East-coasters may scoff at our notion of architectural history. But young as our city may be compared to the likes of Boston or New York, its also got a style and a story all its own. Writers Gloria Koenig, Amy Dawes and Sam Hall Kaplan have all contributed to the body of literature on the subject of Los Angeles architecture. The three Angelenos convene today to discuss L.A.'s past, present and future in a panel discussion titled, "Looking at Los Angeles."
3 p.m. Barnes and Noble, 189 Grove Drive, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 525-0270.
Proving the adage that age is only a state of mind is the Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theatre's current production, Andrew Bergman's "Social Security." The story centers around two sisters, Trudy and Barbara, who must care for their elderly Jewish mother Sophie; and around Sophie, who breaks all the stereotypes by engaging in a love affair with a 98-year-old artist. Holding the play's theme (and little else!) close to her bosom is octogenarian Florence R. Ehlers, who, in a move as bold as her character Sophie, partially disrobes on stage.
Runs through Aug. 3. 8 p.m. (Fridays and Saturdays), 2 p.m. (Sundays). $15 (general), $10 (students, Fridays and Saturdays only). 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. For reservations, call (562) 494-1014.
No tortured artist he, Oded Gross struggles with the lot of being lucky in life. While it doesn't sound like much of a problem, Gross feels he lacks a focal point for his creative energy. He searches for something of interest to discuss in a one-man show. Thus, his play, "The Frank Thomas One-Man Show," is conceived. And in sharing quirky songs and anecdotes, all under the guise of filling-in for the fictional and tardy-to-his-own-show celebrity Frank Thomas, the self-proclaimed "ordinary man" rises to his own unique challenge.
Runs through Aug. 26. 8 p.m. $10. The Ruby Theater in The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. For reservations, call (818) 990-9163.
Celebrating a career unsurpassed by other directors, LACMA gives us "William Wyler and the Tradition of Excellence," a screening series of some of Wyler's best films. Wyler is distinguished by having guided more actors to Oscars than any other director before or since. Today's Tuesday matinee features Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon in "Mrs. Miniver."
1 p.m. $3 (general), $1.50 (seniors). Leo S. Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 857-6010.
Every artist has her tools of expression. For Caitlyn Carradine, it's a pair of dance shoes and some buckets of paint. Appearing at Temple Beth Torah, Carradine will dance her own choreography to an original music composition. A black canvas will apparently serve as more than a backdrop, as she presents, "Dancing With Paints: A One-Woman Show."
Shows July 27, 28 and 31, and Aug. 3, 4 and 7. $7 (general), $5 (students and seniors), $3 (children 12 and under). 16651 Rinaldi St., Granada Hills. For reservations, call (310) 589-9453.
Parents, take comfort. In your mid-summer, "the kids have been out of school for over a month now," distress, the Hollywood Bowl comes to your aid. Today, and every weekday for that matter, the Bowl features a themed activity and performance geared toward kids ages 3-10. This week's program is called "Expressing!" and focuses on American classical music by Copland, Bernstein and Gershwin, performed by the Lontano Music Group and John Pennington Dance Group .
Time varies depending on age group. $5 (concert), $2 (workshop). 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. For reservations, call (323) 850-2000.
Imagine a skit about a time-traveling Hitler who gets stuck in a 1950s sitcom-style family. Adolf wants to stay in his room and play with his maps, while the women of the family are bent on getting him to go to a mixer. You'll get a nibble of this story called "Too Many Hitlers," as well as nine more by nine other playwrights, tonight. Each piece runs five minutes long and answers Theatre of NOTE's challenge to playwrights to "slam" for five minutes on the theme: "If You Don't Know, I'm Not Going To Tell You."
Runs Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 17. 11 p.m. $10. 1517 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. For reservations, call (323) 856-8611.