[SAT SEPT 22]
“Wtf Live!” @ Riot
Marc Maron’s refreshingly honest — not to mention popular — podcast features one-on-one interviews with some of the biggest names in entertainment. Tonight, the stand-up comedian hosts “WTF With Marc Maron” before a live audience as part of Riot: L.A.’s Alternative Comedy Festival. Sat. 8 p.m. $20. Downtown Independent Theater, 251 S. Main St., downtown. (312) 730-4000. riotla.com.
[SUN SEPT 23]
This new exhibition at American Jewish University features the versatile work of artists Lorraine Bubar, Ellen Cantor and Silvia Wagensberg. Bubar’s paper cut scenes of lily ponds, vines and trees express the struggles and coexistence of nature; Cantor’s photographs of fruits and vegetables impaled with wires and screws confront the hardships of living with disabilities and thoughts of mortality; and Wagensberg explores her interest in communication and perception with paintings of pictorial language, including gesture drawings and the forms and symbols of the written word. Sun. “Meet the Artists” reception. 3-5 p.m. Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sunday-Thursday), 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Friday). Through Dec. 16. Free. American Jewish University, Platt and Borstein Galleries, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777, Ext. 201. ajula.edu.
“The Exodus of Ethiopian Jews”
Micha Feldmann, former Israeli consul-general to Ethiopia and one of the chief architects of Operation Solomon — which rescued 14,000 Ethiopian Jews from shocking conditions and brought them to Israel in 1991— discusses his new book, “On Wings of Eagles: The Secret Operation of the Ethiopian Exodus.” Told through diary entries and the stories from Ethiopian Jews in their own words, “On Wings of Eagles” follows Feldmann’s decade-long effort to free a besieged people. Sun.10 a.m.-noon. Free (RSVP requested). Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel & Pomona Valley, 550 S. Second Ave., Arcadia. (626) 744-9904. jewishsgpv.org.
The soulful r&b singer and second runner-up on the fifth season of “American Idol” performs at Hotel Cafe. Expect to hear material from his latest album, “Let’s Get to What’s Real,” featuring the lead single, “3 Words.” 21 and older. Mon. 9 p.m. Tickets available at door only. Hotel Café, 1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 461-2040. hotelcafe.com.
[WED SEPT 26]
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Just in time for the election season, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet brings his satirical take on presidential politics to the Mark Taper Forum. Ed Begley Jr. (“Arrested Development”) plays Charles Smith, an unpopular president whose prospects of a second term are looking grim a week before the election. His funds are drying up, his poll numbers are in the single digits, his lesbian speechwriter (Felicity Huffman) seems to have defected, and his chief of staff (Rod McLachlan) has given up, but Smith isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. Excoriating politics in general, Mamet’s “November” is an equal-opportunity offender that tackles issues like gay marriage, campaign finance, terrorism and presidential pardons. In previews through Oct. 6. Opens Oct. 7 and runs through Nov. 4. Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 628-2772. centertheatregroup.org.
[THU SEPT 27]
“Vote for My Story: Political Narratives and the 2012 Election”
Marty Kaplan, Jewish Journal columnist and the Norman Lear professor of entertainment, media and society at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, moderates a panel discussion on whether a better understanding of political narrative can help make sense of the current political culture. Featured speakers include Joyce Appleby, professor emerita of history at UCLA; George Lakoff, professor of cognitive science and linguistics at UC Berkeley; and writer-producer John Romano (“Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law”). A reception follows. Thu. 7 p.m. Free. The Ray Stark Family Theatre, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles. (213) 740-0483. usc.edu/dept/pubrel/visionsandvoices.
[FRI SEPT 28]
ART PLATFORM-LOS ANGELES
Israeli artists Adam Berg, Ofri Cnaani, Dor Guez, Nir Hod, Reuven Israel, Gilad Ratman and Rona Yefman join local and international artists in showcasing their work at this contemporary and modern art fair. Now in its second year, the three-day event attracts dealers, collectors, museums and art enthusiasts. Fri. Through Sept. 30. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). $20 (adult, one-day pass), $15 (students and seniors, one-day pass), $30 (adult, three-day pass), $25 (students and seniors, three-day pass). Barker Hangar, Santa Monica Airport, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. (213) 763-5890. artplatform-losangeles.com.
“ELECTION 2012 FORUM: WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR JEWS, AMERICA AND ISRAEL?”
American Jewish Committee (AJC) co-sponsors a nonpartisan forum to address the issues facing the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Noted speakers and writers — including Journal columnists David Lehrer, president of human relations group Community Advocates, and Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles — debate the significant domestic and global issues of the day and what they mean for Jews, Israel and the world. Rabbi Marc Dworkin, director of AJC in Orange County, moderates. Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of University Synagogue deliveries introductory remarks. Fri. 7 p.m. Free. University Synagogue, 3400 Michelson Drive, Irvine. (949) 553-3535. universitysynagogue.org.