Jewish Journal


June 20, 2008

Calendar Girls picks and clicks for June 21-27


Valerie Harper

Valerie Harper



During the 60th anniversary celebration of Israel's founding, the Palestinian community commemorated the "Nakba," or disaster, that befell their people in 1948. Considering both of these narratives, Israeli artist Noa Baum created the play, "A Land Twice Promised," featuring live music by Arab vocalist Naser Musa. A performance of the dialogue-encouraging play is being put on by the Levantine Cultural Center as part of their coexistence triptych, a series aimed at inspiring cross-cultural exchanges of ideas and compassion -- sort of like Adam Sandler's "Zohan" flick, but with less nudity and crude humor. Sat. 8 p.m. $25-$35. Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (310) 657-5511. http://www.levantinecenter.org.


Pasadena is upping its cultural ante on World Music Day this year. "Make Music Pasadena" connects the city with 300 like-minded metropolises across the globe as they showcase free live music for the masses. The all-day fest boasts 500 musicians with a wide range of talent, performing in 30 unconventional venues -- bus stops, alleys, museums and courtyards. Levitt Pavilions "Free Music Across America" and KCRW are co-sponsoring this summer music solstice featuring acts such as Dengue Fever. Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Free. (800) 307-7977. For schedule and locations, visit http://makemusicpasadena.org.



If the success of American Jewish University's book fair last fall is any indication, Israel: A Mega Celebration might be the bash we've all been waiting for. A full day of festivities, replete with educational discussions, cultural activities and -- most importantly -- Israeli food, will be held on the beautiful Brandeis-Bardin campus, where Reps. Howard Berman (D-Sherman Oaks) and Brad Sherman (D-Van Nuys); UCLA Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller; Israel's Consul General Jacob Dayan; Dennis Prager; and others will address Israel-related issues. After intellectual exercises on the Islamic jihad threat, the attitudes of American presidential candidates toward Israel and the greening of the Holy Land, let loose to the grooves of the Moshav Band, Israeli star Tzvika Pik and a theatrical performance by Noa Baum. Israeli dancing and a live "shuk" with Israeli goods will fill any spare time. Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 (children), $20 (adults). American Jewish University, Brandeis-Bardin Campus, 1101 Peppertree Lane, Simi Valley. (310) 440-1246. http://wcce.ajula.edu/israel60.


"Julius Shulman is Los Angeles," the Los Angeles Times wrote about the consummate photographer, whose elegant architectural photography helped define California modernism. Shulman is now the subject of the documentary, "Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman," which explores the legacy of the 97-year-old artist's nuanced approach to urban design photography. Using human models and striking landscapes, Shulman's vision of the modern home helped articulate the work of architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, Pierre Koenig and John Lautner. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman and featuring interviews with architect Frank Gehry, designer Tom Ford and pop artist Ed Ruscha, the film will premiere, appropriately, at the Los Angeles Film Festival, in the city that continues to be Shulman's favorite canvas. Sun. 4 p.m. $12. The Landmark, 10850 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. Also, Wed., June 25, 4 p.m. (check Web site for location). (866) 345-6337. http://www.lafilmfest.com.

(ISRAEL @ 60)

Israel's 60th birthday seems like a never-ending celebratory extravaganza, but it's only because we love her so much! Here is one more opportunity to bask in the glory of the Holy Land during the Skirball Center's "Israel turns 60!" -- a party for the whole family, where kids can design colorful birthday cards and eat scrumptious frosted cake. Learn a fact or two about Israel's multiculturalism and history, and don't forget to wear your blue-and-white party hat! Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.com.


Pack a hearty lunch because you'll need lots of energy when heading out to the Huntington Beach harbor for some vigorous kayaking, organized by The Jewish Federation of Orange County's Young Leadership Division. Singles and couples in their mid-20s to 40s are invited to spend a day paddling kayaks through the glistening ocean waters while socializing with other young professionals who enjoy outdoor adventures. Look forward to getting involved in another energetic social networking group, GersherCity Long Beach, who will be partaking in the fun. Sun. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $15. Malibu Kayaks, 16910 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach. (949) 435-3484. http://www.jewishorangecounty.org.


Recreation therapist Roberta Gold has put her own twist on the cliche "laughter is the best medicine." Her professional motto is "Laughter for the Health of It," which she developed into a full-fledged humor operation, dispensing practical advice on how to approach life with a sense of humor. Gold will be featured in a guest lecture, "The Power of Laughter," hosted by the Simi Valley Hadassah Group and Congregation B'nai Emet Sisterhood, where she will offer hands-on activities that will teach you how to cool down hot situations by using humor to improve communication. Sun. 2-4 p.m. Free. Mount Sinai Park, Ziegler Center, 6150 Mount Sinai Drive, Simi Valley. (818) 882-4420 or loewfam1@aol.com.



Cancel any previously made plans and put on your Sunday (or in our case, Saturday) best because you won't want to miss the Showtime Cabaret Theatre's presentation of "Shake, Rattle and Roll." Transporting you back to a simpler time before cell phones and computers, the performance will take you on a journey through the 1950s and the joys of poodle skirts and Elvis. Sway to the tunes of your past -- audience participation is highly encouraged -- along with the rest of the Shaarei Tefila Senior trip participants. Tue. 11 a.m. (bus leaves). $45 (includes lunch and show). Shaarei Tefila, 7269 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. RSVP required; call Lita (818) 360-6889. http://www.showtimecabaret.com/


The Nation's investigative reporter Michael T. Klare argues that there is an unquestionable link between U.S. foreign policy and the quest for oil. "Blood and Oil" is a documentary based on Klare's book of the same name, which delves into American energy and military policies going back to World War II, when FDR legitimized the autocratic Saudi royal family. America's dependence on oil and its presidents' willingness to do anything to keep the supply flowing is dangerous and real, Klare writes. Watch this important documentary and stay for a discussion. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $5 (suggested donation). Workmen's Circle, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. http://www.circlesocal.org.



Pianist George Kahn's West Coast jazz sound is sure to spice up your evening as he performs tunes from his newly released album, "Cover Up." "Making a jazz album is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle," Kahn said. However bumpy the journey was, Kahn's music seems effortless, with his sixth CD spouting a unique blend of contemporary music tinged with cool jazz and incorporating sounds of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Listen for variations on favorites, such as Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," John Mayer's "Waiting For the World to Change" and Bill Withers' "Use Me." Wed. 7 p.m. $15 (cover charge plus two drink minimum or dinner). Catalina Bar and Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 466-2210. http://georgekahn.com.


George Gershwin, born Jacob Gershowitz, composed memorable music for both the Broadway stage and classical concert halls. Even after his untimely death at the age of 38, caused by a brain tumor, his fans, fellow musicians and composers have reveled in and drawn inspiration from his talents. To commemorate Gershwin, Hershey Felder produced, wrote and performed the critically acclaimed one-man show "George Gershwin Alone," directed by Joel Zwick and featuring timeless songs such as "The Man I Love," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Rhapsody in Blue." Wed. 7 p.m., Thu.-Sun. Through July 29. $57-$72. The Old Globe Theater, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. (619) 234-5623. http://www.theoldglobe.org.



Years before The Idan Raichel Project exploded onto the Israeli music scene, there was another dreadlocked purveyor of soulful world music: Mosh Ben Ari and his ensemble, Sheva. Blending sounds from the Middle East, India, the Sahara and the West, Ben Ari espouses messages of love, peace and spirituality with an enchanting voice now recognized throughout Israel. Largely unknown to American Jews, Ben Ari is a megastar in Israel, where his songs regularly top music charts, his performances pack arenas and his name is synonymous with world music. The Los Angeles concert is part of the artist's first solo tour, which has been receiving major buzz in the Israeli community. Get your tickets soon, because it's going to be quite the scene! Thu. 7 p.m. $28-$125. Wilshire Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. For tickets, visit http://www.wtbh.org. For more information, visit http://www.moshbenari.com.



Celebrate the life of the original Britney Spears, but with a little less paparazzi and a lot more scandal. Tallulah Bankhead, portrayed by four-time Emmy Award-winner Valerie Harper, is coming to the stage of the Pasadena Playhouse. Bankhead, Hollywood bad girl of the 1930s and '40s, lived a life that raised so many eyebrows she even drew the scrutiny of the British secret service. Prepare yourself to be enveloped in the promiscuity, music and talent of this Southern not-so-belle in Matthew Lombardo's new play, "Looped." Fri. 8 p.m. Tue.-Sun. Through Aug. 3. $15-$65. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. (626) 356-7529. http://Pasadenaplayhouse.org.


Unearth long-forgotten family secrets and learn to trace your ancestors during a three-day "Genealogy Jamboree" produced by the Southern California Genealogical Society. Join genealogists, family historians, researchers, exhibitors and speakers, all advancing the use of archival records and "gen-blogging." Peter Lande will discuss "Holocaust Records as a Source for All Genealogists," with instructions on how to dig up records at Bad Arolsen. Professionals in the field will help you tackle subjects including online and traditional resources, using family health histories, finding living relatives and dealing with family secrets. Fri. 12:30-7 p.m., Sat. 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. $40-$45 (per day). Burbank Airport Marriott, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank. To register, call (818) 843-7247 or visit http://www.scgsgenealogy.com.

Celia Soudry also contributed to this article

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