Jewish Journal

Mendelsohn—Better Than Beethoven!

by Keren Engelberg

September 7, 2006 | 8:00 pm

Howie Mandel appears Thursday at a benefit at the Laugh Factory

Howie Mandel appears Thursday at a benefit at the Laugh Factory

Saturday the 9th

Syzygy Theatre Group stages Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer-winning "Talley's Folly." First staged in 1979, the romance was Wilson's answer to his first play about the Talley family, "Fifth of July." It features the characters of Sally Talley (a small town girl from a wealthy and bigoted Protestant family) and Matt Friedman (a Jewish accountant 12 years her senior) as partners in a sweet and unlikely courtship.

8 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.), 3 p.m. (Sun.). Through Oct. 14. $20 (Fri. and Sat.) pay-what-you-can (Sun.). GTC Burbank, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank. (323) 254-9328. www.syzygytheatre.org.

Sunday the 10th

Celebrated composer Felix Mendelsohn receives the ultimate compliment in the new play, "Better Than Beethoven," as well as center stage. The show offers playwright Jacqueline Gerstein Bassan's interpretation of the Jewish composer's life, with some dramatic liberties taken. The staged reading takes place today.

7 p.m. $5. The MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Hollywood. (323) 957-1152.

Monday the 11th

Commemorating Sept. 11 through sound is American Radio Works, which presents an audio documentary from the Sonic Memorial Project on KCRW this evening. Voicemails, archival tape, oral histories and stories are woven to create a portrait of the day.

6:30-7:30 p.m. 89.9 KCRW.

Tuesday the 12th

A special screening of the new documentary, "Out of Faith," takes place today only at Laemmle Sunset 5. The film follows Leah Welbel and her family during a three-year period, as they deal with a particular struggle. Welbel is an Auschwitz survivor distraught over the intermarriage of her grandchildren, feeling their choice is a victory for the Nazis. Following the screening will be a moderated discussion.

7:30 p.m. $10 (donation requested). 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 907-5852. www.outoffaith.com.

Wednesday the 13th

Two DVDs of interest are released this week. With beautiful archival footage as well as interviews with dancers, the critically acclaimed documentary, "Ballets Russes," tells the story of the ground-breaking dance company created by Serge Diaghilev, and the equally culturally relevant competing groups that emerged after his untimely death. Multiple International Film Festival award- winner, "Gloomy Sunday," is also out this week. The romantic period piece focuses on a love triangle between a restaurant owner, a waitress and a pianist, set against the backdrop of Holocaust-era Budapest.

"Ballet Russes": $22.49. www.balletsrussesmovie.com. "Gloomy Sunday": $14.95. whv.warnerbros.com.

Thursday the 14th

Big name comedians donate stage time to raise money for The Federation's children's literacy program, KOREH L.A. Contributing "Laughs for Literacy," D.L. Hughley, Jamie Kennedy, Jon Lovitz, Howie Mandel and Bob Saget appear tonight at the Laugh Factory.

7 p.m. $150 (includes hors d'oevres and drink tickets). 8001 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (323) 761-8219.

Friday the 15th

Fine art and contemporary crafts can be found all weekend long at the inaugural Santa Monica Arts Festival. Come to view paintings, sculpture, photography, wood crafts and even painted talitot by artist Smadar Knobler -- as well as hourly demonstrations by artists and artisans. Items are also available for purchase.

Sept. 15-17. Hours vary. Free (children under 12), $6.50 (seniors), $7.50 (adults). Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8551. www.americanartfestivals.com.

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