SAT | MAY 10
You’ve seen “Scandal,” “The West Wing” and “House of Cards,” but what is Washington, D.C., politics actually about? In his new book, “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral,” the chief national correspondent for The New York Times gives us the skinny, whether we like it or not. Leibovich discloses there are no longer Democrats or Republicans — just millionaires. You’ll discover some distasteful news, stunning inside scoops and stories so outrageous, you can’t help but laugh. Sat. 4 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. booksoup.com.
TUE | MAY 13
“THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA”
Writer, activist, friend to painter Paul Cezanne — it’s no wonder he has a fictionalized biography of his life. Directed by William Dieterle, the film stars Paul Muni as the man who brought you “Thérèse Raquin” and “Nana,” and focuses on Zola’s paramount defense of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army who was accused of treason. Winner of an Oscar for best picture, it’s not a shabby way to spend an afternoon. Tue. 1:30 p.m. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org
WED | MAY 14
“DISCOVERING JOY AFTER HEARTBREAK”
Life can sometimes deal an unfair hand, throw a curve ball or test us a little too often. “The Broken and the Whole: Discovering Joy After Heartbreak” is Rabbi Charles Sherman’s new book on how we can live with, and even conquer, the fragments we have left. Touching on concepts such as faith, time, regret and joy, Sherman, who will be in discussion with his son Rabbi Erez Sherman, shares personal stories that just might help with your own. There will be a book signing following the program. Wed. 7:30 p.m. $18 (non-members), $10 (IKAR and Sinai Temple members). Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 481-3243. sinaitemple.org.
“EMMA GOLDMAN: LOVE, ANARCHY, AND OTHER AFFAIRS”
The year is 1901, and Emma Goldman is loud and passionate about advocating for the working class, free love and gay rights. As an anarchist, feminist and someone occasionally wanted by the law, the writer made a lot of political noise about a radical vision for the future. Written by Jessica Litwak, actress McCready Baker is directed by Gina Young in a marathon stage performance scored by a punk-rock soundtrack. Wed. 8 p.m. $20. Through Sat. Civic Center Studios, 207 S. Broadway, Suite 1, Los Angeles. emmagoldman2014.com.
THU | MAY 15
All right, this is a big deal. Seinfeld (of “Seinfeld,” “The Marriage Ref” and “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”) will be on local stages two — count them — two nights in a row. The first night, Seinfeld is joined by fellow comedic heavyweights Jason Alexander and Ray Romano for some standup, a Q-and-A and to benefit The Fulfillment Fund: Empowering Youth Through Education. The following night and a bit farther away, he will be joking solo, but this time he’s doing two shows. Could be the funniest 24 hours there ever was! Wed. 8 p.m. $49-$250. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 655-0111. sabantheatre.org. Thu. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $101.50-$225.50. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside. (951) 779-9804. foxriversidelive.com.
FRI | MAY 16
BIG SUNDAY WEEKEND
Finally! The weekend we’ve all been waiting for. Time to get our hands dirty and open our hearts during these three days dedicated to bettering our community. Whether you decide to pitch in with some city beautification, support our troops with “Operation Gratitude” or ensure meals for people who rely on food banks, your contribution will be “big.” See website for the huge number of times, locations and RSVP options. Fri. through Sun. All day. bigsunday.org. (323) 549- 9944.
The title says it all. First-time filmmaker Dana Ben-Ari is introducing herself to the world with a little controversy, which never hurts a debut. Exploring all the aspects and territories of a child-rearing choice that has become part of a very public dialogue, Ben-Ari is provocative, humorous and informative about a taboo practice. Executive produced by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, the documentary will be interesting to parents, children and all those in between. Fri. Various Times. $11 (general admission), $8 (children, seniors, matinee). Monica 4, 1332 Second St., Santa Monica. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.
“THE PROMISED LAND”
Based on the novel by Nobel laureate Wladyslaw Reymont, Andrzej Wajda’s film follows three friends in Lodz at the turn of the century: a Polish nobleman, a German and a Jew. The three will stop at nothing to build their industrial empire. Whether it’s treachery or fraud, brutal chaos or moments of luxury, the film deals with the nuance of business. Nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign language film, it offers audiences an artistic treat. Fri. 9:10 p.m. $3 (members and students), $5 (general). Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 857-6010. lacma.org.