JONATHAN FRANZEN (SEPT. 16)
Jonathan Franzen discusses his new book, “Freedom,” a post-9/11 story about the quiet suffering of a Midwestern family. This long-awaited follow-up to his 2001 novel, “The Corrections,” features several Jewish characters — a think-tank neocon, a former indie rocker and a New York grandmother ashamed of her Judaism. Franzen appears in conversation with L.A. Times columnist Meghan Daum. Thu. 8 p.m. $17.50 (library associates), $25 (general). The Aratani/Japan America Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Suite 505, Los Angeles. (213) 228-7025. lfla.org/aloud.
CELEBRATION OF JEWISH BOOKS (NOV. 8-14)
The fourth annual Jewish book festival at American Jewish University features a Q-and-A with comedian Sarah Silverman, author of the best-selling memoir “The Bedwetter”; a 30th anniversary celebration of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” with author Rabbi Harold Kushner and including Rabbi David Wolpe, Rabbi Naomi Levy and Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson; and a Shabbat dinner and discussion with Mosab Hassan Yousef (“Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices”). Other events include Judith Viorst (“Unexpectedly Eighty”) in conversation with The Journal’s Managing Editor Susan Freudenheim and a program with Israeli novelist and playwright Naomi Ragen (“The Tenth Song”). Nov. 8 through Nov. 14. Program times vary. $20-$45. American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-1548. ajula.edu/cjb.
“YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER” (SEPT. 22)
Woody Allen’s latest follows a pair of married couples — Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones), and their daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) and her husband, Roy (Josh Brolin) — through London as passion, ambition and anxiety lead them into trouble. Alfie chases after his lost youth — and a call girl — while Helena takes advice from a charlatan fortune-teller. And as Sally pursues a gallery owner (Antonio Banderas), Roy moons over a mystery woman (Freida Pinto). sonyclassics.com/youwillmeetatalldarkstranger.
“WAITING FOR ‘SUPERMAN’ ” (SEPT. 24)
Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) examines the pitfalls of the U.S. public school system through five students. Interviews with families and educators paint a dire picture of illiteracy, low test scores and barriers to entry at certain schools. But Guggenheim also finds hope in teachers and others working hard to provide productive classrooms. waitingforsuperman.com.
“THE SOCIAL NETWORK” (OCT. 1)
“Fight Club” director David Fincher charts the rise of Facebook, casting Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the Harvard undergraduate wunderkind who made enemies and fortunes on the road to developing the world’s largest social networking site. thesocialnetwork-movie.com.
“LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS” (NOV. 24)
Free spirit Maggie (Anne Hathaway) and Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal), a womanizing, overconfident pharmaceutical sales rep pushing Viagra, find they have chemistry when they meet during a sales call. Edward Zwick (“Defiance”) directs this dramatic comedy based on the memoir “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.” loveandotherdrugsthemovie.com.
JUDAICA ART EXHIBITION (SEPT. 2-OCT. 17)
The Finegood Art Gallery exhibition, Judaic Art Exhibit, showcases the work of nine local artists, including Amos Amit, an Israel native who specializes in batik; photographer Bill Aron; and metal sculptor Rhonda Kap. Meet the artists at a reception on Sept. 12. Thu. Through Oct. 17. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Free. Finegood Art Gallery, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3218. jewishla.org/events.
HOME SWEET HOME (SEPT. 24-OCT. 3)
Subject to change, the innovative Britain-based art company, brings its acclaimed live and interactive crafts exhibition to the Skirball Cultural Center. Audience members buy plots of land, personalize flat-packed cardboard units and transform them into homes ($15 and up), businesses or public facilities. File planning permits to the town council, attend a Sept. 30 town hall meeting as well as an Oct. 3 block party with other residents. The hope is that collaboration leads to community. Fri. Through Oct. 3. Noon-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. $10 (general), $7 (seniors 65 and older, full-time students), $5 (children 2-12). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
MAROON 5 (OCT. 8, 9)
Radio-friendly hits like “This Love” and “Makes Me Wonder” as well as Adam Levine’s good looks have helped propel Maroon 5 to the top of the Billboard charts. The Grammy-winning L.A. band stops home on its current U.S. tour in support of its latest album, “Hands All Over,” which features the single, “Misery.” OneRepublic and Bruno Mars open. Fri. and Sat. 7 p.m. $37.50-$65. The Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 665-5857. greektheatrela.com.
MARC COHN (NOV. 14)
Marc Cohn, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter behind the adult-contemporary hit, “Walking in Memphis,” performs in support of his latest release, “Listening Booth: 1970.” The album features cover songs from 1970, including Wings’ “Maybe I’m Amazed,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York” and Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.” Expect Cohn to play these and his own original work. 7 p.m. $38. El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 936-4790. ticketmaster.com.
“LEAP OF FAITH” (SEPT. 11-OCT. 24)
Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast”) penned the score for this buzzed-about musical, based on a 1992 film. Con man Jonas Nightingale (Raúl Esparza) pitches his tent revival in a rain-starved Kansas town to bilk its gullible believers. But the fraudulent faith healer reconsiders his immoral ways after he falls for one of the locals, Marva (Brooke Shields). Tony winner Rob Ashford directs. Sat. Through Oct. 24. Various times. $35-$95. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 628-2772 centertheatregroup.org.
“RUINED” (SEPT. 7-OCT. 17)
Congolese women seek refuge from civil war violence at Mama Nadi’s brothel in this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama written by Lynn Nottage. The play was extended eight times during its New York run. Following the Oct. 5 performance, representatives from Jewish World Watch, a nonprofit committed to fighting genocide, join the production’s cast for a discussion about the play and the organization’s relief efforts in Congo. Tues. Through Oct. 17. Various times. $35-$55. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 208-5454. geffenplayhouse.com/ruined.