The setting is France, during the Napoleonic era for the film "The Count of Monte Cristo," portraying the trials and tribulations of a falsely imprisoned Edmond Dantes. Once out of prison, he is determined to get revenge on his enemies while uncovering treasures on the island of Monte Cristo. Join University Synagogue in their benefit screening of this widely acclaimed 2002 flick, accompanied by a gourmet dessert buffet. $40 (reserved seating with a special gift); $25 (general admission); $10 (children ages 10 and under). 7 p.m. Frank G. Wells Theater, Walt Disney Studios, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank. For reservations or more information, call (310) 472-1255.
Sunday, Jan. 27
If you couldn't get enough of Elliot Gould in "Ocean's Eleven", not to worry. Tonight, he appears with British actress Christina Pickles and screenwriter Michael Schiffer in Literary Stages, an evening of readings at Café des Artists. His presentation of Adam Gopnik's "Paris to the Moon" portrays the experiences of a New Yorker reporter for the living in the City of Lights. A buffet dinner is included. $25 (general admission). Café des Artists, 1534 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. For reservations or more information, call (323) 465-1010.
Monday, Jan. 28
Get your VCR or Tivo ready for "Simon Magus," a mystical tale set in a quaint 19th century Polish village that airs tonight on the Sundance Channel. Land developers threaten to build a railroad, thus destroying the livelihood of the town until a Jewish scholar and a corrupt businessman arrive on the scene. The fairy tale comes alive with comedy by a village idiot, Simon, played by Noah Taylor from "Almost Famous." 1 a.m. Also airs Sun., Jan. 27, 1:25 p.m., Tues., Jan. 29, 9 p.m. and Thurs., Jan. 31, 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.sundance.com.
Tuesday, Jan. 29
In "Biloxi Blues," the sequel to Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs," Eugene Jerome enlists in the Army and leaves behind his Jewish New York neighborhood for basic training in Biloxi, Miss., during the last year of World War II. Paul Lazarus ("The People vs. Mona") directs this 1985 Tony Award-winning play at The Pasadena Playhouse. $39.50 (Sun.-Thurs.); $44.50 (Fri., Sat. and Sun. matinee). Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m., Sat., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and Sun., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Through Feb. 24. 39 S. El Molino Ave. For tickets or more information, call (626) 356-7529.
Wednesday, Jan. 30
Tamim Ansary has a unique perspective on Sept. 11 and the aftermath. The Afghan American author, who struggles with his dual heritage in the book, "West of Kabul, East of New York," will relay his experiences of claiming both nationalities and the possibilities of finding some compromise and understanding between Islam and the West today at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue. 7:30 p.m. 24855 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. For more information, call (310) 456-2178.
Thursday, Jan. 31
What do celebrities like Joan Rivers, Roseanne and Bette Midler have in common? All three possess a Jewish charisma derived from singer and entertainer Sophie Tucker. Born Sophie Abuza to a Russian Jewish family, the feisty Connecticut single mother was so determined to make it as a star that she ventured to New York with only $100 in her pocket. Tonight, she stars in "Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Yiddishe Mamas," part of the University of Judaism's Dotort Program for the Arts. $20. 7 p.m. 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. For more information, call (310) 440-1546.
Friday, Feb. 1
Israel's West Bank is the setting for "Time of Favor," playing tonight at the Fairfax Cinemas. Menachem, a yeshiva student serving in an Orthodox army troop, is caught up in a viscous love triangle when he falls in love with Michal, who is also being courted by Menachem's best friend, Pini. In an act of revenge, a dejected Pini secretly organizes a plan to regain Jewish control of the Temple Mount. $8.50 (general admission); $6.50 (students); $5.50 (seniors ages 62 and older and children ages 12 and under). 7907 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. For showtimes or more information, call (323) 655-4010.