With awards nights very much in season, our organizations hold their own this evening. Two big fat Jewish galas honor (who else?) good ol' Hollywood. Head to the 818 for Hillel at Pierce and Valley Colleges' "Comedy Nite 2004: Our Big Fat 40th Anniversary Celebration," honoring actress Lainie Kazan ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding"). Or, opt for a pricier black tie-optional affair at the Director's Guild. The "Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem Honors 'ER'" dinner salutes the TV show's producers and cast members, and remembers the many contributions of Dr. David Applebaum, the Shaare Zedek director of emergency medicine who was killed in a suicide bombing. "Comedy Nite 2004: Our Big Fat 40th Anniversary Celebration:" 8 p.m. Pierce College, Woodland Hills. $20-$25. (818) 887-5901. "Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem Honors ER:" 8 p.m. The Director's Guild of America, Los Angeles. $500. (310) 229-0915.
Not the beer guy, but still worth your notice is G.W. Pabst, a German filmmaker who left the country at the outbreak of World War II, but returned to direct two films under the Nazi regime. The choice resulted in a controversy that followed him the rest of his life, despite his denial of any allegiance to the Reich. Today, UCLA Film and Television Archive screens "The Last Ten Days" and "Westfront 1918," two in their "The Films of G.W. Pabst" series. 7 p.m. $5-$8. James Bridges Theatre, UCLA, Westwood. (310) 206-8013.
David Krakauer makes his Carnegie Hall debut later this month. But for those not headed to the Big Apple anytime soon, his "Live in Krakow" CD offers the next best thing. The clarinetist has been praised for his improvisational talents and versatility, as well as his ability to create modern variations on the traditional by merging klezmer with other East European Jewish music. $17.98. www.amazon.com .
One family, four kids, four cellos. The Werner Cello Quartet, made up of siblings Andree, Mariel, Luc and Helene, plays at the University of Judaism's Young Artists Series today. Providing vicarious nachas for parents and grandparents alike, they'll play pieces from Vivaldi, Haydn, Bruch and Jongen. 11 a.m. $10 (concert), $18-$20 (concert and luncheon). 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. (310) 440-1283.
Last day to view Moroccan-born Israeli artist Salomon Illouz's "Metamorphoses" paintings and prints. A sort-of organized chaos pervades his colorful abstracts. See them today at the Don O'Melveny Gallery, along with the work of two other Los Angeles-based artists: Rebecca Edwards and Peter Holden. Noon-6 p.m. (Tuesday-Saturday). 9009 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. (310) 273-7868.
An independent filmmaker before Sundance made it hip, Chantal Akerman has been making everything from minimalist narratives, to musicals, to documentaries since the early 1970s. Beginning today, and running through Feb. 8, REDCAT at Walt Disney Concert Hall presents some of the Belgian artist's films, including a new 35-mm print of one of her most celebrated works, "Jeanne Dielman" and her most recent film, "A Voice in the Desert." Akerman will also be on hand to introduce some screenings. 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 237-2800
Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts' current show features "California Modernism: The Legacy of Five Exceptional Artists." The five, namely Mabel Alvarez, Edward Biberman, Boris Deutsch, Francis de Erdely and Sueo Serisawa, each lend their own distinctive voices to the artistic period, from the 1920s to the 1940s. Deutsch's particular variation on the theme involves a focus on portraits: of women, of Jews at prayer and (a masterwork) of Jesus. They are on view with the exhibit, through April 30. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tuesday-Saturday). 9200 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 200, Beverly Hills. (310) 273-8838.