For a list of Lag b’Omer events, visit jewishjournal.com/lag_bomer.
Pick of the Week: SUN., MAY 6
GOOD DEEDS DAY
Volunteers are needed to participate at community service projects, including gardening, feeding animals and painting at the Shalom Institute in Malibu; feeding the homeless at Venice Beach; a picnic for Israeli-Americans with cancer and their families at Woodley Park; a creek cleanup in Compton; and a tour at the Museum of Tolerance with members of the Substance Abuse Foundation of Long Beach. Organized by I.L.Care, a volunteer project of the Israeli Leadership Council (ILC), in cooperation with Big Sunday, Heal the Bay and Stand By Me, a Jewish Israeli cancer organization. Today also marks the final day of Big Sunday Weekend (bigsunday.org). Sun. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Shalom Institute), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Venice Beach), 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Woodley Park), 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Museum of Tolerance), 1-4 p.m. (Compton Creek). Free. Various locations. (818) 466-6454. ilcare.net.
SAT | MAY 5
“THE DICTATORS: FOOLISH FASCISTS IN FUNNY MOVIES”
Funnyman Mel Brooks appears in person (schedule permitting) as American Cinematheque screens a double feature of comedies that parodied a dictator before Sacha Baron Cohen did. The 1940 farce “The Great Dictator” features Charlie Chaplin in his first talkie, playing the dual role of an unnamed Jewish barber and dictator Adenoid Hynkel, a fictionalized version of Hitler. Brooks introduces the second film, his 1968 directorial debut, “The Producers,” which follows Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) and Leo Bloom’s (Gene Wilder) get-rich-quick scheme — produce a Nazi-themed Broadway flop and flee to Rio with the money. Sat. 7:30 p.m. $11 (general), $9 (students, seniors), $7 (American Cinematheque members). Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (323) 461-2020, ext. 120. americancinematheque.com.
SUN | MAY 6
THE ELFMAN PROJECT
The American Youth Symphony (AYS) kicks off a three-year exploration of Danny Elfman’s music with a symposium and concert. Elfman, an Oscar-nominated composer, appears in conversation with film music critic Jon Burlingame and participates in a Q-and-A during an afternoon symposium. In a concert that follows, music director Alexander Treger conducts AYS in a performance of classical music by Igor Stravinsky and Bela Bartok, pieces selected by Elfman. During the second half of the concert, the AYS performs Elfman film scores, including pieces from “Edward Scissorhands,” “Batman” and “Sommersby,” under the direction of conductor David Newman. Sun. 4 p.m. (symposium), 7 p.m. (concert). Free (reservations required). Royce Hall, UCLA Campus, Los Angeles. (310) 470-2332. aysymphony.org.
TUE | MAY 8
The legendary singer-songwriter discusses and signs copies of “Dinosaur Pet,” a children’s book inspired by his 1961 hit “Calendar Girl,” with new lyrics by his son Marc Sedaka and illustrated by Tim Bowers. A year-in-the-life tale of a boy and his pet dinosaur (January: “[H]e’s breaking out of his shell,” February: “His body’s starting to swell”), the book includes a three-song CD recorded by Neil Sedaka. Tue. 3 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 659-3110. booksoup.com.
WED | MAY 9
The 23-year-old M.C. — real name Steven Markowitz — performs his Jewy brand of frat-rap, from the club-bangers of his new EP, “All American,” to material from his 2009 mixtape, “Beats and Bagels.” L.A. rapper Wax and multi-instrumentalist Jhameel also perform. Wed. 8 p.m. $22.50. El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 936-6400. theelrey.com.
THU | MAY 10
The author discusses his new novel, “Berlin Cantata,” with Writers Bloc founder Andrea Grossman. Set after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Lewis’ polyphonic tale of reconciliation focuses on a single house, once owned successively by Jews, Nazis and communists, and wrestles with what it means to be a Jew in Germany today. Tue. 7:30 p.m. $20. Goethe-Institut, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. writersblocpresents.com.
FRI | MAY 11
“ROMEO AND JULIET IN YIDDISH”
Rival Chasidic groups serve as Montagues and Capulets in director Eve Annenberg’s exploration of the chasm between Jews of different sects. Set in contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn, graduate student Ava is selected to update a Yiddish translation of “Romeo and Juliet.” The film cycles between her world and an imagined one, where Romeo is Satmar, Juliet is Chabad, Friar Lawrence is Rabbi Lawrence, and a Capulet feast is a Purim party. Fri. Various times. $11 (general), $8 (children, seniors). Laemmle’s Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 478-3836. laemmle.com.