April 17, 2008
Calendar Girls picks and clicks for April 19-25
One of the most widely observed Jewish customs is the Passover seder. Another wonderful tradition is to celebrate the second night's seder with your community. There are so many opportunities, we simply cannot fit them all in this Calendar. The following is a small sampling of the many community feasts being held across Los Angeles:
- Passover Festival of Freedom Seder at Temple Beth Torah, April 20, (805) 647-4181
- Passover Celebration at Temple Ner Tamid of Downey, April 20, (562) 861-9276
- Community Seder at Chabad Thousand Oaks Jewish Center, April 20, (805) 497-9339
- Second Night Seder at Pacific Jewish Center (a.k.a. The Shul on the Beach), April 20, (310) 392-8749
- Family Passover Seder at Milken Jewish Community Center, April 24, (818) 464-3283
SAT | APRIL 19
The evolution vs. creationism debate gains traction once again with Ben Stein's new documentary disputing Darwinian claims and making a case for intelligent design. The lawyer, Nixon speechwriter, game show host (remember "Win Ben Stein's Money"?) and author ventured into the heart of "big science" academia to explore the politics underlying the theological/scientific debate. "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" takes on Darwin, the existence of God and the consequences for scientists who openly struggle with reason and faith. Opens this weekend nationwide. Check local listings for theater locations and show times. http://www.expelledthemovie.com.
Love California's sparkling beaches and plush natural reserves? All the more reason to spend an afternoon keeping them clean and pristine during Earth Day 2008 Restoration and Cleanup, a statewide call to California residents to plant trees, restore wildlife habitats and remove trash from our beautiful but sensitive topography. Join the California State Parks Foundation (the only nonprofit advocate for California's national parks) and its 95,000 members, as they refurbish the environmental landscape of the Golden State's most valuable assets. Consider it an Earth Day extreme makeover. Sat. Times vary by park. Free. For a list of project sites, call (888) 987-2757 or visit http://www.calparks.org.
SUN | APRIL 20
Here's a riddle for you: What packs a powerful punch both spiritually and physically? The answer: Orthodox Jewish boxer Dmitriy Salita. The 25-year-old Russian immigrant is a rising star on the boxing circuit and a rigorously observant Jew. Jason Hutt's documentary, "Orthodox Stance," is a portrait of this remarkable young man and the seemingly incompatible worlds he straddles, surrounded by trainers, promoters and rabbis all working together to further his dream. Check theater for show times and ticket prices. Laemmle's Music Hall 3 Theater, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 274-6869. http://www.laemmle.com.
MON | APRIL 21
You won't find Milt Wagonman and partner Marty "the X is silent" Sloyxne on Wikipedia's extensive list of Jewish American writers. That's because the infamous 90-year-old duo, who have done everything from stalking America's greatest comics to nailing themselves to the Hollywood sign in an attempt to get discovered, are the fictional creations of real-life writing partners Tom Leopold and Bob Sand. The successful television writers ("Seinfield," "Cheers," "Laverne and Shirley," "Full House") will be reading selections from and signing their outrageous mockumentary-style book, "Milt & Marty: The Longest Lasting & Least Successful Comedy Writing Duo in Showbiz History." Mon. 7 p.m. Free. Barnes and Noble, 1201 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. (310) 260-9110.
TUE | APRIL 22
Even people with two left feet can appreciate the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies program, "Dance in Israel: A Historical Perspective." Nina S. Spiegel, visiting assistant professor of Israeli history at the University of Maryland, has made a career of exploring how dance plays into the formation of modern Israeli culture as well as Jewish life in the United States. On her list of impressive accomplishments is a doctorate from Stanford University in modern Jewish history and dance history and a stint on the Congress on Research in Dance's board of directors. But can this history buff do a Cherkessia? You'll have to attend the program to find out.... Tue. 4-6 p.m. Free. UCLA, 314 Royce Hall, Westwood. Pre-registration is required. (310) 267-5327 or firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.cjs.ucla.edu.
This meal is not your typical seder. In fact, it's not a seder at all, but a Passover-themed feast any gourmand would happily salivate over. Served eloquently at long, family-style tables, traditional Passover foods such as eggs and charoset are manipulated with onion skins and savory spices. Veering a bit from the traditional holiday foods, leek croquettes will be served along with Pesce en Carpione -- sauteed white fish marinated with caramelized onions in a mustard-champagne vinaigrette. Enjoy an assortment of creative dishes such as Pollo Arrosto with garlic, rosemary and lemon chicken served on the bone. Change it up this year with a mouth-watering meal that will leave your taste buds soaring. Tue. 7 p.m. $40. Angeli Caffe, 7274 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P required, (323) 936-9086. For the complete menu visit http://www.angelicaffe.com/upcomingEvents.html.
WED | APRIL 23
With an honorary Pulitzer Prize to boot, the prolific singer/songwriter Bob Dylan is anything but an unknown. To raise the bar on the hype for their recently unveiled exhibit on his life and work, the Skirball Cultural Center is presenting a one-night only concert of Bob Dylan's most enduring compositions. "Like a Complete Unknown: A Concert Celebrating the Music of Bob Dylan" brings together a group of well-known singer/songwriters including Lucinda Williams, Tim Easton, Meiko and Zack de la Rocha, among others, who will perform their own interpretations of Dylan's music at an intimate, acoustic show. Wed. 7:30 p.m. $40-$45. (877) 722-4849. http://www.skirball.org.
Prepare your ears for a melodic serenade of modern and classical chamber music performed by the Viklarbo Chamber Ensemble, returning by popular demand to the Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles. Indulge your passion for music and let the scores written by Milhaud, Martinu, Newman, Brahms and Bennett clear your head for the remainder of the workweek. Watch as Maria Newman sweeps the bow of the violin across its wooden body. Other talents include Wendy Prober-Cohen on piano and Amanda Walker on clarinet. Wed. 7:30 p.m. $10 (in advance), $15 (at the door). Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000. http://www.vbs.org/
Dr. Seuss' cleverly playful "Green Eggs and Ham" may seem like an odd choice to pair with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," but innovative award-winning conductor and composer Robert Kapilow ingeniously intertwines the two in "Green Eggs & Hamadeus," a fun treat for the whole family. Whether you're a fan of the good-old word-playing doctor, classical music or even the blues, you are sure to find something in the show that will excite you. Join Kapilow, the first composer granted permission to turn the childhood staple into a musical composition, as the critically acclaimed Hollywood String Quartet strums on. Wed. 6:30 p.m. $14-$22. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. (562) 467-8818. http://www.cerritoscenter.com.
THU | APRIL 24
Stand with fellow compassionate community members in remembrance of the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide in an event featuring opera singer Gegam along with a 25-piece orchestra and 70-voice choir. A special keynote address will be delivered by Carla Garapedian, director and producer of "Screamers," a documentary film following the rock band System of a Down as they toured Europe and the U.S. protesting the horrors of the modern genocides that plague our world. Thu. 5:30 p.m. Free. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. (818) 243-2539. http://www.alextheatre.org.
Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein were shrewd businesswomen who built and ruled the U.S. cosmetics industry in the early 20th century. The social-climbing Jewish immigrants, who were vicious rivals, pioneered extravagant packaging of beauty products, celebrity endorsements and the branding of skincare as a pseudo-science. "The Powder & the Glory" is a documentary that explores the immigrant dream, women as "self-made men," and the role of Jews in the fashion industry. Co-writer and director Arnie Reisman will be present at the screening tonight. Thu. 7:30 p.m. Free (members), $6 (students), $10 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.
Recently granted an honorary degree from Whittier College, Justice Richard J. Goldstone will deliver the 2008 Feinberg Lecture. For years, Goldstone has actively participated in worldwide humanitarian efforts. For nine years he served as a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, where he interpreted the new South African Constitution and supervised the country's transition toward democracy. A visiting professor at Fordham University School of Law, Goldstone was chosen by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to serve on the Volcker Commission to investigate the Iraq Oil for Food program. Learn more about the honorable justice's current projects during this informative lecture. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College, 6760 Painter Ave., Whittier. (562) 907-4219, http://www.whittier.edu/.
FRI | APRIL 25
If you've never been to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, you are really missing out on one of our city's greatest cultural happenings. If you're a devoted attendee, you don't need us to tell you where you should be this weekend! The candy store of book-lovers is in its 13th year (a lucky number in Judaism) and is "the country's largest celebration of the written word," with 140,000 expected attendees, more than 450 authors, 300 exhibitors, 100 panels and six outdoor stages! This year's literary extravaganza begins tonight with the 28th Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, hosted by legendary New York Times journalist and author of several best sellers, Gay Talese. An old-school journalist, Talese is widely credited with founding the "new journalism" movement of the 1960s and wrote one of the most influential American magazine articles of all time in Esquire, "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold." The next two days, April 26 and 27, are crammed full of other names worth highlighting, including Julie Andrews, T.C. Boyle, Ray Bradbury, Mary Higgins Clark, Aimee Mann, Maria Shriver and most authors on prominent displays at Barnes and Noble. Fri. 8 p.m. $18 (ceremony only), $65 ("Dinner With Authors Package"). Royce Hall, UCLA, Westwood. For tickets call, (310) 825-2101. For a full list of authors, events and exhibitors, visit http://www.latimes.com/extras/festivalofbooks.
In his sweeping literary work, "Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History," former Catholic priest James Carroll traces the roots of European anti-Semitism. He examines the confluence of religion, politics and violence -- from Jesus' crucifixion to the present day -- and suggests that religious intolerance inculcated within the Catholic Church has motivated war and violence against the Jews for centuries. In a documentary that earned critical and popular praise on the festival circuit, filmmaker Oren Jacoby follows Carroll on a personal pilgrimage through four countries in Europe as he visits religious sites in Rome, meets with church officials and travels to Auschwitz. What it reveals is one man's quest to prove his confession. Fri. $10. Various showtimes. Laemmle's Music Hall 3 Theatre, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 274-6869. http://www.constantinessword.com or http://www.laemmle.com.
Green-conscious organizations and community members throughout Southern California are eager to show you how they have taken part in making the earth a cleaner place to live. Learn about turning every facet of your life green from speakers and exhibitors at the largest green-building AltBuild Expo in Southern California, with a turnout of more than 8,000 people last year. The two-day expo will feature a demonstration by Jewish World Watch on the Solar Cooker Project, which has distributed over 15,000 solar cookers and trained over 4,500 women in the Iridimi and Touloum refugee camps how to operate the devices. Since the project's inception, created to protect women from being raped while attempting to collect firewood outside of refugee camps, rape rates have decreased by an impressive 86 percent. Learn more about amazing eco-friendly contraptions such as the solar cooker at this inspiring event attended by thousands of environmental activists with one universal goal -- to keep the earth green. Fri.-Sat.10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica. http://www.altbuildexpo.com.
Leave your preconceptions and prejudices at the door and open yourself to the vibrancy and tenderness reflected in Lebanese art and culture. In an effort to depict the softer side of a nation often associated with violence and squalor, the Levantine Cultural Center is hosting an Evening of Lebanese Culture, a salon-style gathering with native artists and literary figures. Elias Khoury, New York University professor, prolific novelist, literary critic and playwright, as well as musician Tony Khalife and author Saree Makdisi will gather to celebrate the rich cultural traditions of a complicated and turbulent country. Fri. 8 p.m. Free (donations accepted). Private location in Venice. (310) 657-5511. http://www.levantinecenter.org.
Celebrated playwright Tennessee Williams' work is being reinvented with a production of his award-winning play "The Glass Menagerie," directed by Joe Calarco. As part of the Old Globe Theater's "Classics Up Close" series, one of America's most enthralling writers will be honored with the re-emergence of "Menagerie," a play widely thought to contain elements of Williams' own personal life. Two-time Emmy Award-winning actress Mare Winningham plays Amanda Wingfield, a Southern woman struggling to provide a better life for her children as they stray from her own wishes and advice. A handsome stranger is likely to change all of that. Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun.-Wed. 7 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m. $42-$59. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. (619) 234-5623. http://www.theoldglobe.org/.
Sate your appetite for scintillating sleight-of-hand as magician David Minkin enchants audiences with his internationally acclaimed close-up tricks. Not only will Minkin deliver world-class entertainment inches from your face, he'll also stage the perfect date night. Magic and Wine Tasting in Malibu presents a great opportunity to sneak away with your honey to a romantic beachfront setting. Twirl your tongue in the sweetly acidic flavors of various wines and dare to have the kind of night that will satisfy all your senses. April 27. $85. Also, May 4. The Beau Rivage, 26025 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 795-0269. http://www.magicandwine.com.