Washington D.C.-based political comedy troupe The Capitol Steps "put the mock in democracy" with 20 albums worth of satirical songs, from the mid-'80s fun of "We Arm the World" to their most recent, "It's Not Over 'Til the First Lady Sings." The group performs more than 500 shows a year across the country, and now, at the height of the current political season, The Steps take the stage with their songs and skits at the Alpert JCC in Long Beach. $45/$55. 8 p.m. 3801 E. Willow Street, Long Beach. For reservations or more information, call (562) 426-7601.
"Kastner's Trial" tells the story of Dr. Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian Jewish leader who negotiated directly with the Nazis to save Jewish lives. Denounced after WWII as a collaborator, he was assassinated in 1957. The 1994 Israeli film examines the complicated question of Kastner's guilt or innocence as a man who "sold his soul to the devil" in order to save lives. Screenwriter Motti Lerner will answer questions after the screening, which is sponsored in conjunction with the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles. 7 p.m. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. For reservations, call (310) 772-2528.
Also today, at A Shenere Velt Gallery, the feminist art collective Mother Art presents "Domestic Stories," a literary tea. Carolyn Allport will read from her meditation on motherhood, "Accident! A Tale of Two Sons, or How Life Imitates Defensive Driving." Poets Julia Stein, Cherry Jean Vasconcellos and Ellyn Maybe are also featured. 2 p.m. A Shenere Velt Gallery at the Workmen's Circle, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 552-2007.
In the absurdist Faustian musical comedy "Roscoe Spitzer Is Afraid of Dying," the eponymous struggling folk singer, plagued with self-doubt, receives an invitation from a mysterious company. Hoping for a motivational push, he goes along, with danger and music following in his wake. $5. 8 p.m. Al's Bar and National Theatre, 303 S. Hewitt St., Los Angeles. For more information, call (213) 626-7213.
Accomplished sculptor and former surgeon Sy Rosenwasser's deft hands create forms both lifelike and abstract. Examples of both are on display in Rosenwasser's latest exhibit, "Boundaries." The 15 bronze sculptures in the exhibit are grouped into three related categories: the Family group includes more representational pieces, while the Joy series includes abstracted depictions of the female form, and the works that make up "Flight 2000" symbolically represent earthly limitations. Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin personally commissioned Rosenwasser to create his likeness in bronze, as has Stephen Spielberg. Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Through Nov. 25. The Loft at BGH Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. For more information, call (310) 315-9502.
While the theater, literature, dance and visual arts highlighted in this column often speak to our hopes and fears for Israel, the recent violence in the region has put the art of diplomacy at the forefront, and in that medium former President Jimmy Carter is a skilled veteran. This afternoon the broker of the Camp David Accord between Egypt and Israel will deliver a lecture, titled "Talking Peace," in which he discusses conflict resolution and the prevention of violence around the world. A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture. 4 p.m. Royce Hall, UCLA. For more information, call (310) 794-5081.
A five-week documentary film series led by filmmaker Laurie Russman begins today at the University of Judaism. Each meeting of the series features a documentary focusing on Jewish subject matter, with the filmmakers or other invited guests answering questions and discussing their work after the screening. Some of the films to be screened include "LA Mohel," "Trailers Schmailers" and "Jews and Buddhism: Belief Amended, Faith Revealed." 7-9:30 p.m. Thursdays through Dec. 7. $200. 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. To register or for more information, call (310) 440-1246.
Art Spiegelman is best known for his "Maus" books, the only graphic novels ever to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, which tell a story of surviving the Holocaust. Spiegelman also creates often controversial cover art for The New Yorker and has written a children's book, "Open Me...I'm A Dog." With his wife Francoise Mouly, the art editor for The New Yorker, he has created "Little Lit: Folklore and Fairy Tale Funnies" a melding of comic book artwork and traditional tales. Tonight at Storyopolis, Spiegelman and Mouly present a discussion of this latest work with a slide show and book signing for grown-ups as part of the "Storyopolis After Hours" series. 6-8 p.m. 116 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 358-2500.