City Garage presents Neil LaBute's "Break of Noon"

Can’t hop it to Hawaii for the weekend? No problem! Hapa, Hawaii’s hottest group, according to Billboard Magazine, is coming to Santa Monica’s Broad Stage for a one-night-only performance on Friday, March 27.

The spirit of the Aloha state is alive in the hands of this lovely acoustic band with its hypnotic, fluid guitar work woven around lilting vocals and folk harmonies. Hapa’s music celebrates the rich heritage of the Hawaiian islands while incorporating the many different musical influences passing through the dynamic cultural crossroads that the 50th state has become.

The Broad invites you to come early (6:45 to 7:15) and stay late. Tickets and info at www.thebroadstage.com or call 310.434.3200. The Broad Stage is located at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and 11th Street.

Exodus anniversary

Israel has been much in the news of late and Laemmle Theatres inaugurates its Anniversary Classics series with a screening of Otto Preminger’s “Exodus.” This marks the film’s 55th anniversary.

This powerful film about the founding of Israel was based on Leon Uris’s best-selling novel. Eva Marie Saint, who stars alongside the late Paul Newman, will be in attendance and join in a pre-screening Q&A discussion with “Reel Talk” host Stephen Farber.

Nominated for three Academy Awards in 1960, Exodus won the Oscar for Ernest Gold’s memorable score. Otto Preminger’s lavish production, with a screenplay by formerly blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, was filmed on location with an all-star cast headed by Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Sal Mineo, Jill Haworth, Peter Lawford, Ralph Richardson, and Lee J. Cobb. Given the ongoing tensions in the Middle East today, the film is still powerfully timely.

Tickets are $13, and the screening takes place at Laemmle’s Royal Theatre in West L.A. on March 31 at 7 p.m. More info at www.laemmle.com/classics or call (310) 478-3836.

Nin’s influence

Ana√Øs Nin, noted for her diaries and erotica, was at the height of her fame when she took on Barbara Kraft as a writing student. Kraft, author of “Ana√Øs Nin: The Last Days” has been invited to participate in a special program at the West Hollywood Library on Saturday, March 28 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Nin documented her emotional journey in a daily diary that she began at the age of 11 and kept throughout her life. Four writers influenced, mentored and befriended by Nin-including Kraft, Sas Colby, Valerie Harms and Tristine Rainer-will share their views on Nin and read passages about her.

Admission is free, RSVP at (323) 848-6823 or find “Anais Nin’s Influence” on Facebook. The library is located at 625 N San Vicente Blvd., and parking is free, too.

Ponsi’s scheme

This Saturday from 3 to 4:30 p.m., a rare special appearance by architect/artist Andrea Ponsi, visiting from Florence, Italy will give you an opportunity to get his new book, “San Francisco: A Map of Perceptions” personally signed.

Ponsi’s illustrations unravel the multifaceted beauty of one of America’s favorite cities. Ponsi has been the subject of museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide. In 2000 he won the international competition to design the Palos Verdes Art Center.

This visit is hosted by Santa Monica’s premiere art and architecture bookstore, Hennessey + Ingalls, 214 Wilshire Blvd. Refreshments will be served.

Karaoke Shakespeare?

Have you ever quoted Shakespeare, performed a favorite monologue for friends or emoted in front of a mirror? Put that passion into action at the new “Shakespeare Salon,” starting March 31 and on the last Tuesday of each month at The Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village.

Participants perform their favorite Shakespearean piece or, alternatively, a piece inspired by Shakespeare, whether serious or parody. Shakespearean monologues, scenes, poems, songs, remembrances, and personal interpretations of all kinds are welcome.

To perform, fill out the form on the Eclectic Company Theatre website (eclecticcompanytheatre.org). Tickets are only $5. The Eclectic Company Theatre is located at 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd. (between Chandler and Magnolia), Valley Village, CA 91607. More info (818) 508-3003.

A LaBute debut

City Garage Theatre has been producing innovative, award-winning theater in Santa Monica for the past 28 years. Founded by artistic director Frédérique Michel and producing director Charles Duncombe, they create and present original works that explore contemporary ideas and issues in a distinctive, strongly physical, highly visual, multi-disciplinary style.

On April 3, City Garage will premiere its production of “Break of Noon” by edgy contemporary playwright, Neil LaBute.

What if God told you to be a better person but the world wouldn’t allow it?

Such is Joe Smith’s dilemma. He’s a run-of-the-mill white-collar businessman who survives an office shooting and is subsequently touched by what he believes to be a divine vision. His journey toward personal enlightenment-past greed and lust and the other deadly sins-is, by turns, tense, hilarious, profane, and heartbreaking.

City Garage is located at Bergamot Art Station. Performances take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and on April 26, there’s a post-matinee Q&A with the director, producer and cast. The play runs through May 24.

City Garage is also hosting Support Women Artists Now Day from 12 to 6 p.m. this Saturday.

Admission is free, and the day’s events include readings of short plays written and directed by women, as well as two sessions of “Micro-Reads” (open to all women writers in attendance) and opportunities for theater makers (of all genders) to network and find future collaborators: women artists working in Los Angeles.

For more details, visit LA Female Playwrights Initiative at lafpi.com/events.

Sarah A. Spitz spent her career as a producer at public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica and produced freelance arts reports for NPR. She has also reviewed theatre for LAOpeningNights.com.

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