Hoof it downtown to the George and Skaye Aratani/Japan America Theatre this evening for Rhapsody in Taps' 25th Anniversary Concert. In addition to repertoire highlights like "Tribute to Gregory Hines," the program also features the world premiere Klezmer/Tap Project "Laughing With Tears," choreographed by Linda Sohl-Ellison and performed by composer and clarinetist Leo Chelyapov, violinist Claire Bergen, as well as company musicians and dancers.
7:30 p.m. $24-$40. 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles. (213) 680-3700.
Sunday the 29th
Alexandra More's fabulous Celebrity Staged Play Readings series is back for another season with this weekend's "Benya the King," a comedy inspired by the story of Benya in Isaac Babel's "Tales of Odessa." Incomplete without its practically trademark star helming at least one show, the series is kicked off right with the distinguished and faithful Ed Asner playing the lead. A Q-&-A with playwright Richard Schotter follows.
$12-$16. Oct. 28: 7:30 p.m. Valley Cities JCC, 13164 Burbank Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 786-6310. Oct. 29: 2 p.m. Westside JCC, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 938-2531, ext. 2225.
Monday the 30th
Biblical heroine Judith as played by Julia Prud'homme. Photo by Peter Gref
Playwright Howard Barker's humanizing portrait of the biblical heroine Judith is produced at Theatre of NOTE starting this week. "Judith: A Parting from the Body," delves into the apocryphal story of the wealthy Hebrew widow who saved her people by bedding the enemy Assyrian general Holofernes and decapitating him. It runs through Dec. 16.
Oct. 29-Nov. 14 (Sun.-Tues), Nov. 30-Dec. 16 (Thurs.-Sat.). $10-$15. 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 856-8611.
Tuesday the 31st
Respected independent Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh discusses "Israel and Palestinians: Realities Behind the Headlines" at Beth Jacob Congregation this evening. A Jerusalem Post reporter on Palestinian Affairs and reporter for international media, Abu Toameh began his career at a PLO newspaper and is distinguished for offering an insider perspective, often from inside sources, into the Palestinian Authority. The event is sponsored by CAMERA and StandWithUs.
7:30 p.m. $10. Photo I.D. required. 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 836-6140.
Wednesday the 1st
Jewish literary supercouple Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon come to Sinai Temple this evening, as part of Jewish Book Month. Rabbi David Wolpe will interview the authors of (respectively) "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits," and the Pulitzer-winning "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."
7 p.m. 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (310) 481-3217.
Thursday the 2nd
Anat Klausner stars in "Frozen Days"
There are 147 films being shown at this year's AFI Fest. How to choose? Consider two of Jewish interest. From Israel comes the low-budget film "Frozen Days" ("Yamim Kfuim"), about a lonely young woman who unintentionally takes on an Internet buddy's identity while he lies in a coma in the hospital after surviving a suicide bombing. And from Australia, Palestinian-Australian filmmaker Sherine Salama follows "The Last Days of Yasser Arafat." In September 2003 Salama was working on trying to get an interview with Arafat, but did not succeed in doing so until October 2004. The film shows her work speaking with his aides, lobbying officials and seeking help from her own Palestinian friends, to try to gain access; and documents her interview with the PA leader, which was the last he gave before he died.
Nov. 1-12. $12 (per film). Arclight Cinema Complex and Cinerama Dome, Los Angeles. www.afi.com.
Friday the 3rd
The self-deprecating humor of comedians Melanie Chartoff and Laraine Newman finds a stage at the Santa Monica Playhouse for two nights only. Tonight and next Friday, audiences may hear their "memoirs-in-progress excerpted from their lives-in-progress," in their double-bill show "Half Baked: Horror-Adventure-Scandal-Intrigue-Abject Humiliation!"
Nov. 3 and 10. 8 p.m. $20. 1121 Fourth St., Santa Monica. (310) 394-9779, ext. 1.