Thu., June 12
"The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company." The ragtag band of tech-geeks who created such enormously successful hits as "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo" and "Ratatouille" are dissected and discussed in David A. Price's book about the high-minded company and its rags-to-riches success in filmmaking. At his appearance, Price will share behind-the-scenes stories about the animation studio dreamed up during a power lunch. 7:30 p.m. Free. Barnes and Noble, 1201 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. (310) 260-9110. http://www.bn.com.
Sat., June 14
Beastly Ball at the Los Angeles Zoo. Monkeys and hippos and tigers, oh my! The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) is, for the 38th year in a row, throwing its annual animal-filled shebang in support of the educational and conservation of endangered animal programs subsidized and run by the Los Angeles Zoo. No small get-together, GLAZA's event is expected to be one of the hottest parties of the year, including special tours of the zoo, high-end catering, various forms of live musical entertainment and a silent auction with phenomenal items. Ever wonder what really happens in the jungle at night? Here is your chance to find out! 6 p.m. $1,000. Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles. (323) 644-4708. http://lazoo.org/calendar.
Sat., June 14
Toy Theatre Festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Devoted to giving all genres of stimulating art a place to shine, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is hosting a festival recognizing the talents of numerous international toy puppeteers. A delightful treat for both adults and children, Toy Theatre is a production that encompasses two-dimensional rod puppets in mini-theatres that date back to the early 19th century. Adaptations of such classics as "Alice in Wonderland" are only a few of the many enthralling performances that will be taking place over the course of this two-day event. 10 a.m-6 p.m. Through June 15. Free. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-8500. http://www.musiccenter.org.
Mon., June 16
Silverdocs: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival. With documentaries becoming some of the most talked-about films on the silver screen today, the Silverdocs festival is one of the hottest film fests in town. This year's opening-night film, "All Together Now," follows the powerful panoply of creative talent that makes up the Cirque du Soleil production of "Love" at the Mirage in Las Vegas. The closing-night film, "Theater of War," also takes a look at the behind-the-scenes creation of a different theatrical production -- The Public Theater's 2006 performance of Bertolt Brecht's anti-war play "Mother Courage and Her Children" starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. Sandwiched between these two films are many other screen-worthy documentaries. Through June 23. $10 (general admission). For a full listing of films, visit http://www.silverdocs.com.
Tue., June 17
"The Body Has a Mind of Its Own." Mother-and-son science writing duo, Sandra and Matt Blakeslee, will explore how the brain connects with your body parts, movements, space, actions and emotions of others during the ALOUD Science Series on Seeing and Being. Find out how the brain directly links to your body's health and susceptibility to disease. Engage in conversation with science writer and author Margaret Wertheim on how your mind knows where your body ends and the outside world begins. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Mark Taper Auditorium at Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles. (310) 657-5511. http://www.lfla.org/aloud.
Wed., June 25
"Zocalo at the Skirball: The Oracle in the Gut." New York Times science writer Carl Zimmer will discuss surprising and fascinating research that makes E. coli more than just a deadly bacteria in fast food. The Skirball hosts the popular Los Angeles cultural forum, Zocalo, in this discussion of how the Escherichia coli microbe has had a significant role in the history of biology and continues to advance the search for life-saving medicine, clean fuel and a greater understanding of our own genetic makeup. The lecture, subtitled "E. Coli and the Meaning of Life," is part of a quarterly Zocalo at the Skirball series of engaging expert-led talks on some of today's most pressing subjects. 7:30 p.m. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. strongly recommended. (213) 403-0416. http://www.zocalola.org.
Fri., June 27
"American Tales." Mark Twain and Herman Melville, two of the most notable writers in American history, will be brought to life in a musical performance, "American Tales," directed by Thor Steingraber. Los Angeles' Classical Theater Ensemble, the Antaeus Company, is kicking off this year's eight-week ClassicFest with "The Loves of Alonzo Fitz Clarence and Rosannah Ethelton," an adaptation of Twain's comic look at the telephone -- one of the world's most valuable inventions. Meeting by chance through crossed telephone lines, Alonzo from Maine and Rosannah from California develop an instant love connection. Playing off broken and mended connections, "American Tales" brings in Melville's tragic story, "Bartleby the Scrivener." Catch the play's world premiere along with workshops and readings of classic plays featured throughout the festival. 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat. Through August 17. $25. Deaf West Theatre, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 762-2773. http://www.deafwest.org.
Sat., June 28
"Cover Version." This innovative exhibition is the result of a challenge New York-based artist Timothy Hull posed to 20 other artists from around the country: design the cover of your favorite book. Turning the aphorism "Don't judge a book by its cover" on its ear, this clever analysis demonstrates quite the opposite -- that a book's cover is actually indicative of its emotional and intellectual resonance and becomes something of a cultural icon. In the same vein as musicians reinterpreting canonical songs by "covering" them, these artists reify and re-imagine the cultural import of such classics as "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf, "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville and "The Book of Mormon," among others. 6 -9 p.m. (opening reception), 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tue.-Sat.). Through Aug. 10. Free. Taylor De Cordoba, 2660 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 559-9156. http://www.taylordecordoba.com.
Sat., June 28
Heidi Duckler Collage Dance Theatre: "A Guide to an Exhibitionist." Triple-billed as a gallery opening, live performance and party, Duckler's latest site-specific work explores nudity, still-life and the colors framing the space in a performance that ponders the relationship between artist, audience and the physical space in which these three elements intimately collide. 7 p.m. (performances every 30 minutes until 9 p.m.) $25 (includes wine and cheese reception). Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (818) 784-8669. http://www.collagedancetheatre.org. JULY
Wed., July 2
Fireworks Spectacular With Randy Newman at the Hollywood Bowl. This is truly a year of memorable anniversaries -- Israel's 60th and now, the Dodgers' 50th! Deck yourself out in Dodger blue and join thousands of baseball and music fans as you celebrate the Dodgers' Golden Anniversary in Los Angeles. Acclaimed Jewish composer Randy Newman will be conducting, ably accompanied by the L.A. Philharmonic. If you enjoy music, baseball and breathtaking fireworks, this is undoubtedly the event for you! 7:30-11 p.m. Through July 4. $10-$114. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 436-2827. http://hollywoodbowl.com.
Thu., July 3
Sizzling Summer Nights at the Autry. Romantic salsa king Yari More was discovered at a steamy nightclub in Bogotá, Colombia -- and you can discover him too during the opening show of "Sizzling Summer Nights," featuring the hottest salsa bands in the city. Bust out your best salsa moves or learn from the best. Don't forget to visit the taco and margarita bar at Griffith Park cafe and take advantage of complimentary dance lessons on a separate dance floor for your kids. Fill your summer with live entertainment, soaking up mambo beats, Latin jazz, charanga and Afro-Cuban melodies. Every Thursday through Aug. 28. Free (Autry members), $7 (general). Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles. For times and dates, call (323) 667-2000. http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/.
Sat., July 5
"The Broken Jug" and "The Dwarf" Radio Broadcast. If you missed the historic staging of these two one-act operas formerly suppressed by the Nazis, this is an opportunity to enjoy the genius of two Jewish composers when KUSC airs the L.A. Opera performance conducted by James Conlon, who is responsible for resurrecting these little-known works and directing them with passion and precision. "The Broken Jug" is a whodunit with a twist of irony. "The Dwarf" is a melodramatic story about vanity and its consequences, when a young princess is gifted with a deformed dwarf. 10:30 a.m. KUSC FM 91.5. http://www.kusc.org.
Mon., July 7
"American Idols Live." The most successful talent competition in American history, also among the highest-rated shows on network television, begins its summer tour featuring the top 10 contestants from the 2008 season. Host Ryan Seacrest will be on hand with light jokes and exuberant intros while "Idol" favorites, such as recent winner David Cook and runner-up David Archuleta, croon the tunes that catapulted them from unknowns to Hollywood mega-stars. 7 p.m. $42.50-$68.50. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. (213) 480-3232. http://www.ticketmaster.com.
Thu., July 10
"Debbie Reynolds: American Icon -- An Evening of Music and Comedy." The virtuoso entertainer with an award-winning six decade career returns to the stage with a one-woman show demonstrating her comedic and musical repertoire. Chock-full of showmanship, Reynolds is still ripe for "Singin' in the Rain." 8 p.m. Through July 20. $45-$60. El Portal Theatre Mainstage, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 508-4200. http://www.elportaltheatre.com.
Fri., July 11
"A Declaration of Independents: Say the Word."In the spirit of the Fourth of July, the theme of this "Say the Word" comedy program at the Skirball is independence and freedom. Comedian Beth Lapides of Un-Cabaret -- who was called "the high priestess of alternative comedy" by LA Weekly -- hosts this occasional reading series that features fresh original comedy from some of Hollywood's top writers. Joining Lapides in sharing free-thinking and free-wheeling stories will be Merrill Markoe of "Walking in Circles Before Lying Down," Cindy Chupack from "Sex and the City," Stephen Glass of "The Fabulist" and others. Cocktails and light snacks will be available for purchase at the lounge-style gathering. 8 p.m. $8 (students), $10 (members), $15 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.
Fri., July 11
"The Drowsy Chaperone" at the Ahmanson Theatre -- Neighborhood Night! Join fellow theater lovers in welcoming home to Los Angeles our very own Tony Award-winning musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone!" All grown up since its debut on the Ahmanson stage years ago, the musical turned Broadway phenomenon has gained critical acclaim and an abundance of Tony Awards among raving reviews. Come and see for the first or fifth time the hilarious tale of a musical enthusiast whose turntable album becomes reality in the middle of his apartment. Bringing to life a raging bridezilla on her tumultuous wedding day, "Chaperone" elicits the laughs and gasps that only a true Broadway masterpiece inspires. At this special "Neighborhood Night," you can engage in a Q-and-A session with the cast and crew while indulging in delicious food, wine and delightful company that are sure to enhance your evening at the theatre. 8 p.m. Through Aug. 20. $30-$90 (general admission), $115 (Neighborhood Night). Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972- 7513. http://centertheatregroup.org.
Sat., July 12
Summer Sessions at the Getty. Heat up your summer nights traveling the world through music ranging from dance floor beats to classical melodies. DJ Cheb i Sabbah, known for creating North African folk and South Asian music, blends his tunes with vocals from Pakistani singer Riffat Sultana. Self-described "unheralded emperors of Instrumental Staten Island Afro-Soul," the Budos Band collaborates with Spanish artist El Guincho serving up indie-pop, Spanish chanting, thudding tribal rhythms and ghostly harmonies. 6 p.m. Also July 19 and 26. Free. Getty Center, Museum Courtyard and Garden Terrace, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-7300. http://www.getty.edu.
Sat., July 12
Toby Keith's Biggest and Baddest Tour. Grab your cowboy boots and head out to the Glen Helen Pavilion, where Toby Keith, two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year, is planning to show you a honky-tonk time. Ready to prove he's as good as he's ever been, Keith has teamed up with Montgomery Gentry, whose chart-soaring single "Back When I Knew It All," will have you up on your feet and swinging your hats in the air. Keith's pumped-up style and excellent performances will have country fans and newcomers alike shouting "Encore!" -- with a bit of a Southern twang. 7:30 p.m. $17.25-$69.50. Glen Helen Pavilion, 2575 Glen Helen Parkway, San Bernadino. (909) 880-6500. http://www.livenation.com/event/getEvent/eventId/327395.Sun., July 13
"Summer Family Fun Program: Guitar Making." The perfect Sunday outing for families with young children, this weekly series at the Farmers' Market features creative and constructive activities for children of various ages and talents. This afternoon, the Children's Museum of Los Angeles invites kids to make their own guitars and then play them with the Paul Green School of Rock Music, who will strum a set of rock 'n' roll tunes. As an added bonus, the Beauty Collection Apothecary store will facepaint rock-star themes on possible future famous faces. Noon-3 p.m. Free. Farmers' Market, Third Street and Fairfax, Los Angeles. (323) 933-9211. http://www.farmersmarketla.com.
Sun., July 13
"Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner." Although modernist architect John Lautner is considered an aesthetic and sociological visionary and has influenced the likes of Frank Gehry, his controversial work has been misunderstood. His freely expressed form has given rise to space age and even dystopian experiments, making him one of the most compelling and forceful figures in modern architecture. This exhibit, on international tour, is designed as a visceral experience for the spectator, using large-scale models, digital animations, color films, archival materials and drawings to depict the depth and breadth of Lautner's creative genius. A plethora of related programs accompany the exhibition, including panel discussions, film screenings and symposia examining how the architect imagined and constructed his innovative architecture. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (closed Mondays). Through Oct. 12. $5-$7 (free on Thursdays). Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. (310) 443-7000. http://www.hammer.ucla.edu.
Sat., July 19
"Go, Diego, Go -- The Great Jaguar Rescue." Prop up the little ones on your shoulders and dance and sing along with "Go, Diego, Go Live!" a music-based family extravaganza your kids will surely recognize from the hit Nickelodeon Jr. television show. Help restore stolen Baby Jaguar's roar from the Bobo Brothers on an adventure with your favorite characters such as Diego, Alicia and bob-haired cousin, Dora the Explorer. Find your way through the rain forest and giant waterfall, making your way to the Animal Carnivale while singing along to popular songs such as "Al Rescate, Amigos!," "Get Your Growl Back" and "When We Get Down the River." Be there for Baby Jaguar and the animals who need your help! Sat.-Sun. 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. $25-$71.25. Nokia Theare L.A. Live, 777 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles. (213) 480-3232. http://ticketmaster.com.
Tue., July 22
Rick Loomis, Photographer on the Battlefield. Rick Loomis, veteran Los Angeles Times reporter, discovered his passion for photojournalism during a high school internship at the Palm Beach Post. After pursuing a journalism degree at Western Kentucky University, Loomis traveled the world documenting conflict in regions such as Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Vietnam, Kuwait, Mexico, Haiti and Cuba. His work exposes the sorrow and oppression inflicted upon civilians and soldier's families in war-ridden communities. Engage in conversation with the experienced lecturer whose work has been exhibited at several institutions including, the "War and Media Conference" at Berkley, UCLA, USC, Cal State Fullerton and San Jose State. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Mark Taper Auditorium at Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles. (310) 657-5511. http://www.loomisphotography.com.
Fri., July 25
"Montage." Mimicking the daring acrobatics and stunning displays of agility made famous by Cirque Du Soleil, this circus spectacle combines imaginative storytelling with pole climbing, body bending and dance ensembles. Led by The Ringmaster, who orchestrates the dazzling display, the eclectic blend of performance style, starring former artists from Cirque Du Soleil, is both a visual and narrative feast. 8 p.m. Six performances through July 27. $40-$75. El Portal Theatre Mainstage, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 508-4200. http://www.elportaltheatre.com.
Sun., July 27
John Mayer at the Verizon Amphitheatre. Did you crank up your radio every time "Daughters" was played? Have you unconsciously sung the inspiring words of "Waiting on the World to Change," identifying with the generational sentiment? Did you dart your mouse to the iTunes store as soon as John Mayer's last album, "Continuum," became available? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a confirmed Mayer fan. After having sold more than 10 million copies of his albums and earning five Grammy Awards, the talented heartthrob is hitting the road for his anticipated summer tour. Featuring breakthrough artists, such as male vocalist Brett Dennen and "bubbly" Colbie Caillat, the show follows in Mayer's tradition of excellent guitar playing and stimulating lyrics all carried by his smooth vocal talents. 7 p.m. $25-$65. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine. (949) 855-8095. http://www.livenation.com.
Sat., Aug. 2
"Sight Unseen" at The Old Globe Theatre. Jewish San Diegan director Esther Emery has announced that she will be directing "Sight Unseen," Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies' esteemed play. Emery, a recent recipient of the Jack O'Brien Excellence in Directing Award, brings her impressive talents and achievements, and "fits the bill perfectly," said Lou Spisto, executive producer of the Old Globe. "Sight Unseen" tells the story of Jonathan Waxman, a prominent Jewish American artist who goes in search of the enthusiasm he once had for his work and finds himself facing his bitter ex-lover, now married to an archaeologist and living in a small English village. Through the confrontation, he finds insight into the very core of his religion and his art. 7 p.m. (Sun., Tues., Wed.), 8 p.m. (Thu., Fri., Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sun.). Through Sept. 7. $42-$59. The Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. (619) 231-1941. http://theoldglobe.org.
Sat., Aug. 2
"The Puppet Shows: Part II." This is not your kiddie puppet show. Gathering experimental and avant-garde puppetry combining the efforts of 27 renowned artists from around the world, this exhibition demonstrates how the intense emotionality of puppetry can be used to examine the social, political and psychological issues of contemporary culture. Using marionettes, shadow puppets and ventriloquism in various states of manipulation, miniaturization and control, the " The Puppet Shows: Part II " is a three-part live performance incorporating a multimedia peepshow, video, pyromaniac techniques and a surreal puppet opera using shadow, light, animation and the exotic kazoo in an edgy, provocative display of passionate puppetry. 6-8 p.m. (Sat.), 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tue.-Fri.) Through Aug. 9. $10-$15. Santa Monica Museum of Art, Bergamot Station, Building G1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 586-6488. http://www.smmoa.org. Sat., Aug. 9
Rock the Bells with Nas. Major hip-hop artists are making a habit of rocking the socks off partygoers around the nation. This year's line-up includes heavy-hitters such as A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, The Pharcyde's Reunion, De La Soul, Mos Def, Raekwon and Murs. No other venue will supply you with such a coveted lineup of artists performing new and old music side by side. A Tribe Called Quest will rev up the audience with their new song, "The Renaissance," Mos Def will likely perform "The Ecstactic," and Murs will bring down the house with his major-label debut "Murs for President." Check out Method Man and Redman jamming to "Blackout 2," a follow-up to their 1999 platinum-selling album "Blackout!" Ghostface Killah will join Wu Tang Clan bandmate Raekwon to perform songs from "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II." Sat. 1 p.m. $35.50-$78. Glen Helen Pavilion, 2575 Glen Helen Parkway, San Bernardino. (213) 480-3232. http://ticketmaster.com/.
Sat., Aug. 16
"Fiesta Argentina: Simpre Tengo" at the Ford Amphitheater. Take a trip to South America without having to renew your passport, climb aboard a plane or book a hotel room. Join fellow tango, dancing and music enthusiasts for an outstanding show directed by Pablo Motta, including performances from renowned pianist Mario Parmisano's Quartet accompanied by the L.A. Tango Quintet. Sandor and Parisa, the most famous choreographers and tango dancers north of the equator, will lead a group of six dancers whose performances will ignite the passion of tango within all their spectators. Come out before the sun goes down for a picnic, various Argentine arts and crafts, and even some tango lessons! 5:30 p.m. (picnic), 8 p.m. (show). $12 (children), $38-$45 (adults). Ford Amphitheater, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Los Angeles. (323) 461-3673. http://fordtheatres.org.
Sat., Aug. 16
"The Sleep of One Hundred Years." Australian artist Luke Feldman's newest exhibition is based upon the Jewish fairytale, "The Sleep of One Hundred Years," which tells the story of a rabbi's journey after the destruction of the First Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The overwrought rabbi stops to rest and wakes up 100 years later in a new and strange world. The exhibition will include both paintings and digital artwork by Feldman illustrating the fascinating themes of loss, sleep and awakening. 7-10:30 p.m. (opening reception). 12-6 p.m. (Tue.-Sun). Free. The Black Maria Gallery, 3137 Glendale Blvd., Los Angles. (323) 660-9393. http://blackmariagallery.com.
Tue., Aug. 19
Dave Matthews at the Staples Center. As you stand surrounded by thousands of people, you hear the first strum of a guitar as chants of "D-M-B! D-M-B!" make your ears pound with enthusiasm. As the songs that repeatedly come up on your iPod playlist reverberate throughout the stadium, you remember what music really is -- the experience of a Dave Matthews concert. Matthews and his acclaimed band are heading on yet another North American tour this summer and gracing the Los Angeles area, where their fans are abundant, with two nights of genuine, heartfelt rock. 7 p.m. Also, Aug. 20. $65-$75. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. (213) 480-3232. http://www.staplescenter.com.
Sun., Aug. 24
Tribute to Benny Goodman at Cerritos Center. The big-band era is reclaiming its place in the spotlight as renowned clarinetist Terry Myers, accompanied by his orchestra, raise their instruments to acknowledge the musical contributions of the late, great Benny Goodman. Swing to classic tunes such as "Moonglow" and "Stompin' at the Savoy" as you transport yourself to yesteryear. Enthralling audiences for the past 18 years, Myers and his skilled counterparts will remind you of the consuming and bubbly quality of Big Band music. 3 p.m. $28-$50. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (562) 916-8501. http://www.cerritoscenter.com.
Wed., Aug. 27
Hershey Felder in "Beethoven as I Knew Him." To fully appreciate the music of the greats, one must first have an understanding of the life that influenced their body of work. This is the precise goal of Hershey Felder, Jewish composer, playwright and stage actor, who brings the life of legendary pianist and composer Ludwig van Beethoven under the bright lights of the theatre stage. "Beethoven, As I Knew Him" is the long-awaited conclusion to Felder's three-part masterpiece that examines Beethoven's life from the perspective of his timeless music and through the eyes of his remaining friends. Felder returns from his sold out portrayals of George Gershwin and Fryderyk Chopin, for which he received countless awards, to inspire even more audiences to rise to their feet in ovation. 7:30 p.m. (Tue.-Thu.), 8 p.m. (Fri.), 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (Sat.), 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Sun.). Through Oct. 12. $35-$79. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles. (310) 208-5454. http://geffenplayhouse.com.
Sat., Aug. 30
Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood at Cerritos Center. Be prepared to hold your side in pain from laugher as you spend your Saturday night immersed in the hilarity that has proceeded the careers of Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, comical geniuses and stars of the Emmy-nominated hit-show, "Whose Line Is it Anyway?" While the show is completely improvised, anticipate an evening of shocking fun as audience members are brought up to engage in skits and playful humiliation. Who knows? It could be you! 8 p.m. $30-$48. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (562) 916-8501. http://cerritoscenter.com.
Israel Film Festival. Instead of focusing on the political situation that characterizes Israel in much of the international community's minds, the films featured in the 23rd Israel Film Festival tend to highlight more intimate, personal tales of Israelis; stories that depict people as more than just soldiers, Zionists or settlers. A few features to look out for include "The Secrets," about two rebellious Orthodox girls who form a close friendship at a yeshiva in the holy town of Safed, and "Noodle," a film about a Tel Aviv flight attendant who is left taking care of a young Chinese boy after his mother is deported from Israel. The increasingly prestigious Israeli film industry has garnered Academy Award consideration in the past, and to pay tribute to these achievements, the festival will be screening all seven nominated pictures during the June 11-26 run -- a fitting honor on the occasion of Israel's 60th anniversary. For a detailed line-up of film screenings, visit http://www.israelfilmfestival.com.
Thursday Night Jazz and Friday Night Music at the Farmers' Market. The glory days of 1920s jazz are reignited in the open air with an exciting mixture of blues, bebop and swing set to the cool rhythm of summertime. Sway to the syncopated rhythms amid the stirring aromas of the market's delicious and exotic cuisines. Jumpstart the weekend party with the Friday night series, which features everything from rock 'n' roll to R&B. Cover bands, crooning coquettes and vivacious vocalists will share the stage throughout the month. 7 p.m. Through June 27. Free. Farmers' Market, West Patio Stage, Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles. (323) 933-9211. http://www.farmersmarketla.com.
"Huck." When wild child Huckleberry Finn flees the suffocating social mores of the Widow Douglas, he and his runaway buddy Jim head down river for some adventure, but when they're captured by two villains who force them into indentured servitude, Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer and every member of the audience are called upon to help rescue the two hostages and get them safely home in this interactive theatrical romp for the whole family. 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. (Saturdays). Through June 28. $10 (children), $15 (adults). Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 428-3343. http://www.westofbroadway.org.
L.A. Opera ends the season with "La Rondine." Director Marta Domingo, a regular on the L.A. Opera scene, brings "La Rondine," a rarely staged, beautiful production to conclude the 2007-2008 season. Romance comes alive as love and identities are crossed in this dramatic Italian opera. Pucci's masterpiece is best known for its stirring aria "Chi il bel songo di Doretta" and the beautiful scenery set in the Second Empire in Paris. Follow Magda, an upper-class woman, as her past threatens to haunt her future happiness after she falls in love with a man under the pretense of being a working girl. 7:30 p.m. Through June 28. $20-$238. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-8001. http://www.laopera.com.
"LACMA Presents Sundays Live." Summertime Sundays offer free chamber music concerts for a quiet, cultural evening in an art museum. Featuring some of SoCal's most prominent musicians, the series features accomplished musicians strumming their strings to myriad classical compositions -- from Strauss to Mozart, Stravinsky to Beethoven. 6 p.m. Through June 29. Free. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 857-6234. http://www.sundayslive.org.
"Paul Fusco: RFK Funeral Train."We have all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that is certainly the case with Paul Fusco's vivid depictions of mourners following the death of Robert F. Kennedy. The gallery opening for Fusco's photographs, which include shots of Americans after the death of a great civil rights activist, is scheduled to commemorate the date of Kennedy's 1968 assassination. In his work, Fusco represents the most raw and true soul of the American people in the face of great loss and inspires a future generation to follow in the footsteps of a great leader.10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tue.- Sat.). Through July 5. Free. M+B, 612 N. Almont Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 550-0050. http://mbfala.com.
"ShAme" When you think of Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel "The Scarlet Letter" what is the first word that comes to mind? Newly founded L.A. Rock Opera Company opted for "ShAme," Janet Roston's adapted modern opera, set in New England during the time of the Puritans. Using powerful rock songs by Mark Governor, "ShAme" tells the story of Hester Prynne, a woman scorned and banished for having a child out of wedlock. Prynne, the embodiment of female strength, refuses to divulge the name of her secret lover, the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale, and a saga of forbidden passion and unrequited love leads to isolation and revenge. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Through July 16. $25 (includes drink ticket). KING KING, 6555 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 960-5775. http://www.plays411.com/shame.
"August Sander: People of the 20th Century." In what the L.A. Times called a "deeply absorbing" portrait of the 20th century German populace, photographer August Sander captured the spectrum of a nuanced humanity from inhabitants of rural outskirts to cosmopolitan urbanites, from sophisticated students to bohemian artists, prominent businessmen to simple tradesmen whose physiognomy reveal a deeper ethos of the period between the century's defining wars. Sander's prolific series is now on display at the Getty Museum.10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tue.-Thu. and Sun.) Through Sept. 14. Free. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-7300. http://www.getty.edu.
Ford's J.A.M. Sessions. Get jazzed for seven energy-packed dance sessions where you're not merely watching great dancers, but learning to be one. Regardless of skill level, all beginner and seasoned dancers are welcome to groove to Brazilian orixá, gyrate to an Argentine tango lesson or dare to attempt the Bollywood bhangra. Don't worry if you can't dance -- just bring an instrument instead, strumming along with guidance from well-rehearsed performers and producers. Artists and themes include Nirvana, Beethoven, Brazilian dance, hip-hop, spoken word, graffiti art and bluegrass. "We invite everyone from the completely inexperienced to the amateur and professional, to stop by, explore the arts, meet Ford artists and have fun JAMming with those who share similar interests," said Adam Davis, managing director of Ford Theatres. Through Sept. 15. Free. Ford Amphitheater, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. For times and reservations, call (323) 461-3673 or http://www.fordtheatres.org/.
"Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor." Straight from the tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang (259-210 B.C.), comes the largest collection of terra cotta figures, discovered in the emperor's mausoleum and considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. Consisting of several thousand terra cotta warriors, the army has been called the "Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World" and was meant to protect the emperor in the afterlife. This exhibition includes 14 life-size figures and 100 sets of objects all modeled after the emperor's real army. The life-size collection was discovered by farmers who were digging a well in Lintong China when they unearthed a subterranean vault containing thousands of life-size warriors, their armor, chariots and horses, all standing in battle formation. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Thu. and Fri.), 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sat. and Sun.). Through Oct. 12. $19-$27. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. (714) 567-3600. http://www.bowers.org.
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