Jewish Journal


February 28, 2008

Calendar Girls picks and kicks for March 1 - 7


Andrea Sabesin -- see Tuesday

Andrea Sabesin -- see Tuesday


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From the 1940s to the 1960s, the famed "Borscht Belt" in the Catskill Mountains was the vacation destination for many middle-class Jews from Brooklyn and the Bronx. This is the social backdrop of Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg's "The American Plan," which examines the double standards prevalent in the 1960s. A wealthy German Jewish mother vacations with her free-spirited daughter and tries to sustain her tight grip when a mysterious man enters the scene. Greenberg called it a "gothic-melodrama-high-comedy-problem play" about fancy, rich German Jews who are completely out of place. 8 p.m. Through March 30. $42-$59. The Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. For more show times, call (619) 234-5623 or visit http://www.theoldglobe.org.

You don't have to leave Southern California to gamble tonight. Women of Reform Judaism and the Brotherhood of Temple Beth Torah are sponsoring a wild Vegas-style soiree to rival parties on The Strip. Temple Beth Torah Casino Night is a good reason to lose money for a good cause: Anything the house wins through roulette, blackjack and craps goes to support the activities of the synagogue. If you're feeling extra generous, they're soliciting the help of volunteers to run the tables, deal cards, bartend and decorate the venue. The bonus is everybody wins when you buy a ticket. 6:30 p.m. $36. Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura. (805) 647-4181. http://www.templebethtorah.com.

Hundreds of young Jews are already partaking in Jewlicious Festival 4.0 in Long Beach. The weekend-long event began with a Friday night Shabbat dinner on Feb. 29. However, it's not too late to hop on this party wagon! Here's a quick rundown of some of the performers and speakers who will be appearing: Matisyahu is on to speak (not rap) about spirituality; his wife, Tahlia Miller, will preview her documentary, "Can't Touch This"; musical acts include Moshav, Rav Shmuel, Smooth E, DJ Handler and Chana Rothman. Other speakers include David Abitbol, founder of Jewlicious.com, Josh Neuman, publisher and co-founder of Heeb magazine, and Adam Mansbach, author of "The End of the Jews" and many more. Runs through Sun., March 2. Full access tickets sold out; non-camping and concert tickets available $25 and up. Barbara and Ray Alpert JCC, 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. (562) 426-7601, ext. 1424. http://www.jewliciousfestival.com.

Rock out with Persian Jewish Singles, dancing the night away with vivacious disc jockey Ariel Rashti serving up the hottest club hits. Take advantage of the decadent wine and martini bar and nibble on kosher hors d'oeuvres while mingling with Jewish professionals ages 20 to 40. Who knows what new face might grab your attention or what familiar face will suddenly hold romantic appeal! 8 p.m.- 1 a.m. Free. Samueli Jewish Campus, 1 Federation Way, Irvine. (949) 435-3484. http://www.jewishorangecounty.org.


Matthew Boger, Tim Zaal
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In the spirit of forgiveness, two Museum of Tolerance employees will engage in a monthly dialogue titled "From Hate to Hope." More than 20 years ago, these two men, who are now co-workers, found themselves on the opposite sides of an unfortunate hate crime. Former teen runaway and current museum manager Matthew Boger and former neo-Nazi Tim Zaal will share their stories and talk about the turbulent past that led them to Los Angeles' haven for tolerance and understanding. 3 p.m. (first Sunday of every month). $10 (children), $11 (seniors), $13 (adults). Museum of Tolerance, Hertz Theater, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-9036. http://museumoftolerance.com.

Why let the holidays melt away when you can bring them back to life with joyous songs in "Around the Year in Song and Story: A Musical Tour of the Jewish Calendar." Join Benny Friedman in concert, sponsored by the Chabad of Conejo, as he revives the musical wonder of holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah and Passover. Rabbi Moshe D. Bryski will narrate the classical tunes while recounting sacred holiday stories and insights. 7-10 p.m. $18-$25 (general), $180 (concert sponsor, includes recognition in concert program and VIP seating). JCC at Milken, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 991-0991. http://www.chabadofconejo.com.

Feeling lucky? Try your hand in poker with friends and fellow temple-goers at Temple B'nai Hayim's Poker Tournament Night, co-sponsored by Creative Arts Temple. If Lady Luck is on your arm tonight, you might just go home with more than you came in with. If not, you can still enjoy the food, prizes and live music. 3-6 p.m. $36 (non-tournament poker), $100 (poker buy-in). Temple B'nai Hayim, 4302 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 788-4664. http://www.bnaihayim.org.

In his film "House of the Generals," Dan Spigel traces the plight of one family and their struggle to survive against a historical backdrop that claimed the lives of 10 million Jewish Ukrainians. Through revolution, love and war, Spigel's film bridges the dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler from the Russian Revolution to World War II and the Holocaust, illuminating the tremendous loss of life that permeated the first half of the 20th century. Following the screening, audience members are invited to stay for a special Q-and-A with the filmmaker. 7 p.m. $5. The Workmen's Circle, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007. http://www.circlesocal.org.


Doron Kornbluth
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In the world of contemporary childhood, there are myriad platforms competing for a child's attention -- television, the Internet, video games and iPods. With so many forms of entertainment to contend with, it's no wonder parents feel challenged when it comes to instilling Jewish pride in their kids. How do you inspire 12-year-olds to turn off the Disney Channel and study for their b'nai mitzvah? Teacher, speaker and author Doron Kornbluth, who gained street cred with his book "Why Marry Jewish? Surprising Reasons for Jews to Marry Jews," may have some helpful tips when it comes to rearing Jewish children. Parents and grandparents are invited to a humorous and informative talk on "Raising Kids to Stay Jewish and Love It!" Kornbluth will regale his audience with stories and discussions, offering practical advice on how inspired adults can in turn inspire their children. 8 p.m. $12-$15. Conejo Jewish Academy, 30345 Canwood St., Agoura Hills. (818) 991-0991. http://www.jewishacademy.com.


Redheaded Andrea Sabesin never quite fit in. Growing up, she was the only Jewish student at an Episcopal school, the only non-Orthodox student at a Hebrew day school and one of the only white students at a mostly black school. Exploring this theme of identity, the actress/writer is back in "Girl, Your Hair's On Fire! Season 2," a follow-up to her previous well-received one-woman show. Sharing personal anecdotes and insights, Sabesin uses wit and physical comedy (sans the clich�(c)d kvetchy tone) to cover topics such as her Southern Jewish family, being single, and her many stints as a wedding singer. 8 p.m. Through March 11. $15. Acme Comedy Theatre, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 822-1146. http://www.andreasabesin.com.



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For five fast-talking, irreverent and hilarious performances only, stand-up comedian extraordinaire Jackie Mason will come to town and skewer politicians, public figures and current events for his audiences' delight. "The Ultimate Jew: The Farewell Performance" features the tried-and-true entertainer at his best with new jokes and new subjects during a triumphant return to the stage. 8 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.), 3 p.m. (Sun.). Through March 9. $28-$103. Wadsworth Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 365-3500. http://www.jackiemason.com.

You may never have had the pleasure of hearing Matt James sing, but you certainly have heard of the songs he'll be performing at this Social Circle concert for singles ages 45-65. The three-octave-range singer, who has crisscrossed the nation entertaining audiences for years, will sing classics such as "Impossible Dream," "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and "You'd Be So Easy to Love." In addition, James will also treat the audience to several popular opera arias such as "Che Gelida Manina" from Puccini's "La Boheme" and "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's "Turandot." 7 p.m. $15 (members), $20 (general). Price includes light dinner and wine. Stephen S. Wise Temple, Hershenson Hall, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (213) 215-4333.


Artist and calligrapher Mordechai Rosenstein creates hand-painted name plaques with vibrant colors and elaborate details. For $100, you can buy one of his pieces with your name in Hebrew and English. For considerably less money, you can receive a hands-on art lesson from the master himself and take home your very own plaque at "Art With ATID." For young Jewish professionals, ages 21-39. 7 p.m. $12 (members), $15 (general). Price includes a light dinner. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. (310) 481-3244. http://www.atidla.com.

The illusive quest for happiness is the topic of discussion at "Are the Modern Men Broken? If So, Are They Fixable?" sponsored by the Nessah Israel Young Professionals. The debate features two of the most recognizable Jewish speakers in the United States, each with their own brand of self-help articulated in books. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who has made a career of bringing "shalom" to troubled families, recently released a book titled "The Broken American Male." Radio talk show host Dennis Prager also addressed the issue of modern dissatisfaction with life in his book, "Happiness is a Serious Problem," which contrary to the title, makes the case that everyone can be happy. Enjoy sushi and sake with the speakers at the pre-debate VIP lounge, then discover how to improve yourself in order to be happy, and after all that, let loose at the after-party with a special guest disc jockey. 6:30 p.m. (VIP reception), 8 p.m. (debate), 9:30 p.m. (party). $30 (debate, online purchase), $40 (debate, at the door purchase), $50 (VIP, online purchase), $60 (VIP, at the door purchase). Nessah Synagogue, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 273-2400. http://www.nessah.org.


Novelist and Jewish Journal columnist Gina Nahai was raised in Tehran during a period fraught with national tension and political unrest. In conversation with Robert Scheer, editor in chief of Truthdig.com, she will discuss "The Enigma of Iran (or Why American Policy-makers Should Read More Fiction)" illuminating the challenges of faith and modernism and the complex psychologies that bind Iranians and Americans. Part of the ALOUD series at the Central Library. 7 p.m. Free. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 524 S. Flower St., downtown. Reservations strongly recommended. (213) 228-7025. http://www.aloudla.org.

Mommy and Me classes are no longer just for mommies. Daddies, grandparents and caretakers are welcome to attend the new Kehillat Ma'arav "Mommy and Me" sessions. The action-packed classes for kids ages 1 to 3 years old are filled with song, hands-on activities, snacks and special guest appearances. Adults are welcome to socialize and join the fun. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., through April 24. $18 (per session), $120 (8-week program). Kehillat Ma'arav, 1715 21st St., Santa Monica. (310) 829-0566. office@km-synagogue.org.


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For 11 years, thousands of Jews across America have been coming together once a year to celebrate Shabbat on the very same night. "Shabbat Across America," organized by the National Jewish Outreach Program and implemented by hundreds of synagogues and community centers around the country, is a unique occasion that unifies Jews everywhere in a joyous Shabbat dinner, prayer service and discussion. To find a location near you, call (888) 742-2228 or visit http://www.njop.org.


In Iran, their music is banned and their albums distributed in secrecy. Lucky for you, you don't have to rendezvous in a dark alley to hear Persian band Kiosk perform their political yet humorous songs. Led by singer and guitarist Arash Sobhani, Kiosk skewers contemporary Iranian society with a blues/rock/jazz fusion accompanied by Persian lyrics written by Sobhani. This ethnic protest music was partly inspired by Bob Dylan's songs, and the concert is intended to complement the groundbreaking Dylan exhibition at the Skirball. 8 p.m. $20 (students), $25 (members), $30 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (877) 722-4849. http://www.skirball.org.

Hoping to catch a glimpse of the king during a Dusseldorf street parade in 1910, pretty housewife Louise loses her underpants. Her disparaging and disgruntled husband prepares for a public shaming, but instead, two new tenants come knocking at the door. Desirous to provoke Louise into repeat dishabille, a sexy playboy and a middle-aged Jewish asthmatic set up camp in the couple's spare rooms. What ensues in "The Underpants," a satirical spin on Germany's middle class, is an elaborate courting of a married woman and the long overdue comeuppance her harried husband deserves. Adapted by actor/comedian Steve Martin from half-Jewish German playwright Carl Sternheim's work of the same name, the play was banned by the Nazis during the war, and Martin's update lightly touches upon the anti-Semitism of the period. 8 p.m. Through April 19. $12-$20. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. (626) 256-3809. http://www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

Experience Shabbat like never before, with an array of choices at the all-new Synaplex Services designed for individuals with a craving for something unique. Similar to a multi-screen cinema, Synaplex Shabbat offers many enticing services including "Tot Shabbat" for toddlers ages 2 to 5, where families share songs and Torah stories; "Healing Service," which provides a spiritual space for those in need of healing; and "Shabbat Unplugged," an uplifting, spiritual musical service directed by Temple Emanuel clergy. Adding a kick to Friday night, 20- and 30-somethings can sip wine at "Shabbat Unplugged." Services start at various times. Free. Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. (310) 288-3737, http://www.tebh.org.


Saturday March 8, There's only one Jewish party a year where you can be whatever you want to be -- a nurse, a lion, Borat. Show off your imaginative and sexy costumes at what promises to be one of the biggest Purim bashes in the city. Sponsored by ATID, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, the W Group, Taglit-Birthright Israel, the Jewish Federation's Young Leadership Division and many other young professionals' clubs, "Purim on the Strip" at The Roxy Theatre is sure to be well-organized and well-attended. Kosher hors d'oeuvres, dessert and groggers will be included in abundance. Attendees are requested to show their generosity by bringing school supplies for the homeless and family-violence shelters supported by Jewish Family Service. 8 p.m. $36 (until March 6), $54 (at the door). Online registration is strongly encouraged. (323) 761-8132. http://yld.jewishla.org.

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