February 28, 2008
Calendar Girls picks and kicks for March 1 - 7
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WED | MARCH 5
For five fast-talking, irreverent and hilarious performances only, stand-up comedian extraordinaire Jackie Mason will come to town and skewer politicians, public figures and current events for his audiences' delight. "The Ultimate Jew: The Farewell Performance" features the tried-and-true entertainer at his best with new jokes and new subjects during a triumphant return to the stage. 8 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.), 3 p.m. (Sun.). Through March 9. $28-$103. Wadsworth Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 365-3500. http://www.jackiemason.com.
You may never have had the pleasure of hearing Matt James sing, but you certainly have heard of the songs he'll be performing at this Social Circle concert for singles ages 45-65. The three-octave-range singer, who has crisscrossed the nation entertaining audiences for years, will sing classics such as "Impossible Dream," "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and "You'd Be So Easy to Love." In addition, James will also treat the audience to several popular opera arias such as "Che Gelida Manina" from Puccini's "La Boheme" and "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's "Turandot." 7 p.m. $15 (members), $20 (general). Price includes light dinner and wine. Stephen S. Wise Temple, Hershenson Hall, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (213) 215-4333.
THU | MARCH 6
Artist and calligrapher Mordechai Rosenstein creates hand-painted name plaques with vibrant colors and elaborate details. For $100, you can buy one of his pieces with your name in Hebrew and English. For considerably less money, you can receive a hands-on art lesson from the master himself and take home your very own plaque at "Art With ATID." For young Jewish professionals, ages 21-39. 7 p.m. $12 (members), $15 (general). Price includes a light dinner. Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. (310) 481-3244. http://www.atidla.com.
The illusive quest for happiness is the topic of discussion at "Are the Modern Men Broken? If So, Are They Fixable?" sponsored by the Nessah Israel Young Professionals. The debate features two of the most recognizable Jewish speakers in the United States, each with their own brand of self-help articulated in books. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who has made a career of bringing "shalom" to troubled families, recently released a book titled "The Broken American Male." Radio talk show host Dennis Prager also addressed the issue of modern dissatisfaction with life in his book, "Happiness is a Serious Problem," which contrary to the title, makes the case that everyone can be happy. Enjoy sushi and sake with the speakers at the pre-debate VIP lounge, then discover how to improve yourself in order to be happy, and after all that, let loose at the after-party with a special guest disc jockey. 6:30 p.m. (VIP reception), 8 p.m. (debate), 9:30 p.m. (party). $30 (debate, online purchase), $40 (debate, at the door purchase), $50 (VIP, online purchase), $60 (VIP, at the door purchase). Nessah Synagogue, 142 S. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 273-2400. http://www.nessah.org.
Novelist and Jewish Journal columnist Gina Nahai was raised in Tehran during a period fraught with national tension and political unrest. In conversation with Robert Scheer, editor in chief of Truthdig.com, she will discuss "The Enigma of Iran (or Why American Policy-makers Should Read More Fiction)" illuminating the challenges of faith and modernism and the complex psychologies that bind Iranians and Americans. Part of the ALOUD series at the Central Library. 7 p.m. Free. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 524 S. Flower St., downtown. Reservations strongly recommended. (213) 228-7025. http://www.aloudla.org.
Mommy and Me classes are no longer just for mommies. Daddies, grandparents and caretakers are welcome to attend the new Kehillat Ma'arav "Mommy and Me" sessions. The action-packed classes for kids ages 1 to 3 years old are filled with song, hands-on activities, snacks and special guest appearances. Adults are welcome to socialize and join the fun. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., through April 24. $18 (per session), $120 (8-week program). Kehillat Ma'arav, 1715 21st St., Santa Monica. (310) 829-0566. firstname.lastname@example.org.
FRI | MARCH 7
For 11 years, thousands of Jews across America have been coming together once a year to celebrate Shabbat on the very same night. "Shabbat Across America," organized by the National Jewish Outreach Program and implemented by hundreds of synagogues and community centers around the country, is a unique occasion that unifies Jews everywhere in a joyous Shabbat dinner, prayer service and discussion. To find a location near you, call (888) 742-2228 or visit http://www.njop.org.
In Iran, their music is banned and their albums distributed in secrecy. Lucky for you, you don't have to rendezvous in a dark alley to hear Persian band Kiosk perform their political yet humorous songs. Led by singer and guitarist Arash Sobhani, Kiosk skewers contemporary Iranian society with a blues/rock/jazz fusion accompanied by Persian lyrics written by Sobhani. This ethnic protest music was partly inspired by Bob Dylan's songs, and the concert is intended to complement the groundbreaking Dylan exhibition at the Skirball. 8 p.m. $20 (students), $25 (members), $30 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (877) 722-4849. http://www.skirball.org.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of the king during a Dusseldorf street parade in 1910, pretty housewife Louise loses her underpants. Her disparaging and disgruntled husband prepares for a public shaming, but instead, two new tenants come knocking at the door. Desirous to provoke Louise into repeat dishabille, a sexy playboy and a middle-aged Jewish asthmatic set up camp in the couple's spare rooms. What ensues in "The Underpants," a satirical spin on Germany's middle class, is an elaborate courting of a married woman and the long overdue comeuppance her harried husband deserves. Adapted by actor/comedian Steve Martin from half-Jewish German playwright Carl Sternheim's work of the same name, the play was banned by the Nazis during the war, and Martin's update lightly touches upon the anti-Semitism of the period. 8 p.m. Through April 19. $12-$20. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. (626) 256-3809.