Mix equal parts classical music concert and dramatic play and you wind up with the recipe for "Old Wicked Songs." This Pulitzer Prize finalist tells the story of the turbulent relationship between a young American piano prodigy and his Austrian music teacher, played by Harold Gould, told through words and classical music by Schumann. The Rubicon Theatre Company production runs today through May 19 at The Laurel and Santa Fe Stages in Ventura. 7 p.m. $150 (opening night, includes post-show party), $28-$33 (thereafter). 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. For tickets, call (805) 667-2900.
They let you know when the bad guy's gonna show up and when it's safe to open your eyes. Learn the secrets of film composers when the University of Judaism and USC present "Pass the Baton: Composer to Composer." The three-part series begins this afternoon with a dialog between film composers David Raskin and David Spear that includes film clips and musical demonstration. 2 p.m. $15. University of Judaism, Gindi Auditorium, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. To order tickets, call (310) 440-1546.
Channel yiddishe mammas of days past through the "Yiddish Radio Project: Live! In LA." Sponsored by KCRW in conjunction with NPR's radio series, the multimedia show is hosted by Henry Sapoznik, a man who has spent the last 15 years finding and preserving clips from the "golden age" of Yiddish radio. The show features live klezmer music by The Yiddish Radio All Star Band as well as radio clips with projected English translations. 8 p.m. $15 (general), $12 (KCRW and Skirball members), $8 (students). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 655-8587.
Didn't get the tax refund you'd hoped for? Catch the documentary "The Children of Chabannes" from 10-11:30 p.m. on KCET. In addition to being free, it will remind you of what's really important. The uplifting film details the heroism of a school director and several teachers, who, with the help of Jewish rescue organizations, hid more than 400 Jewish children from the Nazis.
Do your kids' musical preferences make you feel like a hostage in your own car? Does the name Britney Spears bring new meaning to the term road rage? Debbie Friedman may just have the answer to your prayers. She's come out with two new albums that are parent and kid friendly. Let the acclaimed singer/songwriter's "Water in the Well" CD bring you inspiration, or learn some Hebrew basics with her other new release, "The Alef Bet." For more information, visit www.soundswrite.com.
Sophie Keller's father wants to know why she can't find a nice Jewish boy. Sound familiar? Listen to her lighthearted kvetch on the travails of the dating scene, among other things, in her one-hour, one-woman show, "I'd Rather Be Weird Than Dead!" 8 p.m. $10. The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For reservations, call (310) 452-5634, ext 1.
Get decked out for a worthy cause and watch the men of "The Full Monty" take it all off. It's Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services' gala evening at the Ahmanson Theatre, with a performance of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical. The event begins with a pre-performance dinner in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Grand Hall. Proceeds go to Vista Del Mar's residential treatment facility, private adoption agency, foster-care program and other children's services. 5:30 p.m. (cocktails), 6 p.m. (dinner), 8 p.m. (performance). $550, $350 and $200 (performance only). For reservations, call (310) 836-1223, ext 270.
What do you get when you put four legendary Jewish comedians on one panel discussion? We can't wait to find out. Shelley Berman, Shecky Greene, Jeffrey Ross and Jerry Stiller sit down with moderator Barry Glassner to discuss "Jewish Comedy Then and Now." The evening is sponsored by USC's Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life and Writers Bloc, and is based on "The Haunted Smile" by Lawrence Epstein. 7:30 p.m. $15. Temple Emanuel, 300 N. Clark Drive, Beverly Hills. For reservations, call (310) 335-0917.
Like, omigod! Looks like there's a lot more to Valley culture than shopping malls and hairspray. Hillel at Pierce and Valley Colleges is hosting the Jewish Student Art Exhibit: A Celebration of Valley Artists. See the works of 23 different artists. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Finegood Art Gallery, Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. Through May 12. For more information, call (818) 464-3218.