Jewish Journal

Picks and Clicks for September 5-11, 2009

by Dikla Kadosh

Posted on Sep. 2, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Shelley Berman

Shelley Berman


Shelley Berman, the first stand-up comedian to appear at Carnegie Hall and the first to win a Grammy for best comedy album, will star in the Celebrity Staged Play Reading of “Keep the Two Dollars,” by Bill Barnett. The comedy’s plot involves an expensive bracelet, a mystery man, a suspected love affair, an insurance company and a British bride. Produced and directed by Alexandra More. A Q-and-A with the playwright will follow the performance. Sat. 7:30-10 p.m. $12-$16. JCC at Milken, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3300. jccatmilken.org. Also, Sept. 6, 2 p.m. at Westside JCC, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 938-2531. westsidejcc.org.

The L.A. County Fair opens on Labor Day weekend and takes advantage of the dwindling days of summer to pack in new exhibits and classic favorites for the entire family. Stand face-to-face with animated dinosaurs at Jurassic Planet, watch the Extreme Canine Stunt Dog Show in Bark Park, learn about rainforests and how to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle in the Going Green: Making a World of Difference exhibit, sample fine wines and organic food, enjoy a concert, try your hand at milking a cow or a goat, and much more. Every Friday and Saturday night, a fireworks display will light up the sky. 10 a.m.-midnight. Wed.-Sun. Through Oct. 4. Weekends: $12 (children), $17 (adults); weekdays: $7 (children), $12 (adults). Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona. lacountyfair.com.

The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be in Westlake Village during Labor Day weekend. The replica, which stands 8 feet tall and 240 feet long and is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or were declared missing in Vietnam, is a chance for those who might never visit the nation’s capital to experience the memorial. Commemorative activities and ceremonies, including the reading of the names, will take place throughout the weekend. Open 24 hours a day Sept. 4-7. Free. Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, 5600 Lindero Canyon Road, Westlake Village. (818) 889-0902. dignitymemorial.com.

Extreme Klezmer Makeover, a quartet of local musicians who play traditional music from Eastern Europe and modern, progressive klezmer music infused with American folk, Middle Eastern and jazz rhythms, will provide the entertainment at a Labor Day Klezmer Brunch, hosted by Talking Stick in Venice. Enjoy two hours of energetic, exuberant klezmer tunes as you feast on salads, bagels, sandwiches and coffee from the restaurant’s menu. Sat. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. No cover and no minimum order. The Talking Stick, 1411 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. (310) 450-6052. thetalkingstick.net. extremeklezmer.com.

California Dreamin’, the 19th annual Mosaic International Event, hosted by the Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America, is a four-day conference that involves a variety of outdoor activities from hiking to horseback riding to mountain biking, along with seminars like organic gardening, workshops on massage therapy, and social activities, such as Israeli dancing, campfires and a Shabbat celebration. Mosaic is a network of more than 25 nonprofit clubs in the United States, Canada and Israel dedicated to organizing outdoor and environmental activities for Jewish singles, couples and families. Sept. 4-7. $344 (members), $364 (general). Brandeis-Bardin Campus at American Jewish University, 1101 Peppertree Lane, Brandeis. (954) 435-3388. mosaicevent.org.


Peter Himmelman, a rock troubadour, Grammy-nominated children’s music entertainer and Emmy-nominated TV and film composer, celebrates the release of his new family music album, “My Trampoline,” with a concert at McCabe’s Guitar Shop. In the fall, Himmelman will launch a webcast for kids, “Peter Himmelman’s Curious World,” an idea that follows his weekly live Web broadcast for adults, “Furious World Live.” Sun. 11 a.m. $5 (children), $10 (adults). McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 828-4497. mccabes.com. peterhimmelman.com/kids.html.

The Venice community is invited to join the inaugural Gilbert and Sullivan Sing Along, presenting “The Pirates of Penzance.” There is no separation between audience and performers in this performance; every person in attendance is part of the chorus. (A vocal score can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/ne2tjn; libretti will be provided.) If you’re not content being part of the crowd, you can audition for a principal part the very same day, one hour before the show. Sun. 5 p.m. Free. Temple Mishkon Tephilo, Social Hall, 206 Main St., Venice. (310) 392-3029. mishkon.org.


Ruth Roberts, a Southern California artist and docent at the Skirball Cultural Center, is giving Hallmark some hefty competition this holiday season. Roberts has been designing Jewish holiday cards since 1973, but this year her socially conscious and inventive greetings will be on display at the Skirball. “Greeting the New Year: Holiday Cards by Ruth Roberts” will showcase Roberts’ High Holy Days collection, inspired by the Bible, holiday customs, social issues and contemporary media. Tue.-Fri., noon-5 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mon. Through Oct. 25. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.


The American Israeli Medical Association is hosting an informative discussion on the topic, “Public Health in Israel vs. Private Medicine,” a particularly relevant subject as U.S. policy makers are debating the same options. Dr. Amnon Rofe, CEO of Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa, will conduct the lecture in English. Wed. 7:30 p.m. $30 (includes drinks, appetizers and dessert reception). Private residence in Encino. (888) 991-1212. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Cookbook author and Jerusalem Post columnist Faye Levy will be the main dish at a luncheon featuring her nutritious kosher cuisine and a discussion during which Levy will introduce her new book, “Healthy Cooking for the Jewish Home.” Levy, who has published more than a dozen cookbooks and has written for numerous food magazines, will also suggest innovative menus for the Jewish holidays (just in time!), international ingredients to spice up traditional favorites and dishes that promote well-being. Thu. Noon. $28 (JCC members), $38 (general). Merage JCC, 1 Federation Way, Irvine. (949) 435-3400. jccoc.org.

The Jewish Holiday Celebration Workshop Series is a communitywide learning program for adults that explores the significance and rituals of each holiday as it approaches. The workshops are geared toward a range of observers, from novices to those who are looking to enhance their practice of Judaism. The High Holy Days workshop will cover prayers and texts, quotes from Jewish philosophers, home celebrations and family activities that will enrich your holiday experience. Advance registration is required. Thu. 10 a.m.-noon. $15 (per class), 50 (entire series of seven workshops). Congregation Or Ami, 26115 Mureau Road B, Calabasas. (818) 880-4880. judaicworkshops.com.


Charles Busch’s Tony-nominated comedy, “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife,” is a classic Broadway hit about a middle-aged, upper-class wife of a doctor and her cushy-yet-restless life in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Plunged into a midlife crisis, the aspiring intellectual is saved by the unexpected arrival of a childhood friend. Produced by the Kentwood Players. Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. Through Oct. 17. $18. Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. (310) 645-5156. kentwoodplayers.org.

Local Jewish playwright Wendy Graf is a finalist in The ATTIC Theatre and Film Center’s 18th annual Denise Ragan Wiesenmeyer One Act Play Festival, along with three other playwrights premiering their work. Her one-act play, “Bethany/Bakol,” an exploration of religious identity, will be staged as part of a 120-minute performance of four one-act plays, which will be judged by the audience and a panel of industry professionals throughout the festival’s run. Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m. Through Oct. 3. $20. The ATTIC Theatre and Film Center, 5429 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 525-0661. attictheatre.org.

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