"Hatikvah" is the collaborative effort of Jewish writer Hal Friedman and Middle Eastern director Roger Mathey on the ever-controversial subject of Jewish-Arab relations. The play, according to their Web site, "is not against Muslims or Jews but rather ... hopes to serve as a piece that will make people not just want to rethink the violence in the Middle East, but the violence everywhere in the world." Hence the title, taken from the Israeli national anthem, which means "hope." 8 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sun.), through July 17. $20. Stage 52, 5299 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (310) 930-7254.
Grownups head south today for the Long Beach Opera's presentation of Richard Strauss' "The Silent Woman." With libretto by Austrian Jewish poet and novelist Stefan Zweig, the comic opera is sung in English, with English supertitles, and tells the story of an older bachelor's love affair with a much younger woman. 2 p.m. (June 13), 8 p.m. (June 19). $55-$110. 6200 Atherton, Long Beach. (562) 439-2580. Wee ones and their attendants learn about Righteous Gentiles at the Jewish Community Library's Slavin Children's Library this afternoon. Co-authors Margo Sorenson and Carla Mishek present a lesson with their children's book, "The Secret Heroes," for kids, their parents and grandparents. 3-4 p.m. 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 761-8648.
Comedian Jodi Miller tackles sex and 80s pop culture in her one-woman show, "Flying Coach." This evening, we are promised analyses of the four female dating archetypes as well as nostalgic montages from the decade of big hair and bigger shoulder pads. What could be bad? Runs through July 12. 8 p.m. (Mondays only). $12. National Comedy Theatre, 733 Seward St., Hollywood. R.S.V.P., (323) 934-1868.
Easily offended types, beware. "The Shabbos Goy" ain't for everyone. Student filmmaker Rachel Pearl's thesis short tells the story of a Lubavicher Chasid named Avram Leibleson, who decides to become celibate after learning he is infertile, and his wife, Shoshanna's, subsequent suggestion to hire a Shabbos Goy to, ahem, pinch hit. The piece will be screened today, as part of the UCLA Student Film Festival. 7:30 p.m. Directors Guild Theater, 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 825-2661. R.S.V.P., www.tft.ucla.edu, click on "film, television and digital media."
For midday office cubicle getaways, Wednesdays bring UCLA Hammer Museum 15-minute "Lunchtime Art Talks" on various works. Today, the subject is "Portrait of Frida Kahlo," by a mystery artist. Guess who.... 12:30 p.m. Free. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 443-7000.
Three artists participate in the "[ALOUD]" series' "In Celebration of Isaac Babel" today. The renowned Russian short story writer gets the posthumous homage by novelist Robert Rosenstone, author of "The King of Odessa," based on Babel's life; Vladimir Alenikov, director of the film version of Babel's "The Drayman and the King," and actor Arye Gross, who will read Babel's short story, "The End of the Almshouse." 7 p.m. Free. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles. (213) 228-7025.
Gottfried Helnwein's work may freak you out, and maybe that's the point. The Viennese artist's work has been shown in noted venues including LACMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian, and he's also designed an album cover for Marilyn Manson. Currently, Schmeidler-Goetz Gallery has some of his new works on display. But fair warning -- depictions of extreme body piercing, SS officers and other potentially disturbing images are par for his course. Runs through July 9. 6-9 p.m. (Fri.), Noon-5 p.m. (Sat. and Sun.). 9013 1/2 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. (310) 273-0135