Two films in the month-long "Artificial Humans in the Cinema" series at LACMA explore the alternately dangerous and humorous effects of experimenting with perfection. First in this robotic double feature is cult classic "The Stepford Wives," by master screenwriter William Goldman, taking the concept of the perfect wife to its logical conclusion. Next up, the search for the perfect man leads one woman to John Malkovich and his battery powered alter-ego in "Making Mr. Right." 7:30 p.m. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For information, call (323) 857-6010; for tickets, call (877) 522-6225.
Laugh for a good cause at "Heidi Joyce's Stand Up Against Domestic Violence"benefit show and CD-release party. The show features Joyce along with seven moreof L.A.'s funniest women, and benefits the Theatre of Hope for Abused Women (T.H.A.W.), which sends outreach arts and educational programs to women's shelters. 2 p.m. $15. Bitter Truth Theatre, 11050 Magnolia Blvd.,North Hollywood. For reservations and information, call (818) 766-9702.
For Memorial Day, take a look back at World War II through the uniqueperspective of teenagers. Set in a USO Canteen in 1942, "CAN'TEEN: Letters to the Front" is the rousing musical story of teens respondingto a world at war, told through letters to fathers, brothers, teachers and friends gone to fight. $12.50 (11 a.m. and 2 p.m. shows); $15 (7 p.m. show). The Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth Street, Santa Monica. For reservations call (310) 394-9779 ext. 2, or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com
The Skirball Cultural Center in association with the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center in New York City presents a special evening with author Robert Stone. A National Book Award winner for his 1975 novel "Dog Soldiers," Stone's latest book is "Damascus Gate", a political thriller set in Jerusalem. The Boston Globe raves, "No other writer can capture so profoundly the human struggle for reason and mercy." 7:30 p.m. $8 (general); $6 (members); Free (students with valid ID).
The photography of James Casebere, at once compelling and ironic, gets its first Los Angeles retrospective in over a decade at Grant Selwyn Fine Art. Casebere builds intricate, small-scale models and then, using dramatic lighting effects, photographs the miniatures to achieve images which often blur the line between fact and fiction. The subject matter includes prisons, courtrooms, ghettos and hallways, yet despite this focus on public spaces, there is no human presence in Casebere's work. The exhibition, a marriage of architecture and film noir style, runs through July 8. Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 341 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 777-2400.
1Thursday"At the End of the Century: One Hundred Years of Architecture," a monumental exhibition exploring the history of architecture and urbanism in the twentieth century, features over 1,000 objects including original and newly commissioned scale models, photographs, furniture and artifacts. Presented thematically in 21 sections which examine how architecture has changed in response to cultural, political, and economic factors, the MOCA at The Geffen Contemporary exhibition also includes "The Unbuilt," computer graphics films of four unrealized architectural projects. This is a museum show for anyone who has wondered how we arrived at the built environment in which we live today. Through September 24. Admission: $6 (general); $4 (students and seniors); Free (Thurs., 5-8 p.m.). 152 North Central Avenue, Downtown Los Angeles. (213) 621-2766.
When the corruptions of intolerance and bigotry invade the sanctuary of family life, the pain of that conflict can destroy lives. Two short plays by Bertolt Brecht opening today at the Lee Strasberg Creative Center dramatize this sorrow and the damage done, both set in the earliest days of Nazi Germany. "The Jewish Wife" concerns a wealthy Jewish woman married to a German doctor, and her agonizing ambivalence about the marriage and her survival as a Jew. "The Informer" reflects the fear and paranoia a Lutheran professor and his wife feel when they suspect that their son, a member of the Hitler youth, is spying on them. As you leave the theater, past West Hollywood nightclubs partying on and nearby shops of the Fairfax District closed for Shabbat, the successes and continued urgency of the struggle with intolerance will be clearer than ever. Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 7 p.m., through July 9. $8. 7936 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 650-7777.