Who could forget "The Crocodile's Toothache"? The toothy reptile sobbing in the dentist's chair as the helpful doc asks, "Why does it hurt and where?" The scribbled-green stalker sketched on the page asks that doomed dentist to take a closer look: "And he opened his jaws so wide, so wide" that the unwitting healer climbed right inside. The end was not a happy one, but such were the quirky stories that Shel Silverstein wrote. Now the poet, long deceased, is reincarnated on the stage in "Shel Silverstein Uncensored!" where his sometimes wacky and sometimes irreverent poems will leap from the page. Comedy, song and satire using Silverstein's three famous books and hundreds of additional poems will surprise and delight every age. Sat. 8 p.m. $45 (opening night), $25-$30 (weekly). Through Aug. 10. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 477-2055. http://www.odysseytheatre.com.
Help the H.O.P.E Unit Foundation, a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization, provide support for bereaved members of our community. "A Musical Celebration of the Soul" will feature cantorial soloist Shira Fox, an a capella group, singer Hale Porter, cabaret singer Lynda Levy and other entertainers. The fundraiser will also honor Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis of Valley Beth Shalom, Rabbi Karen Fox of Wilshire Boulevard Temple and Valley Beth Shalom's Cantor Herschel Fox, the evening's emcee. Sat. 8 p.m. $50. Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Westside Irmas Campus, 11661 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (818) 788-4673. http://www.hopeunit.org.
Israel's burgeoning film scene continues to export successful creations by native Israelis as well as Americans drawn to work in the story-rich country. Young filmmaker Lior Geller was born and raised in New Jersey but is developing a film career in Israel. His short film, "Roads," about a 13-year-old drug dealer in the Arab Israeli slum, Lod, earned him a nomination for the Academy's 2008 Honorary Foreign Film Award. Five finalists will compete for the award at the 35th annual Student Academy Awards ceremony, where the winning film will be screened. Tickets are free and available to the public, so come root for an emerging American Israeli filmmaker and hobnob with possible future A-listers. Sat. 6 p.m. Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. Limit of four tickets per person can be reserved at http://www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, or by calling (310) 247-3000, ext. 130.
Social activist, author and screenwriter Diane Namm strives to bring literary works to the stage that will have an impact on impressionable youths. Teaming up with the West of Broadway Theater Company, Namm has produced "Huck," an interactive theater adaptation of Mark Twain's classic novel, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Audience members will search for hidden treasures right along with Huck as he rows down the river with his friend, Jim, only to be captured by two absent-minded villains who force them to join their poorly conceived magic act. Sat. 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Through June 28. $15 (adults), $10 (12 and under). Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica. (310) 428-3343. http://www.westofbroadway.org.
SUN | JUNE 8
Rogue warriors, young avengers and nimble beauties will inhabit the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention, which showcases the best in graphic arts and future technology narratives. Fans of the cultish literary phenomena can also snap a photo with Emmy Award-winning actorWilliam Shatner of "Star Trek" fame, who will sign copies of his new autobiography, "Up Till Now," detailing his exploits as a Hollywood star. Don't miss this chance to spend a full day perusing new and vintage comic books, action figures, trading cards, collectibles, movie memorabilia and Japanese anime merchandise. Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Shatner appears at 2 p.m. $8. Shrine Auditorium Expo Center, 700 W. 32nd St., Los Angeles. (818) 954-8432. http://www.comicbookscifi.com.
Jewish music is inherently soulful, but a new emerging fusion combines traditional Jewish songs with soul and gospel. Don't miss a beat of the unique "SoulAviv" concert, which features familiar Hebrew prayers amped up with stylings by Bob Marley and other music icons. Feel free to sing along, clap your hands and even get up and dance to the soul-filled melodies. Sun. 3-4:30 p.m. $13 (JCC members), $15 (general). The New JCC at Milken, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3274.
What makes California, well "California"? Is it the blue skies and golden beaches? The rich multiculturalism? The comprehensive project, "A Diversity of Voices: Day-Long Film Screenings of California Stories," has set out to identify the cultural dynamic that makes this state an ever-evolving source of creativity and industry. In an afternoon of seven short films, trace the vanishing remains of a community of Yiddish speakers, learn the racial history of Chinese Americans living in Hollywood and discover other ingredients that give the Golden State its unique flavor. Sun. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. $9. Natural History Museum, Jean Delacour Auditorium, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 763-3272. http://www.nhm.org.
For the past four years, Rabbi Naomi Levy has inspired disaffected Jews to return to their roots through Nashuva, Hebrew for "to return," a self-styled community that uses music and Torah to deepen Jewish connection. If you haven't yet been to a Nashuva Shabbat, one of Los Angeles' spiritual gems, you can experience its magic and power at Nashuva's Fourth Birthday Fundraiser, where you can dance and sing to the rocking rhythms of the Nashuva Band, enrich your mind with a study session and generously support this treasure chest of Judaism. Sun. 6:45 p.m. $25 (student), $50 (general), $250-$1,000 (sponsorship). Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 12000 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood. http://www.nashuva.com.
In an evening that becomes morning, individuals bring their own unique bit of Torah to the learning process and this year, temple member Jeff Bernhardt will present his meditation on the holiday with the dramatic rendition of "Standing at Sinai." The piece explores individual and communal relationships with God. Afterward, the community will break out into study groups full of discussion, activity and the best part -- cheesecake! Sun. 6:30 p.m. (services), 8:30 p.m. (presentation). Free. Beth Chayim Chadashim, House of New Life, 6000 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 931-7023. http://www.bcc-la.org.
Imagine spending an entire night with 11 rabbis and four different Jewish communities. "The Deterioration of Public Discourse" promises to keep even the most erudite intellectuals wide awake until the wee hours. Drawing on examples of how words can cause hurt, either between Jews who disagree about Israel or political candidates who condescend one another, this community gathering dares to ask, "Can we talk?" Daven, sing and sway at the Maariv service followed by a plenary session with Rabbis Perry Netter (Temple Beth Am), Sharon Brous (IKAR) and Camp Ramah's Rabbi Dan Greyber before moving into smaller sessions on a variety of related topics. 8:45 p.m.-5:15 a.m. Free. Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-7354.
TUE | JUNE 10
(ISRAEL @ 60)
"My recent project is concerned with politics of sacred places in Palestinian communities in Israel and the myriad phenomena connected to the production, reproduction and experiences of these places among Palestinians as part of processes of resistance, collective identity and memory formation and self-empowerment," writes Nimrod Luz, a Fulbright visiting professor at Indiana University, South Bend, on the Jewish-Arab Center at the University of Haifa Web site. The Middle Eastern scholar will speak about "The Changing Face of Israel and the Future of Its Monuments" at a Skirball program celebrating Israel's 60th. Tue. 7:30 p.m. Free (members), $5 (general). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. http://www.skirball.org.
Following in the mighty large footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald, long-time television producer and writer Jeffrey Lewis penned a novel about the tragic lives of the extremely wealthy, "Adam the King," and will be reading excerpts from it at Book Soup. The fourth of a series about a privileged set of Yale friends tells the tale of "the wedding of the year" in Clement's Cove, Maine, that ends years later in heartbreak. The billionaire protagonist is a modest Jew who desperately wants to be accepted into the exclusive coastal community and not be viewed as a destructive outsider but puts all that in jeopardy in order to please the woman he loves. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110. http://www.booksoup.com.
Films have the power to move us to tears and to action. Facing History and Ourselves brings together powerful filmmakers and critics to discuss "Film as a Catalyst for Social Change," moderated by L.A. Times and NPR film critic Kenneth Turan. Edward Zwick, director of "Blood Diamond," "Glory" and the upcoming film, "Defiance," along with Diane Weyermann, executive vice president of documentary films at Participant Media, will explore the contemporary landscape of film as a vehicle for inspiring activism. Tue. 7 p.m. Free. Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (626) 744-1177, ext. 28. http://www.facinghistory.org.
FRI | JUNE 13
Composer Richard Sherman, who won Oscars for his brilliant work on "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," and recent Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree Milt Larsen are bringing another musical theater production to the stage. "Pazzazz!" sounds like it will be as jazzy as its title, with a plotline revolving around a young star before he becomes the "King of Broadway" and a couple of vaudeville comedians who run New York's most successful theater. Part of the Festival of New American Musicals, "Pazzazz!" is being co-produced by The Magic Castle -- that may add even more spark to the production. Fri. 8 p.m. Also, June 14 and 15. $24-$32. Haugh Performing Arts Center, 1000 W. Foothill, Glendora. (626) 963-9411. http://www.haughpac.com.
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