with about 300 other single members of the tribe in their 20s and 30s. Load up on barbeque staples like burgers and hot dogs (meat and veggie), beer and snacks in a gorgeous Malibu mansion overlooking the coastline and mountains. Teaming up to sponsor this popular annual gathering are two heavy-hitters of the Jewish singles scene -- the Chai Center and JConnectLA. Sun. 2-6 p.m. $13 (online), $18 (at the door). Private home, 6288 Porterdale Drive, Malibu. For more information, call (310) 271-8666. http://www.chaicenter.org/july4.
Kick back with fellow unattached seniors 65 and older at a semi-potluck late lunch and Pool Party hosted by Harbor Jewish Singles. Feast on savory barbecue fare and soak up the sun while playing games in a private Huntington Beach condo. If your last name begins with A-L you are requested to bring hors d'oeuvres or snacks, and M-Zs should bring something to satisfy the sweet tooth. A Fourth of July weekend grill fest is the perfect way to end your week. Meet new friends -- and maybe even someone with a special spark. Sun. 3 p.m. Free (members), $12 (guests). For reservations and directions, call (714) 960-1689.
MON | JULY 7
Her stunning, pristine photographs evoke narratives about the places she's visited. With a photojournalist's documentary sensitivity and an artist's imagination, photographer, writer and teacher Claire James Steinberg investigates the different ways people live. From the pages of Rolling Stone, New York and Paris Match to the walls of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Steinberg's punchy, Cibachrome prints from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam comprise the exhibition "The Particular Unknown" revealing the daily lives of ethnic groups from across the world, bridging their distant yearnings with our own. Gallery open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Thu. Through Sept. 11. Free. The Bell Family Gallery at The Jewish Federation Goldsmith Center, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8212. http://clairejamessteinberg.com.
TUE | JULY 8
Israeli brothers Barak and Tomer Heymann have tackled Israeli-Palestinian relations, homosexuality, Israeli pop music, drugs, flamenco and the world of professional dance in their heralded documentaries. The "Heymann Brothers Film Retrospective" gives you the opportunity to see these award-winning filmmakers' oeuvre and immerse yourself in the multiflavored, dynamic Israeli culture not seen on CNN. Tonight is the first double-feature program, presenting two films about Israeli youth: "Bridge Over the Wadi" examines the Wadi Ara school in Israel where Israeli and Arab children are educated together with the purpose of teaching coexistence from a young age; "It Kinda Scares Me" follows a gay youth-group leader working with troubled adolescent boys to create a play as an outlet for their misguided energy. The following two screenings, on July 20 and July 29, will feature two films about music, including a documentary about the beloved ensemble, the Idan Raichel Project, and two films about dance. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $6. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.
Born in Brooklyn to a working-class Jewish family, artist Al Held soon broke out of that mold. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before jetting off to Paris to study fine art. Now he is an internationally renowned artist with a Guggenheim fellowship and a teaching stint at Yale on his resume. The University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach presents an exhibition of Held's work, "Al Held: The Evolution of Style," a comprehensive collection of his expressionist paintings. Expect "hard-edged abstraction," "two-dimensional picture planes" and "perspectival illusionism" -- all of which describe his artistic evolution over a five-decade career. Gallery open noon-5 p.m., Tue.-Sat. Through Aug. 10. $4 (general), free (students). The University Art Museum, CSULB, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach. (562) 985-5761. http://www.csulb.edu/uam.
He's got the most famous Jewish tongue in history, but Kiss frontman Gene Simmons is not content to let his mouth do all the talking. Simmons is a notorious ladies' man (he claims to have had 4,800 sexual experiences) and has a surprisingly keen analytical sense, which he shows off in his third book, "Ladies of the Night: A Historical and Personal Perspective on the Oldest Profession in the World." Publishers Weekly gives Simmons props for writing a serious-minded, if not academic, overview of prostitution that includes the Greek philosopher Diogenes, the Sumerian goddess of sexuality Ishtar, legal prostitution in Amsterdam's "toleration zones" and Nevada's BunnyRanch brothel. The fire-breathing rocker will be signing copies of his book tonight. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Borders, 1360 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 475-3444. http://www.genesimmons.com.
WED | JULY 9
Tickets have been selling faster than gas prices are rising for the highly anticipated return of "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants" at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. Jay, a stage magician, actor and writer will dazzle attendees with sleight-of-hand card tricks and card throwing. The performance is directed by Tony and Oscar nominee David Mamet, a seasoned author, essayist, playwright and film director. Don't miss this chance to catch a master of the art of deception in a rare L.A. visit before he vanishes, taking his act back on the road to wow other magic connoisseurs and curious fans. Wed.-Thu. 8 p.m., Fri. 8:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 8 p.m. Through Aug. 26. $75-$250. Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 208-5454. http://www.geffenplayhouse.com.
Who needs fancy costumes and elaborate staging when you've got a talented cast of actors and the award-winning conclusion to Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical "Eugene Trilogy"? The last installment, "Broadway Bound," follows Simon's alter ego, Eugene Morris Jerome, portrayed by Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother"), in this comical everyday tale about chasing your dreams. Amid the humor of a stereotypical Brooklyn Jewish family, Eugene and his brother attempt to crack into the highly competitive world of comedy writing after returning from World War II. The marriage of Neil Simon and L.A. Theatre Works brings a production that demands a standing ovation -- whether you're watching it live at the Skirball or listening to it broadcast on 89.3 FM KPCC. Wed.-Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 3 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. Through July 13. $20-$47. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 827-0889. http://www.latw.org.
THU | JULY 10
During a time when the American ideals of tolerance, equality and justice were put into question, Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager, brought these unstable fundamentals to light when he was wrongly accused of murdering a 13-year-old girl in Georgia in 1913. The Tony Award-winning musical "Parade" follows the real-life trial of Frank as he and his wife fight for his vindication and the press seeks a juicy story. Arriving for an extended stay in Los Angeles for the first time since its initial production, Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry's musical production examines the core of America at the turn of the century. A series of performances will benefit the Museum of Tolerance. Thu. 8 p.m. Through July 27. $27-$35. Neighborhood Church, 415 Paseo Del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates. (800) 595-4849. http://www.neighborhoodplayhouse.net.
In a culturally defining moment, an Israeli soldier encounters a Palestinian shepherd as they both wander the South Hebron Hills, the very same hills tread by Abraham, father to both Jews and Muslims. At first wary of one another, the bonds of brotherhood ignite, but are challenged when the shepherd's Palestinian girlfriend expresses her rage. An all-star cast and Grammy-nominated director stage "Desert Sunrise," written by Israeli army veteran turned playwright Misha Shulman. The play is the product of her disillusionment with Israeli military policy, her discovery that two opposing sides may have more in common than they'll let on and her hope that there exists a possibility for tenderness and peace with the rising of the sun. Thu. 8 p.m. Through Aug. 9. $25-$30. The Lillian Theatre, 1076 Lillian Way, Hollywood. (323) 960-7784. http://www.plays411.com/DesertSunrise.
FRI | JULY 11
In 1898 Victorian England, Louis de Rougemont wrote about his daring exploits sailing to New Guinea in search of gold and pearls, living among indigenous Australians in the great outback, even claiming a tribe worshipped him as a god. He made it all up, of course; every adventure -- invented. The incredible story of one man's elaborately orchestrated plot to take England on a thrill-ride is now on the stage. "I like to think of this show as a children's play for adults," director Bart DeLorenzo said about the raucous, adventure-filled show "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself)." Billed as a family event and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies, you can bet the special kiddie prices and removable tattoo favors will only add to the playful fun. Fri. 8 p.m. Through July 27. $15-$25 (kids), $35-$74 (adults). Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 208-5454. http://www.geffenplayhouse.com.
Would you ever think to put comedy and the assassination of an American president in the same plotline? Well, theater genius Stephen Sondheim did and the result is a "disturbingly brilliant piece," as described by West Coast Ensemble's Artistic Director Les Hanson. "Assassins" is a Tony Award-winning musical that explores the lives and twisted dreams of nine individuals who succeeded or attempted to assassinate a president of the United States, including the two most infamous gunmen, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald. Based on John Weidman's book, the controversial musical showcases Sondheim's gift for writing bold, surreal and darkly humorous plays. Fri. 8 p.m. Thu.-Sun. Through Aug. 31. $30-$34. West Coast Ensemble, El Centro Theatre, 804 N. El Centro Ave., Hollywood. (323) 460-4443. http://www.tix.com.
-- Celia Soudry contributed to this article