Theater with a historical lesson comes to The Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse, with the guest production of "Black and Bluestein." The dramedy written by Jerry Mayer takes place in early '60s St. Louis, and tells the story of Jewish homeowner Jeff Bluestein and the issues he faces while deliberating whether to sell his home -- in a largely white Jewish neighborhood -- to a black family.
Through April 29. $22-$25. 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. (323) 960-4418. www.santamonicaplayhouse.com.
Sunday the 1st
Yes, it's another film festival. But The Method Fest sets itself apart by being a showcase specifically for acting. (As in the "Stanislavsky Method," get it?) Screening today in its Los Angeles premiere is "Steel Toes," a drama about a murdering skinhead (Andrew Walker) and the Jewish lawyer (David Strathairn) who agrees to defend him.
5 p.m. Viewpoint Carlson Family Theatre, 23620 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. www.methodfest.com.
Monday the 2nd
Another independent film worth your attention is Russell Brown's "Race You to the Bottom," which opens this week. The film focuses on the relationship between two friends, Maggie and Nathan. Maggie is straight, and Nathan identifies as gay, and both of them are involved with other people. Despite all of this, however, the two are also in the midst of a passionate affair and decide to take a romantic road trip to Napa together. Special screenings: Sat., March 31, 7:30 p.m. Post-screening Q-and-A with Russell Brown.
Sun., April 1, 7:30 p.m. 2-for-1 "Girls Grab Your Best Gay/Gays Grab Your Best Girl" promotion. The Regent Showcase Theatre, 614 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. www.raceyoutothebottom-themovie.com.
Tuesday the 3rd
The early personal life and work of artist Carol Es serve as primary inspirations for her mixed media pieces. Es is frank about an abusive upbringing that also saw her employed as a cutter in the apparel industry. Incorporating sewing pins, fabric and thread into her canvases, and layering images and her own prose on top, Es creates a patchwork of her past, and explains in her artist's statement, "in a sense, I am mending my life while purging dark memories." Her new exhibition, "Carol Es: All Done But None" runs through April 14.
George Billis Gallery, 2716 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City. (310) 838-3685. www.georgebillis.com.
Wednesday the 4th
AFI goes behind the music at the Arclight in their sixth-annual Music Documentary Series. Tonight's opening night features the 1982 classic "Pink Floyd: The Wall." Subsequent Wednesdays will screen "Buena Vista Social Club," "Punk Rock Eats its Own: A Film About Face to Face," "Shut Up and Sing," "Rock the Bells" and "Last Days of Left Eye." Post screening Q-and-A's with filmmakers are also planned.
Through May 9. 8 p.m. $10-$11 (per screening). 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 464-4226. www.arclightcinemas.com.
Thursday the 5th
Opening today, "The Art of Vintage Israeli Travel Posters" displays charming graphic works of the '50s and '60s that aimed to bring tourists to the Holy Land. Popular themes include portrayals of Israel as the land of the Bible or as a place for adventure. Tours, lectures, readings and classes on related subjects take place throughout the exhibition's run.
Through July 8. Free. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. www.skirball.org.
Friday the 6th
Following a successful 15-month run in New York, "Bush Is Bad" makes its West Coast debut this evening. Those making up that 30-something percent approval rating will want to ignore this suggestion; others, however, may welcome a show with a bit of comic relief, described as "the hysterical love-child of 'Forbidden Broadway' and 'The Daily Show.'"
Through May 20. $35. NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 508-7101. www.thenohoartscenter.com.