Gain insight into Oaxacan culture that goes beyond mole sauce this afternoon. The Skirball's latest in their "Cinema: A Musical Journey Through Film" series is "I Am a Butterfly," a documentary about Mexican singer-songwriter Lila Downs that explores her Mixtec roots, and their influence on her art. 2:30 p.m. Free. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500.
The Neil Simon comedy "Barefoot in the Park" returns to the stage at the Long Beach Playhouse. Revisit young love through Paul and Corrie Bratter, newlyweds acclimating to life together -- and to their new living quarters: a tiny New York City fifth-floor walk-up with a skylight that leaks snow and comes with some very unusual neighbors. 2 p.m. (Sunday), 8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday). $18-$20. 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. (562) 494-1014.
Almost in answer to all the "Passion" controversy comes California Museum of Ancient Art's well-timed lecture series, "Religion in the Ancient World." In four lectures beginning tonight, moderator Jerome Berman welcomes speakers on the ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Hittite and Israelite religions, exploring the broader question of how they differ from today's Judaism and Christianity, and offering insight into how it all began. Runs Mondays, March 1-29, 7:30-9 p.m. $60-$72 (series), $17-$20 (per lecture). Gallery Theater, Barnsdall Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. (818) 762-5500.
Forget Purim. Passover comes early to the Arclight this year. Get a jump-start on the holiday spirit with a big-screen screening of the campy-but-classic "The Ten Commandments." It's the movie the way it was meant to be seen -- as big as Charlton Heston's acting, complete with six-track Dolby Digital sound, and featuring Yul Brynner in all his glued-on side-ponytail glory. 7:30 p.m. $10-$11. 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 464-1478. www.arclightcinemas.com
From celebrated actor, director and cabaret star to concentration camp prisoner and forced Nazi propagandist, Kurt Gerron's career is explored through the 2002 documentary, "Prisoner of Paradise," which was nominated for an Academy Award. It screens today as the second in a double-feature by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, following the documentary, "Last Dance," about a dance-theater collaborative piece on the Holocaust by Pilobolus dance company and author/illustrator Maurice Sendak. 7:30 p.m. Free. James Bridges Theater, UCLA, Westwood. (310) 206-3456.
Today, Yoram Gil makes fine art affordable, albeit teeny tiny fine art. Gallerie yoramgil's exhibition, "Petite," presents watercolor miniatures (we're talking smaller than a postcard) by the artist and gallery owner, as well as small works by his gallery artists. His works will be offered for $36, which will be donated to Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, and 10 percent of the proceeds from the other artists' sales will benefit the organization, as well. Attend the opening receptions today or Sunday, before the good stuff's all gone. 6-8 p.m. (March 4), 5-8 p.m. (March 6). 319 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. R.S.V.P., (310) 275-2238.
It's back to the Skirball tonight for a meeting of art and politics. Now in the Ruby Gallery, the museum presents "Visual Politics: The Social Activism of Ben Shahn." The exhibition is divided into four parts, tracing the progress of the socialist Jewish artist's work from the early 1930s until his death in 1969. In that time, the graphic artist addressed concerns including (but far from limited to) the Depression, anti-Semitism, ethnic bias, worker's rights and nuclear testing. Runs through April 18. Noon-5 p.m. (Tues.-Fri.), 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sun.). Free. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500.
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