The 18th annual Festival of Books features more than 100 panels, stage presentations, music and children’s programs. Authors include Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), singer Lisa Loeb, chef Susan Feniger and Journal contributors Jonathan Kirsch and Bill Boyarsky. Historian Jon Wiener moderates a discussion on “Holocaust Lives” with panelists Kirsch, Joe Bialowitz, Lillian Faderman and Marione Ingram. Sat. Through April 21. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sunday). Free (indoor Conversations and Book Prizes require tickets). University of Southern California campus, Los Angeles. events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks.
Before they discovered Moishe House L.A. (MoHoLa), Rodrigo Rodarte had never led a Shabbat dinner, Jon Shoer was looking to solidify his Jewish identity, and Joshua Nathan Finn was searching for a way to create a home away from home for his Jewish peers.
The president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, appears at Temple Isaiah, a Reform congregation committed to community organizing efforts in Westside schools. Weingarten, an advocate for education reform and innovation, will discuss the current and future state of public education, the role of labor unions and the politics of change. Jewish public school teachers; member congregations of OneLA, a broad-based organizing coalition; and the general public are invited. Fri. 6:15 p.m. (Shabbat service), 7:45 p.m. (Weingarten speaks). Free.
L.A. performance artist and avant-garde clown April Hava Shenkman channels the comedy queens of Hollywood’s golden age for advice and wisdom. Follow Shenkman’s pursuit of happiness in this one-woman, cabaret-style performance. Sun. Through July 29. 9-10 p.m. $10. Atwater Crossing, The Platform at ATX Kitchen, 3245 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 284-8265. atwatercrossing.com.
L.A. photographer and filmmaker Sharon Lockhart’s new exhibition at LACMA focuses on the late Israeli dance composer and textile artist Noa Eshkol, who co-created the groundbreaking Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation system in the 1950s and developed a dance system based on its use of symbols and numbers to define the movement of any limb around its joint.
Celebrating his 50th birthday and 30 years in comedy, the acclaimed actor-comedian (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) appears in person to perform an evening of stand-up. Tribe favorite Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt (“Ratatouille,” “King of Queens”), Bob Odenkirk (“Breaking Bad”), Bill Burr and others join Garlin. Expect irreverent, wacky and Jewy humor. Proceeds benefit The Littlest Tumor Foundation. Fri. 9 p.m. $40 (online only). Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 855-0350.
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival presents a sneak preview of Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method.” Drawn from true events, the film looks at the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), the troubled but beautiful Russian-Jewish woman who comes between them. Cronenberg (“Eastern Promises,” “A History of Violence”) appears in a post-screening Q-and-A with Jewish Journal Arts & Entertainment Editor Naomi Pfefferman. Wed. 7:30 p.m. Free (reservations required). Laemmle’s Music Hall 3, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (800) 838-3006. lajfilmfest.org.
Call it the tale of two Mellmans.
Mark Mellman, one of John Kerry's top four advisers, launched a talk with Jewish Democrats in Boston last month with a drasha (short sermon) on the meaning of Tisha B'Av, the Jewish fast day that happened to fall during the party convention. Then, with nary a comment from the crowd, Mellman glided into the case for the Massachusetts senator.
Contrast that with the introduction this Sunday for Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman at a similar Jewish event.
"One of us, Ken Mehlman -- let me repeat that, one of us, Ken Mehlman -- is running the Bush-Cheney campaign," said Morris Offit, a Republican and the president of the New York federation, barely containing his grin as he emphasized Mehlman's Jewishness.
Guests nibbling on Grilled Hoisin-Ancho Colorado Lamb Chops, Roasted Garlic and Chicken Risotto and Caramel Sauce Crème Brûlée at Century City's five-star St. Regis Hotel & Spa might not just want to thank the chef, but also a rabbi.