Head to Topanga Canyon tonight for an evening of theater under the stars. Lillian Hellman's "Watch on the Rhine" opens tonight at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum outdoor amphitheater. When Hellman wrote it in the late 1930s, she intended it to serve as a warning against American isolationism in the face of growing fascism in Germany. Unfortunately, her call went unheeded, and it served instead as a harbinger. See if it holds up these many years later. 8 p.m. $8-$25, or free (children 5 and under). 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. (310) 455-3723.
Those wishing to support labor come together for an afternoon of Jewish activism and entertainment today. Progressive Jewish Alliance and The Jewish Coalition for Hotel Workers sponsor Justice in the Park, an event aimed at educating and mobilizing the community in support of hotel workers, while having some fun. Families are invited to picnic, enjoy the klezmer/jazz/funk fusion music of the Alef Project, debate the issues and participate in storytelling and art workshops. They are also asked to bring rice, beans, diapers, detergent and toothpaste in support of the workers. 2:30-4:30 p.m. Roxbury Park Auditorium, 471 S. Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills. (323) 761-8350.
Mythic-looking figures float in dramatic pose before elemental backdrops, watery or fiery or both at once, in the emotional paintings of Arina Sleutsker. Her images are fantastic, depicted in rich, swirling color suggesting movement. Titled "Flight of Fancy," her current exhibition opens this week at Finegood Art Gallery. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (Mon.-Thurs.), 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Fri.-Sun.). 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 885-0430.
Dropping today is the new Lisa Loeb album, "The Way It Really Is." At times poppy, at other times acoustic and folky, Loeb's new CD offers catchy tracks, including "Would You Wander," with pretty harmonies provided by The Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers. $17.98. www.amazon.com.
Playwright Yehuda Hyman lends his talents to a free writing workshop for seniors continuing today. Music, movement and dramatic situations will all be utilized to help participants hone their creativity and use personal and Jewish cultural experience in their writing. Although the four-part series began Aug. 4, those interested can still enroll for the last three sessions. 3-5 p.m. Free. Ages 65+. Temple Emanuel, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills. R.S.V.P., (213) 613-1700, ext. 36.
Slime and bubbling potions distract the kids from the fact that they're learning today at the Zimmer Children's Museum. Head over with them this afternoon for some "Mad Science." They'll don their lab coats and meet the Mad Scientist, who, with the help of some test tubes and a little flare, introduces children to the amazing world of science. 2 p.m. Free (members), $3 (nonmembers, in addition to admission fee). 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles. (323) 761-8998.
Tonight, begin with Ophelia and end with Neil Diamond. Ptero Dance Theatre presents "Candle in the Sun," a five-piece dance suite that moves from darkness and struggle to light and enlightenment. They begin with "OmPaHdEnLeIsAs (Madness Within Ophelia)," then move to "Scrape," "Where the Body Ends" and "A Woman in There Somewhere" and end with "Diamond Dances," a celebration of life set to three songs by the sparkly shirted one. 8 p.m. (Thurs.-Sat.), 7 p.m. (Sun.). Special youth concert on Aug.15, at 3 p.m. Through Aug. 22. $10-22. Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 399-3132.