Sure, Publishers Weekly and The Washington Post have heaped praise, but would Hunter approve? "Gonzo Judaism: A Fresh Path for an Ancient Faith" is the sexy new (rip-off of Hunter S. Thompson) title by Rabbi Niles Goldstein, offering up a new risk-taking, yet tradition-honoring approach to Judaism. He does the L.A. rounds of his book tour today at an IKAR Havdalah, and tomorrow at Temple Isaiah.
Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 634-1870. www.ikar-la.org.
Dec. 3, 1 p.m. $18. Temple Isaiah, 10345 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 277-2772.
Sunday the 3rd
Young thespians stretch their acting and sea legs in The Actors Gang's fourth annual holiday show that brings together the theater company members with 28 elementary schoolers. "Holidays on the Sea II: The Island of Holiday Ghosts" tells the story of a group of pirates who learn the meaning of Kwanzaa, Christmas, Ramadan and Chanukah. The show is free as long as you bring some booty -- in the form of an unwrapped toy for Operation USA.
Through Dec. 17. 2 p.m. (Saturdays and Sundays). Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 838-4264. www.theactorsgang.com.
Monday the 4th
Evolved Renaissance man Richard Milner is the singing anthropologist behind the one-man musical, "Charles Darwin: Live and in Concert." He is the host of Animal Planet's "The Real Lost World," but tonight entertains on stage, tracing the progress of Darwin's theories, from his early discoveries and the "Origin of Species," through today.
8 p.m. $25. Steinway Hall, 12121 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (310) 471-3979.
Tuesday the 5th
ALOUD at the Central Library explores a different kind of sketch comedy today, as they present "The Cartoons of the New Yorker: History Told Through Humor." The conversation takes place between cartoonists Robert Mankoff and Bruce Eric Kaplan, and explores the place their art has held in the cultural dialogue. 7 p.m. Free. Central Library Mark Taper Auditorium, Fifth and Flower streets, Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (213) 228-7025. www.aloudla.org.
Wednesday the 6th
Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel gives equal time to old and new schools in a new exhibition of art, titled, "Two Sephardic Visions: From Classic to Contemporary." Paintings by Anna Mirelle Abitbol (1908-1995) share space with the present-day pieces of Simon Sananas. Today's opening reception features Ladino music by Vanessa Paloma and Jordan Charnofsky. Those wishing to view the show on another day may make an appointment through Jan. 31.
6-9 p.m. 10500 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (310) 454-8020 or (310) 821-5141.
Thursday the 7th
For those who couldn't get enough of Val Kilmer as Moses, the long wait is over. "The Ten Commandments: The Musical" DVD hit the streets last week. For the full Kilmer experience, may we suggest a home double-feature night featuring Val as leader of the Israelites, followed by Val as "Top Gun" rival Iceman...? Just a thought.
Friday the 8th
Alternative metal Armenian band System of a Down has a loyal following and a loyalty to a very personal cause -- that of fighting denials of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. They lend their music and their names to the new documentary, "Screamers," directed by Carla Garapedian, which tells the stories of the world's genocides, beginning with that of the Armenians, and continuing through today's tragedy in Darfur. It opens today.