What if your life depended on how well you can spin a tale? That is the incredible premise of "The Thousandth Night," the acclaimed play written by Carol Wolf. Ron Campbell, who has performed in this production all over the world including at Tel Aviv's Habima Theatre, plays the role of a French actor on a derailed train to Buchenwald in 1943. His one chance at freedom lies in the telling of "1001 Arabian Nights."
Thu.-Sun., through July 15. $37-$50. Colony Theatre Company, 555 N. Third St., Burbank. (818) 558-7000. www.colonytheatre.org.
Sunday the 17th
After Father's Day brunch, bring the family to "The Stuff of Memories" event at the Autry National Center to help piece together history. The museum is working on an exhibit about the Jews of Los Angeles and they need your family heirlooms, old photographs and historical documents from local Jewish institutions and synagogues. What a perfect opportunity to elicit childhood stories from your father as well as contribute to the telling of Jewish history.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles. (323) 667-2000. http://www.autrynationalcenter.org.
Monday the 18th
In 1904, 60 Jewish men and women marched across 1,500 miles of treacherous European territory to reach the ports of the North Sea, where steamships whisked them away from the deplorable conditions in Romania to the land of dreams - America. Stuart Tower tells the story of these courageous individuals in "The Wayfarers," a book he will discuss and sign tonight. He will also show slides from his recent trip to Romania and talk about what life is like for the 10,000 Jews who live there 100 years after the trek.
Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles. 7:30 p.m. Free. $20 (signed book). Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., No. 300, Los Angeles. (323) 761-8644. http://www.jclla.org.
Tuesday the 19th
Ruth Weisberg's monumental work, "The Scroll," contains depictions of a female rabbi, a girl celebrating her bat mitzvah and other women in roles traditionally reserved for men. "The Changing Roles of Women in Religion," a panel discussion at the Skirball this evening, is a perfect complement to Weisberg's art. Rabbi Laura Geller of Temple Emanuel, religious studies professor Zayn Kassam of Pomona College and Jane Via, ordained by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement will share their personal insights as female authority figures.
7:30 p.m. $5 (members and students), $8 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.
Wednesday the 20th
The real Lansky interviewed on Israeli TV in 1971
Meyer Lansky, the infamous Jewish gambler and gangster, wanted what many Jews in the diaspora feel is their birthright: Israeli citizenship. The bad boy's headline-grabbing efforts in the 1970s were denied by the Israeli government and are now the subject of a dramatic one-man play, "Lansky." Starring in the U.S. premiere is Mike Burstyn, a Broadway veteran, Israeli Academy Award-winner and (unlike Lansky) a citizen of Israel.
Wed.-Sat., through July 22. $35-$55. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 477-2055. http://www.odysseytheatre.com.
Thursday the 21st
In the heart of Hollywood, the Los Angeles Film Festival dares to blend avant-garde, experimental films with big studio blockbusters, combine glamorous red-carpet premieres with casual summertime outdoor screenings and mix star power with movie-goers' passion for cinema. The 11-day-long festival takes over Westwood starting today with the opening night screening of "Talk to Me" starring Don Cheadle. And in what might be the grandest event of them all, "Transformers" will be premiering at the festival on June 27 on four screens simultaneously, followed by a massive block party in the streets of Westwood.
For complete details, visit http://www.lafilmfest.com.
Friday the 22nd
Jewtopia's Sam Wolfson and Brian Fogel on "The View"
Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson are back in town to split some more sides with the triumphant return of "Jewtopia!" The riotous comedy ran for 16 sold-out months in West Hollywood and after a successful stint in New York is back in L.A. with a twist: scenes from the play are combined with multimedia visuals, staged re-enactments from Jewtopia the book and an audience Q-and-A.
June 21-24. $50. Brentwood Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., West Los Angeles. (310) 479-3003. http://www.jewtopiaworld.com.