Venice canal. Photo by Eric Staudenmaier
SAT | MAY 2
(HOME & GARDEN)
The 2009 Venice Garden & Home Tour takes you to 25-30 gardens and homes in the historic Venice neighborhood. The self-guided walking tour includes restored beach cottages along the Venice canals, sleek contemporary cubes in the Windward Circle neighborhood, homes designed by famous architects such as Steven Erhlich and Frank Gehry, lush landscaping, eco-friendly building, and wildly creative and unusual home designs. The tour is a fundraiser for the Neighborhood Youth Association’s Las Doradas Children’s Center, which provides childcare to low-income working families. Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $60 (advance), $70 (day of). Free for children under 12. Tour starts at Las Doradas Children’s Center, 804 Broadway St., Venice. (310) 821-1857. www.venicegardentour.org.
An Argentine couple find themselves alone for the first time in years in the comedic drama, “Empty Nest” (El Nido Vacio). The film, which is in Spanish and Hebrew with English subtitles, was directed by Daniel Burman, an Argentine Jew whose name is well known within the burgeoning Latin American film industry. Check theaters for show times. $7-$10. Laemmle’s Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 274-6869. Laemmle’s Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 981-9811. www.laemmle.com.
SUN | MAY 3
Jewish dairy farmer Max Yasgur became part of rock and roll history when he agreed to host a music festival on his farm in Bethel, N.Y. in 1969. “Max Said Yes! The Woodstock Story,” by Abigail Yasgur — the farmer’s second cousin — and her husband, Joseph Lipner, is a colorfully illustrated children’s book that recounts how the generosity of one man who valued community spirit and respected the scale of the organizers’ dream opened the door to a legendary cultural happening. The picture book incorporates historical details, such as an illustration of the $6-a-day ticket, period clothing and hairstyles, Jimi Hendrix on stage and lyrics from a Joni Mitchell song that pay homage to Yasgur. Sun. 11 a.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. Also, May 4 at Memorial Branch Library in Los Angeles and May 20 at Every Picture Tells a Story in Santa Monica (R.S.V.P. required for this event). www.maxsaidyes.com.
In celebration of Israel’s 61st Independence Day, the North Hollywood Regional Library is screening “Exodus,” the 1960 epic film that chronicles the birth of the State of Israel. Based on the book by Leon Uris, the film stars Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint. Free popcorn will be provided. Sun. 1:15 p.m. Free. North Hollywood Regional Library, 5211 Tujunga Ave., North Hollywood. (818) 766-7185.
Internationally acclaimed sitar maestro Purbayan Chatterjee will perform tonight in “An Evening of Classical Indian Music” at the Skirball. Chatterjee first picked up the sitar at age 4 and performed a year later at the prestigious India Festival in Basel, Switzerland. He is the recipient of the President of India Award, a high honor bestowed upon him for his musicianship. Chatterjee will be accompanied by virtuoso percussionist Anubrata Chatterjee on tabla. Sun. 7 p.m. $20 (members), $25 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (877) 722-4849. www.skirball.org.
Mark Twain scholar and director of American studies at Stanford University Shelley Fisher Fishkin was digging through a file cabinet drawer in UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library archives when she stumbled upon a manuscript Twain had written in 1898. “Is He Dead?” — a comical critique of the art world that features French artist Jean Francois Millet as the main character — remained unpublished and unproduced for more than 100 years until Fishkin pushed for its revival. She will be hosting a talkback session after the International City Theatre production of the play today. Sun. 2 p.m. Thu.-Sun. through May 24. $32-$42. International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. (562) 436-4610. www.ictlongbeach.org.
The biggest celebration of Israel’s Independence Day in Los Angeles takes place every year at Woodley Park in Van Nuys. This year’s festival for Israel’s 61st will feature round-the-clock entertainment on three stages, a skydiving show, a fashion show, youth activities, Israeli folk dancing, hundreds of booths, kosher food stands, a petting zoo and more. A special feature of this celebration is the commemoration of Tel Aviv’s centennial. Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $5 (admission). Parking is free. Woodley Park, Woodley Avenue between Burbank and Victory boulevards. (800) 644-9505. www.israelfestival.com.
TUE | MAY 5
Although this week pays tribute to events that occurred in 1948, a photo-story lecture by Israeli researcher and curator Guy Raz will chronicle what was happening in the region prior to the founding of the State of Israel. “From Land to Country: Images from Eretz Israel, 1848-1948” will include images such as one of a sparsely populated Haifa Bay from the 1870s. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $10. Valley Cities JCC, 14701 Friar St., Van Nuys. cicisrael.org.
Dr. Ronald Levine, a clinical psychologist and an ordained rabbi, will lead a four-part lecture series on “Torah, Brain Science and Sex.” Serving as Temple Beth Am’s scholar-in-residence, Levine will teach a course on how Torah and science both provide insights into sexuality and sexual satisfaction. The four evenings will be divided into the following topics: the brain and sex, the body and sex, the mind and sex, and the soul and sex, with excerpts from the Torah informing the discussions. Tuesday evenings, May 5-26. 7:45-9:30 p.m. $50 (members, entire series), $60 (general, entire series). Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7354, ext. 215. www.tbala.org/lehrhaus.
WED | MAY 6
THU | MAY 7
FRI | MAY 8
“Big,” the movie written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg, was a huge hit in 1987. “Big: The Musical,” with a book by John Weidman, brings Josh Baskin’s tale of growing up too fast to the stage with a contemporary score and the West Coast Ensemble. Fri. 8 p.m. (opening night). Through June 28. $25 (students and seniors), $30 (general). The El Centro Theatre, 800 N. El Centro Ave., Hollywood. (323) 460-4443. www.westcoastensemble.org.