Fri., Sept. 12
"A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People." Angelenos can explore the legacy of one of the Catholic Church's most beloved popes in a new Skirball Cultural Center exhibition. Through artifacts, photographs and audiovisual recordings that first appeared at Cincinnati's Xavier University only weeks after the pope's death in 2005, visitors can explore the life of Pope John Paul II and the historical and personal circumstances that led him to aggressively reach out to Jews worldwide. Pope John Paul II was the first pontiff to enter a synagogue, recognize the State of Israel and formally apologize for the Catholic Church's past treatment of the Jewish people. The Skirball will also offer several public programs related to the exhibition: an adult-education course on "Jesus and Judaism" and film adaptations of biblical epics, among others. Through Jan. 4. $10 (general admission), free to all on Thursdays. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.
Fri., Sept. 12
Face of the World Festival. An emphasis on world music, dance, poetry and spoken-word performance characterize this four-month celebration of international artistry. With a primary focus on under-represented artists from around the globe, Face of the World brings innovation and entertainment, such as "K-War Stories," a mix of 16 millimeter footage, photography, haiku and ethnic dance; "Le Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin," the story of an Indian peasant whose vision of the virgin story plays yearly at L.A.'s Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral; and the New York-based Jose Limon Dance Company, which integrates literary sources -- from Shakespeare to Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca -- into their choreography. Show times and prices vary. Through Dec. 14. The New LATC, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles. (213) 489-0994. http://www.thenewlatc.com.
Sat., Sept. 13
"Speech & Debate." The town is Salem, Ore., and, as in countless other American cities, teenagers are on the prowl for like-minded adolescents via the Internet. However, the three teenagers who find one another in "Speech & Debate" don't just bond over music, books and movies, but are linked through a sex scandal that has rocked their community. The three adolescent misfits do what anyone else would to get to the bottom of the scandal: form their school's first speech and debate team. Check out the West Coast premiere of the play, which critics are calling "flat-out funny." 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Through Oct. 26. $22-$28. The Blank Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 661-9827. http://www.theblank.com.
Sat., Sept. 13
"Ragtime: The Musical." Tonight is opening night for the Musical Theatre of Los Angeles' presentation of "Ragtime: The Musical," directed by Zeke Rettman. The story, based on the novel by E.L Doctorow, explores America through the eyes of three distinct ethnic groups as the country deals with the ever-present tension between wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair and love and hate. 8 p.m. Through Oct. 5. $34.99. Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood. (323) 960-1055. http://www.plays411.com/ragtime.
Sat., Sept. 13
Camarillo Art & Jazz Festival. Camarillo is offering visitors a one-day extravaganza filled with music, artists and gourmet food, all culminating in an evening concert under the stars. The 2008 Camarillo Art & Jazz Festival will include gospel and bluegrass music, a farmers' market and more than 50 artists showcasing their work. By evening, retro-band Royal Crown Revue will warm the stage for a secret, Grammy-nominated headliner. 8 a.m. (farmers' market), 10 a.m. (music and art walk). $20-$60. 2400 Ventura Blvd., Old Town Camarillo. (805) 484-4383. http://www.camarilloartandjazz.com.
Sun., Sept. 14
Sunset Strips. If you thought raising money for the fight against AIDS was something of a formal affair, think again. Formalities will be removed, as will articles of clothing, during tonight's burlesque-style dance production. With Bruce Vilanch, Leslie Jordan, Jai Rodriquez, Wilson Cruz and hundreds of professional dancers showing the world what they're made of, all proceeds will go toward AIDS Project Los Angeles and The Actors Fund, a human services organization helping a hefty number of Angelenos: the entertainers. Come see the work of award-winning and renowned directors and choreographers, and make a difference. 8 p.m. $40-$160. BOULEVARD3, 6523 W. Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood. (866) 679-0958. http://www.apla.org.
Fri., Sept. 19
"Back Back Back" at The Old Globe. There's nothing poignant about professional athletes using steroids. Or is there? Old Globe playwright-in-residence Itamar Moses delves into the controversial topic and takes the audience beyond the newspaper headlines and congressional hearings to the sanctuary of sports -- the locker room. With humor and insight, Moses unfolds the stories of three major league baseball players who struggle to compete in the unforgiving world of professional sports, as well as balance their personal lives and professional images. The up-and-coming playwright has "clearly demonstrated tremendous talent along with a willingness to tackle complex ideas in his plays," said The Globe's Executive Producer Lou Spisto. Moses' other works include "The Four of Us," which won the San Diego Critics' Circle Best New Play Award last year and "Bach at Leipzig." 8 p.m. Tue.-Sun. Through Oct. 26. $42-$59. Old Globe Arena Theatre, James S. Copley Auditorium, San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park, San Diego. (619) 234-5623. http://www.theoldglobe.org.
Sun., Sept. 21
"Tom Sawyer" at the Egyptian Theatre. Maybe Mark Twain can't make it to this special screening, but his loss doesn't have to be yours. The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque are honoring William Menzies, Lyle Wheeler and James Howe for their work on Norman Taurog's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1938). A panel of industry experts will partake in a Q-and-A that will explore the legacy of these three phenomenal film fellas. Join Tom Walsh, moderator of the evening for the classic Twain adventure. 5:30 p.m. $7-$10. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 466-3456.
Sun., Sept. 21
Spider Pavilion. Arachnophobes beware: This enclosed landscape is home to hundreds of free-roaming spiders. But not to worry, they're all non-venomous. If you seek the more dangerous sort, like scorpions and tarantulas, you'll have to look at them through glass. The lushly landscaped garden house is the only public spider-viewing center of its kind in the country and allows guests to get up close and personal with the web-weavers as they crawl, play and prey. Home to a variety of arachnids, from golden silk spiders to the banded garden spider, this brings "Charlotte's Web" to a whole new level. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., daily. $1-$3. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 763-3466. http://www.nhm.org.
Sun., Sept. 21
KCRW'S World Festival. A remarkable, eclectic lineup marks the last week of KCRW's World Music Festival. Ozomatli toured the world, engaging audiences with its blend of Latin-, rock- and hip-hop-infused music, as well as its anti-war and human rights advocacy. The multiethnic group headlines this special night at the Hollywood Bowl, along with Michael Franti, a former member of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, and his latest band Spearhead. Mexican singer Lila Downs as well as Tijuana's premiere electronic band, Nortec Collective and its members Bostich and Fussible, will make it impossible for anyone not to get something out of the mix. If you haven't had the chance to catch this spectacular summer concert series, don't miss this last opportunity. 7 p.m. $10-$96. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. (323) 850-2000. http://hollywoodbowl.com.
Tue., Sept. 23
Barton Gellman at ALOUD. Every reporter has his beat and Barton Gellman's is Vice President Dick Cheney, which has earned the special-projects reporter at The Washington Post a Pulitzer Prize this year and a George Polk Award last year. He had so much good material on the vice president that it was enough to write an entire book, "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," thus his appearance at the ALOUD series opposite Los Angeles Times op-ed editor Nick Goldberg. Gellman, having spent a significant amount of time investigating Cheney and his activities, is able to draw back the curtain of secrecy to discuss the man and the administration in a candid reflection on the legacy of the Bush-Cheney pairing. 7 p.m. Free. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, corner of Fifth and Flower streets, downtown Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. (213) 228-7025. http://www.lfla.org/aloud.
Wed., Sept. 24
Brad Meltzer signs "Book of Lies." The New York Times best-selling mystery writer is back with a riveting new thriller that links the Cain and Abel story with the creation of Superman. Young Jerry Siegel dreamed up a bulletproof super man in 1932 when his father was shot to death. It may sound like a strange plotline, but trust Meltzer, who has written six other acclaimed page-turners as well as comic books and television shows, to produce a great read. The novel is already receiving major buzz and you can get in on the action in a variety of ways: By watching the trailer on Brad Meltzer's Web site (yes, the book has a movie trailer), listening to the book's soundtrack (yes, the book has a soundtrack) and by coming to a reading and book signing by the author. 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Barnes & Noble, 16461 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 380-1636. http://www.bradmeltzer.com.
Wed., Sept. 24
An Evening With Garrison Keillor. American radio listeners are transported each week to Lake Wobegon and placed in the hands of one of America's most competent storytellers. Garrison Keillor entertains millions of Americans with charming, humorous tales about growing up in the heartland. The host of Minnesota Public Radio's most popular program, "A Prairie Home Companion," is coming to Malibu today as Pepperdine University is presenting "An Evening With Garrison Keillor," where audiences will have the opportunity to experience his one-of-a-kind wit first hand. 8 p.m. $65 (public), $10 (full-time Pepperdine students). Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 506-4522 or (213) 365-3500. http://arts.pepperdine.edu.
Sat., Sept. 27
"Skinny Bitch: A Bun in the Oven." If there is one thing that doesn't ever get old, it's mocking our own culture. Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin do just that in their newly released "Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven," a sequel of sorts to their best-selling cookbook "Skinny Bitch." The book is a guaranteed laugh riot and today's in-store reading and signing could offer a sassy twist as the two authors show up in the flesh to dish about expecting mothers. And don't be fooled, just because the subjects of this book are in a more fragile state of mind, Freedman and Barnouin refuse to make any exceptions to their insightful and illuminating critiques. 2 p.m. $14.95 (book price). Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. http://www.booksoup.com.
Sat., Sept. 27
"Tides of Emotion" at James Coleman Gallery. Mother and daughter duo Christa and Katina Zinner create entirely different kinds of art, but choose to display their creativity alongside one another in an exhibition that benefits Heal the Bay. Christa spent much of the '60s photographing such luminaries as Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly for the covers of fashion magazines and at age 70 started exploring her now-primary mode of expression: bronze sculpting. Her busts and nudes, like the "Standing Male Nude," are reminiscent of classic Roman sculptures and are an expression of the artist's lifelong fascination with the human form. Katina focuses her creative eye on her own passion -- nature. A film editor by trade and daughter of Oscar-winning film editor, Peter Zinner, Katina has been painting from a young age, first exhibiting her work in a solo show at the age of 11. Her giant multi-panel oil paintings are often described as "wild" and reflect her love of natural environments. 7-10 p.m. (artists reception). Through Oct. 16. Free. James Coleman Gallery, 1431 Ocean Ave., Suite A, Santa Monica. (310) 456-7151. http://www.jamescolemanfineart.com.
Sat., Sept. 27
"Jack's Third Show." Long hair, dramatic eye shadow and electric guitars return for an '80s afternoon. Billed as a benefit for autism education, radio station JACK-FM stages an edgy blend of retro and new wave rockers. Billy Idol joins Blondie, The Psychedelic Furs and Devo for a musical bash that will have you dancing all day long. 2 p.m. $29-$89. Verizon Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine. (213) 480-3232. http://www.ticketmaster.com or http://www.931jackfm.com.
Sat., Sept. 27
Museum Day. Art and cultural institutions are hoping to attract folks from all walks of life by making them an offer that's hard to refuse: free admission to museums across Southern California. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, this event gives art lovers and art novices alike the opportunity to visit venues from the Getty Center to the Craft and Folk Art Museum, free of charge. Natural history and science museums, like the California Science Center are also participating in the event. Regular parking fees do apply and advance reservations are recommended for some exhibitions. For a complete list of participating museums, visit http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-search/?state=California. Also, Sat. Oct. 4 and Sun. Oct. 5, "Museums Free-For-All," sponsored by the Museum Marketing Roundtable, offers free admission to 24 museums across Southern California. For a complete list of museums, visit http://www.museumsla.org/news/asp.
Sat., Sept. 27
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's 40th Season Opening Gala. L.A. Chamber Orchestra's first musical director, Sir Neville Marriner, will conduct its current director, Jeffrey Kahane, in a piano solo to celebrate its 40th year. A symbolic bridge between the orchestra's past and its future, expect to hear classical masters Beethoven, Schumann and Stravinsky, followed by dinner, dancing and a live auction for patrons. 6 p.m. $35-$125 (concert only), $750 (full package). The Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. Saint John Ave., Pasadena. (213) 622-7001, ext. 215. http://www.laco.org.
-- Lilly Fowler contributed a lot to this articleOCTOBER
Wed., Oct. 1
"Madama Butterfly." Giacomo Puccini's tragic heroine graces the stage again. The performance first dazzled L.A. audiences and critics in 2004, and L.A. Opera is hoping the revival will break box-office records. Set in early 20th century Japan, "Madama Butterfly" tells the tragic story of a young geisha and her American lover. The performance will take place on a simple set constructed of natural materials, wood and stone, with stunning lighting effects, all of which will make audiences feel like they are in the country from which the story stems. 7:30 p.m. Through Oct. 18. $20-$250. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-8001. http://www.laopera.com.
Fri., Oct. 3
"Flash of Genius." College professor and aspiring inventor Robert Kearn was your average 1960s Midwestern family man. With six kids and a comfortable job at a Detroit university, Kearn never dreamed he would one day be the subject of a major motion picture. "Flash of Genius" is the true story of Kearn's revolutionary invention -- the automatic windshield wiper -- and his drawn-out David-and-Goliath battle against the U.S. automobile titans who embraced his device then took credit for it. Starring Oscar-nominated Greg Kinnear as Robert Kearn and Lauren Graham as his wife, this inspiring drama may just be Kinnear's second chance at a golden statuette. Opens in theaters Oct. 3. http://www.flashofgenius.net.
Fri., Oct. 3
TarFest Weekend 2008. From the nexus of Los Angeles' art scene on the Miracle Mile comes a cultural festival that combines film, music and art. TarFest, a four-day, multivenue, indoor/outdoor festival named for its proximity to the La Brea Tar Pits, is a citywide excuse to check out burgeoning local artists, filmmakers and musicians. In addition to an art show, film screenings, concerts, discussions and workshops, LACMA curator Howard Fox will jury all art submissions. And new this year is the inaugural Miracle Mile Run, which raises funds to benefit local community arts and fitness programs. 6-10 p.m. (opening reception art show). Free. Korean Cultural Center, 5505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 936-7141. http://www.tarfest.com.
Fri., Oct. 3
Kronos Quartet. Aiming to evoke the personal and public tragedy of Sept. 11, this cathartic meditation of world-fusion music sweeps from Uzbekistan to Germany and Iraq to the United States. In the first classical music event of UCLA Live's season, the Kronos Quartet performs "Awakening: A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11," which begins with a Muslim call to prayer. Based on sounds developed around the world, the compositions encompass the profoundly personal and global pain of the Sept. 11 tragedy. 8 p.m. $28-$52. Royce Hall, UCLA, 574 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (310) 825-2101. http://www.uclalive.org.
Fri., Oct. 3
"Simply Ballroom" Starring Debbie Reynolds. Almost as glamorous as the popular television series, "Dancing With the Stars," veteran entertainer Debbie Reynolds hosts a ballroom spectacular with couples dancing salsa, tango, cha-cha and the rumba. Replete with bejeweled costumes, dazzling choreography and world-famous music, there's nothing quite as entertaining as a passionate dance. 8 p.m. $25-$53. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (562) 916-8500. http://www.cerritoscenter.com.
Sat., Oct. 4
J.U.i.C.E. Hip-Hop Dance Festival at the Ford Amphitheatre. Popping, locking, breaking, krumping -- these innovative dance forms weren't created in the polished dance studios of performance academies or established dance companies. These improvisational styles evolved in everyday spaces, such as street corners and schoolyards, and were inspired by specific genres of music. Bringing these progressive moves to the stage, along with the most creative street dance choreographers and dancers in Los Angeles, are artistic directors Amy "Catfox" Campion and Jacob "Kujo" Lyons. The high-energy production will include cutting-edge street dancing, spoken word and rhymes, live DJs and graffiti painting, a hip-hop show and a dance film. The festival is being produced by Antics Performance and J.U.i.C.E. (Justice Uniting in Creative Energy), two organizations that promote the innovation of hip hop and provide youth a safe and productive outlet for their energy. 6 p.m. (doors open), 8 p.m. (show). $5 (students and children), $25 (adults). Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. (323) 461-3573. http://www.fordtheatres.org.
Sun., Oct. 5
NoHo Scene. The second annual NoHo Scene will give visitors a taste of the North Hollywood arts district by offering free theatre, dance and music performances; improv and acting workshops; film screenings; activities for kids and families; and discounts to local restaurants and boutiques. In addition, free trolleys will transport visitors to events and places that are a bit out of reach. For those wanting to take in the sightseeing at a slower pace, a centrally located outdoor stage will provide ample opportunity for entertainment, food, wine and relaxation. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Free. NoHo Arts District in North Hollywood. Lankershim Boulevard will be closed to traffic between Magnolia Boulevard and Hesby Street, and a ticket booth just south of Magnolia offers free tickets to performances (distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early). (818) 980-6646. http://www.nohoartsdistrict.com.
Sun., Oct. 5
Caras Vemos, Corazones No Sabemos/Faces Seen, Hearts Unknown: The Human Landscape of Mexican Migration. Encapsulating the immigrant experience of human beings struggling on their way to a dream, 40 artists tell the Mexican migratory tale through journeys, boundaries, landscapes and identity. From the physical border crossings to the political, social and cultural barriers that await them on the other side, this multifaceted exploration of Mexican immigrants, which includes supplementary discussions and films, is both deeply personal and harshly affecting. Noon-5 p.m. (Wed.-Sun.). Free. Through Dec. 28. The Fowler Museum, UCLA, 574 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (310) 825-4361. http://www.fowler.ucla.edu.
Wed., Oct. 8
"Girl's Room" at El Portal Theatre. Newsday called it "a Neil Simon-on-estrogen dramedy," and with a plotline that involves three generations of lively women you can be sure at least the estrogen part is spot on. The El Portal's fall headliner is about a talented ballet dancer on the cusp of super stardom when a serious accident threatens to shatter her dreams. Her mother and grandmother, played by Broadway veterans Donna McKechnie, who played Cassie in "A Chorus Line," and Carol Lawrence, the original Maria in Broadway's "West Side Story," add to the drama in this emotional, humorous and charming play written by Joni Fritz. Wed.-Sun. Through Nov. 2. $45-$55. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 508-4200. http://www.elportaltheatre.com.
Sat., Oct. 11
"DIVAS Simply Singing!" Join Sheryl Lee Ralph in a night of strength through voice as she and other entertainers come together to benefit Women Alive Coalition and Sister Circle Project: South Africa, two organizations leading the way in the fight against HIV/AIDS. With nothing more than a concert grand piano and some impressive pipes, each diva performs one song as a commitment to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Now in its 18th year, "DIVAS Simply Singing!" remembers those who were taken by AIDS and vows to get help to those men, women, and children who are still here and fighting. All profits go to the cause. 7:30 p.m. $25-$250. Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. http://www.divassimplysinging.com.
Sun., Oct. 12
"A Sounds Eclectic Evening." Santa Monica's public radio station is giving music lovers the perfect excuse to spend their Sunday evening lost in music. KCRW is bringing back its "Sounds Eclectic" evenings with Canadian singer K.D. Lang, who will play from her new record "Watershed," which she calls the "culmination" of everything she's done before. The Duke Spirit, who have drawn comparisons to Sonic Youth and the Pixies, will also be playing their hook-filled rock, with the lovely Leila Moss fronting the band. But the whole evening will get off to a great start thanks to the South American group Bajofondo, whose latest album "Marc Dulce," features Elvis Costello and Nelly Furtado. Proceeds from the concert will go to supporting the Santa Monica City College station. 7:15 p.m. $40-$325. Gibson Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. (213) 480-3232. http://www.kcrw.com.
Mon., Oct. 13
Tina Turner in Concert. The "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" may be nearing 70, but Tina Turner still belts out soul-filled tunes like no other. Thanks to her energized, almost frenzied performances, the Grammy-winner continues to have an easy time outselling other female performers. Don't miss the opportunity to watch Turner shake it as she performs songs like "Proud Mary," "What's Love Got to Do With It?" and "We Don't Need Another Hero." 7:30 p.m. Through Oct. 16. $59.50-$150. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles. (213) 480-3232. http://www.staplescenter.com.
Tue., Oct. 14
"Dialogue Among Giants." California has its own photographic history, and the J. Paul Getty Museum is exploring its evolution through the work of Carleton Watkins -- considered one of the most important American photographers of the 19th century. Watkins' career spans from the Gold Rush to the turn of the 20th century, and his photographs chronicle many of the events most significant to California's history. He is also believed to be the first person to photograph Yosemite and worked side-by-side with the likes of Eadweard Muybridge and Charles Leander Weed, who will also be featured in the exhibition. Many of the first photographs taken in the state will also be presented. Through March 1, 2009. Free. Parking is $8. The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-7300. http://www.getty.edu.
Tue., Oct. 14
"The Grapes of Wrath." International City Theatre is bringing Frank Galati's Tony Award-winning stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's tale of an Oklahoman family's search for a home and a steady job amid the Great Depression. "The Grapes of Wrath" chronicles the family's journey to the more hopeful but ultimately disappointing farmlands of California. 8 p.m. Through Nov. 9. $32-$60. International City Theatre, Long Beach Center Theater, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. (562) 436-4610.
Sat., Oct. 18
The Pasadena Symphony. Traveling to Mexico just got a lot easier thanks to the opening night of the Pasadena Symphony's new season. "The concert will be a time-traveling journey into Mexico's indigenous past as The Symphony performs Carlos Chavez's Sinfonia India (Symphony No. 2) and Silvestre Revueltas' La Noche de los Mayas. Mexico's unique mariachi music tradition will be told as Mariachi Champana Nevin join Mester and The Symphony to perform the Concerto for Mariachi & Orchestra (Pasion Mexicana)," spokeswoman Cathie Lou Paker said. The program is a natural one for music director Jorge Mester, who is himself from Mexico: "The concert is going to be close to my heart, and it's going to be fun, especially La Noche with its 12 percussionists and even a conch shell. Everyone has been asking to hear La Noche again." 7:30 p.m. $20-$60. Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. (626) 584-8833. http://www.theorchestras.org.
Fri., Oct. 24
"Nightspot." The Miami City Ballet is coming to Los Angeles and bringing with it the West Coast premiere of "Nightspot." Audiences will have the opportunity to watch dancing set to a score by Elvis Costello. The performance is choreographed by Twyla Tharp, who has a history of incorporating modern music into her dances and is hoping this newest collaboration will attract those who might not otherwise venture out to see ballet. Tharp has also enlisted the help of notable fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Christopher Wheeldon's "Liturgy" and George Balanchine's "Tarantella and Symphony" will also be part of the program. 7:30 p.m. Through Oct. 26. $30-$120. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-7211. http://www.musiccenter.org.
Sat., Oct. 25
Lamia Ziade: "Time for a Kent." Lebanese artist Lamia Ziade mixes raw, sensual scenes with pop iconography in her penetrating exploration of two themes -- a woman's sexuality and the terrors of war. Her focus may be the litter from a departed lover or ominous images of men with rifles, ships sinking in a harbor or a building engulfed in flames. Ziade mixes her classical influences with a pop sensibility, which brings unpredictability to the mood of her work. Born in Beirut in 1968, Ziade was discovered by fashion designers Jean-Paul Gaultier and Issey Miyake before going on to design fabric, film posters and children's books. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tues.-Sat.) Free. Through Dec. 6. Benjamin Trigano Gallery, 612 N. Almont Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 550-6802. http://www.benjamintrigano.com.
Wed., Oct. 29
"Spring Awakening." Rock music and adolescents raging with hormones go hand in hand in a play that has garnered eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2007. Based on a German play that was banned for sexually explicit content, the musical "Spring Awakening" is described as a "universal sexual coming-of-age story" set to a "bold rock score." Indeed, the play will resonate with anyone who remembers the excitement and confusion associated with first experimenting with newly formed sexual desires. Through Dec. 7. $30-$100. Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-7231. http://www.centertheatregroup.org.
Fri., Oct. 31
Contemporary Crafts Market. Creativity meets function at this popular fair featuring 250 artisans that design everything from hand-crafted shoes to colorful glassware to custom furniture. One of the largest events of its kind in the country, this year's market includes: Joyce Aysta's "Origami Architecture" (really fancy greeting cards); Jerzi Sanecki's decorative brass-and-glass light sculptures (really pretty lampshades); and Rubaiyat shoes ("from classic brown flats to flaming red python pumps"). In other words, you'll only see this one-of-a-kind of stuff here. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $7. Through Nov. 2. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica. (310) 285-3655. http://www.craftsource.org.
Wed., Nov. 5
"By the Waters of Babylon" at the Geffen Playhouse. Mexican actor Demian Bichir's handsome face is already familiar to many fans of Showtime's "Weeds," where he plays Mary Louise-Parker's fourth-season love interest. But now, the descendant of an accomplished theatrical family from Mexico and an acclaimed actor in his own right will be gracing the U.S. stage for the first time in Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Schenkkan's new play. Bichir will play a Cuban immigrant who is hired to weed (strange coincidence) the garden of a widow, played by Shannon Cochran, an acclaimed stage actress who has performed at some of America's most prestigious theaters. The two-character contemporary love story is making its Los Angeles premiere at the venerable Geffen Playhouse. Tue.-Sun. Through Dec. 7. $40-$74. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood Village. (310) 208-5454. http://www.geffenplayhouse.com.
Thu., Nov. 6
Madonna's "Sticky & Sweet Tour." On her first tour past the age of 50, Madonna creates a four-act rock/pop homage to her illustrious career, distinguished by the themes "pimp," "old school," "gypsy" and "rave." Sure to be as full of surprises as costume changes, Madonna's travels from 20s deco gangsta pimp to a Romanian folk infused "La Isla Bonita" is full of glitz, provocation and controversy. Two hours with Madonna will last the whole year. 7 p.m. $55-$350. Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 480-3232. http://www.madonna.com.
Fri., Nov. 7
"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." "Why do you wear pajamas all day?" asks a young German boy of a new friend he just made. The boy is, of course, not wearing pajamas, but rather a concentration camp uniform, but the naive 8-year-old who encounters him on the other side of a fence in the countryside outside of Berlin has been so sheltered from the events transpiring in his country that he knows nothing about the Jews, World War II or the activities of his Nazi officer father. Slowly, the boy begins to unravel the horrible reality of the "farm" on the other side of the fence as his bond with the little boy in the pajamas grows into a lifelong friendship. Based on the fictional best-selling novel by John Boyne, this film offers a unique perspective on how hatred and violence affects children in time of war. Opens in theaters Nov. 7. http://www.boyinthestripedpajamas.com.
Sat., Nov. 8
"The Who" in Concert. The Nokia Theatre is giving a new generation the chance to see one the greatest rock bands of the '60s and '70s: The Who. Two of the original members, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, continue to tour the globe playing many of the band's classic songs and new material. Their 2006 album "Endless Wire" was a hit both here and in the United Kingdom. 8 p.m. Through Nov. 9. $67.50-$130. Nokia Theatre, 777 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles. (213) 480-3232 or (714) 740-2000. http://www.nokiatheatrelalive.com.
Sun., Nov. 9
Hearst the Collector. Instead of renting "Citizen Kane," head on over to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a real tete-a-tete with the infamous William Randolph Hearst. This impressive collection of about 170 works analyzes what Hearst collected and why. In addition to his influence in journalism and politics, Hearst became one of the most imaginative patrons of the arts, earning him the title of the greatest independent donor to LACMA. Peer into the mind of one of the most dominant and controversial figures of America, and Los Angeles, as LACMA contextualizes and reassesses Hearst in relation to his art. Museum open Thursday through Tuesday. $8-$12. Through Feb. 1. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 857-6000. http://www.lacma.org.
Wed., Nov. 12
"The Real Thing." First performed in 1982, "The Real Thing," by acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard, garnered a Tony Award for Best Play only two years after it first premiered. Audiences and critics were both struck by the ways in which Stoppard cleverly blurred the distinctions between real life and art. In it, protagonist Henry is a successful playwright, but when his own personal travails start to imitate his art, marriage and infidelity suddenly make for much more painful subjects. All performances will be recorded to air on L.A. Theatre Works radio theatre series "The Play's the Thing," which broadcasts weekly on both public and satellite radio stations. Through Nov. 16. $20-$48. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 827-0889. http://www.latw.org.
Thu., Nov. 13
John Updike at UCLA Live. If you were convinced you couldn't see living literary legends in an affordable, convenient way, this might be the one time you're happy to be wrong. John Updike, the great American novelist, poet and critic, will be making a special appearance at UCLA Live's Royce Hall as his latest novel hits -- and quickly sells out at -- the book stores. "The Widows of Eastwick" is a promising sequel to his 1984 "The Witches of Eastwick." Also by Updike is his famed "Rabbit" series, which has probed the American mind and conscience for more than four decades. 8 p.m. $15-$38. Royce Hall at UCLA Le Conte Ave. and Westwood Blvd. (310) 825-2101. http://www.uclalive.org.
Fri., Nov. 14
"Arthur Tricks the Tooth Fairy" at the Cerritos Center. Arthur the delightful aardvark may not be big and purple, but he's built up quite a large fan base among the toddler to kindergarten set. Based on Marc Brown's popular children's books and the Emmy Award-winning PBS series, the interactive show will feature catchy tunes, such as "Good and Ready" and "The Loose Tooth Wiggle," special effects, a pop-up storybook set and all of Arthur's regular playground entourage: his sassy sister D.W., his pals Buster and "The Brain," his archrival Francine and the wise and wacky Tooth Fairy. Educational as well as entertaining, Arthur's story lines emphasize teamwork, learning and the delights of being a child. 6 p.m. Also, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. $10-$30. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (800) 300-4345. http://www.cerritoscenter.com.
Sat., Nov. 15
Savor the West: Wine, Whiskey, and Song. This saloon-style homage to 19th-century cowboy culture is the final piece in a three-part series that features 1800s "re-enactors" dressed in period costume; a live band playing reels, jigs and ballads; and a focus on Scotch and Irish whiskies to the tune of Celtic music. Don't worry about the drinks going straight to your head; this full-service festivity includes a catered dinner. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. $30-$40. Autry National Center of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles. (323) 667-2000, ext. 300. http://www.autrynationalcenter.org.
Sun., Nov. 16
"The Little Dog Laughed." Being young and gay in Hollywood has never been an easy task, but watching Douglas Carter Beane's Tony-nominated Best Play of 2007 -- "The Little Dog Laughed" -- is sure to provide anyone with some comic relief. Tony-winning actress Julie White plays Diane, an ambitious Hollywood agent who strives to keep her client in the closet so that he (and she) can become stars. Her new client, however, develops plans of his own, as a new love interest enters his life and makes the ruse increasingly difficult to keep up. Still, nothing will stop Diane from pursuing her dream of fame and fortune. The result is what Ben Brantley of the New York Times has referred to as a "trenchant satire about truth and illusion Hollywood-style." Through Dec. 21. $20-$65. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (213) 628-2772. http://www.kirkdouglastheatre.org.
Sun., Nov. 23
"Clara's Tea." This holiday performance for youngsters borrows its charms from "The Nutcracker." Mischievous mice, toy soldiers, the Sugar Plum Fairy -- you've heard it before. But this teaser of Tchaikovsky's timeless ballet comes replete with a Patina-catered lunch and activities for the kids: face painting, cookie decorating, magic and dance. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. $75. Descanso Gardens, Van de Camp Hall, 1418 Descanso Drive, Flintridge. (818) 972-9692. http://www.mediacityballet.org.
Mon., Nov. 24
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The IPO does more than play some good music; it allows for a moving reflection of Israel as a united and harmonious (pun intended) nation. Founded by violinist Bronislaw Huberman in 1936, the orchestra proved to be a sort of haven for musicians who had lost their jobs due to Nazism. Garnering universal acclaim as both musicians and diplomats in their own right, IPO will celebrate its 71st anniversary this December. Help the celebration get an early start by stopping by for what is sure to be an exceptional performance. 8 p.m. Call for pricing and availability. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles. (323) 850-2000. http://www.laphil.com.
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