May 15, 2008
Calendar Girls clicks and picks May 17-23
When filmmaker Ben Byer sets out on a global quest to find a cure for ALS, the neurodegenerative disease crippling him, he discovers the will to survive. What begins as Byer documenting his life in a series of video diaries explodes into a worldwide journey that spans three years and six countries. Byer travels through breathtaking landscapes and meets fascinating people, including Rabbi Daniel Gordis during a portion of the movie shot in Israel. Hailed by Variety as "intimate, lacerating [and] absorbing," the stunning cinematography and rock-cello score set the tone for Byer proving the power of the human spirit is "Indestructible." $6.50-8.50. Through May 22. Laemmle Theatre Grande 4 Plex, 345 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. http://www.laemmle.com. http://www.indestructiblefilm.com.
Artist Jerome Witkin's modern take on classic masterpieces and encapsulating creative portrayals of Jerusalem caught the attention of critics and now the world, with pieces hanging on walls of major museums, including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Witkin has been compared to the likes of Lucien Freud, Manet, Ingres and Goya for his technical mastery and psychological insight. The opening reception for "Jerome Witkin: Revelations in Drawing" will feature "Vincent and Death," a dramatic 6-foot piece depicting Van Gogh encountering death through a confessional-like window. Meet the artist who created emotionally charged pieces such as the 2004 portrait of artist R.B. Kitaj, whose recent death sent shockwaves through the art world. Sat. Free. 6-9 p.m. Through July 31. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, 357 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 938-5222. http://www.jackrutbergfinearts.com.
Come for the music and stay for the Prius! Temple Ramat Zion's "The Magic of a Starry Night" could turn into a dreamy night for the lucky ticket holder who has the choice between a 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid or $15,000 cash. The raffle is part of the synagogue's major fundraising evening, featuring an array of secular music that ranges from popular rock to hip-hop and stars Cantor Paul Dorman and Cantor Ilysia J. Pierce (she played Evita in the Los Angeles production, so you know the woman's got pipes!). A post-concert dessert reception will be open to all attendees. Sat. 8 p.m. $25 (16 and under), $40-$75 (general). $100 (raffle ticket). Temple Ramat Zion, 17655 Devonshire St., Northridge. (818) 360-1881.
What happens at Adat Shalom stays at Adat Shalom. Win some, lose some with other like-minded Sin City lovers when this Westside house of prayer hosts "Las Vegas Night at Adat Shalom," an evening of blackjack, roulette, craps, raffle, a silent auction and delicious eats. Don't fret too much about your losses -- all proceeds benefit the congregation. Sat. 8:15 p.m.-midnight. $54-$58. Adat Shalom, 3030 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 475-4985.
In a battle where there is no enemy and no victim, young soldiers are pitted against religious settlers, each taking their orders from a higher power. "Unsettled" is an American-made documentary by Adam Hootnick about the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in the summer of 2005, an emotionally taut event that forced a nation to look deep within itself to do what is right. The Forward said "Hootnick has found a way to turn one of the most politicized subjects of our time into a sensitively wrought drama containing both suspense and moral weight." The film opened on May 16 and is now playing, for one week only, at the Laemmle's Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 274-6869. http://www.unsettledmovie.com.
Youth around the world grew up with fond memories of Judy Blume's coming-of-age books, which sold over 80 million copies and were translated into 31 languages. Blume's funny, impressionable stories jump off the page in Bruce Mason's stage adaptation of the popular "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing," the first book in a series with five humorous sequels. Parents, grandparents and children can all join in on the fun watching fourth-grader Peter Hatcher battle his kid brother Fudge for his oh-so-coveted pet turtle, Dribble. Sat. 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Through June 1. $5-$7. Morgan-Wixson's Y.E.S. for Kids, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 828-7519, http://www.morgan-wixson.org.
SUN | MAY 18
Listen to beautiful music at your local shul, and not from the cantor's mouth, but from a seasoned orchestra comprised of physicians and medical professionals. Not only can they heal you with their medical knowledge, they can also ease suffering with their beautiful music in the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1953. Relaying classical music from legends such as Rossini and Dvorak, this unique blend of performers from one of the oldest community orchestras in the country is conducted by music director Ivan Shulman and features soloist David Weiss, former oboe principal for the Philharmonic. Funds raised from the concert are donated to medical charities. Sun. 3-5:30 p.m. $18. Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. (818) 758-3800. http://www.ladso.org.
Chilean artist Desy Safan-Gerard invites you to peek into her studio during the Venice Art Walk and Auctions 2008, benefiting the Venice Family Clinic. If you like what you see -- exuberant works full of color and detail hovering between chaos and restraint -- you are welcome to stay for more than just a peak. Enjoy wine and cheese, mingle with fellow art enthusiasts and engage in one-on-one conversation with the artist herself. The Venice Art Walk gives you the opportunity to visit more than 60 private artists' studios, homes and exhibits and bid on 400 original works of art, including paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics and furniture, all while aiding an indispensable Venice facility. Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $50. Register at Westminster Avenue Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. Desy Safan-Gerard studio, 502 Rialto Ave., Venice. (310) 392-9255. http://www.venicefamilyclinic.org.
After a hot morning outdoors at the Israel Independence Day Festival at Woodley Park, why not head inside for the cool classical sounds of Beethoven's piano sonatas? The "Coffee, Cookies and Concerts" series produced by The Music Guild, brings you a trio of pianists, Levin, Lysy and Martin, who will delight discerning ears with a program of beautiful melodies accompanied by an array of delicious desserts with which you can satiate your senses. Sun. 3 p.m. $40. University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd., Brentwood. (323) 954-0404.