Gene Simmons, Bob Dylan, the Beastie Boys and Susanna Hoffs are proof positive that Jews know how to rock. Enter Belgium-born vocalist Lucy Levinsohn and Jersey girl vocalist/keyboardist Dina Torok, members of Lily's Siren, a five-member, female-led group that won Rock City News' vote for Best Modern Pop Band in 2000. Called a cross between Nirvana and Fleetwood Mac, Lily's Siren did an acclaimed tribute to ABBA last year. Tonight, they perform at Chain Reaction in Anaheim and on Saturday, September 29 at The Gig in Hollywood. $5 (prepaid tickets); $7 (at the door). For tickets or more information, visitwww.lilyssiren.com
When nine year-old Eliza Naumann wins her fourth grade class spelling bee, she shatters her parents' image of her as a disappointment in Myla Goldberg's "Bee Season." Her success culminates as she is picked for the national spelling bee competition, portraying an intimate look at her family dynamics. Through the obssessive compulsive antics of her mother, her devout kabbalist father and extremely introverted brother, the novel proves that there's no such thing as a normal family. Besides being a writer, Goldberg is involved with foreign and independent film and an acclaimed accordian, banjo and flute player. Today, her dramatic account of a Jewish family will be presented. 4 p.m. Congregation Beth Chayim, 6000 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 931-7023.
Beautiful Judaic images come to life for Anne Cheek LaRose when her needle hits the fabric. "Looking Forward, Looking Back" at USC Hillel features the this artist's decorated fabrics, hand paintings, embroidery, reweaving, needlepoint and appliqué designs. Her creations grace museums and galleries nationwide, including the Yeshiva University Museum in New York City, the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles and The Jewish Federation in Los Angeles. Opening reception: Sept. 9, 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Gallery Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibit runs Aug. 20-Oct. 19. USC Hillel Jewish Center Art Gallery, 3300 S. Hoover St., Los Angeles. For more information, call (213) 747-9135.
Catching up on summer reading is one of the best ways to spend a relaxing weeknight. In "Too Many Men" ($25, Harper Collins Publishers), Australian writer Lily Brett's latest novel, Ruth Rothwax, a successful New York businesswoman, is obsessed with returning to Poland with her father. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Brett began writing as a rock journalist, profiling stars such as Sonny and Cher and Jimi Hendrix. This is the fourth novel for Brett, who lives in New York City with her Australian artist-husband and three children.
Veteran expressionist painter David Rosen was so enamored with William Shakespeare's work that he decided to put one of the playwright's legendary soliloquies on canvas. His love affair with art took him from the Cooper Union Art School in New York in 1930 to his present exhibition including the monochromatic "Hamlet's To Be Or Not to Be" along with 23 of his most powerful works. Gallery hours: Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Howell Green Fine Art Gallery, 120 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Pine Tree Circle, No. 107, Woodland Hills. For more information, call (310) 455-3991.
Israeli bassist Avishai Cohen believes in "the big picture." This vision drove him from his early days of piano playing to his current trademark, the double acoustic bass. He was so dedicated to his music, that he abandoned the Israeli army to play it. Inspired by the legendary sounds of Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Cohen, now a member of "Adama," combines jazz with the traditional Israeli music. with which he was raised. The result is a performance tonight with The International Vamp Band. The band adds multicultural flavor to the Sunset Concert series with Yagil Baras on bass, Antonio Sanchez on drums, Yosvany Terry on saxophone, Avi Lebovich on trombone and Argentinean Diego Urcola on trumpet. 7:30 p.m. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 440-4500.
Spiked. Long. Green. Curly. Regardless of the look, many women have a strong, and sometimes strange, affinity for their hair. Tonight, in "Hair Pieces: By Women, About Hair," a multicultural group of female playwrights, from Jewish to Latina, have joined to express the significance of hair in a woman's life. Sponsored by the Jewish Women's Theatre Project, the collection of short plays are a part of the New Works Festival, a series of dramas and comedies including "Direct From Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys" at the Fountain Theatre. $20 (general admission). Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Through Sept. 16. Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. For reservations or more information, call (323) 663-1525.