Academy Award-winning writer Ronald Harwood has combined his fascination with professional musicians and a strong interest in World War II on more than one occasion. "The Pianist" won him an Oscar. See Harwood's other powerful creation, his 1995 play, "Taking Sides," which was also made into a 2001 film starring Harvey Keitel. Based on true events, "Taking Sides" is about the trial of Wilhelm Furtwangler, a German composer and the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, who was accused of serving the Nazi regime. A portion of the proceeds from this SkyPilot Theatre production will be donated to the Museum of Tolerance.
Fri.-Sun., through Nov. 18. $20. Sidewalk Studio Theatre, 4150 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank. (800) 838-3006. http://www.sidewalkstudiotheatre.com.
Calling all Schwartzes! If your last name is Schwartzman, Schwartzberg or any variation of Schwartz, you get two-for-one tickets to "The Last Schwartz." The dramedy, now playing at one of L.A.'s oldest and more respected venues, is about a family gathering in the Catskills in honor of the father's yahrtzeit, or the one-year anniversary of his death. You can only imagine the hilarity that ensues as four siblings and their significant others, which includes a wife who converted to Judaism, pile into one house for a whole weekend. Written by Deborah Zoe Laufer, a graduate of Julliard's playwriting program, "The Last Schwartz" will be directed by Zephyr Theatre owner and renowned producer Lee Sankowich. Note to Schwartzes: Be prepared to show ID at the door.
Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 16. $25-$30. Zephyr Theatre Company, 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 960-7789. http://www.plays411.com/schwartz.
Since 1921, Women Painters West has been assembling work by female artists in the Western states and exhibiting it for all to enjoy. See their works, which range from realistic to abstract, at the group's latest show, "Women Painters West at the Finegood." The nonprofit organization also provides scholarships to promising Southern California art students and supports community art programs.
Mon.-Sun. (closed Sat.), through Dec. 9. The Finegood Art Gallery, Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3218. http://www.jccatmilken.org.
Bare. Naked. Au natural. Threadbare. The Getty Center presents its rawest photography exhibit, "In Focus: The Nude," as part of its grand unveiling of the new Center for Photographs program. Long idealized in Western art, the unclothed human figure became a subject of photography almost as soon as the technology was invented. Whimsical, realistic and erotic, the prints in this marvelous collection are from photography legends Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray and other innovators who have left their indelible mark on the medium. Get dressed and head to what is sure to be one of the Getty's most "revealing" exhibits.
Tue.-Sun., through February. Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. http://www.getty.edu.
Ranya, Suzanne and Priscilla are three mothers who got together to write a positive interfaith children's book about Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The project nearly fell apart as the women argued bitterly in defense of their faiths. Meet the authors of "The Faith Club" and hear about their journey of misunderstanding, discovery and dialogue. Also, get advice on how to start or join an existing faith club -- a phenomenon inspired by these women, from Shelby, N.C., to Orange County.
7 p.m. Free. Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego. R.S.V.P. required, (619) 260-4236. http://peace.sandiego.edu. For more on The Faith Club, visit http://www.thefaithclub.com.
The three will also make an appearance on Sun., Oct. 21, at Temple Beth El in San Pedro.
Using scraps of faded fabric, abstract sketches, bits of languages and graphic symbols, such as stars and crosses, Hannelore Baron pieced together collages and box constructions that convey deep personal grief and an anguished history. Baron fled Nazi Germany in 1938 and although she established a new life in the Bronx and objected to an art gallery using her biography in an exhibit of her work, the artist was clearly haunted by her past. She once tried to explain the purpose of her art: "My way out ... has been to make the protest through my artwork." An exhibit of Baron's work will be on display at the Manny Silverman Gallery, starting today.
Tue.-Sat., through Dec. 22. Manny Silverman Gallery, 619 N. Almont Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 659-8256.
Famed actress and director Penny Marshall stars in a show at the venue founded by her equally renowned brother, Garry, the Falcon Theatre, this month for the laugh-out-loud comedy "Sheldon & Mrs. Levine," written by Sam Bobrick and Julie Stein. The female Marshall plays an overbearing mother whose 31-year-old son blames her for the failure of his marriage. An exchange of dysfunctional letters between the two tells the tale of a mother and son who, even thousands of miles apart, need some serious space from one another. "This is a very funny play," Garry said. "And Penny's one of the funniest people I've ever met, even though she is my sister."
8 p.m. tonight, various times through Nov. 18. $25-$37. The Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. (818) 955-8101. http://www.falcontheatre.com.
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