Playwright Donald Freed wants to determine when America lost its innocence. In "American Iliad," Richard Nixon, in the last few minutes of life, embarks on an epic journey through 100 years of American history, speaking with such luminaries as John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and J. Edgar Hoover. $22-$24. Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m. and Sun., 6:30 p.m. Victory Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. For tickets or more information, call (818) 841-5421. Through July 15.
A jilted young woman decides to take the man who courted her to court in the adapted Gilbert and Sullivan operetta "Trial By Jury," one of four litigious short plays in "Legal Briefs." Other works include J.M. Barrie's "The Will," the Vaudevillian "The Ambulance Chaser" and "Divorce Court Hell," a 17th-century work by Cervantes adapted by Dakin Matthews. $20 (general admission); $16 (matinees and previews). 7 p.m. Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. For reservations or more information, call (818) 506-8462.
Turbulent love affairs that linger in one's conscience are a hallmark of Iranian films. Back by popular demand, Behrouz Afkhami's "Hemlock" focuses on Mahmoud, a successful family man caught in a fatal attraction that turns poisonous, and features a surprise ending that's to die for. Plays daily through July 5. Laemmle's Music Hall Cinema, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. For screening times or more information, call (310) 274-6869.
Alexander Deutsch paints his life story on canvas. "Prisoner Without Cause" depicts the artist's wrongful imprisonment by the Argentinean government and the ray of hope as his sister in America paves the way for his release. In "Synagogues of the World," he illustrates the magnificent beauty of some of the most elaborate temples in the world. His inspiration comes from subjects discovered in Spain, Italy, Hungary, Israel and Romania. Artist's reception: Sun., July 1, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Gallery Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. For more information, call (818) 464-3257.
Bobbie Norman performs the comforting World War II melodies featured on her new album, "Always Faithful," like "Dream", "It's Been a Long Time" and "I'll Be Seeing You" at Cinegrill in Hollywood. Norman, an actress on "Young and the Restless," "General Hospital" and "Port Charles," will be accompanied by a six-piece orchestra during tonight's performance. $15 (with a two-drink minimum). 4 p.m. Also: Sun., July 1 at 2 p.m. and Mon. and Tues. at 8 p.m. The Cinegrill, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. For tickets or more information, call (323) 466-7000.
Confusion and hilarity arise when two sets of twins separated at birth end up in the same town years later in William Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors." One set of twins are born to a prominent couple who purchase another pair of twins from a servant family. As a result of shipwreck, the family is split in half and spend their lives searching to be whole again. Jon Epstein and Michael Spitz star in this music-dance ensemble set in the islands of the Mediterranean. $15. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m. Through July 28. Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., Hollywood. For reservations or more information, call (310) 281-8337.
Enamored by rare, first-edition books, Holocaust survivor Isaac Geldhart becomes a famous publisher in New York in "Substance of Fire." Directed by Beverly Olevin, Geldhart is faced with a moral dilemma after he discovers a new account of Nazi medical experiments. He is torn between his desire to publish the information and his need for a stable family and work situation. $15 (Thurs. and Sun. matinee); $18 (Fri. and Sat.). Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. Through Aug. 12. Theatre 40, 241 Morena Dr., Beverly Hills. For reservations or more information, call (323) 936-5842.