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Jewish Journal

Arts in L.A. Quarterly Calendar: Cultural events through Feb. 2009

by Dikla Kadosh and Lilly Fowler

December 10, 2008 | 3:04 pm

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Robert Dowd -- Pop Art Money -- See Jan.17 listing

DECEMBER

Fri., Dec. 12
"Laemmle Through the Decades: 1938-2008, 70 Years in 7 Days." It must have been an extraordinarily difficult task to select only seven films to represent the rich and diverse history of the Laemmle Theatres chain. But someone did it. For the next week, Laemmle's Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles will screen the seven most iconic foreign-language films to have graced the company's silver screens, each one representing a different decade of its existence. The lineup includes "Children of Paradise" (1945, France), "La Strada" (1954, Italy), "Jules & Jim" (1962, France), "The Conformist" (1970, Italy, France and West Germany), "Fanny & Alexander" (1982, Sweden), "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988, Spain) and "Y Tu Mama Tambien" (2001, Mexico). Films will screen several times a day. Through Dec. 18. $7-$10. Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles. (310) 477-5581. http://www.laemmle.com.

Fri., Dec. 12
The Eco Gift Festival. Get ready, get set, go green! The Eco Gift Festival, dubbed "holiday shopping for the soul," is the largest green shopping event in the world, and it's happening here. For three days, more than 200 vendors will offer guilt-free shopping, along with live, eclectic music; a children's stage; on-site shipping, and free gift-wrapping. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, and Shallom Berkman, Jewish founder of Urth Caffe, will be among the speakers. Presented by the Los Angeles Times. 11 a.m. (Fri. and Sun.) 10 a.m. (Sat.) $8.50 (one-day pass); $18.50 (three-day pass). Through Dec. 14. Santa Monica Civic Center, 1800 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 399-3097. http://www.ecogift.com.

Sat., Dec. 13
"Smokey Joe's Cafe." With a long list of Top 40 favorites, such as "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Yakety Yak," "Stand by Me" and "On Broadway," this musical mishmash of Leiber and Stoller hits is ideally jubilant for the holiday season. Since its 1995 premiere on Broadway, the 39-song revue has been nominated for seven Tony Awards, won a Grammy Award for the legendary duo's songs and featured special appearances by megastars such as Gladys Knight, Gloria Gaynor and Rick Springfield. Starring in this NoHo production of "Smokey Joe's Cafe" are DeLee Lively, Robert Torti and a host of other talented stage veterans. Special performances include tonight's opening night gala and two New Year's Eve shows, one with a champagne reception, the other followed by an all-out party with the cast. 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Through Jan. 4. $25-$150. El Portal Theatre, Mainstage, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 508-4200. http://www.elportaltheatre.com.

Sat., Dec. 13
"Citizen of the Planet." German artist Martin Denker has traveled the world over with superstar photographer Andreas Gursky, going behind the scenes at Athens's Olympic Games, car racing in the Middle East and attending worldwide pop concerts. Now Denker is making his U.S. solo exhibition debut, showcasing multilayered digital images that take inspiration from surrealism, pop art and science fiction. 7-9 p.m. (opening reception). Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (regular hours). Benjamin Trigano Gallery, 612 N. Almont Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 550-6802. http://www.benjamintrigano.com.

Sat., Dec. 13
"Moonlight Rollerway Holiday Jubilee." Charles Phoenix is addicted to thrift store shopping. Luckily for us, Phoenix has put together a collection of the goodies he has found. Now, Moonlight Rollerway, which calls itself Southern California's last classic roller rink, is presenting Phoenix and his quirky, retro holiday slide show. The viewing event will be followed by a roller-skating revue spectacular, featuring 75 championship skaters and celebrating the entire year's holidays, including Cinco de Mayo and Valentine's Day. Snacks and an after-show skating party are included. 8 p.m. Also, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. $35. Moonlight Rollerway, 5110 San Fernando Road, Glendale. (818) 241-3630. http://www.charlesphoenix.com.

Sat., Dec. 13
"Yiorgos Kordakis: Global Summer." Yiorgos Kordakis, a young, up-and-coming photographer from Greece, has taken otherworldly pictures of the seaside that have little to do with the typical shots of children frolicking in the sand or sexy snaps of bikini-clad women. "Like the great Impressionists Monet and Turner, Kordakis captures the haunting atmosphere of sea, clouds and sky in all their entrancing beauty," writes one fan of Kordakis' work. Kordakis has traveled to ocean fronts in India, Denmark, Lebanon and France, among other places. Now in his first U.S. exhibition, he is giving lovers of the sea and photography alike the opportunity to give what some consider average surroundings a second, surprising look. 7-9 p.m. (opening reception). Through Jan. 24 (Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) Free. M + B, 612 N. Almont Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 550-0050. http://www.mbfala.com.

Sun., Dec. 14
Los Angeles Children's Chorus Annual Winter Concert. There is an Academy Award-nominated documentary about this choir. It has toured Brazil, China, Italy and Poland, among other nations. And since its inception in 1986, the chorus has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Approximately 250 talented and dedicated children between the ages of 8 and 12 make up the LACC. The angelic voices of these preteen choristers will bring to life works by composers such as Aaron Copland, Pablo Casals, Randall Thompson and J.S. Bach in a winter concert inspired by literary luminaries Robert Frost, William Shakespeare and others. The program follows the 2008-2009 season theme, "The Poet Sings," and features a varied selection of classical, folk and contemporary pieces. 7 p.m. $24-$42. Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 793-4231. http://www.lachildrenschorus.org.

Sun., Dec. 14
"Responses of the Innocents: American Jewish Artists and the Holocaust." Among the many effects the Holocaust had on its victims and subsequent generations, it inspired artists to create. Three such artists, Jack Boul, Lee Silton and Rifka Angel are spotlighted in this exhibition, which opens today with a discussion of their creative processes and how they were shaped by the events of World War II. Each artist encountered the Holocaust in a different form, Boul came face to face with the extermination camps as a U.S. soldier; Silton incorporated the history into her sculpting, and Angel's art was influenced by the destruction of the home town she left as a little girl. Author and Jewish Journal columnist Gina Nahai will serve as mistress of ceremonies at the introduction of this ongoing exhibit. 2-4 p.m. Through Feb. 27. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, 6435 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 651-3704. http://www.lamoth.org.

Mon., Dec. 15
Reel Talk: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Stephen Farber, film critic for Hollywood Life magazine and The Hollywood Reporter, has been treating audiences to sneak previews of the industry's hottest films for more than 25 years. The veteran film buff concludes this year's preview series with a fascinating film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story about a man who is born in his 80s and ages backward. Starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton, the odd tale is already making waves and is set to hit theaters during prime-time movie-watching season, Christmas. The screening will be followed by a discussion with members of the filmmaking team, including Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West. 7 p.m. $20. Wadsworth Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 365-3500. http://www.ticketmaster.com.

Mon., Dec. 15
"Hearst the Collector" and Concert With Lucinda Carver, Elizabeth Blumenstock and Inna Faliks. Here's a remarkable fact about William Randolph Hearst, the inspiration for "Citizen Kane": An obituary estimated that the newspaper mogul accounted for 25 percent of the world's art market during the 1920s and 1930s. A major donor to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and a voracious collector, Hearst amassed works as varied as a 42-pound suit of armor made of leather, steel, gold and silver and a lavish mother-of-pearl box from the Louvre that once belonged to French King Francis I. Complementing this remarkable collection is a concert featuring a harpsichordist and music director Lucinda Carver, who will be joined by baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock. Part two will star pianist Inna Faliks, who will treat the audience to modern renditions on Bach. 8 p.m. $18-$30. Exhibit runs through Feb. 1. Bing Theater at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 857-6010. http://www.lacma.org.

Tue., Dec. 16
Carrie Fisher presents and signs "Wishful Drinking." It's not easy being an action figure before you can legally drink a beer, but that didn't stop Princess Leia from having one, or two, or many more. Fisher's first memoir, adapted from her one-woman stage show, is a revealing look at her childhood as a product of "Hollywood in-breeding" and her adulthood in the shadow of "Star Wars." After electroshock therapy, marrying, divorcing then dating Paul Simon, a drug addition and a bipolar disorder, Fisher still manages to take an ironic and humorous survey of her bizarre life. Meet Fisher and get a copy of her book signed at this WeHo book haven. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. http://www.booksoup.com.

Thu., Dec. 18
"High School Musical: The Ice Tour." If you're one of the millions who just can't get enough of "High School Musical," the story, music and choreography of the hit Disney movies are coming to an ice rink near you. World-class skaters are set to sing and skate their hearts out, interpreting what has been called a modern-day version of "Romeo and Juliet." The spectacular event now includes a preshow, behind-the-scenes look at "High School Musical 3," accompanied by a high-energy, sing-a-long dance party. 7:30 p.m. $16-$65. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. (213) 742-7340. http://www.ticketmaster.com.

Fri., Dec. 19
"Peter Pan." Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, pirates, Indians -- we know the cast of characters well. But how many of us have actually seen a full production of J.M. Barrie's classic fantasy play, "Peter Pan" -- especially one that features the complete musical score by Leonard Bernstein? Composer Alexander Frey -- who helped reconstruct portions of Bernstein's score that had been previously lost for a special CD -- is flying in from Berlin to conduct the live orchestra. 7 p.m. Tue.-Sun. Through Dec. 28. $30-$70; $10 (seniors and students). Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara. (805) 963-0761. http://www.sbtheatre.org.

Fri., Dec. 19
"Tall, Dark, and Chicano Tour." The star of the "George Lopez Show" is a sell-out attraction from coast to coast, but he's especially dear to Angelenos. Named honorary mayor of Los Angeles for his fundraising efforts and one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America by TIME magazine, Lopez's superstar status is not likely to go away any time soon. But catch him while you can as he regales audiences with his brand of Latino humor that makes people from all backgrounds laugh. 8 p.m. Through Dec. 31. $55-$79. Nokia Theatre, 777 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles. (213) 480-3232 or (714) 740-2000. http://www.ticketmaster.com.

Wed., Dec. 24
"49th Annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration." Los Angeles' biggest holiday show, featuring 45 groups and 1,200 performers, is a proud tradition -- and it's absolutely free! Running approximately six hours, the holiday extravaganza features the county's cultural diversity. This year's highlights include hip-hop group Antics Performances, South Bay Ballet and Grammy-nominated Lisa Haley and the Zydekats. Audiences will have the opportunity to listen to sounds and see sights from the world over, including Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. For those of you who can't make it to see the event in person, KCET-TV will also be airing the event live. Sponsored by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and produced by the County Arts Commission. 3-9 p.m. Free. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-3099. http:www.holidaycelebration.org.

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