(HOME + GARDEN)
Venice Beach is showcasing 30 of its unique homes and gardens for the public's viewing pleasure. Benefiting the Neighborhood Youth Association's Las Doradas Children's Center in Venice, the daylong home and garden tour reveals creative spaces that exemplify the tastes of their owners as well as local artists' designs. Spend the day strolling the tree-lined streets in one of L.A.'s most coveted communities and you might just pass through the home of one of The Journal's very own. Shuttles will be provided, bike riding is encouraged and street parking is available -- just don't forget your walking shoes and sunscreen! Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $60-$70. (310) 821-1857. http://www.venicegardentour.org.
The last time we tried to include one of Heidi Duckler's stunning site-specific dance performances, we had to yank it because the show sold out, then put it back in when another performance time was added, and take it out once again because that also sold out before we went to press. This time, the Collage Dance Theatre show, "A Guide to an Exhibitionist," has wisely scheduled not two, but six show times. Set in an art gallery, the innovative work takes each audience member through a guided audio tour of framed live performers, completely reinventing the experience of viewing art. Hurry and get your tickets now, because the 7 p.m. show is sold out already! Sat. 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. $25 (includes wine and cheese reception). Museum of Design, Art and Architecture, 8609 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (818) 784-8669. http://www.collagedancetheatre.org.
Big Sunday has become so huge that it has spilled over into Saturday and grown into "Big Sunday Weekend." The largest community-service weekend in America is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and is expected to engage more than 50,000 volunteers to paint, landscape, rehabilitate, cook, serve, clean, fix, plant, knit and sing (yes, singing can be a mitzvah too!). Two exciting new initiatives have been added to Big Sunday this year: Green Sunday, which is devoted to projects focusing on the environment, and Singles Sunday, which aims to put the socializing back in social action. Inspired by a Jewish Journal singles column, the founder of Big Sunday, David Levinson, decided to designate certain projects as "singles only," so that individuals can give a boost to the community and their love life at the same time. To find a Big Sunday project that appeals to you, visit http://www.bigsunday.org.
SUN | MAY 4
Join L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi at the state's largest Holocaust Remembrance Day event, featuring guest speaker Rabbi David Wolpe. Garamendi, who has worked tirelessly to grant insurance reparations for Holocaust victims, survivors and their family members, will stand with others in remembrance at an event co-sponsored by The Jewish Federation, Jewish World Watch, the Los Angeles Holocaust Monument, The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and Second Generation. Sun. 1:45 p.m. Free. Los Angeles Holocaust Monument, Pan Pacific Park, 7600 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 280-5010.
Oh, what a night it will be supporting Jewish education during a benefit concert featuring none other than the musical group that helped define American pop and rock in the '60s -- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Join Faith and Jonathan Cookler, founding donors of New Community Jewish High School, during this gala event that features a kosher buffet and rockin' concert. Dress in your finest attire and dance the night away to sizzling hits such as "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "Walk Like a Man." Sun. 5 p.m. (dinner), 6:30 p.m. (program and concert). $100-$300. Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. R.S.V.P, (818) 449-8900.
Academic institutions are turning to the expressive power of Israeli dance to promote cross-cultural understanding when politics prove befuddling. Three of Israel's most prolific contemporary choreographers -- Idan Cohen, Niv Sheinfeld and Ronit Ziv -- will highlight their modern interpretations of a traditional dance form as the culmination of a two-week residency at UCLA, the second phase of a performing arts cultural exchange program orchestrated by The Jewish Federation's Tel Aviv-Los Angeles twinning program. "Bridge Choreographic Dialogues: Live from Israel" features a symposium with the artists, a live dance concert and a folk-dancing frolic hosted by popular dance teacher David Dassa. Sun. noon-1:30 p.m. (symposium) 2-4 p.m. (concert) $12-$20 (includes concert and party). UCLA, Kaufman Hall, 120 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles. (310) 825-2101. http://www.tickets.ucla.edu.
Debi Derryberry, whose name is as cute as her act, is best known as the voice of Nickelodeon's Jimmy Neutron. Debi Derryberry Live in Concert showcases her theatrical animation using character voices, mixed-genre musical blends and guest accompaniment in the form of dancing bananas, talking gorillas and singing ducks. She will perform an interactive family concert at her young son's Jewish day school. Sun. 1 p.m. $10. Temple Beth Hillel, Sands-Mallet Hall, 12326 Riverside Drive, Studio City. (818) 298-2656. http://www.debiderryberry.com.
Wilshire Boulevard Temple and State of Israel Bonds invites the community to listen and learn from Stephen M. Berk, a widely respected history professor at Union College in New York and a frequent guest in the media for his Middle East expertise. With an international reputation for his teachings, writings and research, Berk will deliver an engaging presentation addressing the challenges Israel faces on its 60th year of existence, "Israel at the Crossroads: Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and the Jewish State." Sun. 5:30 p.m. Free. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus, Marcia Israel Chapel-Auditorium, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. requested, (213) 388-2401. http://www.wbtla.org/events.
Walk 4 Kids With FD calls upon our community's solidarity to help cure familial dysautonomia, a genetic disease that disables children's autonomic and sensory nervous systems. An array of entertainers will walk for the cure, including emcee Josh Rubenstein of KCAL News, Fancy Feet Dancers and The Complainers, who will headline the musical performances. For those with tired toes, you're still welcome to attend and participate in several of the other activities-for-a-cause, such as a silent auction, bake sale and raffle; or you can be a mensch and send a check whether you walk or not. All donations benefit Fordham University's pioneering research in the field. Sun. 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Free (admission) $18 (walking participants). Marquez School Track, 16821 Marquez Ave., Pacific Palisades. (310) 459-1056.
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