It's a Musical Pajama Party With Stephen Michael Schwartz, and the whole family is invited! Don your jammies to sing old and new tunes with the guy from Parachute Express who created music for Gymboree classes and the PBS series "Jay Jay the Jetplane." Pizza, drinks and snacks will be on sale, and if you bring a board game to donate to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, you'll get a complimentary delectable. Just don't forget: PJs required. 5:15 p.m. (doors open), 6 p.m. (show). $10-$12. Temple Beth Hillel, Sands Mallet Social Hall, 12326 Riverside Drive, Valley Village. (818) 763-9148 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mel Brook's trailer for 'Jews in Space,' which isn't on this program, but sure is funny!
Everyone needs a good laugh-until-you-cry moment once in a while. You can get multiple doses this week at this retrospective of Mel Brooks' films with American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre. Screening today are the goofball comedies "Spaceballs" and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," followed by "Young Frankenstein" and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" on Sunday. The series ends on Wednesday with the social satire "Life Stinks" and a discussion with Mel Brooks, Rudy de Luca and Steve Haberman. 7:30 p.m. $7-$10. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (323) 634-4878. http://americancinematheque.com.
Have a thirst for higher education, but don't want to deal with the hassle of test taking, registration and studying? Now you can go "Back to College For a Day" and learn from renowned USC and UCLA professors, among others. Lecture topics include the impact of stress on behavior and the brain, the coexistence of Christians, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Spain, and law in a multicultural world. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. $179 (parking and lunch). Mount St. Mary's College, Chalon Campus, 12001 Chalon Road, Los Angeles. (818) 704-4207. http://www.backtocollegeforaday.com.
The chilling 1924 murder trial of "thrill killers" Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb will be dramatized on stage with music and lyrics by Stephen Dolginoff. In an attempt to commit the "perfect crime," young Jewish whiz kids Leopold and Loeb murdered a 14-year-old boy from a prominent Chicago family just to see if they could get away with it. "Thrill Me" will be directed by Ovation Award-winner Nick DeGreccio and produced by Chad Borden. 8 p.m., through March 2. $34-$38. Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 960-4429. http://www.plays411.com/thrillme or http://www.havoktheatre.com.
For 25 years the annual Maccabi Games have been a special opportunity for teen athletes ages 13 to 16 to join a team, travel and do what they do best -- play their favorite sport. This year the games will be held in Detroit in August. Parents and their emerging athletes are invited to an information day to meet prospective coaches, learn which teams will be competing and discuss details of tryout dates and times. 10 a.m. Free. Jewish Community Center at Milken, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3300. http://maccabilosangeles.com/.
The Jewish Single Parents and Singles Association has a lovely Sunday all planned out for you: start out with a hearty omelet or toasted bagel with cream cheese at local favorite Katella Deli, then spend the rest of the day with the group, wandering the glorious art-filled halls of the Getty Center Museum. Exhibitions to check out include the photographs of AndrÃï¿½(c) KertÃï¿½(c)sz, the history of the nude in photography and Nicole Cohen's critically acclaimed video installation, "Please Be Seated." 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Katella Deli, 4470 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos. (714) 964-7031.
Harry Boychick is inviting you to his bar mitzvah. Don't know him? Doesn't matter. None of the guests know Harry, but they will be joining him and his family at a rollicking reception. Amy Lord, the creator of "Grandma Sylvia's Funeral," brings us her new interactive show, "The Boychick Affair: The Bar Mitzvah of Harry Boychick," where the audience joins in the insanity, mingling with actors, dancing, laughing and even partaking in the celebratory meal. This promises to be unlike any show (or bar mitzvah) you've ever been to. Sundays at 2 p.m. (open-ended run). $36 (twice chai for the bar mitzvah boy!). Price includes meal. Hayworth Theatre, 2509 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (800) 838-3006. http://www.thehayworth.com.
Celebrate this festive holiday with a fun day for the whole family. The Westside JCC Tu B'Shevat Festival will include a silent auction, family art, food, entertainment and a moon bounce. All the proceeds from the event will benefit WJCC educational programs. Noon-4 p.m. Free. WJCC, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 938-2531. http://www.westsidejcc.org.
Drag your honey out of bed to do some good today. ATID's Couples Havurah, for young Jews (married or dating) between the ages of 21 and 39, has planned a volunteer day where you and your other can help prepare kosher meals for people with HIV/AIDS. "Project Kitchen Soup" will leave you feeling so warm and fuzzy inside that you'll forget you woke up at 7 a.m. 7:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Free. Hirsh Family Kosher Kitchen, 338 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. required, (310) 481-3244. http://sinaitemple.org/events/ATID/KitchenSoup.
SUN | JANUARY 27
Erudite composers Hans Gal and Robert Kahn were forced into exile when they fled Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. Their music was removed from libraries and destroyed, and they were stripped of their prominent posts. Tonight, contemporary musicians on cello, bassoon and piano will reclaim the banished music of their forbears during an evening of "Recovered Music by Exiled German Jewish Composers." Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Stephen S. Wise Temple and Kehillat Israel are underwriting the program and proceeds will benefit the Alfred and Miriam Wolf Scholarship Fund of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. 4 p.m. $36. Second Space -- The Stage @ Santa Monica, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, Santa Monica Boulevard (between 10th and 11th streets). (310) 434-3414. http://www.smc.edu/madison.
TUE | JANUARY 29
Comedian Wendy Liebman confessed something during a Hillel fundraiser last summer that deeply shames her: "I have separation anxiety ... so I can't do laundry." The fundraiser was so successful, it's happening again. Hillel 818 Presents "Comedy Night" is a cacophony of L.A.'s most wicked, witty and wild talent: the handsome Elon Gold, Lisa Ann Walter, who's not sure if she's naughty or nice, and Liebman. With nights like these, the partnership between the Pierce and Valley Colleges Hillel and the CSUN Hillel seems like a match made in heaven. 7 p.m. (VIP reception), 8 p.m. (show). $10-$75. The World Famous Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (818) 886-5101 or
Dan Mazur was two hours away from the top of the world -- on Mount Everest -- when he surrendered his dream to save one man's life. Dan Mazur: The Ethics of Going for the Summit brings the renowned Everest climber to Malibu, where he'll regale a group with his extraordinary tale of risk, hope and sacrifice. From the highest peaks in the world to the deepest empathy of the heart, Mazur's journey reveals how far people will go for adventure -- and further still for humanity. 7:30 p.m. $36 (adults), $10 (children/students). Malibu Jewish Center, 24855 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu. (310) 456-2178. http://www.mjcs.org.
Moises Kaufman began researching "The Laramie Project" in November 1998, shortly after college student Matthew Shepard was fatally beaten for being openly gay. The play draws on hundreds of interviews with Laramie locals to explore how the community coped with such a heinous hate crime. Staged by Pepperdine's theater department, "Laramie Project" captures the fragility of social relationships and the beliefs of ordinary citizens on issues of faith, forgiveness, sexual politics and the important difference between tolerance and acceptance. 7:30 p.m., through Feb. 2. $10-$15. Pepperdine University, Helen E. Lindhurst Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu. (310) 506-4522 or (213) 365-5300. http://www.pepperdine.edu/arts.
You may know Leonard Nimoy as Spock from the "Star Trek" series. But Nimoy is also a prolific photographer whose work is displayed in modern art museums around the world. At "Hammer Conversations: Natalie Angier and Leonard Nimoy" he'll discuss his most recent work, a book of photographs entitled, "Full Body Project," which includes a forward by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angier and countless provocative photos of scantily clad zaftig women. One image, "Homage to Ritts," is a full-figured recreation of fashion photographer Herb Ritts' famous shot of threadbare supermodels clustered together. 7 p.m. Free. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 443-7000. http://www.hammer.ucla.edu.
WED | JANUARY 30
The Sultans of Satire return with highly politicized shtick that imbues ordinarily tense subjects like terror, strife and violence with a wallop of humor. Comedians with a Middle Eastern lineage -- from Israeli American Iris Bahar to Palestinian Mormon Aron Kader -- prove that playfulness is a precursor in this recurring comedy show. 8 p.m. $18. The Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 657-5511 or http://www.levantinecenter.org.
No matter how high American Jews of the 1920s climbed on the ladder of success, some continued to identify with marginalized groups, explains National Jewish Book Award-winner Michael Alexander. He delves into the Jewish identity of three such men -- actor Al Jolson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter and mobster Arnold Rothstein -- in his talk "Mammy, Don't Ya Know Me?" His book, "Jazz Age Jews," discusses how these heroic members of society captivated the Jewish community and indelibly molded the jazz age. 7-9 p.m. Free. USC Davidson Conference Center, Board Room, 3415 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. (213) 740-3405. http://web-app.usc.edu/ecal/custom/32/.
THU | JANUARY 31
You might have driven past the flower-painted tower on the edge of Beverly Hills High School many times and never given it a second thought. But Joy Horowitz's book, "Parts Per Million: The Poisoning of Beverly Hills High School," might change that. The veteran journalist spent four years investigating the active oil wells and power plant near the tony high school and the alarming number of alumni and faculty who have fallen terminally ill in what appears to be a cancer cluster. The Environmental Relief Center has chosen Horowitz as their "Environmental Hero for 2008" and is sponsoring tonight's presentation and book signing. 7 p.m. Free. Beverly Hills Public Library, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (818) 762-5852.
At a time when the state of Israel was as vulnerable as a newborn, its fourth prime minister, Golda Meir, took it upon herself to be the nation's nurturing mother. Valerie Harper stars in "Golda's Balcony," director Jeremy Kagan's adaptation of the long-running one-woman Broadway play by Tony Award-winner William Gibson. 7 p.m. $75 (screening), $125 (dinner and desert reception). Writer's Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 836-6140, ext. 108 or 113. http://www.goldasbalconythefilm.com/
Immerse yourself in a Middle Eastern blend of music and harmony with Persian singer Mamak Khadem as she crosses the cultural divide among Iran, Turkey, Kurdistan, Armenia and Greece. Khadem invites the geographical regions to unite on one creative platform as she promotes her newest album, "Jostojoo" (Forever Seeking). Along with her multinational ensemble, Khadem melds melodies with verses of Persian poetry in an evening of song. 8 p.m. $20 (students), $25 (Skirball members), $30 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (877) 722-4849. http://www.skirball.org.
(YOUTH ART SHOW)
Showcasing the best artists from Long Beach middle and high schools, the 24th Annual Gottlieb Youth Art Show is a juried competition sponsored by the Alpert JCC that celebrates the talent of youths who are eligible for awards and prizes. 6:30-8 p.m. (artist reception). 9 a.m.-10 p.m. (Monday-Thursday), 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (weekends). Through Feb. 20. Free and open to the community. Alpert JCC, Pauline and Zena Gatov Gallery, 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. (562) 426-7601 ext. 1067. http://www.alpertjcc.org.
FRI | FEBRUARY 1
(MARDI GRAS PARTY)
Break out the boas and beads, 'cuz it's Mardi Gras time! Date in L.A. is hosting a wild and crazy New Orleans-style bash with a live band and DJ, prizes, raffles, a chocolate fountain, cocktails, munchies and, of course, tons of beads. The 102.7 KIIS Street Team will join the party with a truck full of their own surprises, so come ready to flash those pearly white teeth. Proceeds from the party will be donated to Direct Relief International to help victims of the California fires and Hurricane Katrina. Ages 30-55. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $35 (use the code "JewishJournal" when purchasing tickets online to get $5 off each ticket!). Skirball Cultural Center, Ahmanson Ballroom, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4574.
Roslyn Kind promo video
Open your ears to the talented Roslyn Kind, Barbra Streisand's kid sister, belting out the melodies in concert. Kind will perform popular hits, permeating the room with her powerful Broadway-trained vocal cords. 8:30-10:30 p.m. Also, Feb. 2. $30 (premium seating), $25 (two drink minimum). Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 466-2210. http://www.catalinajazzclub.com.
A classic play never goes out of style, as exemplified by writer Alfred Uhry's, "Driving Miss Daisy." The 1987 original off-Broadway production, for which Uhry won the Pulitzer Prize the following year, starred Dana Ivey and Morgan Freeman. The play is hitting the stage again, this time starring four-time Emmy Award-winning Michael Learned as Daisy Werthan. Humorous and warm, the play delves deep into the decades-long relationship between an elderly Jewish woman and her African American chauffeur. 8 p.m., through Feb. 17. $37-$45. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. http://lamiradatheatre.com.