SAT JAN 5
B.J. NOVAK: “UNCOLLECTED STORIES”
Writer and actor B.J. Novak (“The Office,” “Inglourious Basterds”) shares original pieces of comedic fiction in advance of an upcoming collection. Co-star, writer and producer of “The Office,” Novak has a sensibility that draws on a range of influences, from “Saturday Night Live” and “Monty Python” to Woody Allen and the notable anthology “The Big Book of Jewish Humor,” which was co-edited by his father. Sat. 10 p.m. $10. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 908-8702. losangeles.ucbtheatre.com.
SUN JAN 6
JNF TRIBUTE TO SOUTHERN ISRAEL
Winner of the Israeli version of “American Idol,” Ethiopian Jewish vocalist Hagit Yaso joins Grammy- and Emmy-winning composer Charles Fox for a free concert in support of Southern Israel. Organized by the Jewish National Fund, the concert features Yaso and Fox collaborating on “Killing Me Softly” as well as Fox performing his own music. Roy Firestone (“L.A. Tonight,” “Good Day L.A.”) serves as master of ceremonies. Sun. 6:30 p.m. Free. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (323) 964-1400. jnf.org/laconcert.
TUE JAN 8
“GUT SHABBES VIETNAM”
A young Israeli couple and their baby set out on a one-way ticket to the Far East to encourage and create a Jewish community in Vietnam. Co-directors Ido and Yael Zand’s documentary follows the challenges facing Chabad emissaries Rabbi Menachem and Racheli Hartman as they encounter an eclectic mix of Israeli expats and Jews from the Diaspora. Tue. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, 11361 Bunche Hall, Room 135, UCLA, Los Angeles. (310) 825-9646. international.ucla.edu/israel.
WED JAN 9
IRAN, AMERICA, ISRAEL AND THE JEWS
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and 30 Years After hold a discussion with an Islamic affairs analyst from ADL’s Center on Extremism, on “Special Report: What the Iranian Government Is Telling Its Own People About America, Israel and Jews,” an expert breakdown on media within Iran’s borders today. Wed. 7:30 p.m. Free (advance registration required). Anti-Defamation League, 10495 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 446-4229. regions.adl.org/pacific-southwest.
“ISRAEL ELECTIONS 2013"
This 90-minute discussion maps out, clarifies and distinguishes between the platforms for the major political parties and players running in Israel’s general election on Jan. 22. Using advance interactive technologies and the most up-to-date information, experts examine how the leaders of Israel envision the future of the Jewish state. Every participant receives “Israel Seminars’ Guide to the Politically Perplexed 2013.” Wed. 7:30 p.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7354, ext. 215. tbala.org/israel.
THU JAN 10
“THE DUDE AND THE ZEN MASTER”
Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of The Dude, the laid-back protagonist in the Coen brothers’ “The Big Lebowski,” is pop-culture gold. In the new book, “The Dude and the Zen Master,” Bridges and Roshi Bernie Glassman offer a glimpse into conversations between student and teacher, a shared philosophy of life and spirituality and everyday wisdom. The result is a dialogue about life, laughter and the movies as well as a reminder of the importance of doing good in a difficult world. Bridges and Glassman appear in person along with the Rev. Danny Fisher, coordinator of the Buddhist chaplaincy department at University of the West. Thu. 7:30 p.m. $25. Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, The Aratani/Japan America Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., downtown. (213) 228-7025. lfla.org.
FRI JAN 11
“FREUD’S LAST SESSION”
Starring Tony-, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner Judd Hirsch (“Taxi”) and Tom Cavanagh (“Ed”), Mark St. Germain’s off-Broadway play imagines a late-in-life meeting between Dr. Sigmund Freud (Hirsch), the Jewish atheist father of psychoanalysis, and the philosophical Christian author-professor C.S. Lewis (Cavanagh). The result is a discourse on life’s big questions just weeks before Freud’s death amid the ominous sounds of World War II. Talkbacks follow performances on Jan. 13 and Jan. 17, featuring Jack Miles, a Pulitzer-winner and professor of English and religious studies at UC Irvine, and Morris Eagle, professor emeritus at the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, respectively. Fri. Through Feb. 10. 7:30 p.m. $42-$67. Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. (310) 434-3200. thebroadstage.com.
Dustin Hoffman makes his screen directorial debut with this comic film starring Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Billy Connolly. Set in a home for retired opera singers, an annual charity concert to celebrate composer Verdi’s birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and a resident’s ex-wife. As old grudges re-emerge, it becomes apparent that having four of the finest operatic singers under one roof is no guarantee that the show will go on. Opens Friday. bbc.co.uk/bbcfilms/film/quartet