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Jewish Journal

Religious riot act, deaf in Africa, small sculptures, kid paint

Sep. 29-Oct. 5, 2007

by Dikla Kadosh

September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

Saturday

Tissa Hami is a Muslim Iranian American comic. Her blog profile says, "People who disapprove of her act will be taken hostage." Chad Lehrman is as Jewish as gefilte fish: He's geeky and meeky, eats bagels, sells insurance and is in show business. Lifelong Hindu Tapan Trivedi hails from the land of cow worshipping. While traveling through the Deep South, he read the entire Christian Bible, one billboard at a time. White, Christian and straight Keith Lowell Jensen wanted very badly to be a minority. His only way was through religion. He is now a member of the most hated minority of all, the atheists. John Ross, a Christian, found Jesus at age 14. They've been together ever since. See these five comics wage holy war on each other in a hilarious show, "The Coexist? Comedy Tour." Bring a poncho, because there will be some serious mud slinging, but in the end everyone will smile and hug and carpool home together.

9:30 p.m. $10. Westside Eclectic at the Third Street Promenade, 1323-A Third St., Santa Monica. (310) 451-0850. Check out the tour's very witty blog, http://www.coexistcomedy.com.

Sunday

Book it to WeHo today for a bountiful book bonanza featuring LA Weekly restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, Fox News political commentator Susan Estrich, suspense-thriller author Gregg Hurwitz, children's book writer Amy Goldman Koss, The Journal's own Religion Editor Amy Klein and many other talented scribes from the tribe. In addition to riveting panels and discussions, the sixth annual West Hollywood Book Fair will also include a poetry salon, theatrical performances, book signings, celebrity readings, writing workshops, food booths and family activities.

10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Free. West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. (323) 848-6515. http://www.westhollywoodbookfair.org.

Monday
Frustrated with his inability to conform to mainstream American life, Josh Swiller, who was born with moderate hearing loss, escaped to the far-removed African village of Mununga. In the midst of extreme violence, disease and poverty, Swiller's deafness became insignificant as he and other Peace Corps volunteers battled to save and change lives. Swiller, who partially recovered his hearing through a cochlear implant in 2005, will be reading from his book, "The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa," tonight, as well as discussing his life-altering experiences.

7 p.m. Dutton's Brentwood, 11975 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 476-6263. http://joshswiller.com or http://www.duttonsbrentwood.com.

Tuesday

The late Shirley Moskowitz crammed a lot into her mixed-media collages: drawings, paintings, monotypes, found papers and even her own photographs. As a reflection of her own varied life, these dense pictures often depicted the landscapes of the many places she traveled to, moments in her life and places that haunted her, such as destroyed synagogues and abandoned Jewish cemeteries. Moskowitz, who was born in Houston in 1920 and died just last year, is the focus of USC Hillel's new art exhibition, "The Art of Shirley Moskowitz: A Celebration."

Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Through Oct. 26. USC Hillel Art Gallery, 3300 S. Hoover St., Los Angeles. (213) 747-9135, ext. 14.

Wednesday
American Jewish University is scaling things down. And we're not talking about their enormously ambitious plans for the future of the recently merged institution. We're referring to their latest art exhibit of small-scale sculptures by artists Annette Bird and Dan Van Clapp. "Go Figure!" includes Bird's miniature figurines depicting the complex relationships between conflicted lovers, parents and children, loving friends and passionate partners. Van Clapp uses found materials with a rich former life to assemble his figures. Antique doll parts, hardware and worn fabrics infuse his work with a mysterious air.

Sun.-Fri. Through Nov. 11. Platt Gallery, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-1201. http://www.ajula.edu.

Thursday

John Patrick, an Allied ambulance driver during World War II, was on a ship returning home from the battlefield when he was inspired to pen "The Hasty Heart," a life-affirming play about six wounded soldiers and a nurse who cling to each other for love and compassion in the shadow of the war. Israeli transplant Ron E. Cohen makes his official main stage debut with the Pacific Resident Theatre and is receiving rave reviews, as is the play itself, from Variety, LA Weekly and the Los Angeles Times.

Thu.-Sun. through Oct. 14. $20-$25. Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. (310) 822-8392. http://www.pacificresidenttheatre.com.

Friday
When your kid earns school honors, you proudly display the bumper sticker on your car. But what do you do when your 4-year-old kid creates paintings that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars? You star in a documentary of course. "My Kid Could Paint That" is a fascinating film by Amir Bar-Lev about artist/preschooler Marla Olmstead and the heated debates she's sparking in and out of the arts world: Is she a child prodigy or is her talent a hoax? What does her enormous success say about the validity of modern art? Should children this young be put under the harsh glare of a documentary's bright lights?

Opening today in various theaters. http://www.sonyclassics.com/mykidcouldpaintthat/.

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