TUE | FEB 4
“OUT OF THE SHADOWS: BIBLICAL WOMEN IN THE PERSIAN PERIOD”
Tamara Cohn Eskenazi explores the Persian period of the Hebrew Bible not only as an example of reconstruction of Jewish life under Persian rule, but as a moment when women became pronounced participants in biblical literature. With the Book of Esther as the most familiar, Eskenazi compares the representations of women in the Kethuvim with women’s lives in the contemporaneous world. Tue. Noon. Free. RSVP requested. Royce Hall at UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 267-5327. cjs.ucla.edu.
Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins brings a little closer the lives of girls who can seem very far away. Spotlighting young women from around the world who are all, in their own way, revolutionizing their communities so that anyone can thrive, the documentary reveals the promise of an equal future. After the screening, there will be light refreshments and a conversation with film producer Alex Dionne and Devashri Mukherjee, American Jewish World Service’s India in-country consultant. Tue. 7 p.m. $18. New Roads School, Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 843-9588. ajws.org.
“THE GERMAN DOCTOR”
The year is 1960 when a German physician becomes the guest of an Argentinean family living in Patagonia. The family is charmed by the knowledgeable doctor, but as he becomes fascinated with 12-year-old Lilith, we’re left asking who is this man really? And has he left his past behind him? Written and directed by Lucia Puenzo, the film features an impressive cast and a captivating story. Tue. 8 p.m. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
“THE BIRTHDAY PARTY”
Oscar winner William Friedkin directs Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter’s most famous and enigmatic work. When two strangers rattle the monotony of an English seaside boarding house, a potentially out-of-his-mind Stanley is thrown a birthday party. Chaos and mischief follow as characters reveal their more whimsical, eccentric and twisted selves. Featuring Katie Amess, Frances Barber, Steven Berkoff, David O’Hara, Tim Roth and Nick Ullett. Tue. 8 p.m. $37-$57. Through March 16. Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 208-5454. geffenplayhouse.com.
WED | FEB 5
“FACING THE THREAT FROM WITHIN: HOW TO BUILD A JEWISH DEMOCRATIC STATE”
As young a country as it is, Israel continues to be a changing and evolving society, facing both opportunities and challenges as one of the most heterogeneous regions in the world. A panel of three Israel experts and think-tank leaders will share individual experiences they’ve had with the Israeli government, views on Israeli reality and some problem-solving strategies. Panelists include Dan Ben-David, executive director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel; Steven Popper, RAND senior economist and senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute; and Glenn Yago, senior research fellow at the Milken Institute. Visiting graduate researcher Ruth Abramzon moderates. Wed. 4:30 p.m. Free. UCLA Faculty Center, Hacienda Room, 480 Charles Young Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 825-9646. international.ucla.edu/israel.
FRI | FEB 7
“SAY THE WORD: BLEEDING HEARTS”
It’s never too early to be skeptical about Valentine’s Day. Am I right? Do bitter the proper way — by joining some of the funniest comics out there as they share their own stories of love and heartbreak. Kevin Nealon, Beth Lapides, Lauren Weedman and more offer up a hilarious night of redefining romance. Light fare and cocktails will be available for purchase. Ages 21 and older. Fri. 8 p.m. $15 (general), $10 (members), $8 (students). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
He’s that typical nice Jewish boy except that he also graduated from USC and studied at the British American Drama Academy. Whether improvising with the Upright Citizens Brigade, guest starring on “Two Broke Girls” and “Arrested Development,” or working alongside Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig’s “The Heat,” Ray has his wits all about him. Ages 18 and over. Fri. 8 p.m. $15 (two-item minimum). Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood. (323) 651-2583. hollywood.improv.com.
BELA FLECK AND BROOKLYN RIDER
It’s the banjo like you’ve never seen it before. Having basically reinvented the image and sound of the banjo through both composition and technique, Fleck has long been associated with innovative collaborations and singular solo performances. The Grammy winner joins Brooklyn Rider, a quartet that celebrates a huge span of history, geography and genres. Fri. 8 p.m. $25-$65. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. (818) 677-3000. valleyperformingartscenter.org.