Dr. Robert Klapper, a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon, has skillfully handled the feet of many adulated celebrities: Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Stiller, just to name a few. What he loves to handle even more are large slabs of Italian marble a la Michelangelo. Taking inspiration from the grand master, Dr. Klapper has imported marble from Carrara, the same quarry Michelangelo drew from, and whittled away the nonessential materials in order to partially liberate the human form. His deliberately unfinished pieces, called "Michelangelo's Slaves," mimic the great artist's semicompleted slaves and their agonizing struggle to break free from the raw stone that engulfs them. View these modern marvels and meet the good doctor, who is a Michelangelo expert (and avid surfer), tonight at his very own gallery.
Opening night reception, 7-10 p.m. Gallery open Tue.-Sat. Exhibit runs through Sept. 1. Klapper Gallery, 8759 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 652-6552. http://www.klappergallery.com .
In a vicious attempt to eradicate Jewish culture, Joseph Stalin's regime executed several prominent Yiddish writers, among many others, on Aug. 12, 1952. To celebrate Stalin's failure and our culture's perseverance, and to pay homage to those who perished, a coalition of secular Jewish organizations comes together -- as they have for many years -- for "55 Years Later: The Legacy of Soviet Yidishkayt." The commemoration will include stories, poems and songs set to the words of Soviet poets, as well as music by the Mit Gezang Yiddish Chorus. The afternoon program will be conducted in both English and Yiddish.
2 p.m Free. Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007.
To use the Museum of Tolerance's own PR slogan, what's "HOT at the MOT this summer" is its relatively new interactive multimedia exhibit focusing on family life in America. Hosted by a charming virtual Billy Crystal, the innovative "Finding Our Families, Finding Ourselves" takes you to the recreated childhood homes of Dr. Maya Angelou, Carlos Santana, Joe Torre and your host as they share family anecdotes, histories and dreams. You can reconstruct your own family history in the computer lab after the tour.
Open Mondays 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. $6 (students and children), $7 (seniors), $8 (general). Museum of Tolerance, Simon Wiesenthal Plaza, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-8403. http://www.museumoftolerance.com.
A group of artists with developmental disabilities were inspired by the innovative Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball and created their own interpretations of the biblical story. The highly individualistic pieces in "embArk" explore the theme of persevering through life's storms, be they physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. For some of these challenged adults, who worked with the nonprofit agency, L.A. Goal, on this project, the hardships they face on a daily basis can include standing next to someone or standing alone. View their touching artistic expressions -- paintings, weavings, ceramics and texts -- at the Skirball any day for free, then attend the artists' reception and silent auction on Sept. 16 to purchase the pieces.
Tue.-Fri., 12-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Through Oct. 7. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.
Jaclyn Lafer juggles two very different professions in Hollywood. She teaches young children at Temple Israel of Hollywood's religious school and produces comedy shows like "Sit n Spin" and "Random Acts of Kindness." Maybe her jobs aren't that different after all. Her latest production, "Random Acts," is a one-act play written by film and TV writer and director Andrea Abbate. The darkly comic short follows two women in dead-end jobs who perform an act of kindness that dramatically changes their lives. Here's a clue as to what happens: Abbate created a short film about the same characters further down the line titled "Do These Handcuffs Make Me Look Fat." Hmmm.
Also, Aug. 29. 8 p.m. $8. Acme Comedy Theatre, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 244-1598.
Sensual and provocative, "Exploring the Feminine Mystique" is an exhibit at the NoHo Gallery definitely worth exploring at length. The breathtaking surrealist art of Ora Tamir will be showcased, along with several other artists inspired by the power of femininity. Tamir, who was born in a kibbutz in the middle of Israel's stark desert, uses a rich palette of colors and distorted elements of reality to paint people, landscapes and emotions. "People find their own stories in my paintings," she said. "They tell me that my art touches their soul. I am grateful for that."
Opening reception Aug. 11, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Through Aug. 26. NoHo Gallery LA, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 761-7784. http://www.nohogalleryla.com.
Evan Tyler is a star. At least he plays one in the one-man show, "American Star," now showing at the Hudson Guild Theatre. The classic story of a (Jewish) kid dreaming of a life in the limelight is animated with singing, tap dancing, break dancing and naturally, acting. With plenty of praise from the press -- Tyler is hailed as talented, charismatic and awesome -- it looks like the entertainer is on the right track to becoming an American star.
Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m. Through Aug. 26. $15-$18. Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 960-7792. http://www.plays411.com/americanstar.