If Americans understood and appreciated Middle Eastern culture, could they see beyond the dominant terrorist stereotype? That's the question the Levantine Cultural Center is posing at their international conference and concert, "Transcending Nationalisms." Representatives of eastern literature, music, and art such as Nathalie Handal, editor of "The Poetry of Arab Women," and Niyaz (pictured), a world music trio, participate in a public conversation on the interaction of Eastern and Western cultures.
4-6 p.m. (panel), 6:30 p.m. (reception), 7:30 p.m. (concert). $15 (panel only), $30 (panel, reception and concert). Fowler Museum Auditorium, UCLA campus, Westwood. (310) 657-5511. http://www.levantinecenter.org.
Sunday the 1st
William Shakespeare is an endless source of fascinating theater material. "Shakespeare's Will" draws not from the work of the world's greatest playwright, but rather by telling the story of his wife, Anne Hathaway. The touching portrait of a woman wrestling with hidden passions, loneliness and sorrow in the shadow of a monumental figure is directed by Susan Bay Nimoy and produced by Leonard Nimoy. The Jewish husband-and-wife team, both accomplished artists in various mediums, are presenting this production at Theatre 40.
2 p.m. $25. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, Beverly Hills High School, 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 364-0535. http://www.theatre40.org.
Monday the 2nd
Philip Smith's "Enamelsmith" exhibit consists of copper and vitreous enamel pieces. The artist explains: "Powdered glass is transformed into jewel-like copper tiles by heat, with often unpredictable results. The tiles have a depth of color and texture that goes beyond the surface ... the reflections change almost magically as the light changes." Smith recently began working with enamel as a tribute to a friend and artist who, before passing away in 2004, bequeathed the secrets of his life's work to Smith.
Mon.-Sun., through July 24. Free. Alpert Jewish Community Center, Pauline and Zena Gatov Gallery, 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach. (562) 426-7601. http://www.alpertjcc.org.
Tuesday the 3rd
Despite the constant barrage of crises in the Middle East, Israeli artists are still producing incredible works of art. "Contemporary Israeli Photography" features fine art by master Israeli photographers Neil Folberg, David Harris, Duby Tal, Yuval Yairi, Didier Ben Loulou and Max Richardson, who depict children studying Torah, Israeli ruins, the faces of Israel's founding leaders and a mixture of contemporary imagery. Wood, ceramic and glass sculptures will also be on display and available for purchase, as are all photographs. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the San Diego Natural History Museum and ensure that Israeli artists will continue to have a forum to showcase their work in Southern California.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, through Jan. 1, 2008. $4-$9 (museum admission). San Diego Natural History Museum, Ordover Gallery, Fourth Floor Mezzanine, 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park. (858) 720-1121. http://www.ordovergallery.com.
Wednesday the 4th
For many Angelenos slogging through traffic every day, KCRW is their saving grace. Enjoy this station's rich and innovative programming tonight on your way to a Fourth of July fireworks display -- instead of on your way to work -- with a specially commissioned documentary by producer Gerald Zelinger. "Remembering Columbia Square: An Homage to a Palace of Broadcasting" pays tribute to what used to be the hub of Columbia Broadcasting's radio programming and to the pioneering personalities who used to work within that building. Opened in 1938, Columbia Square now faces an uncertain future, as operations have recently moved to a new facility in Studio City.
6-7 p.m. 89.9 FM KCRW-Santa Monica and KCRW.com.
Thursday the 5th
The untimely death of a young dancer living in New York City is the opening spark in a fiery and passionate play by Lanford Wilson. "Burn This" chronicles the emotional turbulence inflicted on the dancer's friends and family, including his roommate, Anna, and his brother, Pale, who in their sense of mutual loss discover an explosive and dangerous intimacy. Josh Stamberg stars as Pale. The play first premiered in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum, then had a run on Broadway and is now returning to Los Angeles on its 20th anniversary.
Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., through July 14. $20. Theatre Asylum, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 960-4429. http://www.plays411.com/burnthis.
Friday the 6th
Jazz up your weekend with James Torme, a Jewish musician and the youngest son of the late great jazz legend, Mel Torme. He'll be making his orchestral debut with the New West Symphony in "The West Coast Is Still the Best Coast," featuring a musical homage to the Golden State, "California Suite," by Mel Torme. Enjoy other jazz favorites such as "Strike Up the Band," "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Too Darn Hot," symphonic jazz standards popularized by the senior Torme.
8 p.m. $26-$49. Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. (866) 776-8400. http://www.newwestsymphony.org.