September 18, 2008
Calendar Girls Picks and Clicks Sept. 20-26: Stories and songs, lectures and films, politics
SAT | SEPTEMBER 20|
Even if you can't convert a 7-10-split, you'll at least be able to help Strike Out Hunger. SOVA celebrates its 25th anniversary on the lanes in Tarzana with a food drive and family fun, including bowling, bingo, music, activities for kids, arcade games and kosher food (dairy). Bring peanut butter, cereal, canned tuna or other canned goods and get free arcade tokens. "SOVA," which means, "eat and be satisfied" in Hebrew, assists 5,000 people each month. It's a small way to have a large impact. Sun. 1-5 p.m. $75, plus sponsorship opportunities. Corbin Bowl, 19616 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. (818) 988-7682. http://www.jfsla.org/sova.
Learn how to turn over a new leaf during the High Holy Days season by celebrating Shabbat the environmentally friendly way. Temple Beth Am is sponsoring Green Shabbat, featuring a panel discussion led by LADWP General Manager David Nahai with other champions of the environmental movement, including representatives from TreePeople and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life of Southern California. A kosher lunch featuring environmentally friendly products will be served during the Q-and-A session. Don't miss this chance to learn how to go green. Sat. 11:30 a.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. to (310) 652-7354, ext. 213. http://www.tbala.org/green.
Join the Entertainment Division of The Jewish Federation for the exclusive launch of Laugh Factory Long Beach and its Stand-Up Comedy Hall of Fame. Comedians Bob Saget, Brad Garrett, Jamie Kennedy, Dane Cook, Jon Lovitz and Paul Rodriguez lend their raunchy, wry and witty humor to an evening that celebrates Israel's 60th anniversary. The full ticket price will be donated to the Jewish state. Sat. 8 p.m. $75-$125. The Laugh Factory, 151 S. Pine Ave., Long Beach. R.S.V.P. to (323) 761-8314. http://www.laughfactory.com.
Throw on your dancing shoes and feather boas and experience Hollywood as it was in the 1920s. Friends of the Israel Defense Forces' Young Leadership of Los Angeles is holding its second annual Roaring '20s Old Hollywood Gala, where flappers and spats will once again sparkle on the dance floor. Sat. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $135-$500. The Los Angeles Theatre, 630 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. (310) 305-4063. http://www.fidfyl.org.
Yiddish and Latino music will come together in a fascinating way at the world premiere of the Viva Yiddish Project, a new band celebrating the tradition of both Latin American and Yiddish music. The event, sponsored by Yiddishkayt Los Angeles, will give folks the opportunity to explore the sizzling cultural blend of music and dance, where two-dozen musicians will be joined by USC professor and music critic Josh Kun, Yiddish music scholar Michael Alpert and others. Sat. 8-10 p.m. Free. California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 389-8880. http://yiddishkaytla.org.
Prepare yourself for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with a special prelude to a Selichot service at Temple Judea: "Take a Sweater: Unsolicited Advice and Complex Relationships That Adults Have With Our Parents." The evening will include a screening of Woody Allen's "Oedipus Wrecks," a short movie included in the three-story film package, "New York Stories." Allen's comedy tells the story of a New York lawyer and his Jewish mother, a parent who gives new meaning to the word "critical." A discussion on forgiveness, love and parents will follow the viewing of the film, followed by a Selichot service. Sat. 9 p.m. Free. Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. (818) 758-3800. http://www.templejudea.com.
Temple Israel of Hollywood is presenting a special "Celebration in White" to mark the beginning of the High Holy Days. Join the temple's rabbis, new chazzan Danny Maseng and congregants for dessert, cocktails, poetry and music, followed by Havdalah and a Selichot service. Guests are encouraged to wear white. Sat. 9 p.m. (dessert and cocktails), 10:50 p.m. to midnight (Havdalah and Selichot). Free. Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 876-8330. http://www.tioh.org.
SUN | SEPTEMBER 21
Calling all singles, couples, individuals, eccentrics and just plain outdoorsy types to Mosaic L.A.'s Ocean Boardwalk "Urban" Hike and Kosher Picnic. Just when you started lamenting summer's end, here comes an opportunity to get back to the beach. Only this time, stroll in a sweatshirt in the cool breeze flowing from the Pacific. Afterward, the group will gather for a sumptuous kosher picnic -- Mosaic will provide chicken, rice and veggies and everyone else is invited to bring a parve side dish or dessert. Just don't forget to visit the Web site and R.S.V.P. Sun. 3:30 p.m. (hike), 6 p.m. (picnic). $10-$12. Meet at 7299 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.mosaicla.org.
The Friendship Circle Los Angeles is hosting its fifth annual Rosh Hashanah Festival, an event for special-needs children that includes a puppy party, arts and crafts, apple dipping, a shofar factory and a baking class. Your child will not only have the opportunity to make friends with peers, but teenage volunteers will also be on hand to assist with the day's activities. Sun. 1-3 p.m. Free. The Friendship Circle, 9581 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 277-3252. http://www.fcla.org.
Bring your weekend to a perfect close with fellow movie lovers at today's Jewish Senior Film Buffs event -- a screening of "Gentleman's Agreement," the 1947 film starring Gregory Peck and John Garfield that was one of the first to explore anti-Semitism in the United States. A deli dinner and discussion follow, courtesy of Chabad Jewish Center Newport Beach. Sun. 4:30-8 p.m. $10. Oasis Senior Center, 800 Marguerite Ave., Room 1A/B, Corona Del Mar. (949) 721-9800 or (949) 903-0770. http://www.jewishnewport.com.
Frank Sinatra and Doris Day both recorded his songs. Now Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills is bringing the Academy Award-winner's tunes -- "Three Coins in the Fountain," "All the Way" and "High Hopes" -- back to life in "It's Magic! -- A Tribute to Sammy Cahn." Leonard Maltin will narrate the performance, which features entertainers from Broadway and beyond, including Steve Tyrell, Karen Morrow and Harry Shearer. Sun. 5 p.m. $35-$125. Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. http://www.wtbh.org.
Are you still wondering: "Is Obama Good for the Jews?" A diverse panel of experts will analyze the Democratic presidential candidate's stance on Israel and other matters important to the Jewish community. Panelists will include: David Myers, director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies; Robert Scheer, host of KCRW-FM's "Left, Right & Center" and editor of the prize-winning Web site Truthdig, and Amy Wilentz, professor of Mideast studies at UC Irvine. The panel will be moderated by Judith Glass, former MBA director for American Jewish University. Sun. 3 p.m. $15-$20. Valley Cities Jewish Community Center, 14701 Friar St., Van Nuys. (818) 907-8071. http://www.valleycitiesjcc.org.
MON | SEPTEMBER 22
Tired of those insipid blockbusters devoid of meaning? Here's an artistic event sure to expand your ideas about war and peace. "Cine-Peace," a project of Americans for Peace Now, presents a series of short films offering diverse perspectives on the Arab-Israeli conflict. This year, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ari Sandel will be honored for "West Bank Story," his farcical take on competing falafel stands in Israel. Mon. 6:45 p.m. $10-$25. Harmony Gold Preview House, 7655 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 934-3480. http://www.peacenow.org/socal.
Join an informative lecture presentation that offers a fascinating look at the Jewish presence in China. Peter Berton, professor emeritus of international relations at USC, will discuss the various waves of Jewish migrations to China. He will also elaborate on relations between China and Israel, focusing on the development of trade in the areas of agriculture, weapons and technology, as well as the introduction of the China-Israeli Friendship Society. Perhaps most intriguing, Berton will look at the interest among today's Chinese youth to promote Jewish values. Don't miss China and the Jews, an Afternoon With Peter Berton. Mon. 2 p.m. Free. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 772-2526. http://www.museumoftolerance.com
TUE | SEPTEMBER 23
Heeb Magazine, the irreverent, "take-no-prisoners" rag on everything Jewish and cool is bringing its brand of Jewish comedy to M Bar. A slew of writers, including L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein, novelist Emma Forrest, TV writer Liz Feldman and "Mortified" author Dave Nadleberg, will present seven-minute Jewish stories during "Heeb Storytelling," which promises to be wildly witty, mildly self-deprecating and totally Jewy. Tue. 7 p.m. $10 minimum. M Bar, 1253 Vine St., Los Angeles. (323) 856-0036. http://www.heebmagazine.com/blog/view/995.
What does it take to build a movie studio that revolutionizes Hollywood? "Chutzpah," according to a new three-part documentary by Harry Warner's granddaughter, Cass Warner Sperling, who weaves home movies, archival footage and family memorabilia to tell the story of "The Brothers Warner," four working-class Russian Jews who rose to great prominence and fortune with the creation of the extant studio superpower, Warner Bros. Studios. Presented by PBS's "American Masters" series, the new documentary takes an intimate look at the contrasting traits of a band of brothers -- reserved, volatile, visionary, honest -- and how their personality differences amounted to a fluid family business. Norman Lear, Roy Disney, Dennis Hopper, Angie Dickinson and others help recount the historic tale. Tue.-Thu., 9 p.m. KCET. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters.
Don't worry about fitting in, says author and licensed psychologist Leonard Felder. Be unique. Be an individual, he prescribes. But at what cost? How much must you compromise your true self to fit into the broader community? Felder has some tips for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, a pariah or a social outcast. And let's face it -- we've all been there at one point or another. So learn from what "Fitting in Is Overrated: The Survival Guide for Anyone Who Has Ever Felt Like an Outsider" has to offer, including the benefits of being in the minority and learning to deal with cliques, queen bees and close-minded people. Tue. 7:15-8:45 a.m. $15-$20. Minding Your Business Breakfast Meeting, Beverly Hills Country Club, 3084 Motor Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 364-4465.
WED | SEPTEMBER 24
Jews for Judaism is devoted to combating what it calls the $250 million crusade targeting the Jewish community for conversion. And the anti-missionary group has a lengthy list of lofty supporters: Jona Goldrich, Marilyn Ziering, Ruth Ziegler and several prominent rabbis. Tonight L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and director Arthur Allan Seidelman will be honored for their steadfast support, while emcee Mark Schiff entertains over cocktails and dinner. Wed. 5:30 p.m. $250. Luxe Hotel, 11461 Sunset Blvd., Bel Air. (310) 556-3344. http://www.jewsforjudaism.org.
Ever wonder where Superman came from? Best-selling author Michael Meltzer will sign and read from his latest thriller, "Book of Lies," which attempts to unravel the mystery behind the origin of one of America's greatest superheroes, while melding in the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Meltzer's take on the creation of the comic hero is creating quite a stir among comic books fans. Come see for yourself what the buzz is all about when Meltzer appears at Barnes and Noble. Wed. 7:30 p.m. Free. Barnes & Noble, 16461 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 380-1636. http://www.barnesandnoble.com.
One summer, out of the blue, Michael Greenberg's 15-year-old daughter experienced a psychotic break. In his memoir, "Hurry Down the Sunshine," he chronicles the loss and pain that overtook his daughter, his family and his marriage as she disappeared from their world: "I feel like I'm traveling and traveling with nowhere to go back to," his daughter, Sally, told him in a brief moment of clarity. The author will read from and sign his latest work. Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-5320. http://www.vromansbookstore.com.
THU | SEPTEMBER 25
This performance is a testament to the power of music to unite people of all origins. As part of L.A.'s World Festival of Sacred Music, Yuval Ron Ensemble brings together an Arab vocalist, a "devotional" singer from Pakistan and a member of the Sufi order of Turkey, the mystical branch of Islam that produces beautiful melodies. "Seeker of Truth: Sufi Music, Dance and Poetry from Pakistan and Turkey" will inspire and enlighten music fans looking for a spiritual sound. Thu. 8 p.m. $16.50-$26.50. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (877) 722-4849. http://www.skirball.org.
Bernard Henri-Levy has a thing or two to say about totalitarianism. A joint venture of ALOUD and KCRW-FM, the French Jewish intellectual will share his views on authoritarian regimes of the past as well as emergent ones with Arianna Huffington, of KCRW's "Left, Right, and Center" and Huffington Post. Will he lambaste China? Iran? The United States? Huffington keeps things moving with challenging questions and provocative repartee. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Standby only. ALOUD at Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles. (213) 228-7025. http://www.aloudla.org.
FRI | SEPTEMBER 26
Charlie Lustman recounts surviving cancer -- but with music and song, opera-style. "Made Me Nuclear," a pop operetta that explores the physical and emotional issues Lustman grappled with while in treatment, invites anyone who has faced tough odds to celebrate the possibility and joy of survival. Written and performed by Lustman, the show is an intimate, humorous ode to suffering through cancer and then conquering it. Fri. 8 p.m. $20. Through Oct. 11. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica. (866) 468-3399. http://www.mademenuclear.com.
The timeless theme of the relationship between a father and his son, and the things that bring them together and tear them apart, is the subject of "Conversations With My Father," a play by Herb Gardner. The Santa Monica Theatre Guild presents the humorous drama of Eddie, a Russian Jewish immigrant whose history of suffering from pogroms continues to plague him. While the 40-year-old Canal Street bar owner decides to disavow himself of his Jewish roots, he sees his young son, Charlie, attend Hebrew school. As one struggles to break free of a tortured past and another discovers a new sense of identity in a new world, father and son represent the conflict between tradition and assimilation. At once a portrait of past demons, the challenges of rebuilding life as an immigrant and the irreconcilable differences between family members, Gardner's work is both poignant and humorous, filled with Yiddish idioms, eccentric characters and universal truths. Fri.; Sat., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 28, 2 p.m. $9-$18. Through Oct. 25. The Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 828-7519. http://www.morgan-wixson.org/.
-- Lilly Fowler contributed to this article