Cult song stylist Danny Cohen's spooky, weird noir rock infuses caterwauls and other bizarre sounds with lyrics about gargoyles and rigor mortis. The dramatic effect can be experienced firsthand today as the MAK Center and SASSAS present "Pathetic Laments and Inadvertent Drool," a concert by Cohen, with John La Pado, Christine La Pado and Joseph Hammer. 7 p.m. $9-$15. The Schindler House, 835 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood. R.S.V.P., (323) 651-1510.
The Statue of Liberty is blown up by terrorists. A turban-clad Indian mentalist invades the mind of the president and steals national secrets. Maybe the premise seems outlandish, or maybe it's not that far off. Playwright Gil Kofman's "American Magic" opens today, offering an Orwellian examination of the personal freedom-national security tightrope. 8 p.m. (Thursday-Sunday). Runs through July 20. $20. 2100 Square Feet, 5615 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (323) 969-4848.
Kudos to Carl Reiner, who this week keeps the proletariat in mind. Those of us resigned to the cheap seats may have bemoaned having to forgo the comedic and cinematic legend's ADL dinner appearance a few weeks back. This time around he keeps the ticket prices in the double digits. He discusses his new memoir, "My Anecdotal Life," with a "Seinfeld" writer-producer, Peter Mehlman, courtesy of the Writers Bloc. $18. 7:30 p.m. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (310) 335-0917.
"Wherever you go, there's always someone Jewish...." So goes the song every good Jewish camper knows. Reflecting the truth behind the message is the Skirball's latest exhibition, "Portraits of an Eternal People: A Jewish Family Album." More than 30 black-and-white images captured by New York-based Zion Ozeri reflect Jewish communities in some of the last places you'd expect to find them: Central Asia, South America and North Africa. The opening takes place tonight with an artist talk and two film screenings. 7:30 p.m. Runs through Aug. 31. $5 (general), free (members and students). 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 655-8587.
Ten artists work out the themes of modern life and urban environments in Gallery C's new exhibition, "Urban Anatomy: Contemporary California Art and the City." Elements of everyday life getting treatment in the show include bridges, shopping carts, postage stamps and the Texaco Pegasus. The multimedia collection includes works by Israeli-born artist Yossi Govrin. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Thursdays), Noon-5 p.m. (Sundays). Runs through Sept. 21. 1225 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach. (310) 798-0102.
Prolific Chava Alberstein has released yet another album. Titled "End of the Holiday," this first joint collaboration with her husband, Nadav Levitan, does not disappoint. His socially critical lyrics mix smoothly with the music she composed, producing a folky, classic Israeli sound that Alberstein fans will appreciate. $17, www.israel-music.com
Celebrating the true spirit of democracy, the all-American Pasadena Playhouse offers you choices tonight. Theatrical performances are still the mainstay of the theater, but now it also features a gallery of fine art, open one hour before performances and during intermissions. That means you've got three options this Fourth of July. You can take in "Goddess Muse Woman," a retrospective of paintings by Blossom Folb; then stay for "Showtune: A Musical Celebration of the Words and Music of Jerry Herman." Or you can catch one but not the other. The Pasadena Playhouse -- right up there with Mom and apple pie. 8 p.m. (Friday, Tuesday-Thursday), 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. (Saturday), 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Sunday). $45-$60. 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. (626) 356-7529.
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