May 29, 2008
Calendar Girls picks and clicks for May 31-June 6
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Who says you need to travel to Israel for your favorite regional goods? Israel Expo 2008: International Elegance and Beauty recreates an Israeli shuk with all the requisite offerings: Dead Sea skincare and beauty products, Israeli food and wine tasting. There will also be Israeli dancing, a fashion show, games, rides and live music. Don't miss the grand finale musical performance with Hedva Amrani and the Sunlight Orchestra. At 60, the party never stops! Sun. 1 p.m.-6 p.m. $6-$8 (children under 13 free). Samueli Jewish Campus (JCC), 1 Federation Way, Irvine. (949) 554-4541. http://www.internationalelegance.com.
Do you really even need an excuse to stay active and healthy? If you do, Temple Beth Hillel's Ninth Annual 5K Run/Walk/Stroll is a terrific reason. Get your heart rate up while raising money for the Yachad Program, which benefits special-needs children, and the Moses Program for Jews with disabilities. Even your little ones can participate in the short-track Kiddie K! If you raise more than $250 for the cause you can win two tickets to Disneyland. Don't forget to visit the health fair for tips from specialists including macrobiotic cooks, physicians and yogis. Sun. 8 a.m.- noon. $10 (18 and under), $20 (adults). Temple Beth Hillel, 12326 Riverside Drive, Valley Village. (818) 763-9148. http://www.tbhla.org.
For a brief afternoon, Robertson Boulevard will be closed to traffic and open for community commiserating at "It's a SoRo World," the 11th annual community festival that flaunts the flavor of the neighborhood. Pico-Robertson locals will parade the streets, promote their businesses, eat, dance, shop and schmooze during this fun-filled street festival. Bring your wallets and your kids, fill your bellies and meet your kosher neighbors. Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Robertson Boulevard (between Beverlywood Street and Cattaraugus Avenue). (310) 838-0870. http://www.soro.org.
MON | JUNE 2
Veteran Israeli folk dance instructor James Zimmer is hosting a Special Dance Celebration in honor of two milestones, one universal and the other personal. June 2 is Yom Yerushalayim, which commemorates the liberation of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. The day also marks Zimmer's 500th week of leading free Israeli folk dance sessions at UCLA. Sponsored by the International Folk Dance Club at UCLA, the evening will include folk dances from and about Jerusalem, swing lessons and a swing dance party with live music by a 17-piece band led by Dennis Kaye. Mon. 7-11:30 p.m. Free. UCLA Kerckhoff Hall Grand Salon, 405 Hilgard Ave., Westwood. (310) 284-3638. IsraeliDance@yahoo.com.
WED | JUNE 4
The feeling of your heart sinking into your stomach while reading Anne Frank's harrowing diary will be intensified tenfold in Grigori Frid's emotionally charged opera "The Diary of Anne Frank." Frank's candid first-person account of life while hiding from the Nazis inspired Frid to compose an opera in 1969 using Frank's diary excerpts as the libretto. After unveiling the production in his Russian hometown of Kislovodsk, Frid realized the score would need to be smuggled to the United States if it were ever to be seen uncensored. Ani Maldjian, an Armenian American soprano who plays Frank, delivers a strong breakthrough performance. Intertwined in the already taxing plot is the story of 16-year-old Laura Hillman, who finds love in a concentration camp and is lucky to be among the more than 1,100 Jews on Schindler's List. Wed.-Thu. 8 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. $15-$95. Sinai Temple Garage, 10400 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. For tickets call, (562) 432-5934 or http://www.longbeachopera.org.
Smokin' novelist and screenwriter David Benioff, responsible for such Hollywood hits as "25th Hour," "Troy" and "The Kite Runner," and married to actress Amanda Peet, will chat with an intimate crowd about his latest book "City of Thieves." The haunting thriller tells the story of two young men who meet in a Russian prison at the height of the Siege of Leningrad. Narrowly escaping death by firing squad, a powerful colonel tasks the desperate men with an impossible mission that sets them on a journey across war-torn Russia as they seek their one shot at survival. Wed. 7 p.m. Free. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 449-5320. http://www.vromansbookstore.com.
THU | JUNE 5
Escape to the plush hills of Ojai for four days of groundbreaking music performances mixed with modern technology -- from a "spoken opera" set to seven erotic poems to an outdoor screening of Charlie Chaplin's silent film "Modern Times" with orchestral accompaniment Chaplin composed himself. The 62nd Ojai Music Festival opens with "Daniel Variations" by special guest artist Steve Reich, who created a four-movement tribute to murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, drawing on texts from the biblical book of Daniel and Pearl's writings. Reich, who will be in residence throughout the weekend, closes the festival with "Tehillim," a melodic composition inspired by Hebrew psalms that attempts to resurrect or recreate an oral tradition based on the festival's theme "The Intersection of Words and Music." There's also opera, documentary film, percussion ensembles and a mecca of musical expression you don't want to miss. Thu. 8 p.m. Through Sun. $20-$75. Libbey Bowl, 205 E. Ojai Ave. (805) 646-2094. http://www.ojaifestival.org.
After World War II, 27-year-old bomber pilot Hal Halvorsen defied strict military code to drop candy to the children of occupied Berlin. His sensitive act paved the way for a great humanitarian effort on behalf of the United States, which supplied war-ravaged Germany with sustenance and hope. It also inspired author Andrei Cherny's historical nonfiction "The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour," which depicts a civic-minded America and parallels the occupation in Iraq only in their sharp contrast. The author will read from the book and discuss its tacit suggestion of how to spread democracy "the right way." Thu. 7 p.m. Free. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-3110.